WOW realm-transfer details unveiled

Blizzard shares the details on new service for World of Warcraft; $25 feature gives players option to move to less-populated realms.

Blizzard's World of Warcraft probably doesn't need much of an introduction. The incredibly popular online game received GameSpot's prestigious 2004 Game of the Year award and is currently enjoyed by millions of active subscribers who log in to play as fantasy characters that belong either to the Alliance faction of humans, night elves, dwarves, and gnomes, or the Horde faction of orcs, trolls, tauren, and undead.

This tremendous popularity has provided a great upside for players who enjoy seeking out travel companions to perform quests and hunt for monsters, but now, Blizzard is getting ready to take the wraps off of a new realm-transfer system (with European servers following suit after) that will let players move their characters to less-populated realms to get more breathing room. We have the details from lead producer Shane Dabiri.

GameSpot: What's the incentive for players to transfer to a less-populated realm? We know that they get shorter wait queues to log on, but don't they lose all their friends who don't transfer over, especially if your friends balk at the fee?

Shane Dabiri: We have a portion of the players on every realm who are not part of a guild, so it may be an appealing option for them. In addition, there may be some guilds that choose to move over to less-populated realms. Our goal with this is not so much about providing incentives for players to transfer realms as it is about offering an additional service for their convenience. This is something that many players have asked us about for a long time, so we're glad that we'll be able to make the service available to them in the near future.

GS: Speaking of the fee, Blizzard is charging $25 per character transfer. Is this to prevent people from abusing the feature? Will you be able to transfer a character as much as you want, so long as you're willing to pay $25 each time? And what sorts of transfer restrictions are there in general?

SD: A character can only be transferred to a new realm once every six months, and once completed, a character transfer cannot be reversed. Also, there will be both character and realm restrictions. For example, you will need to be at least level 10 to transfer realms, and you'll only be able to carry over a certain amount of gold. The cap is set at 300 gold for characters between levels 10 and 30, 1,000 gold for characters between levels 31 and 50, and characters at level 51 and above can bring a maximum of 5,000 gold.

As for realm restrictions, players can only transfer characters between realms of the same type, or from a PVP to a normal (PVE) realm. To prevent players from leveling up without the challenges of a PVP environment and then unfairly being able to make leveling up more difficult for other players on a PVP realm, transfers from a normal to a PVP realm are not permitted. Also, if a player decides to transfer from one PVP realm to another PVP realm, he/she can only do so if there is no faction violation (that is, players cannot already have a character of the opposing faction on the destination realm).

Most of the restrictions we have in place are to prevent abuse of the service, and we don't feel they will impact regular players.

GS: Okay, onto other subjects. At Blizzcon last year, Blizzard brought up the potential of doing cross-server battlegrounds, that is, letting characters on different realms battle one another. Any update on how this is coming along? And how do you balance this since there tend to be far more Alliance players than Horde players, which means that there might be waiting queues while alliance players wait for an opponent?

SD: We're very excited about this feature! It's in development now, and internal testing is underway. Currently, the faction-balance issues play a bigger role in whether you'll get into a game or not. With cross-realm battlegrounds, we can match players up across many realms, which means games will be starting and ending all the time. As a result, the wait to get into a battleground should be considerably less. We will, of course, test cross-realm battlegrounds on our public test realms for everyone to try out.

GS: Looking forward to it. Thanks, Shane.

[UPDATE]: A Blizzard representative confirmed for GameSpot that realm-transfer capabilities will be offered to European players, as well, with details to be announced in the near future.

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Discussion

280 comments
Pandemic-7
Pandemic-7

seriously blizz, at least make it $10 a month

Giggins
Giggins

For $15 a month, you'd think that Blizzard would offer better services at lower prices, if not free.

gamefreakxxx
gamefreakxxx

its absolutely ridiculous. blizzard could lower the monthly cost to $5 and make all services free, and they would still make money. i want to transfer my main because my home is stormwind, and thats where i usually log out. however, since its usually crowded there, and since comcast's bandwidth absolutely sucks ass, i can never log in. its absurd that i would have to pay another $25 to play a game iv already paid like $75 for...

Ichigo04291982
Ichigo04291982

I think blizzard should have stuck with the free character transfer instead of people paying for it.

Destroyeron13
Destroyeron13

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

Irithes
Irithes

Will this allow my charater on Durotan to move to a roleplay server? Because it doesn't mention not being able to go from PvE to RP.

SSJ3Kirby500
SSJ3Kirby500

OK, first off, IT'S OPTIONAL, PEOPLE!! Secondly, WoW is waaay behind in the MMORPG category. Many other MMORPGs already have this feature, and as for cross-realm battlegrounds, ever heard of Dark Age of Camelot? They had this feature waaaaaay before WoW even came out, and it's a much better and in-depth game than WoW. GO TO www.darkageofcamelot.com AND GET THE 2-WEEK FREE TRIAL NOW!! IT COMES FREE WITH THE EXPANSION "CATACOMBS"!! WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOH!!!

