Thursday, September 20, 2012

CRZ: A Lazy Solution

Of all my complains about the cross realm zones, that are not technical of course, my biggest one is that it is a lazy solution to a much bigger problem that blizzard created for themselves.

The main intent that they say the cross realm zone is for is to make the world seem a little more alive while leveling.  Lets forget for a moment that it creates all types of problems elsewhere like people trying to do the achievement yesterday with people from five or more different realms all on mammoths standing on the NPC while flagged for PvP on a PvE realm looking to grief people that just want to get an achievement and have some fun.  This alone is reason enough to say the CRZ idea sucks, but that is really just a side effect to what they are, or say they are, trying to do.  Bring life back to the leveling areas.

Well, the solution is actually a lot simpler than wasting man hours developing a cross realm system.  Slow down leveling.  The reason the lower levels do not see anyone while leveling any more is because people level way to quickly.  That means they speed through leveling and usually have all the max level characters they would want.  So that means they reroll less often than they did before, which means less people out there leveling.  Adding to that super fast leveling is the dungeon finder where you can level from 15-85 without ever leaving a city if you were so inclined to do so.

That is a self made problem.  They made leveling so fast it is blink and you miss it.  They allow low level dungeon finders to level people without leaving their home city.  They created this problem and now they are using a lazy solution to attempt to fix the error they made.

The world is empty because that is what they designed it to be, empty.  They made it so people will not be out there.  If they wanted to fill the questing zones they could do that if they put a little more effort into it instead of taking the easy way out and condensing everyone onto the same server.

Slow down leveling to the point where it would take considerable time again.  The areas would be full of people if people weren't speeding through them.  It works on many levels too.  Not just the speed of leveling through a zone but if you wanted to reroll it slows down the reroll process.  So instead of you leveling 5 new classes in one month, it would take a year or so to level them all, thus making the world look fuller from your participation alone for one year instead of one month.  That is part one of a better solution.

Part two would be, give people a reason to get out in the world again.  There are many ways to make low level zones something everyone would want to visit but instead of building a new design to professions, which would require more materials from all over the world at all levels, they went the easy route of cross realm.  Instead of adding more world events that would make people get out, think the rifts in rift and their rewards regardless of level so all would want to do it, they went the easy route with cross realm.  Instead of adding achievements in those zones for achievement hunters, even if they were as simple as fish 1000 fish in X zone, they went the easy route of cross realm.  There are hundreds of ideas that would get people out in the world if they just took the effort to add them, but they went the easy route with cross realm as a fix all for everything.

Another part is the random dungeon finder.  Lower the experience so low that it would not even be worth doing it unless you have a quest there.  While dungeon leveling is considerably slower than leveling it is not so much so that it turns people off from doing it.  As long as many of the players think of it as a viable leveling option, even if they are wrong, they will not go out in the world if they feel they can level efficiently while standing in their home city.

I can see why they do not lower the dungeon experience and make the leveling take a lot longer, they fear backlash from the players.  The reason for this cross realm zone is to cover up for the fact the world is dead in part to them losing players left and right.  So they do not want to take the chance of scaring more off. 

The fact they are missing is a fair deal of players that left the game probably left because of the speed of leveling.  When they reached end game at the beginning of cataclysm and it was too hard for them, they went to level an alt and they were maxed on that too fast and were in the same position they were before.  End game with nothing they could do.  Slow or fast, they would lose people, but at least slow leveling would make the world look more alive and keep people playing longer.

Even if it is the fear of scaring more people away that does not change the fact that cross realm zones are a lazy solution to making the world look full again while leveling.  The real solution would be to make the world full again while leveling by adding content, making people spend more time in that content, and making it worthwhile to be in those areas.

