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Cross-realm zones announced

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Cross-realm zones announced

Postby Zobel » Thu May 10, 2012 1:39 pm

In the World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria beta, we’re introducing a new technology that will enable players to meet up and group with other players in under populated areas of the world such as low level zones or areas that other players may have outleveled or moved on from. This technology will allow players to form a group with other players from within a select pool of realms in order to quest just like they normally would while still allowing the social structures of their home realms to remain intact.

F.A.Q.
Q. Why cross-realm zones?

For many years now, the significant majority of the player population online at any given time has consisted mostly of characters at or near the level cap. This has resulted in an environment where characters that are leveling up experience a world that has fewer other players to interact with than what the world was designed for. Cross-realm zones give us the capability to ensure that level-up zones retain a population size that feels more like the high level areas of the game, leading to a more fun play experience for characters of all levels.

Q. How do cross-realm zones work?

When you’re in a zone that is set as a ‘cross-realm zone’ you’ll notice that in addition to the players you’d ordinarily see from your realm, you’ll also see (and be able to play with) players from other realms. This will happen seamlessly, and players will be able to group and quest as they normally would with players from their own realm.

Q. How will this work on boats or zeppelins?

Usually transitions will occur on area boundaries (think moving from Darkshore to Ashenvale).

Q. Can I form groups with the people I meet in the zone?

Yes! You can group and talk to others within the cross-server zone normally though trading will be restricted much as it is within raids, dungeons, or battlegrounds.

Q. Will my cross-realm group be disbanded if we move on to an adjacent zone together, like from Goldshire to Westfall or from Thousand Needles to Feralas?

Much like how cross-realm groups currently work, your party won’t be disbanded when you move through different zones, though if you’re not in the same home realm, you won’t be able to see each other if you’re in separate zone instances.

Q. Will I be able to group with my friends?

Yes, you will be able to group with your Real ID friends, provided they are within the same faction. The functionality works the same as it does for cross-realm dungeons, raids, or Battlegrounds.

Q. What level range do my friends and I have to be within in order to group?

There is no restriction on level ranges. You’ll be able to group with anyone you would normally be able to.

Q. Can I go into main capital cities while grouped with others?

Capital cities and areas with regularly high populations will not be set as cross-server areas/zones so you will not be able to enter into the same instance of a city as someone who is from a different realm.

Q. Will I be able to trade with others I meet?

Trading restrictions are in place much the same as they are in cross-realm dungeons, raids, and battlegrounds.

Q. How is group loot handled?

Group looting will function the same as it would with any group you would create through normal play.

Q. Who will I be playing with?

You’ll be able to interact with players from within a select pool of realms which will make it possible to run into a player in Redridge that you already ran into within Westfall.

Q. What areas will be shared?

This can vary from realm to realm and relies on how densely populated (or underpopulated) an area is. Capital cities and areas with regularly high populations will not be eligible for area sharing.

Q. What about resources or gathering nodes, will those be shared too?

Resources and nodes will be available to all parties within the shared area the same as always. We will be keeping a close eye on the impact of area sharing and should an area become too populated, we are capable of adjusting how many realms are able to connect to a shared area.

Q. Does this mean that Auction Houses will be merged?

No, when any player access an Auction House, they will be only able to access their home realm’s Auction House.

http://us.battle.net//wow/en/blog/5393667
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Re: Cross-realm zones announced

Postby Chicken » Thu May 10, 2012 1:49 pm

That's a step in the right direction, death to arbitrary server boundaries!
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Re: Cross-realm zones announced

Postby Koatanga » Thu May 10, 2012 1:53 pm

Good for new players, I guess, but not so good for rare-farming or when you just want to plow through those pre-outlands levels on your alt and get them over with, without people competing for your quest mobs.

I imagine some zones will be rather panda-tastic for a while.
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Re: Cross-realm zones announced

Postby Flex » Thu May 10, 2012 2:14 pm

That has a lot of potential to throw off old mat farming by high level characters.
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Re: Cross-realm zones announced

Postby Newsom » Thu May 10, 2012 2:29 pm

Flex wrote:That has a lot of potential to throw off old mat farming by high level characters.


My thoughts exactly. It might really suck for low levels trying to level up their gathering professions when they have competition by high level characters from multiple servers.
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Re: Cross-realm zones announced

Postby Flex » Thu May 10, 2012 2:35 pm

Newsom wrote:
Flex wrote:That has a lot of potential to throw off old mat farming by high level characters.


My thoughts exactly. It might really suck for low levels trying to level up their gathering professions when they have competition by high level characters from multiple servers.


Splitting highly populated zones on one realm into multiple zones may mean there is a lot more fine tuning they can do on population and zones so they can have both a high and low water mark for making different zone instances. If 20 people in the realm group are active in that zone make one, if 50 people are active make 2 with an even split of 25 and so on.
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Re: Cross-realm zones announced

Postby halabar » Thu May 10, 2012 2:39 pm

Koatanga wrote:Good for new players, I guess, but not so good for rare-farming or when you just want to plow through those pre-outlands levels on your alt and get them over with, without people competing for your quest mobs.

