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Patch 5.4 Feature Preview: Connected Realms
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
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.

Q. Why implement this now?

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.

Q. How can I tell if someone is on my Connected Realm, but from a different realm?
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.

Q. Which realms will be connected as Connected Realms?
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.

Q. How many realms will make up a Connected Realm?
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.

Q. Will Connected Realms have any limitations?
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.

Q. When will Connected Realms be available?
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.
This article was originally published in forum thread: Patch 5.4 Feature Preview: Connected Realms started by chaud View original post
Comments 285 Comments
  1. Duende's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Harmzuay View Post
    I don't think the terminology really matters.
    If they merged them then the realm and player names would change. Hence why theyre being called "connected."
  1. Mouri Kogorou's Avatar
    i think once servers are connected they can not unlink them, because you have people who are in connected guild and you can not just disconnect them.
  1. Harmzuay's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Duende View Post
    If they merged them then the realm and player names would change. Hence why theyre being called "connected."
    I understand, I was replying to someone else.
  1. Axigar's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by raptorette View Post
    I like the idea of this. HOWEVER, my one and only complaint with the game is that I wish they could implement something in the game to where you do NOT have to be in a group with people from spanish speaking servers (such as Ragnaros). Those are by far the worst people to play with, as they don't understand how to play. The worse LFR/LFD groups I have been in have been with these groups, and I'm not the only one who feels this way.
    This is a generalization about Spanish people or Spanish speaking people and is verging on racism by saying they can not play. If you had claimed it was tough because of a language barrier then it would be a reasonable statement but as it stands it is quite offensive.

    You should be warned
  1. Harmzuay's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by mandus View Post
    i think once servers are connected they can not unlink them, because you have people who are in connected guild and you can not just disconnect them.
    Right, I'd imagine it would be a difficult proposition to start unlinking these things after it's gone live. That's why I'd rather them do what it takes to get them right before rolling it out.
  1. Duende's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Harmzuay View Post
    I understand, I was replying to someone else.
    Oh yea. Mah bad.
  1. Necrotica's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Duster505 View Post
    So... Blizzard basicly saying there is 5.5 patch coming and this will be one of the features that will fill the 8 month gap between last raid and next expansion.... Was totally expected they would try to drag some things out to call patch 5.5.
    I suspect 5.4 by end of month/beginning of next, BlizzCon announcing next xpak, and saying it's coming sooner than expected, so you're stuck with last tier of raiding for 5-6 months maybe.
  1. Valarius's Avatar
    So it's not even coming in 5.4 now?

    What the fuck Blizz? I guess I will continue to stay unsubbed then... and here was me thinking I might get to actually play some of the 5.4 content
  1. Harmzuay's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Necrotica View Post
    I suspect 5.4 by end of month/beginning of next, BlizzCon announcing next xpak, and saying it's coming sooner than expected, so you're stuck with last tier of raiding for 5-6 months maybe.
    I love that people are already bitching about being stuck with a raid until the next expansion is released. If they were intellectually honest, they'd acknowledge that Blizzard has kicked ass when it comes to getting patches out faster.
  1. Sodia's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Chaos View Post
    Just lower the Sub fee now (not remove) just lower it a bit from say 8.99 to 4.99 or something. This would claw back a few lost players who have went to the f2p mmo's and found that the f2p mmo's can offer the same experience for less money and often get more updates that WoW (a paid sub mmo that still has micro transaction system).

    They really need to make WoW more competitive with the current market if not this downhill spiral of subs they are going through will just continue. A Band-aid fix like joining realms is not enough.
    hmmm dont want to be the guy whu crush your ideal world but they alredy have one of the lowest Sub fee for al looong loong time .If 13 Eu a month is so bad for you then well go get a Job .
  1. Necrotica's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Harmzuay View Post
    I love that people are already bitching about being stuck with a raid until the next expansion is released. If they were intellectually honest, they'd acknowledge that Blizzard has kicked ass when it comes to getting patches out faster.
    Was I bitching? Compared to some xpaks, 5-6 months is very fast. I have to account for release of 5.4 (end of this month) so you're in September, BlizzCon announcement in November, that's 2 months there, then 2-3 months into the new year for release... Fairly quick.

    And if I recall Blizz already mentioned they have a team working on the other xpak as the first one was almost complete.
  1. Miseration's Avatar
    Im looking forward to seeing which realms are merged with firetree!
  1. Harmzuay's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Necrotica View Post
    Was I bitching? Compared to some xpaks, 5-6 months is very fast. I have to account for release of 5.4 (end of this month) so you're in September, BlizzCon announcement in November, that's 2 months there, then 2-3 months into the new year for release... Fairly quick.

    And if I recall Blizz already mentioned they have a team working on the other xpak as the first one was almost complete.
    That's my fault, it was supposed to have quoted the guy you quoted too I was talking to your point about not having as long a wait as in the past.
  1. snowcrash512's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Duende View Post
    If they merged them then the realm and player names would change. Hence why theyre being called "connected."
    No, if they merged them, then they would have the PR nightmare to deal with "WOW MERGES SERVERS GAME IS DYING GET OUT WHILE YOU CAN" and so on.
  1. Keyblader's Avatar
    so does this mean CRZ will be taken out? because if so I'm really excited for this.
  1. Darthballz's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by snowcrash512 View Post
    No, if they merged them, then they would have the PR nightmare to deal with "WOW MERGES SERVERS GAME IS DYING GET OUT WHILE YOU CAN" and so on.
    They don't have to say it's server merging because just reading the method they are using is saying the game is losing population slowly. Also I'm never for these Cross Realm things because some people want to be on a low/med pop server away from others. Rares become more annoying and for someone like me who would spend some hours hunting rares I just couldn't deal with everyone so I simply quit.
  1. Ceece's Avatar
    I really like this idea, and I'm super excited to see the outcome. It will be nice to log onto my shaman and see players active again, or find a guild for her if needed.
  1. Nymrohd's Avatar
    I wonder if they will merge those "PvP" realms with 10:1 Horde:Alliance with the 1:10 Horde:Alliance. So you know, people will actually PvP in PvP realms and not just gank the underpopulated faction.
  1. tinybaby's Avatar
    If blizzard was smart they would merge some of the horde only servers with alliance populated servers so there is a similar populated on both sides. Makes more competition on the server for both factions for raiding and server firsts. Servers get boring when there is only 1 good guild that gets the servers first, make them work against other guilds as good.
  1. Necrotica's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Harmzuay View Post
    That's my fault, it was supposed to have quoted the guy you quoted too I was talking to your point about not having as long a wait as in the past.
    Sorry about that, gets confusing sometimes and so used to negativity around this game.

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