If they really wanted to make the world look full again they would slow down the leveling experience a fair deal, create a lot more content that is worth doing in those areas, and give people a reason to be there instead of staying in a city.  But instead of creating quality content to get us out in the world they decided to use the cross realm zones to try and make it look like more people were out in the world, and it still doesn't.  If you have leveled a new character recently you will know that for the most part the world is still completely empty most of the time.  Starting zones are the only things that seem more alive. 

So the world does not really seem more alive because of the cross realm zone except for those moments like yesterday at pirates day when 5 servers worth of people all decided to grief people just trying to have fun during a holiday event by being on top of the NPC with their mammoths while flagged for PvP.

This is proof that not only is the cross realm zone a lazy solution but it is also the wrong solution.

In the end, if blizzard really wants to make the leveling world look full they should have created content to make the players want to get out in the world and not tried to cover it up with a lazy solution.


  1. Look, I am not saying you are wrong about anything, but just a small bit of info...

    This is what single-handedly redeems CRZ, with all its faults, for me, forever:

    This shot was taken on my realm (well, in a CRZ) yesterday. It is a PVP realm. The 4 Horde raids wiped 5 Alliance raids. The CRZ held players from other PVP realms, including players from 90:10 Horde and 90:10 Alliance realms.


    1. For PvP it is amazing, oddly enough that is not the reason they use for adding it. They reason they added it is to bring life back to low level zones. It has not done that and it could have been done better by actually adding content worth getting out there to do.

      I rarely PvP, only once in a while, so it holds no purpose for me. However, I do like the idea that if I am looking to fight there are more people to fight with.

      For me, that one thing is not nearly enough to make it worthwhile. But remember, I am not a PvPer.

      There is one thing you might be missing however. Many PvPers on those 90:10 servers rolled on those 90:10 servers because they wanted the easy win, not because they wanted a challenge in PvP. They just wanted to be on the winning side. So even from PvPers I have seen as many complaints as I have praises. Although like I said, I love that one aspect of it personally.

      I only have 3 characters on PvP servers, so I can not speak from a PvP standpoint all that much. However, when I do PvP I want a challenge.

      1 is one a horde dominated server, as alliance. 1 is on an alliance dominated server as horde, so much so they own org 24/7. The last is a horde on a horde dominated server and oddly enough, that is the one I play least.

      Just figured I should share my extremely minimal PvP experience so you understand where I am coming from.

  2. CRZ are alive now in the EU, leading to a.o. complaints from PvP realms (constant Dark Portal gankings, levelling made nigh impossible by all the griefing lowlifes that think bullying is keeeeeewl etc.) though I haven't heard about the Realm-type mixxing issues you guys have.

    Personally, as I play less I haven't experienced that much of it so far, except for Dalaran having more Horde in it and being a lot more laggier.

    Like with others, part of the reasons to set HS to Dala was lesser lag than the Faction hub, though at peak hours it might really become moot now.

    Guess I'll just leave one Auction alt in town and go to Theramore, it was about the only re-worked part that became better from The Shattering with its new bank and trainers. Oh wait..

    Needless to say, I agree with you that CRZ is basically a band-aid for self-inflicted wounds, and a smelly one at that.

    You make the pre-cap game pointless in a level-based game, of course the places where the levelling takes place are poing to suffer.

    I would like to be able to end on a high note, but from the latest Q&A it's clear GC will not rest untill everybody plays MMORPG's the way he does (or, more accurately, WoW like he does as from an arlier Q&A it's the only RPG he ever played).

    People asked: I like to collect Recipes (as many people, including me, do) yet the Armory lists a lot of Recipes that have become or never were available to players. Will you bring them back?

    GC: No, I rather remove Recipes that have no apparent practical use to me.

    Clearly the man understands/is concerned with Recipe collectors...

    1. Yeah, that comment about recipes rubbed me the wrong way, too. But, as mentioned, CRZs are making me very, very, very happy on PVP realms. I never understood the crybabies that you mention in the beginning of your post (someone ganks someone at Dark Portal??? go PVE already).