Checkmated
Checkmated

25 bucks just for Tran$ferring arround? I'm going to sell my account and all of the stuffs !!! btw bigelf72 Don't list your lvl 60 characters like that, I have five 60lvl characters (all PVP), each has over 6000 gold, and 3 stucked on high population server, that's gonna cost 75$ to transfer them all, plus, losing gold and friends, isn't it "cheap" anymore?

Terdog
Terdog

1) EQ DOES charge WAY more than Blizzard does for this service, and its optional. Meaning if you dont want to do it, you dont have to. 2) Have you ever tried to move massive abounts of data automatically, not a good idea for something of this scope. What if something gets lost, misplaced, or corrupted. Better to do this manually. 3) The looting is getting bad, at all levels. And on this I dont agree with Blizzard. It has to stop. Watch the accounts of these people playing with bots and dont just ban the character, ban the account, and watch to see if they make another, and if they do, ban that one too. 4) As for being greedy, ya they are a bit, but no worse than EA, Sony, Valve (yes, they are being a bit greedy with Steam), and others. Get over it.

gin_maiden
gin_maiden

BLIZZARD IS A VERY VERY VERY VERY VERY VERY VERY GREEDY COMPANY AND BESIDES WOW SUCKS.

death_miester
death_miester

Not to burst your bubble or anything, Bigelf72, but we do have a right to complain because CAN afford 15$(well i dunno about you) but we gotta pay 25$ for a realm transfer that isnt reversable? . And, lol, I dunno whos attitude is worse, yours or blizzards;)

bigelf72
bigelf72

$25....not a big deal EQ charges way more, quit complaining and go get a job (most u peeps are probly over 16 and should get a job if u don't already have one). For all you peeps that stopped at lvl 40...u don't deserve to talk. For all u peeps playing on a carebear server complaining that you can't move to pvp...u don't deserve to talk (u don't know what being ganked is like) As for all you peeps at lvl 60 you guys should realize how much work u put into that character and to have that character moved onto a server with less/no lag friends/ good guilds, its a great service blizzard offers. Either u pay the $25 or not, again it's optional. For the people complaining "I pay $15 a month only to be charge another $25???" u pay $15 for constantly added additional content... the $25 is a service to move to a realm of ur choice....either do it or don't. Many things are still in the works, and for blizzard to implement all the new features that we all anticipate...they need money....and with that prophet ($6 billion revenue) they will make a few seperate blizz teams to work on a new mmo's (World of Starcraft of Diablo 3 any1?) And for you peeps complaining " I miss the old blizzard, I remember when blizz cared, Blizzard is turning greedy like ea, Blizzard this, Blizzard that...blah blah blah"...listen...people where complaing about not being able to transfer to the realm of there choice, people where complaining about how laggy there server is, people where complaining about many things they didn't like about there server....if Blizzard didn't care they would'nt offer this service to all the thousands of people that are complaining. lvl 60 Priest-Horde-Daggerspine lvl 60 Warrior-Horde-Bloodscalp

griffdogg78
griffdogg78

About 95 percent of the people disagree with this.... and blizzard will probaly still get away with it.....

CaffineMan
CaffineMan

I remember when Blizzard actually cared about customers, ah the good ol days.

MichaelMorbid
MichaelMorbid

lol, so let us get this straight... if the server you pay them to play on get too laggy you can pay them more money to so they can put you on another server so that server will get more laggy. if this works it's genius. blizzard will have finally tapped into a market composed of morons with too much time and money on their hands. it's enough to give the jerks that suckered enron investers a wet dream.

PiPbOY0
PiPbOY0

I think it's okay but maybe it should be reversable. I don't play WOW enough to have much say.

death_miester
death_miester

Why do it manually when theres a thing called computer. :S

Jason_Carr
Jason_Carr

heh, i agree with you all that it is a steep price to pay, especially in the face of the monthly fees. But i don't know if it's completely about the money. Lately some servers have been having major issues, which i can imagin is causing people to want to change realms. This could be a way to discourage realm changes so that Blizzard staff can actually spend time programming the game and not transfering characters.

eldandil
eldandil

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

darkcat1
darkcat1

When SE does world shifts in FFXI to transfer characters to ballence out the populations in their servers they do it for free and you get to keep eveything! This is just another reason wht WoW is the worst MMORPG ever...

mr111111
mr111111

Let's all start a revolution!

