Kaboozey

Virtual Realms

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New Feature: Virtual Realms

  • Virtual Realms are sets of realms that are fused together, and will behave exactly as if they were one cohesive realm. Players on the same Virtual Realm will be able to join guilds, access a single Auction House, join arena teams and raids, as well run dungeons or group up to complete quests.
  • Players belonging to the same Virtual Realm will have a (#) symbol next to their name.

So one week Blizzard is offering 50% off on all realm x-fers among other services, and the next they announce this? I didn't transfer any of my characters, so this didn't personally effect me, but this seems awfully shady and money hungry.

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With realm transfers, you can transfer to the realm of your choice. I don't suppose players will have a say regarding which realms are fused together with the Virtual Realm feature.

Now, having to pay so much for transferring a character is another story :P

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That's true Damien, but how many people took advantage of last weeks sale simply to get off their dead server? Furthermore, how many transferred multiple characters off their dead servers? They obviously knew they were doing the "Virtual Realms" in the patch. The order of these things should have been reversed instead of looking like a shady last second money grab before offering a solution to players on those low pop servers.

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It's does smell a bit dodgy doesn't it. However with no way of knowing who will be put with who then a server shift may not be the end of the world right now.

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Question: how much communication do you think the WoW marketing/sales people (who will have set up the 50% off deal) have with the devs (who were the people working on the virtual realms)? I doubt that it was particularly planned, somehow. Unfortunate, definitely.

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So one week Blizzard is offering 50% off on all realm x-fers among other services, and the next they announce this? I didn't transfer any of my characters, so this didn't personally effect me, but this seems awfully shady and money hungry.

OK you ALL are over thinking this.

I manage Virtual Environments, so I am SURE Blizzard will conform to the same methods.

How it will work, you login to Wow normally, your battle tag real id friends will be "virtually" within their own realm. So it's a realm within a realm.

It's not CROSS realm, that's different. Cross realm means that other servers (physical) can participate in content.. the moment you add a "cross" realm member to a group the server has to decide if that content can be shared which is why RAIDS and World Bosses (like oondasta) do not work, because the servers aren't designed for communication at the OS level let me give an example.

I am on Arthas. I have toons on Bloodhoof. Now if someone from bloodhoof is in Kun-lai and my toon is in the same zone, we obviously are NOT on the same realm (I have seen wow posts that say characters are instantly transported to another realm, but thats's wholly innacurate). It's 2 realms sharing content, that's ALL. sometimes flying on dual mounts disconnects between zones, because the "cross" zone is done networked over a WAN, and as we all know there is lag and other factors that causing network hiccups, thus disconnecting people from zones.. So Blizzard had to make Oondasta single realm only...

On a SINGLE realm, this does not happen because there is no network in between characters for communication...

So a Virtual Realm becomes a semi-permanent (think private) realm where you and your battle tag buddies can participate, and you will know someone is on a virtual realm because they have '#' in front of their name.

That all sounds well and good, and VMware has technology that can do this ALL over the world so I *KNOW* it works. If Blizzard is smart.. they will simply create virtual instances of WoW servers (realms) that you can't join specifically (at login) but they are created by virtue of WHO is participating...

It sounds complicated, but it's really a fancy way of merging data at the time of creation. The game of WoW sits on hardware, if that hardware is virtual.. it can be replicated anywhere in the world, so 2 identical REALMS can be in 2 places at once. You can't do that with physical hardware...

In VM ware world this is called fault tolerance, same IP, same EXACT data, same EXACT processes in 2 different servers, Since Blizzard is new to this technology they don't need to rebuild wow for this work, it's supported at the "virtual" layer (not OS or Application), and WoW isn't really any different from other applications...

So as long as you and battle tag friends, lets call them XYZ and ABC are in that "virtual" # group you have your own "private" realm.. within your own realm it just allows access to data that is replicated (not simply shared) across the network.

What I believe will happen is Bloodhoof and Arthas are very different servers. You virtual realm, you visit an Auction house, you see Sabatons for 1000G. You will ALSO see those same Sabatons for 800G on your OWN realm... you see 2 copies.

