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Cross-Realm Zones Update

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Blizzard Official WoW Blog

As promised, we wanted to give you all an update on what we’ve been working on with regards to the cross-realm zone feature. Just to recap, cross-realm zones are meant to improve the leveling experience by increasing the amount of people in the same zone together, while also allowing you to quest with your Real ID or BattleTag friends. It’s a complex feature, and there are still some technical issues that we’re continuing to work to address. We’re committed to further refining the system so that it provides the best possible gameplay experience.

This is an update on the technical issues we’ve been working on and some of the progress we’ve made.

Time Zone Jumps

Right now we have a three-hour time zone differential limit on which realms can be mixed together. This is intended to reduce day/night jumps from occurring when crossing CRZ zones, as well as time zone jumps that may cause world events to end earlier than intended. We agree that the day/night jump can be jarring, and planning for last minute turn-ins for events can be difficult and frustrating.

We’re still discussing how to best approach this situation. One of the ideas being floated around is potentially changing how regional time zones work on a very fundamental level. It’s a change we’ve been discussing for quite a while, and perhaps the CRZ system provides the catalyst to go ahead and make it. We’ll keep you updated as we consider the best solution.

CRZ Transition Lag and Performance

There are still some tech-related quirks that are being hashed out, including framerate hitching when crossing into a CRZ zone, reports of performance issues, and resource nodes/NPCs/players disappearing. We’re still investigating each specific cause and working to smooth these types of issues out.

We also continue to see some reports that people are being dismounted when crossing borders. Single-player mounts should not being doing this, so please post any details in the Bug Report forum if it continues happening. There are technical limitations preventing multi-passenger mounts from holding separate characters when crossing a zone boundary. Unfortunately, this isn’t something that we can quickly or easily fix.

Despite a few lingering technical issues, we’re happy with how CRZ is populating the leveling areas with other players, and helping to once again foster MMO social experiences in the 1-85 content. The process for tuning CRZ is of course one that’s ongoing, and we’re committed to continuing to work on it and iron out any remaining issues as quickly as possible. If you do have bugs to report, please provide details and the reproduction steps (if possible) on the Bug Report forum. Providing detailed information helps tremendously, and when possible, add your report to a relevant thread before creating your own.

Thank you again for your feedback. We’re continuing to monitor reports and we’ll provide updates as they become available.

Reference: This is an update to the initial thread discussing how Cross-Realm Zones work.

(Source)

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This needs to go away. Realms are ruined by it, and it offers too many areas of exploitation. If you want to quest with a friend, roll on their server or have them roll on yours. I rolled on Mal'Ganis because it was 99% Horde and I didn't have to worry about world PvP when I didn't want to. If I wanted to PvP, I went into battlegrounds or arena where fights were more evenly set out. Any alt I roll now is steamrolled by the thousands of Kel'Thuzad Alliance lvl 90s who think they are superior to you by ganking your alt. Fishing events can be stolen (I know because I did it) by going to a server 2 hours ahead of your time, fishing up the fish, then turning in to win the tournament before anyone on your server can have a fair chance at it. Now, you're able to kill Galleon and Sha on different servers and reuse your tokens. This is outside of the game design intentions and shouldn't be allowed. Either get rid of servers or keep servers unique.

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I am yet to see ANY benefits from CRZ. Like Zagam - if you want to play with your friends that badly then you will be on the same realm as them, Increase the ability to perhaps play end game content with characters or friends, but levelling together? No thanks.

I'm on a medium sized realm and quite enjoying my pet battles. So far EVERY rare pet I have tried to find and tame has been camped by 10+ players ALL from different realms. I'm competing against players I have nothing to do with, have no want or need to interact with them, and finally the actual pet that possibly goes to another realm is just lost.

The same goes for farming nodes (although I dont farm much anyway). How are low pop realms going to benefit with people from higher pop realms just taking their nodes away.

Real shame. Seems like a LARGE number of resources are being committed to this, when ultimately it is just a gimmick to divert attention away from the fact that players want free character migrations to get away from servers they no longer want to be on.

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If you look back at the announcement Nethaera made when they first announced Cross-Realm Zones (http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/4903181008), you'll see that the first intent was really to make leveling a little bit more fun by artificially increasing the number of players in the zone. Also, they want to have a way to duplicate zones (with the same technology) to make starting zones (like Jade Forest when the expansion was released) less crowded.

