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Posts with tag cross-realm-instances

Should players be in charge of accountability?

Should players be in charge of accountability
Once upon a time in vanilla World of Warcraft, player behavior was something that was kept in check by server community. How did this happen? Well at that point in time, there wasn't really anything in game that was cross-server. If you wanted to do something in game, you had to do it with people from your realm -- and if you misbehaved, players were quick to call you on your behavior in a very public manner.

Because of this, players that were legitimately called out by the community soon found themselves with nothing to do, because nobody would group with them. Their only choice was to re-roll on another server and start over -- at this point, you couldn't even transfer your characters to other servers if you wanted to. And oddly enough, the system that wasn't really a system completely worked. Players that were jerks eventually had their jerk-ish ways come back to bite them on the butt, and the rest of the server community happily resumed playing.

While cross-realm play is incredibly useful for opening up the player base, it's had the unfortunate side effect of getting rid of that accountability aspect of the game from vanilla. What's to be done about a jerk if that jerk is on another server?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Blizzard clarifies Cross-Realm Zones

Blizzard clarify CrozzRealm Zones
Blizzard CM Rygarius has posted a huge amount of information clarifying Cross-Realm Zones over on the Blizzard official forums. This much-discussed new feature has recently arrived on EU realms having been live on US realms for some weeks now, and has had a few teething problems that Blizzard continue to iron out.

Rygarius has clarified that Blizzard are still working to address problems with things like reporting and ignoring players, the Stranglethorn Fishing Extravaganza, /who requests, chat spam, realm hopping, and Tol Barad and Wintergrasp. It's always great to know that Blizzard are listening to player concerns, and if you have any more do check out Rygarius' post to see how to report bugs or issues.

Rygarius also provides a complete 101 on Cross-Realm Zones, letting us all know how they work, how realms are selected to be joined, and how parties and groups work. Rygarius also addresses concerns about realm community, low-population realm economies, and clears up just exactly how CRZs will work when Mists of Pandaria launches.

Check out the full post after the break!

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Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

What is the future of cross-realm play?

I have way more friends than I have any right to, really. Considering my personality is just shy of misanthropic and I look like I was trapped in a cave for 10 years, the fact that I seem to make friends in World of Warcraft surprises me. But I do, and there lies the issue: My friends are everywhere. They're on Malfurion, Cenarion Circle, Norgannon, Sisters of Elune, Zul'jin and now Ner'zhul. I still have characters on Dark Iron to chat with friends there.

The advent of Real ID, allowing me to group with these disparate friends, has made my life in game a lot smoother overall. Why, just last night I convinced Anne over on CC to log on an alt long enough for me to go inside Ruins of Ahn'Qiraj and punch everything in the face. Just because. I had no reason; there were bugs with unpunched faces, and it was bothering me.

Recently, I've noticed a spate of discussion on low-pop realms. Low-population realms have been one of the most enduring problems World of Warcraft has had in its years of operation, so much so that recently it's been announced that Mists of Pandaria will include a new feature allowing certain zones to exist across several realms for ease of grouping and questing. The cross-realm zone concept is as much to help with the shortage of low-level characters in general (most of a realm's population is often at or near the level cap at any given time) as it is to help low-pop realms, but it's still a step in the right direction for them.

With Real ID and now Battletags allowing for cross-realm raiding and the implementation of entire zones across several realms, I find myself wondering if the future of World of Warcraft will see a radical shift in how we think of the realm and how it is used. We already can randomly group with players on many realms for dungeons, Battlegrounds and the Raid Finder. We can group across realms with our friends for dungeons, PvP or raiding, as well. We're about to be able to meet players from other realms as we level. What's next?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Guilds, Mists of Pandaria

Is choosing a server becoming obsolete?

Let's hop in the wayback machine for a minute, because I enjoy doing that. Once upon a time in the days of vanilla WoW, players who had just purchased the game were faced with a choice upon logging in for the first time: What server would they call home? There were three different server types, each with their own flavor: PvP, for those that wanted to log in and have the opportunity to whale on the opposing faction at any given opportunity; PvE for those who would rather avoid fighting with other players and simply enjoy the content; and RP, for those who wanted to create character stories and roleplay with other characters. Later, the RP-PvP realm was introduced for roleplayers who really wanted to whale on the opposing faction as well as roleplay.

But the choice went beyond a simple matter of what type of game you wanted to play. Each server had its own cast of characters, and as the years went by, these players turned into friends and foes alike. Servers weren't just about how you wanted to play; they were a collection of people you interacted with on a daily basis. Guilds were composed of people with the same ideas in mind, but those guilds weren't the be all and end- all of your interaction with people in the game. Every server had that one guy who was always cracking jokes in trade chat. Every server always had a ninja or two. And of course, there was always the guy who didn't seem to get what social interaction was all about.

These days, we have cross-realm grouping via Real ID, the Raid Finder for those who don't want to bother with joining a raid guild, and now we've got the up-and-coming feature that will allow us to group with players cross-realm for raiding old content as well as the new stuff. So the big question is this: Do servers even have a purpose anymore?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Real ID grouping feature out of beta, remains free

The Real ID party grouping feature, which allows players across realms to group up and run dungeons through the Dungeon Finder with same-faction Real ID friends, is officially out of beta and remains a free service.