Swampthing
Swampthing

In order for something like this to be effective, Blizzard needs to post a regularly updated server population graph somewhere highly visible in order to prevent someone from a clogged server from randomly picking a new server only to find the new one is at least as clogged as the server they just left... And with the policy in place, such a move would be irreversible, and there goes the fun. . . . . But I'm in the camp that says this is FAR too much money for something they should be offering for free to people sitting on overclogged servers. They can't manage server load, yet I pay them $15 to get the job done right... and if they can't get it right, I have to pay to fix it???

griffdogg78
griffdogg78

wow i thought it was gonna be 5 bucks

trollfan
trollfan

this makes me glad i quit wow

Siao222
Siao222

This is interesting....so far the reasons people list out to defend the $25 are variations of these.. 1) Cost of moving data - let me explain again current age we have something call computers. There will be an automated system at the backend that do the transfers AUTOMATICALLY. You don't hire a bunch of clerks doing the transfers manually. Glitch? Of course with WoW's excellent patching record there will be glitches, how do you solve it? Log everything you do and keep backups of everything. Log when someone look at the data, log when transfer is done, log every single thing you do. Backup the data before you move, back it up again after you move, backup backup backup. When glitches hit a GM will manually check the logs and backups and do the neccessary actions. 2) It is cheaper then EQ's transfer cost - I just feel this justification as totally outrageous. As someone pointed out earlier, lesser of two evils doesn't mean its good. 3) The cost is to prevent abuse by ninja looters - Let's say ninjalooterA arrives at a brand new server and starts to ninja items in instances. Does it matter? Well maybe for the new lvl 60s, if your going for endgame - MC, BWL, etc there is no way he can ninja loot (DKP, etc) of course if any guilds are stupid enough to get ninja looted well it deserves it. 4) Blizzard is a coporation and thats why it is not greed - There is one important point for coporations and that is - Customer Relationship - especially for a MMORPG like WoW. Sure it rules the MMORPG scene right now it can dictates its rules (reminds me of EQ before WoW) when a new and better MMORPG is out...

crazytank
crazytank

they really sure will get alot of money out of this 1 people - 25 1000 people - 25000

death_miester
death_miester

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

Stork21
Stork21

If you think $25 is a ripoff then 'cry more noob' because Sony charges double that and MMOs don't even give you the option to transfer. Blizzard doesn't 'have to' offer you jack, but they are offering it to you for 1/2 what the competition charges for their games. Also, character transfers are almost ALWAYS permanent and non-reversible. As for the 6 Month limit, ouch. But they do that along with the gold limit to try and curb Gold Farmers from using this service and messing up the game even more!

hirmetreus
hirmetreus

Jesus people lay off blizzard. no one is forcing you to transfer and whining about something that they have given a perfectly good reason for(PvE to PvP transfers). I have leveled all my charaters on PvP realms, and gone through the hardship of ganking. All you others now want cheap, constant transfers to other servers? Its clear most of you are spoilt. the money we pay each month is for stuff like the cross realm BG's, not this stuff. This was provided because of people like you who will never stop whining. even when they do it you still whine.

Saxster
Saxster

"Ummm... Sony charges $50-112 to move characters in EQ2. Quit yer whining." LOL. If you don't want to read complaints, don't post on a forum. And btw, $50+ to transfer a character, in any game...I'd spit in the eye of a GM first.

Saxster
Saxster

Glad to see I am not the only one that scoffed at paying $25 for a character transfer. The service should be free and if they want to limit abuse, then limit the number of times the service can be rendered per account and how often it can be done in a period of time. Anything else is, as others have stated, pure greed, plain and simple.

foggiemx
foggiemx

y would u charge for this

OmegaBob
OmegaBob

nocoolnamejim: "Oh yeah, this is a MMORPG....I could care less" It's "couldn't care less" ben2000: " So Everquest charges more ? Well EQ doesn't have millions of people waiting for a character transfer... It still smacks of Blizzard trying to make as much money as possible from the feature. $25 is too steep! " question 1: Are you thinking about transfering a character over to a different server? question 2: If so and if the cost is too high for you, then why not just start a... wait for it... NEW CHARACTER on a new server of your choice? Easily done. I can run you through the process if you'd like. question 3: Where did you get your facts? "Millions of people waiting for character transfer?" Can you link your source?

