Cross-Realm Zones

General Discussion
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A number of concerns have popped up since cross-realm zones were introduced to live realms, and we want to take a moment to explain how they work. We also want to address some of the anomalies you may be experiencing, including some recent bugs that we’ve hotfixed, or are currently investigating.

Cross-Realm Zones 101

Cross-realm zones are a new technology that allows players in underpopulated areas of the world to meet, group up, and adventure with players from other realms. This technology effectively populates low-level zones and other previously uninhabited areas, resulting in a livelier game world. Cross-realm zones 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. Cross-realm zones populate an area with players from other realms based upon the following criteria:

  • Realm type
  • Time zone
  • Language

Realm Type

When traversing Azeroth, players may encounter players from other realms who share their same realm type. PvE with PvE, PvP with PvP, RP-PvP with RP-PvP, and RP-PvE with RP-PvE.

The exception to this is that players are freely able to invite Real ID and BattleTag friends to join their party, even if their realm types do not match. In this case, players will be randomly placed within a party member’s realm. While it might be a little disconcerting to know that players from non-RP realms are adventuring in RP realms, or that players from PvP realms are exploring PvE realms, this is working as intended. Those players are in the company of friends from the target realm.

Please keep in mind that if you choose to group with Real ID and BattleTag friends, you may be placed on a different realm type depending on the members of your party. As such, we recommend grouping with players who belong to realm types you are comfortable with experiencing (such as PvE or RP).

Time Zone

When we initially looked at the North American time zones, we didn’t think that the time differences would have much of an impact on players participating in cross-realm zones. However, the inclusion of some Oceanic realms was an oversight. Following a recent change, players will no longer be placed on a realm with a time difference greater than three-hours. We’ll watch the results of this change and if three hours still feels too odd, we can continue to iterate.

Language

Currently, realms are coalesced by language, meaning that players on Spanish-speaking realms will be placed in coalesced zones with other players on Spanish-speaking realms, and Brazilian realms will be placed in coalesced zones with other Portuguese-speaking players. This separation by language wasn’t initially in place with the launch of patch 5.0.4, but has since changed so that we can provide a better gameplay experience in each region. Players on Oceanic realms, while English-speaking, are also only coalesced with other players on Oceanic realms in order to prevent players from being placed on realms with a local time difference greater than three hours.

Lack of Realm Community

We understand that players are concerned about CRZ potentially impacting the sense of community. Cross-realm zones were intended to make lower level zones feel less empty, but may also impact other more populated zones. With more populated areas, we’re aware of concerns over increased competition for resource nodes as well as quest and rare mob spawns. This is something that we’re in the process of evaluating. We’ve already taken some steps to address it by increasing the spawn rates of most rare spawns. If a zone becomes too populated, we’re capable of adjusting how many realms are able to connect to it. Just keep in mind that we do choose spawn times of creatures and profession nodes with a certain zone population in mind -- CRZ affords us the ability to better maintain those populations.

Please note that Pandaria zones will not have CRZ enabled when Mists of Pandaria is released, but players can group up cross-realm in Pandaria with Real ID or BattleTag friends. The Wandering Isle, the pandaren starting area, will also not have CRZ enabled at launch, though we’ll have multiple instances of this zone running as needed for each realm, in an attempt to prevent overcrowding.

Low Population Concerns

Cross-realm zones are the first step toward improving the play experience when leveling on a low-population server. The world will be more populated, opening up the possibility for you to make BattleTag friends who you can then invite on future adventures. World of Warcraft is meant to be a massively multiplayer role-playing game, so we want to give players on lower population realms access to a larger community to play with.

Cross-realm zones won't fix economy-related issues for lower populated realms and it wasn't intended to. Regarding the suggestions for a cross-realm auction house, this is something we can evaluate at a future date. However, great care must be taken and we must carefully evaluate its impact on realm economies if such a change were to occur.

Known Bugs and Resolved Issues

We’re working behind the scenes to look into and address many of the recently shared CRZ concerns. In addition to the hotfixes that have already been applied to help streamline the player experience, we have some additional hotfixes on the way to address some of the known bugs.

Tol Barad and Wintergrasp Concerns

We unfortunately didn’t identify some of the issues with these PvP zones because these areas didn’t see much activity during the beta testing period. An early bug allowed players from multiple realms to participate in Tol Barad and Wintergrasp battles, or quest in these zones in between battles; however, this has been addressed and these zones should never be coalesced. We’ll consider offering full CRZ functionality for these zones in a future patch when we can solve some of the logistical issues coalescing initially brought about.

Stranglethorn Fishing Extravaganza

In the case of the weekly Stranglethorn Fishing Extravaganza, we also found that players from other realms were able to jump to a realm in a different time zone to get a head start on fishing, allowing them to win their home realm’s tournament as soon as it began. This isn’t fair for anyone and will require some new tech on our end to ensure the integrity of timed competitions. Unfortunately, this change will require a client-side patch, so we are disabling the fishing tournaments until we can deliver the fix for them in a future patch.