When the service was first announced, a premium price was going to be attached to the service, but since launching, Real ID grouping is not part of the premium package -- it's free for everyone. Blizzard reserved the right to add features to the premium suite of WoW services, but this one is here to stay for free.

I was skeptical about the costs associated with the service in the beginning, but after trying out the service with fellow WoW Insider editors, I was hooked. Paying for the service, however, was not something I would have done. Players have a certain expectation about what they get with their monthly subscriptions, and in a world where free-to-play MMOs and games charge small amounts all over the place for items and boosts, a subscription game in the vein of World of Warcraft has a harder time justifying the extra costs because of the nature of the monthly subscription beast. It is nice to see that Blizzard is adding this feature for all players, no cost attached. Hit the jump for the full announcement and FAQ.

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Filed under: Blizzard, Cataclysm

WRUP: The hottest rhyme 1988 has to offer

Every week, just at the start of the weekend, we catch up with the WoW Insider staff and ask them, "What are you playing this week?" -- otherwise known as WRUP. Join us to see what we're up to in and out of game, and catch us in the comments to let us know what you're playing, too!

Yo, my name is Fox
I'm a real big deal
I write What U Playin'
I got sex appeal

You think you cool
think you so damn great
But you rappin like it
nineteen eighty-eight

Steal your rhymes
from LFO
Talk about Abercrombie
then you good to go

This week I'm gonna
totally phone it in
Put a video up
then go for a swim

So later suckers
I'm outta here
Got a bonus question
Here it is real clear:

Cross-realm groups
the service is go
When it costs money
will you pay the dough?

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Filed under: WoW Insider Business

Patch 3.3: The Dungeon Finder Guide

Patch 3.3 is here and the old looking for group interface is now gone. The old heroic dailies? Gone. The reputation dungeon daily? Gone. The achievements for doing all of those dailies are now Feats of Strength, because if you didn't have them before, you'll never have them now.

In their place, we get the ability to queue for dungeons in much the same way that you normally queue for battlegrounds. We get the ability to almost instantaneously have our group put together and be teleported directly inside the instance. For those of you who just recently hit 80, there is no crazy GearScore requirements (thank the Earth Mother), no insane dps requirement, and no achievement checking. It removes all of those things that really stink about trying to find a group to get gear from heroics.

Let's take a better look at this new feature.

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Filed under: Patches, Guides, Wrath of the Lich King

Patch 3.3 PTR: New LFG interface

In the latest build of the PTR, Blizzard has included the new Looking for Group interface they've got in the works. As they had announced in at BlizzCon, the recent fix for the "Additional Instances" errors that were plaguing us a few months ago also adds the ability for them to allow cross-realm LFG. A new feature usually means a new interface and the trend proves true. It incorporates a lot of the long asked for features as well as removes several older features from the panel.

They've taken the current system that allows you to select your available roles (healer, tank, or dps) as well as select if you're willing to lead the instance. One thing that should help out is the ability to earn emblems as well as gold for doing just a completely random pug each day. While some of you might be groaning at this thought, they are willing to reimburse you for the inconvenience with 68G for completing a random level 80 heroic. This money scales based on how much of your party is random and how much is premade. The less random your party is the lower the cash return.

It's still early in the PTR and several features, like the ability to use the LFG panel to look for a raid, don't appear to be completely finished yet. I've included a gallery of what the new interface looks like thus far.


Patch 3.3 is the last major patch of Wrath of the Lich King. With the new Icecrown Citadel 5-man dungeons and 10/25-man raid arriving soon, patch 3.3 will deal the final blow to the Arthas. WoW.com's Guide to Patch 3.3 will keep you updated with all the latest patch news.

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Instances, Screenshots, Galleries, Wrath of the Lich King

Are cross-realm dungeons necessary?

Prolific MMO commentator Tobold writes about a possible problem with Blizzard's plan to speed up the level grind in 2.3: it could make getting a dungeon group together even harder. His solution would be to institute cross-realm dungeons that would resemble the current cross-realm battleground system. He also mentions some improvements to the LFG system (setting aside slots for dedicated roles, so that if you need a tank you don't end up in a group with three mages and two priests, for example) and the commenters come up with some good points, including worrying about how to deal with cross-realm ninjaloots.

Generally, the cross realm BG's worked out and I'm a fan of the much reduced waiting times for an AV run. Even with the anti-AFK measures it still only takes a few minutes as opposed to the upwards of an hour it could take before. But I do see some logistical problems in setting up a similar system for instance runs: no more summoning stones since everyone is on a different server, for example. Everyone would have to make their way to the dungeon themselves like they used to in the dim, barbaric past when cavemen first played WoW.

What do you think? Would we need 'Instance Groups' similar to Battlegroups, or would you just extend the Battlegroup to also be the pool your cross-realm LFG pulled from? Is this even an issue or are folks overestimating how much faster level will effect instancing?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Instances, Leveling

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