People that are not a part of a "virtual" realm will not see more copies of AH items then what is available on your own server...

ALL of this is going on over the WAN because the servers are constantly replicating data.

There will be an number of restrictions (these are JUST my theories)

1) The "virtual" realms will be limited to only 25 people per realm. Due to network restrictions and game performance I think they need to keep this number small. XYZ, ABC and you are part of that realm and you can invite only 22 more people to participate. I say 25 because that's the limit for ToT RAIDS.

2) Items placed in AH will NOT appear immediately, I surmise somewhere around 10 to 15 minutes delay due to said network restrictions and throttling of bandwidth

3) We can LFR cross realm.. but that is per instance, if you notice if you leave that instance you are "transported" back to your realm...

4) Many people will be asking for "who is on realm Executus so I can join a Virtual realm to get AH because golden lotus is cheaper...". Stuff like that.. you know people will do it..

5) Server restarts.. data and "virtual" realms will be restarted AFTER physical realms come up, which means this will cause more delays.. in the event of major maintenance, so I imagine this could lead to less physical server restarts and merely restarting virtual ones.. less down time... So virtual realm people may see lots of issues on PTR regarding this.

World bosses are going to be interesting (and exploited in the beginning).. what happens if Sha of Anger is killed on Bloodhoof but is up on Arthas? So "virtual" players can "kill" sha.. but which server takes precendence? That's also going to be interesting.

What if Oondasta is up but currently being engaged... Virtual players can kill it if that virtual instance is up? What if you kill it Virtually, then leave that group and revert back to your realm and kill it again... do you get credit if the network hasn't "caught" up with data replication?

If virtual realms are private (and given just some examples, I am thinking this more likely) they will be separate zones ONLY accessible by virtual realms . .. . Maybe even world bosses.. to make the experience more personal...

To me this does NOT mean CRZ goes away, like I said a realm within a realm you see physical server content, AND cross realm people together along with Virtual realm content..

This patch is going to be very intensive, and I am SURE will be delayed (live) and many changes over the course

It sounds flaky but there are ALL bugs Blizzard has to work out. PTR is going to be REALLY dynamic, it will be interesting to see how Blizzard handles all of this.

BG's are going to take the biggest "performance" hit.. I am guessing lag will be higher in BG instances, because you could conceivably have many "virtual" realms within an instance. All those Virtual realms will need to be in sync with other BG virtual realms.. I bet we will NOT see BG on PTR 5.4 from the start, because that will take more planning to sort out.

Personally I would like the ability to login to a virtual instance from the start, and not have to login to my server at all.. but that's why Blizzard is testing this on PTR.

ALL of these features and more are coming, CRZ, Guild, AH, BG, RAID (and I love that flexible raid, awesome) will be merged into a "virtual" realm.

I am thinking servers will NOT be merged at all, ever.. we will simply have LOTS of Virtual realm groups... which is going to make this a NEW WoW game all over again...

I could be wrong on my idea of how virtual realm groups work, but I don't see Blizzard reinventing the wheel for a game, they will use technology that is already available, WoW will simply go to the next phase of technology which is "cloud" and "virtual".

Before you say that WoW will suffer a performance hit, think again. MUCH larger applications are in use on Virtual Machines RIGHT now, Oracle, SQL, Financial, inventory.. ALL much larger than WoW and they work just fine. Blizzard is adapting to a changing world, that's all.

Of course these are MY ideas, so I could be wrong :)

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That's true Damien, but how many people took advantage of last weeks sale simply to get off their dead server? Furthermore, how many transferred multiple characters off their dead servers? They obviously knew they were doing the "Virtual Realms" in the patch. The order of these things should have been reversed instead of looking like a shady last second money grab before offering a solution to players on those low pop servers.

A) Virtual realms have yet to be tested, it could be 6 months it could be year before its ACTUALLY implemented

B) Sever transfers are not profit. If they were the price would keep going up. In 2004 guess how much a realm transfer was? Yeah the SAME 25 bucks. Blizzard cannot guess how many people will actually "transfer" to other realms.. so it's a FEE schedule more than a profit making scheme.

