You Want Your Real Name Publicly Associated With Your World Of Warcraft Account, Right?

If you want to use certain official World of Warcraft forums, you’re going to have to come out. That is, you’re going to have to make your real full name visible on forums. No, not your character name: your real name. No, it’s not a severely delayed April Fool’s joke. And no, Blizzard, the company behind the game, doesn’t seem to care that their players like to post on forums but also might have problems with stalkers or identity theft, and also occasionally seek gainful employment.

The reason for the change is good old-fashioned trolling. Oh, Internet. From the official announcement:

The official forums have always been a great place to discuss the latest
info on our games, offer ideas and suggestions, and share experiences
with other players — however, the forums have also earned a reputation
as a place where flame wars, trolling, and other unpleasantness run
wild. Removing the veil of anonymity typical to online dialogue will
contribute to a more positive forum environment, promote constructive
conversations, and connect the Blizzard community in ways they haven’t
been connected before. With this change, you’ll see blue posters (i.e.
Blizzard employees) posting by their real first and last names on our
forums as well.

On one blog (which we won’t link to) fans made their point by taking the real name of a Blizzard employee, revealed on the forums, and uncovering every bit of information they could about him, including his age, relatives’ names and ages, phone number, home address, and that he apparently lives with his mom.

The change will not affect posts that have already been made, on the “classic” forums. So at least there’s that.


Battle.net Update: Upcoming Changes to Forums
[Battle.net]

Comments

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  1. MrsLopsided says:

    WOW’s in-game-messenger has long required real names.

    • SJPadbury says:

      Uh, no, it hasn’t.
      It had a option that you could use someone’s real name/e-mail address to keep in touch with them on other servers, and that’s only been active for 2 weeks. You could also choose to continue to just keep in touch with people by their character names.

    • Skellbasher says:

      Not true.

      Real ID was just added into the game a couple weeks ago. That gave you the OPTION to use RL names.

      You’re still perfectly able to communicate with others in the game based on character name alone.

  2. Agreton says:

    Trolls are just a part of the internet… we’d like to stuff them all in a sack and drop them in the ocean… but I’d rather put up with a few trolls than have people trying to easily gain access to information that they do not need.

  3. Skellbasher says:

    It’s seeming to become a trend.

    My local newspaper is implementing a similar change to the comments sections of the paper’s website. If you comment, your real name and location will appear on your post. Their motivation is to try and cut down on the rampant racist and generally offensive drivel that shows up on most stories. Of course, the normal rage from people who don’t understand what the first amendment really means took issue because they couldn’t spew hate speech anonymously anymore.

    I’m a bit of a fan of it in general, because people shouldn’t say something on the internet that they’re not willing to attribute to themselves in my view. However, it is a little scary having your name out there like that, no doubt. However, if you know going in that’s how it is, you can choose not to participate too.

    Decent ideas to cut down on internet douchebaggery, but then again nothing will ever completely stop internet douchebaggery,

    • 339point4 says:

      The NPR forums have required the use of a full name for some time now. It’s kind of silly though since there’s no way to determine if someone is using their real name or not. I suppose NPR listeners are not generally the first to start flame wars though, so it’s probably not a huge concern.

      • TTFK says:

        There is a big difference between telling people up front at registration that real names are required, and forcing over twenty MILLION Battle.net accountholders that their previously PRIVATELY IDENTIFIABLE INFORMATION, which their own Code of Conduct prohibits giving out, will not be forced to be public.

        Never mind the Canada/EU privacy concerns, people who can’t give out identification for National Security reasons, everyone with a stalker ex bf/gf, etc. etc. etc.

        • 339point4 says:

          I agree. I think what will happen is that many WoW players will eventually migrate to a new forum. Even those who don’t mind using their real names will move there once the migration hits a critical mass.

        • Skellbasher says:

          It’s not being forced to the public.

          You dont have to post in their forums.

    • fomenting fermentation says:

      The big thing here is now, rather than being flamed online for what you say, you just might get on the nerves of someone who thinks it okay to search you out and come to your front door and “discuss” it with you. Flamers and trolls are easy to ignore; someone with issues on your doorstep not so much.

    • JennQPublic says:

      That’s true, but Consumerist does a pretty good job of it. While there are definitely some bad apples here, the vast majority of comments aren’t particularly douchey, and are frequently amusing and/or helpful. I come here more for the comments than for the posts, and I’m sure that’s true of most Consumerists.

      • Rectilinear Propagation says:

        True, unless the post mentions race or weight at all. Tipping and receipt checking threads get heated but those topics don’t seem to turn half the commentors into raging assholes the way race and weight does.

        I think there’s a group of commentors who only show up in those threads too.

    • mac-phisto says:

      i think that’s appropriate for a newspaper (just like most op-ed pages require name, phone & address), but not so much for a forum. if blizzard is really having an issue with their forum, the issue is with their moderator (or the rules the mod has to follow).

      if someone’s violating the rules of the forum, you ban them. if they’re violating the rules of the game in the forum, you ban them from the forum & the game. requiring or revealing real info doesn’t seem like an answer that makes sense in this realm.

    • BobOki says:

      I think if they don’t want racist etcetc comments they should try a feature in nearly all message boards called MODERATING.
      Not breaking privacy laws at whims.

      • Skellbasher says:

        The game has over 11 million players.

        It’s not even remotely feasible to have enough moderators to police the volume of posts made to those boards.

        It’s also not a privacy law violation. They’re not putting your name out there unless you SPECIFICALLY allow them to do it. That’s not even close to violating any laws.

        • johnva says:

          It’s completely feasible to moderate a community with that many people, but they would need to have some moderators selected from the community and not just their employees.

      • kujospam says:

        You do not have the RIGHT of privacy except through normal law in some cases when it comes to the private sector. The constitution does not protect your privacy from non-governmental agencies, businesses, and organizations. Unless if congress or your state passed a law, or you signed a contract with said company, you have no privacy outside of that.

    • BobOki says:

      Yeah, until someone posts with a pretty singular name (like my g/f, she is the ONLY family in the world with her last name) and someone gets stalked/killed because of their faction or because they gibbed some nub in arena.
      Lets not forget that every single bot on the planet will be spidering the forums collecting first and lasts to add to their spam mailing lists.
      How about the people play the opposite sex online, suddenly posting with the name Fred might get them booted from a guild.
      Also, and this IS important in this age of data, what if you make a post on the forums, and a potential boss does a net search for your name and sees you play. The stigma of a gamer and even more so a WoW gamer is not a very good one still and very well could cost someone a job.
      Personally, I think Blizzard just killed their forums and set themselves up for a class action.

