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

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.


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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