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Guest alienangel

RealID soon to apply to all forum posts, other upcoming official forum improvements

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Just to address the onslaught of reports that will originate from this thread:

The idea of merging RealID into the Blizzard forums is dumb. The more places that say it's dumb the better (which includes here). If your post violates our forum rules we will infract you for it, but the do not whine rule is waived for this thread only. Carry on.

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The idea of merging RealID into the Blizzard forums is dumb.

This pretty much sums the whole thing up. All that's left to post is examples of why it's dumb and whining about it.

For my own whine, I signed up to play a game and immerse myself in fantasy, not play "World of Facebook." If WoW had originally come shipped as a "social gaming network" or whatever crap that means, I would have probably said no.

er...

World of Facecraft

World of Faceroll

My Warcraft

Farmville 2: The Real Goldmaker

Warcraftster

By the way, have any of the social sites ever turned a profit?

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While I absolutely disagree with the implementation, I do agree with some of the thoughts behind it. "Anonymous" brings out the worst in people, I'm a firm believer in people taking responsibility for their actions and "Anonymous" prevents that. While this RealID-thingy will overshoot it's target, I would - on an ethical/philosophical level - appreciate something that will remove some of the negative effects of "Anonymous". I don't want my personal information to be available for everyone though.

While I understand that it's not solely there to fight trolling - see the deal Blictivison made with Facebook - it has a part in it.

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This puts many Guild Recruitment Officers in awkward situations. If you wish to recruit for your guild via the official forums, well congratulations, Real ID is no longer optional. "But its optional to post on the forums?" If it's optional, then why do the people who don't want to use this feature have to tip-toe around it, and be disadvantaged for doing so?

Anyone who is responsible for guild recruitment, especially in raiding guilds, knows: not everyone who fails a trial, gets gkicked, or doesn't get offered a ginvite takes it nicely. What to do? Simply refer back to the guilds forum recruitment post for the full name of the person responsible for inviting you.

There must be lots of Guild Recruitment Officers out there thinking right now, "I don't wish to use Real ID, so how the hell am I going to recruit for my guild in Cataclysm?". And no, simply saying recruiting can instead be done on another non-official forum is not an acceptable answer. Of course it can, but people shouldn't be forced to do so, because they wish to avoid a 'totally optional and voluntary' feature.

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While I absolutely disagree with the implementation, I do agree with some of the thoughts behind it. "Anonymous" brings out the worst in people, I'm a firm believer in people taking responsibility for their actions and "Anonymous" prevents that. While this RealID-thingy will overshoot it's target, I would - on an ethical/philosophical level - appreciate something that will remove some of the negative effects of "Anonymous". I don't want my personal information to be available for everyone though.

While I understand that it's not solely there to fight trolling - see the deal Blictivison made with Facebook - it has a part in it.

There are plenty of other ways to fight trolls though. As an example, look at the very forums you are posting in. Elitist Jerks has essentially 0 trolls and has been that way for many years thanks to aggressive moderation. If their goal was really to eliminate trolls and flaming, they'd just hire 20 fulltime moderators to aggressively account-ban people till everyone got the idea. It would take a couple months, tops.

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While I absolutely disagree with the implementation, I do agree with some of the thoughts behind it. "Anonymous" brings out the worst in people, I'm a firm believer in people taking responsibility for their actions and "Anonymous" prevents that. While this RealID-thingy will overshoot it's target, I would - on an ethical/philosophical level - appreciate something that will remove some of the negative effects of "Anonymous". I don't want my personal information to be available for everyone though.

While I understand that it's not solely there to fight trolling - see the deal Blictivison made with Facebook - it has a part in it.

Having a single ID that shows up no matter what character you are playing or posting on does much the same, without placing you at risk of somebody getting mad that you ganked them and coming to your netcafe to stab you in the heart.

