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Blizzard Rolls Out Real ID Privacy Options

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the step-in-the-right-direction dept.

Privacy 145

tacarat writes "The last time Blizzard mentioned their new Real ID system, there was a strong backlash from users over privacy issues. Blizzard reconsidered their plans to require real names for forums, and little has been heard about it since. Now, they've announced new privacy settings, allowing users to limit how their name gets shared or to disable the system entirely. Quoting: 'These options provide Real ID users with additional tools for customizing the service based on their preferences, enabling the ability to opt in or out of the Real ID "Friends of Friends" and "Add Facebook Friends" features or to turn off Real ID altogether.'"

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ID fraud Definition.... (2, Funny)

DirtyCanuck (1529753) | more than 3 years ago | (#33755996)

Real ID making Identity Fraud Criminals out of us all since, 2011 ;)

Dear Blizzard... (4, Insightful)

syousef (465911) | more than 3 years ago | (#33756000)

Dear Blizzard,

Gaming is my escape. I don't want harsh realities, real names, and idiotic DRM ruining my suspension of disbelief. If you create a system that brings me back to reality to resolve issues and work around bugs, I'm going to find other ways to spend my leisure time. I already have a Facebook account and rarely use it because I have better things to do.

Sincerely,

A. Gamer

Re:Dear Blizzard... (1)

bgweber (1676858) | more than 3 years ago | (#33756018)

This comes from a company with a fantasy IP?

Re:Dear Blizzard... (3, Informative)

Lulfas (1140109) | more than 3 years ago | (#33756124)

You can turn it off 100% now with this change. Go to the same page the article mentions to change the settings and you can just turn it off.

Re:Dear Blizzard... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33756232)

Opt-in vs opt-out anyone?

Re:Dear Blizzard... (1)

node 3 (115640) | more than 3 years ago | (#33756478)

Moving the goalposts anyone?

Re:Dear Blizzard... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33756704)

Good news anyone?

Re:Dear Blizzard... (1)

creat3d (1489345) | more than 2 years ago | (#33758596)

Hello, everyone!

Re:Dear Blizzard... (1)

Rysc (136391) | more than 2 years ago | (#33757158)

This is not moving goalposts. When RealID first was announced the general outcry was "NO! We don't want this." and "Or at least let us disable it."

It's nice that they did the "at least" part, but it's still fair to say that most people don't want this and defaulting to opt-out would reflect that.

Re:Dear Blizzard... (2, Insightful)

Moryath (553296) | more than 2 years ago | (#33757598)

No, let's clarify this.

When Real ID was announced, my response (having previously been stalked and cyberstalked by a psychotic ex) was to write a nice letter to Blizzard telling them precisely where they could shove "Real ID."

The default should be opt-out, no question!

Re:Dear Blizzard... (2, Informative)

flimflammer (956759) | more than 3 years ago | (#33756482)

You could already disable RealID support anyway, so I don't know what the OP is having a cow about, unless he wants no one to be able to use it. All this update does is give you a finer grain of options about how you want to use the service.

Before this change, if you decided to use RealID, you had no control over your friends' friends seeing your name and trying to add you to their friends list. This allows you to disable that, and a few similar options.

I've been waiting for this. There were a few friends I can finally add now because they didn't want to deal with the Friends of Friends feature, especially after one got essentially facebook stalked because of it.

Re:Dear Blizzard... (1, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#33758780)

If you don't like the way your dealer is treating you, feel free to quit the crack.

No?

Yeah, that's what I thought.

Re:Dear Blizzard... (1)

jhoegl (638955) | more than 3 years ago | (#33756210)

Blizzard is the diet coke of evil.

Once they have you, it's "Gottcha' bitch!"
May the fan base repudiate these statements in only ways Fox News could love.

Re:Dear Blizzard... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33756352)

Sincerely,

A. Gamer

What an awesome name...

Re:Dear Blizzard... (1)

djdevon3 (947872) | more than 3 years ago | (#33756404)

You expressed my sentiments exactly. Furthermore, there's got to be a special interest involved because the entire fiasco makes absolutely no sense. Why are brain-dead companies trying to push this Real ID crap like they're drug dealers. Just say no to Real ID. Nothing good can come of it.

Re:Dear Blizzard... (4, Interesting)

silentcoder (1241496) | more than 3 years ago | (#33756646)

I *like* realID - and I like these features so I can control it more.
I got several alt characters, I do not want to lose my conversations - the SOCIAL aspect of a highly social game just because I switched alt. I don't want to lose the ability to talk to my guildies on the alliance side about tomorrow night's Lich King tactics just because I'm busy levelling my troll hunter.
The only feature I would dearly love to see added is an invisible mode, so I can appear offline for those rare occasions when I actually don't want to talk to anybody (e.g. like when I'm doing AH-PVP which means I'm AFK for most of the time watching a movie on my other screen).

I think a very large part of the player base agrees with me. We freaked out about requiring it on forums, I personally would like to see it changed to be able to use a nickname rather than real name but other than that RealID is really not such a huge thing as people make it out to be. Quite the contrary - it's a logical extension of the same chat features that all online games have had back to the earliest MUD's.

I am all for constructive criticism to ask for features that allow users the control they should have over *any* form of communication their involved with but the vast majority of the reaction to realID is kneejerk shouting with absolutely no basis in any rational thinking.

