Tag Archives: RealID

Faith Restored

For the time being. Read this.

We’ve been constantly monitoring the feedback you’ve given us, as well as internally discussing your concerns about the use of real names on our forums. As a result of those discussions, we’ve decided at this time that real names will not be required for posting on official Blizzard forums.

I can’t get the fact that they have kind of sold out and tried to share our private details with the public without technically asking first, but – they have at least listened. The way I see it, the amount their subscribers must have dropped over the past few days must have been pretty terrifying, that is a lot of lost, ongoing payments. Even so, the masses got what they wanted, however it came about, that is still cause for a good, old fashioned, “woo hoo”. And no, I don’t mean the Sims kind, but hey, if that’s the way you roll don’t let me stop you.

As long as Real ID remains optional, and names are the only thing being shared, ((though that’s still a little too much for me, but the cross server chat is way too good not to use)) then I don’t mind it being there. In fact, bring it on. Just – keep it optional. Well, okay, I’m not a fan of Facebook integration. I particularly don’t like the vote up/vote down idea for the official forums but whatever floats your boat, Mr. Blizzard.

Now, can I get back to Desperate Housewives, my Cataclysm excitement, and my attempt at thinking up a new blog topic ((and flailing)) in peace for a bit? No more big community shake ups?

Lost Faith

Yeah.. I said I wasn’t going to post about Real ID, and technically I’m not, though it has definitely sparked a lot of emotion in a lot of people. Now, of course, this has all come from Blizzard saying that in order to post on the official forums in Cataclysm, your real first and last names, as you gave to Battle.net, will be shown when you post in order to “combat trolling”. A heck of a lot of people don’t like this. My name’s damn common in the UK and the US. On Facebook alone I find 511 others that share my name, so while I don’t think that my name being out there is a huge security risk, ((though of course, with some deducting, it probably is – however I’m not quite that paranoid, I tend to keep myself to myself mostly)) for some people it’s much bigger, and with such a huge uproar against this, you’d think Blizzard might back down? Wrong.

Now, I’m not pretending I know all of the details, in honesty, all I really know is they’ve signed some big deal with.. Facebook? And they won’t be backing down. Well, hurray for treating your customers well! Usually, when people churn out the usual “I pay £9 a month for this game and deserve better service than this” I might perhaps scoff a little, because usually that’s a pretty lame argument – you pay a monthly fee to play the game. However, when something Blizzard does makes you realise they really are just one huge multi-national, commercial company, well, it kinda makes you lose faith a little bit.

I personally thought that Blizzard cared about this game and well, this has shaken the community. A lot of people feel alienated, using your real name online is a privacy risk. Sure, some people do it, at their own risk, but when you sign a privacy contract, then they say they’ll give up your personal details that easily because of some other contract, guess that makes the internet dragons seem a little less worth the £9 a month. I’ve heard of so many people quitting the game over this. Some are doing the “ugh I’m quitting!” and then logging in to raid Icecrown or whatever, but a lot are actually cancelling their accounts and this time I honestly cannot blame them ((of course, there are also a hell of a lot who are only thinking about quitting over this, a lot won’t, some will)). The worst part? This is exactly what businesses out to make money are like.

Incase you’re wondering, I haven’t made a decision on how annoyed at Blizzard I might be right now, being on a break myself at the moment I don’t care as much as I otherwise would, but I’m enjoying catching up on the years of Desperate Housewives I’ve missed. Why did nobody ever tell me I should watch this show before?

Real ID: Pros and Cons

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!