Blizzard Sees The Light On Real ID

By Alec Meer on July 9th, 2010 at 6:43 pm.

Yay! Oh, but I do miss my old Gnome. BUT I MUST NEVER PLAY AGAIN. NEVER

Hmm. Not exactly an objective headline that, is it? Well, it’s not like I was ever pretending I thought the mandatory use of real names on Blizzard’s forums was anything other than a ridiculously stupid idea. After assorted debate and malice (which included people searching for and sharing personal details of various Activision/Blizzard staff – including Bobby Kotick), Blizzard have backed down. Well done and thanks for listening, chaps. It’s good to know the distant god still listens to its tiny people’s prayers.

Big man Mike Morheim stepped in personally to deliver the glad tidings that Real ID on forums is to be scrapped. While he didn’t head-on address the issues of privacy and harassment the scheme had entailed, he was certainly unequivocal:

Hello everyone,

I’d like to take some time to speak with all of you regarding our desire to make the Blizzard forums a better place for players to discuss our games. 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.

It’s important to note that we still remain committed to improving our forums. Our efforts are driven 100% by the desire to find ways to make our community areas more welcoming for players and encourage more constructive conversations about our games. We will still move forward with new forum features such as conversation threading, the ability to rate posts up or down, improved search functionality, and more. However, when we launch the new StarCraft II forums that include these new features, you will be posting by your StarCraft II Battle.net character name + character code, not your real name. The upgraded World of Warcraft forums with these new features will launch close to the release of Cataclysm, and also will not require your real name.

I want to make sure it’s clear that our plans for the forums are completely separate from our plans for the optional in-game Real ID system now live with World of Warcraft and launching soon with StarCraft II. We believe that the powerful communications functionality enabled by Real ID, such as cross-game and cross-realm chat, make Battle.net a great place for players to stay connected to real-life friends and family while playing Blizzard games. And of course, you’ll still be able to keep your relationships at the anonymous, character level if you so choose when you communicate with other players in game. Over time, we will continue to evolve Real ID on Battle.net to add new and exciting functionality within our games for players who decide to use the feature.

In closing, I want to point out that our connection with our community has always been and will always be extremely important to us. We strongly believe that Every Voice Matters, ( http://us.blizzard.com/en-us/company/about/mission.html ) and we feel fortunate to have a community that cares so passionately about our games. We will always appreciate the feedback and support of our players, which has been a key to Blizzard’s success from the beginning.

Mike Morhaime
CEO & Cofounder
Blizzard Entertainment

So there you. While the problems of trolling and flaming endemic in most online communities remains in need of a solution, trying to do it by creating scope for anyone on the Blizzard forums to be personally identified by anyone mad enough to do so simply didn’t seem like the right way.

Hopefully the big B hasn’t given up entirely on cleaning up its dens of rage, and will experiment with smarter alternatives in future. Hopefully too the “at this time” doesn’t mean they’re going to try and sneak the same thing in later on. I honestly can’t imagine they will.

Again, well done and thanks, Blizzard. It’s not every day of company of that size really, truly listens to its players.

BONUS:

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132 Comments »

  1. Bret says:

    Good for them.

  2. Robert says:

    *raaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaage*

    The original thread on the US forums was locked @ 44898 posts and 560131 views. (obviously, the views still increase)

    Good, and sane, news.

  3. obo says:

    “Over time, we will continue to evolve Real ID on Battle.net to add new and exciting functionality within our games for players who decide to use the feature.”

    See? Was it so hard to go carrot instead of stick here?

    The first in-game-pet giveaway for people who sign up for Read ID forum posting will convert every player they want on the forums anyway.

  4. jsdn says:

    I’d almost the people behind the decision see the shitstorm first hand, but I guess having to back down is lashing enough.

  5. subedii says:

    I found that video far more amusing than I should have.

  6. bleeters says:

    Yeh, I’m sure this has nothing to do with what happened yesterday.

    • Unaco says:

      What did happen yesterday? I don’t play any Blizz/Activision games, but I saw the whole M***a W*****e thing (asterisks to protect the stupid), and a few other people saying “It’s not a biggie… Here is my name” followed twenty or so minutes later by “Whoops, my bad! How can I undo the Internet happening?”.