I'm not sure it'd be a good idea to get rid of a feature just because it allows for a lot of exploitation. Let's just give them some time to fix the issues and see if they actually managed to. Thanks for the tip for the fishing event, too bad I can't exploit it because there's no EU server with an earlier time zone :P

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It's still a new system, and one that takes a lot of time + testing which cannot be done in a single beta/ptr test frame. They removed both of the fishing events a month ago until they are able to corporate it so it can't be exploited by CRZ. I do like CRZ since it makes the game feel a bit more alive in some areas. Sure gathering professions/achievements are a pain with more people from other realms going for the stuff, and PvP realms are more tricky now, but thats how it used to be before all the expansions.

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The interaction is limited though Sneakyferret. Im all for higher populations, more competition for rares and quest mobs etc, but it seems pointless when you cant fully engage with the players around you.

I remember (back in the day) questing with another guy that I randomly met in Dustwallow Marsh, and it was great. Ended up joining the same guild and struck up a strong friendship - but that isnt possible with CRZ. Although the "feel" of a zone being busy maybe better, there isnt really an incentive to even group with these people.

Personally I wish they would put the resources to better use elsewhere. If you want to be on a busy realm then join a high population one. For those who are frustrated with low pop realms the issue isnt to make them "feel" like the place is busier, its to increase populations for guilds / raids / auction house items, none of which are solved through CRZ.

Sorry for the negativity but I still think its a gimmick (with a lot of wasted resources that they always complain they never have) to deflect the realm transfer / migration issues.

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I understand how you feel Peelyon, I hope maybe some day they will basically keep all the realms like they have it, but merge the player population outside of major cities, and use the reverse technique of CRZ so if a area gets to over-populated CRZ will kick in and place half of the area's population in a separate instancing of the zone. Major cities can stay specific to the realms to prevent over-population and thus lots of lag.

That way guilds are cross-zoned, you are able to constantly see the same people if leveling at the same rate, The AH will be filled with much more materials so that things won't be so over-priced on specific realms, etc.

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I rolled on Mal'Ganis because it was 99% Horde and I didn't have to worry about world PvP when I didn't want to. If I wanted to PvP, I went into battlegrounds or arena where fights were more evenly set out.

If you don't like PvP with all that entails don't roll on PvP server.

The fact that your "easy" PvP server is now "hard" is not a reason to not have CRZs.

Fishing events can be stolen (I know because I did it) by going to a server 2 hours ahead of your time, fishing up the fish, then turning in to win the tournament before anyone on your server can have a fair chance at it.

Did you submit a ticket to Blizzard outlining your exploit and asking to have the rewards you got from it taken away?

EXPLOITING A GAME IS NEVER OK!

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Personally, I love CRZ. I don't think it's in the best place it can be right now, but I think that it is absolutely the future. It has a lot of limitations and exploitable areas, but that's because it's new technology.

I think CRZ is a stroke of genius, and that it is Blizzard's greatest asset in reviving/maintaining the popularity of World of Warcraft for years to come. The potential for it is limitless (sadly, though, WoW's engine is rather archaic and that may prove to be a greater limiting factor).

For a bit of anecdotal evidence of the greatness of CRZ, I can tell you a short story. I saw that the weapons that Doomwalker (a world boss/rare spawn in Shadowmoon Valley) drops sell for a nice price on the auction house, for transmogrification purposes. So I went to Shadowmoon Valley to see if he was there so I could kill him, and he wasn't. I had unintentionally parked my mount next to some guy sitting outside Black Temple while checking to see if I was using the right /target macro. And this guy whispers me to ask if I was also there for some bugged quest. I told him that no, and that I was there for Doomwalker, and we chatted for a while about rare spawns, Black Temple and auction house prices. Then he had to go, and so did I, so that was that. It was only after that that I realized he was actually from a different realm, and I'd never have had this interaction without CRZ. Yes, it was "artificial", but it didn't feel artificial to me. I talked to another person playing WoW, with whom I'd never have talked if not for CRZ.

Could I end up joining the same guild as him, in the same way as if he was on my realm? No. Not yet. But Blizzard is going forward with CRZ technology in leaps and bounds and I think before long we will have cross-realm guilds and cross-realm auction houses. We already have cross-realm raids.

Give it time, have some patience, and I think you'll be pleased with the end result of CRZ. The only reason why wouldn't like it when it's tuned right is if you are a loner who doesn't want to interact with other players while leveling up/questing/farming, in which case, what are you doing in an MMORPG?

And if you don't want to have to deal with the opposite faction killing you, when said opposite faction would be heavily outnumbered without CRZ, then why are you on a PvP server? Roll PvE and no one will ever bother you.

I don't mean to sound harsh, I just think CRZ is a much greater innovation than people are giving it credit for. Prepare to have your worlds rocked.

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If you don't like PvP with all that entails don't roll on PvP server.