Re:Dear Blizzard... (1)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 2 years ago | (#33757190)

>>I got several alt characters, I do not want to lose my conversations - the SOCIAL aspect of a highly social game just because I switched alt. I don't want to lose the ability to talk to my guildies on the alliance side about tomorrow night's Lich King tactics just because I'm busy levelling my troll hunter.

Ditto.

>>We freaked out about requiring it on forums, I personally would like to see it changed to be able to use a nickname rather than real name

The Blizzard forums are an absolute cesspool. Perhaps full name is too much, but perhaps first name and last initial, or vice versa, would be enough to put a person's personal stamp on it that they will stop responding to every thoughtful thread with "LOL NOOB LOL" like the pure pwnage wannabees that they are.

Re:Dear Blizzard... (1)

GrumblyStuff (870046) | more than 2 years ago | (#33758410)

The Blizzard forums are an absolute cesspool.

Maybe they should like... moderate it?

And make it so posters can't use any one of the 50 potential characters to post but rather have it all under one name?

Oh, and treat forum bans with an ingame ban as well.

An "Ignore Account" would be a nice feature too. I mean, sure someone could make a new account if they were really determined but at that point you're probably already looking at legal action whereas creating a new character to get passed the terribly short ignore list is done in 10 seconds.

Oh, well. Let's just put everyone's full name up on the forums instead.

Re:Dear Blizzard... (2, Interesting)

Rysc (136391) | more than 2 years ago | (#33757214)

It's a logical extension of chat features... which displays your real, meatspace identity to random people on the internet.

I'm with you on the *features*, that's cool, I am not okay with someone else deciding what my name is and who gets to know it. I am not the same person to everyone and I don't want all my identities connected, not even all my identities for the same game (much less different games, much less the rest of my life).

Re:Dear Blizzard... (2, Insightful)

Kreigaffe (765218) | more than 2 years ago | (#33757314)

The thing is that none of the important things the RealID friend system does couldn't be done better by simply NOT USING PEOPLE'S REAL FUCKING NAMES.

That's the issue. It's really not a bad system, if it just DIDN'T USE PEOPLE'S REAL FUCKING NAMES.

There's also the unsavory fact that releasing RealID to their forums with intentions of it reducing trolling reveals that Blizz believes people should be afraid of RL consequences for forum posts while at the same time telling people they're completely safe and nobody would hunt them down (either in person or simply via the electronic trail) and cause RL consequences for the things they post. The entire premise they based releasing RealID on the forums was that tying your name to your posts would cause you to behave due to the fear of people identifying that post as coming from you, specifically, the real person -- while at the same time telling everyone that it's still pretty anonymous and safe, stop worrying so much. Idiots twice over.

Re:Dear Blizzard... (3, Insightful)

silentcoder (1241496) | more than 2 years ago | (#33757396)

Why are you still screaming about the forums ? We already WON that battle - the company listened to their users and changed their stance ! What the hell more do you want from a company ?

This article is about them listening to users regarding the in-game version and adding features people wanted. The one you're getting vitriolic about and cussing over is one I already mentioned. These latest changes show them being responsive to people's concerns - even if clearly they are not getting the kind of high developer priority you demand - some of us think that what with having cataclysm in beta their developer resources may be a just a tad strained at the moment. It's a positive sign and promising with regard to getting the other features we would like in the near future.

Can't you be happy about that ?

Re:Dear Blizzard... (1)

Mike Mentalist (544984) | more than 2 years ago | (#33758176)

Why are you still screaming about the forums ? We already WON that battle - the company listened to their users and changed their stance ! What the hell more do you want from a company ?

This article is about them listening to users regarding the in-game version and adding features people wanted. The one you're getting vitriolic about and cussing over is one I already mentioned. These latest changes show them being responsive to people's concerns - even if clearly they are not getting the kind of high developer priority you demand - some of us think that what with having cataclysm in beta their developer resources may be a just a tad strained at the moment. It's a positive sign and promising with regard to getting the other features we would like in the near future.

Can't you be happy about that?


Happy about them implementing a half-harsed feature? If their resources really were stretched that much they wouldn't have even made Real ID in the first place.

Don't get me wrong I like some of the features of Real ID but the fact that it shows your real name to everyone along with them being able to see everyone else on your Real ID list is completely ridiculous. There is no excuse for that.

Re:Dear Blizzard... (1)

Kidbro (80868) | more than 2 years ago | (#33758946)

Can't you be happy about that ?

As long as the feature is still useless, I see little reason to be "happy" about it. It doesn't matter to me if it's a light year or an inch from being useful, it's still useless.

Re:Dear Blizzard... (2, Interesting)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 2 years ago | (#33757514)

Why are brain-dead companies trying to push this Real ID crap like they're drug dealers.

Ironically, the reason is that their customers are actually paying 15 a month for WoW, etc, and would probably be treated a lot better if they weren't paying anything at all.

The companies receiving this money view you as a regular source of income and treat you accordingly--monetizing their cash cows to the fullest, and generally treating them like bovine chattels instead of paying customers. Such is modern business.

However, for some of us still play games at home, offline, by ourselves. Sure it doesn't really pop up on the radar of big corporations, but we're still here. And our gaming really is an escape, in the same sense as reading a book or a walk in the park; a private activity which we can enjoy without the maligning effects of commercialisation.

