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. Venjin's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by skow View Post
    I just think it is hilarious all of these people who are worried about their privacy and at the same time they have a facebook page with their pictures, interests, and constant updates on their status. So you want to share your life with the internet, but you don't want blizzard to provide almost trivial information in comparison. I think I much rather someone know my name then know my day to day thoughts on the consistancy of cheese.
    Why are people like you naive enough to think that everyone's FB info is out there for the world to read? Maybe if you don't know about all the privacy settings in FB or don't care to set them so your page is invisible, however, it IS possible to be completely unsearchable within FB so relating FB to the forums is becoming an old and boring strawman argument.
  1. Supersomething's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by skow View Post
    Take me for example, I did the whole google thing with my name and since I knew what I was looking for I was able to find former places I have lived and that was about it. Now you also have to keep in mind that there are dozens of people with my first and last name, so if I hadn't been knowing what to look for (middle initial, ect) then chances are I would have had to go to each one of those people (some are deceased and still marked as alive) and research them to find out which one was the right one. Now if I had a facebook (something I will never have) it would be a lot easier, then it would be the one that says I play world of warcraft.

    I just think it is hilarious all of these people who are worried about their privacy and at the same time they have a facebook page with their pictures, interests, and constant updates on their status. So you want to share your life with the internet, but you don't want blizzard to provide almost trivial information in comparison. I think I much rather someone know my name then know my day to day thoughts on the consistancy of cheese.
    Keep in mind that FB has a mess of privacy settings to make your profile virtually invisible to anyone that isn't your friend. This feature Blizzard is implementing does none of that. Essentially it comes down to an ultimatum by them stating: Either you post with your full name, or you don't post at all. This is what everyone has a problem with, that and the fact Blizzard is lying to their community of almost 6 years about how and why they are doing this.
  1. Arganis's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Dewote View Post
    Well, I don't like this either.
    Showing first name is ok but last name too.. :/

    I agree with this, WoW isn't facebook, they can make people accountable for what they write without giving out sensitive information. Once you have somebody's full real name it's easy to create havoc if you really want to, if you don't think that's true then you're a fool.

    ---------- Post added 2010-07-08 at 09:58 PM ----------

    This change is really just motivated by money. They think that by making gaming more public it will increases their customer base but it won't. People that don't like games wont start playing cause it looks like Facebook.
  1. Indaris's Avatar
    Just cancelled my account over this. I'd encourage other people who are disgusted by this planned change to do the same, because it's a sure bet that before long, using your real name will be a mandatory requirement to log in and play the game....
  1. Frostea23's Avatar
    So much QQ in this thread; laughable. Go get some lives and stop crying about something so stupid. Just don't post on their forums if you don't want your name given out; what the hell is the big deal?
  1. Venjin's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Frostea23 View Post
    So much QQ in this thread; laughable. Go get some lives and stop crying about something so stupid. Just don't post on their forums if you don't want your name given out; what the hell is the big deal?
    The big deal is that we PAY as part of our $14.99 a month to be able to post on the forums. Some of us don't want our real names to be seen and so we won't be posting there anymore, thereby losing out on part of the money we pay.

    For anyone who doesn't have a problem with this: I suggest that any forum from now on that you post on and participate in, you do so with your full first and last name (and that includes here at MMO-Champ). If it's okay on the WoW forums, then it's okay everywhere else too by the same logic.
  1. Blur4stuff's Avatar
    You can't complain about Real ID and pretend to treasure your privacy while admitting to having a facebook account with your real life information on it. C'mon use your brain for a second. I'm reading the WoW forum post on this and every other complaint is how someone can google their name and get their facebook, ebay, blog, etc... with their real life information on it. Guess what moron? You must not care about your privacy too much considering you've been exposing your information to a larger audience for years than what you'd get from Real ID on the WoW forum. Holy shit.
  1. Cirque's Avatar
    This is rather brilliant. I wonder if Blizzard wondered why forums that already tried a system like this usually end up in the fail bin.

    Trolling and flaming is unfortunately part of forums and very hard to get rid of, I know from my experience as moderator and admin on a big forum. But I'm very doubtful that having real names show up will contribute to anything to solving the problem; rather, what it will cause is that a lot of people who do make serious and meaningful posts no longer care to do so if their privacy by doing so is jeopardized. ..Unless you think making the community will be more easily managable/moderated when it will be strongly reduced in size after this change.


