My 2nd "Grab your popcorn, cookies and soda post".
From my perspective been in World of Warcraft (WOW) its much different to my previous life in SecondLife (SL). Thus making friends and having friends in WOW is much different also. I'm really a veteran SecondLifer as i've been living in SecondLife for almost 4 years now, its also hard to believe its been that long. Back then when i started playing in SecondLife they were only about 25K people even playing SecondLife (SL) barely anyone had heard of it and that seemed like a lot back then. How things has since changed!
To me making friends in Secondlife though it be sometime hard was a lot easier, as it often entails long moments of talking in text chat personally, helping someone or watching someone doing something, hanging out, maybe building or constructing something, often a place to live or call home or designing furniture for a home. Its a creative atmosphere there. In SL all content is created by its players in their creativity, with tools provided by Linden Labs. Friendship often center around doing things for mutual good or purpose or just exploring places together and seeing new things together. You can build friendship helping someone design something, build a house or place, decorating it, creating megga structures, parks where other people can gather and have a good time or play, animation scripting things so other things can be animated and such things. Friendship are more genuine mutually as it has its purposes and often friendship last a very long time unless it has a lot of Drama in it. Lotts of Drama in SL as lots of adult plays and live in Secondlife and some make a living there owning and running businesses.
In WOW its a lot different. Often people making friends helping each other out initially on a quest, questing or by been good players of their class helping someone out questing. Friendship can often be made as mutual benefit due to trade skill. Knowing someone with a skill that can help your interest can serve you well or make your life easier in the long run. So friendship by necessity sometimes. However friendship can be very fickle in WOW, as people often don't play the character you see or initially meet and often change characters and start another character in different class, faction or on a different server realms. In SL each player can only have one avatar for that account. In WOW the person you once met initially you may not see online in a long time or if they are altaholic (Many alternative characters).
Often the next time you see then online your levels ahead of them and less seem to be in common adventuring then and questing. Your not ever in same area or can't quest together due to difference in levels and zone safely with mob monsters. Very few people stick together and those that do usually are in guilds or have played together for long period of times consistently. Some of these players usually have other things in common other than WOW, usually living in some close vicinity of each, country other or being friends outside of WOW as kids, some been husband and wife or BF/GF. People find all kind of things to do to be entertained in WOW as the game does have a very beautiful landscape and design by the developers.
Again both worlds are very different in design and cater to different kinds of friendship. To me as a player having played both, i tend to find friends in Secondlife much more genuine or meaning full, but even SL has its problems. WOW is just a adventure mostly, you can't take much from the game when you leave, you didn't create it either. Secondlife is all creative content created by its residents, so you can leave you mark there in friendship with players, things you've done or created that other people carry on in your legacy or improve upon.
There is a Temple Tomb that remain in my honor with a eternal flame in SL to my (Aetius Epsilon) honor and absense. Players often send you messages even when your not in SL just letting you know they miss you not been around. Often you log into SL just to say hello, spend a hour or so text chatting, soon it will be VOIP in SL chat if not already. Usually you go visit a friend exclusively constructed home in some hidden spot from prying eyes or in plain view to woo and impress others and see what they have done or designed or new animation they have created to do things and you just have fun doing those things. Often people run businesses together as friends and develop closer friendships in SL compared to been WOW. A friend of mine there is one of SL top clothing designer as a very good builder, we're also friends and i often log into SL to see what's new stuff she's doing or making. I do it because i care as a friend. However landscapes in WOW are much prettier.
I've only made a few select friends in WOW though i have lots of friends on my friends list in WOW. Most those are just good players or players with trade profession skills i need to remember how to easily find in friends. Most of the friends i have in SecondLife are friends i've had for years or many months, none i know in RL really. But many those friends have seen me through many good and bad moments in SecondLife and been there when things were well & when things were not well. They seen me through good and bad and we even cried together when they had their ups and down in real life also or had their share of SecondLife Drama with can be epic in itself.
Friends in WOW and friends in SecondLife are cultivated very differently, built on different values, purpose and with different outlook.