It would be like selling an item on AH for 1000G when mats are only 100. You may HOPE people buy it, but what if they don't? It's "bonus" income, but it's NOT required to play..

I moved my own toon myself, and since it's 50% off, I changed faction as well.. I think Blizzard KNOWS there is a problem with realm populations, because once again they cannot guess WHO and WHEN people will actually play. They are trying to fix it, hence the addition of cross realm, which next phase is virtual realm, and who knows maybe "single" realm one day.. it's possible, who can say right now? Yeah no one knows the future.

The point is.they are moving in the direction, patience is key... it has to be tested, but it's coming, it doesn't stop your play and since it's cheaper to move NOW there is your opportunity...

It's 50% off, or was.. it also gives them an idea of where people are shifting to focus attention on where to dedicate the virtual realms as well... I believe one leads to another.

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Question: how much communication do you think the WoW marketing/sales people (who will have set up the 50% off deal) have with the devs (who were the people working on the virtual realms)? I doubt that it was particularly planned, somehow. Unfortunate, definitely.

I doubt it as well, no company communicates that effectively it was probably done to encourage movement in hopes that people will revive their subs again..

I doubt VERY seriously dev team gives ANY information ESPECIALLY to SALES. Ask any tech you NEVER gives sales info.. unless it's made final, they will sell the moon if they could... but can't deliver it.

I don't believe it is unfortunate, I think it's perfect timing, it has given me access to a LOT more talent than before, I have killed Oondasta 2 times already, I NEVER was able to do it before I moved... I even had 1 522 item drop, so that was worth the move all by itself!

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OK you ALL are over thinking this.

Posted Image I like how you start out by saying this, then blowing my mind by making me think harder than I originally was.

Interesting theory/s though. Seems overly complicated for scenarios I didn't really think needed a change. The concept of private realms seems like it would further reduce the mmo feel, to just virtual "LAN" parties with your buddies. But I guess that's all that raiding and organized pvp is anyway.

From the very limited info provided in the patch notes I read it came across as a virtual "merger" of dead realms and I think that's how most people are reading it. More detailed info is needed I think unless its provided somewhere else already.

If it is simply merging dead servers then the xfer sale definitely smells fishy. How often does a half off xfer sale come around? Coincidences rarely are, when it comes to businesses.

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RJParker... is someone seriously supposed to read that great wall of conjecture about how it all *could* work? The way it's currently presented, it does sound as if it will be a realm within a realm (Realm-ception!), and being right after a sale is crap. They're seperate departments? Sure. Maybe. And what do big businesses like Blizzard LOVE? Meetings! "None of us are as dumb as all of us." I refuse to believe in the possibility that people in both departments weren't aware that this would all occur.

Ever been to a resturant? Ever been served up the special? Ever wonder why that special was so cheap? Cause they needed to use that food up before it went bad.

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Jesus with the conspiracy theorists here! By the time this happens it's not going to be "right after a sale". You guys are making it seem like this will be live tomorrow. You are nuts. Unless it happens in June it won't be considered close enough to have any other meaning then it being time for a sale. And as someone else said if it's designed to merge realms, there is no reason why WoW can't offer a sale to get some final server movement before coming to final decisions on what is dead and what isn't. Man I wish voters worked with this much speculation!!!

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RJParker... is someone seriously supposed to read that great wall of conjecture about how it all *could* work? The way it's currently presented, it does sound as if it will be a realm within a realm (Realm-ception!), and being right after a sale is crap. They're seperate departments? Sure. Maybe. And what do big businesses like Blizzard LOVE? Meetings! "None of us are as dumb as all of us." I refuse to believe in the possibility that people in both departments weren't aware that this would all occur.

Ever been to a resturant? Ever been served up the special? Ever wonder why that special was so cheap? Cause they needed to use that food up before it went bad.

Ever been to a restaurant, that had a new option on the menu, that was on sale. Ever wonder why it was cheap? Because they wanted you to try it to see if you like it and it shoudl be a fixture on the menu....MIND AND THEORY----BLOWN!