      • jefeloco says:

        If you’re worried about getting stalked, don’t post on the Blizzard forum, there are several out there that you can troll. If you don’t want your boss to find out that you’re a gamer, don’t post on Blizzard’s forum. If you’re worried that your RP guild will kick you out because you’re a dude and your toon is a chick, don’t post on the Blizzard forums and stop RP because it is lame.

        I just wish that MW2 had something set up like this that would filter out people by age when it detected 13 year old kids ranting/singing in the lobby. Could you imagine how awesome it would be if people started acting like there were actual social consequences to your online actions (just like real life)? I think the earth would explode with awesomeness.

    • BfloAnonChick says:

      You, sir, must be in Buffalo. :-)

  4. jayphat says:

    Apparently Activision/Blizzard just doesn’t want people to visit their forums anymore.

    Just wait til a private one crops up as the unofficial official meeting place.

    • 339point4 says:

      Crops up? There are plenty already in existence just waiting for the influx of new users.

    • BiGGERX says:

      Wowhead.com has some great forums :D

    • whogots is "not computer knowledgeable" says:

      Given their gold standard of excellence in outage communication (ha! hahaha!) I’d say that, YES, they would love to kill the forum.

  5. 339point4 says:

    Ugh. That happened to me in college. I used to mod for a gaming community and, after dealing fairly severely with one particular troll, he returned as a stalker and posted every scrap of personal info about me he could find (which was a surprising amount).
    At least it taught me a lesson about security online.

    • JennQPublic says:

      I also mod for a gaming community, and have been asked on multiple occasions to start using my real name, to present a more professional appearance. I always refuse, for just that reason. Fortunately (but unfairly) I can play the female card, but I’m not worried about my actual physical safety, just about being harassed IRL by someone I had to put the smacks down on.

      • Mogbert says:

        Is that you, Mims?
        Anyway, I wouldn’t post on any forum using my real name… just because. And I’m fairly polite. And have a pretty common name. It’s just a matter of privacy.
        Blizzard hiding behind the concept that this is to generate a sense of community just smacks of insincerity. If I like dealing with certain people in the game, I can GIVE them my real name. Just as in wizards times, it is a sign of trust…

  6. iParadox{InLove} says:

    I play WoW and this doesn’t bother me at all.

    (I have 6 80s and 3 70s and other low level characters.)

    • Atsumi says:

      Is it bad that I’m jealous of your awesome characters. I only have two 80s…

      • iParadox{InLove} says:

        Nah, I’m just a college student with too much time on his hands and no form of social life but then again, when you live in a small town in the boondocks there really isn’t much else to do.

        • maztec says:

          You two should totally date…. Just sayin’, y’know?

          • RickN says:

            Or duel.

          • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

            I doubt they want to, considering that despite their avatars and statements to the contrary, they’re both 40-something men who live with their mom.

            • iParadox{InLove} says:

              My avatar is from Torchwood, a spin-off of Doctor Who, and since you are here trolling, I’ll bite.

              Yes I live with my parents, it’s cheaper that way while attending college.
              I’m 22.
              I’m gay.
              You’re retarded.

            • Atsumi says:

              Ouch!

  7. TTFK says:

    One big problem with going to other forums: The forums are the only place for most people to receive any sort of customer service or technical support. As it is, you can sometimes redial for DAYS to actually get through to the hold queue on their phone line, never mind actually speak to someone..

    For anyone wanting to read the forums.worldofwarcraft.com thread, now at 9,487 posts of complaints and counting in the less than 8 hours since it’s been announced, this is the link:

    http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.html?topicId=25712374700&sid=1

    Get ready to hit refresh. a LOT.0

    • roguemarvel says:

      I had to call blizzard a few times in the past month because of account issues. The secret seems to be to call at the top of the hour. I think they reopen the que at the top of the hour and then close it as soon as its full and keep it closed till the top of the hour. Its still a long wait, but that seems to be the trick

  8. Quatre707 says:

    While this won’t stop me from buying quality Blizzard games, I’ll be registering with a fake names from here on out, starting with Starcraft II. Certainly the legal team over at Blizzard knows that having the name of a potential victim is the first big hurdle in the pursuit of identity theft or harassment.

    • TTFK says:

      The TOS requires real information, so if it doesn’t match at any point, kiss the account (and cd key) goodbye.

      • Quatre707 says:

        If what doesn’t match? What would they be comparing? The registered name too…?

        • iParadox{InLove} says:

          Your ID.

          • Quatre707 says:

            As in photo ID? My driver’s license? Why would a video game company need that? If the account is stolen and I want it recovered? Hell, if my computer was compromised than losing a $50 video game would be the least of my worries. I have information that on here that could cost my employer and I significant financial loss. The couple security questions and automated recovery process already available will suffice.

            I’m no fan of paying customer service reps to recover player accounts all day. Just look at World of Wacraft and all the bozos that repeatedly enter their passwords and account information on phishing sites requiring constantly faxing in their photo ID. Quite sad.

            • iParadox{InLove} says:

              Yes. Your photo ID.

            • Lucky225 says:

              I wouldn’t be playing WOW on a computer that has sensitive data in the first place. And anyhow this guy’s point is mute, if they really asked you to fax a State ID, it really is not that terribly hard to fake and fax in. I’ve done it to turn on utilities in fake names as I’m a victim of stalking and my stalkers frequently would obtain information through utility companies. It seriously takes all of about 5 minutes googling “Passport photo” to find some random persons face to put on an ID template, layer it with your State seal for hologram effects, flatten image, greyscale, print and then take a $5 corner rounder to make it look like it’s an ID, take the fake copy you’ve just made, tape it to a sheet of paper, and fax. What they see on their end is what appears to be an ID taped to a piece of paper, since this isn’t a real fake ID they’re not going to be able to physically hold it to tell anything and the greyscale/black and white image and ‘poor quality of my fax machine and/or the fax here at the UPS Store’ is not going to bother them, people know faxes suck. They look at the name on the ID, and boom ‘verified.’

              • Randell says:

                Mute? HAHAHAHA.
                Mute
                1. means silent; refraining from speech or utterance.
                2.not emitting or having sound of any kind.
                3.incapable of speech; dumb.
                4.(of letters) silent; not pronounced.
                5.Law . (of a person who has been arraigned) making no plea or giving an irrelevant response when arraigned, or refusing to stand trial (used chiefly in the phrase to stand mute ).
                6.Fox Hunting . (of a hound) hunting a line without giving tongue or cry.

                MOOT on the other hand means
                1. open to discussion or debate; debatable; doubtful: a moot point.
                2.of little or no practical value or meaning; purely academic.
                3.Chiefly Law . not actual; theoretical; hypothetical.

              • erinpac says:

                If they have any suspicion that it is fake, you will get the “upgraded” retrieval form… which requires a notary public stamp it and mail it in.

              • Koinu says:

                When you fax in your ID, you have to have it verified by a public notary, good luck having a fake one stamped by them, at the risk of them losing their license.

