Blizzard Finally Lets People Turn Off RealID Completely

Blizzard Finally Lets People Turn Off RealID Completely

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Blizzard has finally updated its RealID system with many of the privacy features that should have been there in the first place.

In case you weren't around back in July, there was quite the hubbub when Blizzard announced that its RealID system - attaching your real-life identity to your in-game character - would be mandatory for posting on its Battle.net forums. In fact, you might say that it was slightly controversial, if you wanted to put it mildly. Blizzard quickly backed off, but the RealID system remained in place in-game.

That's not a bad thing at all. The RealID system in its original, optional form was actually a great idea. It let players keep in touch with their friends whether they were on another WoW server or faction, or playing a different game entirely. Unfortunately, it still had some gaping flaws, like an inability to ever "go offline" when you just wanted to pick some Peacebloom on an alt, and the bizarre inability to make yourself invisible to the friends of your friends.

Well, you can do one of those now, at least. The notice just came in from Blizzard that the popular PC developer had added more privacy options to its RealID service via gamers' Battle.net accounts:

We'd like to make you aware of the new Real ID-related privacy options we've introduced to Battle.net. These options provide Real ID users with additional tools for customizing the service based on their preferences, enabling the ability to opt in or out of the Real ID "Friends of Friends" and "Add Facebook Friends" features or to turn off Real ID altogether.

In other words, you can now completely turn RealID off if you just don't want to ever be bothered, or you can enable RealID but remove yourself from the "Friends of Friends" and "Add Facebook Friends" pool.

Uh, better late than never, I guess? I've always thought RealID was a cool and useful system with one or two crippling Achilles' Heels, so it's nice to see that Blizzard is working on fixing it - even if it is at its customarily lethargic pace.

Baby steps, people. Baby steps.

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Well at least they have opened up options to people now, which is about time. Hate stuff that links into Facebook...

Glad to see that are giving options rather then forcing it down our throats.

And it's about bloody time. Methinks Kotick's mentality had something to do with this delay.

Great.. now focus on getting Diablo 3 out without having it suck as much as SC II did :/

For anyone having trouble finding the "disable RealID" option, it's under "Communication Preferences" in the "Settings" drop-down.

Thanks for the notice, John. This is the first I've heard of it. Would've been nice for Blizzard to send out an Email notifying us of this.

I still wish they'd gone ahead with the full on compulsory setup >.> I mean, yes it was a dangerous idea, but still, WoW is basically the only community could survive such an experiment, and we'd have gotten some really good data..

I still can't believe how much time it took for such features that should have been taken for granted to be implemented.

Idocreating:
And it's about bloody time. Methinks Kotick's mentality had something to do with this delay.

You must not be a long-time PC gamer. Blizzard always works this slowly.

znix:
Great.. now focus on getting Diablo 3 out without having it suck as much as SC II did :/

Suck as much as SC2 did...? You mean not at all?

SC2 was a masterpiece. Battle.net was the crappy part.

Well, I didn't use a real ID in the first place - wasn't going to trust them to keep my details private after that whole fiasco!

I've never even poster on those forums. so yeah...

Well, at least Blizz are capable of listening to their customers and making up.

Unlike Ubisoft or Sony.

Good to know that all we have to do to stop Blizzard breaking any laws is wait for us to scream and holler about it, then wait, then let them know directly, then threaten them, then wait a little more and THEN they decide it can be optional totally.

Like it was originally.

Nice to know that Seto Kotick isn't the only source of incompetence there.

Am I the only one that didn't see an issue with this? All I can come up with is that players can now easily be called out for spamming on forums and being dicks in their games.

Whats the problem??

The_root_of_all_evil:
Good to know that all we have to do to stop Blizzard breaking any laws is wait for us to scream and holler about it, then wait, then let them know directly, then threaten them, then wait a little more and THEN they decide it can be optional totally.

Like it was originally.

Nice to know that Seto Kotick isn't the only source of incompetence there.

Uh, it always was optional. You were never ever forced to start using it. Which is why I'm not even sure that this is news?