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From MMOC:

  • Patch 5.4 adds Virtual Realms, which will essentially merge lower population realms. This will allow you to keep playing on your current realm, but do arenas, raids, and dungeons with people in your realm group, as well as use a merged Auction House and trade with other players in your realm group.

In other words, this will be like a realm merger rather than a private realm. I think that the "virtual" label is more a name to make people understand it than a technical term.

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Ever been to a restaurant, that had a new option on the menu, that was on sale. Ever wonder why it was cheap? Because they wanted you to try it to see if you like it and it shoudl be a fixture on the menu....MIND AND THEORY----BLOWN!

Apples to oranges my friend. In the gaming world, that would be called a "free demo" or a "limited trial account". Pretty simple analogy really. In one case they're attempting to get you hooked on something new, and in the other they're trying to wring out every last penny they can before no one wants it any more.

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Ever been to a restaurant, that had a new option on the menu, that was on sale. Ever wonder why it was cheap? Because they wanted you to try it to see if you like it and it shoudl be a fixture on the menu....MIND AND THEORY----BLOWN!

Yes, this is also true. I believe that Blizzard wants to introduce this idea to the players, it's going to be implemented whether or not they like it. It will benefit Blizzard also, having to keep virtual realms linked (if it works that way) to merge those realms. That's why they have PTR, so we can test it. I am actually looking forward to it, I don't participate in PTR because I don't spend time playing beta and I cannot keep the items, but this PTR I will definitely be testing.

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Posted Image I like how you start out by saying this, then blowing my mind by making me think harder than I originally was.

Interesting theory/s though. Seems overly complicated for scenarios I didn't really think needed a change. The concept of private realms seems like it would further reduce the mmo feel, to just virtual "LAN" parties with your buddies. But I guess that's all that raiding and organized pvp is anyway.

From the very limited info provided in the patch notes I read it came across as a virtual "merger" of dead realms and I think that's how most people are reading it. More detailed info is needed I think unless its provided somewhere else already.

If it is simply merging dead servers then the xfer sale definitely smells fishy. How often does a half off xfer sale come around? Coincidences rarely are, when it comes to businesses.

Business yes, if this were AT&T trying to suck you in to some new plan or Comcast trying to get you buy into the next 2 years.. Yes that would be true. It is a game. It's entertainment, it has no lasting effect, it is a business for $$$, but it can change and usually does at any time.

The merger of "dead" realms is all relative, you only need 10 or 25 people for a RAID, even on the Deadest? of servers.. we are talking THOUSANDS concurrently playing.. you can FIND 10 or 25 to participate.. they may not be GEARED but that could simply be picky.

That being said, if they only merge those lower dead realms that will make a LOT of people really upset myself included because they are potentially eliminating the bulk of the players just to appease those on lower pop realms.. that seems more unfair than to make us believe they are dangling a carrot.

They should be able to merge realms on ANY scale that was the basic premise of my misleading tirade... I realize that I added my own editorial after I made you believe it was a "simple" concept, my bad.

I just wanted to basically state that there are ways to do it, without making it seem like they are starting over with new programming techniques. I don't believe the game itself will change, it will just be something they are using (like a partnership) and implementing with WoW.

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Apples to oranges my friend. In the gaming world, that would be called a "free demo" or a "limited trial account". Pretty simple analogy really. In one case they're attempting to get you hooked on something new, and in the other they're trying to wring out every last penny they can before no one wants it any more.

What was apples to oranges was comparing the computer game industry to a restauraunt. That was apples to oranges, lmao...my analogy held true with yours but in reality neither one of them had much to do with the computer gaming industry which is why your comment was a little far fetched to begin with. There are no consumables at stake here. Nothing that will spoil...or no longer be fresh. My point is the sale (which seems to happen consistently this time of year I imagine it's to get the kids going on summer break to find a home in front of the computer) has nothing to do with virtual realms whatsoever. That's just plain assuming and there is no real good proof to support the assumption.