I imagine some zones will be rather panda-tastic for a while.



Yeah... I am NOT liking this, for those reasons.. now jerks can ruin rare camps for 5 servers for the price of one, and farming bots will do the same to those servers.

Might be time to collect those old-world mats now.
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Re: Cross-realm zones announced

Postby halabar » Thu May 10, 2012 2:42 pm

Flex wrote:
Newsom wrote:
Flex wrote:That has a lot of potential to throw off old mat farming by high level characters.


My thoughts exactly. It might really suck for low levels trying to level up their gathering professions when they have competition by high level characters from multiple servers.


Splitting highly populated zones on one realm into multiple zones may mean there is a lot more fine tuning they can do on population and zones so they can have both a high and low water mark for making different zone instances. If 20 people in the realm group are active in that zone make one, if 50 people are active make 2 with an even split of 25 and so on.


It won't be that dynamic, and they won't be acting fast enough to adjust for bots.

On the other hand, this will help with some dead realms or where you have severe faction imbalances.

Long-term, we'll likely see more of this merging.
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Re: Cross-realm zones announced

Postby mavfin » Thu May 10, 2012 6:36 pm

Also, did you notice it can go the other way, and split up crowded zones, like on launch day, for example?
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Re: Cross-realm zones announced

Postby Skye1013 » Thu May 10, 2012 6:40 pm

If you mean:
We will be keeping a close eye on the impact of area sharing and should an area become too populated, we are capable of adjusting how many realms are able to connect to a shared area.

That won't necessarily help with crowded launch day zones unless they're planning to be able to split single servers into multiples.
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Re: Cross-realm zones announced

Postby rodos » Thu May 10, 2012 7:32 pm

halabar wrote:
Koatanga wrote:Good for new players, I guess, but not so good for rare-farming or when you just want to plow through those pre-outlands levels on your alt and get them over with, without people competing for your quest mobs.

I imagine some zones will be rather panda-tastic for a while.



Yeah... I am NOT liking this, for those reasons.. now jerks can ruin rare camps for 5 servers for the price of one, and farming bots will do the same to those servers.

Might be time to collect those old-world mats now.

I think mats won't be too big of an issue. I feel like the supply of old-world mats is limited by the number of farmers (next to none) rather than the number of spawns. At least on my server that's the case.

Certainly time to start camping Vyragosa now, however. She's the last one I need for Frostbitten (irony being that I got TLPD ages ago).
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Re: Cross-realm zones announced

Postby lythac » Thu May 10, 2012 7:47 pm

I know of a guild on a dead realm that was waiting to see the announcement of what was planned for underpopulated realms before making a transfer.

Guess they are transferring.

This "fix" does not cater to guilds looking to progress/recruit on backwards realms, so I guess most will transfer away making the realms even less appealing. What is proposed does not seem to fix any issues for dying realms except for those levelling.

mavfin wrote:Also, did you notice it can go the other way, and split up crowded zones, like on launch day, for example?

This would be good but still, underpopulated servers are screwed - It caters to overpopulated realms...
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Re: Cross-realm zones announced

Postby Flex » Thu May 10, 2012 8:34 pm

Skye1013 wrote:If you mean:
We will be keeping a close eye on the impact of area sharing and should an area become too populated, we are capable of adjusting how many realms are able to connect to a shared area.

That won't necessarily help with crowded launch day zones unless they're planning to be able to split single servers into multiples.


Nope, they mean

Q. What about zones that are already overpopulated, like new race starting zones?
With this technology, we can also flag zones to allow for more than one copy of that zone per realm. Players on that realm will be split among those copies in order to alleviate problems due to overpopulation. Players won’t normally see or interact with those on a different instance of their zone, although joining a party will relocate all party members to a single instance of that zone.


lythac wrote:
mavfin wrote:Also, did you notice it can go the other way, and split up crowded zones, like on launch day, for example?

This would be good but still, underpopulated servers are screwed - It caters to overpopulated realms...


How does it cater to overpopulated realms?

Your point about not addressing level cap is fine, but this wasn't implemented to address that issue.
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Re: Cross-realm zones announced

Postby Sabindeus » Thu May 10, 2012 8:45 pm

lythac wrote:I know of a guild on a dead realm that was waiting to see the announcement of what was planned for underpopulated realms before making a transfer.

Guess they are transferring.

This "fix" does not cater to guilds looking to progress/recruit on backwards realms, so I guess most will transfer away making the realms even less appealing. What is proposed does not seem to fix any issues for dying realms except for those levelling.

mavfin wrote:Also, did you notice it can go the other way, and split up crowded zones, like on launch day, for example?

This would be good but still, underpopulated servers are screwed - It caters to overpopulated realms...


You know what's cool is that with BattleTag support now you can do cross realm raids without people knowing your real name, so it's entirely possible to have cross server guild alliances for progression.
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Re: Cross-realm zones announced

Postby Skye1013 » Thu May 10, 2012 9:43 pm

Will you actually be able to do cross-realm progression raids? By that I'm assuming you mean the most recent raid released (currently DS.)
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