MMO-Champion - Patch 5.4 Feature Preview: Connected Realms
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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. MoanaLisa's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by tyrindor View Post
    They really shouldn't call this a "Patch 5.4 Feature" if it's not going live with Patch 5.4.
    If it goes live during Patch 5.4 isn't it sensible to call it a "Patch 5.4 Feature"?
  1. El_Diabl0's Avatar
    I hope that they allow players to transfer between realms within the same connected realm for free to make it easier for players in the same guild to be in the same realm so we don't have to deal with whatever issues and annoyances connected realms bring when dealing, pvping, raiding with players in different realms.

    Also, the fact that the realms will be permanently connected means Blizzard will not join too many realms together, so in most cases low pop realms won't become a high pop realm overnight. But they can still join one medium or medium to high with one or two low pop realms, so, not all hope is lost.
  1. Airwaves's Avatar
    I just hope patch would hurry up so I have something to resub for. The longer they take the less money they get from me. Same can be said for the next patch. After I kill lfr, get one heroic hellscream kill from my guild. Then I will unsubscribe again untill the next patch. So the longer SoO is out the less money they get.
  1. hieronymus's Avatar
    5.4 will come with Mop crz and the excuse that the rest couldn't make it this patch. The new expansion will come with the "no realm restrictions" and a free to play wow. If they can create a Crz on every map why not cities and raids? Technicly they already invented that wheel. Marketing wise they donr want to release the rest. Cause this will give less in income from a successfull product. What almost exist for 10 years now.
  1. Winterstrife's Avatar
    Skeptical about this, but how is this 'new feature' any different from cross realms?
    Why not just admit some realms are dying & just merge the realms anyway. Provide free transfers for those who don't want the merge & everyone else would be happy.
  1. hockeystud38's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by NoRest4Wicked View Post
    I hope they add something to balance full/locked realms that have high nightly queues and long log in waits.
    Since they are combining servers, they will probably put high populated servers with low populated servers. That would not have a que time or locked for that server.
  1. Robert3620's Avatar
    Still not enough info to warrant coming back from this. Really disappointed to find this little info and not be able to plan on anything. I do not understand how they can not have a list of realms effected by this and to not be able to tell what to be expecting.

    I think the best solution they could of offered is to allow people one free server transfer per toon every six months and let the players sort out the population issues. I think the way they are trying to fix this issue will in the end not work out well and will just lead to further to frustration for the players on many of the small population servers.
  1. Regulas's Avatar
    Hmmm, a real safe, roundabout way to workaround the bad press associated with server merges.
  1. MoanaLisa's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Robert3620 View Post
    let the players sort out the population issues.
    The players have sorted out the population issues. That's why they're all crowded up on a relative handful of realms.
  1. dabignasty's Avatar
    awesome this gonna be good
  1. MoanaLisa's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Regulas View Post
    Hmmm, a real safe, roundabout way to workaround the bad press associated with server merges.
    Everyone on the planet that's interested knows they're losing subscribers at a rapid rate. It's not like it's a secret or anything. The only bad press associated with server merges really is for games that don't provide specifics about their subscribers. Which happens to be most of them. We know they're around 7.7 milliion. We know they were around 10-11 million not so long ago.

    The bad press has already happened. I still don't understand why people say this when it's really goddamn clear to everyone that cares that WoW has lost a lot of business over the last couple of years. That news is already out there. Server merges or something like them aren't terrible news when you already know what's happened.
  1. Eroginous's Avatar
    Kinda glad they've finally released the blog post, been waiting for it for quite a while. While I'm relieved to see they will only merge realms of the same type, a couple of things still concern me. Will heirlooms be cross-connected-realm (as seems to be the case), would like a confirmation on this.
    From what they're saying, connected realms will be a 'seamless' experience, which indicates that all things available to one server would be available to all servers that are connected (mail, trading, AH, ect).

    The problem that arises is now we have connected realms, what happens with realms that aren't connected? Will we be able to mail BoAs between those? If we want to make a new character on a different server, are we still screwed unless we just happened to get lucky with the realms they pick to be connected?

