Cross-realm zones (often called by the acronym "CRZ") are zones that, depending on population, will allow players to interact across realms.
The specific determination for when a zone will become cross-realm has yet to be revealed, but well known high population zones (quest hub cities and nearby zones) will not be cross-realm.
The following zones will have cross-realm sharing for the Beta test: Northern Barrens, Ashenvale, Azshara, Darkshore, Westfall, and Silithus.
Frequently asked questions:
- Q. Why cross-realm zones?
- For many years now, the significant majority of the player population online at any given time has consisted mostly of characters at or near the level cap. This has resulted in an environment where characters that are leveling up experience a world that has fewer other players to interact with than what the world was designed for. Cross-realm zones give us the capability to ensure that level-up zones retain a population size that feels more like the high level areas of the game, leading to a more fun play experience for characters of all levels.
- Q. How do cross-realm zones work?
- When you’re in a zone that is set as a ‘cross-realm zone’ you’ll notice that in addition to the players you’d ordinarily see from your realm, you’ll also see (and be able to play with) players from other realms. This will happen seamlessly, and players will be able to group and quest as they normally would with players from their own realm.
- Q. How will this work on boats or zeppelins?
- Usually transitions will occur on area boundaries (think moving from Darkshore to Ashenvale).
- Q. Can I form groups with the people I meet in the zone?
- Yes! You can group and talk to others within the cross-server zone normally though much as it is within raids, dungeons, or battlegrounds.
- Q. Will my cross-realm group be disbanded if we move on to an adjacent zone together, like from Goldshire to Westfall or from Thousand Needles to Feralas?
- Much like how cross-realm groups currently work, your party won’t be disbanded when you move through different zones, though if you’re not in the same home realm, you won’t be able to see each other if you’re in separate zone instances.
- Q. Will I be able to group with my friends?
- Yes, you will be able to group with your Real ID friends, provided they are within the same faction. The functionality works the same as it does for cross-realm dungeons, raids, or Battlegrounds.
- Q. What level range do my friends and I have to be within in order to group?
- There is no restriction on level ranges. You’ll be able to group with anyone you would normally be able to.
- Q. Can I go into main capital cities while grouped with others?
- Capital cities and areas with regularly high populations will not be set as cross-server areas/zones so you will not be able to enter into the same instance of a city as someone who is from a different realm.
- Q. Will I be able to trade with others I meet?
- are in place much the same as they are in cross-realm dungeons, raids, and battlegrounds.
- Q. How is group loot handled?
- Group looting will function the same as it would with any group you would create through normal play.
- Q. Who will I be playing with?
- You’ll be able to interact with players from within a select pool of realms which will make it possible to run into a player in Redridge that you already ran into within Westfall.
- Q. What areas will be shared?
- This can vary from realm to realm and relies on how densely populated (or underpopulated) an area is. Capital cities and areas with regularly high populations will not be eligible for area sharing.
- Q. What about resources or gathering nodes, will those be shared too?
- Resources and nodes will be available to all parties within the shared area the same as always. We will be keeping a close eye on the impact of area sharing and should an area become too populated, we are capable of adjusting how many realms are able to connect to a shared area.
- Q. Does this mean that Auction Houses will be merged?
- No, when any player access an Auction House, they will be only able to access their home realm’s Auction House.
- Q. What about zones that are already overpopulated, like new race starting zones?
- With this technology, we can also flag zones to allow for more than one copy of that zone per realm. Players on that realm will be split among those copies in order to alleviate problems due to overpopulation. Players won’t normally see or interact with those on a different instance of their zone, although joining a party will relocate all party members to a single instance of that zone.
- Q. How will this work for PvP vs. PvE realms? Will these realm types be shared?
- No. Realm types will be matched with like realm types. So if you’re on a PvE realm, you’ll only be matched with other PvE realms. The same rules will apply for matching RP realm types and will be restricted to matching RP-PvP with RP-PvP and RP-PvE with RP-PvE. We plan to keep an eye on constructive feedback while testing this new technology.
- Q. How will RID groups work? Which realm type would we play on?
- If you group up with somebody from a different rule type (via RealID for example) and go into a cross-realm zone you’ll be on the ruleset for that player’s realm type. So, if you’re on a PvP realm and a friend joins your group from a PvE realm and enters a cross-realm zone, the group will be in one of the PvP realm clusters and will use the PvP realm ruleset.
Group realm placement
Players within a party but on different realms will be placed on the realm of the highest-level character. If levels are even (i.e. five level 90s) players will be placed on the group leaders realm.
Tested examples include:
- A party with a level 85 (from one realm), and four level 74's (all from the same realm) will be placed on the realm of the level 85, whereas a party with a level 85, and four level 75-84 will be placed on the realm of the majority (i.e. the realm of the 4 majority). On the other hand a group of 4 players consisting of the following combination: one level 85, and three level 75-84, will be placed on the realm of the level 85. It then would appear that in order to offset the higher level being the transferring factor, the group must be offset in a 4 to 1 ratio. Further testing should be observed in order concrete these known "facts".
- Cross-realm zones may increase competition for spawns designed for infrequent numbers of players attempting at the same time.
- Players may experience quest problems similar to cross-realm group/party problems.
- A character from a different realm seen in a zone will show their realm name following their character name.
- Real ID and BattleTag friends can group in cross-realm zones, but the server they all appear on may be random.
- For those who found the answer about trading between characters from different realms uninformative: Trading restrictions are in place much the same as they are in cross-realm dungeons, raids, and battlegrounds.
- The answer, more clearly, is No. You can't trade between characters from different realms.
- Bind to Account gear can be mailed cross-realm as of patch 5.4.2.
- ^ a b Blizzard Entertainment 2012-05-10. Cross-Realm Zones Coming to Beta. Official World of Warcraft Community site (US).
Blizzard Entertainment 2012-05-10. Cross-Realm Zones Coming to Beta. Official World of Warcraft Community site (EU).
- ^ a b c d e f Nethaera 2012-05-10. Cross-Realm Zones Introduced. Official Mists of Pandaria Beta > Beta Feedback forum (US). During the initial phase of testing we will be sharing the following zones between the available beta realms: Northern Barrens, Ashenvale, Azshara, Darkshore, Westfall, and Silithus. We are also able to split over-populated zones and will be testing this new technology on the Pandaren starting area (turtle zone).
For beta testing purposes, we will be matching up all realm types whether they are PvP or PvE. This is different than what we plan to do for the live realms, however. For the live realms we will be matching realm types: PvP with PvP, PvE with PvE, RP-PvP with RP-PvP, and RP-PvE with RP-PvE. As always, we plan to keep an eye on constructive feedback while in testing of this new technology.
Edited by Nethaera on 5/10/12 3:59 PM (PDT)
- ^ Rygarius 2012-09-22. #1 - Cross-Realm Zones. Official Community > General Discussion forum (US). ...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.
- ^ Vrakthris 2011-05-05. #5 - BOA gear cross servers. Official Support > Customer Support forum (US). The patch notes for 4.1, that introduced Bind on Battle.net account, were misinterpreted to mean it included Cross-Realm as well. Unfortunately, while our Developers want to include that feature, it is not yet possible. They have done Cross-Faction and Cross-Wow account on same Battle.net so far, so we're getting closer. :D
- Battleground, Patch 4.3 cross-realm battlegrounds section
- Coalesced Realm
- Cross-realm grouping
- Event, Patch 5.1 realm event time change
- September 12, 2012 Hotfixes
- Real ID