Blizzard is "Definitely Listening" to Real ID Feedback

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Blizzard is "Definitely Listening" to Real ID Feedback

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Blizzard Entertainment says it's "definitely listening" to feedback about the new Real ID system for the Battle.net forums, but don't hold your breath waiting for the company to change its mind.

The outrage that greeted Blizzard's decision to "remove the veil of anonymity" from the Battle.net forums was entirely predictable. It's not nearly as easy to act like a jerk, after all, when you're not protected by an impenetrable cloak of virtual invisibility. Which is obviously the whole point of the exercise, but the impending loss of their secret identities has an awful lot of gamers up in arms.

Blizzard has noticed and is "definitely listen to player feedback," a rep told Gamasutra. "[We] will be carefully monitoring how people are using the service. Real ID is a new and different concept for Blizzard gamers - and for us as well - and our goal is to create a social gaming service that players want to use."

"It's important to note that both enabling Real ID in game and posting on the official Blizzard forums are completely optional," the rep continued. "Players can continue to read the forums anonymously regardless of whether they choose to post in them, and their gameplay experiences will not change if they choose not to use the Real ID communication features in game."

The use of Real ID doesn't actually require a real name at all, as gamers can register whatever name they want when they sign up. But each game's CD key will be tied to whatever name is used and the rep warned that "multiple teams" on the forums will be on the lookout for fake-sounding names.

"In addition, our Terms of Use agreement requires that players provide us with accurate information, as certain aspects of the customer service we provide (for example, addressing forgotten-password issues) rely on identity verification," the rep noted. "If a player uses a fake name, it would ultimately impact our ability to provide him or her with timely service."

The use of Real ID will become a requirement in the StarCraft 2 forums at the end of the month, while the World of Warcraft forums will make the switch with the release of the Cataclysm expansion.

Permalink

Aha. So if I want to get into the Blizzard forums, I just need to claim my name is something realistic sounding. Like Andy Chalk?

JEBWrench:
Aha. So if I want to get into the Blizzard forums, I just need to claim my name is something realistic sounding. Like Andy Chalk?

I believe that we'll soon find out that Barack Obama and Justin Bieber just love posting on the WoW forums.

They won't be listening for long. In fact, I believe it's safe to say that they should be deaf if they were listneing.

Calumon: People complain about the silliest things!

I still disagree with the decision, but I guess it won't affect me much if I don't use their forums, which this system seems to be telling me not to if I like my privacy. Which I do.

As long as it's entirely optional in the games I guess I'm fine with it on a personal level.

Jack and Calumon:
Team Calumon > Team Edward!

Sign me up!

JEBWrench:
Aha. So if I want to get into the Blizzard forums, I just need to claim my name is something realistic sounding. Like Andy Chalk?

No.. it needs to sound realistic. :)

I shall be Napoleon Boned-apart. Just because I failed to capture and hold Russia doesn't mean I can't play Red Alert 3.

...Oh, it does? Well damn.

The one thing i cannot comprehend, why use RealID in such form if they are already aware that people will use fake names? What's the point? I mean, they could just make it so you pick up a single, unique ScreenName ot be displayed at your posts, and use that ScreenName as your all around battle.net identifier.
That would retain the whole idea of easily managing your user base while not exposing anyones private information to public.

"Players can continue to read the forums anonymously regardless of whether they choose to post in them, and their gameplay experiences will not change if they choose not to use the Real ID communication features in game."

So let me get this straight. Im posting my name to public, and anyone bored enough can see it without having to register just by browsing those forums. Then again, it may ruin all the personal information trading, now all that marketing companies will have to do is browse battle.net forums.

Bigeyez:

JEBWrench:
Aha. So if I want to get into the Blizzard forums, I just need to claim my name is something realistic sounding. Like Andy Chalk?

I believe that we'll soon find out that Barack Obama and Justin Bieber just love posting on the WoW forums.

Well, we already knew that was true. I just wonder which ones will be the real ones.

Kwil:

JEBWrench:
Aha. So if I want to get into the Blizzard forums, I just need to claim my name is something realistic sounding. Like Andy Chalk?

