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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. Mazaxist's Avatar
    sounds pretty good! blizzard are unto something cool, no more low pop realms!
  1. bluspacecow's Avatar
    Soooo I've read through pages 8 - 13 and have yet to see this mentioned :

    It's Live on the 5.4 PTR right now

    I humbly beg forgiveness if it's been brought up on the thread already. Or somewhere else on MMO Champion.

    Via testing I've done I can confirm that the following is possible cross connected server :

    * mailing your own toons (this is instant)
    * mailing someone else (1 HR CD)
    * mailing of a BoA (http://t.co/oyBHtunagF)
    * guild invites (nothing like getting spammed for g invites from a different server)
    * guild charter signing (adding my signature to a MVP PTR Guild started by Zalki on Brill (EU)
    * partying up (gave a few people ports)
    * porting someone from another realm
    * seamlessly following someone inside a traditionally CRZ zone (no phasing)
    * whispering someone else on another server
    * chat channels (eg Trade)

    I've been answering a few questions on it here :

    http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/9572768592
  1. Sarevokcz's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by ophion1990 View Post

    This has been brought up about a million times but it's next to impossible to merge realms. Players with the same name come up. Look up a name like Ophion on the armory, you'll find atleast 10 people with this name on PvP realms. What about people who quit playing? Sorry pal, you lost your character (unless Blizzard is gonna waste time copying millions of inactive characters around)! How about guilds with the same name? They'd have to make servers which can handle a ton of people or you'll have 2-3h+ que's before people can log in to game servers (2-3h is very generous, will probably be alot longer). Making a new character is already pretty tedious because alot of names are already taken, what if a realm has 1 million people playing on it who all have 5-10+ alts?

    This is the best solution I think, no messy server migrates, no naming issues, ... It's not perfect, but atleast they're working hard on a solution.
    What? there would be no issues with names if the names werent the only identification. We already have battletags, if they just integrated them more or just came up with new ID system, they could merge dozen of realms without any namechanging shenanigans, they could do the same for guild names and excuses of the "but someone is gonna mistake that troll/nub for ME and starts spreading shit about ME" sort are just excuses, any sensible person would doublecheck before they believed ANYTHING on the trade chat after years of experience with it. Same nicks arent an issue in plethora of games, even in those with milions of players, why should it suddenly be a problem in WoW.
  1. Unholyground'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.
    You are not the only person for sure, they need everything, they harass constantly in Spanish or Portuguese. They seem like they are assholes just to be assholes.
  1. Themerlin's Avatar
    Would you please think of the names!

    To fix the pop problem present everywhere, is much more important than few names, which could easily be remedied if realm sigs were next to it. Lets see how this goes, because so far, Blizz has done nothing to fix the problem.

    Keeping unsubbed until I see an actual change, otherwise whats the point of playing if the play experience is not the same within all realms(pvp, pve, rp, etc)
  1. Spammeister's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Unholyground View Post
    You are not the only person for sure, they need everything, they harass constantly in Spanish or Portuguese. They seem like they are assholes just to be assholes.
    Quoted for the truthies! I feel bad for whatever servers get stuck with all them Portuguese d-bags!
  1. Nerraw's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by bluspacecow View Post
    Soooo I've read through pages 8 - 13 and have yet to see this mentioned :

    It's Live on the 5.4 PTR right now

    I humbly beg forgiveness if it's been brought up on the thread already. Or somewhere else on MMO Champion.

    Via testing I've done I can confirm that the following is possible cross connected server :

    * mailing your own toons (this is instant)
    * mailing someone else (1 HR CD)
    * mailing of a BoA (http://t.co/oyBHtunagF)
    * guild invites (nothing like getting spammed for g invites from a different server)
    * guild charter signing (adding my signature to a MVP PTR Guild started by Zalki on Brill (EU)
    * partying up (gave a few people ports)
    * porting someone from another realm
    * seamlessly following someone inside a traditionally CRZ zone (no phasing)
    * whispering someone else on another server
    * chat channels (eg Trade)

    I've been answering a few questions on it here :

    http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/9572768592
    I have just one thing to say: Very nice!
  1. Nienor's Avatar
    I might even consider coming back when this goes live...
  1. Barnabas's Avatar
    So "connected realms" is what they call "server merging" these days? Interesting...
  1. Nerraw's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Barnabas View Post
    So "connected realms" is what they call "server merging" these days? Interesting...
    Except it doesn't have the usual downsides of actually merging the physical servers.
  1. The Distortion's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by bluspacecow View Post
    Soooo I've read through pages 8 - 13 and have yet to see this mentioned :

    It's Live on the 5.4 PTR right now

    I humbly beg forgiveness if it's been brought up on the thread already. Or somewhere else on MMO Champion.