    Also, I left official forums and for that matter, most forums because of trolls, flames, and impolite posts, but this change won't make me come back (quite the contrary, not even the odd Suggestion post will be posted by me after this).

    Also, I'm really curious how privacy organisations are going to react. Considering the misery some of them caused Facebook (and to be honest, rightfully so), maybe Blizzard is in for a problem.
  1. Venjin's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Blur4stuff View Post
    You can't complain about Real ID and pretend to treasure your privacy while admitting to having a facebook account with your real life information on it. C'mon use your brain for a second. I'm reading the WoW forum post on this and every other complaint is how someone can google their name and get their facebook, ebay, blog, etc... with their real life information on it. Guess what moron? You must not care about your privacy too much considering you've been exposing your information to a larger audience for years than what you'd get from Real ID on the WoW forum. Holy shit.
    For like the billionth time, FB is not a good measure to compare the WoW forums to. If anyone's smart, they have their FB profile completely hidden. If they don't, well, that's their own damn fault for not using the privacy settings given to them.
  1. Cirque's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Endus View Post
    Posting a comment using your real name is illegal? Quick, someone call EVERY NEWSPAPER IN THE COUNTRY and tell them to stop printing Letters to the Editor.

    You're flat-out wrong, here. A company tagging your posts with your name is entirely normal and legitimate. It's the idea of anonymity that's new and without support, legally.



    If you signed up with WoW using your original name, rather than your new one, and you're still using that account, you're a moron who didn't listen to his handlers.

    Also, in witness protection, your new name IS a legal name. That's part of the process. Hell, in some places, all it takes for a name to be a legal alias is for you to use it and state it as such on your tax files.

    Either way, the name on your Real ID should be the new name you're currently living under. If it wouldn't be, you didn't follow instructions and your risk is entirely your own fault for failing to do so. It sucks, yes, but your response should be to get a new account, not to want them to keep the thin curtain on the glaring security flaw you've left in your identity change.

    I'm not the one you're responding to, I'd just like to point out that since the new battle.net was introduced, it is no longer possible to change your name. A friend of mine changed her name IRL and I tried to help her change it on her account, and it was impossible for her to do. She would probably need to contact Blizzard or something like that.

    Again, privacy is a right, not a privilege, and though Blizzard can do whatever the hell they want with their forums and games, simply forcing customers to make themselves known to the entire world on forums, while the game itself is based completely around anonimity, and while they stated so clearly that the recently implemented ingame RealID really was meant for close frends, just doesn't fly for me. (or they think they can do whatever they want, as I stated in my earlier post (if it was posted at all), I'm very curious to see how they're going to be treated by privacy right organisations, much like they went after Facebook).

    So now I wonder, what's next, will everyone in game be able to see my real name right below my toon's name and above my guild name? Clearly RealID is no longer reserved for friends and Blizzard officials any longer.

    Imbadkboy
    *Jesse Smith*
    <The Big Guild Of Fail>

    I can see it happen at this rate. =)
  1. ihateyou's Avatar
    Lol cool, it's more acceptable to be harassed via Facebook or Myspace from strangers you don't know, and have your real name, than harassed via WoW forums from strangers you don't know. for those of you that think this is a good idea, ANYONE can just look you up on Facebook, take your photos, phone number, address, and just exploit it completely. If you're crying because people are telling you to l2p and talking shit about how you gem stam when you're a mage, you haven't experienced identity theft or dealt with e-stalkers yet.
  1. VeeVee's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Lesigh View Post
    I actually found your phone number, e-mail and your facebook
    Once again... yet another person who seems to think they're making a point because they were able to google the information I already gave them.

    Quote Originally Posted by VeeVee View Post
    My suburb is listed on my Facebook page, along with my mobile phone number, employer and e-mail address. How hard could it be?
    I'll clarify one last time, because this is really going nowhere.

