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Russian servers to join EU battlegrounds and arenas


Blizzard EU Community Manager Takralus posted today about a change to the Battleground grouping in the EU in patch 5.4.2.

The winds of change are blowing across World of Warcraft's European Arenas and Battlegrounds. As the next step in what we started with Patch 5.4 and its changes to region-wide matchmaking, Russian and European players will soon be able to face off against each other.

Every player queuing for a Battleground or Arena will still join a team with players from realms with the same language designation – German with German, English with English, and so on. However, this change means that now a Russian-speaking team might be pitted against a team from anywhere in Europe.

Russian players will still be able to join a cross-realm group with their RealID friends from European realms, and queue with them for Battleground and Arena matches.

And finally, so you'll know who cut you down just as you were capping that flag – players using non-Russian clients are now able to see character names in Cyrillic.

This is great news for EU and Russian servers, it will result in reduction in queue times, and a larger pool of players to draw from. But for both sides, there's quite the language barrier.

If you are not familiar with Russian, they use a different alphabet, called Cyrillic. While many letters look similar, many do not, and they are often pronounced differently. What Takralus is talking about in this context is that non-Russian EU game clients couldn't display Cyrillic text, so instead of seeing Питер (Peter), they'd see ?????.

The issue, which many players are responding to in Takralus' original thread, is that most EU players can't read Cyrillic. Питер is no more readable to your average European than ????? is. And while the Roman alphabet, the one we use, is far more pervasive than Cyrillic, it's quite possible that Russian speakers, or speakers of other Cyrillic languages, could suffer the same problems with our names.

But why is this even a problem? Names are important. Names allow you, when facing two opponents of the same class, to say "Kill Davethewarlock, CC Bobthewarlock". Yes, you could try to say "Uh, CC Antep? Nntep?" but it's another obstacle.

Previously, the battlegroups have been separated, and while I can't speak for Russian servers, the EU ones have been just fine. It'd be interesting to see what the reasoning behind this change is, as the forums don't seem that happy about it.

Nonetheless, we should all try to accept new players in our midst. Maybe this will be an exercise in education, and serious EU PvPers can learn not a new language, but a new alphabet.

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