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 whose 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.
US completed connections
As of July 7, 2014:
- Aegwynn US, Bonechewer US, Daggerspine US, Gurubashi US, and Hakkar US
- Agamaggan US, Archimonde US, Jaedenar US, and The Underbog US
- Aggramar US and Fizzcrank US
- Akama US, Dragonmaw US, and Mug'thol US
- Alleria US and Khadgar US
- Alexstrasza US and Terokkar US
- Altar of Storms US, Anetheron US, Magtheridon US, and Ysondre US
- Alterac Mountains US, Balnazzar US, Gorgonnash US, The Forgotten Coast US, and Warsong US
- Andorhal US, Scilla US, and Ursin US
- Antonidas US and Uldum US
- Anub'arak US, Chromaggus US, Crushridge US, Garithos US, Nathrezim US, and Smolderthorn US
- Anvilmar US and Undermine US
- Arygos US and Llane US
- Auchindoun US, Cho'gall US, and Laughing Skull US
- Azgalor US, Azshara US, Destromath US, and Thunderlord US
- Azjol-Nerub US and Khaz Modan US
- Azuremyst US and Staghelm US
- Black Dragonflight US, Gul'dan US, and Skullcrusher US
- Blackhand US and Galakrond US
- Blackwater Raiders US and Shadow Council US
- Blackwing Lair US, Dethecus US, Detheroc US, Lethon US, and Haomarush US
- Bladefist US and Kul Tiras US
- Blade's Edge US and Thunderhorn US
- Blood Furnace US, Mannaroth US, and Nazjatar US
- Bloodscalp US, Boulderfist US, Dunemaul US, Maiev US, and Stonemaul US
- Borean Tundra US and Shadowsong US
- Bronzebeard US and Shandris US
- Burning Blade US, Lightning's Blade US, and Onyxia US
- Cairne US and Perenolde US
- Coilfang US, Dark Iron US, Dalvengyr US, and Demon Soul US
- Darrowmere US and Windrunner US
- Dath'Remar US and Khaz'goroth US
- Dentarg US and Whisperwind US
- Doomhammer US and Baelgun US
- Draenor US and Echo Isles US
- Draka US and Suramar US
- Drak'Tharon US, Firetree US, Malorne US, Rivendare US, Spirestone US, and Stormscale US
- Drak'thul US and Skywall US
- Dreadmaul US and Thaurissan US
- Drenden US and Arathor US
- Duskwood US and Bloodhoof US
- Eitrigg US and Shu'halo US
- Eldre'Thalas US and Korialstrasz US
- Eonar US and Velen US
- Eredar US, Gorefiend US, Spinebreaker US, and Wildhammer US
- Executus US, Kalecgos US, and Shattered Halls US
- Exodar US and Medivh US
- Farstriders US, Silver Hand US, and Thorium Brotherhood US
- Fenris US and Dragonblight US
- Frostmane US, Ner'zhul US, and Tortheldrin US
- Frostwolf US and Vashj US
- Ghostlands US and Kael'thas US
- Gundrak US and Jubei'Thos US
- Hellscream US and Zangarmarsh US
- Hydraxis US and Terenas US
- Icecrown US and Malygos US
- Kargath US and Norgannon US
- Kilrogg US and Winterhoof US
- Kirin Tor US, Sentinels US, and Steamwheedle Cartel US
- Misha US and Rexxar US
- Mok'Nathal US and Silvermoon US
- Nagrand US and Caelestrasz US
- Nazgrel US and Nesingwary US/Vek'nilash US
- Nordrassil US and Muradin US
- Quel'dorei US and Sen'jin US
- Runetotem US and Uther US
- Scarlet Crusade US and Feathermoon US
- The Scryers US and Argent Dawn US
- Tanaris US and Greymane US
- Uldaman US and Ravencrest US
EU completed connections
As of 4-Jul-2014:
- English realms
- (PvE) Wildhammer EU / Thunderhorn EU
- (PvE) Kilrogg EU / Runetotem EU / Nagrand EU
- (PvE) Aggramar EU / Hellscream EU
- (PvE) Hellfire EU / Arathor EU
- (PvP) Kor'gall EU / Bloodfeather EU / Executus EU / Burning Steppes EU / Shattered Hand EU
- (PvE) Azjol-Nerub EU / Quel'Thalas EU
- (PvE) Ghostlands EU / Dragonblight EU
