MMO-Champion - Battle.net Update: Upcoming Changes to the Official Forums
Update - Added a clarification, your real name will not show up on old forum posts. It will only be displayed on the new forum system.

Oh and since a few people asked, now, I have absolutely no plan to do that on MMO-Champion forums. (And that's not sarcasm, I really don't like the idea of real names on a gaming forum)

Battle.net Update: Upcoming Changes to the Forums
Your real name will be displayed on the official forums now. You'd better think twice before you troll a bunch of angry ... trolls.
[blizzquote author=Nethaera source=http://blue.mmo-champion.com/t/25712374700/battle-net-update-upcoming-changes-to-forums/]Recently, we introduced our new Real ID feature - www.battle.net/realid/ , a new way to stay connected with your friends on the new Battle.net. Today, we wanted to give you a heads up about our plans for Real ID on our official forums, discuss the design philosophy behind the changes we’re making, and give you a first look at some of the new features we’re adding to the forums to help improve the quality of conversations and make the forums an even more enjoyable place for players to visit.

The first and most significant change is that in the near future, anyone posting or replying to a post on official Blizzard forums will be doing so using their Real ID -- that is, their real-life first and last name -- with the option to also display the name of their primary in-game character alongside it. These changes will go into effect on all StarCraft II forums with the launch of the new community site prior to the July 27 release of the game, with the World of Warcraft site and forums following suit near the launch of Cataclysm. Certain classic forums, including the classic Battle.net forums, will remain unchanged.

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.

We also plan to add a number of other features designed to make reading the forums more enjoyable and to empower players with tools to improve the quality of forum discussions. Players will have the ability to rate up or rate down posts so that great topics and replies stand out from the not-so-great; low-rated posts will appear dimmer to show that the community feels that they don’t contribute effectively to the conversation, and Blizzard’s community team will be able to quickly and easily locate highly rated posts to participate in or to highlight discussions that players find worthwhile.

In addition, individual topics will be threaded by context, meaning replies to specific posts will be grouped together, making it easier for players to keep track of multiple conversations within a thread. We’re also adding a way for Blizzard posters to “broadcast” important messages forums-wide , to help communicate breaking news to the community in a clear and timely fashion. Beyond that, we’re improving our forum search function to make locating interesting topics easier and help lower the number of redundant threads, and we have more planned as well.

With the launch of the new Battle.net, it’s important to us to create a new and different kind of online gaming environment -- one that’s highly social, and which provides an ideal place for gamers to form long-lasting, meaningful relationships. All of our design decisions surrounding Real ID -- including these forum changes -- have been made with this goal in mind.

We’ve given a great deal of consideration to the design of Real ID as a company, as gamers, and as enthusiastic users of the various online-gaming, communication, and social-networking services that have become available in recent years. As these services have become more and more popular, gamers have become part of an increasingly connected and intimate global community – friendships are much more easily forged across long distances, and at conventions like PAX or our own BlizzCon, we’ve seen first-hand how gamers who may have never actually met in person have formed meaningful real-life relationships across borders and oceans. As the way gamers interact with one another continues to evolve, our goal is to ensure Battle.net is equipped to handle the ever-changing social-gaming experience for years to come.

For more info on Real ID, check out our Real ID page and FAQ located at http://www.battle.net/realid/ . We look forward to answering your questions about these upcoming forum changes in the thread below. [/blizzquote]
[blizzquote author=Bashiok source=http://blue.mmo-champion.com/t/25712374700/battle-net-update-upcoming-changes-to-forums/]One important point which I don't believe has been relayed yet is that the switch to showing RealID on the forums will only happen with the new forum systems we're launching for StarCraft II shortly before its release, and a new forum system for World of Warcraft launching shortly before the release of Cataclysm.

All posts here on the current World of Warcraft forums, or any of our classic Battle.net forums, will remain as-is. They won't (and can't) automatically switch to showing a real first and last name.

All posts in the future on the new forum systems will be an opt-in choice and ample warning will be given that you're posting with your real first and last name. [/blizzquote]
This article was originally published in forum thread: Battle.net Update: Upcoming Changes to the Forums started by Boubouille View original post
Comments 2089 Comments
  1. Hiddenswine's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by fenway View Post
    So, what did you do about your problem with Facebook? Did you not make a Facebook profile?

    Cool. Don't make a wow-forum profile.

    Problem solved.
    For everyone who is simply saying just don't post/don't make a wow-forum profile... The point of forums is for us to post! By everyone saying this is a HORRIBLE, I repeat, HORRIBLE idea we get the point accross to blizzard and hopefully stop them making this enormous mistake. By not making a wow-forum file we let them make the mistake and we all suffer for it...

