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Blizzard Adds Timestamps To WoW Armory

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the hope-your-boss-doesn't-know-your-character-name dept.

Privacy 318

Kharny writes "In a move that could cause serious privacy problems for players of World of Warcraft, Blizzard has added timestamps and an RSS feed to the game's online armory site. This new feature will mean that anyone can follow 'real-time' developments in a World of Warcraft character, which display the exact time and date, so that others can see that person's playing habits. Many players have already complained about the fact that there is no opt-out setting, and this opens very big possibilities for online stalking."

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318 comments

Already possible (4, Informative)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#30817578)

This just makes it a little bit easier. One could easily write a LUA script that /who's the player in-game between some intervals and save the info. Or the more geeky ones could write a program that uses WoW's protocol and logins to do the same (and relogins if disconnected).

So it's not like it wouldn't already be possible to gather those playing habits.

MOD ME DOWN, WASTE A MOD POINT (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30817612)

I flogged my engorged penis in a manic phase. My scrotum, hairless and taut, basked in warm rays. Glistening with sweat, Oh how it did shine. The helmet of a gladiator from olden time. Two bronzed eggs, such a glorious sight. A symbol of manhood and all that is right. You may choose to snicker or call me queer. Make no mistake; I don't take it in the rear.

Re:Already possible (1)

tokul (682258) | more than 4 years ago | (#30817684)

This just makes it a little bit easier. One could easily write a LUA script

Are you sure that WoW EULA does not have some conditions that prohibit scripting?

There is a big difference between seeing opponents time habits and violating gaming rules in order to get them. Especially when such automation can be detected.

Re:Already possible (3, Informative)

xouumalperxe (815707) | more than 4 years ago | (#30817708)

Are you sure that WoW EULA does not have some conditions that prohibit scripting?

It might prohibit cyber-stalking, and repeated status requests on a player might be considered as such, but the reason why the OP mentioned Lua is because WoW supports Lua as a user scripting language to make interface addons. (And except for bug exploits, by definition anything done with the Lua API can't be a ban-worthy offence)

Re:Already possible (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30818128)

What "definition" would that be? Of course you can use an API to break the terms of the service, isn't that obvious?

As an example, maybe you have a script that makes your character say rude things in-game and the TOS explicitly tell you not to say rude things.

Re:Already possible (3, Interesting)

CisJokey (1625407) | more than 4 years ago | (#30817778)

See census plus, it does exactly what is described here. Scans a whole server every 15min. However you need an account and the proper server. Its not that easy like viewieing the website, but regardless of that, its areldy possible.

Re:Already possible (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30818318)

WoW doesn't prohibit scripting, in fact it supports it.

There are some things that you're not allowed to do in scripts, in order to prevent you from automating things that shouldn't be (such as actual gameplay, combat in particular), those things are prevented by technical limitations.

Re:Already possible (5, Insightful)

A beautiful mind (821714) | more than 4 years ago | (#30817838)

There are a lot of things that are "already possible", that are made "easier". It is known as the difficulty of a problem. I don't want to build a terrorism strawman so here is another analogy: It is already possible to perform voting fraud without electronic voting machines. All you need to do is gather your closest 100,000 conspirators and rig the counting process. Introducing a centralized software that you conveniently and mostly undetectably can modify just makes it easier.

The fact is, making some things easier make things more probable and skews "cost - benefit" comparisons towards actually doing the thing. The example you use would require a WoW account and would be limited to a few people tops. The new changes can easily allow monitoring of tens of thousands of accounts from a single ip, with a few lines of Perl.

Re:Already possible (1)

jabbathewocket (1601791) | more than 4 years ago | (#30818260)

Yes but they are not actually able to monitor accounts, only characters.. which can't be traced back to account owner from the armory, or in game for that matter.. so yes you can now monitor 10s of thousands of random avatars and see what they are doing.. but how exactly is that a problem? its no different from (theoretically) totally anonymous ballots dropped in a paper box with a bunch of checkboxes to see what people like/dislike..

Your argument about slippery slopes/terrorism/voter fraud and barrier to entry.. are called "I don't have a clue WTF I am talking about but will comment anyhow because I can!" Syndrome

Re:Already possible (1)

BikeHelmet (1437881) | more than 4 years ago | (#30817852)

So it's not like it wouldn't already be possible to gather those playing habits.

Yeah, but you leave a strange stalker trace if you're doing that. Why would you be /who'ing someone 48 times per day at 30 min intervals, for several days? If it goes to court, log files could help the victim.

Visiting that armory page a couple times per day for a few days seems like completely normal behaviour. This is dangerous not because it encourages stalking - but because if there is a stalker incident, it doesn't provide any markers to indicate abnormal behaviour. Plus, it's convenient, and available to stalkers that can't write LUA or effectively search Google. :P

And do keep in mind that stalking aside - bots and crawlers are archiving everything. Info on when you were online could be around forever. How long it remains relevant is debatable, but in situations where there could be unknown repercussions, it's often better to err on the side of caution.

