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Posts with tag cross-realm

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.

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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

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)

Cross-realm play and the rise of the funsucker

Crossrealm play and the rise of the funsucker
When I read Matt Rossi's piece about the future of cross-realm play, I agreed that the possibilities are exciting. But I do see what could be a major problem: funsuckers.

We do have funsuckers in heavily quested zones right now. (Granted, this usually only happens after a new expansion or during holidays.) They spawn camp us on PvP servers. They steal our gathering nodes, even though they are in the same faction. (Stealing nodes from the opposite faction is fair play. We don't want to help them support their side of the battle.) They take their huge mounts and sit on NPCs everyone needs to interact with.

They suck our fun.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Mists of Pandaria

The case for cross-faction Real ID raiding

I have seen dozens of forum posts, Twitter conversations, and even a knitted wool hat that argued for the concept of cross-faction Real ID grouping, so I thought why not throw my own hat into this contentious debate? I'm old, I'm grumpy -- it's what I do.

First, to be up front, I think cross-faction Real ID is a fabulous idea. This is motivated by pure selfishness on my part. Half of my Real ID friends are Horde, the other half are Alliance. To a degree, this is ameliorated because we have a lot of alts on both factions, but it's not totally addressed. Some of my friends have no alts; others only have alts on the same faction; and still others have one main they dedicate 90% of their playtime to and a host of alts who barely make level 20. We'd easily be able to put together a raid for any of the content in the game, save for that faction wall. We can talk to each other and put together smaller groups fairly easily to steamroll old raids, but doing content like Blackwing Descent or Firelands is arduous.

I do understand that not everyone would be on board with this, and there are good reasons to be discussed. Cross-faction Real ID raiding would not only be a huge change, but it would also cross a line Blizzard has managed never to deliberately cross in all its time of allowing new services like faction and server transfers and character customization. Sure, your Alliance warrior can join a Horde raiding group now, but in order to do so, he or she must become a Horde character. There are no humans raiding with orcs. It's been the case in the game since launch (to the point that Forsaken players lost the ability to speak with human players to preserve it) that the two factions are separate and cannot group together at all. To change that, even for just Real ID friends, would be a huge change in the game.

That being said, here are my reasons for cross-faction Real ID raiding.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding

Cross-realm raiding resource guide

Cross-realm RealID raiding has taken World of Warcraft by storm ever since the ability to enter old raids with RealID friends was introduced in patch 4.3.2. Fearing the end of server communities and the collapse of civilization, players were instead greeted with a quickly mobilizing mass of players on Twitter, Reddit, and other social media to form cross-server communities for raiding. Without server boundaries, these groups can recruit from a larger pool and have more time flexibility. BattleTags will make this all easier.

Over the last few weeks, many cross-realm raiding websites and resources have popped up. If you're looking to get into a cross-realm raid, here's a handy list of many places out there that are putting together old raids without the hindrance of those pesky servers.

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Filed under: Raiding, Cataclysm

How players are using cross-realm raiding to foster communities

With the introduction of cross-realm raiding in patch 4.3.2 and the Raid Finder, players have gone above and beyond in creating new and exciting server-less communities that bring in raiders from all over the world via Real ID grouping. While the Dragon Soul raid is not available currently for players using cross-realm raiding, all other raids and difficulties are, and there is no better time to go back to old content and finish off stuff during the wait until the next expansion.

Sites like LFRaid.com and Twitterland Raiding are two communities that have sprung up quickly in this new cross-realm raiding world. Twitterland Raiding is a website created for the Twitter WoW community to form up groups for raiding across server lines. With a centralized place to express interest in raiding as well as no server structure or logistics to worry about besides Real ID names (which gets immensely easier with the introduction of BattleTags), raiding can happen in greater volume and more quickly.

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Filed under: Raiding

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

Cross-realm Real ID Battlegrounds now available

If you like Battlegrounds and you like friends, there's important news for you. As of patch 4.3, you can form a party and queue for a Battleground with your Real ID friends just as if you were queueing up for a random dungeon. There are some restrictions, of course.

Kaivax - Cross-Realm Real-ID BG grouping is now available
A few reminders about this --

You're going to see the limitations as you do in Looking-For-Dungeon and Looking-For-Raid.

You can't invite Real-ID friends to a raid.

If you have Real-ID friends in your group, you can't convert to a raid.

It's not surprising that the tech works the same as the Dungeon Finder and the Raid Finder. While I'd love to see that get expanded so that you can form a raid with friends on your Real ID list, for now, it's still a nice development for those of us who have managed to scatter our friends hither and yon across the servers.

Brace yourselves for what could be some of most exciting updates to the game recently with patch 4.3. Review the official patch notes, and then dig into what's ahead: new item storage options, cross-realm raiding, cosmetic armor skinning and your chance to battle the mighty Deathwing -- from astride his back!

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Cataclysm

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

Cross-realm Real ID grouping now available

A few months back, Blizzard teased that a new service would be hitting WoW that would allow members of the same faction to group and queue for random dungeons across servers. Players would need to be Real ID friends with the people they wanted to invite into a group and would be limited to 5-man dungeons; no raids or world content would be available to cross-server groups.

The service has apparently just gone live, free, for what is probably a limited time. Blizzard had also said that this cross-realm grouping would be part of the premium package of WoW services that players can pay for monthly, and only the group leader doing the invites would have to have the service in order to invite people cross-realm. Much as the mobile guild chat feature was rolled out free to let people check it out, it appears cross-realm Real ID grouping is getting the same trial period.

Check out cross-realm Real ID grouping in game, and start grouping with your friends beyond server boundaries, and hit the jump for the full announcement.

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Filed under: Blizzard, Cataclysm

Cross-realm raids and mail are a work in progress

Blizzard's recent developer chat over Twitter revealed a few interesting tidbits, and this one might have gotten lost in the shuffle of good things. Several of the questions throughout the chat pertained to cross-realm issues, and Cory Stockton and Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street were more than game to answer each one, starting with a question about cross-realm mail (e.g. for BoA items) to which the answer was, "we have cross-faction mail for BoA items now; cross-realm is a work in progress, but we hope to have it done "soon."" This means that it should be possible to send your alts in other realms your heirloom items in the future, which should help along leveling through multiple realms.

That said, it might take a while longer before Blizzard implements cross-realm raiding although they said that they were looking into it. Aside from considerable technical issues, the developers were also concerned about group dynamics, such as how to get groups back together through those long raids that require more than one session. Another concern was keeping the sense of community alive in native realms. On the other hand, the growing culture of PUGs that has bloomed through easier content and the new Dungeon Finder has already diluted the sense of community in individual realms, so we should probably expect Blizzard to allow cross-realm cooperation sooner rather than later.

Filed under: Blizzard, Cataclysm

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

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