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.
Oh how I look forward to leveling any type of farming prof....(or even maintaining existing ones) ...100k g copper ore anyone?
Nah, this will help ease the burden of cross-realm zones, even though you'll still have to race to farm resources, it will all be going on an AH that people from the cross-realms will be able to use. Which in turn will bring costs down, so it will be bumpy at the start, but it will level out as the realms get used to the higher populations
Will trade chats all be merged? And what about realm first achievements? Will we still all have our own or will it just be one realm first for all that are "connected"?
it's not going away...it never will go away. *bleep* is here to stay...all of Azeroth will experience *bleep*, and there's nothing we can do about it. Pandaria will get *bleep*'d with patch 6.0.3, and maybe Stormwind/Orgrimmar as well...that way ALL of Azeroth is *bleep*'d with each and every server.many believe that *bleep* will be turned off, with Virtual Realms, but it won't. you'll have so many fused together via VR's, and the various servers that those are *bleep*'d with, will be *bleep*'d all together. there's quite a few servers, that are notorious for breeding some of the rudest, nastiest players around...sadly they can't be stopped...nor will they ever. hostility is welcomed in WoW. absolute seething malice and hatred towards your own faction members is strongly encouraged.that's why so many are only friendly towards members of their own faction, from their own server, and (more or less) go out of their way in harassing other players...I'll stop here, cause I'm already getting downrated to the depths of hell and back again. :| people will just quote me with "waah! there's people in my mmo, waaah!" post...or some other useless drivel. :|wonder what the odds of this getting reported for "offensive language"...for the record though, I censored a certain 3 letter word here, cause I don't need to get into trouble, for speaking against..."it"
As someone that enjoys just doing the quests, leveling new toons and not PVP etc low population servers are to be desired.. When I need to get X number of an item it is a lot easier to not have people from 3 (Or more!) realms competing for the same limited pool of items. It certainly won't keep me out of WoW, but I spend a lot more time waiting for things to rez after someone else has snagged it than i did a year ago. <shrug>
I actually think it's a great idea. Hopefully it'll balance the Ally-Horde ratio. I don't know why ppl get upset over this. i don't think much will change for high-pop and balanced realms. Also great discoveries which then turn to great ideas implemented to games/businesses/life have to start as risk-taking new moves...I say go ahead! I'm tired to see a dead AH on Mal'Ganis Alliance.... and that's only the tip of the iceberg...
Aman'thul H. Morhaime! I prayed that there will be time, when players from dying(literally) realms will have either very discounted or free option to migrate(with obvious limitations), and that it would be inevitable, due to all the degrading player base and... well, time spent on a dying realm.This is so much better. After leaving WoW, I realized that, despite all claims of WoW being outdated - it brings state-of-art technology in online gaming, in terms of PvE, PvP and, most importantly, server architecture. And it doesn't fail to provide. This evolution of x-realm should do the trick about dying realms, and, I still believe, soon or late it will cause them to merge. I mean, what point is it to start character on realm A, when realms A B C D are "connected"? Perhaps merge will just include a name for new realm made from the small ones, with legacy "title-ish" names of previous realms. But those are just crazy ideas.Hurray for Blizzard again, can't wait to return...
Realm Transfers what a waste
I am SO glad I saw this right now. I was considering xferring off my current realm due to low pop and imbalance. Hopefully this will address the problems that were making the game not-so-fun for me. I'm optimistic! Yay Blizz, thanks for listening to what we want :)
I know we are at a stage where we don't know a great deal of information at the moment, but have we any indication that this will be limited solely to low pop/dead realms or include others too?The reason I ask is that I play Horde on a medium pop realm (Arathor-EU) which has a fairly low population of Horde and a much greater Alliance population. Is there potential for the server to be connected with another which has the inverse population ratio, or is it likely to be disqualified due to it's overall number of players?