Since last week, I've reinstalled the game, downloaded a bunch of add-ons (thanks for all your suggestions), customized my user-interface, and logged into the Old World for the first substantial amount of time in several months. I ended up mostly playing my tier 2 Shaman on Iron Rock (named Snafzg) instead of my tier 4 Squig Herder on Phoenix Throne (also named Snafzg) for a number of reasons.
First and foremost, I was waiting for patch 1.3.1 to drop (it just landed two days ago) because I didn't want to get a negatively skewed opinion on my Squig Herder. According to many player reports, tier 4 has been languishing lately and this patch aimed to address a number of the primary issues, including: keep siege, city invasion, the RvR map, performance, and quite a few bugs. Many players agree that more work needs to be done but these changes were highly anticipated.
I also wanted to test out the earlier tiers because it was requested by one of the readers of my last post. It's all well and good to re-evaluate what the endgame has to offer, but many new players won't get there if the earlier tiers can't capture their attention and imagination. I have some pretty good news so far on that front, which we'll get to shortly.
Finally, my tier 4 character's server, Phoenix Throne, hasn't been showing a very good population all week. Most of the time it was low/low and I only saw it go up to medium a couple times. On the other hand, Iron Rock, where my lowbie is located, was never posting lower than medium and it was high quite often. It could be that the final role-play server is dying a slow and painful death or it could be related to the Aion closed beta weekend and Champions Online open beta.
It should be mentioned that population status on a WAR server isn't directly tied to the quality of RvR you'll find on it. Low population servers can be home to a number of entertaining skirmishes on a smaller scale. The lack of zerging can make for some small but dynamic situations.