Although I understand that EQ2 isn't as popular as WoW, and never has been, I feel the same vibes from the WoW community. I also believe that the way that Asmon views classic and live suggests that the two games may be on the same page. Classic may be evolving into something like a TLE which begins with a great start and everyone is hyped for nostalgia, however, all the fun fades away as the community realizes that they don't have an identical feeling that they once had.
If there's a further example of how TLEs impact the player base of a game, one can also look at Archage's attempts to do that, and also Aion is trying to bring back those who enjoyed the vanilla version of the game.
It will be interesting to see how Classic differs from TLEs available for Everquest or the releases of Archage, Aion. However it has been proven in the past that TLEs in EQ2 are quickly dying and there is less excitement for expansions. This is why Classic isn't a good choice for the most dedicated players.
DayBreak and DayBreak, who are in charge of EQ2 and EQ2, doesn't really care too much about WoW players (aka micro transactions, p2w mechanics, etc.) and is using it as a method to draw new players and older players to a sport that has many issues on live, and is often stricken by number and mechanic bloat.
I'm not sure what the maximum is but I play on Siel server at Aion Classic and it's super busy day and evening (I'm NA East). It's an amazing experience and the server is very crowded by EU as well as NA players. I would recommend joining us. :
I decided not to sign up after further study, because of the company behind Aion. It's not fun to keep track of my progress as im not a whale. Even prior to doing that the game is death most likely.
Asmodians also bother the Elyos a lot in Heiron In some cases, they go so far as to rob those who are farming Aether beyond the gate...Some are able to gank you when you are at half health from mobs that pve you, or when you're fighting a mob. It isn't a good idea to lose the advantage that was yours.
Retail has been transformed into the game of a new kind. What you played when you were young is still available and I don't recommend it. I've discussed the main changes in my history of comments If you're interested to know what changed/happening.
Classic is a good choice however, since there are just two servers they're not balancing. Siel has higher pop, and asmodian heavy. they control the majority of the abyss, which makes it difficult to farm AP occasionally due to it.