Connected Realms (previously known as 'Virtual Realms') are a joining of realms, where players from different realms function as though they were full members of any of the other connected realms, and who's players can persist with you in any zone you go into. Members of connected realms can trade gold, trade items, and share the same auction house. Players in a connected realm who are really members of another Realm, are marked with a #. These differ from the more temporary Coalesced Realms, in that these joinings are constant and share persistence.
Connected Realms (also called "Virtual Realms") is a new feature that was to be implemented for Patch 5.4, but not activated until some time after the patch launched. Connected realms were supposed to be essentially several fairly low population servers merged into one, they will be able to interact with the other players as though they were on the same realm. Unlike Cross-realm zones the player's server name will not appear alongside their name in the game world, but only in chat.
In practice, Blizzard has often mixed medium to high population realms with low population realms.
- Balnazzar US and Warsong US
- Gurubashi US, Hakkar US , Daggerspine US, and Aegwynn US
- Dalvengyr US and Dark Iron US
- Garithos US and Chromaggus US
- Onyxia US and Burning Blade US
- Gul'dan US, Black Dragonflight US and Skullcrusher US
- Auchindoun US and Laughing Skull US
- Dethecus US and Detheroc US
- Dunemaul US, Maiev US, Boulderfist US, Bloodscalp US, and Stonemaul US
- Rivendare US and Firetree US
- Hakkar Europe and Emeriss Europe
- Taerar Europe and Echsenkessel Europe
- Theradras Europe and Dethecus Europe
- Blackwing Lair US, Detheroc US, and Dethecus US
- Anub'arak US, Chromaggus US, and Garithos US
- Malorne US, Drak'Tharon US, Firetree US, and Rivendare US
- Blood Furnace US and Mannoroth US
- Nesingwary US and Vek'nilash US
- Aggramar US and Fizzcrank US
- Echo Isles US and Draenor US
- Scilla US and Ursin US
To be connected
- Haomarush US and Detheroc/Dethecus/Blackwing Lair
- Stonemaul US and Bloodscalp/Maiev/Boulderfist/Dunemaul
- Tortheldrin US and Frostmane US
- Winterhoof US and Kilrogg US
- Gul'dan US and Skullcrusher
- Lightning's Blade US and Burning Blade
- Burning Steppes Europe and Kor'gall Europe
- Mug'thol Europe and Dethecus Europe/Theradras Europe
- Temple Noir Europe and Naxxramas Europe
- Crushridge Europe and Emeriss Europe/Hakkar Europe
- Sporeggar Europe and Scarshield Legion Europe
Q. Why are you implementing Connected Realms?
- A. As WoW has evolved, we’ve seen players naturally gravitate toward a subset of very active realms, leaving behind lower-populated realms. Due to the massively multiplayer nature of World of Warcraft, certain kinds of gameplay experiences simply aren’t well-suited to a low-pop realm. By allowing players from two or more lower-pop realms to play together, we hope to give more players more opportunities to participate in group-oriented activities, helping to foster a more vibrant in-game community.
- Connected Realms also allow us to link populations in a way that’s not disruptive to players, and that doesn’t negatively impact players’ sense of identity and character. Other alternatives such as merging realms would require us to force character name changes if there were conflicts, and could lead to confusion for returning players who’d log in to find their realm missing from the realm list. Some players also feel strong ties to their realm’s name or history, and we don’t want to erase that.
Q. Why implement this now?
- A. Our cross-realm technology has continued to evolve since it was first developed for joining players in dungeons. 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.
Q. How can I tell if someone is on my Connected Realm, but from a different realm?
- A. We want the experience to feel seamless so we won’t be indicating player’s home realms in the game world. In certain places, such as chat, players' home realms will be displayed next to their name.
Q. Which realms will be connected as Connected Realms?
- A. We haven’t decided yet which realms will be made part of a Connected Realm, or which other realms they’ll be connected to, though realms will only be connected to other realms of the same type (e.g. PvE to PvE, PvP to PvP, RP to RP). In the end, we’re considering a number of factors, including Battlegroup, population, and faction balance.
Q. How many realms will make up a Connected Realm?
- A. We don’t know how many realms will make up a Connected Realm yet, and it’s likely to differ from Connected Realm to Connected Realm. Our goal is to create a vibrant and fun online experience where you can join guilds, access an active Auction House, and band together to take on group content.
Q. Will Connected Realms have any limitations?
- A. There should be no limitations. We want the experience to be seamless, and we expect it work as if you’re suddenly part of a much more active realm.
Q. When will Connected Realms be available?
- A. We haven’t yet determined when we’ll be creating the first Connected Realms, but we expect it will be some time after the launch of Patch 5.4.
Q. Can you mail items between characters on Connected Realms?
- A. Yes. This has been tested by WoWWiki users. See "A Guide to Cross-Realm Mailing" in the External links section for how to enter destination character name and realm. This similar to how you can mail Bind to Account items across realms, but also applies for Bind on Equip and Bind on Use items between Connected Realms.
From the PTR patch notes:
- 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.
- ^ a b Peratryn 2013-08-06. #3 - Connected Realms vs Virtual Realms. Official Website and Mobile Feedback > Community Platform API forum (US).
- ^ Adam Holisky 2013-08-05. Blizzard releases more information on Connected Realms. WoW Insider.
- ^ a b Blizzard Entertainment 2013-08-05. Patch 5.4 Feature Preview: Connected Realms. World of Warcraft Official Game Site (US).
Patch 5.4 Feature Preview: Connected Realms. World of Warcraft Official Game Site (EU) (2013-08-05).
- ^ a b c d e Bashiok 2013-10-16. #1 - New Connected Realms Coming *Updated. Official Community > General Discussion forum (US). Edited by Nethaera on 10/18/13 8:03 AM (PDT)
- ^ a b c d e f g h i Blizzard Entertainment 2013-10-26. Connected Realms Update. World of Warcraft Official Game Site (US).
- ^ a b c d e f Blizzard Entertainment 2013-11-13. Connected Realms Update. World of Warcraft Official Game Site (US).
- ^ a b c d Takralus 2013-10-23. #1 - Connected Realms (Updated 25/10) Edited by Zhydaris on 25/10/13 10:56 (BST). Official Gameplay > General forums (EU).
- ^ a b c d e Blizzard Entertainment 2013-10-28. Connected Realms Update. World of Warcraft Official Game Site (US).
- ^ PTR patch notes section of Patch 5.4.0.