Blizzard has detailed a new World of Warcraft system called Connected Realms, which will allow players in low-population servers to play with each other without migrating from their home territories.
According to a blog post on the subject, Connected Realms will permanently link two or more standard realms.
The linked realms will behave as if they were one server – you’ll be able to join the same guilds, use the same Auction House, party up, and run the same raids and dungeons.
“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 wrote.
“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.”
In an accompany FAQ, Blizzard said it hopes the new feature will allow players to participate in group activities without ‘negatively impacting players’ sense of identity and character’, whereas mergers force name changes and confusion, as well as erase history.
Blizzard said it’s been evolving the technology used for cross-realm raiding, which is why it’s now able to introduce the feature.
Players from Connected Realms won’t be marked as foreign in any way, to keep the feeling of one continuous world, except in player chat and similar.
Which realms will be linked has not yet been determined, except that they’ll be of the same kind. The feature will be implemented after patch 5.4, which has not been dated.