Re:Already possible (1)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 4 years ago | (#30817892)

/who'ing someone 48 times per day at 30 min intervals, for several days would probably not get you in trouble as long as you also /who'd a few hundred other people at the same time and came up with a decent excuse, perhaps something like collecting statistics on the playing habits of a random sample of players or something.

Re:Already possible (1)

Lazy Jones (8403) | more than 4 years ago | (#30817934)

One could easily write a LUA script that /who's the player in-game between some intervals and save the info.

You need to have an account and be logged on to the same server as the person whose habits you are tracking, big difference.

You were supposed to be at nana's funeral (5, Funny)

assemblerex (1275164) | more than 4 years ago | (#30817586)

but instead I see you got new epic shoulders. gratz.

Re:You were supposed to be at nana's funeral (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30817604)

What did Nana drop?

Re:You were supposed to be at nana's funeral (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30817640)

You make me wish I had mod points, AC. Bravo

Re:You were supposed to be at nana's funeral (1)

Razalhague (1497249) | more than 4 years ago | (#30817720)

Epic shoulders, duh.

Re:You were supposed to be at nana's funeral (1)

Donniedarkness (895066) | more than 4 years ago | (#30817740)

This is quality entertainment. Thank you, AC, thank you.

Re:You were supposed to be at nana's funeral (5, Funny)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 4 years ago | (#30817776)

[1983 Rover Metro]
"One Lady Owner, 30k on clock, used for shopping once a week."
+ 300% carrying capacity
Use: +100% speed increase until it breaks down at the end of the road
- 100% Chance to score with Nelfs, Humans, and Draenei. Gnomes and Dwarves take what they can get.

Re:You were supposed to be at nana's funeral (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30818290)

Raid Leader: Anyone want it?
Raid: Nay.
RL: Ok, I'm going to disenchant that shit.
RL: We got [Large Glowing Shard][Fuzzy Dice] and [Grandpa's Slightly Used Condom]. Any takers?

I Blame the Twitter Mentality (5, Interesting)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | more than 4 years ago | (#30817840)

Just glancing at this cursorily (it's slashdot, after all...), this seems like a WoW character's twitter feed. Blizzard prolly thought that was a cool feature: I mean, who doesn't want to communicate their every activity throughout the day in real time to a thousand of their closest friends, and via a website to a billion more complete strangers? Blizzard has watched a generation replace their privacy with "oooh, shiny" and figures they are just giving customers what they want.

Congrats to Blizzard. Shame on the rest of us.

There is no privacy in WOW (5, Informative)

MrRTFM (740877) | more than 4 years ago | (#30817592)

unlike most other online communities there is no way to show your status as 'Offline' (which makes it very annoying sometimes) In fact all this data is obtainable anyway - just makes it a bit easier for mom to see that johnny got that epic sword last night at 10:30PM - THAT'S PAST YOUR BEDTIME JOHNNY!!!!

Improve school results (1)

captainpanic (1173915) | more than 4 years ago | (#30817992)

For anyone under 16-18, this would be GOOD.

Ok, the kids will hate Blizzard for it... but it might actually decrease the amount of time spent online, and improve school results.

Working people or anyone who keeps work and gaming separated need not fear. Your boss doesn't know your WoW character, does he?

However, it is surprising that a company would try to motivate players to play less...

Re:Improve school results (2, Insightful)

Bieeanda (961632) | more than 4 years ago | (#30818118)

It's not surprising at all, actually. MMO subscriptions are per-month, not strictly metered use like they were in the days of Compuserve. The less you actually play, the better it is for the company-- you're drawing fewer resources, and extending the time it would take you to reach whatever milestone you set for quitting.

Re:Improve school results (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30818218)

Your boss doesn't know your WoW character, does he?

Actually, if I wanted to be paranoid... assume I played at work (I don't):

  • My boss knows my primary non-work email address
  • My slashdot account name can be derived from my primary non-work email address
  • My WoW main is listed on my slashdot user page

My boss could easily find out when and where I was playing. I could quite easily see a situation arising such as:

Boss: Hey, fractoid, you look tired today!
Me: yeah, I haven't been sleeping too well the last couple of nights
Boss: oh? maybe it's something to do with the fact that you were running Halls of Reflection at 2:50am this morning, and last night you were farming Arathi Basin until well after 2am. If you don't cut down on your gaming and get some real sleep then you're going to have problems at your next performance review.
Me: ...well crap.

(Actually, thinking a little more about this, maybe I ought to pay more attention to my online privacy. The terrorists have won, I'm posting this as anon.)

Cyber Stalking - Really an issue? (4, Insightful)

Poobar (1558627) | more than 4 years ago | (#30817598)

Situation: I am being "cyber-stalked".

Solution: Log off WOW.

Solution 2 (If you really need your MMORPG fix): Switch to a different character.

