My server (Argent Dawn EU) has had regular login queues over the last few weeks. On several occasions, it has also been marked as locked which means no new characters can be created there. At the same time, the server has been the source of free transfers to other RP servers. Clearly that hasn’t been working.
And why is that? (Aside from my presence.)
Well, via the dungeon finder, characters can get geared up more quickly than ever before. And what will they do once they are geared? There’s a good chance that they will want to raid, and the easiest way for a more casual player to raid is to join a PUG. And the easiest way to find a PUG is to hang around a city in game, keeping an eye on the trade and LFG channels, and wait until someone announces that they are looking for more people to form a raid.
This happens more frequently on larger servers.
Being on a smaller server has never been less attractive for a casual player, and unless Blizzard can get some kind of cross-server raid function working, I think that further exodus is inevitable. It’s ironic, because one of the great benefits of the cross-server dungeon finder has been that players on smaller servers have much better access to group content. But it may yet be the death of those servers in the long run …