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As of patch 3.3.5, World of Warcraft players have access to a feature called Real ID, an optional level of identity that will keep players connected across Battle.net. When two players agree to become Real ID friends, they'll have access to a number of additional features.
- Real Names for Friends
- Real ID friends will appear under their real-life names on the 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.
- There is no way to turn off the sharing of real names yet. Caution is advised 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 across other Blizzard games such as StarCraft II.
- Rich Presence
- Additional info is displayed on the friends list about what Real ID friends are up to in supported games in real time.
- Broadcasts a short status message for all Real ID friends to see.
- 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 other Blizzard games.
- Real ID Parental Controls
- With the launch of Real ID, the Parental Controls were updated, giving parents the ability to decide whether their child can participate in Real ID.
- With Patch 4.2 the ability to invite Real ID friends to group cross realm was added.
- While in party, the 5 man dungeon finder may be used to adventure together.
- While in party, Real ID friends can queue for random non-rated battlegrounds cross-realm.
- The Raid finder was initially not useable while grouped with a Real ID friend on another realm, but this functionality was later hotfixed in.
- In addition, Real ID friends can do pre-Dragon Soul raids cross-realm as long as they are in the same group.
To send a Real ID friend request to another player, 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.
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 Due to the flood of criticism, Blizzard rescinded their plan three days later.
Patches and hotfixes
- Patch 3.3.5 (2010-06-22): Added.