Why would a person knowing where you are in a fictional landscape ever be a problem anyway? Surely there's some kind of ignore button in WOW (correct me if I'm wrong, I only played the free trial before getting bored), so even if they knew where you were, they could... what?

Re:Cyber Stalking - Really an issue? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30817662)

I like to /who them, then follow them around in my underware, especially the female tauren... mm-mhmm

Re:Cyber Stalking - Really an issue? (3, Funny)

RobVB (1566105) | more than 4 years ago | (#30817668)

they could... what?

Ground you for playing past your bedtime.

Re:Cyber Stalking - Really an issue? (2, Interesting)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | more than 4 years ago | (#30817764)

Or fire you for playing on work machines on work time. Or use it in the divorce suit because you're neglecting your kids. The possibilities are endless: I wouldn't consider all of them improper, but it does create some risks.

Re:Cyber Stalking - Really an issue? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30817920)

then... err. do your job? care for your kids?

Re:Cyber Stalking - Really an issue? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30818108)

then... err. do your job? care for your kids?

STFU NOOB

Re:Cyber Stalking - Really an issue? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30818222)

Don't worry. If you're playing WoW on a work machine, chances are pretty good they don't need the armory to figure it out.

The metering report from the software distribution client will tell your employer, coworkers and HR department all they need to know. It's just a matter of getting a subpoena to inform your future ex.

checking WoW logs is easier than (1)

Nowhere.Men (878773) | more than 4 years ago | (#30818028)

- listen to the noises from the bedroom,
- look for screen lights from under the door,
- check the internet traffic of your houshold,
- buy a mac, enable parental control with bedtimes hours,
- put the computer outside the kid bedroom.

I have a daughter and I don't have to do any of that. 10 min after her bedtime, she is sleeping, every night. She is 20 month old.

Re:checking WoW logs is easier than (4, Funny)

fractoid (1076465) | more than 4 years ago | (#30818246)

10 min after her bedtime, she is sleeping, every night. She is 20 month old.

You should have trained her to farm you gold by now.

Re:Cyber Stalking - Really an issue? (1)

Xest (935314) | more than 4 years ago | (#30818166)

Really, let's face it, most people who have a problem with this are people who play when they should be working or at school or something and are concerned their employer/parent will now be able to see this and hold it up as evidence against them in disciplinary action.

As you say, there's really little value there for a stalker. A stalker is more likely to be watching your house with binoculars to see when you leave the house and what you do at what times, rather than giving a shit about what time you got the epic weapon of lolz or whatever.

Re:Cyber Stalking - Really an issue? (1)

X-Power (1009277) | more than 4 years ago | (#30818168)

Situation: I am being "cyber-stalked".

Solution: Log off WOW.

Solution 2 (If you really need your MMORPG fix): Switch to a different character.

Why would a person knowing where you are in a fictional landscape ever be a problem anyway? Surely there's some kind of ignore button in WOW (correct me if I'm wrong, I only played the free trial before getting bored), so even if they knew where you were, they could... what?

That's fine and dandy for The Situation, but what about J-Wow and Snookie?

It seems (4, Insightful)

goldaryn (834427) | more than 4 years ago | (#30817600)

I think there will be two SHOCKING REVELATIONS!

1) Most people play waaay more WoW than they admit
2) There's a lot of botting going on

There, you're shocked now. aren't you! Hello?

Re:It seems (1, Interesting)

HNS-I (1119771) | more than 4 years ago | (#30817744)

I don't mind that there are bots in WoW. It doesn't ruin the game for other people at this moment. The bots are just simple, harvesters. It would be nice to see what interaction you'd get when someone implements a proper ai.

Re:It seems (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30817796)

Many of the bots are not simple. They are quite sophisticated, and allow not just harvesting, but questing, rep grinding etc.

There are "one click" profiles for ten or more levels at a time. Set it and go.

Auction house bots manipulate the economy. Price fixing at it's worst.

honor/mark farming, even arena point farming. Hell, there were instance profiles for solo'ing lower level instances, and follow profiles designed to let one person run a five-man instance with a couple bots backing him/her up.

Not that any of this relates much to the article, but it's worth refuting your point of the bots being simple. I used to bot three toons at once. A couple made it to 80, and a dozen or so to 60. Mmoglider getting shut down is why I quit the game.

Re:It seems (0, Troll)

BlackBloq (702158) | more than 4 years ago | (#30818034)

Your a loser if you can't even play a game for real and you have to cheat. All you loser cheaters should eat shit. Glad you don't play anymore! You should load up on fantasy cuz you can't even pretend for real!

Re:It seems (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30818114)

I used to bot three toons at once. A couple made it to 80, and a dozen or so to 60. Mmoglider getting shut down is why I quit the game.

Good riddance.

Re:It seems (1)

blanck (1458239) | more than 4 years ago | (#30818140)

>Many of the bots are not simple. They are quite sophisticated, and allow not just harvesting, but questing, rep grinding etc.

Out of curiosity, has light ever been shed on how these bots are implemented? Has the source ever been released? It would be interesting to learn how the bot-creators developed this level of sophistication.