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I wonder if Blizzard has really done thier legal homework on this one. While I assume thier lawyers have checked the US law status this is an international game and the effectivly do business in these other contries as well and there are many different laws to consider especially arround the protection of minors.

Given that thier forum software is presumably going to be located in 1-2 monolithic blocks how do they handle the differing legal requirements of the over 30 countries that have at least semi-official status on the forums. Off the top of the head that includes:

France, UK, US, Canada, Australia, Russia, Germany, Korea. If you try to tell me that all these countries privacy laws and protection of minors laws line up I will be very very suppriesed.

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Having a single ID that shows up no matter what character you are playing or posting on does much the same, without placing you at risk of somebody getting mad that you ganked them and coming to your netcafe to stab you in the heart.

And, ironically, provides way more accountability than common names like "John Smith".

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While I absolutely disagree with the implementation, I do agree with some of the thoughts behind it. "Anonymous" brings out the worst in people, I'm a firm believer in people taking responsibility for their actions and "Anonymous" prevents that. While this RealID-thingy will overshoot it's target, I would - on an ethical/philosophical level - appreciate something that will remove some of the negative effects of "Anonymous". I don't want my personal information to be available for everyone though.

I think everyone would be fine with that (using some common handle, not using real names), using real names takes the consequences for posting and turns them from "in game" consequences like being banned or having another player dislike you and turns them into real life consequences.

People would not play a video game if it had real life consequences. There are like a thousand B movies that prove this point.

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Elitist Jerks has essentially 0 trolls and has been that way for many years thanks to aggressive moderation.

Blizzard can't do this because they are dealing with paying CUSTOMERS. Elitist Jerks is not, so they can boot you out of their house and call you out for being a clown.

The only solution to the signal/noise ratio problem that seems plausible is some sort of Slashdot/Dig-like system where quality posts rise to the top rather than giving the best screen real estate to the fastest people to the reply button.

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Blizzard can't do this because they are dealing with paying CUSTOMERS. Elitist Jerks is not, so they can boot you out of their house and call you out for being a clown.

The only solution to the signal/noise ratio problem that seems plausible is some sort of Slashdot/Dig-like system where quality posts rise to the top rather than giving the best screen real estate to the fastest people to the reply button.

Nonsense, Blizzard bans people from their forums on a regular basis. All they would have to do is adopt higher posting standards and the problem should fix itself.

Furthermore, being a paid subscriber does not give you the right to post in their forums, they've said this many times, just how it apparently no longer gives you the right to post anonymously.

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I am not common with the US laws, however I am pretty sure this will not go "live" in Germany. Even Google failed with their "Street View Program" or at least they will have to concede in some points (they are still discussing details).

Regardless of how this will end my confidence in Blizzard has really been cracked today and I am not sure if I want to support them with my money in the future if this goes through.

@Darkside Who really cares what rights you get with your subscription. They need customers and apparently they are not happy with the upcoming changes. So I do not see why we should not make some noise in the Forums to influence their progress of developing a Social Network.

Edit: I am reading through a hunter topic right now and there I see one of those armory flames. Well I can not wait to see how this develops when people actually start to flame other people with personal stuff which they googled.

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A horrible horrible horrible idea. Here's a question for you all: Let's assume Blizzard goes ahead and impliments these changes. What will happen to WoW when some kid's disapearance gets linked to predators on the forums? The world is a scary place and it's really stupid for Blizzard to put people's privacy at risk for no good reason.

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Nonsense, Blizzard bans people from their forums on a regular basis.

Raising the bar anywhere near what the bar is here would be a pretty big customer retention problem. Customers need somewhere to vent when they're upset about something in game regardless of if it was a good change for the game or not.

Hence, why forums like this one attract a lot of Blizzard attention.

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Blizzard has been constantly introducing (generally paid) features in the game that all but remove any social accountability within the game community and now they try to use it as an excuse to give up our privacy. A visible unique account identifier tying all the characters on the account together would not be a bad idea. With proper identification, any community will more or less find a way to self regulate. Tying ingame and real life identities together in such a publicly accessible and permanent way however is a big mistake and I truly wish that people think twice before opting in if this change goes through.