    • bleeters says:

      As I understand it, one of the blizzard staff made a post under his real name, as a demonstration of how it’d work. Within around five minutes, replies had emerged containing his house address and telephone number, as well as details about his family members and various photographs of him.

      Or so I hear, anyway. The thread understandable disappeared very quickly.

    • Unaco says:

      Yeah, that was M***a W*****e… I think he was a Community Moderator or similar. He did it the day the RealID plan was announced.

    • kwyjibo says:

      The problem is that idiots plaster their own personal details across the internet.

    • Eversor says:

      Yes, Blizzard employee names are their best kept secret. That’s why none of their games has a manual, where other silly developers usually put everyone’s names in credits. And that is why it was such a huge shock when suddenly we found out the name of one of their employees!

      Oh wait.

  7. SeeBlizzardCares says:

    Hilarious video.

    • sfury says:

      Що за направления?

      What does that mean in Russian? Means directions/instructions in Bulgarian but I’m sure he speaks in Russian.

      Hilarious, I’m sure that’s how trolls dance. :D

  8. Jaedar says:

    Hell, It’s about time!

  9. Dreamhacker says:

    Blizzard Productions = Big People?

  10. Mungrul says:

    Here’s an idea; since this news hit, I’ve noticed that one point people continuously make about the forums is how people judge you by your avatar’s character level, so how about not displaying character level?
    Or is that too simple?

  11. Garg says:

    RE: the alt text. I feel your pain.

  12. Devan says:

    Indeed, this is good to see.

  13. Starky says:

    Said it before and I’ll say it again…

    Permanent forum handle.

    That is all they need really and it is just as good if not better than a real name.

    It stops the level 1 alts, and links people to their WoW account so any trolling/abuse will stay with them for the lifetime of that account.

  14. Starky says:

    Oh and that video wins the internet, that guy is epic.

  15. Arathain says:

    Good stuff. Pleased to hear it.

    I’m all for measures to make forums more pleasant places and make trolling and abuse a touch more difficult. Make everyone post from a name tied to their account, rather than character. Tighten up the rules and hire some mods willing to use the tools available to them to enforce them. I’ve seen those things work elsewhere.

    But please, act with some sense of moderation, or risk bringing in far greater problems then you were trying to solve. Thanks for listening, Blizzard.

    I agree with above posters that once you incentivise s shift towards the RealID system they’ll have a big uptake on it. That, at least, will be a choice for the individual.

  16. Lambchops says:

    +10 points for removing the names.

    -100 For the capitalisation of “Every Voice Matters.”

    Roundabouts and swings, Blizzard. Roundabouts and swings.

  17. Inno says:

    Certainly a good decision. I’m sure there are other ways to try and combat trolls and flamers rather than immediately going nuclear. That said the fact they were even seriously planning this along with possible future changes to the RealID system is definately something to be vigilant about.

    I look forward to playing StarCraft 2 again though.

  18. Anski says:

    Now they just need to make is so that friends of friends can’t see your name with RealID.

  19. Unaco says:

    Sanity has prevailed I see. However, this wasn’t just a ‘Bad’ idea… this was a near suicidal idea. To say that they misread the pulse of their community is an understatement. Heads should roll over this.

    Unless… my theory about this was correct. This wasn’t just a change to the forums… this was intended as the precursor to a whole new form of ARGame… “Harrassment*”, the new MMO Brought to you by Activision’s Bobby Kotick. $15/month subscription grants you access to a randomly generated target list for the week, as well as compromising information on said targets… Kind of lack http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assassin_(game) but with the aim being to research and investigate your targets and then send them pizza, get them fired, break up their relationships, scam their credit cards, and generally embarrass, cajole, insult and troll them. Watch out though! Other players may sending the Police to your house at 5am after reports of “a naked man on PCP in our kitchen”. Players were to be ranked/graded on the number of social networking accounts their targets deleted, number of phone numbers they have to go through, and the number of jobs they get fired from. Every month a new $5 stimulus package… First package contains 5 new “Yo moma!” insults.