    As for this being a terrible idea/mistake I'll tell you a story:
    To prove the point that non-anonymous posting is perfectly fine a blizzard employee posted his full name in the forums. Within MINUTES of doing this a poster responded with his address, phone number, family members, guessed income, facebook profile (including his hobbies, movies, books, music, etc.), and goodness knows what else. You can find the link to these forum topics on the Warlock forums, the topic was started by a guy named Richardd.

    If you freaking idiots think it is ok to trade my personal information (even though it is only my name... IT IS MY PERSONAL INFORMATION) so you don't have to deal with a few trolls (which are easy to spot and BEST dealt with by IGNORING THEM) in your forums... then you are what I just called you and more: Freaking Naive Idiots.

    And to prove my point. If the system was in place and I posted this slightly aggressive, NON-TROLL, related to the conversation post. You could look me up (I have and am astonished by what I find) and find out where I live... Ya real smart system...
  1. Vasz's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Ringkeeper View Post
    I can assure you, that she can post on the board without her name.

    EVERY Celeb can get a fake name at blizzard. They get advertise mails where exactly this is stated as a good reason to play.
    Only a few people realy know the real name behind the fake name.

    For a GM/CM/other it is strictly forbidden to search for celeb names. If you do so, it is logged and you have serious problems with your boss.
    They dont have to be worried about theire name posted in the board.

    Source for this? 2 Ex-Blizz-Employees sitting next to me in the office.

    I think, the same will be done for all GM/CM as well.

    Good, that i didn´t trust Blizzard and didn´t gave Blizz my Realname 5 Years ago.
    I don't believe for a second, sorry.
  1. Noetic Concordance's Avatar
    youre mostly full of shit guys.
    this is a great thing.
    only trols and arseholes have anything to fear.
    i for one didnt sign up with anything like my real name.
    my email is my `name` go search all youll find is im a 45 yo black man .
    im actually not though lol.
    long live antonio logan!
  1. Naivedo's Avatar
    Hey guyz, I have trolled the WoW forums before and even given out my real name. It won't change a thing. No one has the balls to risk going to jail to "do" something to you in real life. Which means, people can be total asshats without being anonymous.
  1. Cluck's Avatar
    I find this change worrying mostly due to implications it has for the future. It shows that Blizzard is unafraid of denying you access to one of their previously available services unless you choose to reduce your privacy. The argument they use for it is also very widely applicable; the forums are hardly the only place their service offers where negative behavior might be done more than usual due to anonymity, it very definitely applies to a lot of interactions in-game as well. Ninja-looting, corpse camping, etc.

    Now I'm not saying those are good practices, they're the opposite, all I'm saying is that Blizzard's logic behind reducing anonymity on their forums can very easily be applied to be used inside the game as well. Combine that with them now denying access to a service that was previously always available, and we potentially get this in the future:

    World of Warcraft has always been a great place to raid our latest dungeons, trade items on the auction house, and create guilds with other players -- however, the World of Warcraft also earned a reputation as a place where ninja looting, corpse camping, and other unpleasantness run wild. Removing the veil of anonymity typical to online interactions will contribute to a more positive game environment, promote constructive interactions, and connect the Blizzard community in ways they haven’t been connected before.
    Would you want your characters to always show your real name to everyone? And remember, if you do not, in this (fictional) future, you would be incapable of continuing to play WoW.
  1. Furbolg's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Cluck View Post
    Would you want your characters to always show your real name to everyone?
    I wouldn't mind.
  1. Vasz's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Noetic Concordance View Post
    youre mostly full of shit guys.
    this is a great thing.
    Race-hate in the world has never been higher than it is today. Imagine what would happen if you found out your best healer was a Muslim, and you was a die-hard, gun slinging, American patriot.

    Who gives a fuck about Trolls, you just mousewheel past them and dont think twice about it. The people who are at risk most will be women and anyone susceptible to race hate.

    Anonymity breaks down ALL social boundrys from accross he globe. This change means potentially you will know somone of another religion who you may not like, or a country that you may not like. You personally may not care about the colour of peoples skin IRL, but i asure you, a LOT do.
  1. Tenderhoof's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Ansible View Post
    For all the people who are scared of their first and last name being made public, go Google your name. There are over 6 billion people in the world.

    YOU'RE NOT THE ONLY PERSON IN THE WORLD WITH THAT NAME.

    And even if do have some one of a kind name, there's not a whole lot you can do with it. We know plenty of celebrity names and quite a few of the blizzard developers names, and nothings happening to them.


    Every person who is complaining about this change is just upset that they won't be able to troll anymore.


