Monday, August 5, 2013

Blizzard Announces More Info on "Connected Realms"

...which are sounding exactly like server merges.  They're just not saying that because, well, saying "World of Warcraft to Perform Server Merges" is a way of getting a LOT of negative press.

Patch 5.4 Feature Preview: Connected Realms

To be honest, it sounds more like what has been implemented for The Secret World and is being implemented for Age of Conan than anything else.

Still, they're server merges.  No way around it.  I've been perusing some online listings of active accounts on servers --I still wonder how they manage that-- and I've found that Ysera has dropped quite a bit over the past few years (down to something like 1/4 the size of Area 52), matching what I've noticed in game.  I do wonder how this is going to work long term, and whether a Horde-heavy realm will be matched up with an Alliance-heavy realm to balance things out.

But the merges have begun.  (Just don't call them that.)


  1. I wonder if it's just going to be the same as the lower levels are now, just the same servers we see there now in the high levels. I'll have to read up on it.

    1. They're not getting rid of the CRZ, but what they're doing is combining servers into --in effect-- much larger servers. They'll identify a toon by '*' or '#' so that you'll know if the toon you see is on your server or part of your "Connected Realms".

      However, they'll still use CRZ to populate the low level zones, but they'll do it by combining Connected Realms in the CRZ.

      If that sounds confusing, it probably is. The Connected Realms are still --in effect-- a server merge, but without the headache of running into issues if you're over the limit of toon numbers on the combined servers* or having to lose a toon's name because it was already taken on another server.

      There's nothing that says that once the Connected Realms are in place that they can't get rid of servers and put the "Connected Realms" on a single server, in effect performing a server merge without people calling it that.

      *For example, if I've got 7 toons on Ysera and 6 toons on another server that Ysera merges with, I suddenly have 13 toons on a server. Who do I get rid of?

    2. My assumption is that you will still have separate servers in the login screen... they'll just end up in the same place when you get into the game.

      I suspect CRZ, if it does continue (I hope it doesn't but there are indications it'll be hanging around), will connect at the server (not connected server) level but will draw from connected server pools. If that makes any sense. So you'll only see a (*) after a name in a CRZ zone, not (*)(#) (and all of a sudden, I'm recalling the discovery of ASCII art back in grade 2). If it is implemented like that, though, you won't know if someone is in your connected server group or not so maybe it won't work that way.

      Brain hurts.

      I wish they'd just merge servers and be done with it. I think the negative press predictions are way overhyped... the subscription losses are a bigger deal than server mergers would be, I think everyone acknowledges that there are a bunch of servers that are underpopulated right now, how would it be bad if they were moved to more populated servers?

    3. I expect we'll see the same server listed because it's a nice identifier, but once the connected realms happen they could be virtual servers or merely another identifier in a database. We'll never know for sure, because it will all be behind the scenes.

  2. I like a big server. Bring it on, I say.

    1. It would definitely make things more interesting getting a raid group together for taking out other faction's leaders. On my Horde server A-52, it's something like 8:1 Horde; if that got corrected by joining it to an Ally heavy server, the old Horde steamroller through Stormwind would find the going pretty tough.