I am disappointed that wishing to protect my RL privacy is already causing me to miss out on new game features that I would otherwise be glad to use. It's too bad this is now extending to removing existing features as well.

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Yes - I agree wholeheartedly with this, and have had exactly these concerns. I am a guild leader, and I've been in the position of having to ask people to leave, or turned down applicants who don't accept it gracefully. Now my choice is to not recruit for the guild in our server forums, or - out my real name to anyone who might carry a grudge? Lose-lose. (And yes, I have a rather unusual last name...)

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While I personally have no objection to this change, I can understand why there are people that don't want their name on the internet. But wouldn't having say your first name and last initial do the same thing in getting rid of most trolls, or possibly just allow us to see whatever characters you have on your account from whichever one you post on?

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Regardless of how this will end my confidence in Blizzard has really been cracked today

I doubt Blizzard's core management pushed this decision. My guess is some Activision corporate development honcho who is smoking dope is behind this (and got Bobby Kotick's buy-in). I can imagine the conference call with Blizzard: "We said you'd retain control of the *game development*, not the forums and not Battle.net."

What corporate idiot would think a company whose entire product line's purpose is to enable its customers to escape reality should launch an initiative to move its customers in the opposite direction?

Unfortunately the day they announce this is coming to Armory is the day I must quit WoW, a game I very much love, and abandon the guildies I've played with for years. I'm in one of those professions where my real life Internet reputation must be wholly professional (law). And like others my real name is fairly unusual.

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Unfortunately the day they announce this is coming to Armory

I think we all know that it's just a matter of time before the Armory feature is branded as 'optional' and subsequently rolled into Real ID.

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Enforcing a more social network between players and giving the OPTION to link your Facebook is fine. Cutting down the number of trolls is also fine. Reducing the number of stolen/sold accounts is also more than reasonable. But this change seems to me "a supernova to kill some bacteria".

I wonder what can happen to those people who sold their accounts and may have been underaged at the time, or just those who sold their account... Selling wow stuff is illegal, but those people's privacy is seriously compromised and the "punishment" for this blown out of proportion. Or maybe those who had their account stolen and never even realized that because they stopped playing months before. And what about possible cases where an employer finds out some posts about a certain name and just assumes it is you?

Among millions of subscribers I'm pretty sure you can have a 5 digit number of people who are at risk of seeing their names on the forum without even knowing why. There is a reason why most people don't use their real name as a character name, and it's not entirely tied to roleplay.

In today's forums I'm not even sure if I can post MY name in one of MY threads without getting it deleted. This will be a sweeping change (and pretty dumb one) and I am also pretty sure this is a reason for a lot of parents to cancel the subscription for them and their children.

I saw this RealID change as a unique battle.net name you could share across multiple game and characters to keep in touch with friends. As long as this name has nothing to do with your account username I don't really understand why I have to be a Mr/Mrs name-surname, and sometimes your real name is part of your account name (so it's also a security issue). Let's hope this idea get scrapped as previewed and just makes you choose a unique battle.net name.

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I did some glancing at the 12k+ reply thread in the official forums and there are a number of replies from people declaring that they've just cancelled their account. Now obviously I doubt all of them are true, but I wonder what it will take for them to cancel this change. Will it take one million account cancellations this month? 100k? The thread will definitely go up to 13k replies for sure. If we assume one post per person, that's at least 13k people concerned about the issue. Granted, there are replies in the thread bashing the people pointing out the stupidity of this idea, so not everyone in the thread is against the change. But either way, with WoW at 10-11 million subscribers last I checked, with about 2-3 million in North America, that's already 0.5% of the player base posting in the thread on the first day.

