DebateCraft: Connected Realms Part 2
Connected Realms will foster community and help your raid team progress
As the upcoming patch looms on the horizon, World of Warcraft players don’t exactly know what to expect from the new Connected Realms. We can hop onto the Public Test Realms and see for ourselves how nerfed/buffed our classes will be. We can get a taste for the new content and even try downing the upcoming raid bosses. But until patch 5.4 actually hits, we are left guessing as to how we will be affected. On Tuesday, Ashley Lund presented the possible downsides, but I am here today to discuss why I think Connected Realms will be a boon to our favorite MMO.
Coming at some point after the new patch, Connected Realms are a set of two or more servers that have been permanently linked. The idea is that the link will be seamless and players won’t be able to notice it has happened. Once they have been connected, the set will behave as one realm. Players will be able to join guilds, use the auction house and raid with other players in their realm set just as they would if they were actually on the same server.
Server Merges Without the Fuss
It’s no secret there are dying servers. Although there are some that value their intimate realm community, it is a lot harder to play WoW when there aren’t others around to group up with or the auction house is devoid of materials needed to help progress your character. Other games have dealt with this problem by merging servers, but that is a disruptive process. Players don’t want to give up character names they have had for years just because someone on another server also has it. Some people have a long history on their server and don’t want to give it up. Returning players trying to find their realm will likely be confused when they can’t find it.
Connect Realms take care of all these problems by allowing players to stay on their original servers and retain their identity.
Imagine getting a gear upgrade and needing to equip it with a gem or enchant and not being able to find such basic items on the Auction House…ever. Or you need just one Rain Poppy to make a potion and it’s listed for 200 gold. Progressing your character suddenly requires you to have five or six other max level characters with professions. This way of life will go away once Connected Realms come into play. Sure there are a few AH sharks that will have to find a new paradigm for gaining gold, but the rest of the population will suddenly have a lot less work to do.
Sure there is the Looking For Group feature that allows players to queue up for dungeons now…and even raids, but finding others to play with can be tough on a low-pop server. Heroic scenarios, Challenge Mode Dungeons and normal-mode raids require you to put your own group together. There are servers that simply cannot find enough people to fight world bosses. Connected Realms will fill general chat with folks wanting to try out content they previously hadn’t been able to get into.
Guilds and Raiding
There are certainly active guilds on low-pop servers, but have they killed Lei Shen yet? If someone on their raid team goes on vacation or has a sick kid or a flat tire, it can sometimes be darn near impossible to find a replacement…much less a geared player that understands the boss fights. With Connect Realms, players will be able to join guilds within their server set. There will be no reason to pay for a server transfer to find a group to raid with. Guilds will find themselves with more options and the ability to progress through current raid content at a better pace.
Blizzard has added content to World of Warcraft with the hope of providing a more social community that some say the LFG feature has taken away. With the onset of Flex raids, players have yet another way to group up with others to play through the new content. While some value being alone while leveling and questing, it is worth noting that people who play with friends have a better time and probably stick around longer. If you end up making friends while grouping up with random people on your server set, you will end up having more fun.
The potential headaches that Connected Realms could cause are severely overshadowed by the positives they will bring. Being able to tame more pets or pick more flowers isn’t worth being in a community that is dead. Anyone with doubts should stick around long enough to taste how a living, breathing realm can be.