Re:It seems (1)

ylikone (589264) | more than 4 years ago | (#30818326)

"developed this level of sophistication" Meh. Just a bunch of "if" statements.

Re:It seems (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30818334)

You "quit the game" that your bots were playing for you?

PvP bots (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30817802)

The only really annoying ones are badly designed battleground bots who just run around randomly, dragging down the whole groups' performance. It's a pity that they're so easy to make. Maybe Cataclysm's rated battleground will fix that.

It seems like you have been living 2 lives (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30817602)

Boss: so mr anderson, it seems like you have been livig 2 lives. 1 as the sick employe that stayed at home, and the 2nd as barabas the gnome slayer...

Re:It seems like you have been living 2 lives (2, Informative)

ichigo 2.0 (900288) | more than 4 years ago | (#30817926)

What else would a sick person do at home other than play games and watch television? It's not like you can sleep 24/7...

Re:It seems like you have been living 2 lives (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30818014)

At-will employment means they can fire your ass for whatever reason. How often do people go to work sick because they feel they have to even if it means working slowly and/or poorly and risking coworkers and/or customers infection?

At least Facebook and Twitter don't automatically follow you around recording and displaying what you've been doing and when. ...yet. (Google Streeview 24/7! Sign up now!)

Stalking a WoW player? (5, Funny)

mykos (1627575) | more than 4 years ago | (#30817614)

I do believe that stalking a home-bound loser would make the stalker collapse into an infinitely dense (and sad) singularity of loserdom.

Re:Stalking a WoW player? (3, Funny)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 4 years ago | (#30817634)

+1 Insightful, with some [twitter.com] exceptions [twitter.com] .

Re:Stalking a WoW player? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30817638)

Your right im already feeling the collapse... ill leave your window right now.

Re:Stalking a WoW player? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30817814)

I understand that that's the popular perception of WoW players... but you do realize it's about as accurate, and kind, as 'lazy niggers', right? That my guild (of 100ish people) has only 3 or 4 players who kinda fit the geeky shut-in mold, and the rest are normal men and women leading ordinary lives? My mother plays WoW, and she's nearly 60. I can list off 10 couples right off the top of my head in our guild. Some players are casual, some are hardcore raiders. It's all a matter of what percentage of someone's leisure time they choose to spend playing WoW.

Sitting on a couch watching TV is a less worthy pursuit, in my mind, than killing undead minions in WoW. But the stigma of watching TV is notably less.

Job absentism (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30817636)

So you were ill enough to stay at home instead of working, but it didn't prevent you from playing 9 hours.

9:03 - Killed arthas
9:10 - Equip new pix
10:41 - Achieved ... ... ...
18:30 - logged out

Re:Job absentism (5, Insightful)

Tim C (15259) | more than 4 years ago | (#30817806)

There's a huge difference between staying at home ill, sat at my desk within easy reach of my bed if I need it (or even in bed if I game on a laptop), staying in the warm, and not having to struggle through a 90 minute commute, and going in to the office, being unproductive as I infect my co-workers with whatever nasty little germ I have.

Just because you're not too ill to sit at one desk, doesn't mean you're well enough to sit at another.

Re:Job absentism (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30818078)

now talk about a twisted sense of reality..

unless your job consist of carrying heavy objects all day long or something really physical then YES its the frigging same thing sitting at one desk or another

for christ sake people need to get a grip on reality

Re:Job absentism (1)

dissolved (887190) | more than 4 years ago | (#30818098)

it's different but not as different as you'd like. if someone in my office had a serious contagious illness (or even a bad cold/H1N1) I'd much prefer it if they were at home rather than making me ill. I wouldn't even care if they were playing WoW whilst wrapped up in a duvet or something.

Re:Job absentism (1)

fractoid (1076465) | more than 4 years ago | (#30818280)

unless your job consist of carrying heavy objects all day long or something really physical then YES its the frigging same thing sitting at one desk or another
for christ sake people need to get a grip on reality

Including you. The reality is that I could be off for three days feeling like death, and on the fourth day still feel shonky enough to think I might be contagious, but not enough to be fully bedridden. I have a choice of either going to work, coughing on three people, and costing my company nine days of lost productivity, or staying home and playing WoW and costing my company one day of productivity. I think I know which my manager'd prefer.

Re:Job absentism (1)

Ogive17 (691899) | more than 4 years ago | (#30818272)

In my case, if I'm well enough to sit at my personal computer and play games, I'm well enough to turn my work laptop on and at the very minimum keep up to date with email.

When I was playing WoW I'd always end up sick on patch Tuesdays which meant the server would be down most of the day anyway... :(

Valve does the same thing with Steam and TF2 (4, Interesting)

Ailure (853833) | more than 4 years ago | (#30817644)

Steam shows how much you have played a certain game in total: http://steamcommunity.com/id/robinwalker/ [steamcommunity.com] and you can view the inventories of TF2 players ( http://www.tf2items.com/ [tf2items.com] ).