    *Title was still WIP… other possibilities included “Torment”, “Molestation Maker”, “Asshole’s Paradise” or simply “Troll”.

  20. Vinraith says:

    Well, that’s good. Now, for a prospective SC2 customer that’s never played WoW and hasn’t been following Blizzard all that much for the last few years, how does this RealID thing affect me? Will I be able to avoid it? What will I lose by doing so?

    • Psychopomp says:

      In SC2, all RealID does is:

      1)You’ll see all your RealID friend’s characters, rather than just a single one you added normally

      2)You can talk to RealID friends crossgame

      RealID is done by adding a friend either by email or letting Starcraft go through your Facebook friends for other people who play.

      There may be one concern:I hear tale that you can see the names of your RealID friend’s RealID friends. That’s about it.

    • The Hammer says:

      It shouldn’t at all really, Vinraith! The only thing you’d be losing in avoiding RealID is the ability to talk to your friends who are on different Blizzard games to you, but if you wanted to do that, there’s always Xfire!

    • The Hammer says:

      Yeah, you can see friends of friends, which is a strange, strange move.

    • Vinraith says:

      Good, sounds like it would be totally useless to me. Thanks for the info!

    • Psychopomp says:

      I wouldn’t really call it a “move” and more an “oversight.” Still, what’s a friend’s friend going to do?

    • Jake says:

      If I remember the expression correctly, your friend’s friend is your enemy, or something.

    • subedii says:

      So OK, wait, I’m not sure I’m following this. People you friend will still see your real name, is that right? And their friends will see it as well? And there’s no option to turn that off?

      Am I understanding this right?

    • Garg says:

      There are two kinds of friends in Starcraft 2; Real and Game (or something like that, I can’t remember the titles). So only people you know the email address/facebook friend of can you add as “RealID” friends. Only they can see your real name. You can still add ordinary “game” friends, and not reveal your RealID, say when you meet some guy in a game and click on their game name to add them.

    • subedii says:

      Good to know, thanks.

    • wds says:

      And of course, this already happened: some guy friended his sister, then his GM. Said GM noticed one of his guild members had a woman on his friends list, started googling her (if the name is pretty unique and you know the general area, not too hard), then proceeded to post her phone number (from facebook) in trade chat.

      Bit of an oversight, yeah.

    • Nick says:

      Will SC2 require battlenet for singleplayer? If so I’m sure there will be a crack to avoid that eventually.

    • Psychopomp says:

      It authenticates on install. After that, you can play offline, albeit without achievements.

  21. Sigma Draconis says:

    Damn, that didn’t take long at all. The sheer magnitude of rage from users must have been severely extreme for Blizzard to reverse their RealID Forum policy only 3 days after announcing it.

    Well, the majority has spoken. It might have been an interesting experiment to see, nonetheless.

    • Torgen says:

      Activision probably got wind of a nationwide rush of those lawyers who advertise on “Judge Judy” et al, cutting new commercials:

      “Have you been stalked because RealID?

      Have you been harassed at your workplace by an Internet sociopath who tracked you down from your game account?

      Call Feister and Leister. We can get you the compensation YOU deserve from the corporations responsible!

  22. The Hammer says:

    GOOD NEWS! Kudos to Blizzard! Now my enthusiasm for Cataclysm can be restored!

    Oh, and RPS? Never do comments rating systems! Pleeeeaasse!

  23. Handsome Dead says:

    That dance was something to behold

  24. jonfitt says:

    @Alec. I feel you could have gone a bit more Daily Heil on the post title. Something along the lines of:

    “Blizzard Backs Down after Player Fury at Privacy Violation”
    or just
    “Blizzard Retreats after Public Outcry”

  25. J.w says:

    @Vinraith

    Technically you will not be able to forego it at all. In order to play SC2 you will need to get a Battle.net account which includes devulging information on your real name, adress and phone number. Though not deterrent enough for me not to buy the game I still find this rather unnecesary. You will not however be forced to give up your RealID to anyone unless you so please, with the possible exception if you use the same email for your facebook and Battle.net account, in which case, at least in the beta phase one, your facebook friends will be able to add your RealID in SC2 through an automatic facebook sweep.

