More World of Warcraft Realm Connections Coming Soon

More World of Warcraft Realm Connections Coming Soon

World of Warcraft 5.4 Siege of Orgrimmar trailer

Five more World of Warcraft realm connections will be made next week, and another half-dozen are slated to follow later.

Back in August, Blizzard revealed plans to "connect" game realms in order to compensate for population loss on less-popular servers, which can make it more difficult for players to "find guilds, conquer group content, and get what they're looking for from the Auction House and in-game economy." Linked realms behave as a single, seamless realm, allowing players from either to join the same guilds, run the same raids and dungeons, access a single Auction House and so forth.

More than 20 realms have already been connected and Blizzard has announced that two more batches of connections are on the way. Realms in the first batch will be taken offline for maintenance at 6 am PDT on October 28 and are expected to be back and connected at approximately 11 am PDT:

  • Blackwing Lair and Detheroc/Dethecus
  • Anub'arak and Chromaggus/Garithos
  • Drak'Tharon and Firetree/Rivendare
  • Blood Furnace and Mannaroth
  • Nesingwary and Vek'nilash

Dates and times for the second round of connections have not been announced, but will affect these realms:

  • Haomarush and Detheroc/Dethecus/Blackwing Lair
  • Stonemaul and Bloodscalp/Maiev/Boulderfist/Dunemaul
  • Tortheldrin and Frostmane
  • Winterhoof and Kilrogg
  • Gul'dan and Skullcrusher
  • Lightning's Blade and Burning Blade

Source: Battle.net

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A server merger by any other name would smell as foul.

Blizzard get no kudos from me for this. The grotesque population imbalances on some servers - that significantly detracted from the game experience of players on those servers - dragged on for years while they did nothing except rake in the earnings from paid server transfers. Server mergers would have solved that problem literally years ago, but they left those players to rot until they could do 'something' while avoiding having to use the dreaded M word.

Sixcess:
A server merger by any other name would smell as foul.

Blizzard get no kudos from me for this. The grotesque population imbalances on some servers - that significantly detracted from the game experience of players on those servers - dragged on for years while they did nothing except rake in the earnings from paid server transfers. Server mergers would have solved that problem literally years ago, but they left those players to rot until they could do 'something' while avoiding having to use the dreaded M word.

I normally hate to agree with trivial subjects like server mergers, but this post is exactly right.

Some Servers would literally be nothing but ghost towns and whats funny is that I rerolled a year ago, and as a new player I was reccomended one of these low pop servers. I didnt pay for a transfer (Mainly cause I was playing Solo) but soon quit simply because server conditions for a AAA MMO should never get to this level. Its Neglect above anything else, and something I would expect from Vanguard or Fallen Earth, but from WoW and the amount of money they make it just seemed sketchy.

Jiveturkey124:

Sixcess:
A server merger by any other name would smell as foul.

Blizzard get no kudos from me for this. The grotesque population imbalances on some servers - that significantly detracted from the game experience of players on those servers - dragged on for years while they did nothing except rake in the earnings from paid server transfers. Server mergers would have solved that problem literally years ago, but they left those players to rot until they could do 'something' while avoiding having to use the dreaded M word.

I normally hate to agree with trivial subjects like server mergers, but this post is exactly right.

Some Servers would literally be nothing but ghost towns and whats funny is that I rerolled a year ago, and as a new player I was reccomended one of these low pop servers. I didnt pay for a transfer (Mainly cause I was playing Solo) but soon quit simply because server conditions for a AAA MMO should never get to this level. Its Neglect above anything else, and something I would expect from Vanguard or Fallen Earth, but from WoW and the amount of money they make it just seemed sketchy.

Well I disagree, it took years for this technology to fall in place. The only two alternatives were 1. Close servers or 2. Do nothing. There is nothing more of hassle than to close servers, especially on a game like WoW where people leave the game for a couple months and then come back to play new expansions. Now they get the benefits of server mergers without actually closing down servers.

Baldr:

Well I disagree, it took years for this technology to fall in place.

The technology has existed for a long time. Remember Battlegroups? Creating a virtual instance of the working memory to allow for cross-server play? This is an upscaled version.

Sixcess:
A server merger by any other name would smell as foul.

Blizzard get no kudos from me for this. The grotesque population imbalances on some servers - that significantly detracted from the game experience of players on those servers - dragged on for years while they did nothing except rake in the earnings from paid server transfers. Server mergers would have solved that problem literally years ago, but they left those players to rot until they could do 'something' while avoiding having to use the dreaded M word.

You can't blame them at all. They're a company out to make money, and if they said anything about merging, their shareholders and everything would plummet in a large, crazy, explosive event. Them doing something about it late is better than never. And I say all of this after having lived on a dead server for a year.

Ympulse:

Baldr:

Well I disagree, it took years for this technology to fall in place.

The technology has existed for a long time. Remember Battlegroups? Creating a virtual instance of the working memory to allow for cross-server play? This is an upscaled version.

Well it a bit more complicated than battlegroups and even CRZ. The servers were isolated, even if you wanted so send an item to to another one of your alts, even account bound items, it had to be the same faction, same server. Your talking about merging the mail systems, auction houses and guild systems. All that had to be recoded.

Baldr:
Your talking about merging the mail systems, auction houses and guild systems. All that had to be recoded.

Recoded? It's a simple database refactoring. It might take a long while to process if the data set is big, but in essence all they need to do is copy the database entries from players in the source server into the target server's database.

It might even be as simple as changing the field stating which server a character is bound to, seeing as how there already was inter-server connectivity before.

