World of Warcraft: Blizzard Starts Cross-Realm Test Phase

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Those of you who are familiar with World of Warcraft will probably have noticed a few changes that have gone live in the Battle.net systems this week, in which a new button has appeared in your friends list that enables you to add one of your Real ID friends to a group.

What this button does is allow you, the player, to add up to 4 members of your preference, including yourself to a group and then queue up for dungeon instances despite what realm you are all playing on.

Obviously, you must be a part of the same faction for this to work, but it should be welcomed for players who have friends on different servers who wish to play together from time to time.

When Battle.net was first launched last year, World of Warcraft players were promised a wealth of new features and options that would allow much more social interaction than just adding character names to your friends list from the same server.

It is hard to imagine a time when this, and the random dungeon feature didn’t exist. Players are no longer required to spam the chat with messages inviting players to do specific dungeons, and can now do this as easily as pressing two buttons.

With the new feature added, which Blizzard say will be free while the testing phase is finished, players can socially interact and play with players regardless of realm, although Blizzard also say that it will eventually become a premium feature. In the official WoW blog, Blizzard state that “This system is designed to make it easier for real-life friends to play together.”

As the test comes to a close, Blizzard will reveal any costs that will be associated with the service, but no word on how long this ‘free’ test will last.

Blizzard did a similar thing a little while ago, when they made it functional for players to chat within their guild, even if they were not playing. This was part of the Remote Auction House application that now requires you to pay a monthly fee to use.

Battle.net has come a long way since it was first conceived way back when, but with more and more services like this appearing, it can only lead to bigger and better things.

Have you tried the new feature yet? What are your opinions? Have you had any issues or has it been flawless for you? You can find out more information regarding the Cross-Realm Read ID Party feature via this official FAQ.

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