                • roguemarvel says:

                  You don’t have to have it notarized. I’m about to fax in some identity paper work in today my self to change my name on my account. I got married and my account was flagged when my wow account name didn’t match my battle.net name.

                  here is the forum
                  http://us.blizzard.com/support/article.xml?locale=en_US&tag=BNETTOUFORM&rhtml=true

                • Pax says:

                  Not always.

                  My partner just sent in a computer scan of her Arizona “Fingerprint Clearance Card” (she’s in school to be a teacher). It’s not a photo ID, but it IS a strongly-controlled document. No affirmation or seal from a Notary Public was required by her school, we just scanned it at home.

    • iParadox{InLove} says:

      You do that registering an account under a fake name means that if you lose access via hacker/keylogger/forgotten password etc. that you won’t be able to get your account back since Blizzard requires state verified ID to make sure the account in question actually belongs to you?

      • Lucky225 says:

        By verified State ID I assume you mean faxing a photo copy of a DL which they have no way of authenticating unless they actually run a DMV report on the DL #, which is only publicly available in certain States, for instance, good luck running a California DL # to verify it’s authenticity, California DL templates have been around for quite a while to make REAL fake IDs, not hard to greyscale it and make it 300dpi for nice faxable quality that the employee will just look at to make sure the name matches the name on the account.

      • Griking says:

        You may also have a problem paying for your account with a credit or debit card that has a different name.

      • BobOki says:

        No they don’t, they just require you to have your ORIGINAL game key (for WoW it is the vanilla box).

        • kujospam says:

          That might be kind of difficult considering I bough an extra account from blizzard digitally, and it had no key.

  9. TTFK says:

    Let’s not also forget this from the RealID FAQ:

    http://us.battle.net/realid/?rhtml=y

    “Real ID is a completely voluntary and optional level of identity that keeps players connected across all of Battle.net.”

    So voluntary, it’s mandatory!

    • iParadox{InLove} says:

      Blizzard doesn’t force you to post on the forums.

      • TTFK says:

        Actually, for customer service and technical support issues, Yes, they do. Even when you put an in-game ticket in, any issues beyond the most extremely minor will result in being given links to Blizzard Forums for followup help.

        • iParadox{InLove} says:

          Weird, I’ve been playing since 2005, had my account hacked once, had some connection issues another time and both times I was able to submit a ticket or call and had a rep solve my problem by email or phone. Maybe there are other issues I’m unaware of that require the forums.

          • ninjapoodles says:

            Ditto. I’ve had tons of tech support, but never have used the forums for anything, ever.

            • erinpac says:

              Right now their email has a two week wait for a possible answer and often refers you to the forums instead. The phone line is a roulette game, as it is 90% busy signals the 13 hours/ 7 days a week that they’re open.

              The forums can often fast track your support and cut off two weeks of wait.

              Suggestions are on the forums ONLY.

              • BiGGERX says:

                Doesn’t mean you have to post. You can still go there & brows the help forums for suggestions.

                • erinpac says:

                  Browsing for “please remove the lock on my account” doesn’t do a lot of good, and that’s what most of the waits are for.

      • SJPadbury says:

        It does if you want any sort of tech support

        • Mary says:

          I’ve gotten plenty of tech support without posting on the forums.

          Maybe I’ve just always called or emailed during off peak times?

          • LadySiren is murdering her kids with HFCS and processed cheese says:

            Agreed. I never had a problem with in-game support. Haven’t tried calling their landlines but getting a GM in-game was always fairly easy. The forums are mostly a platform for bragging and trolling anyway, with only minor bits of useful information hidden in between. If you need anything else, hit up one of the other sites that have solid info (I miss Big Red Kitty) and you’re good to go.

        • BiGGERX says:

          Tech support happens through emails, phone calls & in-game GM help. Not on the forums. With that said, I just canceled my account & I wont be renewing. I also deleted my facebook account a while ago. Screw these asshats that think they can do whatever they want with our information.

  10. Eat The Rich -They are fat and succulent says:

    It is my humble opinion that WoW the game is addictive and causes significant personal problems for many of it’s players in real life.

    Blizzard has the 21st century version of heroin and sells it to anyone with a connection. Frankly I wish they would go out of business.

    Yes, I >hate

    / a former WoW addict

    • 339point4 says:

      That’s like blaming McDonald’s for fat people though.

      /former WoW addict too

    • coren says:

      It’s no more addictive than any other game or the internet itself. I played a couple different times and had no trouble quitting, for example. I think it’s more to do with additive personalities.

      • Eat The Rich -They are fat and succulent says:

        I agree. And yes, I have an addictive personality. WoW consumed me for 3 years.

        After losing my partner, my job and my self respect I snapped and realized how much I had wasted and lost because of this.

        I hate Blizzard because they KNOW this game does this, they actively encourage addiction and profit from it. Just like Tobacco, Big Oil, etc. They are no better and in many ways worse.

        • moofie says:

          Doesn’t do that to me, or to my wife. Sorry you had such a hard time, but not everybody has the same experiences (or difficulties) that you do.

        • Big Mama Pain says:

          My friend used to play with his brother only to ensure that he could monitor the amount of time he was spending on it (once it was revealed how hooked he got). They actually staged an intervention and had to babysit him like he was kicking heroin or something. Freaky!

        • jvanbrecht says:

          Damn.. you had it bad..

          I played Everquest for 7 years, then switched to WoW, played from Beta till 2008, then switched to Warhammer online..

          So I feel you pain, but I fortunately was able to juggle my relationships, job, and still have a social life going out to clubs and what not, and play the game.

          Sleep on the other hand suffered.. but than again, I have always survived on 4 to 5 hours of sleep a night at most since college (that was around 1997ish)

          • BobOki says:

            I have gone through UO, EQ, RO, WoW, AoC, SwG, WH, and I am sure a bunch more which I can’t remember… have always kept my relationship fine, my job good, and continue to have a social life (and picked up a newe hobby of working on cars turbos etcetc) without issue. Yes, it is fun and addicting, which means it might keep my attention. Level grinds 1-80 pretty much even that out.
            I have to say in all those the most addicting was UO, next is WoW. None of the others seem to get the worlds right, the characters movement in them, how they flow, and then after that none other seems to get the customized feeling in style and play than WoW did, not even uo. Even in cookie cutter builds it stands out….
            Add those together and you really have something that you can play, keeps your attention, has built in hunter/gatherer elements to keep the weak minded hooked… it really is evil and out to make you addicted. But thats what they DO. Make money. So I am fine with all this.

      • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

        yup. i lost most of 1996 to diablo and then realized i had a problem. so i stopped. i still game, but not multiplayer. if i’m only playing a single player game it’s easier to save my game and put the controller down than if there’s someone on the other end to keep my attention.
        now back to ffxii….