The essential irony here is that by choosing to pay for a regular service, online gamers are actually setting themselves up for worse treatment that offline/freeplay gamers who simply make one of purchases at a shop and don't participate in (paid) multiplayer. By paying with credit cards, etc, they enter willingly--if unwittingly--into a commercialised sphere where they are viewed as company assets to be controlled, protected and exploited. It's the philosophy of modern business, and as the company running the largest paid MMO in the world Blizzard are following it to the letter.

Contrast Blizzard's behaviour with Real ID and their paying customers, to Valve's attitude to their non-paying Steam customers. Steam is even larger than Battle.net, yet nothing like RealID exists or was even proposed by Valve at any stage. The relationship between Valve and Steam users is far more informal (and indeed healthier) and I would argue that this stems from the lack of paid subscription in Valve's flagship multiplayer titles. If you cheat in WoW, you get banned. Cheat in TF2, and they take away your hats. Another good pair to compare and contrast here is Xbox live and PSN.

So, if you want Blizzard to treat you better, the long term solution is to stop paying them a regular subscription, and change your online relationship with them back to that of an informal "fan", rather than a formal "customer". Gaming should be a fun pastime, and not a commercial relationship.

Re:Dear Blizzard... (1)

rainwalker (174354) | more than 2 years ago | (#33758096)

That's not at all true. If you are paying money to a company, then you are the customer. If you're using a "free" (ad-supported) service, then you are the *product*, and the advertisers are the customer. This is an important distinction that people should keep in mind when using services like Facebook: you are the product that the company is selling to advertisers. Your happiness and satisfaction are only relevant if they generate more saleable metrics. Don't pretend that those companies care about you; the loss of a single saleable unit is irrelevant.

Re:Dear Blizzard... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33756684)

Gaming may be an escape for you. For others, it is a regular activity. In that sense, interrelation between real life and online games is beneficial. I don't want to tell my friends, "Look me up online by <stupid pseudonym>." I would rather tell them to identify me by my birth name, or by an existing identity provider: OpenID, Google, or Facebook. Stop pretending that everyone shares your beliefs, and that the world should be shaped according to them, because they don't, and it shouldn't.

AC because 1) I rarely log into Slashdot, and 2) anonymity is occasionally useful, for when discretion fails.

There's still a false assumption in there (4, Interesting)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 3 years ago | (#33756848)

Gaming may be an escape for you. For others, it is a regular activity. In that sense, interrelation between real life and online games is beneficial. I don't want to tell my friends, "Look me up online by ." I would rather tell them to identify me by my birth name, or by an existing identity provider: OpenID, Google, or Facebook. Stop pretending that everyone shares your beliefs, and that the world should be shaped according to them, because they don't, and it shouldn't.

AC because 1) I rarely log into Slashdot, and 2) anonymity is occasionally useful, for when discretion fails.

1. That still is based on the false assumption that there are any players who actually asked for it. Blizzard's _stated_ goal all along for tying it into Facebook and whatnot was basically to try to get more players that way. They even called it "cross-polination". Whether or not it actually is beneficial for anyone, I believe that only started to be even considered when players got up in arms about it.

I.e., it has nothing to do with what _you_ want. It's the management at Activision being greedy fucktards. That's all.

2. Here's another clue, though, which I feel that too many people lack: 99% the friends which are interested in your (or my) WoW achievements, are on WoW too anyway. The rest fall somewhere between "don't give a fuck about your hobby" to "annoyed already to hear about it again."

Frankly, I don't know what kind of mental failure makes some people assume that every co-worker, acquaintance, and guy on the bus, is _dying_ to hear about their Counter-Strike score or WoW raiding gear or whatever. Heck, I even was a WoW player myself, and let me assure you, I don't give a flying fuck about half the things people seem to assume that I absolutely must hear in detail, and half the rest I find stupid.

Like that some guy is now training his dagger skill by hacking treants. Let me go on record saying that I don't give a flying fuck. And I'm not even talking about some idle conversation in a cigarette break, when you'd yap inane topics anyway, but the guy actually called me to tell me that. What. The. Fuck.

Do you think I'd genuinely be more interested to find it out via an online link?

Or some other guy coming over from the next building to tell me that he now has 99 mounts, 'cause he's bought the transparent mount for real money. I think he thought I'd be all thrilled, but all I could think was, "wtf, you're telling me you paid real cash for the sake of getting one notch closer to a stupid achievement title in a game? How retarded is that?"

You may be confused because we don't actually say stuff like that. Rest assured though that that tends to be the thought process behind that smile and "oh, wow, cheers. Hope you get the last one soon too." (Much as I know I'll hear about that one in detail too.)

Would I absolutely be thrilled to check that out online via his realID? Nope. Good grief, nope.

3. And it's not just a personal belief. If you've paid any attention to what has been said and drawn in comics about the CS-heads, you'll find a metric buttload (or about 0.63 British arseloads;)) of complaints about people who won't shut up about it. I've yet to see even one single complaint to the effect of "goddammit, my friend doesn't tell me enough about his CS score. I so wish I could check his score online."

4. But, yes, basically that is one factor that Blizzard is betting on. They just know that if you give fucktards a link to spam their friends and barely acquaintances on Facebook with it, a lot will do. They also hope that some of those will decide to check out the game... even at the exapense of annoying the heck out of the other 99% who get spammed that way.