      /shutting up and going into the world to hunt for skulls, sorry I am having too much fun

    2. @NetherLands

      It is not a mixing of realms. It was what we refer to as PvP heroes. People that roll on a PvE server and try to PvP and destroy people that are not in PvP gear and do not have any skills at PvP and then prance around thinking they are so great and gods gift to PvP.

      It is not that PvE servers are being mixed with PvP ones, they are not, but more servers means more PvP heroes trying to make themselves feel good beating on people 20 levels lower than them that don't even PvP to begin with.

      I usually just think of all those types are people with serious self esteem issues and this is how they make themselves feel better. It is also one of the few times I do actually PvP.

      When I see them doing that I usually assemble a guild group and beat the ever living crap out of them. Usually those PvP heroes are really bad at PvP, hence the reason they only PvP on PvE servers and will not fight back against an opponent that is an equal.


      I am all with you on that one. While I am not a PvPer by nature I have never complained about being ganked on a PvP server. If I don't want to be ganked I go on a different server. It bugs me too when people complain about PvP on a PvP server. If you don't like it switch and do like I do. When I want to PvP I flag myself, when I don't, I leave the flag off. Simple right?

      Heck, I don't even complain about being ganked on a PvE server if I self flag. If I self flag I am free game. Heck, I used to love TB doing dailies. I would kill anything that got in my path. If its red its dead. If you don't like it, leave the area until your flag falls off. When I do not want to fight I leave until my flag falls off. Its not that hard.

  3. Lazy. "You keep on using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."

    CRZ is anything BUT lazy, lazy would be doing nothing. Or it would be closing down and combining servers. CRZ took a lot of changes in tech, and obviously still has some bugs. You may not like CRZ, but there's nothing lazy about it.

    Most people complaining about CRZ complain about the bugs (which will get fixed, it's a brand new system) or about having to fight off other farmers, which don't feel one bit sorry for. This is an MMO, go back to skyrim if you don't want to see people.

    CRZ does have some real problems, the biggest of which is the ganking, which is a HUGE issue, especially right now with all the incredibly bored 85s. I'd like to see CRZ stay, but I want to see blizzard use it to seperate leveling players from higher level players. It would encourage more actual pvp since everyone at a given level would see similar players and it would solve the gankfest problem that exists.

    As for slower leveling with more to do on the way up, I agree, but don't see it as a CRZ issue. I'd love for them to introduce a way for instant-85s for the people that just want more raiding alts and longer leveling with larger zones for people that enjoy exploring and questing and dungeoning at-level. The current system doesn't really please either type of player.

    1. I know what is involved as I have coded before, not games but programs and I did not mean lazy as in it was doing nothing or it was easy to do. Quite the contrary. I am sure it was a great deal of work to do something on that massive of a scale. I was using the word lazy in reference to what I believe they should have done.

      The best example would be me making steak for dinner. I could make a TV dinner steak or cook one myself. Both required work but one required a lot less. So making the TV dinner steak was taking the lazy route to making dinner.

      If they fleshed out the game and added more content to make people go out in the world it would have been a dozen times more work. So this is indeed the lazy fix, the TV dinner if you will.

      They are using the CRZ as one fix all to try and fix a few problems. Fix world PvP, fix empty worlds, fix the small server population, fix the need to downsize their server farm, fix people thinking the game is dying, fix a lot of things instead of addressing each problem on its own and adding a solution that would be better for the game than just one fix all for everything.

      That is why I call it lazy.

      I would love to have leveling feel like part of the game again instead of just a means to an end now. I used to love leveling because it felt like I accomplished something, now it feels like I am wasting my time.

  4. Since I am not leveling or even going out and about on my 85's I am not really seeing the CRZ's. So don't know how it has effected things.

    I am not sure that making the leveling process longer would be a good thing. At least from a personal point and I expect most of my guildies would agree.