The fact that your "easy" PvP server is now "hard" is not a reason to not have CRZs.

Did you submit a ticket to Blizzard outlining your exploit and asking to have the rewards you got from it taken away?

EXPLOITING A GAME IS NEVER OK!

I rolled on that server for friends as well. The perk was that you didn't worry about ganking while still being able to enjoy organized world PvP when it was warranted. If you think this is a good idea, roll a DK on Mal'Ganis or Kel'Thuzad then sit at the Dark Portal. Let me know how many times you die on your way to the portal. CRZ was an idea intended to balance low pop realms. Why did they combine two of the largest realms together? If you can come up with a better response than the very generic "don't like PvP don't roll on a PvP server" I'll be more than happy to entertain your very well-thought out thoughts.

What are you, the WoW moral police? Every possible error is always documented in some way, shape, or form. Many people knew about this. Blizz took down the fishing tournaments because they realized they screwed it up. It was reported, a blue post talked about it, and the next week the tournaments went offline. You do realize that people are abusing CRZ to get multiple Sha kills, Darkmoon Rabbit spawns, and the Darkmoon trinket, right? Relax, broski.

As for the cross realm raids, guilds, etc...why are there servers then? A server has its own economy, its own brand, and its own type of players. Mal'Ganis gets the rep it has for a reason...pugs have better progression than 75% of other servers' guilds...unfortunately, most are ridiculously stupid jerks, but hey...Elitist Jerks finds their home there, so should you expect anything else? (They're actually some pretty nice fellas). My view on this is likely highly skewed because I'm on one of the most popular servers and I never find myself lonely. It's extremely frustrating to see all of the leveling zones packed with tons of players that turn Western Plaguelands into Arathi Basin with all the PvP. And again with this stupid 'don't roll on a PvP server'....it's not bloody PvP when a level 90 kills your 30 alt. That's griefing, ganking, and camping. If you want to PvP, go fight people your own level. PvP = identical level player versus player. Quit telling me that being ganked constitutes PvP because it doesn't.

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I think that the origin of different realms (within the same type: PvP, PvE, RP) is that there were technological limitations to being able to put everyone on the same realm, because the load would just be too great. I think that if they could have, they would have wanted to create a far larger, more "global" and immersive world. CRZ allows them to do that, or something close to it.

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For a bit of anecdotal evidence of the greatness of CRZ, I can tell you a short story. I saw that the weapons that Doomwalker (a world boss/rare spawn in Shadowmoon Valley) drops sell for a nice price on the auction house, for transmogrification purposes. So I went to Shadowmoon Valley to see if he was there so I could kill him, and he wasn't. I had unintentionally parked my mount next to some guy sitting outside Black Temple while checking to see if I was using the right /target macro. And this guy whispers me to ask if I was also there for some bugged quest. I told him that no, and that I was there for Doomwalker, and we chatted for a while about rare spawns, Black Temple and auction house prices. Then he had to go, and so did I, so that was that. It was only after that that I realized he was actually from a different realm, and I'd never have had this interaction without CRZ. Yes, it was "artificial", but it didn't feel artificial to me. I talked to another person playing WoW, with whom I'd never have talked if not for CRZ.

So that's what you're doing when I'm working non-stop on the website?

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CRZ is the bandaid fix to low pop servers which is provin more expensive then acutally allowing free character tranfers of low pop server plain and simple.

Take Azshara for example 1 raiding guild and you may get lucky to see 50 people online at a time.

But just like all behemoths you cant stop the ball rolling due to the money already invested in this failed system so only thing to do is continue to throw more money at it.

The only saving grace to this will be Cross realm guilding and hole world auction houses before you flame this second option it will take the issue out of empty AH in low pop realms and means the big boys on the auction house are kept in check as there will be infinite more people selling bring prices to much more attainable on realms that are essentially ghost towns.

Since they wont stop attempting to fix CRZ ultimately you will all see that these options are about some of the few that will actually make this system useable.

Because we all know that there is not 1 thing out there that you need a group for while questing if you understand the mechanics of what your facing,and your class.

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Because we all know that there is not 1 thing out there that you need a group for while questing if you understand the mechanics of what your facing,and your class.

Agree eith almost everything you said, especially this bit. Questing isnt even a challenge its a chore. The only difference between good players and bad is the time it takes you to level.

Sadly if you are a new player then the questing experience doesnt prepare you at ALL for endgame. Hopefully some of the additions they are adding in may promote personal survivability etc.

Why would I want to group up with someone I know nothing about and reduce my XP by half per kill? Chances are most experience players will be able to kill mobs at a similar rate than having someone else help you out, depending on class etc!