    This annoys me quite a bit. For me, connected realms are the thing I'm looking forward to most out of the announced features, and it worries me that it might still take a lóng time after the 5.4 release before it's applied to all realms. The dying/empty realms issue is one of the main things that is putting me off WoW at the moment.

    Overall I find the post to be pretty vague, and I'm hoping some more information will come our way soon.
    The entire post annoys me. Rather than offer specific details on this feature and how it impacts players, they spend half the article talking about why they are doing it. Not sure about you guys, but I could give a fuck about why they are doing it. All I care about is how this will impact players, and thus far, they've been vague across the board.
  1. Robert3620's Avatar
    They have not allowed the players to sort out the problem at all without attempting to gouge the players in the process. There's at this point a lot of dead servers. They should of closed those realms and offered those players free transfers. This "solution" is a poor one, lacks any real information and not even going live with the patch. If your on a dead realm and hoping to raid SoO you may as well just quit now because your server maybe not even getting help until months into the patch and at that point why even bother? Blizzard has dragged ass on this issue and this is further dragging of ass. They should of have a list of the servers being effected and it should be coming out day one of 5.4.
  1. potis's Avatar
    Its just a sideways server merge, long needed.

    Instead of stating to the public "Server merge" aka "Stocks going down", they say that stuff and no one understands anything, stocks remain unchanged.

    Win/Win
  1. jazzyy's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Soulfròst View Post
    I have no idea where you got this idea from. There's no illuminati group of players. There's no player conspiracy to skew the ratio.
    where did i say that players were scheming together to do it? simply put imbalances started at vanilla, and they eventually grew bigger and bigger. for instance people started rolling horde on certain realms because perhaps horde pvp or pve was good there and they had reputable guilds. eventually this made the problem bigger and bigger as more people went to servers that were a raid spot or pvp spot safe haven for them- nobody is going to xfer to horde sargeras or alliance illidan unless they are insane, they'll never get a pve group and never down a world boss.

    blizzard wasn't the one who made the server imbalances, the players did. it was intentional in the sense that eventually people didn't want to attempt to balance it out by themselves because they wanted the easy way of doing things (ie no competition in leveling, farming, etc)
  1. Bauwagast's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Verain View Post
    No, it will work. You will be able to mail people on your merged servers, so you will obviously be able to mail your own alts.
    I mean a universal BoA sharing system, not just for merged servers. It's annoying to mule stuff back and forth, though Blizzard loves it, cuz it gives money. They've said for the longest time now that "some time in the future we might do it when the tech allows it". I'd think that day has come, but they don't seem to have the will to do it.
  1. MuskiER's Avatar
    One thing that i noticed that the blue mentioned.

    we’re considering a number of factors, including Battlegroup, population, and faction balance.

    Really hope this include for PVP high population server that just lopsided favor one faction. Would be nice to be able to do TB/WG/world pvp again instead of just pure gank the almost non existing faction.
  1. Notos's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Robert3620 View Post
    They have not allowed the players to sort out the problem at all without attempting to gouge the players in the process. There's at this point a lot of dead servers. They should of closed those realms and offered those players free transfers. This "solution" is a poor one, lacks any real information and not even going live with the patch. If your on a dead realm and hoping to raid SoO you may as well just quit now because your server maybe not even getting help until months into the patch and at that point why even bother? Blizzard has dragged ass on this issue and this is further dragging of ass. They should of have a list of the servers being effected and it should be coming out day one of 5.4.
    Grouping tons of players onto a few realms just means queues and a potentially suboptimal experience due to lag and stuff like that. Also, it's better for them to actually release the feature when it's ready, not when you think it should be released. If they feel it needs more testing, then it probably needs more testing.
  1. Revak's Avatar
    After thinking about this more it really seems like they should be merging a few low-pop realms with medium realms. What good is going to come of some of these low-pop dead realms where maybe 20-30 people are online at night being put together?!!!!! Keep the medium ones from getting low and give the low pop realms a lot more people to play with.
  1. Beavis's Avatar
    Alright! Server merges! Always a sign of good times ahead! At least they figured out a way to let you keep your name.

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