    Oh and my name is Bob O'Connor, get at me.
    Oh really? Try it when your'e one of 300.000 + nation with pretty unique name customs. I know for a fact that my name is unique. No one else in the whole wide world bears the same name as me.
    And I detest this change and I won't be posting again on blizz forums.
    But I cannot see this change going through. It's ill thought out and generally naive. Thought up by someone that does not understand online communities and how they work. Go back to the drawing board Blizzard and find another way to siphon trolling out of the Blizzard forums.
  1. Pestilence's Avatar
    This level of information being disclosed is regrettable. I agreed to abide by the terms of use for their forums when I signed up, as did all the trolls and troublemakers. Now I am being punished right alongside all of them by potentially having my full name posted along with theirs as part of a scorched earth policy by Blizzard to regain control of their own boards. They should never have allowed them to get this bad to begin with. Trade chat on my server is completely vile and no matter how many reports are made to GMs nothing is ever done. I will never post on the official forums again after this change, for reasons I'm sure those who are applauding this couldn't grasp.

    This game already attracts the lowest of species of scammers, information harvesters, and other privacy violators out there on the internet, and now we're expected to tolerate a fundamental loss of the one of the few veils of privacy left? Why not just start posting our e-mail addresses too, Blizz? I mean it's usually just one step for a gold farmer to read a bunch of names from the forums and then mass google them all looking for hits.
  1. Figgles's Avatar
    don't know if this has been brought up yet but it seems as if this is being forced down the throats of Blizzard by Activision and that the dev team an such are just as pissed as we are, also it is rumored that the cm's are being forced to keep quiet and that this is just the beginning
  1. Venjin's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Noetic Concordance View Post
    youre mostly full of shit guys.
    this is a great thing.
    only trols and arseholes have anything to fear.
    i for one didnt sign up with anything like my real name.
    my email is my `name` go search all youll find is im a 45 yo black man .
    im actually not though lol.
    long live antonio logan!
    You think the trolls and asshats with who did the same thing aren't thinking the same? Trolls will still exist on the WoW forums, and they can do it simply by anonymously bumping all of the annoying troll posts and down-ranking the posts that matter, and if it works like YouTube's system, no one will ever know who did it.

    And for everyone who says "lol ur idiots if you think anything's gonna happen to ur name, only trolls will care," congratulations and welcome to the world of trolldom. For every person you call an idiot for hating the Real ID system, you are now a troll as well, which means you will also be trolling the WoW forums with your real name.

    You are entitled to absolutely loving the idea and thinking that it will actually get rid of assholes and trolls, and the other 90% or so of the player base is entitled to hate the idea. I, for one, am not so much concerned what could happen to me if my real name were shown, but what could happen to ANYONE. Some of you are so arrogant assuming we only hate the implication of Real ID for ourselves; most of us care about how it affects the community as a whole. Some people will hate you just for existing, the way you look, the way your name looks, etc.

    And for all you tards using the Facebook strawman: If you're any sort of FB savvy you know that you can set everything on your FB to be viewable by friends only and make it so that your FB profile is not searchable through a search engine or FB itself. Not to mention, you have the CHOICE to give out your FB info, Blizzard is forcing this change upon us with the only option being "post with your real name or GTFO." Personally, I enjoy posting on my realm's forums and partaking in class forums on rare occasions. I do not like that I lose out on part of my $14.99 a month because I don't wish for people to see my real name and associate with me that way in game without my permission. (Yes, I know it's optional to attach a character to your name, but my point remains.) Many of us game as a escape from reality--I don't need WoW trying to edge it's way in my personal life, even if no one ever bothers to look me or anyone else up. And these feelings are shared by THOUSANDS of people. And yes people, we DO pay (at least partially) to use the forums since if your account is inactive, you cannot post.

    I hope that anyone who truly hates this idea will cancel their accounts if this goes live. Our outcries on the forums may not get Blizz's attention, but losing customers will. I know that my boyfriend and I will both be shutting down our accounts (and he's played for 5 years) if this goes through and I encourage others to do the same. I know some of you will be sheep though, saying you hate this idea and supporting Blizz anyway by paying them to extend their Real ID changes further in the game. WoW will soon enough become World of Facebook, and in game you will no longer be playing an RPG, but pixels of your extended self because your Real ID tag will be plastered on all your toons.

    Also, to the other people saying that in real life you go around telling strangers your name so online it's no different...I don't know about you, but when I first meet someone IRL, I only tell them my first name, and only give my last name if it's a potential employer or something along those lines. Same thing applies online; some people only want to be known a certain way online. Many of us prefer to be referred to by our online handles when we're online. I have friends in game that still call me by my main character's name even though they know my first name. I like having that distinction. If you don't care, that's fine, but the masses do.
  1. Ramenz's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Ssateneth View Post
    The people whining about this are typically trolls hiding behind some anonymous name. I for one am for this.
    Or perhaps it's the fact that Blizzard once conducted an experiment (so I've read) where one of the team put his full name on the forums to show they were safe and no real risk to users. It backfired and within less than an hour, people had his home address, phone number and pictures of him.