Frankly, it smacks me of an antisocial business decision. It's not that far off from the spammer model. In this case it relies on people with poor judgment clicking to send the spam, instead of having an automated run, but in the end it still boils down to the same shotgun approach.

Re:There's still a false assumption in there (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#33757258)

I am the GP. I don't use Facebook. I don't care about Facebook. And I don't care what it is that you want. I desire optional real-name association in games, to remove the necessity of foolish online aliases.

Halt your bitching about my preferences, and start lobbying for yours -- because this change doesn't detract from your experience at all. If it bothers you, you will opt out, leaving you nothing to rightfully complain about. Take Responsibility (tm).

I stopped reading your rant at the second... er, paragraph. The post you submitted resembles the writings of a manic. Perhaps you should put down the video games.

Always makes me wonder... (1)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 2 years ago | (#33757378)

I stopped reading your rant at the second... er, paragraph. The post you submitted resembles the writings of a manic. Perhaps you should put down the video games.

So let's recap: you haven't, by your own confession, read more than about two sentences. Yet you feel qualified to comment about the post. And at that nothing bearing any relationship to what was in it.

So in effect you posted an "I'm too stupid to read more than two sentences, and too stupid to realize the inherent problem with commenting about what I haven't read" confession. Am I supposed to take it as some kind of winning move or something?

Lemme try: OMG, whatEVER will I do now? My life is meaningless if one cretin troll has stopped reading my message ;)

Sorry, I can't do that. Your being too stupid to read is your problem not mine.

Real ID forum? (1)

Rayonic (462789) | more than 2 years ago | (#33757458)

On the other hand, the official WoW message boards have become a cesspool. If they have one OPTIONAL Real ID-only forum, then I guarantee that it'll quickly become the best one they host.

The same will probably happen in-game. Real ID enabled players will probably be better behaved on average, since they've (theoretically) got their actual identity on the line.

It'll be interesting to see it play out.

Re:Real ID forum? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#33757994)

Absolutely. Filtering out non-RealID players will do wonders for preliminary guild recruitment. Or it will for a while -- the VoIP requirement served the same purpose at one time, until everyone started to have it (circa 2004-2005). Now you see hyperactive 12-year-old kids chatting without reservation. They too will enable RealID, eventually, and after much bitching.

Re:Real ID forum? (1)

GrumblyStuff (870046) | more than 2 years ago | (#33758292)

There's still no reason for a RealID forum unless you want people to be nice under the potential threat of someone on the internet tracking them down in real life to enforce niceness.

All they have to do is tie one account to one name (fabricated or, if anyone feels like it, their own) and tie forum bans to bans ingame.

Re:Dear Blizzard... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#33757588)

Then disable it? They're doing this for you.

Solution! (1)

DarthVain (724186) | more than 2 years ago | (#33758042)

Then don't use it. Its opt in. You do not have to use it if you do not want to. That is why Blizzard is giving users choice, because some people don't want REAL ID.

Unless you are insinuating that this is only the first step of their insidious plan to subvert all into the REAL ID world... in which case, here you might want to borrow my tinfoil hat.

Personally I think it has good and bad possibilities. The good is perhaps I might find more friends that are WOW players through services such as Facebook, and thus have more friends to play with online, because after all it is a social game. I see that as a big plus.

On the negative, just like facebook, some nefarious (or just creepy) people may use this service to stalk people in WOW, and there has already been issue of kids being at risk, and this may enable someone to target them should they use the service. Likely their parents would never know, or even if they saw the reference on their kids FB page, not understand the implications.

Re:Dear Blizzard... (1)

RobDude (1123541) | more than 2 years ago | (#33759172)

Eh - the funny thing is that it's unbelievably easy to make a fake RealID - it just requires that you do it 'from the beginning'. Since most people created their WoW accounts in a time when companies respected your privacy, they gave real information.

Blizz has made it an insane amount of work to change the information associated with your account, after the fact. But if you are willing to buy a new game; you can, once again, use fake names and be anonymous.

I know this because my girlfriend's "RealID" has my name on it. So much for 'real', eh? When we tried to correct the issue, we found we'd have to call, sit on hold, talk to someone, fax legal documents *to a f***ing Video Game Company* and wait and see if it was 'approved'.

Any new-comer to Blizzards new social network of gamers (IE - you buy a new game) you are free to fake whatever info you want. Now that people know RealID is a strong identifier to themselves, people who are so inclined are going to use fake info.

Re:Dear Blizzard... (1)

ildon (413912) | more than 2 years ago | (#33759208)

Uh, ok, don't add people as Real ID friends. It's optional. PROBLEM SOLVED.

Too little, too late. (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33756022)

I've been out of WOW for months, haven't bothered even looking back. The debacle with real names on forums combined with their dilatory and lackluster response convinced me they didn't care about customers. This change is far too late for me to think about trusting them again, and even it isn't enough for me.

I'll live without it and be just fine.

But no, quitting WOW didn't improve my life, it's just as sucky as it was before without even the phantom accomplishment of raiding.

Re:Too little, too late. (1)

GrumblyStuff (870046) | more than 2 years ago | (#33758484)

So you switched to Minecraft?

IOW they learned nothing... (3, Insightful)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 3 years ago | (#33756054)

There has to be a PHB behind this.