No.. it needs to sound realistic. :)

You know how those dang foreign names are. "Andy"?? Psh.

We're listening to your opinions.

Your opinion is important to us/

The cheque is in the mail.

We apologise for the delay to your journey.

I'm from the Government and I'm here to help.

We're sorry that we had to cancel our appointment.

We called, but you weren't home.

Our best people are on it.

As soon as possible

/sigh.

"In addition, our Terms of Use agreement requires that players provide us with accurate information, as certain aspects of the customer service we provide (for example, addressing forgotten-password issues) rely on identity verification," the rep noted. "If a player uses a fake name, it would ultimately impact our ability to provide him or her with timely service."

Unless Herbert von Gildenstern's password "Humptydumpyramus" gets lost somehow, I don't see how someone's name is relevant to recovering that password.

What if your name sounds completely made-up? Is Max Fightmaster not welcome?

Jeeesh. What a truly awful idea. And all because they think people will not be such big a**hats if they need to use a real name?

signed

Jason Bourne, err... I mean, George Bush... no, Neil Patrick Harris... ahhh, Lindsey Lohan... no, not that desparate, I know...

signed
-Paul Sams
CEO, Blizzard

During the SC2 beta they disabled the normal friends-list because no one wanted to use RealID, so they decided to force players to because they needed to collect at least some data on it. They got all the data they needed, the verdict: people hate RealID. And Facebook.

Multiple Rep Teams on the lookout for fake names?

Let the hunt begin, ladies and gentlemen.

"It's important to note that both enabling Real ID in game and posting on the official Blizzard forums are completely optional," the rep continued. "Players can continue to read the forums anonymously regardless of whether they choose to post in them, and their gameplay experiences will not change if they choose not to use the Real ID communication features in game." <<< i fall under that catagory. Therefore i am not affected. I never posted on the Official forums for anything other than asking for help.

While i think its a stupid idea, i really don't care in the end.

I had to cancel my account. I run a local business and I don't want people googling my name for business purposes and having WoW information show up.

I know this is supposed to be "optional" but the forums are sometimes required by customer service/technical support. Also, Blizzard specifically said RealID was strictly for people you know and trust in real life. Then, less than a month later, they want to do a complete 180 and post your real name all over the internet. I don't believe that RealID will stop at the forums so I'm not going to invest any more of my money or limited free time on it.

So now we can google someone's name and see if they play World of Warcraft or other Blizzard games, that sounds terrible.

Can we not have secret guilty pleasures?

Verbal Samurai:
I had to cancel my account. I run a local business and I don't want people googling my name for business purposes and having WoW information show up.

heres a good example of y the system is stupid :D

Meh, I'll just use a pseudonym.

Plus I've been meaning to get another account anyway. :P

Fake sounding names? So if your name is ACTUALLY Jack Mehoff, then your screwed?

DTWolfwood:

Verbal Samurai:
I had to cancel my account. I run a local business and I don't want people googling my name for business purposes and having WoW information show up.

heres a good example of y the system is stupid :D

And even for people who do not run businesses, you work for people who run businesses. A lot of people are surprised to hear how often employers do internet searches on job applicants. If someone sends me a resume and a google search brings up information that I dislike or even THINK a client/colleague would frown upon, that person is NOT getting a job...and no, I won't even tell you that's why you didn't get the job.

Although its beginning to go away, there is still a stigma associated with games. Unfortunately, it will probably be decades before it goes away completely. I make an effort to separate games that I play from my real life as a result. I will not be employing anyone who doesn't, except maybe to clean the floors and I'm NOT alone on that point. Anyone who aspires to do more than clean up for minimum wage, should think twice about WoW with the direction its going in.

Take that Mitch McFakerson!

Still, I don't use the official forums all that much any more, mostly just to post in suggestions. However, the idea of an prospective employer actually searching for my activities online is a disturbing thought, and so far, I've kept both professional and non-professional activities online separate. I keep two email accounts, register on most forums and websites under an alias, not because I'm worried about people revealing all my dirty secrets, of which most of which are depressingly mundane, but rather I don't like being tracked in that manner by complete strangers.

