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New WoW Patch Brings Cross-Server Instances 342

ajs writes "World of Warcraft's Wrath of the Lich King expansion was staggered into 4 phases. The fourth and final phase, patch 3.3, was released on Tuesday. This patch is significant in that it will be the first introduction of one of the most anticipated new features in the game since PvP arenas: the cross-realm random dungeon, as well as the release of new end-game dungeons for 5, 10 and 25-player groups. The patch notes have been posted, and so has a trailer. The ultimate fight against the expansion's antagonist, the Lich King a.k.a. Arthas, will be gated as each of the four wings of the final dungeon are opened in turn — a process that may take several months. The next major patch after 3.3 (presumably 4.0) will be the release of Cataclysm, the next expansion."
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New WoW Patch Brings Cross-Server Instances

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  • by imamac ( 1083405 ) on Wednesday December 09, 2009 @06:08AM (#30375442)
    Whereas for me the leveling is incredibly fun. But I just started playing 3 months ago and have one level 43 character, one in the mid-20s and half a dozen others in the teens. I imagine they are /trying/ to strike a balance between people like you and people like me.
  • Re:Old (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Xveers ( 1003463 ) on Wednesday December 09, 2009 @07:04AM (#30375672)
    EVE can handle over one thousand players in a single system/"zone". Places like Jita (THE trade hub of EVE) regularily pass 1300 concurrent active users at one time. In one star system. Admittedly though the vast majority of Jita players are "passing through" or conducting trade and not shooting each other in the face. Star systems out in the areas of space where players create their own empires can have fleet battles that push past 400 people per side, though admittedly there are occurences of heavy lag. In the past (IE one year ago or more) this would be instead extreme lag to the point of killing the node. In the last year however they have implemented heavy server and database optimizations that are pushing the boundary of stable large group combat higher and higher. I wish I could have better references, but I know several battles have been fought that were past 300v300 and were done with a minimum of lag (the reason I remember this is because of the comments wondering WHERE the lag was). CCP devs have also stated that they've just begun major DB optimization and they expect greater improvements to come. Of course, that's them selling their product, but they do recognize it is a major issue, and they ARE working towards correcting it. To turn the question on its head, how many people can a single WOW server handle, in one instance, in one specific zone? All PVPing against each other or providing remote support in one manner or another? Personally I'd be suprised if that number was any higher than what EVE is currently capable of.
  • by WeirdCat ( 1136961 ) on Wednesday December 09, 2009 @08:26AM (#30375976)
    Is it possible to trade with players from other realms via this cross-realm instances? Possibly players could even schedule a meeting in the lesser frequented instances.
  • Friends (Score:2, Interesting)

    by whoop ( 194 ) on Wednesday December 09, 2009 @09:36AM (#30376324) Homepage

    Is there a way to friend someone on another server, so you can do an instance with these specific people, or is it always random people to fill out your group?

  • Re:Old (Score:5, Interesting)

    by H0p313ss ( 811249 ) on Wednesday December 09, 2009 @10:44AM (#30376848)

    It means that some interesting gameplay aspects that can normally be found in MMORPGs (such as open world pvp) have been pretty much set aside in WoW to make room for more soulless dungeon crawling and loot whoring.

    No, it has not been set aside. They have simply made it easy for those people who are already instance grinding to do so easily. Instance grinding has always been "soulless dungeon crawling and loot whoring".

    Personally I'm on the last stages of equipping a character for raiding and the ability to go from instance to instance worked great for me yesterday, as it did for everybody I grouped with. I did not hear a single negative comment from anyone yesterday. (And we all know how much players bitch when they don't like a new patch.

  • Re:Old (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Maria D ( 264552 ) on Wednesday December 09, 2009 @11:17AM (#30377174) Homepage

    Different people focus on different aspects of the game as large as WoW. I believe your experiences are valid - within the set of playing activities you experience yourself. Please don't over-generalize it to everybody, though. PvE and RP servers (or players) won't be affected as much, because world PvP has never been a big part of their gaming. Guilds raiding progression content will still raid together, because it takes consistent grouping - and their realm-specific social networks will stay within realms because of it. Arena teams, as well, are realm-based. Wintergrasp is a rather popular, successful way to make outdoors PvP meaningful and concentrated in time and space, and it won't get any worse.

    The only minus I see for my style of playing is the inability to form Friends list cross-realm and to chat with friends from other realms. I usually add to my Friends list from groups I pick up. I hope Blizzard implements these options soon. They already made a step toward it with cross-realm Ignore list.

  • by furby076 ( 1461805 ) on Wednesday December 09, 2009 @02:03PM (#30378962) Homepage
    Who plays this game, at the higher end of the spectrum, to quit after they beat a dungeon once? Most players, especially at the higher levels, want to complete there sets. So at the higher levels they will play the same dungeon 10, 20, 30, 40...100 times so they get all of their gear...then the random dropped gear or profession training drops, etc. Blizzard can add many incentives to the game to keep players involved that does not require them to restrict the timing of the bosses.

    The reason blizzard is adding this timer is because it looks bad when they release a new boss, zone, etc and the 1337 guilds beat it that same night (they were probably practicing on the test server). It's like the players who went from level 60 to 70 in 24 hours. And then did it from 70 to 80. There are always going to be these players. These are the players who hang out on the test servers, have no lives, and figure out what needs to be done then. Once the release comes out BAM they are the first. Nothing wrong with this... but when some server beats the last boss of a new expansion in 24 hours it makes Blizzard look bad. Nobody cares that it's the super guild that gets sponsership, they just see that WoW = ezsauce

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