We still haven’t quite got Real ID in the EU at the time of writing this post, however, I’d like to share my thoughts about it.
I’ve had my doubts, when I first read about it, I think my thoughts were, “They get to see my full real name?! AND all of my alts? Including secret hidey alts and bank alts?!” These things are still a minor concern to me. A lot of people know that my name is Hannah, but I’m a bit dubious about sharing my last name. I guess 10 years of using the internet and hearing paranoid news broadcasts tend to drill it into your head that sharing your real name is a bad thing, but really, it’s not like it’s the first time, is it? I have a Facebook account. That uses my full name, and I’m not exactly picky about who I add on there, so why worry so much about it on Real ID? It’s not like my name is uncommon and scarily easy to find, and not everybody on the internet is a creepy stalker.
The thing with hiding alts, well, that’s always going to be a concern for me, especially with bank alts. I like to keep my bank alts anonymous. I don’t want people to be persuaded one way or another to buy or not buy my stuff because it’s me selling it, equally, I don’t want people to be pissed off when they notice I’ve undercut them, because I do, it’s how the auction house works, and I’d rather stay anonymous to avoid any hassle and just enjoy making gold. Though I guess my Argent Dawn bank alt isn’t too anonymous, being in SAN and called some variation on ‘Jaedia’. It’s something I can make myself get used to. And the question of hidey alts, well, the broadcast message aspect of RealID can easily fix the “I’d like some me time” issue. I can inevitably use it kind of as a ‘DND’ message if need be. I don’t have any secret alts anyway, so it’s not a problem.
There have been some great posts in the past few weeks about Real ID, some saying why it’s bad, some saying why it’s great, one that really stood out to me was Psynister’s post, because he summed up what Real ID does so well that it actually convinced me that it’s worth using. Not to mention his post about the problems with Real ID, he has given some great advice on how to deal with any problems you might potentially have it it. We’ve been asking for a cross-server friends list for so long and now we have one. Okay, so we still probably won’t be friending the awesome people we meet in random dungeons, but it’s a start. An appear offline feature specifically for Real ID might be a nice idea, but then again you don’t have to add everybody you know, you don’t even have to use it, there are plenty of ways to avoid talking to people when you’re not in the mood. Personally, I’ve decided I’m going to give it a go. It’s a shame that it’s not going to work cross-seas, there are some US/Oceanic server folk I’d love to add, but if you’re EU and you’d like me to add you, send me a mail or a DM on Twitter or something. I won’t add everybody who asks but if I know you well enough I probably will. Happy patch day!