During E3 2010, Blizzard revealed a new feature for World of Warcraft, StarCraft II, and other games that will utilize Battle.net. Called Real ID, this voluntary service creates a "friends list" of sorts that provides the real names of players, their army of characters, and the ability to see what they're currently doing on Battle.net. Real ID even provides a cross-game, cross-realm chat client.
"One of our goals for the new Battle.net is to create the framework for an online gaming experience that is even more accessible, more engaging, and more entertaining than the previous Battle.net," the company said. "Our new Real ID feature is an integral part of this effort, providing you with advanced ways for forming and maintaining meaningful relationships with your friends on the service."
Borrowing from social networks and IM clients, gamers will also be able to broadcast short status messages to other friends on their list. Blizzard offered an example, saying that Real ID users can issue a call-to-arms, or let friends know about an important change of plans. Broadcast messages are also fed to the user's Battle.net front page--this is handy for sending messages when friends are busy or not logged onto the network.
"When you agree to become Real ID friends with another player, both of you will automatically see all the other characters on your friends list," blizzard said. "You'll even see any characters your friend creates in future Blizzard games, carrying your social network forward and helping you stay connected with the people you enjoy playing with most."
Real ID is expected to launch alongside the upcoming patch (v3.3.5) for World of Warcraft.