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Posts with tag cross-realm-zones

Breakfast Topic: If you could opt out of CRZ, would you?

Breakfast Topic If you could opt out of CRZ, would you
Cross-Realm Zones have to be among the most controversial features in the game right now, and despite Blizzard's best efforts to make them work, with Blizzard CM Rygarius working hard to keep players updated, many remain immensely dissatisfied.

WoW Insider readers already know I'm not one of those players. I am a fan of CRZ, and I'm not afraid to say so, despite the disapproving glares. I like the return of lower level world PvP, I like seeing other players around, I like the reinvigoration of PvP hubs in Outland, and elsewhere. However, I do get fed up with people stealing quest mobs and node spawns!

But, despite my opinion, I can put myself in the shoes of players who don't like it and understand where they're coming from. Many players have called for an opt out feature, allowing them to select whether to participate in Cross-Realm Zones or not. It doesn't seem particularly likely that Blizzard will add any such feature, Cross-Realm Zones are a new feature themselves, that Blizzard's developers have clearly put quite some time into. Letting players switch it off would, firstly, likely require a ton of work on the systems side, and secondly not provide Blizzard's team with the information they need to improve the feature. Opting out would defeat the purpose of the feature completely.

Nonetheless, I'm wondering. If you could opt out of CRZ, would you? If there's only one "no" vote in the poll, that's me.

Would you opt out of CRZ?
Yes, I'd opt out4961 (59.3%)
No, I wouldn't opt out3401 (40.7%)

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Rygarius updates us on Cross-Realm Zones

Whether you love, hate, or have absolutely no opinion on Cross-Realm Zones (I'm in that third group, I just plain don't care about them) you're hopefully aware of them by now. Rygarius has been the CM working to keep us all informed about the feature, originally created to help lower level zones have more players to interact with when questing and leveling up since the majority of players tends to be in the higher level zones.

Now Rygarius has updated us on CRZ, explaining what's being done on various issues players have with the feature. Discussed is the range of time zones the servers can pull from and ways to address the discrepancy (including wholly redesigning how the servers tell time), players being dismounted and seeing nodes disappear as they cross zones, and framerate/transition lag. If you're interested in any of these CRZ issues, you should read the full announcement after the jump.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Mists of Pandaria

3 reasons to like Cross-Realm Zones

3 reasons why I love CrossRealm Zones

Cross-Realm Zones are getting a bad rap. This recently introduced new feature seems to be stirring up all kinds of hostility on the forums, with players complaining about them left, right and center. And yes, they have definitely had their problems. I can totally understand why players on PvE servers weren't happy with being merged with PvP servers, for example, and why people weren't pleased about the Stranglethorn Fishing Extravaganza being winnable within an instant of its starting.

I totally get that the spammy chat is annoying, and why being dismounted on crossing into a CRZ was really tiresome. And I do really understand how people are fed up with other players around stealing their nodes, and their Time-Lost Proto-Drakes. I can completely wrap my head around the many reasons why players are not enjoying the CRZ experience.

But, having read the thread Rygarius posted a few days back, it seems like Blizzard are listening to the concerns, and trying to take active steps to mitigate them. I hope we're going to see more official information coming from Blizzard soon regarding the problems players continue to experience.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Mists of Pandaria

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

Fishing tournaments disabled, more cross-realm zone info coming

The fishing tournaments are the poster children for everything that is wrong with cross-realm zones, at least in the eyes of those that don't like the feature. Currently (or well, previously) if you attempted to win the fishing tournaments after patch 5.0 you had to compete against all the other players in the cross-realm zone group. That made winning the tournaments extremely difficult.

Blizzard has responded previously that this wasn't the intended behavior and that they were working on a fix. We now know that they've got such a fix, and it won't be able to be put in place until a patch is applied. As such, the fishing tournaments are being disabled for the time being.

Vaeflare also noted in the blue post that they're getting ready to address a number of concerns over the cross-realm zones, so stay tuned for more info on that. His full blue posts is as follows:

We've looked into this issue and have a fix in the works to make the fishing tournaments behave in a more predictable manner. Unfortunately, this will require a patch in order to take effect, so we are disabling the fishing tournaments until we can deliver the fix for them in a future patch.

As a side-note: we'll be posting about some larger CRZ concerns in the very near future, so hang in there. We're listening, and we're working to address those concerns just as quickly as we can.

