Cross-Realm Zones are 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.
Yes that’s right the combination of phasing and cross-realm dungeon/raids technologies have been merged to give us cross-realm zones! Now Blizzard has stated that this will not give us the dreaded loading screen between zones and for that we can thank the good old phasing technology. If that had been introduced it would have spoiled one of WoWs best features
Apart from the benefit of putting many people in the zones, there are other benefits:
- You’ll be able to group up with anyone cross-realm including friends;
- No level restrictions on group members;
- Loot rules work as normal;
Sadly these benefits come at a price:
- Capital cities and highly populated zones are exempt
- Trading restrictions will apply as they do in dungeons;
- More competition for gathering nodes;
The existing realm structure is very flawed. We have low pop realms, high pop realms and realms with huge faction imbalance. Players have queried why we can’t merge realms and that was not gonna happen as it would be a sign of decline. What we have here is Blizzard embracing the new powerful computer hardware and using it to fix that issue.
Further on down the line I foresee realms becoming obsolete because the virtual world can be virtualised initially at a battlegroup level but as hardware progresses who is to say that it couldn’t be at regional or even global level?