With excitement building for Blizzard’s upcoming expansion ‘World of Warcraft: Cataclysm’, players have been anticipating new features and a chance to revisit the somewhat forgotten lands of Kalimdor and Eastern Kingdoms, however anticipation alone will not keep the masses paying their subscription fees. With the last content update of the Icecrown Citadel being released back in December 2009; Blizzard hoped to keep players entertained while they continued working on the expansion, unfortunately the content was quickly overcome which left the player base reeling for further things to do in game. Blizzard have responded to this by releasing patch 3.3.5, Assault on the Ruby Sanctum, which contained various changes to the game including a new dungeon for both 10 and 25-player raids.
One of the more interesting features included in this patch is Blizzard’s new system coined “Real ID”. Real ID allows you to add people to your friends list in World of Warcraft then contact them if they are playing a different faction (Horde or Alliance cannot communicate normally), a different server or even a different game. This feature is currently only implemented in World of Warcraft however it is highly speculated that it will also be used in the upcoming Starcraft 2 and Diablo 3. While this new communication feature is both extremely useful and long overdue, it does have some slight negatives. Firstly that to add a person via Real ID you must enter their Battle.net email; the same one they use to log into the game which could be seen as a security flaw, secondly that if Battle.net goes down for maintenance, the service will be rendered unusable. All in all this sudden content patch seems Blizzard’s attempt in order to keep the players subscribed until Cataclysm hits, but will a quick ‘rehash’ be enough to hold interest?