    Let's say you post on the Official forums with your real name. You choose not to include your character name in your post. Assuming you don't include any mentions of your guild, server, class, or any other identifiying traits; how is someone going to be able to identify you on the official forums? I'm completely empathetic on the issue of racial harassment, and I think it's a legitimate concern. But I'm trying to ascertain here is exactly how people think that by posting a question on the Tech Support Forums (one of the most common examples given in this thread), that they're at risk of anything? (ie. examples given of "win roll over someone -> they come to your house and kill you")

    I'm going to give up on trying to help out here because people are completely misinterpreting the objective of my posts. Alot of people seem to be reading it as "I challenge you to find any information about me by googling my name!!!" which is certainly not the case. The info is out there, I already posted it myself. I'm just trying to help people present examples of how this could be used against me. You don't necessarily need to be malicious, but merely give a realistic thought & action process beyond something as shallow as, "wait till you piss off the wrong person and they appear at your door."
  1. milkshake619's Avatar
    It's amazing the information you can find with only a name and a casual conversation with a person.
    all you need to know is the general city they live in, full name, do they own a home, kind of car.

    phone book search their name in the city. collect list of addresses. google maps each address and street view... if their car is parked, you know where they live. done.

    Hurray for stopping trolls but do so by being strict about forum rules and moderation and not via removing EVERYONE's anonymity.

    Sue blizz for privacy invasion.
  1. Venjin's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by ihateyou View Post
    Lol cool, it's more acceptable to be harassed via Facebook or Myspace from strangers you don't know, and have your real name, than harassed via WoW forums from strangers you don't know. for those of you that think this is a good idea, ANYONE can just look you up on Facebook, take your photos, phone number, address, and just exploit it completely. If you're crying because people are telling you to l2p and talking shit about how you gem stam when you're a mage, you haven't experienced identity theft or dealt with e-stalkers yet.
    No, they can't, not if you're smart and set all of your privacy details so your account is invisible. It's amazing how little you people seem to know about FB and yet are so ready to bash it.
  1. Thunderlight's Avatar
    This change is fine with me. I've never posted on the forums, but if i ever have to... I'll post it, wether my name is on it or not is irrelevant. Infact, this should bring up some responsability to the posters, improving the quality of threads and the community itself.
  1. TradeChat's Avatar
    I have a rather popular youtube channel and will literally NEVER be able to use the forums again. It's absolutely not a safe idea for me to give away my full name =[ This is a terrible idea, and I cannot imagine what Blizzard is thinking. I am very disappointed
  1. Thunderlight's Avatar
    So much qq. 104 pages... really?! Come on, afraid to post your name? Don't post it! It's not like the official forums are that good you just can't play without them.
  1. Venjin's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Thunderlight View Post
    So much qq. 104 pages... really?! Come on, afraid to post your name? Don't post it! It's not like the official forums are that good you just can't play without them.
    Let's have your first and last name then please? If you, and everyone else who likes this change, aren't against it for whatever reason, then please start posting with your real name on every site you visit and post, including this one.
  1. Supersomething's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Thunderlight View Post
    So much qq. 104 pages... really?! Come on, afraid to post your name? Don't post it! It's not like the official forums are that good you just can't play without them.
    I will be laughing when they turn around and decide to make you use your real name for in game chat, cause that is undoubtedly where this is heading next. Unlikely you say? Did they really need to make you post with your First and Last name on the forums because of trolling? Absolutely not, if they wanted to solve the trolling problem they could have just as easily used the unique gamer tags that came with the new Battle.net system. Mark my words, this is just the start of their integration b.s. and it will get much worse, and then you will be the one "qqing"
  1. Battlegrounds's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Frostea23 View Post
    So much QQ in this thread; laughable. Go get some lives and stop crying about something so stupid. Just don't post on their forums if you don't want your name given out; what the hell is the big deal?
    No problem. Except, when [email protected] responds with their standard "take your issue to the forums" line. Then what?

    Quote Originally Posted by VeeVee View Post
    I'm just trying to help people present examples of how this could be used against me.
    That was done, via the examples provided as to what is happening to the Blizzard employee. He was being harassed via Facebook until he changed the page, and is being harassed via Twitter (he's not responded to a single one of those tweets, by the way). They are non-malicious examples, you choose to ignore for whatever reason. (Because you seem to want people to do something specifically to you? The ego thing? Who knows.) And, this happened in a non-technical forum, to someone that did not post their character name and did not piss someone off in-game.

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