Re:IOW they learned nothing... (1)

dasherjan (1485895) | more than 3 years ago | (#33756558)

I think that they are trying set it up so that they can use it for demographics. Then they can add another revenue stream by selling targeted ads in their games. Hmm...then again maybe the tinfoil hat is causing some issues with my thinking and stuff. :)

Re:IOW they learned nothing... (1)

PseudonymousBraveguy (1857734) | more than 3 years ago | (#33756712)

There probably was a PHB behind RealID (which has been up&running for months now), but how did they learn nothing if they now offer privacy options for that? Actually I believe that is basically the first good idea they had for RealID.

Re:IOW they learned nothing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33756734)

The RealID push is coming from Bobby Kotick at Activision. He's trying to cut data sharing/mining deals with Facebook.

How not to run a web board. (3, Insightful)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 3 years ago | (#33756098)

Banning or shaming customers who disagree with you and publicly say so is no way to run a business. It doesn't leave you in the perfect world where everybody agrees with you, it leaves you in a world where nobody cares about you and you go away.

Re:How not to run a web board. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33756106)

They're trying to clean up the Blizzard forums and good on them - it's a circus.

Re:How not to run a web board. (1)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 3 years ago | (#33756112)

If your own forums about yourself are a circus, you're clearly doing something wrong.

Re:How not to run a web board. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33756174)

If your own forums about yourself are a circus, you're clearly doing something wrong.

Except when it's a game company. Read some WoW forums and behold: hordes of clowns inhabiting Blizzard forums.

If they are Blizzard's fault then the fault is that Blizzard makes its games for widest possible audience. That includes drooling idiots. But hey, as long as they are _paying_ drooling idiots..

Re:How not to run a web board. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33756234)

You must be new here. Welcome to Slashdot.

Re:How not to run a web board. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33756370)

YouTube is a forum. YouTube's commentators are idiots. YouTube has done nothing wrong. Ditto for popular games.

Re:How not to run a web board. (1)

PseudonymousBraveguy (1857734) | more than 3 years ago | (#33756740)

RealID is not, and never was, used on the Blizzard forums. It was shortly planned to do so, but because of the have backlash from the users they never implemented it (and I doubt they will try to do that again).

Re:How not to run a web board. (1)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 3 years ago | (#33756228)

Banning or shaming customers who disagree with you and publicly say so is no way to run a business. It doesn't leave you in the perfect world where everybody agrees with you, it leaves you in a world where nobody cares about you and you go away.

I don't believe this is about silencing dissenting opinion. RealID is about other things beyond forums. If you believe that using RealID in the forums was about altering posting behavior, then it was simply a conveniently available tool to attempt leveraging peer pressure to self-police the community. In which case, whoever came up with the idea is out of touch and / or delusional. More likely RealID is buying in to the whole "social media" thing and, even more so, the marketing / "monitization" strategies associated with it.

Re:How not to run a web board. (3, Insightful)

Undead Waffle (1447615) | more than 3 years ago | (#33756264)

Banning or shaming customers who disagree with you and publicly say so is no way to run a business. It doesn't leave you in the perfect world where everybody agrees with you, it leaves you in a world where nobody cares about you and you go away.

I don't believe this is about silencing dissenting opinion. RealID is about other things beyond forums. If you believe that using RealID in the forums was about altering posting behavior, then it was simply a conveniently available tool to attempt leveraging peer pressure to self-police the community. In which case, whoever came up with the idea is out of touch and / or delusional. More likely RealID is buying in to the whole "social media" thing and, even more so, the marketing / "monitization" strategies associated with it.

Basically this. I suspect this is part of Activision's plan to get the most out of Blizzard. Use their popularity to try to force some sort of social networking BS to masses of people in hopes of building it into something larger when it starts to catch on.

Re:How not to run a web board. (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 3 years ago | (#33756368)

Everything I've read coming out of Blizzard so far leads me to believe that Blizzard is as much behind it as Activision. The Blizzard guys want to milk that cow as much as they can, too.

Re:How not to run a web board. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33756582)

Blizzard no longer milks cows.
Blizzard is a cow.

Re:How not to run a web board. (1)

Pranadevil2k (687232) | more than 2 years ago | (#33756986)

some sort of social networking BS to masses of people in hopes of building it into something larger

I think you mean this. [battle.net]

Re:How not to run a web board. (1)

furgle (1825812) | more than 3 years ago | (#33756304)

I agree, it probably is to allow better marketing and monitization strategies through social media; But that by itself is not nessesarily a bad thing. We all get annoyed at junk mail, and random salesmen/preachers knocking at our door. Only because we already know what we want. A more personalised marketing strategy can be a lot less obtrusive as it fits into what we do. Some people worry that because of this we may not be aware of ads / marketing strategies being used on us and because of that we will be come mindless zombies. Personally i doubt that. My concern always will be with privacy to individuals, not corporations. An individual can harass and threaten and generally troll, corporations will only ever try to get you to buy their stuff..... Hopefully. One exception i can think of is the corporation individual called Steve Jobs.

Re:How not to run a web board. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33756272)

Mod parent (-1, shut up shut up shut up shut up)

Re:How not to run a web board. (1)

PseudonymousBraveguy (1857734) | more than 3 years ago | (#33756724)

Well, they DID listen to their customers and backed from using RealID on the forums. Now it's just a way to connect with friends on the games (ATM just WoW and SCII). You can (at least in WoW, dont know about SCII) still add friends the old way (character name). If you want to be able to chat when your friend plays a different game, or on a different server, you can use RealID. As you are not forced to do so, I don't believe it's a inherently bad system. However, the privacy options were definately needed, so I applaud this change.

