integration before Cataclysm

Do you want to talk to your friends even if they're on other servers, or the opposite faction on your server? Well, Blizzard aims to make that possible via, and it's coming before Cataclysm.

Zarhym - Re: Cataclysm Friends List Idea

This is exactly what we are working on implementing with and real-life friends. You'll be able to add friends at the account level and talk to them while in-game whether they're on the opposing faction, a different realm, or another Blizzard game entirely. This is coming prior to Cataclysm.

Q u o t e:
Please tell me that people will not be able to "friend" me without my consent. I don't care to be tracked across servers and factions except by a couple people I know IRL.

This is correct. No one outside of your faction on your realm will be able to communicate with you unless you accept their friend request, or they accept yours. You will still have your normal World of Warcraft Friends list, but we'll be adding in the ability to have players on your Friends list as well. The characters on your Friends list will allow the same communication functionality which exists today. It's only when you've confirmed someone as a friend that you can take advantage of the additional communication features.

The real surprise for me is that people playing, say, StarCraft II or Diablo III will be able to chat with people playing World of Warcraft via their accounts. It's a definite extension of their Real ID program mentioned during the StarCraft II preview, and I'm even more surprised that it's going to be out before Cataclysm ships. I know that even if I don't play Diablo III (which is unlikely, how will I be able to resist the barbarian?), being able to talk to the various friends I have across six servers will be a positive boon for me.

This article was originally published on WoW Insider.