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. Usagi Vindaloo's Avatar
    Another point or two about the Facebook thing for those that are saying it's ridiculous to have a problem with this but not Facebook:

    1) Plenty of people AVOID using Facebook etc for just this reason.

    2) Okay, let's talk about those that do use it (such as me). Joining up with Facebook was a *choice*. I knew going into it that my real name was going to be used, because it was CLEAR from the start. Same with LinkedIn. Every post I make on those platforms is a deliberate and conscious decision... ie "I want this particular piece of info to be connected with ME, ie my real name."

    WoW forums don't work that way. For one thing, BattleID is a new thing, one that we never expected to develop this way. Plenty of people went into this with the assumption (a pretty strongly encouraged one) that we were dealing with avatars and pseudonyms. This has changed the gameplan, and it is not what we originally signed up for. Secondly, while I FULLY agree that trolling and bad behaviour is a horrible thing and should never happen, do we really want to slave and deliberate over every post to make sure it reflects on US (ie our real identity) the way we want it to? Bear in mind, I'm not defending things like, "You are a terribad and you should die." I'm defending the right to write something like, "OMG HOLY CRAP, I finally got the shield from the gunship fight after 10 tries! THANK GOD! I'm SO excited!" and not have to worry about how it reflects on you as a person, as a professional etc.
  1. sicness's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by frott View Post
    bottom line is if i posted my real first and last name here, right now, it would take anyone about 5 minutes to be able to:

    1. call me at work.
    2. call my boss at work. I'm sure to tell me i'm very pleasant and helpful.
    3. stop by my house or job and bid me a good day.
    4. read my amazon.com reviews and reply kindly to them
    5. locate clients of mine and give them an update as to my opinion of them.


    Are you out of your fucking mind? Do you think I'm concerned about this because I like to post ASCII middle fingers?
    And you really think that someone would go through that trouble just to annoy you? I mean seriously do you really? The primary reason people post trolling or flaming responses is for the 'e-fame' that comes with it, take out any sort of fame and the majority of them won't even consider it.
  1. misterpuk's Avatar
    So.... what's the capacity of the new mmo-champ forums again? Incoming overload in 3..2...
  1. Neichus's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by tusker View Post
    This news is getting more mmo-c feedback than when beta was officially announced! Must mean something..
    It means it's a topic people can have an easy opinion on. Now we can all spew our two-cents and rehash what's been said 20x times before in the thread.
  1. OldHordeGlory's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Eversor View Post
    Giving away your real name on Facebook or similar sites - totally fine.

    Blizzard putting your name next to your post in their forums - OMG THEY TAKING AWAY OUR FREEDUMZ


    Hilarity.
    Well there IS a difference, I think.

    Let's say there are two people: stalkerm'n and Luke Owenson. When Stalkerm'n first hits the web, is the immediately going to think "I think I'll look for some guy I don't know named Luke Owenson on Facebook today." ? Probably not. But if Stalkerm'n logs on to the WoW forums and sees Luke Owenson blasting his idea for a Demon Hunter class, he suddenly has the motive to start seeking him out.

    That's the key difference - a name on Facebook garners no attention simply for existing unless you're connected to it in some way. Giving away names on WoW forum creates that connection, and manufactures a reason for forum people to seek you out.

    Another example - Cynthia Beauregard is a night elven priestess in the game. She does not advertise it on her Facebook. There is no reason for anyone to seek her out with respect to the game at that point. However, when she responds to a change in SWeath on the Priest forums with this new RealID system, all of a sudden that connection is made, and she (may) garner attention she didn't want.

    Look, like I said earlier I'm permabanned from WoW forums anyways, so it's no skin off my nose. All I'm saying is that there's a difference between having the information out there like it is now, and giving people a reason/the ability to seek it out. Putting it out there for many forum users to see is more the latter.
  1. Rellekk's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by molinator View Post
    It's not amazing. It's fucking horrible.

    It's fucking horrible not because it prevents trolls from happening, but it enables people to stalk and harass in real life, and enables more sensitive information to be stolen from them when their accounts are hacked.
    because people knowing your name = amg all your personal information. conspire more about 9/11 being fake and the government controlling your mind with ballons
  1. Tyrianth's Avatar
    Anyways I got some cleaning to do around the house. I'll be expecting a phone call from one of my stalkers.
  1. my ledge ends's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Shampox View Post
    I'm fairly positive nobody else has my name. For one, the majority of people with my last name are not from the US, and on the US forums that kind of singles me out. Overall, my first name is an "American" name, so the combination alone singles me out, ala, defeating the whole idea of privacy. John Smith may not have an issue with this, but the people with unique names, and they do exist, do have an issue.
    Plug it into pipl.com or some other people-finder engine. See if you even find yourself (no cheating and including your address).
  1. Dawn Falcon's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by nicolasquoibion View Post
    LOL you guys care so much, it your NAME ffs, you can get the name of anyone easily.
    I, ironically, use a name here which is far more easily identified to my RL name than my WoW username . Because I won't use my WoW username EVEN HERE.
  1. sicness's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Kaneiac View Post
    You have absolutely NO idea what people can simply do with a name. Mine is relatively unique, and googling, for example, brings up results immediately. Where I went to school and my high school sports records.

