There’s a virtual firestorm blazing on the wow forums and twitter/blogland regarding Blizz’s new Real ID features, but let me just say I’m digging it so far, and I don’t completely understand all the fuss. After all – no one can force you to become their Real ID friend, and if you don’t like it, feel very free to not use it; the old Friends List functions just the same as it did before!
So far I have added only RL work friends who play horde on my server, and getting to talk cross-faction with them in-game was super fun (broadcasting quirky statuses became a back-and-forth game for awhile as well). I like that it works much like whispers in that you can just hit “r” to reply, though I noticed DBM didn’t pick up on it and shoot them an in-combat autoreply while I was raiding (maybe that will be built into the mod eventually). With my RL friends, who already know my name and email address, it wasn’t a big deal to me at all that they can see my name in-game and all my toons as well, especially cross-faction. This applies to friends/family who play on different servers as well – it’s a pretty awesome way to keep in touch.
I can understand not wanting to give y0ur Real ID to a raid leader, or people you don’t know very well in-game, and I likely wouldn’t, but again, you have all the control here – if you don’t want to be someone’s Real ID friend, DON’T! If you don’t want your annoying wow-noob acquaintance to bug you while you’re on alts – don’t give him/her your email address!
I can see Blizz maybe offering the option to set a nickname or making slight changes based on the cacophony of complaints surging from the forums, but honestly I think it’s a lot of fussing for something that is completely OPTIONAL. If Blizz was requiring us to use Real ID that would be another thing entirely…