Cerza
Cerza

I'm less excited about the realm transfer thing compared to what they are planning to do with battlegrounds, its about time they did something to fix the mess they force their players to go through inorder to do BG

death_miester
death_miester

This is utterly disgusting. First of all, we have to pay for a GAME 15$ every month, and now 25$ for a 1 transfer(every six months?) I mean I wouldnt mine 10$ or even 15$(the same price to pay every month) but 25$?? You can actually buy a game for that money, and thats what i am going to do because im not paying for this crap service. Lagg online, realms constantly down, and our 15$ goes where? Pure idiots. Goodbye Blizzard and Hello Guildwars...

ben2000
ben2000

So Everquest charges more ? Well EQ doesn't have millions of people waiting for a character transfer... It still smacks of Blizzard trying to make as much money as possible from the feature. $25 is too steep!

julian79
julian79

I is either a ploy to enhance there own pockets or maybe to fund a upgraded version with a lot of extras.i think i will hold on for a while.If no one jumps servers for a wile they will either decrease the price, or maybe make if free.

wreck-
wreck-

"The reason it costs $25 is mainly to keep the morons from jumping from server to server all the time." No...thats what the 6 month time limit is for. The price is to make money. Greed, plain and simple.

coreymagin
coreymagin

OMG $25 after i've been paying $15 since WoW launch! wtf?

2w-sephiroth
2w-sephiroth

Um what about transfers from U.S. to E.U. and way around? what would really make me amazingly happy. Please Blizzard make me happy on this (with 25 dollars you should be able man) Paying the $25 dollars is a ripoff but is way better than having double the quantity of characters if you are going up and down and have friends all over the glove. Please blizzard in summer I want to play my char in Europe and then in winter in America (wich I am in Australia :D ) Also Man I cant believe I have to buy both expansions so I can have both accounts in both continents... lucky that I am inteligent and dont pay annually lol! I simply play 2 month per time... allways take a break and choose the best continent for were I am normally... The battlegrounds cross is wicked! I could not have thought of a better Idea!! I am sick of waiting and waiting and in the end... NOTHING

Druid619
Druid619

BIG MONEY COMPANIES MAKE OUR LIVE BETTER AND DONT READ THIS!!!! Soon they will start charging for all games ( which would suck ).I mean COME ON. I paid for the game and i want to have fun with it, not go online make account, then pay $$$ play game pay $$$ for some freakin server transfer. Then I get bored of the game and loose $$$. 1980 - $20(Guess, I didnt live back then) 2006 - $50-60 per game and pay $15 online 2026 - $500-1000 per game and pay $15 to level up, or find new gun in single-player and pay $50 per game to play multiplayer ANY game, not only MMORPG, but FPS,RTS,SPORTS. In conclusion game companies will do the same thing that Sony did: PS1= :) PS2= :) PS3=X( DIE!! (If the world doesnt end by then)

SweetPandaLove
SweetPandaLove

this is a great option for WoW players (such as myself), although i doubt i'd pay the $25 myself, but that's what makes life grand...you don't have too :p and anyway, blizzard seems pretty darned dedicated to making WoW a wonderful game experience, so i don't know why all the people on here are saying they are a crappy company...they seem pretty dedicated to me, and it's a business, money makes the world go 'round get over it

nocoolnamejim
nocoolnamejim moderator

Hmmm? Oh yeah, this is a MMORPG....I could care less.

Jair_Mejia
Jair_Mejia

"SSJGoku realm vs realm BGs?!? LOL what a joke. The BGs totally suck. On my server we have an alliance guild with full tier 2 and they come in and just own everybody else who doesnt have full tier 2 gear. Its total BS. They need to make it fair. Remove the armor/weapons they have. and give every class the same armor/weapon and then let them battle. Right now its all about what gear you have. No fun at all." are you serious? that's what rpgs are...

SSJGoku
SSJGoku

realm vs realm BGs?!? LOL what a joke. The BGs totally suck. On my server we have an alliance guild with full tier 2 and they come in and just own everybody else who doesnt have full tier 2 gear. Its total BS. They need to make it fair. Remove the armor/weapons they have. and give every class the same armor/weapon and then let them battle. Right now its all about what gear you have. No fun at all.

Jair_Mejia
Jair_Mejia

I bet half the people complaining don't play WoW (or never hit endgame)

OmegaBob
OmegaBob

Ya know... ya'll lazy complainers could just start... wait for it... NEW CHARACTERS on other servers too (you do get 10 character slots per server). The last time I checked, no one is forcing anyone to do this. Its just an... wait for it.. OPTION that Blizz offering. Again, Sony charges $50-$112 to move characters in EQ2. So stop complaining -dont like it, then dont use the service.

Nahk
Nahk

1) Blizzard is giving what players is aking for. 2) EQ charges $80 It's not because Blizzard is greedy. They have 7Mil subscribers paying an average $10US/month or $70Mil monthly income. Assuming 1% of the player will use this service to transfer one character, thats $1.75M (consider charaters can perform this once every 6 month) or 4.2% incremental revenue for a 6 months period. This is used to prevent gold farmer from moving gold from one realm to another. When Blizzard release the Expansion which 85% of all 7M ppl will buy at $30US = $178.5M. They have bigger fish to fry than getting an extra couple of Mil. If anything Blizzcon is the cash cow, which charged $150US for attendance.