A couple of months back Blizzard revealed plans on connecting World of Warcraft realms to increase player population. I can’t help but wonder if they predicted the low number of subscribers the game has right now and that the decision would ensure players didn’t feel alone in their respective realms.
A connected realm basically merges two or more standard realms and they behave as if they are one. This will take place soon after the release of Patch 5.4, Blizzard announced today.
Playing in a connected realm allows players to join the same guilds, access a single Auction House and even run the same raids.
“Our goal with Connected Realms is to give players on lower-population realms more opportunities to group up, compete, and connect with other players to take on Azeroth’s bigger challenges,” Blizzard said on Battle.net.
“That sort of interaction is a big part of what makes World of Warcraft fun, and this feature will help us deliver that experience to even more players.”
Last week it was revealed that the number of World of Warcraft subscribers has dropped to 7.7 million, which is comparable to when the game released its first expansion in 2007, The Burning Crusade.
Following the release, the popular online title managed to reach the 12 million mark but in recent years has suffered terribly.
Blizzard said it took the decision to add Connected Realms now because of improvements to its cross-realm tech.
“Our cross-realm technology has continued to evolve since it was first developed for joining players in dungeons,” Blizzard said. “It’s now at a point where we can create seamless worlds made up of multiple individual realms, and we think there are some really positive benefits to that.”
“There should be no limitations,” Blizzard added. “We want the experience to be seamless, and we expect it work as if you’re suddenly part of a much more active realm.”