- (PvE) Darkspear EU / Terokkar EU
- (PvE) Aszune EU / Shadowsong EU
- (PvP) Shattered Halls EU / Balnazzar EU / Ahn'Qiraj EU / Trollbane EU / Talnivarr EU / Chromaggus EU / Boulderfist EU / Daggerspine EU / Laughing Skull EU / Sunstrider EU
- (PvP) Emeriss EU / Agamaggan EU / Hakkar EU / Crushridge EU / Bloodscalp EU
- (PvP) Grim Batol EU / Aggra EU
- (PvP) Karazhan EU / Lightning's Blade EU / Deathwing EU / The Maelstrom EU
- (PvP) Auchindoun EU / Dunemaul EU / Jaedenar EU
- (PvP) Dragonmaw EU / Spinebreaker EU / Haomarush EU / Vashj EU / Stormreaver EU
- (PvP) Zenedar EU / Bladefist EU / Frostwhisper EU
- (PvP) Xavius EU / Skullcrusher EU
- (PvP) Darksorrow EU / Genjuros EU / Neptulon EU
- (PvP) Drak'thul EU / Burning Blade EU
- (RP) Moonglade EU / The Sha'tar EU
- (RP PvP) Scarshield Legion EU / Ravenholdt EU / The Venture Co EU / Sporeggar EU
- French realms
- (PvE) Elune EU / Varimathras EU
- (PvE) Marécage de Zangar EU / Dalaran EU
- (PvE) Eitrigg EU / Krasus EU
- (PvE) Suramar EU / Medivh EU
- (PvP) Arak-arahm EU / Throk'Feroth EU / Rashgarroth EU
- (PvP) Naxxramas EU / Arathi EU / Temple Noir EU / Illidan EU
- (PvP) Garona EU / Ner'zhul EU
- (PvP) Eldre'Thalas EU / Cho'gall EU / Sinstralis EU
- (RP) Confrerie du Thorium EU / Les Clairvoyants EU
- (RP PvP) La Croisade écarlate EU / Culte de la Rive noire EU / Conseil des Ombres EU
- German realms
- (PvE) Gilneas EU / Ulduar EU
- (PvE) Garrosh EU / Shattrath EU / Nozdormu EU
- (PvE) Nethersturm EU / Alexstrasza EU
- (PvE) Un'Goro EU / Area 52 EU / Sen'jin EU
- (PvP) Ambossar EU / Kargath EU
- (PvP) Ysera EU / Malorne EU
- (PvP) Malygos EU / Malfurion EU
- (PvP) Nazjatar EU / Dalvengyr EU
- (PvP) Arthas EU / Vek'lor EU / Blutkessel EU
- (PvP) Dethecus EU / Terrordar EU / Mug'thol EU / Theradras EU
- (PvP) Echsenkessel EU / Taerar EU / Mal'Ganis EU
- (PvP) Anetheron EU / Festung der Stürme EU / Rajaxx EU / Gul'dan EU
- (RP PvP) Die Arguswacht EU / Die Todeskrallen EU / Das Syndikat EU / Der Abyssische Rat EU
- Spanish realms
- (PvE) Exodar EU / Minahonda EU
- (PvE) Colinas Pardas EU / Tyrande EU / (RP) Los Errantes EU
- (PvP) Zul'jin EU / Sanguino EU / Shen'dralar EU / Uldum EU
- Russian realms
To be connected
US future connections
Planned on Thursday, July 10:
- Ysera and Durotan
- Zuluhed and Andorhal, Scilla, and Ursin
Planned on Thursday, July 17:
- Dawnbringer and Madoran
- Deathwing and Executus, Kalecgos, and Shattered Halls
Future, but no date specified:
- Gilneas and Elune
- The Venture Co and Maelstrom
EU future connections
Planned for 9-Jul-2014:
- English Realms
- (PvE) Khadgar and Bloodhoof
- (PvE) Bronze Dragonflight and Nordrassil
- German Realms
- (PvE) Tichondrius and Lordaeron
- (PvE) Arygos and Khaz'goroth
- Russian Realms
- (PvP) Король-лич and Седогрив
Future, but no date specified:
- English Realms
- (PvE) Saurfang and Darkspear/Terokkar
- German Realms
- (PvE) Teldrassil and Perenolde
- (PvE) Durotan and Tirion
- (PvE) Lothar and Baelgun
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 Blizzard Entertainment 2014-07-07. Connected Realms - Update 7/07. Official World of Warcraft Game Site (US).
- ^ Error on call to Template:ref web: Parameters url and title must be specified Takralus 2014-07-04. . Official Gameplay > General forums (EU).
- ^ a b Takralus 2014-07-07. Connected Realms Update - 04/07. Official Gameplay > General forums (EU).
- ^ PTR patch notes section of Patch 5.4.0.
- EU list