However unlike WoW, you can opt out as player info can't be obtained from private player profiles. When someone asked Valve why you can't grab "information" from a player who marked their profile as private, they said it was a recommendation from their lawyers. Interesting...

Re:Valve does the same thing with Steam and TF2 (1)

Splab (574204) | more than 4 years ago | (#30818200)

Actually Steam is opt-in - also when they started doing the public tracking I wrote them a strongly worded letter (at that point they wouldn't allow you to opt out again) where I pointed out that their tracking mechanism is very much against the law to not be opt-outable in Denmark (where steam does business), shortly after they changed their practice and you can no longer find my profile on steam.

beyond stupid. (4, Interesting)

unity100 (970058) | more than 4 years ago | (#30817652)

are these people aware that it takes ages to upgrade even a tiny piece of your gear, if you already have reached a certain item level ?

unless you go changing your items for show or for leisure like a monkey, and just leave your top tier items where they are, noone will be able to make out anything about your 'habits'.

and if you are a raider who also does rp or does pvp and you routinely change armor sets, all they will be doing is knowing at what hour you raid. but then again after all there are a lot of guildies knowing that, and you people probably arrange those times on a forum which is probably open to public anyway.

then whats the ruckus ...

Re:beyond stupid. (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30817718)

The only real things someone might be able to know, (especially with a class like a druid that requires up to eight [1] different sets of gear), is that someone might be PvP-ing, or running dungeons/raids when they do an armor swap. Some people who don't PvP can get away with a single set of gear if their class is a DPS only class (hunter, mage).

Knowing someone is in PvP or PvE gear, especially on a PvP server may mean something though, especially if griefing is involved. For example, if someone is in their DPS gear, they likely might be Icecrown doing dailies, and perhaps can be easy gankings if someone is so inclined.

[1]: Bear gear for tanking in PvE, tree gear for healing, cat gear for melee DPS, moonkin gear for ranged, moonkin PvP gear, bear PvP gear (for tanking bosses in AV), tree PvP gear, and cat PvP gear. At the minimum, a raiding druid will have three sets of gear, a tank or heal set (because DPS is so common on raids), a PvE DPS set, and a PvP/arena set.

Great time to stop playing WoW (1, Insightful)

0x000000 (841725) | more than 4 years ago | (#30817670)

Maybe now is the time to stop playing WoW and instead do something with your life. I've lost too many friends to the game known as World of Warcraft with too many of them turning down social interactions to instead go raiding with their groups. I had a room mate in college that played so much WoW that he ended up dropping out of school just so that he could continue to play WoW. His dad came to pick him up from our apartment at the time and he looked extremely disappointed. I will never forget the look on that mans face when he realised his son had become so addicted to a computer game that he was unable to complete any of his classes that semester.

I've never understood the draw and allure that WoW provides, and why people get addicted to the point that they drop out of schools. Maybe I am one of the few people that is lucky and doesn't require simulation from an online fake environment to further foster my own mind.

Re:Great time to stop playing WoW (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30817722)

Or maybe people stupid enough to get addicted to computer games should stop playing them and leave the rest of us the hell alone?

Re:Great time to stop playing WoW (4, Insightful)

GaryPatterson (852699) | more than 4 years ago | (#30817738)

I've never understood the draw and allure that WoW provides, and why people get addicted to the point that they drop out of schools. Maybe I am one of the few people that is lucky and doesn't require simulation from an online fake environment to further foster my own mind.

Most of us WoW players are casuals, dropping in for an hour or two each day that would otherwise be spent on television. The rest of the time we work, spend time with our wife/husband/squid/mollusc and lead normal lives. My wife and I are having a child soon, we're moving house, I work too many hours in the office and still I find time for reading books, sleeping relatively normal amounts and playing WoW.

It's just a game. Most of us find balance in our lives.

Re:Great time to stop playing WoW (1)

Splab (574204) | more than 4 years ago | (#30818212)

Indeed, my television usage has dropped to zero after I started playing WoW (I still do my work (reading slashdot...) and out being social every weekend) - regarding the addiction, I was thinking when I hit 80 with my first toon that I kinda done everything and needed a new game, then I accidentically ended up in a PvP battle in wintergrasp and now I'm good an proper addicted.

Re:Great time to stop playing WoW (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30817754)

. I've lost too many friends to the game known as World of Warcraft with too many of them turning down social interactions to instead go raiding with their groups.

Sounds like you're the antisocial one, not playing with your friends.

"Mah friends don't play with me, they're all doing the same thing together!"
"Why uh...why don't you play with them?"
"Because they're not playing with me!"
"Yeah but I mean, why can't you play the same thing they do?"
"Because it's stupid!"
"Uh-HUH."

