You can literally PvP on pop-locked servers Every. F-ing. Day in both ESO and GW2.
ESO has over 19 million bonafide accounts, with roughly 730k players logged on daily. The population cap for an ESO PvP instanced-server is roughly 1800. ESO has 4 large scale, zone sized PvP instanced servers with different rule sets. Each instance has several tactical and strategic keep sized objectives to seize. 3 of the servers usually run at a third capacity, but the main Alliance locked server sits at pop lock for all three factions every night. Every. Night.
The main Alliance locked instanced-server has close to the entire population of a NW world server.
Admittedly GW2 is a much smaller title with about 150k concurrent players online, give or take.
GW2 World vs World PvP occurs over 4 maps with roughly a capacity of 300 per map. You can logon to GW2 -right now- and que for a full map.
Don’t like server wide scaling? Fine. There are plenty of titles that have scaling brackets.
Return of Reckoning is a Warhammer emulator (legal, non-profit, all volunteer). It has large scale OWPvP that occurs in large sub-zones that auto-flag you for PvP when you enter them. They also have multiple instanced scenarios you can que for. The entirety of the game occurs in different level bracketed regions. Whenever you travel to a lower level region, you scale down to it. You don’t scale up in the open world. You have to level-up to fight effectively there (you do scale up in the scenarios).
It works just fine. Its completely free. it sits at roughly 800 to 1000 users on any given day. It is specifically an OWPvP designed game.
Why am I not playing those game you might ask… Its because I like this one. I see the vast potential this one has. I love the ambience and setting AGS has created. I really, really, want this game to be successful. Thats why instead of just ‘being quiet’, and playing those games; I’m here trying to offer feedback.
The point is that there are multiple options here, to achieve the original design objectives. But the scheme currently in place is not working. Conversely, I feel like AGS did zero analysis as to long-term population trends.
They need to re-think this model.