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. Hugh Wattmate's Avatar
    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.
  1. Byrthor's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by ZOZOGOK View Post
    Yeah servers are empty because everyone flocks to the same servers, definitely not because subs are down to 7.7 mil from 12 mil no no no.
    You're right, but people have been leaving medium/low pop servers for high pop servers for a while now. That and subs being down are the reasons why some servers look like ghost towns.
  1. Pool of the Dead's Avatar
    Find Server A that has high Horde population and Low Alliance population.

    Find Server B that is the same type as Server A and has low Horde population and high Alliance population.

    Join server A and B together.

    Imbalance ratios balance out!....for awhile.
  1. Forumchibi's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by ZOZOGOK View Post
    Yeah servers are empty because everyone flocks to the same servers, definitely not because subs are down to 7.7 mil from 12 mil no no no.
    Decreased subscriptions is certainly a factor, and not shocking at all with the wait between each patch and the staleness of MoP... if I wasn't still raiding, I'd probably have quit a long time ago. I log in now to raid and then log off immediately after.

    But I know on my server, nearly every major progressive raiding guild transferred off to some popular server that everyone else was going to. My guild shot up to number one on the server for a while since all the competition left.
  1. Harmzuay's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Sugarpixie View Post
    Fully agree with this, gotta admit I'm kind of disappointed this won't ship with 5.4. I think this feature is something a lot of people are waiting for, especially people from the lower populated realms. Not to mention a connected realm will, in a way, give you 11 additional character slots.
    I know everyone wants everything sooner, rather than later, but the fact remains that it is coming. I'd rather them take their time and try to get it right. You'd be more pissed off if they pushed it out and messed up the one feature you're looking forward to.
  1. Skullchukka's Avatar
    This means If you are playing on Horde side in a low RP or PVP-RP realm, you are pretty much f***ed.
  1. ACES's Avatar
    With connected realms in play I really hope they'll get rid of CRZ.
  1. Sugarpixie's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Harmzuay View Post
    I know everyone wants everything sooner, rather than later, but the fact remains that it is coming. I'd rather them take their time and try to get it right. You'd be more pissed off if they pushed it out and messed up the one feature you're looking forward to.
    I fully agree with you there, but, as said in the quote I used above what you quoted from my post there, they shouldn't word it this way, as it comes across as being shipped with 5.4, while it isn't.
  1. Duster505's Avatar
    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.
  1. Harmzuay's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by ACES View Post
    With connected realms in play I really hope they'll get rid of CRZ.
    My thinking is they'll keep them both active at first and then monitor things to see how it goes.
  1. jmtapia's Avatar
    "connected realms"? Blizzard, why dont you say it for what it is, you are merging serves.
  1. Harmzuay'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.
    Not sure how you deduce all that from Connected Realms. We've known for a while that this was coming and we know that 5.5 has always been possible, just that there would be no raids IF it did happen.
  1. IIamaKing's Avatar
    This is the best feature ever. Look at games from Cryptic. All there servers basically run in one giant world so their games always seems populated even with their low player counts.
  1. Nerraw's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by ACES View Post
    With connected realms in play I really hope they'll get rid of CRZ.
    They won't. Simply connecting two realms won't fix the dead-ness that is Silithus for example.
  1. Harmzuay's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by jmtapia View Post
    "connected realms"? Blizzard, why dont you say it for what it is, you are merging serves.
    I don't think the terminology really matters.
  1. Sigma's Avatar
    THE major question is though, Will you be able to send your BOA's to other characters on connected realms, or will you have to buy them all over again (or from the cash shop)
  1. Lyg's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Forumchibi View Post
    I'll believe it when I see it. I've played so many MMOs now that were supposed to be awesome but flopped or fell short in the end. I think GW2 was a good game, especially for F2P, but the story or lack thereof just couldn't hold my attention for me to keep playing it. Same with TERA, back when I was still paying a subscription. Love SWTOR for the story, but hate the end game. FF14 was originally a mess, but I'm still planning to get 2.0 - didn't think it was the greatest game from playing the new beta, but it was a decent change from WoW. And of course, even WoW has its own issues.
    I played EQ and EQ2 and really look forward to something from the EQ universe again. EQ was a brilliant game and I find myself wishing each mmo I play had some of the basic concepts they used back then. I've started believing in the FTP platform now more than ever, after leaving wow to play things like Neverwinter, Rift when it went ftp when I think about how fun those games can be and not cost a dime of your money. It just makes me angry knowing I spent so many years in wow, not happy when I could have been trying other things. They've had the corner on the market long enough, I hope they hurt maybe they'll continue to improve the game for the games sake and not for their pocketbook.

    I wish I could be impressed by FF14, I have yet to get into it, wildstar was a lot more fun between both betas...
  1. Duende's Avatar
    Connect Tichondrius and Blackrock!
  1. ChocoboRanger's Avatar
    Guess this means my quiet hidey hole server is about to be trampled, dang.
  1. Harmzuay's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Sugarpixie View Post
    I fully agree with you there, but, as said in the quote I used above what you quoted from my post there, they shouldn't word it this way, as it comes across as being shipped with 5.4, while it isn't.
    Should it be patch 5.4a feature preview. Regardless of when it's released they're gonna call it 5.4A, B, C or whatever it is by the time it's released.

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