I am going to address something that was said on Warhammer Alliance. Lemming Jesus, in a rather pouty post, said that Warhammer Online was “neither massive nor multiplayer” because the the population was far too split up. I agree for the mid-levels (but not to the degree of rage-quitting), and suggest a different route.
I would have had ONLY one racial pairing to begin with as the main part of the game. Tier 1 would remain the same as it is now. Tiers 2-3 would NOT have any Dark Elf vs. High Elf (DEvHE) or Greenskin vs. Dwarf zones (GvD). Tiers 2-3 would all be Empire vs. Chaos (EvC) as it is now. However, Tiers 2 and 3 would have an additional “contested” map (like Prague for Tier 4) between the two current maps. Then Tier 4 would begin to umbrella back out to include the DEvHE and GvD zones with future released Tier 4 zones focusing on their story and conflict. In other words, DEvHE and GvD get the shaft with initial content, but later content would go to those racial pairings. This would kill two birds with one stone by making the mid-level areas have higher population density, and giving more end-game later on.
This is not wholly my idea, as Lord of the Rings Online nearly does the exact same thing (only they don’t umbrella back to the Shire for the end game… yet). It allows the race to matter in terms of story, and for the player to get a feel for the race. But, then it elegantly funnels the population together to start moving en masse to the end game. At the end game you want lots of content, and I think Mythic made a big error in providing so much population spreading content for the slow-moving mid-levels.
For alt-oholics and what not, the three racial pairings with so many zones is fantastic, but it makes for a lot of ghost towns, empty RvR lakes, and sad and lonely public quests whose final Hero boss sits in a dark corner and cries himself to sleep while holding a shrunken dwarf head because no one will ever get to his stage. It’s too late now, and my hindsight is not even 20/20.