    • Megalomania says:

      There are plenty of people who play and don’t let it consume their lives. While yes, they could spend that time in a way that is more beneficial to society, you could make a pretty clear case that it’s better to be a WoW-oholic than an alcoholic, a smoker, or anyone else with an addictive habit. At some level we all have to take personal responsibility; whether it’s accepting that McDonald’s didn’t make us fat or that Blizzard didn’t make you play World of Warcraft for hours on end, in the end it’s up to you to exercise restraint.

      I’m glad you managed to see what was more valuable in life than a game, but compared to the alcoholics and nicotine addicts who not only lose money but the future years of their life even after they’ve quit, things could have been worse.

    • Groanan says:

      I tried to quit World of Warcraft; Age of Conan and Warhammer Online just failed to deliver (and I am a huge Robert E. Howard Conan the Barbarian fan).

      I tried to quit Coke as well, I just cannot find a drink substitute that I enjoy nearly as much.

      If this counts as addiction I’m also addicted to Munsingwear Kangaroo Pouch Briefs, Levi’s Jeans, and American Apparel Thermals.

    • AstroPig7 says:

      It can be said that Blizzard put in a way to break the addiction, though. How else can you explain the sheer boredom of levels 30 through 40? That’s essentially what caused me to quit after only a few months.

    • LadySiren is murdering her kids with HFCS and processed cheese says:

      Hi, I’m Siren and I’m a recovering WoW addict. I am however, twitchily waiting for Star Wars to arrive on-scene, so I can go back to overdosing on sweet MMO nectar.

    • Dre' says:

      Comparing a video game to a substance that can actually kill you via usage *and* withdrawals doesn’t make you look like a douche at all, nosiree.

      • kujospam says:

        WOW can kill you, you have to keep eatting and sleeping you know? Also make sure you don’t flame anyone with your real name out there now, which is kind of the whole point of this article. My biggest problem with first and last name, is a lot of people have the same first and last name. I know there are at least 100 people with my same name, and I always felt my name was unique till the internet came along.

    • Halloween Jack says:

      Me, I’m addicted to addiction. Food, drugs, booze, sex, gambling, shopping, video games, boogers, hair (eating), OCD (counting, checking and cleaning–I’m a triple threat!), self-stim, self-injury, self-abuse, pain, popping bubble wrap, and commenting on every blog that will have me and most that won’t: MORE MORE MORE DAMNIT

    • creative differences says:

      in all honesty, if it had not been this game it would have been *something else* you were addicted to… i.e. in 1982 it could have been D&D or somesuch. the problem lies inside the user, not about the game of choice. would you blame alcohol manufacturers for on individual’s alcoholism? because, if s/he could not obtain his/her beverage of choice, s/he would still be addicted to some other substance.

  11. coren says:

    Outside of tech support, I don’t see the big deal -it’s not like it’s a mandatory part of gameplay or something.

    • iParadox{InLove} says:

      Thats the way I see it, heck I’ve had technical issues before and got them solved in a phone call + email, no tech support forum needed.

  12. TTFK says:

    It just got better.. Well, better or worse, depending on your outlook.

    The Blizzard employee who’s info got posted? Turns out that there are two people with his fairly-uncommon name living in California… and the info for the WRONG one is now being 4chan’d into oblivion.

    The info for the real one has since begun being disseminated.

    How’d YOU like to be the poor guy and family getting mentally and emotionally beaten into the ground about now, and have NOBODY to go after since the information was pretty much put out everywhere at once?

    • AgamemnonV1 says:

      This is exactly why this is a completely terrible idea. With common names, people that don’t even play the associated game can be the targets of victimization. But the really big issue that I’m surprised no one has touched upon is the issue of privacy concerns–this just has lawsuit written all over it really. Blizzard seems only able to make bad moves ever since Bobby Kotick joined the team.

      They think this will stop the “Internet trolling;” instead what this will do is give ammunition to people who are rather ticked off at other players to simply harass them out of the game as well, all thanks to Blizzard.

  13. H3ion says:

    On the internet, no one knows that you’re a dog. How can they tell whether a name is real?

    • UltimateOutsider says:

      You shouldn’t have to fake your identity in order to have the privilege of paying to play a video game. (And in many cases, supplying false information is usually grounds for terminating an account if it’s ever discovered.)

    • iParadox{InLove} says:

      You have to use your real name if you want any kind of help if you are hacked or lose control of your account for any reason because when restoring your password/information they require you to fax in a copy of your ID and if it doesn’t match then guess what? You don’t get your account back.

      • D-Bo says:

        I could fake a fax of my ID to say McLovin in about 8 seconds. That as a security standard is laughable. Who really thinks they’re checked out beyond looking at the fax and matching the name? I find it doubtful they’re linked into DMV records or paying for any kind of third party (actual) verification.

  14. UltimateOutsider says:

    I know many managers with hiring authority who think that video games are something that kids play, and who suspect something’s wrong with any adults who do it. ALL hiring managers I know use Facebook and Google to look up potential hires. Flames and trolling are just a part of message board life. This is why we have Terms of Service agreements and moderators. Blizzard can’t convince me that compromising the employ-ability of their users is worth the reduced moderation effort. I guess I won’t be enjoying their next WoW expansion after all.

    • Quatre707 says:

      You make a really good point!

      My human resources department uses expensive search software to investigate potential employees, finding just about any online activity you can think of. Not just a few simple Google searches like most places do. Who knows how potential hiring managers would feel about hiring someone when HR presents them with a report indicating their candidate is an active gamer. In my field that is frowned upon, especially if it is a well known MMORPG.

      • Aesteval says:

        And yet wouldn’t that be considered a form of discrimination? Assuming it could be proven of course.

        • erinpac says:

          I just had to explain for my employment what sort of Sci Fi books I read and that they are not ‘violent’ and such due to a search like that.
          Admittedly, I knew they’d look for whatever they could… but some of the things you end up explaining… ick. No need to add ANY leisure activity to that list, much less a video game.

        • GameHen says:

          Sure it is, but it’s not a protected class. As long as you’re in an at-will state they can discriminate for that reason all they want.

          • Pax says:

            So, then .,… someone needs to found a RELIGION based around game-playing as a form of worship. POW, protected class. :)

  15. dbeahn says:

    Meh.

    My grandfather used to say “Danny, if you wouldn’t want to read about what you did in tomorrow’s newspaper, don’t do it.”

    It’s a level of wisdom I didn’t really understand at the time, but that still applies today, both on and offline.

    • Groanan says:

      “Danny, if you wouldn’t want to read about what you did in tomorrow’s newspaper, don’t do it.”

      That ‘wisdom’ was pre-internet and is outdated. Today, no matter who you are or what you believe in, even if you are the nicest most patient person around, if you do anything at all, you will become a target for anonymous malicious bastards.

