World of Warcraft unveils cross-realm zones

Screenshot -- World of Warcraft
One common issue with MMOs is that certain zones become sparsely populated as the playerbase outlevels them or skips them in favor of newer, more exciting zones, which can lead to frustration for players who want or need to complete group content in those zones. Blizzard is aiming to nip that problem in the bud with a new feature coming to the World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria beta: cross-realm zones.

The feature does exactly what it says on the tin: When a zone is underpopulated, the players in that zone will be given the option to form a group with players from a select pool of realms (presumably the server's battlegroup) with whom they can run about and quest as usual. In addition to treating underpopulation, the new feature will allow overpopulated zones -- such as new race starting zones -- to be split into multiple instances to prevent overcrowding. It will also allow players to group with their RealID friends just as they would for a cross-realm dungeon, so players who want to level up with friends on other realms should be quite pleased with the addition. Between this new feature and Guild Wars 2's guesting, the days of being separated from your cross-server friends might just be numbered. The full details on the new feature can be found at the official World of Warcraft site, so if you're wondering how this newfangled technology is going to work, just head on over and check out the handy FAQ.
This article was originally published on Massively.