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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Once again, it’s been a bumper weekend of great posts in the blogosphere – is it the winter drawing in that’s making everyone stay inside and write fascinating stuff?
I’m honestly not sure. Regardless, though, we’ve had too many interesting pieces to post just one – so here’s a bumper crop of everything from adorable meercat PvP to questions about the validity of SWTOR’s questing approach:
- Rades was controversial over the weekend as he argued that people should stop complaining about transmogrification for heirlooms being removed – “Disappointment =/= outrage. I know full well these things are not supposed to work this way, so if they get fixed, so be it.”
- Piercing Shots made a solid case that some of the bloggers concerned about Dragon Soul’s difficulty might have overlooked their own awesome – “I can understand Kurn’s disappointment that she’s almost cleared the normals already, but I really think she underestimates the unbalancing effect of her own skill and the skill and teamwork of her guild.”
- Kill Ten Rats likes the SWTOR quest cinematics, but wonders if it’ll start getting boring to hear dialogue about, well, killing ten rats – “I wondered if after twenty hours of listening to “dialogues on rat tails” as different or snappy as they could be written, I would be ready to start skipping all that development time, money, and love. I had in a moment seen through sparkle.”
- And Cynwise – well, Cynwise became a meercat for the weekend. I don’t think I can come up with a better conclusion to today’s post than to borrow an image from him –
(Original non-PvP meercat image from @outbirk on Twitter)
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It’s been another bumper weekend for MMO blog writing, so once again I can’t confine myself to just a few blog posts to feature today.
Here’s some of the most interesting posts from Friday to today that didn’t fit under a single theme:
- Tobold has a great summary and analysis of SWTOR’s crafting system – I’d heard bits and pieces, but this is a fascinating summary – “I do think this is a very good system. Yes, it will annoy some people who want instant gratification. But it will allow others to actually craft items of value. And it will make crafting an important part of your main character, instead of being a task outsourced to an alt.”
- Gazimoff writes a thought-provoking checklist of features for an ideal MMO – this is the kind of post that makes me want time to write a response myself! – “Once I finalised the list I realised something – I subconsciously judge each new MMO against this list. Some games do well in some areas but are poor in others, making the discussion difficult about which one is “better”.”
- Cynwise is waxing passionate about a tiny-but-fascinating new game element in WoW- mailing transmogrified heirlooms – “I told my friends about it, and they found it to be a lot of fun too. A LOT of fun. Simple things like character appearance matter. Looking put together makes you feel better about yourself, and it’s no different for our characters, too. “
Are you looking forward to SWTOR crafting? Subconciously running your own MMO checklist? Or just looking forward to decking out your alts?
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So you know when you got given the dog-eared hand me down jumper that’s been in the family for generations and is made of something you don’t want to speculate on but you swear moves of its own accord that you just had to wear it, at least once. Even though the sleeves were twice the length of the rest of the thing and fell down no matter how tightly you rolled them up. Right? But there’s something magical about hand me down clothes. Sure, there’s something a lot of other things about them too that we’re not going to go into, but Psynister is writing a series recounting the benefits of hand me down clothing.
In World of Warcraft.
No, stick with us. His series is a great idea for anyone who’s thinking of startng a new character no matter how long you’ve been playing the game. It applies to both newish and veteran players just about to roll another toon and find out if they warm to it. And his idea of creating a wardrobe of hand-me-downs (which he calls HMDs) that your characters can share to get off the ground is a great one. He’s not talking about heirlooms: he’s talking about preparing sets of equipment that doesn’t bind to a character and you can ship to any new toon you fancy. Just so they have something to run around in while you get an idea of how they play, and so they can smite things without getting chilly.
So if you’re trying to decide on which class to role, or what to go take one for a test drive for 10 levels or so before deciding whether or not to keep them, this is a great way to get a feel for how the class is going to play for you without putting in investment that’s going to be wasted. Since these items can be passed around due to their lack of binding, it’s not a big deal to roll a character, gain a few levels, scrap them and reroll another, and so on until you find a nice fit.
He explains why you’d want to do this better than me, in his posts. In his series he’s taking a look at gear sets for specific classes, some of which can then be shared for similar classes – like mages and warlocks need roughly the same stuff, at least at first. He suggests items to get, and then enchants to put on them. Why? He says that enchants are actually more effective than heirlooms. The only downside to this is that you need a character capable of providing some capital for this venture so it’s probably not accessible for very new players, but overall it looks like a greay longterm investment for anyone looking to try new classes. And I’d guess that’s most of us after, say, tomorrow (or whenever patch 4.0.3a does drop).
What about you – going to try this out or sticking with heirlooms for your new critter?
_Quote taken directly from Psynister’s post, one of a series
_You can find Psynister’s Notebook here, which is also where the rest of the posts in the series are._
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