      These bastards want your money, they want to grief you, and they generally just want to cause harm to anyone they can. Once they know your real name, they can get the satisfaction of feeling that they are actually harming a real person, and this brings them joy, they are sadists.

      You can try your best to only do things that you would accept being public, but it is impossible to do things that will not make you an enemy of someone on the internet. Anonymity is your only protection from cyber-crime, Blizzard, with their new forums, is setting up a system that will give in-game greifers (which is allowed to a certain extent within the concept of the game) the ability to harm people at their homes, in the businesses, their families, their social lives, and their credit.

      After this change goes live, if you compete (or even work together) with some other people, and they do not like how the scenario worked out (you won the epic drop, or your team beat their team) they can jump to the forums to try to find out who you are, your real name, from there they can search for anything about you online to assist them in carrying out vengeance upon you, even if you did nothing against the rules or even socially unacceptable or rude.

      After this change goes live, if you go online to make a post on the Blizzard forums about in-game gold farmers, companies like IGE that are violating the EULA and TOS, you are now also on the radar of these companies, which make tens (if not hundreds) of millions of dollars every year violating the rules of WoW. How will Blizzard protect you from their reciprocity for blowing the whistle?

      • jibo says:

        Man, before you bust out your tinfoil hat, why don’t you just opt not to post on one of the worst forums on the internet?

  16. Pax says:

    People panicking about this are being … well, not to put too fine a point on it, TOTALLY FRELLING STUPID.

    Your Real Name would only be visible to other people on your Friends list, and only if they too have opted in tot he program.

    No matter how often Chicken Little runs around in circles, screaming “the sky is falling” … the demand for hard-hats and helmets needn’t go up.

    • iParadox{InLove} says:

      Thats only for the in-game Real ID.

      We are talking about a completely different Real ID for the forums. Where everyone will be able to see your real name when you make a post, not just your friends.

      • Pax says:

        And … I still don’t see the problem. I make posts, using my real name, on Facebook and other public forums all the time.

        And just to prove how unconcerned I am: my real name is Sean Long.

        See? While Chicken Little does his thing, I’m just gonna kick back with a nice, big bowl of popcorn.

        • Thedrun says:

          Well unfortunately for some of us Mr. “Sean Long” not all of us have such a common name. Putting “Sean Long” into Google, with quotes, yields almost 79 thousand results over almost 50 pages of links. I’m pretty sure most of those are not about you specifically. However entering my first and last name in quotes yields about 100 results, in only 2 pages of links. For me, putting my name directly on the web amounts to telling anyone who sees it where I have lived over the past 5 years, where my parents live, what schools I have attended, and where I have worked. I’m sure it’s easy to act big when your name is more common and doesn’t provide such precise information but others of us don’t have that benefit. Also in the WoW forums they will take your name directly from your provided Credit Card information so anyone snooping it can have a fairly high level of confidence that it is accurate and not made up for the sake of sounding tough on a consumerist comment post (first result hit for “Sean Long” ? An adult website of course).

        • JJ! says:

          So because you’re alright with it, everyone is? What about people who don’t have common names? Or, the point made to me earlier, what about the people in the GLBT guilds who don’t want to be outed?

          Must be nice to live in a bubble where everyone is in the same situation as you all the time.

        • humperdinck says:

          Congratulations, Sean Long. You are a male with a common name. What about someone with an uncommon name? Put my name in Google and you only get results for me. There’s only one me.

          What about a female gamer? Wow, my guildie sure sounds cute in vent. She’s always super nice to me. I think she likes me. And she’s talked about living in Anytown, USA. Oh, now I have her first and last name and I know where she lives. And I’m so alone and mentally unbalanced. I think I’ll take a road trip.

    • Eyeheartpie says:

      So very incorrect…Paradox{JackHarkness} got it right. In game RealID requires you to friend someone, and they AND all their friends can see your real name (stupid friend of friend feature). That’s why I’ve only RealID friended my brother and 2 of my old roommates.

      However, this change on the forums will make it so that ANYTHING you post will have your real name attached, with the option of showing your character’s name. There is no option to hide your real name. Your real complete first and last name will be attached to everything you post on the forums, and visible to anyone who can visit the WoW forums (i.e. everyone with an internet connection). You don’t need a WoW account to read the forums, and you don’t need to friend someone for them to be able to see your name.

  17. Primarylupine says:

    I canceled today. Been playing since 2004, in every beta as well. If they turn around and make it non-mandatory, I *may* renew. I left the message that I no longer agree with their EULA.

    What I think nobody has picked up on is that they’re trying to implement worldwide what South Korea has put into law there. However, I am not living in South Korea. If Blizzard wants to put RealID into action there, fine. Just keep in mind that Google rejected complying with their law.

    I do live rather close to their headquarters… I wonder how long I could stand across the street, photograph and note the plate of every car that enters and leaves their gates before the Irvine PD show up? Might make for a fun weekend.

    • jibo says:

      Yeah man, fight the power. Optionally displaying a name that who knows how many other people have is totally the same as having someone come take information without your permission that is unique to you.

      Keep up the fight man. (I’m impressed irl that you have played the game so long, it surely makes you an expert on this)

  18. Mary says:

    You use your real name on the internet. So do a number of journalists and other blog users.

    I’ve never assumed I was anonymous on the internet, even when I wasn’t using my real name. But that must have just been me.

    • ludwigk says:

      Don’t worry, you’re not. The instructors of my virtual law class were discussing just how easy it is to get the names of individuals from ISPs by serving them a subpoena.

      • Groanan says:

        At least there is the barrier that anyone wanting your personal information from your ISP would have to either be a lawyer, know a lawyer, or be pretty good at drafting a realistic subpoena.

        I am pretty sure that the majority of the people who will abuse the realID feature to harass people in their real lives are the type of people that would not go the subpoena route if that were their only option.

        Using your real name on the internet is one thing – using your real name in association to a competitive video game is another. In WoW you are allowed to mercilessly kill another player, repeatedly (to a point) making their gameplay experience horrible (forcing them to leave and do something else).

        This is allowed behavior, you could even say it is needed behavior to keep the animosity between the rival factions in the game high, otherwise people would stop fighting each other (and then get bored with the game and quit it altogether). Not everyone takes defeat maturely, and it is very easy to harass someone once you know their real name and address (which you can gather once you see their facebook page / or you could indiscriminately attack all people with that name listed on the internet).

        • Pax says:

          Actually, in WoW, you’re only allowed to mercilessly kill other players who VOLUNTEERED to be mercilessly killed.

          Don’t like PvP? Avoid the PvP servers, and don’t join any of the Battlegrounds. Poof, no getting “mercilessly killed” by anyone at all.

          • Groanan says:

            Yes, and you cannot attack people who have not volunteered.

