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As of Patch 3.3.5, World of Warcraft players have access to a brand-new feature called Real ID, a completely voluntary and optional level of identity that will keep players connected across all of Battle.net®.
When you and a friend mutually agree to become Real ID friends, you'll have access to a number of additional features across realms that are only available with Real ID.
- Real Names for Friends
- Your Real ID friends will appear under their real-life names on your friends list, when chatting, communicating in-game, or viewing a character's profile. Real ID friends can also see who's on each other's Real ID friends list, making it easy for players to connect with other people they know.
- There is no way to turn off the sharing of your friend's real names yet. Please use caution when using Real ID.
- Cross-Realm and Cross-Game Chat
- With Real ID, friends can chat cross-realm and cross-faction in World of Warcraft, and will be able to chat across future Blizzard games such as StarCraft II.
- Rich Presence
- See additional info on your friends list about what your Real ID friends are up to in World of Warcraft and upcoming games like StarCraft II in real time.
- Broadcast a short status message for all of your Real ID friends to see, whether you want to issue a call-to-arms or let your friends know about an important change of plans.
- Friend Once, See All Characters
- Real ID friends will automatically see all of each other's characters on their friends list - even characters created in future Blizzard games - helping players stay connected with the people they enjoy playing with most.
- Getting Started
- To send a Real ID friend request to another player, you'll simply enter his or her Battle.net account name (an email address) using the Add Friend function in-game. The other player will see the pending request in their friends list, and if they accept, you will become Real ID friends with each other.
- Real ID Parental Controls
- With the launch of Real ID, we will be updating our Parental Controls, giving parents the ability to decide whether their child can participate in Real ID. We'll be sending an email to existing Parental Controls users with more information once the feature becomes available.
After Patch 4.2, a new feature was announced allow World of Warcraft players to invite their real-life Real ID friends of the same faction to a party regardless of the realm they play on, and then queue up for a 5-player regular or Heroic dungeon. The feature was available to test in mid-July 2011 and was released the following month in mid-August.
|Real ID Party Feature – Release FAQ|
Q: How do I invite Real ID friends to a Real ID Party?
A: Inviting a Real ID friend to a Real ID Party is simple. Just open up your friends list to see which Real ID friends are online. Click on the “Plus” button to send an invitation to a Real ID friend to join your group. You can continue to add Real ID friends to your party until the group is complete. If you cannot complete the group with Real ID friends, you are free to join the Dungeon Finder to fill in the missing roles.
Q: Does a player need to have Real ID enabled to accept a Real ID group invite?
A: Yes, a player must have Real ID enabled, and both players must be Real ID friends to accept or initiate Real ID party invitations.
Q: Can a party leader invite a mix of Real ID friends, character-level friends, guildmates, or random players to the same party?
A: A party leader can invite any combination of Real ID friends from any realm, guildmates from the same realm, or other characters from the same realm to the same party. If the party leader isn’t able to fill up the entire party, the Dungeon Finder can fill in the missing roles.
Q: Can I invite someone who is not a Real ID friend?
A: You can only invite members to a party if they are on your Real ID friends list or if they are on the same realm as you are.
Q: Can I invite a friend of a Real ID friend?
A: No, you can only invite your own Real ID friends the party.
Q. Are you considering expanding the system to work with raids, Battlegrounds, Arenas, or to allow cross-faction play?
A: We're always looking into ways to improve features like this to make it more convenient for real-life friends to play together. However, we don't have any further announcements to share at this time.
Q: Will any future aspects of the Real ID Party system be premium-based?
A: It's always possible that we'll add features and functionality that could have a premium component, but we don't have any specific details to share at this time.
On July 6, 2010, Blizzard announced their intention to have Real ID names visible when posting on the official forums. This resulted in a massive outcry against the idea, based primarily on concerns about privacy issues and potential harassment. Due to the flood of criticism, Blizzard rescinded their plan three days later.
- Real ID and BattleTag friends can group in cross-realm zones, but the server they all appear on may be random.
Patches and hotfixes
- Hotfix (2011-08-16): Party feature released coinciding with August 16 Hotfixes.
- Patch 4.2.0 (28-Jun-2011): Party feature in testing around time of July 14 Hotfixes.
- Patch 3.3.5 (2010-06-22): Added.
- ^ Blizzard Entertainment, Aug 16, 2011 7:00 AM PDT. New Real ID Party Feature Now Live. Official World of Warcraft Community site (US).
Blizzard Entertainment 2011-08-16. New Real ID Party Feature Now Live. Official World of Warcraft Community site (EU).
- ^ Adam Holisky 2010-07-06. Official forum changes, real life names to be displayed. WoW Insider.
- ^ Mike Morhaime via Nethaera 2010-07-09. Regarding real names in forums. Official World of Warcraft forums. Archived from the original on 2010-07-09.
- ^ Rygarius 2012-09-22. #1 - Cross-Realm Zones. Official Community > General Discussion forum (US). ...players are freely able to invite Real ID and BattleTag friends to join their party, even if their realm types do not match. In this case, players will be randomly placed within a party member’s realm.
- Real ID
- Previous controversy