    Sure, that information is there, but if someone really wants to find my name, they have to work even harder. With these changes, you're handing people a key and asking them to use it.
    And what exactly will anyone seriously do with any of that information you posted? Anyone who's willing to put the time and effort into doing so will have a good reason for doing so and not just to annoy you and can already get that information readily.
  1. palamanian's Avatar
    Good thing my real name is Bubblelol Roflstomp.
  1. Azimuth's Avatar
    The real problem with this is partially our names coming out, but also the fact of what people can do with that. I can think two very bad scenarios. For one, when you apply for a job, your boss runs a check on you through some internet system to see if your name pops up anywhere. Your name pops up on World of Warcraft forums. Now this game already has a reputation about ruining people's lives and I receive the ranting myself because I play. This could affect our careers. "This man plays World of Warcraft, he must be a good for nothing lazy guy." Now I'm not saying everyone who plays World of Warcraft is like this, but that is the general perception of World of Warcraft players.

    Second problem, you post in a forum that says wow sucks, but you counter the argument. Mr. OP decides to take this further and you two get into a heated debate where you may throw the occasional obscenities. Mr. OP decides he doesn't like you very much and is gonna hack everything that belongs to you. He has your name, some people only need a name to get a hold of all your money and information. Now am I saying this is going to happen? No, absolutely not, I'm saying it could happen.

    Sure the impact on the forums will be great, but what about our real lives?
  1. Mandible's Avatar
    P W N D to the lvl 1 trolls
  1. schippie's Avatar
    the only objection i have is that i dont want everybody to know what my real name is (dont know if im the only one that thinks that)
  1. Kyocere's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Kaneiac View Post
    You have absolutely NO idea what people can simply do with a name. Mine is relatively unique, and googling, for example, brings up results immediately. Where I went to school and my high school sports records.

    Sure, that information is there, but if someone really wants to find my name, they have to work even harder. With these changes, you're handing people a key and asking them to use it.
    Knowing what school you went to will do what? I went to Brick Township Memorial High School in Brick, NJ. Oh noes pple know where i went to school, let the bloodshed begin!
  1. Knirps's Avatar
    There are so many issues with that... Now not only does everyone know your email as easy as pie, and in essence your account info, they will get your real first AND last name...

    Just make a Battlenet nickname that streams across all Battlenet accounts and games. How hard is that? And make it update everything if you change it so there's no chance of just troll-switch-trolling...

    I mean, seriously... These random people on my server don't need to know my real name. If I post about guild recruitment or something on my realm forums, I don't need people to whisper me using my real name, or ...Idk, it's just plain weird.

    If you know someone irl, sure. If you're going to meet someone irl, sure. But a game-only relationship should be game names.

    Do you know how easy it is to find people irl with a name and a state?

    Personal harasment, game to rl harassment, and stalking will fly through the roof.

    If Ipwnulolz has said that he lives in Miami, FL or something, and tomorrow he's Robert James and you google him....bam, Facebook/Myspace links, which contain (normally) email info on the very front page. Webcam sites, blogs, personal sites...

    Idk. I'm not dooming and glooming this, but it is basically ASKING people to go out and hack other people and to harass them excessivly throughout their cyberspacial and real lives.

    Just..make...Battlenet...nicknames...
  1. LoLHellcy's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Valarauko View Post
    While I'm not 100% doom and gloom on this change, I honestly do worry about how women will be treated. Many female WoW players already avoid vent and RealID to avoid harassment and "lulnogirlsplaywow" type of crap. Forcing us to reveal obviously female first names on the forums could really be unpleasant.

    This, i mean i keed around w/ girls (lolsarcasm) but it would not be 100% absurd to hear creepy basement dwellers getting creepier

    For proof of idea i took a person name (with there consent) and told them their DOB, Address, and a few college papers they did, your full name IS alot if information and CAN be used for bad creeper things.
  1. molinator's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by nicolasquoibion View Post
    LOL you guys care so much, it your NAME ffs, you can get the name of anyone easily.
    And much easier with this new change!

    Hooray for hacking away at personal privacy!
  1. Darger's Avatar
    Theirs very few things i would put my money on but on this one i would bet a good amount that it wont go through. No way they would do this i haven't told a living soul outside my family that i play this game and its staying like that. WoW is for nerds and losers to the outside world and will always be like that i don't want my name being besmirched.
  1. Kaneiac's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by sicness View Post
    And what exactly will anyone seriously do with any of that information you posted? Anyone who's willing to put the time and effort into doing so will have a good reason for doing so and not just to annoy you and can already get that information readily.
    It's a chain reaction.

    You find out a location. You punch that in Spokeo. All of a sudden you find their address, exactly where they live, their household information, their relatives names, and even a phone number.

    If someone is really out to get you, for whatever reason, they can easily do any number of things with that information.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kyocere View Post
    Knowing what school you went to will do what? I went to Brick Township Memorial High School in Brick, NJ. Oh noes pple know where i went to school, let the bloodshed begin!
    Nope. But then they punch that name into Spokeo. For example, there are 3 people with my name. They now know what location I am in. Then all of a sudden they get a flood of information that they can do any number of things with.

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