    • Vinraith says:

      Blech. Thanks, that’s worth knowing.

    • Hentzau says:

      I have to say that makes me slightly nervous, because after this fiasco I’m not sure I’d trust them with that information.

    • Vinraith says:

      @Hentzau

      My thought exactly.

    • Rufust Firefly says:

      I wonder how many people are going to register their accounts as living at 1060 W Addison St. If it worked for Elwood Blues, it can work for the rest of us.

    • Andrew Farrell says:

      They already have your name and address – that’s how they bill you (though this has not stopped the ‘idea’ of providing fake ones from appearing everywhere this story travels, as reading is hard)

  26. measurements says:

    Maybe just “Blizzard see the rage on Real ID”.

    I always loved to see people post on level one alts. What are they afraid of? Strangers on a meaningless computer game shunning them. Psh. Lacking in cojones. On the rare occasions that I had something useful to say on the wow forums, I posted from my mainest main. Only the liars and arseholes had stuff to hide.

    Also ‘Every Voice Matters’? Really? Did they not notice that ninety percent of the people out there are idiots? Every Idiot Matters!

    • Wulf says:

      “Lacking in cojones.”

      Really? I mean… really? Really?

      Wulf = (emotePicard.facePalm() * 4096)

      Because sometimes, just one instance of the Picard emote isn’t enough.

      It doesn’t really matter what someone posts on, after all, they could be a fairly new player. It could be a level 5, a level 28, or a level sideways-8, it’s completely irrelevant. Giving importance to the number under a name is just playing up to ePeen stroking, and I can’t imagine anyone even trying to pretend that it isn’t, unless they want to invite further embarrassment.

      What counts is the post, not some number beneath the poster. If the post is good, then the status of the poster is irrelevant, if the post is bad, then the status of the poster is still irrelevant (I’ve seen some fairly big idiots parading around and posting with high level characters, thinking that somehow the number under their name gives their posts and their arguments some extra magical semblance of worth, which it doesn’t). Judge based on the post made.

      I can’t help but wonder if such people had lived through the 19th century, would this have manifested as some sort of racism? Because some people seem to need some indicator to judge worth by, being unable to make an intelligent decision on it by the merits of their own intellect.

      Again: Judge the post, not the status of the poster.

    • Lambchops says:

      @ Wulf

      I could be wrong but I think he’s criticising people using alternate accounts instead of their main one to stir up shit. For example if I felt like insulting you but didn’t want any of the regulars here to know it was me I migh write a post under an alternate name calling you a “smelly poo face” or something of that ilk and nobody around here would be none the wiser. This would be a somewhat cowardly attack on my part.

    • Roast Beef says:

      @ Wulf

      You are a smelly poo face

    • measurements says:

      Yeah, I think I got misinterpreted. But you don’t have to take back the picard’s, I’m collecting them.

      I wasn’t saying posting on a level eighty instead of a level one makes your post/opinion/thing more valid. I was saying I am humoured to see people using level 1 alts to be a dick because they are afraid of what people might think of them if they were to do that with their mains. And by people I mean strangers from across the world who they will never associate with, even within the one link of this ultimately meaningless game they play.

    • Eamo says:

      The problem is that most people will look at the linked character to try to find any reason to discredit the post. Post about a Death Knight topic with your level 80 Mage, the only response you will get is that a Mage wouldn’t know anything about it. Post about an Alliance topic with a Horde character, you get a similar response. Post about an arena topic on a character you don’t play in arena, or a character who is not on whatever battlegroup is currently considered most competitive, you will be attacked for that. There is always something that can be used to find a reason to ignore a poster.

      It gets very tiring having to constantly change your forum avatar to the one most appropriate to the topic every single time you post just so that people will actually listen to what you are saying and many people post with level ones just to make it perfectly clear that they opt out of that stupidity. If you post as a level one then the people who would have found something about your character to discredit you anyway tend not to bother and the people who read the post on its merits will do so anyway.

