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


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#341 Tyrian

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Posted 09 July 2010 - 11:22 PM

We often get caught up in the "we won" attitude and celebrations but we need to remember that Blizzard never really had to listen to us. They knew there would be backlash and they are big enough to weather a storm.

I think everyone should take some time and post a nice "thank you" to Mike M. in the official announcement thread. He's clearly listened to us and we need to remind him that we are thankful for this decision and the wonderful games his company has brought us.


There's actually not much to thank Mike M for:

- Real ID is still not 'optional' for those who wish to use crossrealm chat
- Mike's post clearly says that 'at this time' they have decided not to push ahead with this topic. Forgive my cynicism, but that isn't the most reassuring way to put it.
- Said post also makes reference to future evolutions of Real ID which will affect functionality within the game

His post doesn't explain how something like this managed to get out of a bad PR brain storming session, as anyone could've seen this reaction coming from a mile away. It was done once, you've already shown there's a huge disconnect between whoever was responsible for this and your playerbase, so has there been any sort of justification as to why players shouldn't expect this could happen again at a later date, when the dust settles? Did Blizzard actually listen to us, or did they listen to their potential bottom line as subscribers started cancelling and bad publicity kicked in?

The forums may have been by far the most controversial proposed change so far in terms of volumne, but there has been no reference to the infamous Friends-of-Friends feature yet, which is equally distasteful.

#342 Tinwhisker

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Posted 09 July 2010 - 11:48 PM

Yes, I understand what everyone is saying here. Yes, I understand the RealID is staying around in various ways. Yes, I understand that future developments are still on the table. Yes, I may find myself fighting against some other change in the future (maybe even the same one). I even got the point of the, quite frankly awful, analogies. None of that is news to me; you have not "blown my mind."

You can try to sway me or even judge me all you like but my decision to thank him, just like his decision on forum names, is ultimately not yours to make.

#343 Kaubel

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Posted 09 July 2010 - 11:49 PM

Not much left to discuss here, but I'v wanted to share this great post on Geekosystems

Oh no. Does that mean this will be your last stupid linkdump?

#344 Axanor

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Posted 10 July 2010 - 01:19 AM

Blizzard has long-since lost their saint-like qualities in respect to how they treat their customers and their products. However, I think this does demonstrate that they do respond to overwhelming reaction from the playerbase (or at least the rather large coverage in the press). They still are not the typical cut-thoat, profit-only business that we see in the world today.

Yes, they are still a business, but I think they still have a soul somewhere.

They're also still a business, and if the RealID on forums was going to result in a net loss of revenue (which, judging by the problems people had cancelling their account, was probably going to occur), they're not going to go through with it. Money always talks.

#345 Oth

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Posted 10 July 2010 - 01:30 AM

On reflection, I think all of us should have expected this wouldn't go through, for some reason or another. But heck, even I fell for it, so I won't pretend to be the "I told you so" of the boards.

The way I can best explain it is that the Blizz higher ups were expecting this kind of negative feedback, but could not get their point across. So they decided to risk that losing face over an announcement was worth it, as long as it provided an irrefutable argument of the kind that corporations take really seriously - the threat of lost income.

I can't say my faith in Blizzard's integrity is restored - after all, the above theory is just speculation and wishful thinking. But even casting integrity aside, we can still trust them not to go against its fanbase.


I was having a more or less similar reaction once the page count climbed past two thousand.

I feel a little bit like this was an exercise of using the playerbase to make a point. I mean...it worked. But I take away two thoughts from this:

1) I am fairly certain that this could all have been avoided--after all, Blizzard is deciding to use the ID.code approach that was announced for SC2 several weeks ago (after people screamed about RealID-only friends!) and making it b.net-wide.

2) I refuse to believe that Blizzard (and the b.net team) had not already thought about the ramifications of mandatory use of real names across their forums and games before making this announcement. They are not naive, no matter what you may think--and they were very careful to keep their official announcements as neutral as possible.

The conclusion I come to is that this was a demonstration to 'certain parties' who were pushing this change from outside of Blizzard (and possibly b.net) to show why it was an untenable concept--that the pushback would not be minor, that it did not make sense to forcibly impose reality into an MMO, that there were safety and privacy and security concerns for many classes of people, and most importantly that the social mores of competitive gaming and Facebook do not necessarily mesh as much as 'certain parties' believed they must.

I believe that constructing a hammer out of our enraged textwalls was the only way for Blizzard to definitively show these 'certain parties' that their approach was not suitable for this medium.

