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Cross-realm zone use clarified in Brawler's Guild


Blizzard Senior Community Manager Zarhym has taken to the forums to address player's concerns regarding the appearance of players from other realms in the Brawler's Guild.

We've seen some confusion about people from other realms showing up in the Brawler's Guild.

It's important to note that the Brawler's Guild only uses realm coalescing when the number of participants is really low, so a lot of people are seeing people from other realms due to the fact that there haven't been many invitations to join distributed yet. It's highly likely the area will cease to activate CRZ on most realms as participation increases. Having 100+ people in the queue doesn't create a good experience, but, from our perspective, neither does having only a small handful of people.

The feature is designed to bring a decent population into the guild, and those people should spend at least a modest amount of time as spectators or loiterers before getting into the ring. We didn't design the Brawler's Guild with the intention of getting you through queues in 10 minutes or less. We're not trying to replicate Dungeon Finder for the solo player with Brawler's Guild.

If the place seems overcrowded AND you're seeing people from other realms there, it could be a situation where the population check that determines whether or not to coalesce a realm hasn't run again yet. As I said before, this should stabilize in time and likely automatically disable CRZ for the guild.

This, to me, seems a little counter-intuitive given Blizzard's earlier explanations of their theories behind the implementation of the Brawler's Guild.

Daxxarri posted this back on November 8th:

Invites to the Guild will (at least initially) only be available for purchase on the Black Market Auction House. We've taken this approach both to control queue times, and also because the Brawler's Guild is meant to be kind of a small, underground thing, and a way for players on a realm to come together. At first, that will happen because invites will go out from one player to another based on who buys those initial Black Market invites. After reaching a certain rank in the Brawler's Guild, each of the new members can eventually earn one new invitation of their own to pass out to someone else on the same realm, so the Brawler's Guilds on each realm should get progressively larger and larger over time.

Please note this is a chunk of a larger post, if you want to read the whole thing do hit the source link. The reason it's extracted is that Blizzard seems to have had an about-face from Daxxarri's post to Zarhym's. The Brawler's Guild as a small, underground thing, while frustrating to those who wanted fast access, made sense, and it is completely turned on its head by the introduction of CRZ. The artificial inflation of queue times by CRZ also makes precious little sense. Though Blizzard wants players to spectate, adding CRZ is not necessary -- if only two people are in the Guild, there will still be spectating taking place.

And the creation of a realm community is further hindered by this. In other situations, such as world PvP, I've previously argued that CRZ can be seen to aid realm community rather than hinder it, but in what is a purely collaborative environment, it doesn't seem to have the same effect.

A Silver Lining?

One twitter follower found an advantage, that this would remove the feeling of exclusivity of the Brawler's Guild for players who had formed groups or cartels to control the Black Market Auction House's invitation distribution. The addition of CRZ would foil their efforts to make the Brawler's Guild into their own private playground, and I agree: this is, perhaps, a silver lining.

And, of course, as Zarhym notes, this is only temporary. Once the Brawler's Guild becomes fuller, the CRZ will disappear. But, it seems likely that it will be back at quiet times, such as late nights or early mornings when players might wish to attempt to take advantage of shorter queues. All in order to enforce spectating and lengthen queue times to around 10 minutes. It could be that Blizzard wish to draw out the progression through ranks, which again, seems somewhat misguided: spectating is all the more tiresome if the watchers are watching the same bosses over and over again. With any luck this will remain an initial measure, and not remain for long.

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