Due to the large number of players on Dungeon Realms and the limitations of farming spots (as well as specific size of map), players have a choice of 'shards' that they can play on at any one time, and whilst game mechanics are the same across all shards, player characters will only appear on the shard that they have logged on to.
Each shard is hosted by a separate server box, which means that if one shard crashes or goes down for any reason, all other shards can remain online. However, if a shard does go down, the player data of anyone logged onto it is locked to that shard and the player cannot join any other shards (otherwise their data would be rolled back or wiped).
Players can change shards at any time by logging out and logging back it. Previously, players could switch whilst in-game using the /shard command, however the DestinyMC team implemented a server lobby from which players select their shards.
The majority of chat messages are restricted to the player's shard in order to prevent spamming of global chat, however there are types of message that are broadcast across shards:
- Guild Chat is sent across shards, and the player's current shard appears next to their name in chat when typing, however the obvious limitation of this is that messages are exclusive to guild members.
- Global Message eCash Items can be purchased using eCash and provide the player with a one-time global broadcast across all shards.
- GM broadcast commands are sent across the entire server.
Additionally, private messages can be sent between players on different shards.