            Still though, it is a part of the game and some players are sore losers, even if they volunteered for the fight.

            You are allowed to be a jerk, it is a part of the game, and using your real name just makes you a target for outside-of-the-game harassment.

  19. crb042 says:

    “Hi, I’d like to join your gym.” “OK, what’s your name?”
    “Hi, I’d like a library card.” “OK, what’s your name?”
    “Hi, I’d like to participate on your company’s private forums.” “OK, what’s your name?” Is that so incredibly unusual?

    and I’m sure there are plenty other WoW forums on the web where people can post under other names.

    • TTFK says:

      “Hi, welcome to our forums where we respect and protect all your personally identifiable information!”

      After signing up:

      (In best Rick Moranis’ Spaceballs voice): FOOLED YOU! We’re going to post your REAL NAME every time you post!

    • TTFK says:

      I almost forgot … If you are so unconcerned about your real name getting out there, why do you call yourself “crb042″ instead of using your real first and last night? I mean, it’s obviously no big deal for you, right?

      • crb042 says:

        Excellently highlighting the type of aggressive trolling that can occur from people with anonymous ID’s! Thank you for illustrating.

        • veritybrown says:

          Sorry, TTFK made a very good point. If you’re not willing to post under your own real name, you really have no business telling people that it’s no big deal to post under theirs.

          • crb042 says:

            no, there’s a big difference in supporting this change vs just throwing out my info to an anonymous site.
            For example, if Consumerist put thru this change, there’d probably be a bit of a shift in registration. Requiring more information to ID each person here. (This is, of course, a bit different with a private, paid community of WoW, so maybe it’s just not feasable on a free chat-back environment? That’s for the sociologists to debate.)
            Anyways, if Consumerist made the entire forum require openness of names, I would gladly support it. Right now, however, you have a forum full of people who don’t have their own names and it’s a bit different exposing your info to lord knows who.

            • Justintime233 says:

              You can talk all you want Mr. CRB042, your user name says more than you could ever say. Quit while you’re behind. You completely destroyed your point with your user name. Consumerist didn’t ask you for your name, they ask for a user name as do 99% of forums and online accounts out there. I cannot name a single one that would use your real name as a user name. Until now.

              When you get called out, sometimes it’s just better to take it on the chin and accept defeat rather than making yourself look even worse by trying to justify your misstep and making you look worse. Every point you tried to make only hurt your case. The oh I don’t do it on here because of crazy people doesn’t help and neither does your argument that it’s standard practice when it’s not.

        • The_IT_Crone says:

          It’s not “aggressive trolling” when they’re simply RIGHT.

          • crb042 says:

            I would not reveal my name while there are anonymous trolly posters present.

            If the WoW forum requires everyone’s name be shown, there would be no such people present.

            Thus, once the change is made, I would be very willing to use my real name among a community of real-name users.

    • UltimateOutsider says:

      Your gym and library don’t publish your affiliations on the Internet.

      • Griking says:

        Neither does Blizzard under the new system, Blizzard’s users do.

        • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

          not only doesn’t the library or gym not publish your name though, they don’t require that you wear a name tag while talking to other patrons of the premises. mine don’t anyway and i wouldn’t want to be a member of one that does

          • Griking says:

            When you go to a gym your interactions with people there are face to face. You can’t say that you’re a 15 year old girl when in reality you’re a 40 year old male. Also, people don’t usually act like forum trolls in real life so there really isn’t a need for name tags.

      • Groanan says:

        Also, at your gym, you do not go in there with the intention of killing other gym members, and those other gym members cannot go to the front desk to get your name (and therefore your address thanks to the internet) to sign you up for debt consolidation when you hog the weight bench for too long (or even worse, to visit you at your home).

    • RickN says:

      Considering that’s the only forum of the dozens I use that requires real names, yes — it is unusual for me. Not the norm, not usual practice, etc, etc.

      Using your real name here helped to back up your point. Oh, wait….

      • crb042 says:

        everyone asking for my name is being pretty obtuse about the differences with a WHOLE FORUM equally open, as opposed to one person (such as that developer) getting “outed” to a whole internet of anonymous people.

  20. TTFK says:

    And now, ANOTHER example of why this change is bad. With real names freely available to the millions of Battle.net subscribers, this could be VERY bad:

    http://host.madison.com/wsj/news/local/crime_and_courts/article_683959a0-8a02-591d-a32b-0071ea3d1d92.html

    “A Massachusetts man who police say drove to Madison last week looking for a 17-year-old boy he met in an online game had an arsenal of weapons, restraints and rubber gloves in his vehicle when he was arrested Friday, Massachusetts State Police said.”

    -

    Oh, and it gets worse. Apparently everyone’s names are ALREADY available: http://www.wow.com/2010/07/06/security-flaw-allows-addons-to-expose-full-real-life-names-witho/

    “There is a flaw in the design of the Real ID system which, (as we understand it) thanks to you being an automatic Real ID friend of yourself, allows any addon to expose your real life name to anything or everyone; even if you have not marked those people as a Real ID friend.”

  21. Valajin says:

    Yay, make the job easier for azn gold farmers.

  22. Mike says:

    “however, the forums have also earned a reputation as a place where flame wars, trolling, and other unpleasantness run wild.”

    They just described all forums, heck this goes on here in the consumerist all the time.

    If you don’t like flame wars, then stop reading the forums.

    If you don’t like trolls, ignore them.

    If you don’t like unpleasantness, stay away from the forums.

    I am sick of people whining about this kind of stuff. I get called all kinds of racist names when I play games online, but most games come with a mute capability. I simply mute and ignore the morons. There I fixed it.

    Now you replace forums full of trolls with forums exposing people to stalking. Good move. If someone calls me a n00b in a forum, no harm done. If someone gets me real name and decides to dig around and attack me personally, we have a problem.

    There are lots of kids on there, and the last thing we need is another way for creepy people to get the information of minors.

  23. erinpac says:

    This was previously not even ALLOWED in the forums. They justified the first RealID option by saying it was only for IRL friends. Now they’ll expose your name to the world… and the posts say this is just part of their ‘vision’?

    Vision for what? This is worse than Facebook’s privacy and they get roasted for it. At least Facebook’s sole purpose is social. Now to play a game or get support for it you must risk future employment in many professional fields, and any psycho stalkers the millions in the game might be hiding? Ick.

    I can hardly imagine a stupider change for them to make. Guess the other MMOs have a nice opening now.

  24. Worstdaysinceyesterday says:

    Huh, been playing for over 2 years, not that long I guess compared to others. But I have never posted anything to the forums. I have only read forums when BC, WOTLK, and CAT were announced just to see what is coming up. Forums are not an integral part of gameplay. Stop posting or reading and play more.