What kills me is that if they would just drop the 'real' part of RealID and make a single login ID for your b.net account that people could friend across all games in your account that you choose to make yourself 'findable' in, I would probably use it in a heartbeat.

#346 Akka

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Posted 10 July 2010 - 08:16 AM

You can try to sway me or even judge me all you like but my decision to thank him, just like his decision on forum names, is ultimately not yours to make.

Your decision to thank him is yours to make.
But when you said, like above, that everyone should log and thank him, here is where some of us remind you that there is, in fact, nothing to thank him about.
If violence doesn't solve your problem...
... you simply haven't been violent enough !

#347 Talgog

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Posted 10 July 2010 - 02:59 PM

They're also still a business, and if the RealID on forums was going to result in a net loss of revenue (which, judging by the problems people had cancelling their account, was probably going to occur), they're not going to go through with it. Money always talks.


This is why I think that the "at this time" stuff is more generic corporate face saving than anything else. Completely independent from the negative publicity, this seems to establish that the amount of financial pain inflicted for "real name on forum" exceeds what Activision Blizzard can tolerate. That is encouraging regarding future returns to this idea or mandatory Real ID from Armory or in-game. The howling and the financial hit would undoubtably be much worse if they did another 180 or tried to go even further.

If there's one thing you can trust a corporation to do, it's to act in their own financial self interest. They may be very dumb about realizing what that is until they screw up (BP...) but once they do, they generally get the point.

#348 Yichimet

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Posted 10 July 2010 - 03:10 PM

What kills me is that if they would just drop the 'real' part of RealID and make a single login ID for your b.net account that people could friend across all games in your account that you choose to make yourself 'findable' in, I would probably use it in a heartbeat.


This is the part of the equation that boggles my mind too, and is the reason why I suspect (even more than the veiled "WE'LL BE BAHK" threats in Morhaime's release) that they are intent on turning RealID into a much more sweeping form of social network for gamers, and that we'll be seeing more of these kinds of changes sooner rather than later.

#349 Ratek

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Posted 10 July 2010 - 07:45 PM

I was wrong. I honestly thought that Blizzard was in cahoots with Activision and willing to suck up relatively heavy losses now. Clearly that wasn't the case. If it had been like that, and they suffered greater reverses than anticipated, I would expect them to to try and weather it a week more at least.

To me at least, it seems those who postulated that Blizzard might in fact have been thinking this up to show some real proof, might just be right. Those that cancelled in disgust or out of a wish to change the decision will now come back. And I'm sure Blizzard knew and expected that. Some will not come back, we all know them, those who are personally insulted that their game was even considered for something as aprehensible as that. But then again they are the same ones that cancel when their class gets nerfed.
The many loopholes were present, the people with the jokenames, the new people getting new names, the anonumous John Smiths etc. If we can see it that fast, I'm sure they can too. Not a one post that they would move to close those holes.

Regardless of who is right, I think we can safely be happy for now.
I have mostly been pretty confident in Blizzard, and while the last years have hardened me a bit, I'm still willing to see them as somewhat more interested in making good games/features than most, rather than purely making money.

#350 Markoh

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Posted 13 July 2010 - 12:49 PM

I find it funny how far reaching this debate has gone. It's becoming news in places you would least expect to hear about gaming, and despite the fact blizzard has rescinded the forced use of real i.d. on their forums the debate about online privacy continues.

For example the Economist just had an article about it (Online gaming: A Blizzard of protest over privacy | The Economist for those of you that are interested).

While I was unsure whether I was for or against it, I do know that the debate that comes from this will be an interesting one none the less.

#351 Guest_alienangel_*

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Posted 14 July 2010 - 06:01 PM

I do suspect, however, that they're going to have this as a goal, and continue trying to inch towards it.


Well, it's vastly unlikely that they'd abandon their whole "social gaming" vision of the future over a forum spat, so yeah, I'm sure they will keep trying to edge us towards accepting greater integration into social networks (and the reduction in anonymity that likely accompanies this).

Regarding the "we should thank them" dispute, this is a mostly irrelevant point of courtesy, but yes in the "threatening to key my car" example, I actually would say "thanks" - if someone points out he can screw me over and I can't stop him, then decides not to because I asked him not to, I would thank him for that decision. I wouldn't overflow with sincere gratitude, but saying "thanks" is common courtesy when he didn't have to listen to me at all.

#352 Kaubel

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Posted 14 July 2010 - 06:35 PM

Thanking someone for not doing something they shouldn't do in the first place is stupid, as is this thread.




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