I'm surprised there has not been more recent discussion on this issue. There are a few valid points about how bad CRZ is for class levelling, and in PvP realms. But I dont see any discussion about how this affects levelling professions and the general economy across the whole game!
Hasn't anyone noticed that the supply of mats from zones that are cross-realm? Now I don't know if Blizz increased spawn rates in those zones, but I think not, and that means the same amount of mats are being spread out across multiple realms. So fewer available mats, means more difficult profession levelling.
Then there is the AH effect. Less mats, mean less supply, and thus prices go up. Basic economics. This would be fine, if the AH were also cross-realm! Now we have players from multiple realms mining mats (ores, herbs, and even skins too). So when they have excess mats to sell on the AH, they are now only available to one realm. So if you are in a low-pop realm, you will now have even LESS options on the AH, since whatever mats were being mined in your (cross-)realm are now being sold in another AH you cannot access. Without the shared distribution of a common AH, the whole economic balance gets thrown out of whack. It would take a better mind than mine to predict the economic impact, but I do know it is not good for maintaining the health of the game economy.
Blizz needs to rethink this CRZ thing. Not a bad idea to try to improve zone activity, but I think the consequences outweigh the benefits. Like everything else, I hope it is a "work-in-progress" and they realize the need to adjust this feature so that materials availability and mid-level mat prices are not so severely affected.
If any of you feel this is NOT a problem on your realm... please chime in.... I'm sure Blizz wants more opinion than my own, and they should know how widespread the issue is. But the way I see it, this is a serious discouragement to recruiting new people (and levelling alts) through beginning zones and content. At a bare minimum, it will help drive people away from the low-population realms, since they wont be able to get any mats.
Maybe that is their intention - get rid of underused servers(realms). But don't you think Blizzard would rather promote new clients and characters, instead of trying to reduce server load because they know they are getting fewer players? That sounds more like planning to "fail" than just failing to plan.