  25. angienessyo says:

    I play WoW and I don’t care. Since I’m an artist my portfolio site has my real name all over it and my name is already readily available on multiple sites. People have had ways to stalk me and such for years, I don’t really piss anyone off in WoW so I’m not really concerned about terrible things happening. Yes they can happen, but people can get my info from anywhere so adding WoW isn’t going to change anything.

    • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

      it doesn’t even require pissing someone off to be a target for stalking. once upon a time i DIDN’T make fun of someone in high school and was apparently the only person who didn’t. it’s been 20 years and he hasn’t quit stalking me yet.

  26. The Marionette says:

    No sweat off my sack. For one I don’t lay wow (or at least haven’t for some many years). Also it keeps those kids who play from having that +335 internet shield to hide them from their troll comments.

  27. AngryK9 says:

    I don’t play any of Blizzard’s games, but I know a lot of people who do, and some of those people are already planning to dump their accounts when this comes about…so they say…

  28. Slave For Turtles says:

    (My apologies for using WoW terminology sometimes here.)

    First they made it so your log-in name was your account’s email address. That’s not optional, and many people were upset that they couldn’t use a handle or other sort of account name. Someone I know set up an address that just forwards mail so he could use it as his account name. It was his firewall to keep his real email address from being used. That back-fired when he had authenticator issues — Blizzard wouldn’t help him because the email account he used to contact them didn’t have the same address as his forwarding one. (Why would he use email as opposed to the phone? Because he tried for 3 days to get through, but they wouldn’t even let him queue up because they had that much traffic. Hacking has been epidemic, and people want assistance from the Blizzard CSRs for that.)

    Then they made this Real-ID thing so that you could opt for sharing it with a friend. Suddenly, that friend could see your real name and every character you had, at least on that server if not in the entire game (I hear it’s a interface setting to make it so only that server’s info is shared, but I haven’t tried to find it). The thing is that all the Real-ID friends of your friend can now see your real name,too (but not your characters). Smacks of Facebook, huh? But using Real-ID in this way is completely optional, meaning you don’t have to link up with people this way.

    And now they’re using Real-ID to force you to reveal your name if you post on their forums, the use of which is optional. Then again, I’ve heard of GMs telling people to post about their issue on the forums, so I question it being optional. This is certainly going to put a chill on people asking for hardware/software help or posting about a bug and seeing who all it affects, etc. Sure, using the forums is optional for finding and sharing information, but so is using WoWhead or WoWwiki or any add-ons. Show me one non-noob who plays and doesn’t uses any of those resources – I bet it’s nobody. Having the forums taken away from security-craving folks is just one more slap in the face for players who just want to figure out the game or who want to help others.

    As for this being a grand scheme to foil trolls, it’s a weak excuse. Trolls are easily identified and ignored. Blizzard moderators should spend more time answering questions and less time putting the ban-hammer down on people who are pointing out just how crazy and needlessly invasive this Real-ID crap is. It’s misused energy. Part of my monthly fee is going to this bull?!

    I’m sorry, but I’m very disappointed that Blizzard wants to turn this all into a “social-gaming experience.” If I wanted that crap, I’d be on Facebook.

    Lastly, what’s the next loss of privacy we have to endure on WoW? Some of these are optional, or so we’re told currently. Guess what — so is playing Blizzard games — completely OPTIONAL. I hear Aion is pretty fun. Any other suggestions?

  29. ficonblue says:

    I fail to see why this is marked instant bad idea. I would like to know the caliber of the weapon being held to your head when you are posting on battle.net Second, its long long overdue. I personally don’t post anything on battle.net that will come back to haunt me anyway. The fact of the matter is people are enjoying being annon way to much and just turn into jackasses. I think this will improve battle.net forums 10 fold.

    • erinpac says:

      It basically makes it the realm of the unemployed or those working in entertainment.
      In most industries, posting on a video game forum with your real name would make you almost unemployable. Also, minors legally shouldn’t be able to post under this scheme – or at least those under 13, and it is likely inadvisable if they let any at all. So, they’ve taken their main support avenue, their main announcement venue, and a large segment of their ‘community’ and made it inaccessible to a huge portion of their players.

      It’s not what they’d post for many – it’s that with names we cannot afford to post at all.

      • grucifer says:

        Why would posting with your real name make you unemployable? As long as you aren’t posting during work hours, defaming your company and/or acting like an ass it should have no effect on your employment whatsoever. Now, I do agree about minors, forcing anyone under 18 (or whatever the legal, adult age is) to post with their full name on the forums is just asking for trouble.

        I can see the upside, that people will flame less and/or post more intelligent posts but I doubt it. People will just create new accounts with fake names to use on the forums.

        • erinpac says:

          Because it’s connecting you to a video game and that past time does not have the best reputation in many professions. Some jobs do backround checks, and many at least google you.

          • Justintime233 says:

            Not to mention if you post ANYTHING on the forums whether it’s bad or not crazies can still find you and kill you. All you need is a name and the internet. This is a bad idea that will take someone being raped or killed to stop it. Also many of the players are underage, that can’t be good.

          • grucifer says:

            It’s not like people who play the game are drug addicts (I’m sure some are, but that’s not the point) so I don’t understand how this would effect anything. You’ll have to give specific examples of fields where video games are so shunned that if they found out you play them you will be fired/not hired/etc. Otherwise it would seem you’re talking out your you know what.

  30. El_Fez says:

    So whats the matter with using John Smith as your name?

  31. darabidduckie says:

    I wonder how many “girls” are going to get outed as guys by this…

  32. strawberryjam says:

    Don’t say anything on the Internet you wouldn’t say to your mom’s – or your boss’ – face.

    Problem solved.

    • Groanan says:

      Your mom and your boss are not the only people you need to worry about.
      Bad things happen to good people when doing bad things to good people makes bad people feel good.

  33. DorsalRootGanglion says:

    This has ended my posting on the WoW forums, which is a shame, since I did use them to enhance my gameplay, report bugs, and have fun. Unfortunately, as a professional with a relatively rare name, I can’t afford for my posts on a gaming forum to come up.

    I predict a VAST reduction in the number of posts as those of us who try to stay away from exposing ourselves shy away from forced revelations.

  34. TTFK says:

    Even the overnight has not slowed down the growing anger over there. Right now they are up to 19,322 complaints in under 19 hours. It is by far the largest pushback ever.

  35. Ben says:

    So use a fake name?

    • Slave For Turtles says:

      Can’t. According to Terms of Service, we have to use our real name. Obviously, you can choose not to, but if anything bad happens to your account such that you need their help to recover stuff, they sometimes ask for copy of your photo-ID, occasionally going the full monty of requiring a notary’s seal. Since accounts are getting hacked left and right, many people are discovering this when they fight to regain control.