    Something I would be curious about that has just popped into my head. The sale of Heirlooms. Think that would show how many people like to speed up their levelling.

    I have 4 Alts at 85. I have done it all really. Leveling through quests, quests & dungeons and dungeons only. Depending on what the class is. I do like doing tanks and healers through dungeons more than questing. As it is more of a learning experience.

    If they extended the levelling, changes are that I would not have as many max level characters. I wonder how many other people would also level less if this were the case.

    Your suggestion could end up making less people play instead of more. It would have an effect on end game as well, since there would be less characters at max level. This is all personal opinion really.

    I do think that if you lowered the experience gained from dungeons a lot less people would run them. As it is I think questing is the quickest way. With running dungeons once for the quests. So you would end up making low level dungeons almost pointless. Taking away the option of how you would like to level.

    Everyone is different. Some like to level quick, some slow. Heirlooms help to an extent with that. Some like dungeons, some don't. I know a friend that has just made a character on another realm, with no looms or gold to try and extend the experience.

    I think something that would also have to be considered is how this would effect new players. If you made it so that it would take an experience wow player 1 month to level to max (that is playing time, I know I can do it in 3-4 days playing time right now).

    How much would that effect a new player? My first character took a lot longer to level. As I just didn't know what I was doing. Would that put off people that want to join and play with friends? Getting to 90 soon will take a long time as it is (even with RAF).

    I think I do like the option another person suggested of making leveling slow or fast as you please.

    1. Everyone is different as you said. For every one person that wants to get to max level ASAP like yourself there is one person that would want to take their time, perhaps even more when you look at all the facts as stated by blizzard themselves.

      More than 50% of subscribers do not have a max level character, so right off the bat it is proof that people do not need to be max level to keep playing and subscribing. For those people, the longer you keep them leveling the longer they will play and pay.

      Now that is with the faster leveling even. The number was larger before that. Now add to the fact myself and people like me that do have max level characters, 17 of them as a matter of a fact. We hate the leveling because it lost its fun. If leveling was slower do you think I would have 17 max level characters? Hell no. I could have had twice as many as I wanted with leveling as is. If leveling took longer I would have not gotten so bored with the game so often this expansion.

      Now add the massive subscriber losses. There are many reasons for it but a few of them come back to leveling.

      Dungeons were too hard (if people were not capped and still leveling they would not have hit the wall and quit).

      Lack of non raid or dungeon content at max level (if people were not capped and still leveling they would not have gotten bored).

      T11 raids were too brutal for a majority of the max level characters (if people were not capped and still leveling they would not have even tried raiding and gotten frustrated by it).

      The Zul grind was hard, repetitive, boring, and basically hell all around (if people were not capped they would have never felt the need to get burnt out by that run).

      So being level capped is a huge reason many of those issues that caused people to quit happened.

      Not to even mention all those people who have as much fun getting to the end of the game as some do playing the end of the game. For a great deal of players once they hit 85 the game is over. They do not keep playing like us. If they roll an alt to try it with a different class it is the same thing, once they hit 85 the game is done.

      All in all being said, leveling should be part of the game, a major part of the game. Too fast like it is now removes it from being a real part of the game.

      So my opinion or your opinion are just opinions. The facts are the game did better when it kept people playing it and did not allow them to get bored and for well over 50% of the player base how they did that is with leveling. So longer leveling is better for the health of the game. Fact, not opinion.

    2. 50% of subs not having a max level character is very interesting. That is not a figure I have heard before. What are we now? 9 Million?

      So 4.5 Million don't have a max level. Is this a recent figure?

      I am also curious what they mean by max level. Is that people with level 85s? Because I know there are people that do not have some expansions. So they have max level at 80, 70, even 60. I think 70 is one of the more popular ones. Does this include them?

      I also wonder how many of the 50% are goldsellers.

      I could understand a certain percentage taking a long time to get to max level. But I would of thought even a casual player that only plays a few hours a week would eventually reach max level.