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The merger of "dead" realms is all relative, you only need 10 or 25 people for a RAID, even on the Deadest? of servers.. we are talking THOUSANDS concurrently playing.. you can FIND 10 or 25 to participate.. they may not be GEARED but that could simply be picky.

But since players are all interested in different things (and indeed play at different times), having 10-25 people on the realm doesn't guarantee you anything - not a raid, not a group, not even all of them at the level cap! But even on the deadest of servers there are thousands, correct, but that doesn't mean that they all play with each other or even WANT to play with each other. How many guilds (for e.g.) have rivalries? Now how many player rivalries are there? This is one of the reasons that "dead" realms feel dead - there aren't enough people considering all the social barriers.

And believe me, on Ghostlands (a low-med and BY FAR not dead) you really can't find 25 people for a Normal raid. It's just not happening.

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What was apples to oranges was comparing the computer game industry to a restauraunt. That was apples to oranges, lmao...my analogy held true with yours but in reality neither one of them had much to do with the computer gaming industry which is why your comment was a little far fetched to begin with. There are no consumables at stake here. Nothing that will spoil...or no longer be fresh. My point is the sale (which seems to happen consistently this time of year I imagine it's to get the kids going on summer break to find a home in front of the computer) has nothing to do with virtual realms whatsoever. That's just plain assuming and there is no real good proof to support the assumption.

If you invalidate the reason people were using transfers by making it no longer necessary, it is indeed "stale". I was making an analogy, and relation was pretty clear for anyone not making an argument just for the case of "I love to argue". Arguing an analogy is asinine. Anyone can say "Weellllll, it's not EXACTLY like that". No shit Sherlock. That's why it's a fucking analogy. The fact that you then go from making an assumption ("Seem like these sales go on this time of year" - proof?) to telling others not to assume without proof is laughable.

Stoove: You might find this interesting - http://www.wowprogress.com/realms/rank/us

It's not exact since it only entails people that have killed something of at least Tier 14, but it's probably accurate to a degree.

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I'd like to see all realms put into groups of 3-5, including all the highest population realms. I'm playing on Stormrage right now, and I wouldn't ever think of leaving because its #3 in the US for raid progression, but lately the Queue times are getting ridiculous. Even if free transfers are offered though nobody wants to leave.

If Stormrage was merged with 2-3 lower population server, that would give people the ability to transfer to a lower population server where they won't have queue times, but still raid with the guilds from the higher population server. I bet at least 1000 people would pay for a transfer off the server if they had that option.

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But since players are all interested in different things (and indeed play at different times), having 10-25 people on the realm doesn't guarantee you anything - not a raid, not a group, not even all of them at the level cap! But even on the deadest of servers there are thousands, correct, but that doesn't mean that they all play with each other or even WANT to play with each other. How many guilds (for e.g.) have rivalries? Now how many player rivalries are there? This is one of the reasons that "dead" realms feel dead - there aren't enough people considering all the social barriers.

And believe me, on Ghostlands (a low-med and BY FAR not dead) you really can't find 25 people for a Normal raid. It's just not happening.

You are forgetting ONE very important fact.. Virtual realms lets you invite Battle tag.. read friends.. so your friends won't let you down, right?

Think about it, real world friends on different servers you can now RAID, RBG, share an AH even.. so in a way it is guaranteed because you are no longer limited to people just on your realm.. that's what virtual realms will offer....

You can invite anyone you want...

And believe me, on Ghostlands (a low-med and BY FAR not dead) you really can't find 25 people for a Normal raid. It's just not happening.

Yes you can you just are being over dramatic and picky.. you CAN find 25 people to RAID, don't eliminate by range only, need 4 more heals or 2 tanks.. someone can off tank, and before you say none of this possible, bull pucky.. I see youtube videos all over the place, 10 DK (yes JUST DK) did a 10 man heroic, no heals, no "tanks" and no range..

the same DK did a 5 man heroic with only 2 DK (maybe it was 3). The point is, there are rules and there are "try and see".

You will never know what you are missing unless you try, you want to be picky and only invite certain toons, and types, with this gear and that gear.. it's all relative. I have seen epic groups fail, and I have been in one of the worst hodge podge, unorganized people you have ever seen pull off a RAID, so don't think for one minute that you cannot find 25 people even on the deadest of servers..