Re:Great time to stop playing WoW (3, Insightful)

Jorth (1074589) | more than 4 years ago | (#30817774)

WoW has changed a lot over its five years. I have been playing since day 1 EU, I started out with 2 real life friends leveling to 60, this was back in my 2nd year of university. Since then I've made many new friends from all over Europe, had one pretty successful relationship from the game with a Swedish girl (I'm English) she moved to England etc etc, and I talk to people from variety of places that I do intend to visit now that I have a job and money. I think anyone who is socially average can balance a game and normal activities. I make sure I am a member of a guild that doesn't raid Friday/Saturday, those nights and my weekend are free and I spend most of it out of the house drinking and doing the kind of things a 26 year old bloke does...

Raiding originally took a lot of hours, Molten Core the first instance was a sprawling dungeon that my guild achieved Alliance first Rag on the server, so we were pretty hardcore back when no one really understood raiding (WoW brought in a lot of people that had never played an MMO before even at the begining). That place would take 4 hours or so to clear, 5+ if you weren't farming it. Then Blackwing Lair, and AQ40, and Naxx, all of it was very big, and very long. TBC cut the instance size down a notch with some more single encounter raids, and the shorter "Eye" and "Hyjal" taking much much less time to do.

Now in WoTLK the first instance was Naxx from Vannilla, easy for any old player, Ulduar was more regular sized, Trial of the Crusader was VERY short (you can do it all in 30-40mins now even in heroic mode) and Ice Crown is being released slowly. All in all I raid about a quarter of the time I used to five year ago.

Anyway, I suck at writing these kind of posts coherently, but my main point is, WoW has been probably the most enjoyable game I've played in 5 years. I laugh, joke, and chat about all kinds of things with real life friends who I drink with on a weekend, and guys I now know from Denmark,Sweden,Norway,Germany and even Greece. Some people will always have addictive personalities, and just like gambling can ruin a life so can WoW. But to anyone balanced WoW can be a great social experience and the game isn't bad either :)

Re:Great time to stop playing WoW (4, Insightful)

Tim C (15259) | more than 4 years ago | (#30817824)

turning down social interactions to instead go raiding with their groups

That certainly can be a social interaction - just because people aren't sat in the same room talking face to face doesn't mean they're not talking.

an online fake environment

What's fake about it, in entertainment terms? In what ways are other forms of entertainment more real?

Re:Great time to stop playing WoW (2, Funny)

Calinous (985536) | more than 4 years ago | (#30817958)

"In what ways are other forms of entertainment more real?"

      Now this is real entertainment... not

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lrIugmr8kzE [youtube.com]

Re:Great time to stop playing WoW (1)

fractoid (1076465) | more than 4 years ago | (#30818310)

Because all gamers and all video games are the same.

Re:Great time to stop playing WoW (3, Interesting)

DrXym (126579) | more than 4 years ago | (#30817858)

I've never understood the draw and allure that WoW provides, and why people get addicted to the point that they drop out of schools.

WOW and most other MMOs are like fruit machines. They are attractive, bright and entertaining worlds that train the user to perform repetitive tasks for the expectation of a random reward (e.g. item drops).

Like gambling some people know when to stop and others don't. Some people play for fun and many more because of force of habit or addiction. More fool them.

Re:Great time to stop playing WoW (2, Insightful)

Calinous (985536) | more than 4 years ago | (#30817910)

Growth-based computer games provide easy, fast accomplishments, and this in some cases creates psychological addiction. I went thru this phase several times, and it ain't pretty remembering how good it felt then.
      This works so much faster than in real life, and the rewards are (relatively) so big, real life doesn't offer anything like it (and to top it all, the games can be seen as being played for free, or almost for free - this isn't true at all, but it can be seen like that at the time).

Re:Great time to stop playing WoW (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30818220)

WOW is a good way to pass time, however, there are many 'better' and more constructive ways.

Re:Great time to stop playing WoW (1)

fractoid (1076465) | more than 4 years ago | (#30818336)

Actually, I find that the pace of the scaling eventually starts to be a turn-off. It's true that you get rapidly more powerful in the game and you're going "wow, this is amazing, I'm such a winner, I'm so good" and it feels great. But then you realise that it's a sliding scale and the numbers are getting bigger but everything else gets the same. It's as if you got a job and spent your first pay packet on an [Old Television]. Then you get a pay rise and spend your next packet on a [New Television]. But after that you realise that you're still spending 50% of your pay packet on a new television that's the same as the old one but with slightly better stats and a different name, and it still has the same old shows on it. It does get boring.

Re:Great time to stop playing WoW (2, Interesting)

CFBMoo1 (157453) | more than 4 years ago | (#30817916)

The lure is to get out of the eventual grind that is adulthood in this society. People like having a get away from the regular work 9-5, pay bills, etc. This gives them something they can do to change things up a bit but unfortunately it's carried to an extreme.

From zero to virtual hero in 80 levels.

WoW addiction: Clear goals, easy victories! (2, Insightful)

jonaskoelker (922170) | more than 4 years ago | (#30817922)

I've never understood the draw and allure that WoW provides, and why people get addicted to the point that they drop out of schools.

