So the PTR patch notes went up a couple days ago. I usually don’t pay much attention to patch notes until the patch arrives, to be perfectly honest – it’s very rare that something happens that I’m intensely interested in. But I ran across a blog post about the current patch notes and I got really excited at one specific part.
In addition to its current functionality, the Friends List will now allow players to add Battle.net accounts (Real ID). Players will have to confirm that they are friends in order for a Real ID to be added. Once Real ID friends, players can communicate cross-game, cross-faction and cross-realm.
Seriously? SERIOUSLY?! I mean, there’s only a couple of people I’d want to do that with, but… to be able to talk to a couple of my RL friends I dragged into the game when I’m playing on my main (as neither of them have rolled on Ysera)? To be able to talk to my two favourite guild boys (ilu Luther and Hano!) when I’m RPing or levelling on another server, so I know if they’re gonna do a raid I can actually attend and can log over? That’s amazing. My girl Jaqui and I have bemoaned many a time that it’s not fair we didn’t have a way to talk if she decided to level Horde and I was levelling Alliance, or so forth.
And on a completely different functionality, for RPers, if you have a solid RP partner that you like, and you use this, you can CROSS-FACTION ROLE PLAY. I mean, you can’t do anything big and sweeping with many people all at once, since it still wouldn’t let you talk directly, but if you kept the entire RP in whispers and pre-set emotes? I can’t tell you how much I’ve WANTED to be able to RP stuff like that. Or, hell, with the language barrier, you could just save whispers for proper descriptive emotes, and let them suss out what the other’s trying to say that way. So many possibilities!
The one downside that I can see is that, unless they create an “appear offline to battle.net friends” option so that only people who have your CHARACTER friended can see you online, you’ll never be able to HIDE from anyone who’s got this with you. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I love my friends, but sometimes it’s nice to have a secret character or a server you can log into when you don’t feel like talking to people you know. I suppose that not feeling like talking can be mitigated somewhat with the new broadcast/status message feature (for your battle.net friends), where you could say “not feeling social, no tells please”, but that doesn’t feel the same, somehow.
Still, a minor drawback to a MAJORLY thrilling addition to the WoW functionality. And who knows, maybe they’ll have that drawback fixed by the time it hits the live realms!