Patch 5.0.4 went into a effect two weeks ago and already patch 5.0.5 is scheduled for tomorrow. Part of it ought to address the clusterfuck called Cross Realm Zones (or CRZ). As always, Blizzard completely underestimated their gaming community when implementing CRZ and it’s become a gigantic mess. I won’t go into details about why CRZ is a big mess, but I do want to go into what I feel their ideal was vs what it should’ve been.
Here’s Blizzard’s interpretation of what CRZ should’ve been:
“Hey, even after revamping all of Vanilla areas, people still won’t quest in Desolace!”
One person at Desolace, “Wait, I’m here!”
“Ah! That means, we need to put more people in there so that it’ll be fun and social for the guy leveling!”
Um, Desolace is empty because it’s a shit place to level. The vast majority of the zone is just boring and people won’t go there because there are better spots to level. People didn’t go there in Cataclysm because most people probably already had an 80th level toon and wanted to hit 85 to go raiding. Any veteran players figured that questing is a complete waste of time for the most part and just instance grind their way to 80. The few people who do level in Desolace do it maybe once and promptly forget the whole place as it’s dreary and boring overall. Putting a little bit of foliage did nothing to make the area more appealing.
Instead, the places where you really see people are popular spots so that they can grab ore and other resources. This doesn’t sound like the way the CRZ was originally intended. It sounds like Blizzard’s disease called…..
But let’s put that aspect aside and attempt to define what CRZ should’ve been all along….
Player in LFG.
“Hey, this guy in the dungeon is pretty cool. But damn, he’s in another realm and I probably won’t ever see him again. Let’s exchange email/battle net tags so we can keep in contact!”
New Friend in Other Realm.
“Man, my realm sucks because I’m in an Oceanic realm where everyone is awake at 4am my time and I can’t really play with this guy I just met. But hey Mist of Panderia is around the corner and more than likely, I’ll be soloing content again for the entire expansion.”
The way CRZ should’ve been is those who want to group up across realms should be able to the way LFG (and some raids) are being done now. Exchange email or Battle.net tags. Then hit a special button that allows a player to bring others in their realm (and vice versa).
Oh wait! But now we’re hurting Blizzard’s revenue because this will lower the incentive for overpriced realm transfers!
No, because most of the time players will more than likely solo the content they’ve been wanting to do. Many players want small populations to either avoid gankings on PVP realms or to avoid social griefing and have more resources available to them. So grouping up still means that the resources will be more limited overall. However, for a few hours now and then, players who group up would be able to at least enjoy hanging out and leveling together.
At any rate, Blizzard fucked up big time in this. They had a huge opportunity to improve the world but completely screwed it up, along with LFR loot rules in patch 5.0.4. It’s doubtful even with fixing bugs that CRZ is going to improve the perception of Blizzard as well as the social aspects. But Blizzard is overhill and their shit does stink without them being able to tell anymore. Good thing I got a busy CTO position because damn I’d hate to waste more time on a shitty ass feature.