Connected realms and server merges

I’ve found a list of the first European WoW servers that are candidates for being ‘connected realms’. Details of what this means are in a Blizzard dev blog-post (link to it on WoW Europe forums). In essence it’s a server merge without actually merging them, an interesting approach for sure. There’s no need to deal with character name or  guild name conflicts. The communities on the servers should be relatively undisrupted from that perspective.

The obvious advantages are the ability to group, run dungeons, raid etc without needing Real ID cross-realm invites. It’s unclear from the dev post whether we’ll be seeing players from the connected realm out in the open world, I would guess so? The auction house for the server pair will also be united, that should help to invigorate the choice of items in some cases.

Moonglade, the EU RP server I’ve called home since 2007, isn’t on the initial list so I won’t experience this for a while. I can only hope that Blizzard will be sensible, where possible, over server types. According to the realm list, there are six English language RP-PVE servers for Europe (Argent Dawn, Darkmoon Faire, Earthen Ring, Moonglade, Steamwheedle Cartel and The Sha’tar). So it’ll be interesting to see how those four servers are paired up when the time comes.

Other MMOs developers haven’t been in the luxurious position to handle this as sensitively; if you have only one RP server left how can you merge it with another to address the population issue without potentially disrupting the roleplay communities in the process? I’ll keep an eye on how the shard unifications for Rift to see what happens to the Argent community (Rift forums merge announcement).

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5 Responses to Connected realms and server merges

  1. Jonny 5iVe says:

    It was stated that it would work in EXACTLY the same way as if they actually merged servers.

    So yes, you’ll see them in the open world running around, the AH, raids, dungeons, battlegrounds, WPvP, fighting over nodes, everything.

    “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.”

    They also said that their server names wouldn’t feature as heavily as they do now, basically, apart from if they speak, you won’t be able to tell who’s ACTUALLY on your server, and who isn’t.

    “Q. How can I tell if someone is on my Connected Realm, but from a different realm?
    A. We want the experience to feel seamless so we won’t be indicating player’s home realms in the game world. In certain places, such as chat, players’ home realms will be displayed next to their name.”

    SOURCE: http://us.battle.net/wow/en/blog/10551009/

  2. R says:

    I still have a hard time convincing myself that anything about this process is seamless. Saw this in chat the other day and laughed out loud.

    Toonname-Server slaps OtherToon-Server in the face. Ouch!

    I don’t RP but apparently I’m immersed ENOUGH in the game that it took me completely out of it for a bit. I’d much prefer they lose server name entirely and in the case where there are dupe character names, offer all of them a free name change if they want (hell, I’d take advantage on a few of my toons whose names I somewhat regret at this point but not enough to spend money on it and if I wanted to stick with my name a lot, I’d bribe the others to do the free name change) and if 2 or more stick with the original name, do a behind the scenes roll, winner keeps it, losers have to name change. One-time minimal pain. I just don’t see the point of maintaining separate “servers” once they’re combined, it would be like moving from the US to Germany, learning German but insisting on using an English word in every sentence as some sort of throw-back to how it was before for you and in the process making sure everyone realizes that you aren’t actually German. Rip off the bandage, combine the servers, then move past it.

    Also, I don’t understand how, if server names won’t be mentioned except in chat, how I’m supposed to know if it’s my buddy ArthasXXX running around or whether it’s one of the 4 other ArthasXXX players. Maybe it’ll make sense once I see it in action but… I doubt it.

    • Telwyn says:

      I’m somewhat dubious as well. I watched a friend trying to form a public raid for one of the world bosses just before the last patch (5.4) landed. There were serious problems with the cross-realm raids as people were inviting others on their RealID lists and the whole raid was zoning back and forth between PVP and PVE realms. It all looked a bit of a mess to be honest.

      • Jonny 5iVe says:

        You can invite people, cross-realm (via RealID), into the OPEN WORLD!!??

        I wasn’t aware of that. Seems like a big mistake. I was under the impression it was instance only… If that’s not the case, then I could’ve forseen that there would be countless problems.

        I haven’t played on official WoW servers in some time (since the first few months of Panda), as I now play on private servers [they messed with the game too much. WotLK forever!], but I’m shocked Blizzard would allow inviting cross-realm, outside of instanced content.

      • Telwyn says:

        The open world bosses in the Pandaria expansion require 40 man raids (well over 25 anyway depending on gear) so yes people do invite cross server now. It’s “fun” grouping at it’s best but unlike LFR at least it’s over quickly.

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