We've spoken previously about WildStar supporting cross-realm play, but up until now we haven't really delved into the details. As you are probably aware, we're planning on having many different realms (or "servers," as other games call them, though that's a bit of a misnomer these days) available to choose from at launch. There will be the usual rulesets of PvP, PvE, etc. but one of the most frustrating experiences is getting ready to play with your friends at launch only to discover they've rolled a character on a different server. So here's what we're doing to support cross-realm play throughout WildStar.
First and foremost, you can talk to anyone across time and space… well ok, maybe not time… but certainly across realms. To talk to anyone on another realm, all you have to do is include their realm name after an “at symbol” (@), so “/w CharacterName@RealmName Hello!” would allow you to speak to anyone online as if they were on the same realm as you.
The next thing you'd want to do with your friends is form a party with them. This works similarly to chat whispers: you simply invite someone using their name & realm (“CharacterName@RealmName”) and they will get a party invite notification that they can accept. All party chat is seen by everyone in the party, regardless of which realm they are on.
Next on the list of things you’ll want to do: Meet random strangers and kill stuff! Because nothing bonds people together like slaughtering the indigenous species of an alien planet. So we have a Group Finder that will match you based on various criteria with people from just about anywhere, and allow you to make new friends while exploring Nexus.
If for some reason you are anti-social and don’t want to meet people from strange new lands, we will be accommodating you as well. Most of our cross-realm features will have a checkbox to say that you only want to play with people from your own realm. By choosing this option, our system will only match you with people who are on your own realm, allowing for you to make friends who you'll be able to continue to play with after completing instanced content.
There are some limitations to our systems, however. We sadly can’t allow you to explore the world as a whole with your friends; as the world would quickly become too crowded. But anytime you enter instanced content, whether through battlegrounds, dungeons, arenas, or <REDACTED>, your entire party will all be able to play together. There is also a limitation on being able to trade items. Because we feel the economy on every realm is very important to maintaining the economic stability of the realm, you cannot trade with your friends from other realms.
Cross-realm gameplay is something that's been important to us from the very beginning, which is why getting that tech onto our servers was a priority early on. So feel free to pick your realm at launch without fear, knowing you'll be able to play with your friends wherever they end up. Thanks for reading!