Getting Real: Blizzard’s Real ID

Blizzard has announced Real ID, which it calls a "completely voluntary and optional level of identity that will keep players connected across all of" The first game to get support for Real ID will be World of Warcraft.

The idea is to give users a way to connect with real friends using real names and give them a means to communicate and share independent of the Blizzard game they might be playing at the time. 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 might know.

For World of Warcraft players this allows for cross-realm and cross-game chat – for example, when you friend is play StarCraft 2 you can harass him or her while in World of Warcraft.. And when you "friend" someone once you will see all the characters they have created in Blizzard games to date. Apparently this will even include "future games" someone might be playing like betas and beta content.

Finally, Real ID will feature a parental control layer for those parents interested in using. Those that already use parental controls should be getting some details in their inboxes soon, but the short answer is that parents can decide if their children can participate in Real ID .. for obvious reasons.

Real ID is scheduled to launch with World of Warcraft patch 3.3.5; keep an eye on for details or check out the Real ID FAQ.

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  1. 0
    Attack_Gypsy says:

    I’m on their PTR, which is their Public Test Realm. It’s a sort of beta test for patches and such.

    They keep having to disable the Real ID, because its buggy and causes crashes and disconnects.

    Good system there, Blizzard.

  2. 0
    Alex says:

    "I, personally, think Blizzard should make a instant messenger type thing that allows me to message my friends whilst they in-game, even when I’m not."

    They’ve said they want to make something like this to interface with 2.0 and talk to Real ID friends, but they don’t have any specific plans yet.

    I’m not under the affluence of incohol as some thinkle peep I am. I’m not half as thunk as you might drink. I fool so feelish I don’t know who is me, and the drunker I stand here, the longer I get.

  3. 0
    Mr.Tastix says:

    I, personally, think Blizzard should make a instant messenger type thing that allows me to message my friends whilst they in-game, even when I’m not.

    "But Randi!", I hear you say, "Things like Steam, Xfire or Raptr can do that already!" Ah, and you’re right, but how many want to use those third-party programs? In comparison to the people who actively play Blizzard’s games online, not many.

    If people already trust Blizzard enough to buy and install their games on their PC, I think they’d trust them enough to install a Messenger, and that’s my point. Steam, for example, whilst from a trusted vendor, is still third-party, and the Steam Overlay isn’t integrated natively with games like Xfire or Raptr is (which detects you’re in a game automatically).

    The latter two, however, are "worse" only because their vendors may not be as trustworthy (Xfire is run by the MTV Networks, I can’t say how trustworthy they are in the grand scheme of things though).

    — Randi Tastix

  4. 0
    Mr.Tastix says:

    The system is designed for people you can punch if they screw you over.

    By that, I mean you should only give out your Real ID to those who you know in real-life. Offline friends, workmates and colleagues, family members, etc. Some people (like myself) may give these to people they "trust" online, some might want to have their guild leaders Real ID for contact purposes if something comes up and they can’t be online, etc.

    To put it simply though: The people I’ll be giving my Real ID are already on my Facebook. I won’t give it to everyone in my guild, but those who get the ID will already know my name and e-mail address so it won’t actually matter much, in the long run.

    — Randi Tastix

  5. 0
    hellfire7885 says:

    I’d be more for this if it didn’t force you to use a real name. I mean, it’d be nice if when playign Starcraft 2 friends could get ahold of you if needed, but requiring a real name is kinda dangerous, especially since some think nothing of it.

  6. 0
    Alex says:

    The problem is that limiting cross-realm and cross-game chat to "real life friends only" is arbitrary and pointless. I’ve yet to find anyone that can give me a good reason for the system to require you to display your real name that didn’t boil down to "because Blizzard said so." That includes your post, by the way. The system isn’t designed for people you’ve never seen face to face. Why? "Because Blizzard said so." They could have easily designed it to use handles or even pick a "main" character/SC2 account to show as your name, with an optional function to go by your real name for people you know IRL. Real names are in no way vital to the way the system operates.

    On top of that, the "friends of friends" feature goes completely against that stated intention, and can’t be opted out of short of not using Real ID at all. To borrow a phrase someone else used to describe the problem, friendship is not transitive. I KNOW who I want to add to my Real ID contacts. If I don’t add some one, I’m not adding them for a reason, most likely because they aren’t my friends. So "friends of friends" is literally useless to me except that it takes control of who sees my information out of my hands and puts it in the hands of my friends, who may not be as careful about who they add as I am.

    I’m not under the affluence of incohol as some thinkle peep I am. I’m not half as thunk as you might drink. I fool so feelish I don’t know who is me, and the drunker I stand here, the longer I get.

  7. 0
    Thomas P. says:

    I fail to see why anyone would make a big deal about this.

    I’ve got alot of IRL friends that I’d love to be able to talk to while online.  This system is NOT designed for people who you’ve never seen face to face, for these people use the ingame friends features that already exist.

  8. 0
    Anski says:

    This is just like the Sony Station Launcher except that you have to add another piece to get the "all games and characters in said games" function. With the launcher, all you have to do is add someone as a friend and it will show when any of their characters in any SOE game is online. It supports chat (both text and voice) no matter what the game. I could be playing SWG (ha ha) and be talking to my guild members in EQ2.

    That said, I do like the extra step before you can see all of a person’s characters. A part of me just wishes that it didn’t go by real names… there is this nagging part of my brain that reminds me that sharing personal information willy nilly on the ‘net is not such a great idea. You can argue night and day that it is geared for "real life" friends, but you know that people (kids?!) will use it with people they have never met.

  9. 0
    DorkmasterFlek says:

    Why market this as based around your IRL identity?  Why not just make this an optional feature of your friends list or something?  Oh well, that’s kinda cool.  It’s basically like the Steam friends list.

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