At least, when I give my information to Google, or The Escapist. I -expect- that information to stay private unless I otherwise give that information out, i.e. putting my real name in my profile etc.

Unfortunately, I recall something in the WoW ToS that states to the effect of Blizzard being allowed to make -changes- to the ToS at their prerogative without consulting you as the customer first. This is fine, because as you click 'I Agree' you are essentially signing this agreement, so I don't believe they're doing anything remotely wrong. It just sucks.

Andy Chalk:

The outrage that greeted Blizzard's decision to "remove the veil of anonymity" from the Battle.net forums was entirely predictable. It's not nearly as easy to act like a jerk, after all, when you're not protected by an impenetrable cloak of virtual invisibility. Which is obviously the whole point of the exercise, but the impending loss of their secret identities has an awful lot of gamers up in arms.

Yeah, its cause I can't act like a jerk. That is totally why I don't want some psycho on WoW knowing my real name and from that being able to basically hunt me down. And this will absolutely work. I couldn't make my "Real" name Jim Smith or something else that is extraordinarily common and be a total dick on the forums anyway. Or better yet, I could use my boss' name, or the name of someone who gave me shit in high school, or someone who's applying for the same job I am just to perform a little character assassination. No way someone could possibly abuse this system in a vindictive way. No, this just makes responsible people uneasy to post on the forums for fear that some psychopath will disagree and stalk/kill/rape them.

I quit WoW a while ago but if I had seen this as an existing player, I'd cancel my account the next day. As it is I won't be getting Starcraft 2 cause 1. They're fucking it up. and 2. It'll have the same battle.net stalker risk that WoW is gonna have.

So yeah, congrats Blizz, you've found the perfect way to control your community by making everyone fear for their safety and privacy so they don't say anything publicly.

Also, it just astounds me that everyone at Blizzard's legal department is saying this is fine. I would think even a day one law school student would realize that the ToS and EULA won't protect them from litigation if someone gets attacked because of information that was derived from the Battle.net Forums.

Verbal Samurai:

DTWolfwood:

Verbal Samurai:
I had to cancel my account. I run a local business and I don't want people googling my name for business purposes and having WoW information show up.

heres a good example of y the system is stupid :D

And even for people who do not run businesses, you work for people who run businesses. A lot of people are surprised to hear how often employers do internet searches on job applicants. If someone sends me a resume and a google search brings up information that I dislike or even THINK a client/colleague would frown upon, that person is NOT getting a job...and no, I won't even tell you that's why you didn't get the job.

Guess u consider some1 playing WoW or SC2 some1 unworthy of your work :P but please look at it with some context here. Should that person be foolish enough to have his name show up on something of ill repute, you shouldnt hire him. But whats the shame is letting ppl know your pass time is gaming?

a las Blizzard is retarded in what they are doing here. since they even mention having "multiple teams" on the forums will be on the lookout for fake-sounding names. so instead of getting one or 2 more mods to moderate the Forums for trolls and flamers, they are gonna hire entire teams to scan for fake names...talk about ridiculous expenditure!

Keava:
The one thing i cannot comprehend, why use RealID in such form if they are already aware that people will use fake names? What's the point? I mean, they could just make it so you pick up a single, unique ScreenName ot be displayed at your posts, and use that ScreenName as your all around battle.net identifier.
That would retain the whole idea of easily managing your user base while not exposing anyones private information to public.

Please make it happen. Can't see a bloody reason why it's not happening (besides the marketing mumbo jumbo).

So to all the John Smiths out there...you're shit out of luck.

Sylveria:

Andy Chalk:

The outrage that greeted Blizzard's decision to "remove the veil of anonymity" from the Battle.net forums was entirely predictable. It's not nearly as easy to act like a jerk, after all, when you're not protected by an impenetrable cloak of virtual invisibility. Which is obviously the whole point of the exercise, but the impending loss of their secret identities has an awful lot of gamers up in arms.