    Yeah this is clearly trolls whining about losing their veil of anonymity and not about people actually concerned that malevolent arseholes will attempt to seek them out or steal personal information just to be such that, an arsehole.
  1. neura's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Ansible View Post
    For all the people who are scared of their first and last name being made public, go Google your name. There are over 6 billion people in the world.

    YOU'RE NOT THE ONLY PERSON IN THE WORLD WITH THAT NAME.
    I googled my name - the one result returned was possibly another person, but then it did look like an autogeneration page, so might not pertain to a legitimate identity.
    My name is pretty much unique as my surname and forename are different nationalities, among other reasons.
    So yes, if you have access to the correct database, you maybe able to get my full details, but I cannot hide behind a wall of "default" anonymity - and if my name appeared on the WoW forums, it would be the only google-able place to do so.
  1. kojinshugi's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by zazazazazaza View Post
    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



    ---------- Post added 2010-07-08 at 09:13 AM ----------


    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

    ---------- Post added 2010-07-08 at 09:15 AM ----------

    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
    This just in, newspapers use fake names to protect people's identities.

    ---------- Post added 2010-07-08 at 11:15 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by VeeVee View Post
    They're not throwing anything away. It's YOUR CHOICE to share that information. Blizzard isn't publishing it. You are, by logging into their forums with YOUR name and submitting a post. This is almost as bad as people who falsely enter their account information into phishing sites and then complain about "hackers."
    So if your name is Abdul, and you don't want to be called a sand nigger, you can take comfort in the fact that posting is OPTIONAL.
  1. nfs924's Avatar
    Like this is going to stop trolls?

    Whether its Starfox86 or Joe Smith, the anonymity is still there. A lot of people share accounts, or have purchased their account; this really will have no effect on anything.

    I for one will no longer be posting on the wow forums. I don't care to have my name indexed on search engines. Bye, Blizzard forums.
  1. Machaira's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by areoborg View Post
    Making all of our information public. What could possibly go wrong?
    "all of our information"? Aren't you going a little overboard? From what I saw you don't even have to tie your character to your name. I think everyone is blowing this wayyyy out of proportion.
  1. jesy's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Machaira View Post
    "all of our information"? Aren't you going a little overboard? From what I saw you don't even have to tie your character to your name. I think everyone is blowing this wayyyy out of proportion.
    http://seewhatyoudidthere.com/2010/0...-internet-age/

    ---------- Post added 2010-07-08 at 02:12 PM ----------

    http://asnowstormbyanyothername.blogspot.com/
    http://asnowstormbyanyothername.blogspot.com/
    http://asnowstormbyanyothername.blogspot.com/
  1. skow's Avatar
    There are some things that people are forgetting here.

    1)99.9% of the people that play this game will not become famous enough for more than a handful of disgruntled people to even bother trying to mess with them. You think that because I see you sitting in Org I am just going to randomly search the forums for your real name and then stalkzorz you? The whole "I am afraid of cyber-stalkers" thing is a rather sad excuse, it is like being afraid of real life stalkers when you are just the guy that works at sheetz in some podunk town. No one cares.
    2)Less and less people have hard line phones anymore, so it isn't like they can just go to whitepages.com and type in your name. People get paid good money to find people, they are called private investigators. I am sure if it was easy or convenient for the average gamer to do it then professionals wouldn't make the ridiculous money they make for doing it.
    3)You don't have to post on the blizz forums. There are plenty of other forums based around WoW that you can use that will let you keep your secret identity.

    They are trying to make the forums a more mature place where you are accountable for your actions. Short of requiring retina scans and blood samples I pretty much support less privacy in favor of more maturity. Do any of us really like people who pretend they are amazingly hot chicks and flirt for loot when they are 40 year old fat women or 13 year old chubsters who talk about working for the CIA? I at least act like a turd in real life, I can find several people to vouch for that.
  1. Blutelf's Avatar
    ^

    1) You have no idea how mentally deranged think. Do not try to estimate danger to other people based on your misconceptions.

    2) Idiotic. Tax records, property records, criminal databases, newspaper articles, school projects, university - all of these can contain your information without you having put it online. Now your WoW char will link anyone who cares to all of this data.

    3) How exactly does that make people accountable for their actions? YOU MEAN PEOPLE WILL STALK THEM IN REAL LIFE? OR PHONE THEIR PLACE OF WORK? Just think what you're saying there. You are literally denying the fact that sharing your name online is a problem while confirming it in the same breath.

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