      Besides that, there’s no real way to change the name on an account. It’s so accounts don’t get sold (or so I’ve heard).

  36. HungryGal says:

    I post on a music forum (a specific 1990s rock band that has very obsessive fans) and we have the ‘real name’ policy there. HOWEVER, the board is hidden from search engines and the ‘free discussion’ and such sections are not visible unless a member is signed in. So there, its safe.

  37. Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

    Back in the late 80′s through early 90′s, I posted hundreds (if not thousands) of Usenet and misc. BBS posts under my real name. Most people did this, as you were pretty anonymous even with your name out there. I had no idea that 20 or 25 years later, all of this would be easily found via Dejanews/Google Groups, as back then, even Usenet was pretty obscure.

    A lot of things change after a few decades, politics, views on drugs, sex, etc. and I regret having a lot of stuff out there (99% of which is pretty benign). Anonymity is the way to go for the online world, with different names for different sites, with no way of linking between.

    Give it about 20 years and even the privatest posts on Facebook will be searchable to the public, once the data is sold off and changes hands a few times.

    • Red Cat Linux says:

      Hmm. My understanding was quite the opposite. I learned early on to never use my real name online to avoid the crazies.

      I never posted on FidoNet or usenet or any forum using my real name. Even on closed systems like Sierra OnLine and AOL – never ever would I use my real name. At the time, it was considered best practice to make sure your ISP didn’t include your real name/address/contact information in your user account because anyone could use finger and find you.

  38. Xin says:

    only read them – dont ever post.

    that was easy

  39. dolemite says:

    Honestly, having your real name associated with your account is a bad idea imo. A lot of mentally unstable people play these games (I played WoW for years and know this first-hand). You’ll have stalkers showing up at girl’s houses, guys showing up to kill people because they talked smack in a player vs player game…honestly I see no reason to have real names associated with a fantasy game.

  40. peebozi says:

    the free market will work itself out. anyone who doesn’t agree to use their real name can easily move to a competing WoW supplier.

  41. ehrgeiz says:

    Oh noes you have to show your real name now when you troll the forums. Most players never look at them right now because of the trolls.

    • Groanan says:

      And after the change no one will post on the forums out of fear of being stalked / harassed IRL.
      So now the trolls will have a way to really rile people up, with tactics such as signing up people (based on their name / address / telephone number) for debt consolidation consultation.

      You haven’t known pain until you’ve been put on a list of people seeking debt consolidation.

      Trolls will troll with their real names; this change will only make it easier for them to go further.

  42. Venus Blue says:

    I’ve been playing WoW for some time now, and this doesn’t really bother me. I don’t post on the forums often, but showing my name won’t make me post less. That said, I don’t think this is needed.

  43. UrIt says:

    yeah i like the new way, it’s much easier than having 50 different names on my friends list and not remembering who’s who and not even having room for all my friends. it’s nice to see when they’re on another server and still be able to chat

  44. Cicadymn says:

    Funny fact: No ones is forcing you to post on blizzards forums.

    There are countless WoW forums about. Feel free to go there.

    • Slave For Turtles says:

      You’re correct that there are other forums, several that are more useful when it comes to game mechanics.

      However, when it comes to anything official, GMs often tell people to go to the official forums. I believe one of the recorded messages when you’re on hold (if you’re so lucky as to get into queue in the first place) is to hit their forums. Few people are going to post with their questions if it means having to give their full names, and few people will reply to help them. As is, many MVPs (green posters) are threatening to pull out if this Real-ID crap become enacted. Since Blizzard’s email response time (two weeks, I heard) and their phone response times are getting outrageous, it’s just another step in damaging customer service relationships.

      Also, this Real-ID for forums is just another step backwards in safety/security even if you don’t happen to use those resources. What’s the next one going to be? I shudder to think.

  45. Aphex242 says:

    I never troll the forums, but I do occasionally post there. My name isn’t John Smith, it’s rather unique. I think there’s about 3 of me in the United States.

    Understandably, I think it’s a bad idea. The last thing in the world I need is some unstable moron digging up personal info on me because he doesn’t like my response to his suggested class change. Stuff like that happens, and I think it’s irresponsible on Blizzard’s part. I’ll not be posting there again after the change goes live.

  46. pot_roast says:

    Ban anyone under 18. That seems to be where the majority of the idiotic trolling comes from anyway.

  47. YouDidWhatNow? says:

    Huh. Well, I almost never post anything on there anyway…guess I certainly won’t again.

    Sure, you get flamewars and tolling – but that’s the internet for you. The fact that people will say things anonymously that they won’t when identified is kind of the point – with the freedom of anonymity, people can actually speak their minds without fear of harassment or violent reprisal.

    Sometimes that gets you trolls. You can ignore them.

  48. xjeyne says:

    I never posted on their forums to begin with, so this doesn’t effect me, but I think this is a HUGE invasion of privacy. What if I have to start a thread on their customer service forum for one reason or another? I definitely don’t want my real name just out there for all those trolls to see. The thought gives me the creeps.

  49. Froggmann says:

    Kevin Smith wrote it best: “That’s what the internet is for. Slandering others anonymously.”

  50. Blious says:

    It is funny to me that so many would be outraged. It is basically their way of admitting that they no longer will get to say racist, idiotic, baiting things

    Funny

  51. Susie H. says:

    I think it’s fair. I wish the Hulu website did the same thing. It’s riddled with trolls. It’s a website that offers a great deal of streaming media that could be a thousands better if the trolls didn’t run rampant on the site.

  52. Wolfbird says:

    Look Blizzard, I’m not afraid that people will stalk me IRL or online as a result that they know my real name. For me, that’s not the point.

    The point for me is that I don’t want people to know who I am in real life JUST AS MUCH as I don’t want to know who they are. Maybe not everyone gets this, but as a roleplayer I primarily find the other PCs interesting, not the players themselves. For me, it kills the immersion to be reminded that I’m talking to Joe Schmoe instead of another druid (and probably vice-versa).

    I’m not sure about how true it is, but my man (who also plays) said there exists a mod that exploits some kind of weakness from the RealID platform and will tell you who a person is just by clicking on them in-game. That’s the sort of thing I don’t want. If it were simply a matter of the forums showing my name when I post, I’ll just continue to not go there (I never did like it in there).

  53. TTFK says:

    And the fun continues:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/10543100.stm

    “Mr Brand said that one Blizzard employee posted his real name on the forums, saying that there was no risk to users, and the experiment went drastically wrong.

    “Within five minutes, users had got hold of his telephone number, home address, photographs of him and a ton of other information,” said Mr Brand

    The post and topic has since been removed from the Blizzard forum.”

  54. smo0 says:

    First: this is optional – Second: you have to give someone your email. Third: I generally don’t post on the forums but I see forum trolling all of the time, I only wish they could go back and reveal those who have posted prior to this update.