Re:How not to run a web board. (1)

Kreigaffe (765218) | more than 2 years ago | (#33757350)

They only listened to their customers because their customers were doing their best to ruin the life of one of their employees, or possibly some other guy with the same name -- and showed every intention of doing the same over and over just to prove that RealID on forums was a terrible idea.

Then why require it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33756122)

"to turn off Real ID altogether"

So remind me why I sign up and use it in the first place?

Good! Disabled it. (2, Interesting)

AbRASiON (589899) | more than 3 years ago | (#33756128)

Now will SC2 stop showing my real name in the UI? It's bad for streaming and screenshots.
Also when can everyone play with each other on the GLOBAL INTERNET in all regions?
Meh.

Re:Good! Disabled it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33756184)

WTF did you give SC2 your real name in the first place?

My name is "Nunya Business".

Re:Good! Disabled it. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33756362)

If you have a WoW account and paid with a credit card ever, you had to give them your real name.

Re:Good! Disabled it. (1)

SupremoMan (912191) | more than 3 years ago | (#33756484)

Why the hell would you use the same Bnet account for two games? What if you no longer want one and wish to give it to a friend, or god forbid sell it? I guess people lack more than one email account :(

Re:Good! Disabled it. (1)

flimflammer (956759) | more than 3 years ago | (#33756526)

Some people don't intend on selling their games or giving them away, and giving Blizzard false customer information guarantees you'll never see your account again should anything happen to it, be it forget the password and secret question, have your account broken into (more of a Wow thing than Starcraft), or anything of the sort.

I've never understood the refusal to fill out customer information properly when it comes to legitimate business for paid services. Sure, there's no reason to hand over your information to joe random site, but companies you're actually paying? I dunno, sounds silly to me to be that paranoid about privacy.

Re:Good! Disabled it. (1)

Alumoi (1321661) | more than 3 years ago | (#33756564)

Because 'legitimate business' are in the habit of selling my info to the highest bidder.

Re:Good! Disabled it. (1)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 2 years ago | (#33758540)

Why the hell would you use the same Bnet account for two games? What if you no longer want one and wish to give it to a friend, or god forbid sell it? I guess people lack more than one email account :(

THIS!

Just who is hosting AOTS these days? (-1, Offtopic)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 3 years ago | (#33756146)

Here's another web board gone wrong... G4TV's Forums [g4tv.com] After aquiring TechTV and then banning anybody who posted they wanted Leo Laporte and Patrick Norton back on The Screen Savers, they had a mess of a forum trying to sell their current programming, which was unlike anything either the video game centric G4 or tech business channel TechTV had aired in the past.

Now, it's a banning offense to claim that Olivia Munn is not the host of Attack of the Show, despite the fact she's made more appearances this year on NBC promoting her upcoming role on a sitcom called Perfect Couples and as a correspondent on The Daily Show. Yep, that's right... there's been an endless series of female guest hosts "filling in" for her ever since the network's E3 specials. Sorry, airing the Stand Up For Cancer event that she was a part of, to promote her NBC series, doesn't count.

Why can't they admit she's moved on to bigger and better things and promote the people that actually are the future of their network?

Re:Just who is hosting AOTS these days? (1)

darthdavid (835069) | more than 3 years ago | (#33756248)

G4 has a future?

"Add Facebook" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33756188)

Pretty much, if a site has this, I don't want to be there.

this is the problem (4, Interesting)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 3 years ago | (#33756262)

The reason Starcraft, and Starcraft 2, have sold so well is because of the pro-gaming league. If it weren't for that, Starcraft wouldn't have much of an audience. It is so easy to get sucked into. Me too, in my more irrational moments have dreamed what it would be like to be a pro Starcraft player. It won't happen of course, but having that idea in the back of my mind makes the game that much more fun.

Blizzard is destroying pro Starcraft. They want to control it completely. Which would be fine, except they have no clue how to run a competitive gaming league. They don't know how to get thousands of spectators to an event, they don't know how to organize an event. They see the dollar signs, but don't understand the effort that goes into making it happen.

It would be best if they just made a way for people to play over the LAN, then got out of the way, so there could be real competitions.

My point is, instead they are focusing on weird real-id things, instead of trying to figure out a way to make gaming as nice as possible for competitions (while at the same time accessible for the rest of us). They have lost focus of what will bring people in to the game.

Re:this is the problem (1)

Aereus (1042228) | more than 3 years ago | (#33756492)

I don't know what they want with Starcraft2, honestly. They claim to want an "e-Sport" (Whatever that is.) but no LAN kills off all but the largest tournaments due to most hotel/convention internet being terrible for ping. It also makes it difficult for grass-roots interest in the game to happen when their Matchmaking and Friends system is archaic to say the least. It's like taking the rudimentary matchmaking from Mario Kart DS, mixed with the obnoxious friend code requirement from Animal Crossing.

As others have said -- I have a feeling it's all some ulterior motive from Kotick to try to cash in on Blizzard or Starcraft in some anti-gamer way.

