I would never have guessed this would be WoW.
But here it is, straight from the Blues of the EU forums:
“Cross-Realm Dungeon Feature Coming Soon” – quoting:
“With the continued popularity of the Dungeon Finder, many players have been asking for a way to group up with real-life friends who play on other realms to take on instances together. Today, we wanted to give you a heads up about a new feature currently in development that will allow players to invite Real ID friends of the same faction to a party regardless of the realm they play on, and then queue up for a 5-player regular or Heroic dungeon.
As this is a fairly complex service to develop, we don’t have a release date to share quite yet. It’s important to note that as with some of the other convenience- and connectivity-oriented features we offer, certain elements of the cross-realm Real ID party system will be premium-based, though only the player sending the invitations will need to have access to the premium service. We’ll have more details to share with you as development progresses — in the meantime, you may begin to see elements of the feature appear on the World of Warcraft PTR.” (My emphasis)
First of all, I believe Blizzard when they say the service is costly to make, game development is just darn expensive, but much of the code is already implemented – LFD and RealID, which both were services we were never asked to pay extra for. So to make it sound like this is so ground-breakingly expensive that they need additional funds (ironically coming from the most successful MMO-company in the world), I would claim is to bend the truth.
It’s also concerning that they are flagging it as “premium”, as out of the ordinary, when I believe social features that strengthens connectivity between players, should be flat out for everyone. If they are going forward with premium settings for in-game services, we’re looking at a huge change of path.
I still remember the Celestial Steed discussions that burst out after the announcement. Some disagreed, some thought it was fine, and some asked “What will be next?”
The discussion in the cross-realm-dungeon-feature-thread (which hit the cap and so continued into part II and part III) is pretty much unanimous, which was not the case with the Celestial Steed debate. I couldn’t find anyone on the first 6 pages who thought it was all cool, in fact the majority of the comments fall somewhere around astonishment, anger and disappointment, it’s a very saddening read.
Before we lose our heads though, we don’t know the price yet, and only very few details about it. But remember how the RealID forum dispute went – They pulled back their plans to connect forum posting to our RealIDs after massive opposition from the players. After looking through the discussions following this announcement, I’m hoping this will turn out that way too…
- cause sometimes, apparently, you need the players to tell you how to NOT run your MMO.
Update 21st of May 2011
Forum threads keep spilling over, and the players for it, are easier to see, although I’d still say it looks like the majority are against it.