Ignoring or Reporting a Player from Another Realm

We understand that players want to be able to ignore and report players from other realms, and we’re working to identify and correct any issues currently preventing this. We take harassment very seriously, and if another player is harassing you, you can report them using the right-click report option so that we can investigate your report.

Cross-Realm /who Requests

This is something we’d like to do, and we’re looking into it.

Realm “Hopping” by Changing Party Leaders

While it might sound like fun to go exploring in other realms by changing party leaders, this was not intended, and allowed some players to take advantage of bosses such as the Darkmoon Rabbit and challenges such as the Stranglethorn Fishing Extravaganza. As such, we’ve made a fix that will stop groups from being able to do this.

Chat, Achievement, Skill Spam

We’re aware of chat, achievements, skills, and World Defense announcements being spammed in cross-realm zones and are working on a solution for this. We agree: it’s annoying.

Found Other Bugs?

Every bit of assistance you can offer us in tracking down bugs and squashing them would be invaluable. After reading this, if you’re experiencing any issues with CRZ that pretty clearly seem unintended, please provide us as much detail as possible on the Bug Report forum. If you’re curious as to what entails a “good” bug report, please read this simple, yet effective guide.


We’re definitely keeping tabs on this thread and ones like it, and will continue to roll out hotfixes to address any remaining issues as quickly as we can, so keep an eye out on our list of hotfixes for further details.

The bottom line is that cross-realm zones are meant to improve the leveling experience in lower-level zones while allowing you to quest with your Real ID or BattleTag friends. We’re currently in a strange part of the patch cycle where the level cap is 90, but everyone is still stuck at 85. We believe that most of the concerns about competition are having a larger impact now because everyone is waiting for Mists of Pandaria.

Please provide any additional feedback you have below. We’re continuing to read the concerns and bug reports you’ve been sharing. We’re committed to polishing the cross-realm zone feature so that it provides the best possible gameplay experience for all of our players.
Highly Rated
First! :O

Things that could be changed with CRZ to improve players experience (PvP Realm Perspective):

-Keeping zones level appropriate (eliminating level 85's ganking lowbie questing zones). With such a huge level range and gear disparity between all levels now, I feel that something needs to be done to prevent 1-shotting, which ruins fun world PvP. I think that only people who are a maximum of 5 levels higher than what the zone is designed for should be put into cross-realm group of the people of a legitimate level. For example, Ashenvale is a level 20-25 zone, so only characters of level 30 and below should be put into the cross realm group for levelers.
Anyone level 31 and higher should be put into a separate cross realm group, that way level 85 archaeologists could often come across other level 85 archaeologists in Ashenvale, resulting in fun World PvP in all zones for max levels, where 1 shotting isn't as often. And levelers won't have their immersion destroyed by being killed by something they don't even see.

- (Edit): Get rid of increasing rez timers in World zones when killed by other players. Make it so that when you rez, you come back with 100% health and 100% mana/energy, this will make it harder for others to repeatedly gank you by ensuring fights always start at maximum potential.

-Allow people to resurrect at spirit healers with no penalty if they were just killed by other players.
This allows them to escape players camping corpses, and makes a death appear as a proper death, while still allowing them to run back to the fight if they wish.

(Extra PvP Realm changes):
-Increasing the pool of realms that get grouped for cross-realm zones so that all zones reach maximum capacity more often. This could lead to some seriously epic World PvP, where people can group up for large tarren mill - southshore type battles. This would also lead to more random 1v1 World PvP which always gets your heart thumping.

-Making guards on PvP servers level appropriate for zones. There's nothing more unsatisfying than chasing an enemy of a similar level near their town for that one last shot to claim a kill, and being shot for 9000% of your health by a guard 60 levels higher than you, and 100 yards away. If it's a level 20-25 zone, the guards should only be level 25 max. And they should not have ridiculous spawn rates. And guards should prefer to melee rather than shoot.

For PvP Realms, CRZ is Awesome!
Cross Realm Zones are doing great things for World PvP on PvP servers. It's an amazing thing to actually see other people leveling up in lower level zones again. It's very refreshing to see people interact with others again in areas that would often have zero other people in it. And it's awesome fun fighting the enemy faction that crosses your path.

Thanks for reading. World PvP is coming back. I seriously think CRZ is for the best overall, just a few tweaks would make it perfect!
Highly Rated
First page and second.

Going to edit this with feedback

09/21/2012 07:10 PMPosted by Rygarius
World of Warcraft is meant to be a massively multiplayer role-playing game, so we want to give players on lower population realms access to a larger community to play with.


What part of we picked the realm we are on for a reason do you people at Blizzard not understand?

Chances are we picked a realm with our friends for one. Second maybe we don't want so many people around us we can't even quest. I mean today in the Molten front I couldn't even function there was just so many people in it.