    • TheHumanBlur says:

      & the moral of the story is: The WOW forums is the worst place in the intra-world. Huzzah!!

  27. Jeremy says:

    While I didn’t feel like this personally affected me too much, I am really glad that a company that can basically do whatever it wanted and still make money, actually listens to the players for which it owes it’s success.

  28. Tei says:

    I have participate in forums withouth any moderation. To me moderation is a new thing on the internet.
    Moderation is not hard, and a decent system will be able to ban a guy for his whole life, or any other period, or just warn and attach a “mark” so the next moderation can be more severe.
    Is not magic, software can do it.

    Also, the “level 1 alts to troll” seems more a problem poor software on Blizzard, than a global problem with forums. Get your software sorted, so wen you ban a dude, it affect all his characters, and not only the one that used to post.

    Theres also things that can be done to raise debates to quality, and these are more interesting than whatever we have talked here. And the real name is none of then. Using the real name is really bad social hygiene on the internet, akin to use 1234 as passwords on all your accounts.

    • Sonic Goo says:

      Blizzard doesn’t ban on character, they ban on account. Your assumption is incorrect. People don’t post on alts to not get banned, they post so that people won’t recognise them.

    • Adam Bloom says:

      But his point about Blizzard moderation being utter shit is completely correct.

  29. Mr. ThreEye says:

    This may be one of the better PR stunts made in a while.

    • Jeremy says:

      Well, Blizzard doesn’t really need PR, they make a billion dollars a second, and secondly, LeBron James wins the PR stunt award :)

    • Sobric says:

      @ Jeremy

      Argh Knicks fan here. :-(

  30. kwyjibo says:

    Millions of users play and discuss Farmville using their real names.

    It turns out WoW is even more embarrassing.

    • Tei says:

      Facebook is not open for Google indexing. Also, is hard to have a Farmville “enemy” so angry at you, that want to pay you a visit, rape you, and kill you, and all your family. Not on this order.

    • Tei says:

      Facebook is not open for Google indexing.

    • Tei says:

      Ignore the first message. Less words > More words.

    • kwyjibo says:

      I agree that WoW players are the more imbecilic.

    • Freud says:

      Or it says something about the IQ of the audiences of each game.

  31. Coldwave says:

    They were talking about music styles.

  32. -Spooky- says:

    *rofl @ vid*

  33. Torgen says:

    Hmm, why not do what NCsoft does with City of Heroes? All your characters on all servers are tied to a “global handle”, and it is that global handle that you post under in the forums. It’s a simple matter then to ban forum access on a per-account basis for trolling, leaving the perpetrator to decide if he/she is butthurt enough to cancel their game sub.

    • Adam Bloom says:

      That’s how WoW/B.Net forums work too. The issue is that Blizzard doesn’t moderate.

  34. Lavitz says:

    Wow, I am shocked that people are relieved this isnt happening and im shocked why Blizzard/Acti think this would be a good idea. I don’t want to make long constructive post explaining how obtrusive this idea was. Well im glad they got there shit together, it should have never even spread.

  35. JustasM says:

    You’re not alone, my friend…

  36. Peter Radiator Full Pig says:

    Bahahahahaha
    Good riddance, and im not even on one of those forums.

  37. Alaric says:

    I must say I am a little sad, although not at all surprised, to see Blizzard giving in (as always) to the demands of the rabid hoi polloi. And yes, I am very well aware that my point of view on this issue is vastly unpopular here at RPS. Oh well, such is life.

    In any event, since the decision has been made, I guess there is nothing more to discuss, so I don’t plan on coming back to check this thread for replies. Should anyone, however, feel the need to inform me of what a brainless, heartless, dickless idiot I am – please contact me directly.

    Cheers!
    Alaric Teplitsky.

    • Tei says:

      I disagree with your opinion, but I am happy than you, and people like you stay here to support your opinion.

      What is a hoi polloi anyway?

    • The Hammer says:

      “I must say I am a little sad, although not at all surprised, to see Blizzard giving in (as always) to the demands of the rabid hoi polloi. ”

      You mean doing what the customers – the people who pay 9 quid a month – want them to do? This isn’t PVP or PVE balance – Blizzard are the experts there – this was real issues of privacy. And it is good that they admit that they are wrong on the matter.

