The Real ID Party system went into live testing today and players will be able to experience cross-realm game play with friends. How this works is players will be required to have the Real ID of their friends they want to play with and invite them into a group. Unfortunately this is limited to five-man dungeons at the moment and no raid or world content will be available. In the future I wouldn't doubt it, but for now, enjoy the dungeon delving with your buddies.
Not only is this service live, but it's FREE (for now). This is great considering Blizzard has said that the cross-realm service would be part of a Premium package for World of Warcraft services that can be tacked on to your monthly bill. One advantage is only the party leader would need the service and the other players invited into the party would still be able to join in without paying for the package. I'm sure this is just a trial period so if you have buddies on other realms and the same faction that left your server for whatever reason, you should send them a message and get back into the old group you once had. Prepare to break the boundaries of your World of Warcraft experience and play with whomever you like. Check out the FAQ below for details.
Real ID Party Feature -- Test Phase FAQ
Q: What is the Real ID Party feature?
A: Players can now invite Real ID friends of the same faction to a 5-player normal or Heroic dungeon group, regardless of what realm their friends are on. This system is designed to make it easier for real-life friends to play together.
Q: How do I invite Real ID friends to a Real ID party?
A: Inviting a Real ID friend to a Real ID Party is simple. Just open up your Friends list to see which Real ID friends are online. Click on the “Plus” button to send an invitation to a Real ID friend to join your group. You can continue to add Real ID friends to your party until the group is complete. If you cannot complete the group with Real ID friends, you are free to join the Dungeon Finder to fill in the missing roles.
Q: Does a player need to have Real ID enabled to accept a Real ID group invite?
A: Yes, a player must have Real ID enabled, and both players must be Real ID friends to accept or initiate Real ID party invitations.
Q: Can a party leader invite a mix of Real ID friends, character-level friends, guildmates, or random players to the same party?
A: A party leader can invite any combination of Real ID friends from any realm, guildmates from the same realm, or other characters from the same realm to the same party. If the party leader isn’t able to fill up the entire party, the Dungeon Finder can fill in the missing roles.
Q: Can I invite someone who is not a Real ID friend?
A: You can only invite members to a party if they are on your Real ID friends list or if they are on the same realm as you are.
Q: Can I invite a friend of a Real ID friend?
A: No, you can only invite your own Real ID friends to the party.
Q: How long will the testing period last?
A: We haven’t yet determined how long the testing period will last. We'll keep you updated on the status and inform you when the test period is going to end in the future.
Q: Will aspects of the Real ID Party system be premium-based?
A: We'll have information on this toward the end of the testing period.