You call that fixing a problem in a low population area? You created the problem!
Highly Rated
Your obviously not listening to the community because CZR is still up.
Highly Rated
Its not needed you dumbed down the game so much everything is solable, Only reason we would need CRZ is for instances and we allready had that. All this crap has done are the following

1 - doubled amount of time it takes to do quest
2 - Make it impossable to farm item for lower level
3 - made us look like stuudering fools when we type something and it shows up 5 times

CRZ has benefited nothing and effected everyone questing

If people didnt want to play on low populated servers they should not of rolled there
Highly Rated
In other words, Blizzard is firm and unwavering. Cross-realm zones are here to say and NOTHING you do or say will end it. Make your decisions now, folks, because it's going to get a lot, lot worse for people who are trying to level Monks when Pandaria arrives.
hopefully it can be fine tuned. I know you're doing it because if it would be a pain to set up, you'd simply end it right away instead of dragging it
Highly Rated
When we initially looked at the North American time zones, we didn’t think that the time differences would have much of an impact on players participating in cross-realm zones. However, the inclusion of some Oceanic realms was an oversight. Following a recent change, players will no longer be placed on a realm with a time difference greater than three-hours. We’ll watch the results of this change and if three hours still feels too odd, we can continue to iterate.


That's not good enough. Time zones affects DMF. For example, if someone is on a PDT server and they log in for the last day of DMF at 9 PM they may find Elywnn Forest to be EDT where it would be 12 AM and the faire would have closed the portal and moved on even though that person should have 3 more hours to go to the faire.

I also see no mention of phasing issues. For example I could take a flight path from Dalaran(on my realm) to Ulduar and while flying I'm still on my realm until I land. While in the air I could see Vyragosa, but as soon as I land I'm sent to another realm where she's not up. She effectively vanishes into thin air, or I vanish into thin air, something like that.
Highly Rated
Thank you for acknowledging some of the major issues.

The biggest ones are the known economy issues- destroying the already small supply on some servers. But you covered that.

I do feel that saddling people while leveling with having to deal with crowding of outdated, low level quests that people are trying to simply push through doesn't add anything to the game.
Highly Rated
09/21/2012 07:10 PMPosted by Rygarius
Unfortunately, this change will require a client-side patch, so we are disabling the fishing tournaments until we can deliver the fix for them in a future patch.


Then remove it from the meta. This isnt something you plan to fix next week. we have come to know that "soon" means a long time when used by a Blizzard rep.
Highly Rated
I just started feeling the effects of CRZ on Wrymrest Accord, while leveling a Druid in Northrend, and further into the Cataclysm zones.

Here's my beef with it:

1) Group quests. The only group quests left in the game now are the ones in Icecrown, Ring of Blood in Nagrand, Ampitheatre of Anguish in Zul'Drak and the Crucible of Carnage in the Twilight Highlands. If there are so few group quests, why do I need to see people from other servers? Especially when WRA is a high population RP server, and it is linked with every other PvE RP server. And yes, I have seen people from every PvE RP server since I set foot off the boat in Borean Tundra.

2) I quest so I don't have to deal with other people. I prefer questing, this is one reason why. If I wanted to deal with other people while leveling, I would sit my !@# in a city, trolling trade while waiting for my dungeon queue to pop, just so I can deal with 4 other people, I do not know, where most of the time they are complaining that the tank or healer suck, that someone keeps pulling, or they're spamming recount in a level 25 dungeon.

3) Farming to level my profession. I like to level my profession while I level my character, it gives me more to do. Now I have to deal with every other person on every other RP server that is also farming. Again, WRA is a high pop server, I don't need to see Sisters of Elune, Moon Guard, Silver Hand etc, etc. I'm okay with seeing people just from my realm.
Highly Rated
Impossible to know if you are going to get into the version of TB that your side has won. This completely defeats the "reward" of winning TB.

"We understand that players are concerned about CRZ potentially impacting the sense of community."

Yeah. And.....? Is there a fix for that?
That's really not good enough. Time zones affect world events like holidays. For example, if someone is on a PDT server and they log in for the last day of DMF at 9 PM they may find Elywnn Forest to be EDT where it would be 12 AM and the faire would have closed the portal and moved on even though that person should have 3 more hours to go to the faire.

That's just 1 example, but it could cause issues with Brewfest coming up and any other holiday that ends up in a zone affected by CRZ.


you do realize that all time zones and events end on a unversal time of PST. For starters, most raid resets are always tied. For starters, when servers reset or events reset, they last longer. So in an EST. The event would end at 3am as it would be Midnight PST
Just popping in to say that there are still plenty of people (mostly those on PvP servers) that love CRZ and hope it's here to stay. The world has become active and lively again and I'm loving every second of it.
One issue I notice is when I log on, I usually dismount and fall on my flying mount.

Another issue is that when I use a Zepplin to Thunderbluff, the zep disappears into some other CRZ area, and I fall and die. You guys may want to change the Org to Thunderbluff Zep.

Other than that, I have huge support for CRZ. World pvp is alive and active again.
Highly Rated
I would prefer the realm the party is transported to be the realm the party leader is from. I understand why you changed it, but I'm unhappy with the change. Seems to take some of the fun out of it for those of us, for example, from RP realms that wanted to enjoy RP events on other servers without needing to roll there,

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