But, more importantly, server merging has been implemented by pretty much every other MMO out there for years now, so there's no excuse. There are even MMOs, like Champions or Star Trek that do not have independent servers, but rather "channels" players can switch manually if their current channel is too crowded or too empty.

So yes, the technology existed before, and yes, this is a way to try to get server mergers due to lower populations unnoticed.

kortin:
You can't blame them at all. They're a company out to make money

This phrase is the bane of every market economy. They are out to make money, but they have an obligation to fulfill their commitments to the clients paying that money.
Excusing lousy service because it (obviously) results in higher profit is outright stating that profit itself justifies any kind of abuse towards your clients.

That attitude is revolting, and betrays either blind loyalty, or dangerous naivete regarding how bad such attitudes can bite everyone of us back in the end.

Oskuro:
This phrase is the bane of every market economy. They are out to make money, but they have an obligation to fulfill their commitments to the clients paying that money.
Excusing lousy service because it (obviously) results in higher profit is outright stating that profit itself justifies any kind of abuse towards your clients.

That attitude is revolting, and betrays either blind loyalty, or dangerous naivete regarding how bad such attitudes can bite everyone of us back in the end.

Thank you for taking one thing out of it and focusing on that. You really did a great job focusing on only one thing I said. Congratulations.

Wait a minute...people STILL play World of Warcraft!? Clearly they must mean by linking lower pop servers as "Linking the empty servers" right?
...Right?

kortin:
You can't blame them at all. They're a company out to make money, and if they said anything about merging, their shareholders and everything would plummet in a large, crazy, explosive event.

Shareholders have managed to take the news of WoW's playerbase dropping by millions from its all time peak without rendering the company worthless, so I imagine they could have weathered this. The only people that react poorly to merger announcements are players and the gaming press, for whom the word merger is synonymous with failure.

Blizzard could easily have spun the announcement of mergers as something good - a difficult decision made for the benefit of the players; a recognition that traditional multi-server MMO structure is becoming a thing of the past; a way to bring more of their players together to play together, etc etc etc. If Blizzard's PR department felt they were incapable of handling that they should have been kicked out on the street and replaced with people who could actually do the job.

They held off on doing this solely to avoid some snark from the blogosphere, which would in any case have been drowned out by the gratitude of those subscribers who they were actually doing something for.

Rainbow_Dashtruction:
Wait a minute...people STILL play World of Warcraft!? Clearly they must mean by linking lower pop servers as "Linking the empty servers" right?
...Right?

I think you're a decade early.

OT:
It's about time. I'm unfortunately on a high-pop server, so there will be little difference, but it's a nice addition for those that have to deal with ghost towns. I sure remember my prior server and how dead it was/is.

Coming soon: a land where vikings ride dragons.

DoctorM:
Coming soon: a land where vikings ride dragons.

That already happened in Wrath Of The Lich King.(And in TES if you want to drag non-blizzard games into it)

OT: I'm not surprised that this is happening. I wonder how they pick which servers to merge though since I don't like RP servers being merged with non-RP servers. The last thing those needs is more people that wants to just screw RPers over.

Oskuro:

Baldr:
Your talking about merging the mail systems, auction houses and guild systems. All that had to be recoded.

Recoded? It's a simple database refactoring. It might take a long while to process if the data set is big, but in essence all they need to do is copy the database entries from players in the source server into the target server's database.

It might even be as simple as changing the field stating which server a character is bound to, seeing as how there already was inter-server connectivity before.

But, more importantly, server merging has been implemented by pretty much every other MMO out there for years now, so there's no excuse. There are even MMOs, like Champions or Star Trek that do not have independent servers, but rather "channels" players can switch manually if their current channel is too crowded or too empty.

So yes, the technology existed before, and yes, this is a way to try to get server mergers due to lower populations unnoticed.

Merges are disruptive (e.g. name collisions) and they have pretty significant population fluctuations which complicates things, hence should be avoided if possible.

Their current tech of virtually merging realms elevates most of the above issues - the "merged" realms should have high capacity as a whole too, so population spikes should not cause queues.

PS: WoW is old, very old. Hence their server tech, at least on the software side, is probably very old too. Messing with what is working is probably a very bad idea instead building on top of it is a much sounder course of action.

Rainbow_Dashtruction:
Wait a minute...people STILL play World of Warcraft!? Clearly they must mean by linking lower pop servers as "Linking the empty servers" right?
...Right?

It is still the most popular MMORPG (though not the most popular MMO thanks to League of Legends). At last count they had around 7-8 Million players which, while not the peak of its popularity, is still far ahead any of its competitors. Like it or not, its still a heavily played game. On most well populated servers, its popularity is evident.

The only problem is that Blizzard expanded far too fast. There was a time when they released new servers every few months in anticipation of growing population. In Cataclysm, however, large droves of players left the game which depopulated the servers. Now that the peak in players has come and gone, they have found many of their new servers to be devoid of life save for a few poor souls still trying to eek out a raid amidst the rubble. Of course, no one who's playing a multiplayer game will intentionally join a low population server, so this becomes a self-perpetuating problem. New players gravitate towards high pop servers and the lower pop ones get left in the dust.

Is WoW dying? Well, its dying in the sense that someone past the age of 30 is technically dying. Yeah, its probably never going to see the numbers that it did back in Wrath of the Lich King, but it is still the largest and most profitable MMORPG on the market and will likely be around for quite some time.

Sooo... it's hollow suit corporate speak for "merging servers" without actually saying "merging servers".

 

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