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I have yet to see any benefits of this CRZ in any fashion. If any benefits did materialize, they would be trumped by the first cross-realm that mines a node I was going for.

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Questing isnt even a challenge its a chore.

The staggering for August celestials and shado pan especially annoyed me specially when setting up 2 raiding toons for 2 different servers.

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I have a guildie obsessed with finding the real Mysterious Camel Figurine to get the camel mount. She has been complaining about the number of cross-realm toons in Uldam camping for the same thing. She may be a little OCD but she also shouldn't have to be in competition with people from other servers. I mean, it's bad enough people are now needing on whatever they can in random dungeons (a.k.a. ninja) but I don't need people from other realms all over the ore or flowers while I am trying to farm or even camp out for a rare spawn. In my opinion, it makes the whole CRZ idea a failed experiment.

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Worst. Idea. Ever.

Silver Hand has it's share of....undesirables and then some, but to have to deal with more of the same from other realms? It's making me really not enjoy the game anymore. Not that Blizzard would notice, or even care about losing my $15 a month, but this just shows that they really don't care what their customers think, it's their game they'll do what THEY want.

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And again with this stupid 'don't roll on a PvP server'....it's not bloody PvP when a level 90 kills your 30 alt. That's griefing, ganking, and camping. If you want to PvP, go fight people your own level. PvP = identical level player versus player. Quit telling me that being ganked constitutes PvP because it doesn't.

^^^ This

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Just pretend I'm playing devil's advocate here, but can the people who are annoyed by this feature tell me how Cross Realm Zones causes anything to happen in-game that couldn't have happened without it?

"it's not bloody PvP when a level 90 kills your 30 alt" could happen with the level 90 being on your realm, or on a different realm, through CRZ. It may or may not be acceptable behaviour on a PvP server (personally, I don't see the problem, and if you signed up for PvP, then you shouldn't expect any kind of protection from the opposing faction), but it's all the same what realm the player is from.

The same goes for competition while gathering, farming, questing etc. The only reason that it's showing up as an annoyance to you now is because you were "spoiled" by the low population of some servers, but the intended design of the realms, and the game, is that it be bursting with activity.

I may be missing something central to this argument, but it just seems like it's mostly an emotional issue, where people are annoyed that it's no longer as easy to get/do X thing because for once there is actually someone else there.

So, can someone explain? Posted Image

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      To this day, and still moving forward, Reaper of Souls is doing great things for the Diablo franchise. Consider all the features we have since had included into this expansion without any further purchase:
       
      Kanai's Cube
      Greater Rifts (including Legendary Gems)
      Seasons
      Torments VII-X
      Tons of New Goblins
      Complete Item and Set Reworks
      Farmable Cosmetics (Upcoming in 2.4.1)
      New Zones
      Set Dungeons
      Empowered Rifts
       
      Just to name a few off the top of my head. Looking at that list and thinking that none of those things were even part of the expansion, and simply content that was delivered after-the-fact is quite astounding. 
       
      Now that is something to celebrate Blizzard!
    • Blizzard at IEM Katowice 2016
      By Zadina
      Get ready for an action-packed weekend with StarCraft 2, Heroes of the Storm and Hearthstone tournaments during IEM Katowice 2016!
       
      Katowice, Poland is the last stop of the Intel Extreme Masters esports tournaments, organised by Electronic Sports League (ESL). IEM Katowice 2016 is taking place this weekend (March 4-6) and will host some of the biggest European tournaments. There will be major tournaments for three Blizzard titles: the WCS Winter Championship in StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void; the European Spring Regional in Heroes of the Storm; and the ESL Legendary Series finals in Hearthstone. You can check Blizzard's official post here.
       
      The Heroes of the Storm EU Spring Regional is definitely the event to watch: Europe’s best teams will fight for two precious spots in the Spring Global Championship (click here for our report on the NA Spring Regional). Our fellow Heroes of the Storm guide writer, Kendric Swissh, will be part of the casting team as an analyst.
       
      In the ESL Hearthstone Legendary Series finals, 8 players will battle it out for the first place which awards the victor with $5,000 and 15 HCT points. Almost all of the players that qualified for the finals are not really well-known; they are: AKA Wonder, DoKy, Elscouta, espumito, Impact, Lucky Shadow, Silver Name and Zhivo. On the contrary, there will be an all-star crew of casters and analysts, which includes Aquablad, Elky, Ek0p, Gnimsh, Lothar and our very own Sottle.
       
      We are excitedly waiting for the weekend and obviously we will keep you informed on all things IEM Katowice 2016. Good luck & have fun to everyone!