You have encountered A GIRL. Options: >Fight, >Run, >Weep, >BOOOOONEESTTOOORRMM
The moment I reconnected with a friend who I hadn’t talked to in about a year, I was sold on Real ID. Sure, she has an AOL Instant Messenger account, and she posts on Facebook once in a while, but neither service has given me the opportunity to hold a real, honest conversation with her. Why did it take World of Warcraft for me to really speak up? Well, I think of it a bit like walking into a party where you don’t really know anybody. Sure, there are plenty of options to be social, but where do you start? Who do you talk to and what do you talk to them about? How can you be sure they’ll even understand words like “epic loot” and “Lord Marrowgar” (by the way, guys, getting drunk and accosting the womenfolk while yelling “BOOOOOOONNNEEESTTTOOOORRRMMMM!” and wielding a floor lamp is a good way to kill your chances)?
People often come together, and become really good friends, when they find out they have something in common. When you and your old pal are both playing WoW, you know there’s already some common ground for you to stand on.
Of course, this wouldn’t have been possible before the recent patch, because she’s playing an Alliance toon on a completely different server! As long as you have someone’s Real ID, though, it doesn’t matter what realm or faction they might be playing (though the game they are is, of course, limited to Blizzard titles at this time). To me, this is a bona-fide paradigmn shift, and not only does it help me maintain social bonds with real-life friends, but those that I may have abandoned on other servers, too.
There is quite a doozy of a patch coming to Starcraft 2 in the coming weeks. It adds a lot of social features (including map publishing and Facebook integration), interface changes, and some pretty big gameplay changes. Check out the full text from our good friend Zarhym:
The first round of testing for WoW’s Patch 3.3.5 was, not unexpectedly, disjointed and, at times, impossible to even connect. But regardless of that, I had at least a little bit of luck logging in to get a quick first look at how the new social options are being implemented. Of course, these options may change or even be removed or delayed before they hit the live servers, but let’s take a quick look at their first appearance on the PTR.
In the video, you’ll see new friends options for adding RealIDs for cross-realm, cross-faction, cross-game chat. You’ll also see new status settings, and even a way for you to display a “broadcast” message — think FB status. Watch the video for all the juicy details! Set it to HD for the clearest look.
Blizzard’s revamp of Battle.net is creeping closer by the day, and today the company previewed a few of the new features that WoW and Starcraft II players will be able to take advantage of once the service goes live.
Real ID is the means by which players will be able to communicate cross-faction, cross-realm, and cross-game via Battle.net. By using your Real ID to friend other players, you will be allowing those players to see and communicate with you no matter what game or character you may be playing on any game with the new Battle.net integration. You will also be giving them your real first and last names, as displayed on the account information page.
Another function of Real ID is broadcasts, which will send out a message for all of your Real ID friends to see. Sounds a lot like Twitter or Facebook status messages.
And speaking of Facebook, Battle.net will be integrating with the social networking giant in order to allow players to import friends from Facebook to their Battle.net accounts, give status updates, and presumably more. The official press release states that more details will be announced as we get closer to Starcraft II’s launch.
It seems like Blizzard is just the latest to jump on Facebook integration, and it’s not something I’m particularly drawn to, but I know that soon I’ll be seeing loads of Starcraft II updates on my facebook feed. Other than that, I’m looking forward to the new Battle.net, mostly because I have some friends on other factions and realms that I’d like to chat with while we play. What are your thoughts?
It strikes me as ironic that days after Activision CEO Bobby Kotick admitted that his company is hot and bothered by the success of Facebook games a pair of recent MMOGs will be getting a presence on the social networking site. Sure, World of Warcraft has its own application – one that I refuse to use – but Fallen Earth and Runes of Magic will be taking it a step further. Fallen Earth, LLC and Frogster Interactive are producing entirely new products set in the respected universe of the games.
Runes of Magic: The Challenge is being developed as a whole new game for the platform. The app will utilize network gaming and viral communications to instill a sense of “adventure, exploration, and strategy elements” upon players. RoM: The Challenge is being designed by Frogster to lure Facebookers to the free-to-play game by awarding cards with key codes for in-game items.
Fallen Earth: Faction Wars appears to have a different end game. Icarus Studios is developing the title as a stand-alone game with no cross contamination to speak of. But that doesn’t mean the game will stray from its big brother. Faction Wars will have players fighting over nine “conflict towns” as they develop their characters via missions, crafting and even PvP. The same classes and factions will be present, but the characters created will not be tied together in any way. It appears that the game is nothing more than a marketing tool.
Obviously, both games are marketing tools, the companies are just executing the final push differently. RoM is giving Facebookers a reason to check out their game – the in-game loot – while FE seems to be content with just spreading the brand. There’s merit in both approaches but one thing is for certain, expect a ton of additional status update spam on the likes of Farmville’s scale.
Would you like to see the games more linked, possibly even importing characters (assuming security isn’t an issue)? Or can we truly become too saturated?
RoM: The Challenge and FE: Faction Wars are both due out in Q2 2010. Perhaps we’ll see more of them PAX East this weekend.