You are being too selective, 100% guaranteed. There are plenty of people out there, and I know because I whisper people ALL the time and they reject me, because I don't know fight XYZ, or I am the 4th Shaman, they have "too many" or because my gear is too low, WTF iLVL 513.. it's good enough for ToT normal, but they insist I *NEED* to be 515.. yeah whatever.. how the hell am I supposed to learn a fight if I can't participate, what am I supposed to learn from osmosis?!?!? One or two fights, and I got it..

Forget that attitude, poll people and let them try it! If they can queue for the RAID, then let them in.. even if it doesn't match your idea of what a RAID should be.. low pop is a complete and utter BS cop out and nonsense.. no such thing. It's a game, what do you have to lose? time.. wow.. yeah you play for what money? I don't think so it's fun, let people have fun... even if you wipe, so what?!?!? you can still learn something.

Maybe it's you also.. YOU can't get a RAID because you have a rep.. did you ever think about that? The RAID leader is probably the same guy that does it day in and day out on a low pop realm so everyone recognizes, oh he is the guy that doesn't like shaman, or hunters, or wants 515, so they simply ignore the spam... I don't blame them, I get tired of getting rejected myself..

Besides this is all moot anyway, since 5.4 will also introduce flexible raids.. you can have ANY number between 10 and 25, so that should make things better.

Edited by rjparker1

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OK you ALL are over thinking this.

I manage Virtual Environments, so I am SURE Blizzard will conform to the same methods.

How it will work, you login to Wow normally, your battle tag real id friends will be "virtually" within their own realm. So it's a realm within a realm.

It's not CROSS realm, that's different. Cross realm means that other servers (physical) can participate in content.. the moment you add a "cross" realm member to a group the server has to decide if that content can be shared which is why RAIDS and World Bosses (like oondasta) do not work, because the servers aren't designed for communication at the OS level let me give an example.

I am on Arthas. I have toons on Bloodhoof. Now if someone from bloodhoof is in Kun-lai and my toon is in the same zone, we obviously are NOT on the same realm (I have seen wow posts that say characters are instantly transported to another realm, but thats's wholly innacurate). It's 2 realms sharing content, that's ALL. sometimes flying on dual mounts disconnects between zones, because the "cross" zone is done networked over a WAN, and as we all know there is lag and other factors that causing network hiccups, thus disconnecting people from zones.. So Blizzard had to make Oondasta single realm only...

On a SINGLE realm, this does not happen because there is no network in between characters for communication...

So a Virtual Realm becomes a semi-permanent (think private) realm where you and your battle tag buddies can participate, and you will know someone is on a virtual realm because they have '#' in front of their name.

That all sounds well and good, and VMware has technology that can do this ALL over the world so I *KNOW* it works. If Blizzard is smart.. they will simply create virtual instances of WoW servers (realms) that you can't join specifically (at login) but they are created by virtue of WHO is participating...

It sounds complicated, but it's really a fancy way of merging data at the time of creation. The game of WoW sits on hardware, if that hardware is virtual.. it can be replicated anywhere in the world, so 2 identical REALMS can be in 2 places at once. You can't do that with physical hardware...

In VM ware world this is called fault tolerance, same IP, same EXACT data, same EXACT processes in 2 different servers, Since Blizzard is new to this technology they don't need to rebuild wow for this work, it's supported at the "virtual" layer (not OS or Application), and WoW isn't really any different from other applications...

So as long as you and battle tag friends, lets call them XYZ and ABC are in that "virtual" # group you have your own "private" realm.. within your own realm it just allows access to data that is replicated (not simply shared) across the network.

What I believe will happen is Bloodhoof and Arthas are very different servers. You virtual realm, you visit an Auction house, you see Sabatons for 1000G. You will ALSO see those same Sabatons for 800G on your OWN realm... you see 2 copies.

People that are not a part of a "virtual" realm will not see more copies of AH items then what is available on your own server...

