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Theo’s Thoughts #16: Cross-Realm Zones

The recent World of Warcraft Patch, 5.0.4, has changed the game drastically. Some players are happy to see this change, and welcome it with open arms, while others are upset with the direction that the game is taking. Few changes have showed this divide in the player base as the new Cross-Realm Zones feature which was just implemented. This feature, as the name implies, allows player to share certain low populated zones with players of other realms.

One complaint that WoW players have had for a long time is that while leveling, zones feel dead, since there is no one leveling on their server at that moment. This new feature is designed to fight this feeling, since players will see others while questing, making the zone seem more alive. The feature is also an attempt to restart world PvP, especially in low level zones. Simply put, with more players in a zone, the more likely for PvP to start, especially in zones like Hellfire Peninsula with PvP objectives. Basically, this new feature is trying to put the “world back into World of Warcraft”, something that players have been asking for, and by the looks of it, Blizzard is trying to achieve in the upcoming Mists of Pandaria.

However, the Cross-Realm Zones feature have also raised concerns from many people. Most of these include competition with other players, for things such as quest objectives or herbalism and mining nodes. However, this problem can be fixed possibly by increasing spawn rates for these things are more and more people enter a zone. Some players also say that this new feature makes the world seem more “instanced” rather then an actual world. For example, though you can talk to and even group up with players from other realms while questing, you can not trade with them and you can not follow them into higher populated zones, such as capital cities. Some players feel that even though there are more people running around in zones, it still does not feel like an active world, since they are unable to interact with them fully.

Before players bash this system fully, they must remember that it is brand new and these sort of kinks are expected. As an idea, the Cross-Realm Zones feature is awesome, and as potential to breathe life into the dead, lower level zones while questing. Implemented, however, players has found that this is a much more complicated idea in regards to completing objectives while questing, as well as interacting with player. As always, Blizzard is most likely working hard on trying to find a way to decrease the negative side of this feature and turn it into the great idea the Cross-Realm Zones can be.

I am a student currently studying Creative Writing. I have a strong passion for writing, as well as video games. Growing up I was a huge Blizzard fan, playing most of the games in the Diablo, Starcraft, and Warcraft series. I also played many RPGs on Playstation and on the computer.