Re:this is the problem (1)

Impeesa (763920) | more than 3 years ago | (#33756710)

As others have said -- I have a feeling it's all some ulterior motive from Kotick to try to cash in on Blizzard or Starcraft in some anti-gamer way.

Yeah, it's hard not to sound like the anti-corporate tinfoil hat guy saying it, but it's also hard not to feel like Blizzard is a bit hobbled by direction from above these days.

Re:this is the problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#33757470)

Blizzard is destroying pro Starcraft. They want to control it completely. Which would be fine, except they have no clue how to run a competitive gaming league. They don't know how to get thousands of spectators to an event, they don't know how to organize an event. They see the dollar signs, but don't understand the effort that goes into making it happen.

http://us.blizzard.com/blizzcon/ Blizzard doesn't know how to organize and draw attendees to an event? Are you serious?

Re:this is the problem (1)

MistrBlank (1183469) | more than 2 years ago | (#33757590)

"They don't know how to get thousands of spectators to an event, they don't know how to organize an event."

You don't quite understand Blizzcon do you....

Re:this is the problem (1)

Chameleon Man (1304729) | more than 2 years ago | (#33757980)

I don't even understand why the OP is modded up when he's throwing out so many false assumptions. Starcraft was a success because it was a great game, not because of the pro league. The pro league was a result of it being a great game. And when he states that Blizzard is out of touch with their consumers, as you have mentioned here, they clearly aren't.

Personally, I like the ladder system that's built into Starcraft 2. Makes someone like me, who could never find an even match let alone a ranking system, have more interest in actually playing other players rather than the computer. And believe it or not, average Joe's like myself make up the majority of the player-base, not pro-league gamers.

Re:this is the problem (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 2 years ago | (#33758546)

Out of touch with their customers? No. Of course not. If they got out of touch with their customers, they'd also be out of touch with their customers' wallets. Can't have that!

Re:this is the problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#33759020)

Like all other companies, Blizzard has a goal to profit. Unlike the rest though, they are actually community focused.

What are you expecting? Blizzard develop games for free and never expect anyone to pay a dime using their services?

Re:this is the problem (1)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 2 years ago | (#33758624)

The reason Starcraft, and Starcraft 2, have sold so well is because of the pro-gaming league. ...
My point is, instead they are focusing on weird real-id things, instead of trying to figure out a way to make gaming as nice as possible for competitions (while at the same time accessible for the rest of us). They have lost focus of what will bring people in to the game.

This strikes me as very odd. Blizzard isn't in the 'gaming league' business. They're in the video game business. And the whole 'Starcraft selling well for years' thing is utter crap. Gamers raving over a decade-old game from the bargain bin? That's exactly the opposite of what you want when you're cranking out subscription style expansion packs for the foreseeable future.

And note I'm still talking only Starcraft. The elephant in the room is Warcraft, and to a lesser extent Diablo. They want your Real ID tied into those as well, so your Starcraft friends can see you enjoying their other products and feel a little peer pressure to go join you.

That 'pro-gaming league' thing was an anomaly. Please do stop expecting Blizzard to form business strategies around it. It makes me wince. In short, Starcraft is NOT Magic the Gathering, nor was it ever intended to be.

"No matter how you polish it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33756314)

...it's still a turd."- my thanks to Jeff Dunham for this gem.

Blizzard, maybe it's time to flush, because it's getting pretty deep.

ugh (4, Interesting)

kuzb (724081) | more than 3 years ago | (#33756402)

Why the fuck does everything and it's turnip need facebook integration. Video games do not need to be integrated with Zuckerberg's privacy nightmare.

Re:ugh (1)

SupremoMan (912191) | more than 3 years ago | (#33756496)

Video games do not need to be integrated with Zuckerberg's privacy dream.

I think you were typing too fast. Had to fix it for you... unless you meant the nightmare is yours and you happen to share a last name with a douche-bag :)

Re:ugh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33756638)

It's zuckerberg's nightmare because he *created it*, not because it's his personal nightmare. Well he didn't create it, but he's the one who suckled the beast to maturity.

Re:ugh (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33756548)

Data on customers = targeted advertisements... A product that only 40 year old men will buy is best advertised to only 40 year old men. A service that only has 40 year old men on it gets a substantial premium from these advertisers since none of the "eye balls" they're paying for are wasted.

Facebook integration is just a way to pull more data about your customers out of the system. Either directly or by some bargain with Facebook.

Even though a targeted ad structure is the most likely growth from this type of policy I do not think it is all about increasing ad revenue; you also make the fact that people play their games more public. From their stand point nothing but good can, and has come, from this line of policy. (The 15 free headlines from the first Real ID announcement vastly exceeded any repercussions from WoW trolls.)

Re:ugh (1)

tapo (855172) | more than 2 years ago | (#33757756)

RealID's Facebook integration simply allows you to see what Facebook friends are on Battle.net (and have used the FB tool), and add them as friends. That's it. It makes perfect sense, its damn useful to add all your friends with the click of a button (they need to confirm, of course) and it only exists as a *single button* in the whole interface.

Why are ppl still whining? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33756414)

Why do ppl still keep whining now that they've actually given the user the option to disable this?

Re:Why are ppl still whining? (1)

Pizaz (594643) | more than 3 years ago | (#33756624)

Because this is a typical corporate maneuver to get their foot in the door. Eventually opting out will not be a realistic option as various features will only be accessible if you're enrolled.

