Blizzard's debacle with Real ID has mostly faded to memory. I'm hoping they can recover from their disastrous launch and some folks can enjoy the good part of Real ID.
Today I raided ICC with some of my guild friends. It was a lot of fun, a particularly epic Lady Deathwhisper fight where we pulled out a win using 3 battle rezzes and every mana and tank cooldown available. And a casual social time, cracking jokes about the Smurfs and drinking beers. At the same time I was raiding an old high school buddy was playing one of his first WoW toons, a level 20 Paladin. It's been... 21 years since high school, we haven't talked much in the intervening years, but we're RealID buddies. And there we were chatting via whispers, joking about Warcraft.
Suddenly a memory flash: I distinctly remember spending the night at his house, about age 12, and typing in the source code for Hunt the Wumpus. You youngsters should know, back in the day a floppy disk cost $10. There was no Internet and barely any modems. So you got printed books of computer games and typed them in. We must have stayed up until midnight typing that damn program in and trying to fix typos. I got tired and went to sleep and he kept up with it, got the game running to show me in the morning.
And what a game! You can try it here in original text form. It's one of the original dungeon crawlers, in interactive fiction form. It's not even a game by modern standards but it's a very important step in the development of Warcraft along with 500 point Adventure, Rogue, and DikuMUD.
I really like that Real ID enabled me to renew a years-old friendship, casually enjoyed in the medium of Warcraft. I'm hoping that Real ID will let me maintain that kind of social relationship with my new friends, my Warcraft guild friends. When I quit serious raiding a year ago I was really disturbed by what a waste of time Warcraft felt like, the impermanence of my relationships from the game. Coming back has let me rekindle some of those friendships, for which I'm thankful. Real ID may let the fire keep burning for the next 10+ years in new games yet to come.