It could be that people are unsatisfied with their real life and aren't well-equipped to manage it. I know for sure I learned more than I'm happy to admit about life management (setting goals, working towards them) from David Allen and his Getting Things Done. Maybe I'm not the only one who'd do well to read some of his thoughts?

In any case, In contrast to a poorly managed real life, WoW gives you some very clear goals ("kill monster(s)" and "fetch item(s)" are popular, I hear; they worked in Diablo II), and, if Diablo II is anything to go by, a reasonably straightforward and easy way of accomplishing those goals if you just put in enough time.

So you have "complex, ambiguous, unsuccessful" versus "simple, well-defined, successful". What do you think wins?

See also someone else's take on this question at http://www.pixelpoppers.com/2009/11/awesome-by-proxy-addicted-to-fake.html [pixelpoppers.com]

Re:WoW addiction: Clear goals, easy victories! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30818134)

It could be that people are unsatisfied with their real life and aren't well-equipped to manage it.

So you say they need a shirt of +10 lifehandling?

Re:WoW addiction: Clear goals, easy victories! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30818230)

But isn't "simple, well-defined, successful" hallmarks of most hobbies? Work sucks and a career is a minefield of politics never completely under your own control, but a hobby, be it woodworking, car repair, rock climbing, painting, or gaming or whatever are characterized by being more or less completely under my control and completable in a reasonable time frame. What's "wrong" with wanting to feel a good feeling of accomplishment in something other than our career? Are we so broken that any accomplishment that doesn't further that career is considered poorly managing your life?

The tails of any distribution are weird. I've had friends with unhealthy obsessions/addictions to car repair, collecting, and computer games. I had far more friends with totally healthy hobbies though.

Re:Great time to stop playing WoW (2, Interesting)

Mormz (1690440) | more than 4 years ago | (#30817978)

You good sir, are very much mistaken... Plain and simple :) Of course there are people who get hooked on to anything... Your college room mate is an idiot, in every sense of the word. I've never understood the allure TV provides (except for watching a good premiership match or two), never got addicted to gambling, or drugs or cigarettes. I play WoW regularly, almost every day, but it doesn't interfere with my social life. And I like to think I've done something with my life, if being a sys engineer in a big financial institution, having a fun relationship with a nice girl, having your own apartment and such accounts for something. You see, that what you are doing is called generalizing, and it's bad. If playing WoW = having no life, then I probably fit in the no lifer category. IMO, no lifer is somebody who posts trashing posts on /. about a topic he doesn't know shit about. Most WoW players are normal hard-working citizens who play for fun. Not all, but most. Online fake enviroment ... LOL ... if by fake you mean sth. not tangible, then guess what, everything on the internet is fake... Your logic is flawed and your opinions suck. And yes, you probably have a Facebook account don't you? ;) Yes, yes, you do, admit it... ;)

Asked for comment (3, Insightful)

Lord Bitman (95493) | more than 4 years ago | (#30817690)

Asked for comment, the involved parties responded "Wait, you thought that information was private before?"

How can you stalk someone? (2, Insightful)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 4 years ago | (#30817700)

I mean this could work for stalking their character, but there is no tie between a character and the person behind it unless you choose to make one. This really doesn't change anything. If you reveal your name, address, etc to someone then sure they can use it to stalk you. However your WoW character doesn't reveal that. Just don't go telling random people on WoW who you are and there isn't a problem.

What's next? (4, Funny)

gaelfx (1111115) | more than 4 years ago | (#30817726)

Timestamps on Slashdot comments? /stalk function on every profile page? I don't think I could handle slashdot stalking, later folks

Re:What's next? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30817804)

Based on your comment history that slashdot easily gives us, I can roughly assume that you normally check slashdot from 10PM-2AM.

Stalking. (1)

headkase (533448) | more than 4 years ago | (#30817730)

There are jerks everywhere, they may not even realize they are jerks. Let them grow up a bit more. Not counting *physical* stalking which in its own rights deserves some pretty thorough and effective laws, virtual stalking while emotionally distressing is not of the same level of danger. See my signature, I believe that people finding me by interest is more important than privacy. Unfortunately this means you get a few iffies. To combat that, where people are just jerks and not a physical danger, then all that is needed if effective filtering mechanisms. Spam versus non, signal versus noise, wanted versus un-wanted. I want everyone to be able to contact me but I also want to be able to close the tap at the drop of a pin effectively.

Re:Stalking. (2, Insightful)

DrXym (126579) | more than 4 years ago | (#30817868)

People have killed themselves over virtual stalking / cyber bullying. At the very least WOW should allow opt-out and preferably the service should be opt-in and restricted to over 18s. It's simply irresponsible to lay bare people's online habits without giving them the choice not to disclose information that they may have reason to wish to hide.

Re:Stalking. (1)

headkase (533448) | more than 4 years ago | (#30817940)

You and drinkypoo are both absolutely correct: I've chosen my settings, Activision/Blizzard should extend the same courtesy to their customers.

