Over the years, World of Warcraft players of all kinds have naturally migrated to different realms to play with their friends, find new guilds, strive for Heroic boss kills, search for the most competitive PvP experiences, and otherwise try to find the right place to call home. Over time, these shifts in player population can sometimes create a less-than-optimal play experience for those on less popular realms, making it tougher to find guilds, conquer group content, and get what they’re looking for from the Auction House and in-game economy.
In Patch 5.4, we’re looking to address this with a new feature called Connected Realms. Building on our existing cross-realm technology, a Connected Realm is a set of two or more standard realms that have been permanently and seamless “linked.” These linked realms will behave as if they were one cohesive realm, meaning you’ll be able to join the same guilds and Arena teams, access a single Auction House, run the same Raids and Dungeons, and join other adventurers to complete quests.
Our goal with Connected Realms is to give players on lower-population realms more opportunities to group up, compete, and connect with other players to take on Azeroth’s bigger challenges. That sort of interaction is a big part of what makes World of Warcraft fun, and this feature will help us deliver that experience to even more players.
We’ve prepared a short FAQ to answer a few questions we’re sure you’ll have, and we’re very eager to hear your thoughts and collect further questions in your comments below.
Q. Why are you implementing Connected Realms?
A. As WoW has evolved, we’ve seen players naturally gravitate toward a subset of very active realms, leaving behind lower-populated realms. Due to the massively multiplayer nature of World of Warcraft, certain kinds of gameplay experiences simply aren’t well-suited to a low-pop realm. By allowing players from two or more lower-pop realms to play together, we hope to give more players more opportunities to participate in group-oriented activities, helping to foster a more vibrant in-game community.
Connected Realms also allow us to link populations in a way that’s not disruptive to players, and that doesn’t negatively impact players’ sense of identity and character. Other alternatives such as merging realms would require us to force character name changes if there were conflicts, and could lead to confusion for returning players who’d log in to find their realm missing from the realm list. Some players also feel strong ties to their realm’s name or history, and we don’t want to erase that.
A. Our cross-realm technology has continued to evolve since it was first developed for joining players in dungeons. It’s now at a point where we can create seamless worlds made up of multiple individual realms, and we think there are some really positive benefits to that.
A. Similar to how we use the (*) symbol next to a player’s name to denote if they’re from another realm in Raid Finder, Dungeons, Scenarios, or a cross-realm zone, we’ll be using a (#) symbol to indicate that someone is part of your Connected Realm, but not your home realm.
A. We haven’t decided yet which realms will be made part of a Connected Realm, or which other realms they’ll be connected to, though realms will only be connected to other realms of the same type (e.g. PvE to PvE, PvP to PvP, RP to RP). In the end, we’re considering a number of factors, including Battlegroup, population, and faction balance.
A. We don’t know how many realms will make up a Connected Realm yet, and it’s likely to differ from Connected Realm to Connected Realm. Our goal is to create a vibrant and fun online experience where you can join guilds, access an active Auction House, and band together to take on group content.
A. There should be no limitations. We want the experience to be seamless, and we expect it work as if you’re suddenly part of a much more active realm.
A. We haven’t yet determined when we’ll be creating the first Connected Realms, but we expect it will be some time after the launch of Patch 5.4.
It would be awesome if you Link Burning Blade with Drak'Thul. Drak'thul is basically Czechoslovakian Realm and Burning Blade is also mostly Czechoslovakian + There are really few people playing Alliance on Drak'Thul, same as very few players on Burning Blade playing Horde.
.....and still they haven't figured out how to increase the number of slots in that starting backpack.
While I understand what MMO means, am I the only one of all WoW's subs that actually enjoys being on a low pop realm? Flying around and not seeing anyone? It's actually pretty nice. It would be a lot simpler if they just let people move to other realms without having to pay.As an aside, how will realm firsts work? If three realms are connected ill there be one achieve given out, or three? if multiple, for example, if a guild group is made up of each half from different servers would they get both server's achieves?
I'm for this as far as the Auction House goes. I get sick of not being able to find low level mats to raise my professions, yet there's no end to people undercutting each other on fish pets.
I am really curious if this is intended to replace the crz? I am on a server that was already pretty busy and crz has seemed to cause more issues than solved them on our server. I am seeing a lot more issues with layering bugs in quests, especially in older content. Far more difficult to do achievements, quests or craft items that require looting rarer materials or mobs. Connecting underpopulated realms makes great sense. Creating crz between medium and high population servers makes none whatsoever.
I do hope CRZ go away with this, mixing all kind of crap wo't improve anything
From what I'm reading in this blue post, it looks like what SHOULD have been the case when CRZ was implemented is finally coming to pass. The only thing left to do now is to get rid of the debacle that CRZ in fact became, and help the lower population servers to experience the ability to experience current content while it is still current. Thanks for FINALLY listening to what so many players have been saying for months....now let's keep that great trend going, and ABOLISH CRZ!
Well it was either this or kill the dying servers.
Regarding mail between different servers in a virtual realm.One workaround would be a solo person guild. Since you can have guild members from different servers you can use the guild bank to transfer. My guess is that they won't allow it. If they did their last argument against total inter-realm mailing goes up in smoke. The system to mail within a virtual realm would almost necessarily be the same as one to mail between servers whether linked or not.