Cross realm heirlooms, BoA, mail, and other trading in WoW Patch 4.3 | The Cross-realm Guide

by on February 29, 2012


One question that keeps coming up again and again on the WoW forums is whether we’ll ever be able to transfer heirlooms and other Bind on Account ( BoA ) items to characters on another realm or in the other faction via cross realm mail functions. And it’s not a dumb question – after all, it’s BoA gear not BoS (Bind on Server), right? So, can we do it now, and if not, when’s it coming?

Updated 29th Feb 2012 for WoW Patch 4.3

What Blizzard Have Said About Cross-Realm Mail

Blizzard have actually wanted to implement cross-realm mail since shortly after they introduced the Bind on Account concept to WoW. Initially, it was announced that they were working on a cross-realm mail feature before Cataclysm – but then things went mysteriously quiet on that front.

Since then, cross realm mailing has been one of the perennially hot topics on the forums, and the blue posters have periodically acknolwedged that, and mentioned that Blizzard is continuing to investigate the possibility of cross-realm mail.

With the arrival of cross-realm Battlegrounds, Dungeons, and finally Cross Realm Raids in Patch 4.3, there was a surge of renewed hope that maybe cross-realm trading would be next in line. But, alas, it was not to be. Blue poster Takralus posted on the subject on the 1st December 2011, crushing everyone’s hopes:

“We’re aware this is something players would love to see. However — echoing previous posts we’ve made on the subject — sending heirlooms across realms might be something we consider doing at some point, but there are currently no immediate plans to introduce this feature.”

So, if you want to transfer a BoA item from one character to another who you can’t just mail, are you completely out of luck?

Mailing Heirlooms and BoAs cross-faction – from Horde to Alliance or Alliance to Horde

If you’re trying to transfer your BoA items from a character on one faction to a character on the same server but the opposite faction – that is doable. However, there are a few gotchas.

As of WoW Patch 3.3 you can send BoA items to your characters on the opposite faction. You’ll need to mail the item to the character name – just the character name. Importantly, you’ll also need to make sure you’re only sending the item itself – if there’s anything else attached to the mail, it will fail completely.

To the best of our knowledge, you can also mail enchanted heirlooms cross-faction.

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Getting heirlooms across servers

So, there’s no way to move an heirloom from your character on one server to your character on another, then?

That’s not quite true – it’s more the case that there’s no free way. (Although see below – Blizzard have some intriguing future plans for heirlooms).

If you really want to give a character on a new realm the fastest possible start, the best way to do it is to create a new character on the realm where you do have heirlooms accessible, buy all the heirlooms you want to hand out, mail them to that new character, and then use the Paid Server Transfer function to transfer the character – and his pile of heirloom goodies – over to your new server.

Of course, this costs money – but it is a relatively fast and simple way to gear up new characters on another realm.

The Future of BoA

Blizzard have stated that they aren’t happy with BoA items being tied to a single server, or with the need to transfer them via in-game mail, and are looking at a completely different interface for them.

11th Feb 2012

“In terms of Bind on Account items, we believe that using the mail system to transfer heirlooms from one character to another is less than ideal. We’d like to work ourselves away from that sort of item distribution model, and have some design goals in mind that would change the mechanics of how heirlooms are distributed in-game.

We think it would be wonderful to simplify the system so that, for example, you might have a constant heirloom page across all your characters that you could peruse and select from at your leisure. Conceivably, we could do something similar for pets and mounts.

As always, these sorts of design ideas are constantly being evaluated. I just think it’s worth pointing out we’re not currently aiming to create a system that would allow players to mail heirlooms across realms or accounts. We believe that would be a sub-optimal design, and we have better solutions in mind for the future.”

As of this writing, it’s pretty obvious that Blizzard are looking to move away from the old server-limited model to a more flexible design, as several bloggers have predicted. Cross-realm raiding is clearly a huge hit (look for a guide to it soon), and we have some evidence that cross-realm dungeons are ticking along nicely.

With all that in mind, if you desperately want to heirloom-level a toon on a new server, it might be worth waiting for Patch 5.0 – there’s a good chance that it’ll see a major overhaul to how heirlooms, BoA items, and other such things are handled across realms.

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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Niki ~ Edenvale (@gamerfridge) March 2, 2012 at 8:10 pm

Instead of using the mail system Blizzard has why not send BoA gear you have bought to every toon you make. Similar to the vanity pets you buy from the Blizzard store or receive from special holidays. Yes it will be a lot of excess gear if you make 8 toons on one server all 8 will have 8 pieces of heirloom gear waiting from them in their mailbox. But it would solve the problem.

Or set up a vendor that will had out BoA gear that is registered to your account. If you make a new character on a new server this vendor is programmed to know if you have bought the mail casting gear on a different server but the same account.

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John March 12, 2012 at 3:19 pm

That would have saved me the $25 i just spent transferring a toon with my heirlooms! ;p What I’m more annoyed with and really wanting to happen is the limit raised on the current heirloom gear! Why doesn’t blizz up the max to 85? When mop comes out all the heirloom gear should all be raised to 90. They should be gear that gets you leveled and at max still kick butt in lvl90 dungeons like in lich where above Ilvl200 gear was about where you started changing out pieces! Make it happen cuz lvling through cata sucks!

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Brainsnack April 2, 2012 at 4:15 am

Changing the looms to lvl 90 won’t happen any time soon, as this would make leveling in MoP go way to fast. Blizzard is working on their next expansion and it would be countereffective to have people blast through it. Leveling to 85 at the moment is already extremely fast, too fast imho.