    • DJ Phantoon says:

      I can’t remember. Is taking away freedom of speech considered a liberal thing or a conservative thing? Liberals here want to stifle free speech so no one gets offended, and conservatives here want to stifle speech that isn’t theirs.

      But yeah, that guy was so full of shit.

    • Bassism says:

      Hoi Polloi is a Greek term for “the people.”

    • wds says:

      Well, if you describe the opposing opinion as “rabid” from the start, then there’s really no reason to stay and discuss, is there.

    • IMT says:

      Hoi polloi in English is a phrase used to indicate the uneducated, ignorant masses. It was mainly used by people whose educational background included Ancient Greek & Latin as it is Ancient Greek for “The Many” thus using it indicates the authors knowledge of Greek which presumably the uneducated, ignorant masses would not be able to understand.

      It was a common phrase in my family when I was growing up.

    • measurements says:

      I love DJ Phantoon. I used to think I was liberal. But I want freedom of speech precisely because it should offend people. To quote Peter Griffin of Family Guy fame: “Well sir, while I may not agree with what you’re saying, I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.”

      Also I think hoi polloi is somewhat dated now, I tend to say ‘the proletariat’ instead. Or just the working class.

      It’s okay to hate me.

    • Sonic Goo says:

      I hate you for attributing that quote to Family Guy. :(

  38. Gorgeras says:

    I found the asshole that stole my wallet and camera on Facebook the day I got the court papers giving me his name. When he gets out, I’ll be off to ask him where my camera is and the hard drive better not have been wiped.

    My take on RealID is that Blizzard turned off the normal friends-list in the SC2 beta precisely because everyone hated RealID and weren’t using it. Blizz tried forcing them to because the system wasn’t being stress tested. You would have thought they would have got the picture from so many people avoiding it like it was full-blast dancing hose-pipe with a knife taped to the end of it.

  39. MaxS says:

    She’s asking about the style of music that’s playing in the background. In this context, Russian words for “direction” and “style” are the same.

  40. mandrill says:

    What about all the people who have already asked for all personal details of theirs to be removed from Blizzard’s systems, had their accounts expunged and deleted and now Blizzard have changed their minds?

  41. Ezhar says:

    Epic video. Oh, and duh Blizzard.

  42. Jason Moyer says:

    I guess it’s me, but I find giving a company my credit card/address/phone# a lot scarier in terms of “potential for identity theft” than sharing my real name with the world, which I’ve already been doing for almost 15 years without a problem. Then again, I’ve also been a victim of identity theft and it was caused by stolen mail, not any sort of online shananigans.

    • Freud says:

      I am one of those that really hated this idea and found it to be violating the privacy of the games.

      Meanwhile, a few days ago I donated a bit to RPS and had to not only provide my credit card details but also my address and they even wanted my phone number. I gave them the first but refused to give them the latter. I guess I am more worried about getting a phone call than having them show up at my door.

      It is all about context. I can understand why Paypal (who is the middle man in the RPS donation thingy) would need that info and I have no problem providing them with my real info. Meanwhile, when I will get around to activating battle.net in the future I will not use my real name (even if that means problems should I get hacked) because I simply don’t trust Activision anymore. This is of course quite silly since I used to play WoW and they already have my name, e-mail and my (old) credit card info on file somewhere. Can’t remember if they have my address too.

      It may be silly and illogical but once a company shows itself from a greedy side, it is very hard to repair the damage and we humans are silly creatures.

  43. Urthman says:

    That video is one of those add-new-subtitles-to-Hitler things, right? (Or am I spoiling the joke?)

  44. Freud says:

    Of course this is not the end of it. They chose just as bad a way to push it on the customers they could have. Next time they will caress us and say “It’ll be all right, baby” when doing it.

    Good to see people being outraged actually worked. It is a sign of health.

  45. Bascule42 says:

    Classic vid there…cheers.

  46. WiPa says:

    Someone at Blizzard obviously read “Valve Marketing 101″.