    Via testing I've done I can confirm that the following is possible cross connected server :

    * mailing your own toons (this is instant)
    * mailing someone else (1 HR CD)
    * mailing of a BoA (http://t.co/oyBHtunagF)
    * guild invites (nothing like getting spammed for g invites from a different server)
    * guild charter signing (adding my signature to a MVP PTR Guild started by Zalki on Brill (EU)
    * partying up (gave a few people ports)
    * porting someone from another realm
    * seamlessly following someone inside a traditionally CRZ zone (no phasing)
    * whispering someone else on another server
    * chat channels (eg Trade)

    I've been answering a few questions on it here :

    http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/9572768592

    So what I'm wondering now is. I have most of my chars + main at a PvP server.

    Now I also play on a PvE server and I went to sent over some more heirlooms to that character

    Is it possible to do so ?
  1. Dzudzadzo's Avatar
    It boggles my mind everytime server population issues are brought up.

    Why cant they just do it like so many other MMOs before them and simply implement good ol' channel system? I can not think of a more elastic solution to this problem
  1. Thatwsntmilk's Avatar
    Oh wow, do they really claim that it is not due to falling active player numbers?
  1. Kazlofski's Avatar
    I wonder if it's just combining low population realms together to balance up sort of one big balanced realm? There will be no touching one sided high population realms I hope?
  1. Unholyground's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Kazlofski View Post
    I wonder if it's just combining low population realms together to balance up sort of one big balanced realm? There will be no touching one sided high population realms I hope?
    They are balancing populations. for example, they see a server with 4000 alliance and 1000 horde they will try and balance it with a server that has 4000 horde and 1000 alliance. I do not understand why it is a bad thing. Also they should abolish this stupid ass battle group thing for PvP and make a global PvP Que.
  1. bluspacecow's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by The Distortion View Post
    So what I'm wondering now is. I have most of my chars + main at a PvP server.

    Now I also play on a PvE server and I went to sent over some more heirlooms to that character

    Is it possible to do so ?
    Only if those servers are Connected.
  1. Exploitbat's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Unholyground View Post
    They are balancing populations. for example, they see a server with 4000 alliance and 1000 horde they will try and balance it with a server that has 4000 horde and 1000 alliance. I do not understand why it is a bad thing. Also they should abolish this stupid ass battle group thing for PvP and make a global PvP Que.


    They have already removed that barrier between battlegroups. Well, atleast partly.
  1. HuSaYiN's Avatar
    good update was time
  1. Crawor's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by bluspacecow View Post
    Soooo I've read through pages 8 - 13 and have yet to see this mentioned :

    It's Live on the 5.4 PTR right now

    I humbly beg forgiveness if it's been brought up on the thread already. Or somewhere else on MMO Champion.

    Via testing I've done I can confirm that the following is possible cross connected server :

    * mailing your own toons (this is instant)
    * mailing someone else (1 HR CD)
    * mailing of a BoA (http://t.co/oyBHtunagF)
    * guild invites (nothing like getting spammed for g invites from a different server)
    * guild charter signing (adding my signature to a MVP PTR Guild started by Zalki on Brill (EU)
    * partying up (gave a few people ports)
    * porting someone from another realm
    * seamlessly following someone inside a traditionally CRZ zone (no phasing)
    * whispering someone else on another server
    * chat channels (eg Trade)

    I've been answering a few questions on it here :

    http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/9572768592
    Nice thanks! How about pandaria? Is that a "crz" now aswell or like before? And Isle of thunder.
  1. Nerraw's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Crawor View Post
    Nice thanks! How about pandaria? Is that a "crz" now aswell or like before? And Isle of thunder.
    Isle of Thunder is on some realms. Pandaria mainland isn't so far.

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