If you could use a nickname for the RealID (which would technically defeat the point of it's name but at least that name could be changed) i'd even support it's use on the forums. They'd realize their "dream" of having everyone post with a consistent identity with less of those privacy issues. And chance is that my friends already know my real name. But for whatever reason Blizz insists on real names.

Good, now make Battle.net less of an e-peen waving contest and more like Steam and maybe you'll be in something resembling good graces with me.

Anyone knows if the "disable" option can be used as an "appear offline" alternative? Or does it permanently wipe your list as if you had removed everyone manually?

Edit: so I logged in and disabling RealID *does* wipe your friends list. Still no appear offline it seems.

Baby steps indeed, John. I'm taking this as another sign that there's still hope to be had with Blizzard. I won't be giving up on them any time soon!

Whoa, is there hope for Blizzard yet?.

Hmmm.

Hmmmmmm.

Nope. Not until they restore offline LAN, crossregion play, spawn installation, true mapping and everything they took out that StarCraft did 10 years ago.

they'll get to everything, It's just that activision is putting major pressure on them, cuz of kotick, to get more games out which equals to more revenue so activision won't die from kotick's idiodicy.

But we all know blizz, they'll support a game forever, and eventually they'll take your opinion in, just expect it to be a wait lol.

Blizzard Employee: *Dusts off Hands* "Whelp, that should have been long enough to correlate the Real IDs into serial numbers. We can give them their anonymity back now that we know who they are!"

Now if they'd only drop the stupidity of requiring you to give half your login information to someone, the system'd be perfect. Still, good news I suppose, I might actually use the system now, the friends of friends bullshit was really offputting.

JerrytheBullfrog:
snip

Starcraft 2 (the story part) sucked ass by Blizzard's standards. If you compare it to most of the other crap like MW2, then sure, it's decent, but overall, it's not even that.

3nimac:
If you could use a nickname for the RealID (which would technically defeat the point of it's name but at least that name could be changed) i'd even support it's use on the forums. They'd realize their "dream" of having everyone post with a consistent identity with less of those privacy issues. And chance is that my friends already know my real name. But for whatever reason Blizz insists on real names.

Seconded. It absolutely blows my mind that Blizzard can't realise that people want to use their nick names over their real names, not to mention there's no solid reason to have real names in the first place, in the forum or otherwise. And people, don't start about accountability in the forums, because:

1) Having a nickname would do the exact same thing, in fact, it would be easier to memorise the perpetrator's name.
2) Nothing changes if you call someone out by his name, unless you go to his house and kill him.

There's not even any practical use for people if you show your real name everywhere. What's the point, are you dating everyone you meet on Starcraft and don't care about this most basic form of individualization?

And this:

paketep:
Whoa, is there hope for Blizzard yet?.

Hmmm.

Hmmmmmm.

Nope. Not until they restore offline LAN, crossregion play, spawn installation, true mapping and everything they took out that StarCraft did 10 years ago.

There is absolutely no reason to be as apologetic towards Blizzard as the vast majority are. They fucked up on SC2, they fucked up bad.

ciortas1:

JerrytheBullfrog:
snip

Starcraft 2 (the story part) sucked ass by Blizzard's standards. If you compare it to most of the other crap like MW2, then sure, it's decent, but overall, it's not even that.

3nimac:
If you could use a nickname for the RealID (which would technically defeat the point of it's name but at least that name could be changed) i'd even support it's use on the forums. They'd realize their "dream" of having everyone post with a consistent identity with less of those privacy issues. And chance is that my friends already know my real name. But for whatever reason Blizz insists on real names.

Seconded. It absolutely blows my mind that Blizzard can't realise that people want to use their nick names over their real names, not to mention there's no solid reason to have real names in the first place, in the forum or otherwise. And people, don't start about accountability in the forums, because:

1) Having a nickname would do the exact same thing, in fact, it would be easier to memorise the perpetrator's name.
2) Nothing changes if you call someone out by his name, unless you go to his house and kill him.

There's not even any practical use for people if you show your real name everywhere. What's the point, are you dating everyone you meet on Starcraft and don't care about this most basic form of individualization?

And this:

paketep:
Whoa, is there hope for Blizzard yet?.