Yeah, its cause I can't act like a jerk. That is totally why I don't want some psycho on WoW knowing my real name and from that being able to basically hunt me down. And this will absolutely work. I couldn't make my "Real" name Jim Smith or something else that is extraordinarily common and be a total dick on the forums anyway. No, this just makes responsible people uneasy to post on the forums for fear that some psychopath will disagree and stalk/kill/rape them.

I quit WoW a while ago but if I had seen this as an existing player, I'd cancel my account the next day. As it is I won't be getting Starcraft 2 cause 1. They're fucking it up. and 2. It'll have the same battle.net stalker risk that WoW is gonna have.

So yeah, congrats Blizz, you've found the perfect way to control your community by making everyone fear for their safety and privacy so they don't say anything publicly.

How does this affect you purchasing Starcraft II?
Did you not bother to read the information? It is regarding being on the forums, I've been playing wow since it came out and I dabbled in the forums for a bit and then one realizes that they are nothing more than a cesspool of epeens. I haven't been back to the forums in like 2 years and it hasn't affected me playing the games at all. You don't want your name out there, don't go to the forums, or if you absolutely have to don't give anyone a reason to hunt you down. Problem solved. It's not like you're gonna log into the game and you have to play under your real name.

The_root_of_all_evil:

We're listening to your opinions.

Your opinion is important to us/

The cheque is in the mail.

We apologize for the delay to your journey.

I'm from the Government and I'm here to help.

We're sorry that we had to cancel our appointment.

We called, but you weren't home.

Our best people are on it.

As soon as possible

/sigh.

/double sigh

While I don't go to the Blizzard forums, or indeed play an Blizzard games, this is just a terrible idea. I'm nervous enough posting my wherabouts with my address, phone number, ZIP Code, and whatnot when signing up for a site, the Escapist included, I don't want to have to give my real name just to get online or whatever it is that is needed for your real name.

Rednog:

Sylveria:

Andy Chalk:

The outrage that greeted Blizzard's decision to "remove the veil of anonymity" from the Battle.net forums was entirely predictable. It's not nearly as easy to act like a jerk, after all, when you're not protected by an impenetrable cloak of virtual invisibility. Which is obviously the whole point of the exercise, but the impending loss of their secret identities has an awful lot of gamers up in arms.

Yeah, its cause I can't act like a jerk. That is totally why I don't want some psycho on WoW knowing my real name and from that being able to basically hunt me down. And this will absolutely work. I couldn't make my "Real" name Jim Smith or something else that is extraordinarily common and be a total dick on the forums anyway. No, this just makes responsible people uneasy to post on the forums for fear that some psychopath will disagree and stalk/kill/rape them.

I quit WoW a while ago but if I had seen this as an existing player, I'd cancel my account the next day. As it is I won't be getting Starcraft 2 cause 1. They're fucking it up. and 2. It'll have the same battle.net stalker risk that WoW is gonna have.

So yeah, congrats Blizz, you've found the perfect way to control your community by making everyone fear for their safety and privacy so they don't say anything publicly.

How does this affect you purchasing Starcraft II?
Did you not bother to read the information? It is regarding being on the forums, I've been playing wow since it came out and I dabbled in the forums for a bit and then one realizes that they are nothing more than a cesspool of epeens. I haven't been back to the forums in like 2 years and it hasn't affected me playing the games at all. You don't want your name out there, don't go to the forums, or if you absolutely have to don't give anyone a reason to hunt you down. Problem solved. It's not like you're gonna log into the game and you have to play under your real name.

At the moment I feel like that character from Network, yelling about how we accept the fact that our space gets smaller and smaller, and how we should stop it.

Lookee here.

http://wowriot.gameriot.com/blogs/Americans-are-bad-at-games/Real-Names-on-the-Official-Forums-New-REAL-ID-function?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+wowriot+%28Latest+Wowriot+Blog+Posts+-+Wowriot.Gameriot.com%29&gr_i_ni

Also here.

http://seewhatyoudidthere.com/2010/07/07/realid-changes-the-very-real-ease-of-stalking-in-the-internet-age/

It's easy to find information about people. Type your name and country into pipl.com or Spokeo.come if you don't believe me. And why should we just stop going to the forums? And why is it our fault if someone targets us? It just reeks of blaming the victim.

