"less-than-optimal play experience" in World of Warcraft, Blizzard is to add Connected Realms to the MMORPG. These are designed to permanently link certain standard realms together.
That means players can mingle, join guilds, share the Auction House, and run raids and dungeons together. This measure is targeting "lower-population realms" to help bolster group numbers.
Blizzard will start linking up realms sometime after Patch 5.4 goes live. Recently Blizzard revealed World of Warcraft has fallen to pre-Burning Crusade subscriptions of 7.7m.
"Our goal with Connected Realms is to give players on lower-population realms more opportunities to group up, compete, and connect with other players to take on Azeroth's bigger challenges," Blizzard explained. "That sort of interaction is a big part of what makes World of Warcraft fun, and this feature will help us deliver that experience to even more players."
"As WoW has evolved, we’ve seen players naturally gravitate toward a subset of very active realms, leaving behind lower-populated realms. Due to the massively multiplayer nature of World of Warcraft, certain kinds of gameplay experiences simply aren’t well-suited to a low-pop realm," they continued in their FAQ.
"By allowing players from two or more lower-pop realms to play together, we hope to give more players more opportunities to participate in group-oriented activities, helping to foster a more vibrant in-game community."
"Connected Realms also allow us to link populations in a way that’s not disruptive to players, and that doesn’t negatively impact players’ sense of identity and character."
"Other alternatives such as merging realms would require us to force character name changes if there were conflicts, and could lead to confusion for returning players who’d log in to find their realm missing from the realm list. Some players also feel strong ties to their realm’s name or history, and we don’t want to erase that."
For more on Blizzard's Connected Realms feature check out the.
World of Warcraft launching Connected Realms after Patch 5.4
06 August 2013 | By Simon Priest