Hmmm.

Hmmmmmm.

Nope. Not until they restore offline LAN, crossregion play, spawn installation, true mapping and everything they took out that StarCraft did 10 years ago.

There is absolutely no reason to be as apologetic towards Blizzard as the vast majority are. They fucked up on SC2, they fucked up bad.

A.) Really? One of the best multiplayer games made in years, and you're complaining about a well-told if extremely cliched story?

B.) When was the last time you played SC1 or WC3? They've all been like that. Chris Metzen has never been able to pen a good script to save his life.

But in the grand scheme of things, the actual story of SC2 is maybe a tenth of the package? The game itself is phenomenal, and even if you don't like the story the campaign tells, the mission and level design is superb.

I never expected much from SC2's story, so I wasn't let down. But the game itself is bloody amazing. Battle.net is the weak spot.

JerrytheBullfrog:
snip

Warcraft 3's story was at least 5 times longer, and I'd argue it had vastly superior writing involved. Not going to go too far into this, because I've argued this extensively in at least 3 threads, sick of rewriting the same things.

I never said the gameplay is bad, just the stuff surrounding it. And really, Battle.net isn't just a weak spot, it's singlehandedly the worst multi-player system I've ever seen, ever. What makes me mad is that most of the stupidly horrible design choices made there are done for one reason - appealing to the idiots and fucking over everyone else, because hey, idiots are the majority.

znix:
Great.. now focus on getting Diablo 3 out without having it suck as much as SC II did :/

Um wait what? Star Craft 2 didn't suck...
And in case you think it did/does, what is the reason for you feeling this way?

ciortas1:

JerrytheBullfrog:
snip

Warcraft 3's story was at least 5 times longer, and I'd argue it had vastly superior writing involved. Not going to go too far into this, because I've argued this extensively in at least 3 threads, sick of rewriting the same things.

I never said the gameplay is bad, just the stuff surrounding it. And really, Battle.net isn't just a weak spot, it's singlehandedly the worst multi-player system I've ever seen, ever. What makes me mad is that most of the stupidly horrible design choices made there are done for one reason - appealing to the idiots and fucking over everyone else, because hey, idiots are the majority.

I've been playing Blizzard games since WC1, and I've learned never to expect a good story from them. Chris Metzen can't write, period, the end. But in the end, the gameplay in their games is good enough that docking them points still leaves you with a 9/10 game.

The worst multi-player system you've ever seen? Come on, that's just being hyperbolic. For what it's designed to do, it works very well--for people who just want to log on and quickly play an evenly matched game, it's great. Really, once they add chat channels and clans back in like they've said they would, it'll be much better (Though I wouldn't complain if they overhauled the custom game browser, too).

But B.net as a multiplayer system works infinitely better than the shit that we've seen in Borderlands (GameSpy? Really?) or, I don't know, anything running on XBL or GFWL.

You're exaggerating.

The_root_of_all_evil:
Good to know that all we have to do to stop Blizzard breaking any laws is wait for us to scream and holler about it, then wait, then let them know directly, then threaten them, then wait a little more and THEN they decide it can be optional totally.

Like it was originally.

Nice to know that Seto Kotick isn't the only source of incompetence there.

Don't forget the Blizzard forum representative who had his life ruined trying to demonstrate how RealID wasn't going to ruin people's lives.

A victory for sense?

Amnestic:

The_root_of_all_evil:
Good to know that all we have to do to stop Blizzard breaking any laws is wait for us to scream and holler about it, then wait, then let them know directly, then threaten them, then wait a little more and THEN they decide it can be optional totally.

Like it was originally.

Nice to know that Seto Kotick isn't the only source of incompetence there.

Don't forget the Blizzard forum representative who had his life ruined trying to demonstrate how RealID wasn't going to ruin people's lives.

I remember that poor guy. To be honest I feel sorry for him given what happened, but when he threw himself into a pool of extremely pissed off sharks in that manner, it wasn't really a surprise that they bit him. At least it served to prove the reason why the whole RealID thing was a bad idea.

EDIT: Silly typing mistakes.

 

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