So what if they've ruined the forums? Just don't go there!
So what if they've ruined half of the game? Just don't use that half!
A guy found your telephone number and is harassing you? It must have been your fault!

You're forgetting that malevolent people EXIST, and are far more common that you'd like to think. You want a recent example: a guy in Germany hunted down and stabbed a guy who had six months previously killed him in Counter Strike! Crazies EXIST, and with a little time and a little money they can easily get your details.

Not even mentioning the fact that Potential Employers could easily find out about you with this, and they have been told in the past to not hire WoW players!

The really obnoxious thing is, after that fiasco with the Blizzard Mod having all his details found out (top link I posted) Blizzard have made it so GMs, CMs and Moderators no longer have to reveal their first names. Now doesn't that just make your blood boil? THEY can keep their privacy but WE, the lowly consumer, must have our names spread for all to see!

EDIT: Re-read the comment and unsure if they meant it was optional to post or or optional to enable showing your real name, will post when sure.

Sylveria:

Andy Chalk:

The outrage that greeted Blizzard's decision to "remove the veil of anonymity" from the Battle.net forums was entirely predictable. It's not nearly as easy to act like a jerk, after all, when you're not protected by an impenetrable cloak of virtual invisibility. Which is obviously the whole point of the exercise, but the impending loss of their secret identities has an awful lot of gamers up in arms.

Yeah, its cause I can't act like a jerk. That is totally why I don't want some psycho on WoW knowing my real name and from that being able to basically hunt me down. And this will absolutely work. I couldn't make my "Real" name Jim Smith or something else that is extraordinarily common and be a total dick on the forums anyway. Or better yet, I could use my boss' name, or the name of someone who gave me shit in high school, or someone who's applying for the same job I am just to perform a little character assassination. No way someone could possibly abuse this system in a vindictive way. No, this just makes responsible people uneasy to post on the forums for fear that some psychopath will disagree and stalk/kill/rape them.

I quit WoW a while ago but if I had seen this as an existing player, I'd cancel my account the next day. As it is I won't be getting Starcraft 2 cause 1. They're fucking it up. and 2. It'll have the same battle.net stalker risk that WoW is gonna have.

So yeah, congrats Blizz, you've found the perfect way to control your community by making everyone fear for their safety and privacy so they don't say anything publicly.

This.

Considering WoW is a den for hopeless shut-ins with no social skills and bizarre personalities (amongst the perfectly reasonable, interesting and well-adjusted people; I have a lot of friends who play WoW), I would be very concerned about posting in this type of environment. Doubly so because of how competitive it can get. I wouldn't be surprised if we got at least one story about some PvPer mailing a bomb to an opposing guild's guild leader.

Of course, you have to consider that the stalkers, jerks, and wierdos might be a bit more inclined to control their behavior when everyone can see their full name and address and can point the authorities directly at an offender.

I would be much more concerned about this if I were a woman, of course, judging by how strangely nerds treat women on the Internet. Highlighting every female on WoW (and posting their personally identifiable information) is probably going to do more to drive females away from WoW than anything else you Blizzard could reasonably do.

And I would be much much more concerned about this if I actually played WoW. In other words...

DTWolfwood:

Verbal Samurai:

DTWolfwood:

Verbal Samurai:
I had to cancel my account. I run a local business and I don't want people googling my name for business purposes and having WoW information show up.

heres a good example of y the system is stupid :D

And even for people who do not run businesses, you work for people who run businesses. A lot of people are surprised to hear how often employers do internet searches on job applicants. If someone sends me a resume and a google search brings up information that I dislike or even THINK a client/colleague would frown upon, that person is NOT getting a job...and no, I won't even tell you that's why you didn't get the job.

Guess u consider some1 playing WoW or SC2 some1 unworthy of your work :P but please look at it with some context here. Should that person be foolish enough to have his name show up on something of ill repute, you shouldnt hire him. But whats the shame is letting ppl know your pass time is gaming?

I don't think there's anything wrong with the hobby. It's my hobby too after all. But most people who run businesses and/or are in my field are older and don't understand gaming and certainly don't "respect" it as a worthwhile hobby. Its greatly looked down upon and you will not be taken seriously by a lot of people. That's VERY bad for business.