I was also talking with my friend about this and he brought up the possibility of an unofficial forum that everyone posts in instead of the official ones. Obviously nobody is going to be able to pay for the bandwidth to mirror the realm forums entirely, but EJ already has a guild recruitment forum which is along this vein.

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I doubt Blizzard's core management pushed this decision. My guess is some Activision corporate development honcho who is smoking dope is behind this (and got Bobby Kotick's buy-in). I can imagine the conference call with Blizzard: "We said you'd retain control of the *game development*, not the forums and not Battle.net."

What corporate idiot would think a company whose entire product line's purpose is to enable its customers to escape reality should launch an initiative to move its customers in the opposite direction?

Unfortunately the day they announce this is coming to Armory is the day I must quit WoW, a game I very much love, and abandon the guildies I've played with for years. I'm in one of those professions where my real life Internet reputation must be wholly professional (law). And like others my real name is fairly unusual.

It definitely seems like some suit who's lost touch whiht reality but thinks he knows what people want saw what they had planned for Battle.net 2.0 and pushed Blizzard to the back seat.

"What do you guys have there? A new Battle.net? Hey, I've got a cool idea! Why don't you make it like a Facebook for games! People love that Facebook, you know? We can let them use their real names on the forums and give them the choice to display their character names and stuff too, they'll love it, it'll be great! They'll be able to let everyone know they ranked # in Arena last season or that their guild was World First on the latest content that they spent hours of work on!"

Pleasantly oblivious to the stigma all MMOs have despite how popular they are, and the fact that no one asked or wanted these features to include and require their real identity.

It's hard to understand how something like this even makes it past conceptualization without someone getting smacked upside the head for being completely out to lunch.

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When I want to do online networking, I use the real thing like Linkedin. I signed up to WoW to play a game, nothing more, nothing less.

From a business POV, I commend their business strategists for trying to both broaden their reach and mature the company. I think they need to level up their skills in PR spin because this announcement was clumsy. Using "improved forum civility/accountability" as a feeble excuse to reduce privacy is incredibly transparent and smacks of ulterior motives. The "give and take" spin doesn't work if you give nothing yet take something. I'd have more respect for them if they didn't bother with sugar coating or chain tugging and simply told the truth: "we're doing this to advance our future business plans. Tough nuts."

From a gamer POV, I think they should stick to their strengths (game polish). We'll see if their next MMO can amplify what WoW did (bring in new players to the genre) or end up as a mediocre product that can't decide between being a pseudo social network site or a real gamer's game.

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Blizzard has often used the defense, "The forums represent a vocal minority, most players never post in the official forums" when laying out something controversial. It's obviously true that most players do not post in the official forums. But I'm willing to bet that the "13K posts in 12 hours" thread we've seen so far represents a majority if not all the players who visit the forums on a daily basis.

Which brings up the point that the "forums represent a minority" defense doesn't really work in this case. This change directly affects the forum goers and only the forum goers.

Edit to ask if this has anything to do with Ancilorn's resignation about a week or so ago.

It’s with great sadness that all good things do come to an end in one way or another. For me this is undoubtedly one of those times.

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I think Blizzard's vision of BattleNet is a sort of gamer's facebook, where people get together and vague social networking magic takes places, perhaps giving BlizzardActivation access to the influence (if not the advertising/app revenue) Facebook has had. So having RealID both be a name (to distinguish it from things like Steam that just tie games together without much of an identity for the player) and having it tied to your communications is important to them. If it's tied to your real identity anyway, it's a short step to tying it into all the other networks currently tied to your real identity.

The Blue's ending paragraphs from the announcement seem to be along these lines too:

This is exactly what they have in mind. Activision-Blizzard has become so obsessed with their success and plans to capitalize on that success by trying to make Battlenet compete with social networking sites as a place to 'hang-out' on the internet. Bobby Kotick said himself that he would like to see WoW eventually compete with games like Farmville which has 82 million players worldwide.

If you haven't seen this interview with Kotick yet, you should.

It's disgusting.

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