    • DJ Phantoon says:

      Not really, no.

      There wasn’t a hint of actual apology in there, just more corporate bullshit.

    • Jeremy says:

      No need to apologize for something they hadn’t implemented yet. They responded to the overwhelming response of their customers. I see no bs in that statement.

  47. Zogtee says:

    “…we’ve decided at this time that real names will not be required for posting on official Blizzard forums.”

    At this time… While it’s good that they’re backing down, I don’t believe for a second that they were unaware of how controversial this idea would be. And if they really weren’t, then that is somehow even more troubling.

  48. JKjoker says:

    i doubt this is over, im with the Penny Arcade dude in this, this is nothing more than PR Aikido, they are not dropping the whole thing, they are just pushing it into the future and slowing down a little

    what i’d really like to hear is why they are doing this, i doubt its because of the trolls, that seems like a lot of work for something that has always been there, im thinking they are preparing to unify everything into an online store that might even go further than games

    • K. says:

      I second the theory.
      Observing the steps Blizz has taken while implementing and testing the new battle.net features and moving into the social networks, I cannot believe they would actually be surprised by the community reaction. At least their research team does its job…
      Maybe some designers got a bit carried away on a “bigger than facebook”-vision. These things happen, but seem unlikely on Blizzs’ level of professionalism.

      Anyway, the “quick reaction to the community” feels like decoy to make whatever system is implemented now become the lesser possible evil.

      In two years time, I’ll order some epic ingame sword on battleshop.net with my discount for inviting a friend, get an achievement for that which is automagically posted on my character’s auto-generated facebook profile and receive gratulations from a co-worker currently checking the message walls out of the Diablo III closed beta.

  49. Hindenburg says:

    I freaking love the way you write.

  50. Kytanos says:

    I have the last spec of respect I had for blizzard this day and it’s not why you think, Let me explain. While I liked the anti trolling effect of the real ID changes, I disliked the inability to have a neat internet name. I am okay if my name was click able to find my real name, but I preferred to be called kytanos, not nikolus wright. Hense, Im rather neutral on the issue.

    I was starting to regain hope for blizzard after ive seen the dungeons in cataclysm, and renewed quality of content. I cancelled my wow subscription in disgust late wotlk and never looked back. However this near instant cave in to the demand of the vocal (Not the whole masses, just the ones that whine the loudest). Shows that the company has a disturbing lack of backbone, and are more than willing to make changes to their plans if enough people whine hard enough.

    While I understand the need to listen to your playerbase, listen to all of it. Not just the vocal minority who whines daily on the forums.

    • Razz says:

      Ya just can’t please some people :]

      So would you have been happier if they only caved after implementing the system and seeing it didn’t work?

      And I’m not sure what you mean by listening to everyone. This was a 99-1 deal for the playerbase (and not just the playerbase, actually). Vocal minority? How is 50000 posts in three days (in a single thread, not even counting European forums and posts across the internet) still a minority? If the proponents of this system were so plentiful, wouldn’t there have been quite a few people defending the new system in the thread? Usually when Blizzard makes a controversial change there’s a lot of whining, yeah. But there still are quite a few people defending them in every instance. That wasn’t the case here.

      How exactly are they supposed to “listen to all of it”? How are you going to please both the side radically opposed to the changes and the side defending it?

    • Razz says:

      Also how are they supposed to listen to you if you’re not vocal about it? The more I think about your comment the more it baffles me :[

    • Lukasz says:

      hey.
      Did you go to Horizon Middle School by any chance, Kyatanos?

      (actually curious)

    • Zogtee says:

      Here’s the deal, Kytanos. People have like, opinions and they can be different from individual to individual. Just because someone (you) doesn’t agree with some of those opinions, doesn’t make it “whining”. As for the vocal minority bit, you may have noticed that there was an outcry all over the internet about this issue. If it really had been a minority, then Actizzard obviously wouldn’t have backed down (for the time being).

      BTW, is Kytanos your real name? If not, then why aren’t you using your real name here? I mean, since you approve of that idea and all.

      Edit: Man, I got “Duff” as my captcha. :D