Blizzard failed with the frontal assault so now they're going sideways with their strategy.

Friends (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33756460)

Remember: Friends don't let friends' friends friend friends' friends' friends.

Re:Friends (1)

EnsilZah (575600) | more than 3 years ago | (#33756814)

I for one am glad Friends is off the air, because that would convolute things even further.
And as a general sentiment.

Why all the crying? (1)

Kwami (1104073) | more than 3 years ago | (#33756686)

This is a positive change, folks. We can finally opt out of ReadID! If you want to keep it enabled for whatever reason, then at least you can opt out of the Facebook integration and the "friends of friends" feature. Why is everyone complaining about more privacy?

Re:Why all the crying? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#33757628)

We've been able to opt out for ages. You simply enable the parental controls on your own account, and disable RealID there.

Brilliant! (1)

argStyopa (232550) | more than 2 years ago | (#33757148)

...because when I'm pretending to be an elf, or an orc, slaying dragons and collecting loot, I want NOTHING more than my neighbors (or better - my boss!) to see that I'm doing it. Even possibly during work!

Sweet!

(Do any of this company's brilliant marketeers ask themselves why people haven't used their real names for login id's?)

I think I'll go change my /. login info to use my real name, too!

The minute I heard of this... (1)

CFBMoo1 (157453) | more than 2 years ago | (#33757412)

I flipped the master kill switch for Real ID. Damn that felt good knocking that out completely. If I want to talk to people I know I'll use a common channel or log in to the other faction toon to talk to em.

Blizzard not alone on this... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#33757538)

Seems quite similar to what Apple has been doing with their attempt at social networking, Ping.

To use Ping, your public ID has to match the real name on your billing info exactly. The thing is - this isn't entirely clear and you may only find this out after you change your Ping name and wonder why your iTunes purchases are now being billed to "Anon E Mouse". Even worse, every review you have ever written pseudonymously on iTunes get retrospectively changed to your full name as given in your billing information. Although it's probably buried a few pages into the T&C, I doubt most Ping users are aware of this.

Facebook's privacy debacles have been well publicised, Blizzard has been pushing for using your full name as an online identity (given the behaviour of some Blizzard users, one should be very, very worried about this), Apple is getting in on the "Privacy, what privacy?" action, and even Eric Schmidt from "do no evil" Google has said ""If you have something that you don't want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place".

I don't see this trend ending any time soon, unfortunately.

I just hope (1)

hesaigo999ca (786966) | more than 2 years ago | (#33757556)

I just hope that they are secure by default, being that before they added this, everyone was not seen (by name), and that now after adding this, that we should all still remain unseen until we chose not to be. Some companies M$, facebook, and others have had the stupid notion that when they ad a functionality like this, they start off by saying the default will be OPPOSITE of what you have been used to...so now we all have to log on and change stuff and waste time learning something that most do not need to learn for they will never change their privacy settings to OFF, or SHOW NAME.... just my 2 cents

Even with Real ID off the FBI will still get your (0, Flamebait)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 2 years ago | (#33757778)

Even with Real ID off the FBI will still get your real ID info.

and yes the FBI does have back door hooks in WOW.

Re:Even with Real ID off the FBI will still get yo (1)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 2 years ago | (#33758656)

Excuse the phrase, but 'no shit Sherlock'. They've got the exact same hooks into every single online network: XBox Live, Steam, etc. And anything they didn't have would only be one NSL away.

Offtopic; undoing mis-mod (1)

GrumblyStuff (870046) | more than 2 years ago | (#33758262)

n/t

The main issue is the permissive default behavior (3, Interesting)

KeithH (15061) | more than 2 years ago | (#33758406)

I manage the parental control's for my daughter's account (because I screwed up and was honest about her age - what a nuisance!). I have several complaints about this new system:
  • I wasn't notified; I had to learn about it from a friend.
  • The default behaviour is permissive.
  • Even though my daughter's account is subject to parental controls, its default behaviour is also permissive. (same as #2 but worse)
  • When I check my daughter's account, the settings are greyed out with a message that they are subject to her parent's control. But, the greyed out image shows the settings still enabled even though I disabled them. Is that accurate and hence a bug or inaccurate and hence misleading?

Generally, I've been pretty pleased with Blizzard. In my opinion, they're a notch above most game manufacturers and *several* notches above EA, the provider of my 3 daughters' favourite game: Sims3 - now that is an appalling piece of crapware with wholly inadequate support.

But Blizzard dropped the ball on this one and I've let them know. If you feel the same way, let them know via their web support interface. It's quite easy.

Re:The main issue is the permissive default behavi (1)

IndustrialComplex (975015) | more than 2 years ago | (#33758560)

The lack of notification was a big problem for me as well. I was real surprised when I found out that my real name was being used in my conversations. I never signed up for it, I never 'enabled' it. It just started happening.

The real problem is that I would like a feature similar to this, but not even close to the way they implemented it.

Oh and Opt-In should be required by freaking law.

Like it, hate it. (0)

AnotherBlackHat (265897) | more than 2 years ago | (#33759110)

How many people actually want this new feature?
How many people do not want this new feature?
If more people hate it than like it, then adding the feature will reduce the customer base.

I haven't heard anyone say how much more enjoyable things will be once RealID is in place.
I have heard a lot of bitching.
Why then, does blizzard want to implement it?

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