ALL of this is going on over the WAN because the servers are constantly replicating data.

There will be an number of restrictions (these are JUST my theories)

1) The "virtual" realms will be limited to only 25 people per realm. Due to network restrictions and game performance I think they need to keep this number small. XYZ, ABC and you are part of that realm and you can invite only 22 more people to participate. I say 25 because that's the limit for ToT RAIDS.

2) Items placed in AH will NOT appear immediately, I surmise somewhere around 10 to 15 minutes delay due to said network restrictions and throttling of bandwidth

3) We can LFR cross realm.. but that is per instance, if you notice if you leave that instance you are "transported" back to your realm...

4) Many people will be asking for "who is on realm Executus so I can join a Virtual realm to get AH because golden lotus is cheaper...". Stuff like that.. you know people will do it..

5) Server restarts.. data and "virtual" realms will be restarted AFTER physical realms come up, which means this will cause more delays.. in the event of major maintenance, so I imagine this could lead to less physical server restarts and merely restarting virtual ones.. less down time... So virtual realm people may see lots of issues on PTR regarding this.

World bosses are going to be interesting (and exploited in the beginning).. what happens if Sha of Anger is killed on Bloodhoof but is up on Arthas? So "virtual" players can "kill" sha.. but which server takes precendence? That's also going to be interesting.

What if Oondasta is up but currently being engaged... Virtual players can kill it if that virtual instance is up? What if you kill it Virtually, then leave that group and revert back to your realm and kill it again... do you get credit if the network hasn't "caught" up with data replication?

If virtual realms are private (and given just some examples, I am thinking this more likely) they will be separate zones ONLY accessible by virtual realms . .. . Maybe even world bosses.. to make the experience more personal...

To me this does NOT mean CRZ goes away, like I said a realm within a realm you see physical server content, AND cross realm people together along with Virtual realm content..

This patch is going to be very intensive, and I am SURE will be delayed (live) and many changes over the course

It sounds flaky but there are ALL bugs Blizzard has to work out. PTR is going to be REALLY dynamic, it will be interesting to see how Blizzard handles all of this.

BG's are going to take the biggest "performance" hit.. I am guessing lag will be higher in BG instances, because you could conceivably have many "virtual" realms within an instance. All those Virtual realms will need to be in sync with other BG virtual realms.. I bet we will NOT see BG on PTR 5.4 from the start, because that will take more planning to sort out.

Personally I would like the ability to login to a virtual instance from the start, and not have to login to my server at all.. but that's why Blizzard is testing this on PTR.

ALL of these features and more are coming, CRZ, Guild, AH, BG, RAID (and I love that flexible raid, awesome) will be merged into a "virtual" realm.

I am thinking servers will NOT be merged at all, ever.. we will simply have LOTS of Virtual realm groups... which is going to make this a NEW WoW game all over again...

I could be wrong on my idea of how virtual realm groups work, but I don't see Blizzard reinventing the wheel for a game, they will use technology that is already available, WoW will simply go to the next phase of technology which is "cloud" and "virtual".

Before you say that WoW will suffer a performance hit, think again. MUCH larger applications are in use on Virtual Machines RIGHT now, Oracle, SQL, Financial, inventory.. ALL much larger than WoW and they work just fine. Blizzard is adapting to a changing world, that's all.

Of course these are MY ideas, so I could be wrong :)

You are the one over-thinking it, I would say. It doesn't look like you've read the exact words Blizzard used to present this new feature.

It's pretty clear that it's not meant to be semi-permanent or temporary. If you were to be right, then what would be the point of being able to create guilds and arena teams only to see them deleted when the "semi-permanent" virtual realm disappears?

Also they are talking of a set of realms fused together and behaving like a cohesive one, not groups of people creating their own private realm for a while.

See an interesting reply from a blue poster regarding the WoW API and the virtual realms: http://blue.mmo-champion.com/topic/262751-virtual-realms-what-is-it/

Nethaera also said that they are going to release a blog post soon to explain more about Virtual Realms: http://blue.mmo-champion.com/topic/262502-what-are-virtual-realms/

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