Filed under: News items

Wowcrendor interviews Ghostcrawler, answers about Theramore's Fall

Blizzard Lead Systems Designer Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street has joined YouTube denizen Wowcrendor for an interview. You can check out the video above, and we've pulled out some highlights below:

What's the one thing Blizzard would have done differently in Cataclysm?

We would have worked the story around a continent rather than having zones. There was too much teleporting, and the sense of world was eroded. There was a lot of value in coming over the hill and seeing into the next zone, the transition. The teleporting created an instanced feel, and there wasn't the novelty. Mists has a whole new continent to explore, so that's something Blizzard have changed up for this expansion.

Why did Blizzard go with Cross-Realm zones over server merges?

Cross-Realm Zones were designed to fix the issue of having a ton of players at max-level, but lower level zones being dead. The experience of being in a MMO is lessened, so we wanted to fix that.

Closing and opening realms all the time is not the solution, we can't keep doing that incessantly. We also don't want 20,000 players running around Stormwind or other high-level zones! For players who like deserted zones, we're not really catering to that. WoW is not set up to be a single player game!

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Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

Cross-Realm Zones and roleplay: A perfect combination?

CrossRealm Zones and roleplay A perfect combination SAT
All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players. In World of Warcraft, that player is you! Each week, Anne Stickney brings you All the World's a Stage with helpful hints, tips and tricks on the art of roleplay in WoW.

You're not quite alone anymore.

For roleplayers, roleplay has typically been restricted to whatever realm you happen to choose. Some roleplaying realms are far more populated than others. This means that new roleplayers tend to flock to these realms as well -- after all, if you're looking for roleplay, you want to go where the roleplay is at. However, after the release of patch 5.0.4 the dynamic of servers has changed a bit, and it spells some really big changes for roleplayers and how they look at the world.

Cross-Realm zones are a new feature that was introduced in patch 5.0.4. They're starting gradually at the moment, but more realms will see this feature implemented as time goes on. For roleplaying realms, a quick trip to Dalaran, Shattrath, or any of the more out of the way cities may reveal a surprise to traveling players -- your server is now linked with another roleplaying server. Or maybe even two or three of them, depending on the area.

Inadvertent or no, this new feature is a tremendous boon to roleplay.

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Filed under: All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

Breakfast Topic: What's your favorite part of 5.0.4?

Breakfast Topic What's your favorite part of 504
Patch 5.0.4 has arrived, laden with goodies like account-wide pets, mounts and achievements. But oddly enough, none of these things were my favorites from this patch. AoE looting is fantastic and was easily at the top of my favorites list before I logged in, but it paled in comparison to something else, something far quieter that I hadn't really considered a huge part of the patch.

My realm is a terribly small realm off in the corner of nowhere. I have my character's hearthstone set to Dalaran, partially for the easy access to the Caverns of Time and partially because I like Dalaran. It's a little lonely, but quiet. There are maybe a half-dozen people there, usually.

I logged into Dalaran yesterday and was abruptly taken aback because the place was packed.

In my excitement over everything else, I'd forgotten all about the cross-realm zones that were being introduced. It turns out my quiet little corner of nowhere was now populated by tons of people from another realm altogether. And it turns out that realm is the home of a friend of mine from Twitter, a fellow blogger. For the first time ever, I got to say hello to her character and pose for screenshots and generally be a silly idiot.

I'd forgotten how it felt to be in the midst of a bustling city. I'd forgotten how it felt to have activity at all hours, and I'd forgotten how nice it was to just run into someone I knew out of nowhere. And in that moment of giddy, silly screenshot frenzy, cross-realm zones abruptly shot from something I hadn't even considered to the top of my favorites list.

So what's your favorite part of 5.0.4? Is it having all your achievements on all of your characters? Is it finally being able to ride around on all of your mounts? Is your pet collection completely amazing? Or is it the sudden discovery that in the great big World of Warcraft, you're not quite as isolated as you used to be?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

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

Cross-realm zones coming to Mists of Pandaria

Recently, one of the criticisms most often heard about the World of Warcraft experience relates to server population or faction imbalances -- you can't always find enough players in your level range to have a fulfilling gameplay experience. It seems as if Mists of Pandaria is going to be fixing that issue in a big way: Blizzard has just announced cross-realm zones.

Cross-Realm Zones Coming to Beta
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.

For the full FAQ, head over to, or check behind the break below.

UPDATE: Blizzard has answered additional questions in the FAQ.

Read more →

Filed under: News items, Mists of Pandaria

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