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Posts with tag virtual-realms

Connected realms start September 25

Connected realms start September 25
Blizzard Community Manager Nethaera has updated the world today, as we wait anxiously for Connected Realms to revitalize our low population homes. We've known for a while that Boulderfist and Bloodscalp would be the guinea pigs, but we now have a timeframe, and Blizzard are sticking to the redefinition of Soon(tm). The connected realms will launch tomorrow, as Nethaera clarifies:

Update: In order to implement our first Connected Realms, Boulderfist and Bloodscalp will be taken down for an extended maintenance beginning Wednesday, September 25, at 3:00 a.m. PDT until approximately 11:00 a.m. PDT. During this time these realms will be unavailable for play. Additional realm connections are planned for the near future, and we'll be posting a full list at as soon as we've finalized the details.

So, if you're on either of those realms, be aware of the additional downtime, and do keep an eye out for the folk from the other realm. If you are on Boulderfist or Bloodscalp, let us know how the Connected Realms are working out!

As Neth mentions, there are more Connected Realms planned for the future, probably depending on how this works out, so keep an eye on the official site for that list, and of course we'll keep you up to speed as best we can.

Filed under: News items, Mists of Pandaria

Video: 6 things you need to know about patch 5.4

In this Geek Week special, there's so much going on in World of Warcraft Patch 5.4 that we thought we would put together a brief summary of all the new features we know about so far. We've got the in-game store, virtual realms, the timeless isle, cross-realm arenas, flexible raiding and the proving grounds... and we haven't even talked about the new raid!

If you want more information on any of the content discussed in the video, WoW Insider has a ton of material for you to peruse, just check out the links below:
  1. In-Game Store
  2. Virtual Realms
  3. Timeless Isle
  4. Cross-realm Arenas
  5. Flexible Raiding
  6. Proving Grounds

Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

Blizzard releases more information on Connected Realms

Blizzard today released more information on the "Connected Realms" feature that's coming up in the future. The Connected Realms are the same as the Virtual Realms that were announced with patch 5.4, just with a new name and more information.

Highlights from this information include:
  • Connected Realms will ideally be activated after patch 5.4's release, although there is no direct timeframe given
  • Only like realm types will be connected -- PvP and PvE realms will not be connected.
  • Players get to keep their names
  • Those players from a connected realm will have a '#' next to their name, just like a '*' appears on players from other realms in the cross-realm LFR, Dungeon Finder, and PvP areas.
The timeframe is really important and something everyone needs to keep in mind. Blizzard did not say this feature is releasing with patch 5.4 -- it could come shortly after, or it could come much later.

The full post after the break.

Read more →

Filed under: News items

Breakfast Topic: Potential Virtual Realm headaches

We're looking forward to Virtual Realms, which will solve low population problems and make it even easier to play with friends. However, it probably won't be all fun and games. With multiple realms acting as a single realm, you can expect more competition to buy and sell on the auction house; more crowds vying for quest drops and rare spawns; and more players trying to get, well, everything World of Warcraft has to offer. So while cooperative efforts, like world bosses, dungeons, and guilds will most certainly get easier because of the expanded pool of players to pull from, solitary tasks like farming are likely to be a bit more challenging because of those same players.

So we ask you, readers: are you looking forward to virtual realms or are you frustrated that they'll crowd your realm? Are you racing to get farming done before patch 5.4 -- and virtual realms -- arrive?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Officers' Quarters: One realm's solution to low population

Low population realm's shrine area
Every Monday, Scott Andrews contributes Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership. He is the author of The Guild Leader's Handbook.

Low population realms have been a problem in WoW as far back as 2007 and they continue to be. Blizzard has opted not to merge realms like other aging MMO's have done. For a long time, players asked for these mergers. They've watched their already low-pop realms bleed more players because of the population problem, making the issue worse and worse.

Recently, Blizzard unveiled their solution this ongoing issue: virtual realms. Potentially slated to arrive in patch 5.4, virtual realms could be the answer that we've been waiting for. In the meantime, however, one low-pop realm has taken matters into their own hands by organizing their guilds and creating a better experience. They call it the Kargath Guild Council on Kargath-US.

I had the pleasure of interviewing two of the minds behind the KGC -- Battlevixen, officer of Bloodsworn, and Merciful, guild leader of The Iron Fist -- about why they founded the council and the challenges they've faced along the way.