      So either a lot just level very very very slowly or they change characters all the time. Or they are one of those people that have max level for their expansion

    3. GC said it himself in an interview roughly 2 months ago if memory serves me correct. It was around the same time, might even the same interview, he said that the LFR was a great success as nearly 2M characters have completed it.

      I think he meant 85, but he did say max level, so it could also include people that only have warth and are not 80, but that would only be guessing, so I would rather guess it means do not have an 85.

      We have a few people in my guild that have been playing since vanilla and have never had a max level character, ever. They all have multiple ones and they all disappeared shortly after they had multiples because they were bored. As a matter of fact I saw one online yesterday after not seeing her for a year, it is going to take a look at mists, perhaps she will come back. But the game, the leveling game, is what she played and she lost interest when that game was removed basically. She is just one of that over 50%. We are the minority. Not them.

  5. I like leveling on one character. On the others, it's just a means to an end. That's why I only have 2 85s and my next highest toon is only 52. I'm glad the leveling is fast because I just don't have that many hours to spend leveling. If leveling was even longer, I'd survive of course, I went 2 years with only 1 capped character. For the endgamers, they only care about the endgame and they hate leveling. For the people who just play the game, questing is part of what they do. I'm in between. Having different leveling methods to cater to the different groups may be beneficial but I really don't know how Blizz should address that. Heirlooms is certainly a step in the right direction since they're optional and only for people who've already leveled a character up. Maybe increasing the experience gained in dungeons to be comparable or faster than questing might be an option. Anyway...

    CRZ sucks though. I can't find any good points about it. If I wanted to be on a lively, more populated server, I'd switch servers. If I wanted to play on a server that was 3 time zones away, I'd switch servers. Etc.

    1. Leveling is a huge part of the game for the majority of the players. I like a suggestion someone else made about giving the option of slow or fast leveling. I would even take it a step further. If you have a max level hunter you can make a max level hunter on any server, no leveling required, it would start at a minimum gear level of course. I think that would be a good addition for the end gamers that hate leveling, and solve the problem of instant max level characters you do not know how to play, while allowing the people who like to level still get a much fuller leveling experience.

      I doubt they would increase dungeon experience, as I said they should lower it to get people back in the world. They said they did the CRZ to make it seem more alive out in the leveling zones. Making people stand in cities and dungeon level even more would completely defeat that purpose.

      I agree with you on the CRZ, if I wanted to be on a busy server I would be on a busy server. It really is that simple. I pay to be on a small server, leave me be and let me play on the server I paid to be on.

      The one good thing about it is PvP, but as I am not a PvPer I can live without it. Sad part is a fair deal of the PvP it has created is not the good PvP it is the griefing, low level camping, and all around bad sports ruining the game for others. But more often than not bad manners comes hand and hand with PvP.

  6. Good and bad news

    The good news is that firewall technology can* keep you from being CRZ'ed, according to this post ( #36)

    The bad is that Blizz hotfixed this so it apparently doesn't work anymore. Can't have people spoil GC deciding for them how to play, now can we?

    But it does show that Blizz could make a personal on/off toggle, and of course if they don't want to make this toggle 'because then nobody would turn it on' it would show how popular they expect CRZ to really be.

    (y I have started to experience the joys of CRZ now. My Realm pretty much always had ppl in its Zones, now I have to pick a number for the simplest of tasks, all because GC finds the current Questing too hard to do on his own)

    1. I saw that post and was elated with joy when I did. But when I saw that all it did was put you in a world where nothing is, I was let down. :(

      They could make an opt out option, they just refuse to let the people that pay them play where they want to play.

      I was stuck waiting in line for a quest mob for 30 minutes yesterday, and the stupid people I tried to group with kept saying no. What? Do they have a problem with 5 of us getting it done at the same time? I do not understand some people.

      Blizzard somehow thinks this if fun I guess.