It sucks, but its true. Maybe things will change in 30 more years. By then, even the oldest people in charge will have grown up with games and it won't be a big deal at all. Sadly, that's just not the case today.

Mr.Pandah:
So to all the John Smiths out there...you're shit out of luck.

HAHAHAHAHAH...

Oh man. Well...there are many arguments against and for this system, but one thing is 100% sure. Blizzard forum traffic will rapidly decrease if this goes into full effect. Period.

Now, I'm sure all the proponents might say "Yeah, but at least it'll keep the trolls away." but the truth is that a) Not that many people care about that nearly as much as peeps might imagine and b) This is bound to hurt word-of-mouth marketing potential from Blizzard. I mean sure, you get to interface with Facebook or other such sites (towards which this move was obviously aimed), but you also decrease the number of posters so...yeah.

In short, Blizzard has made a series of slow, gradual and safe changes and has because of this caution prospered. But in this case well...we'll see. Still, I forsee the clouds of a mighty shitstorm on the horizon. Wether it'll turn out to be just another fart in the wind or a hurricane of the magnitude of SOE's take with Star Wars Galaxies.....we'll have to wait and see.

I'm just happy I chose to say bye bye to WoW myself already and thus remain happily unaffected by any of these angry arguments for and against this. :D

Mantonio:

Rednog:

Sylveria:

Andy Chalk:

The outrage that greeted Blizzard's decision to "remove the veil of anonymity" from the Battle.net forums was entirely predictable. It's not nearly as easy to act like a jerk, after all, when you're not protected by an impenetrable cloak of virtual invisibility. Which is obviously the whole point of the exercise, but the impending loss of their secret identities has an awful lot of gamers up in arms.

Yeah, its cause I can't act like a jerk. That is totally why I don't want some psycho on WoW knowing my real name and from that being able to basically hunt me down. And this will absolutely work. I couldn't make my "Real" name Jim Smith or something else that is extraordinarily common and be a total dick on the forums anyway. No, this just makes responsible people uneasy to post on the forums for fear that some psychopath will disagree and stalk/kill/rape them.

I quit WoW a while ago but if I had seen this as an existing player, I'd cancel my account the next day. As it is I won't be getting Starcraft 2 cause 1. They're fucking it up. and 2. It'll have the same battle.net stalker risk that WoW is gonna have.

So yeah, congrats Blizz, you've found the perfect way to control your community by making everyone fear for their safety and privacy so they don't say anything publicly.

How does this affect you purchasing Starcraft II?
Did you not bother to read the information? It is regarding being on the forums, I've been playing wow since it came out and I dabbled in the forums for a bit and then one realizes that they are nothing more than a cesspool of epeens. I haven't been back to the forums in like 2 years and it hasn't affected me playing the games at all. You don't want your name out there, don't go to the forums, or if you absolutely have to don't give anyone a reason to hunt you down. Problem solved. It's not like you're gonna log into the game and you have to play under your real name.

At the moment I feel like that character from Network, yelling about how we accept the fact that our space gets smaller and smaller, and how we should stop it.

Lookee here.

http://wowriot.gameriot.com/blogs/Americans-are-bad-at-games/Real-Names-on-the-Official-Forums-New-REAL-ID-function?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+wowriot+%28Latest+Wowriot+Blog+Posts+-+Wowriot.Gameriot.com%29&gr_i_ni

Also here.

http://seewhatyoudidthere.com/2010/07/07/realid-changes-the-very-real-ease-of-stalking-in-the-internet-age/

It's easy to find information about people. Type your name and country into pipl.com or Spokeo.come if you don't believe me. And why should we just stop going to the forums? And why is it our fault if someone targets us? It just reeks of blaming the victim.

I tried, I show up in none of those. Also there apparently are a ton of people with my name (not a fairly common one, or at least I thought so). Only thing that shows up on a google result is my escapist profile. I take my name off the escapist, poof, I'm a ghost.

And like I said, this has absolutely no effect on the gameplay.

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