I’m sure they’ll either introduce 2 new pieces that go to 90 after a couple of patches, but by that time you’ll already have leveled most of your characters to 90 anyway, making it more appealing to level alts (again).

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Moody September 6, 2012 at 10:13 pm

Level 85 yes, 90 no. 85-90 content is new and should not have boa items in that range

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Bunny April 3, 2012 at 11:22 am

I think this idea is awesome Niki, it would make it possible to do it and simplify it. As of now, I am leveling a new toon on a new and all the BoA gear in the world is stuck on my main on some other server.

Fortunately I’m enjoying the Cata low level content, but That BoA sure would have helped me in the battle grounds. Also as a tank, it is embarrassing to have everyone have a few thousand more hitpoints than you including the healer. :P

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Scott March 23, 2012 at 3:07 pm

Leveling through Cata is easy. I just leveled a mage from 77 to 85 in a weekend, and if they make this game any easier it wont be worth playing.

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john April 3, 2012 at 3:34 am

I wasn’t trying to say that leveling through cata took too long it just sucks. I dislike the progression of quests that you have to do. I have leveled 5 85′s now. @brainsnack i do understand your logic as reference to mop and you’re right however, the heirloom gear should have the limit raised once a .2 or .3 patch is released. I paid alot for these and i bought my sets during lich king cuz the prices now are a bit too much unless you buy them through champion seals/darkmoon faire.

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Keith May 23, 2012 at 1:49 am

Yeah, people were done with Cata in like 2 days as it was, last thing Blizzard want to do is work for a year on an expansion for people to clear it in 2 days.

Also, if heirlooms work to 85, you’re not only levelling faster but entirely ignoring the gear upgrades to half your slots until you hit max level.

One suggestion however, how about a multiplier on the heirloom’s XP bonus, according to how many 85s (or fair enough, 90s, come MoP) you have already?

After all, the more 85s you have, the less interest you have in clearing Hyjal… again.

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Matt June 18, 2012 at 9:46 pm

Just make it to where once you purchase the gear on one toon it is available to all toons that can use that kind of gear or that it opens that item up where for a nominal price of gold you can go buy it for a selected toon on any server.

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Michael July 17, 2012 at 8:31 pm

Why doesn’t Blizzard implement a new interface window, showing each purchased heirloom item?
Think about it this way: You have purchased a heirloom item from a vendor, then an icon inside of this new interface window gets unlocked (showing that you bought it), which allows you to recreate any purchased heirloom item for each character (only once per character and only if it’s usable in any spec). With this new system you only need to buy a heirloom item once for each account, thus completing a whole cloth, leather, mail, plate set in no time.
It would also be more comfortable than logging on to another character and sending the pieces around. With this system you only need to create your new toon and “forge” or duplicate the heirloom out of the interface window.
In terms of space, I would insert a new tab in the character interface window, named “Heirlooms”.

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Nikki July 24, 2012 at 1:07 pm

IMO if they are going to be bind on ACCOUNT items you should have access to them from any toon on that account. if it was just for the realm you play on they should have been bind on REALM items. I do hope that blizzard will find a way to make it so every character on an account can use the items like the vendor that was suggested. Make him work like the tabard vendor, where you can only purchase the tabards you have the reputation for (but with the heirlooms of course)

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Alec August 2, 2012 at 6:27 am

niki you said how to get boa gear to a different character from a different realm i didn’t exactly understand your way of doing it can you explain it in like more of a retard language for me because i didn’t understand lol.

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marc August 3, 2012 at 1:38 pm

what she means is that you need to use a PAID TRANSFER, from the wow website, to get BOAs to a new realm, or just wait the next 2 months I am guessing they will implement it soon

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Kuska August 26, 2012 at 3:03 am

It’s very simple. Blizzard make big bucks forcing us to transfer toons and paying to do it. Doesn’t make very good business practice to make it free now does it. Peace out.

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Tekknyne October 9, 2012 at 6:01 pm

I found, through Blizzard’s endless courtesy, that if you start on a new server, but have heirlooms on the old server yet do not plan to play there anymore, they are sometimes kind enough to transfer the items you specify, from the toons you specify on the old server, to a toon you choose on the new server, and faction is not an issue. It may take a short time for the request ticket to be answered, but that’s to be expected, and it’s free. My situation was different though. I transferred my 85 death knight to a new server, with ALL of my heirlooms (had ALL full sets except for leather caster) and extra recipes, BoE and such, and other valuables, in tow. After the transfer, 7 of my heirlooms had gone missing and Blizzard couldn’t find any logs whatsoever of them ever existing. As a few of them were from my plate tanking heirloom set, which I also had the full set on another server entirely that i no longer played, they transferred, at my request, all of those to my death knight on the new server. At least that’s a few less i have to go buy all over again.

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Shindachande October 11, 2012 at 10:20 am

this would be great. and we really would not have to “mail” the items to another realm they could allow us to use the battle.net feature to transfer the items much like you would if you were transferring a toon to another realm.

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Abelius April 7, 2013 at 3:20 pm

“With all that in mind, if you desperately want to heirloom-level a toon on a new server, it might be worth waiting for Patch 5.0 – there’s a good chance that it’ll see a major overhaul to how heirlooms, BoA items, and other such things are handled across realms.”

5.2 is live…

LOL at that… :-P

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