What was your realm like prior to the formation of the KGC?

Battlevixen: Prior to KGC, Kargath suffered from attendance issues that did not allow a lot of guilds and groups to raid. We had a lot of smaller guilds/groups that could not fill a 10man roster. Very few players were able to even pug because of this. There was also almost no communication between all the various guilds. Each guild kept to themselves for the most part.

Merciful: In addition to people who just stopped playing WoW, we were losing good players to other realms. The notion is that Kargath is a dying realm, and once that takes root in people's minds, they self-select themselves off the realm.

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

WoW Insider Round Table: Virtual realms

The WoW Insider Round Table has assembled yet again, discussing the upcoming virtual realms and their potential impact on the game. If you want the short version: it depends. This week's panelists include Dawn Moore, Joe Perez, Kristin Marshall, Matt Low, and Olivia Grace.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Community Blog Topic Results: Merging servers and Virtual Realms

Community Blog Topic Results Merging servers and Virtual Realms DNP
Last week's Community Blog Topic was whether or not servers should be merged to alleviate the problem with low population servers. With the announcement that Virtual Realms will be tested on the patch 5.4 PTR, this subject became very timely, if not a little belated. Blizzard's answer to whether or not servers should be merged seems to be yes ... kinda. Rather than merging servers into several bigger servers, Virtual Realms will cluster several separate realms together into one big meta server with a shared AH and the ability to join guilds and groups cross realm. I assume that like servers will be put together, just like CRZ, so that PVE and PVP players won't be mixed.

If Virtual Realms make it to the live realms and work, it seems like an excellent solution to the problem of dead and imbalanced servers. But how will it be implemented? And what if Virtual Realms don't work? Should servers be merged?

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Patch 5.4 PTR news roundup

Patch 54 PTR news roundup
Patch 5.4 has hit the PTR and a flurry of information regarding the latest patch has already been released. Featuring a new raid, patch 5.4 will also include a variety of new features that are quickly shaping up to be game-changers. Curious about all the new stuff? Take a look at our coverage for more information on patch 5.4 and the upcoming content.
Stay tuned for more patch 5.4 information, and keep your eyes peeled for the PTR.

Filed under: News items, Mists of Pandaria

Breakfast Topic: Are you prepared for Virtual Realms?

We mentioned them last night while covering the surprises of patch 5.4, so now I roll around to you this morning. Did you see virtual realms coming? Do you like or hate them? Are they a cool way to avoid forcing players to worry about name changes and server moves or are they just a half step that needs to go further?

Personally I'm really interested because with this, the day comes ever closer that I could pug any raid with any friend I have of the same faction. It's a change I never expected to see, and one I'm very interested in watching. If this eventually leads to, say, one North American virtual realm for all players, I might be okay with that.

But enough about me. This is about you. What do you think? Let us know, we're keen to hear it. Patch 5.4 definitely isn't afraid to shake up the status quo so far.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Breakfast Topics, Mists of Pandaria

Patch 5.4 PTR: Virtual Realms announced

What, you may ask, are virtual realms? Well, they're a very interesting new feature (and if you choose, you can pretend they're the new feature Ghostcrawler mentioned for 5.4) that will have quite an impact on how we play the game. To quote the patch notes:

Rygarius - Patch 5.4 Coming Soon!
Virtual Realms are sets of realms that are fused together, and will behave exactly as if they were one cohesive realm. Players on the same Virtual Realm will be able to join guilds, access a single Auction House, join arena teams and raids, as well run dungeons or group up to complete quests.

This is basically the first step in the creation of a unified, single realm across whole regions of World of Warcraft. Similar in concept to a PvP Battlegroup, this basically allows you to treat players from other realms in the shared virtual realm as if they were on your selfsame realm, including all the benefits of guilding, grouping and raiding.; This is an enormous game changer, and I admit, I don't think I ever expected to see it happen. For guilds on low pop servers, this drastically increases the potential player base that you can recruit, for just one potential benefit.

Do remember, however, that this is the PTR. As Ghostcrawler says:

Stay tuned for more news -- this is definitely an exciting change.

Filed under: Guilds, Blizzard, News items, Raiding, Mists of Pandaria

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