Re:Stalking. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30818184)

The opt out is you go find another game that does value user privacy. Currency is the only argument they understand.

Re:Stalking. (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 4 years ago | (#30818312)

Those people more than likely had deep-seated psychological problems to do with self esteem and social interaction deficiencies far before they played WoW, or any other MMO. Instead of seeking help resolving the issues, they immersed themselves in a false world of small and fast accomplishment with a greatly inflated sense of achievement.

Anyway, it's not like they're linking it to a real life identity. You couldn't pick out my WoW character from my Slashdot ID, or my real name. Nor could you reverse it to find those details from my WoW characters.

Re:Stalking. (2, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#30817880)

See my signature, I believe that people finding me by interest is more important than privacy.

I believe the same, though I do not believe that either of us has the right to decide this for others. Blizzard has the right to publish this data, but is it right? I feel strongly that not providing opt-out is wrong, at least.

Re:Stalking. (1)

headkase (533448) | more than 4 years ago | (#30817946)

You and DrXym are both absolutely correct: I've chosen my settings, Activision/Blizzard should extend the same courtesy to their customers.

I see (4, Funny)

PePe242 (1690706) | more than 4 years ago | (#30817878)

You haven't changed your epic underwear for 3 days!

Nasty habit of disclosing data (1)

MysteriousPreacher (702266) | more than 4 years ago | (#30817894)

Blizzard, since the launch of the Armory, has a pretty iffy track-record when it comes to revealing data. They seem to assume that everyone is happy to have the information shared, but this is a pretty big assumption. Their revealing gold-related statistics causing a bit of a storm. Although it was never possible to determine how much gold someone would have, the statistics made it possible to get a rough idea of how rich someone was likely to be.

The Armory is a great tool, but they really do need to allow players to decide how they want their information shared. I'd be happy if they just had a series of tick boxes along the lines of:

Share achievements
Share current gear
Share statistics

RPGOutfitter is a site that was doing something similar to the Armory long before the armory appeared, and they did a far better job in allowing users to filter their information.

Slashdot Adds Timestamps To Slashdot Threads (2, Insightful)

craznar (710808) | more than 4 years ago | (#30817962)

"In a move that could cause mild to almost no privacy problems for users of Slashdot, Cowboy Neal has added timestamps and an RSS feed to the site's online forum site. This new feature will mean that anyone can follow 'real-time' posts for a Slashdot user, which display the exact time and date, so that others can see that person's posting habits. Absolutely no users have complained about the fact that there is no opt-out setting, and this opens very big possibilities for online stalking."

Stalker's log, WOWDate 2010.01.20 (1)

liquiddark (719647) | more than 4 years ago | (#30817984)

Notes: Subject is playing WoW. Of course he's playing WoW. He's been playing WoW since I started this fucking log. What the hell is the point of stalking someone who never leaves their computer except to pee and/or restock their Cheetos supply? It's like *I'm* the pathetic wastrel here. Oh god. Have I become a pathetic wastrel? Stalker's log out!

Re:Stalker's log, WOWDate 2010.01.20 (1)

j0hnyquest (1571815) | more than 4 years ago | (#30818092)

this ^

Stalk a Wow player (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30818148)

Who the hell thinks a Wow player would get stalked? That would be some boring stalking:

09:00 am: He's in the basement.
11:00 am: He's in the basement.
11:10 am: He went to the bathroom.
12:15 pm: He's in the basement.
01:00 pm: His mom brought him lunch.
02:00 pm: He's in the basement.
03:00 pm: He's in the basement.
04:00 pm: He's in the basement.
05:00 pm: He's in the basement. ...
10:00 pm: What else? He's in the basement.

I have a solution (-1, Troll)

moniker127 (1290002) | more than 4 years ago | (#30818182)

Stop playing wow! Wow got old years ago! Why the hell do so many people still play it? Play a better MMO- like anarchy online, or eve!

On line stalking not the same on WoW (1)

physburn (1095481) | more than 4 years ago | (#30818186)

On-line stalking usually means the crime of tracking down a users in physically reality. In WoW in will mean (especially on PvP servers), high level players, griefers and those we grudges, following round low level players, and killing them repeatly as our newbies try to build up there equipment, and complete PvE missions.

---

MUD Games [feeddistiller.com] Feed @ Feed Distiller [feeddistiller.com]

It's not too late, folks. (1)

fialar (1545) | more than 4 years ago | (#30818214)

Sign out of the bloody game for good: http://www.wowdetox.com/ [wowdetox.com]

I did just over 3 years ago and don't regret it.

Can't even log in to the forums to protest. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30818274)

All of the Battlenet auth servers are down.

That said, this is complete bullshit. It's bad enough /who is always live, there's no way to hide your status in game, now anytime you play, even on your lunch hour, a nosy boss can armory you and say ... "I see you have time to WoW, even though all your work is done. Perhaps we need to give you more to do.".

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