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. ThunderBlunder's Avatar
    they've seen that farmville addicts fill pockets, so they've decided to adapt their logics.
  1. Tsimp's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Frozenbeef View Post
    lol whats with blizzard trying to turn wow into a social networking game 0o
    Activision said that they would be taking blizzard games in this direction, saying they wanted to make it more like xbox live, etc.
  1. agonyzt's Avatar
    I love how so many ppl complain about this change while they are probably using Facebook/MySpace. Dude... your name is already on the net! Oh and your profile picture too!
  1. AuthurDent's Avatar
    THis is Blizzard's way of saying to it's cusotmers.. instead of hiring dedicated Forums Moderators with the Multi-Million Dollars they bring in each month... to Shut the FUCK up.

    It will on the other hand stop the little azzhole that post shit, then switch to a level 1 alt and post again, then swithc to a level 3 alt on another server an troll some more, etc.

    But.. what they are doing here is burning down the house to get rid of the cockroaches.

    It may not be "all that" personal invasive.. but it WILL caus ea lot of good peeps to go quiet as well...

    Again.. Blizzard knows this... and doesn't care.
  1. Bambihyuuga's Avatar
    I dont post on the forums, but. I wouldnt want name be published out to the world just like that..
  1. sicness's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Rentonie View Post
    I for one disagree with this. Not because of the trolling or other crap. I do not troll I find better ways to spend my time. However, I do enjoy reading people getting flamed. Let's be honest, the reason why people get trolled is cause they are being stupid and get called out on it. I hope that Blizzard changes their mind about this. I see a lot of problems coming along with this. It's not hard to find who is the person behind the toon when you have the name you need. With social networking sites, I see a lot of problems coming along.
    Except this is exactly why they want to implement this. They want new players to visit the forums and not be intimidated by jackasses who have nothing better to do than make fun of them. The official forums will no longer be a breeding ground for anonymous trolls and flamers so find your entertainment elsewhere.
  1. Arcano's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Tokru View Post
    O M G

    the official forums will be dead for the trolls and idiots the day this goes live
  1. Eversor's Avatar
    Excellent, a nice first step towards some moderation in the suckhole that is Battle.net forums and WoW official forums community. I am all up for this.
  1. Piptooth's Avatar
    Full names on wow forums + 4chan = lol
  1. Maagina's Avatar
    Noooo, the safe privacy of internet is gone! *sob*
  1. Bladenboro's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by my ledge ends View Post
    Your name is not unique. You are not a special snowflake.
    How many Hozian's do you know? I for one am not comfortable with this at all. As stated, people can do a lot with your first name, especially if you have a strange/unique last name.
  1. Nyn's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Vengeblade View Post
    I can't describe how amused I am at how many people complain about privacy......LOL. You have no idea how much about you is just floating out there waiting for someone to find it. Believe it or not, you don't have as much privacy online as you think.

    But the reality is that:
    -Most people who have or can gain access to your info don't want it or even care about it.
    -Online communication is so commonplace that it should be treated like face to face as far as basic information available and behavior. I mean, we talk to friends and family online, we have business meetings, conference calls, stay in touch with people, meet strangers, etc. We do this all online so much more, stop acting like this is something that wasn't bound to happen somewhere online.
    -This isn't the age of the dangerous internet like in the 90s, most people online really don't care who you are enough to help or hinder you, stop acting like the world is out to get you.
    -AS far as people talking about future employers not hiring you because of WoW......ROFL. Are you serious? I'm in college for business and I can tell you it won't prevent you from getting hired, unless you slack on your job because of it. We are living in a an age, where if possible boss in under 30, its becoming acceptable to text message them instead of calling, because that's the standard. What if the future boss is under 25, I was told by someone who goes over resumes and helps people find jobs to actually send a text or even send a message via Facebook. What we think about how people see things like hobbies and networking are vastly different than even 5 years ago.
    -As for any extreme case of stalking people try to list.....don't care, statistically irrelevant. We could also talk about how knowing a real name could prevent harassment or even help locate dangerous people faster (pedos and serial stalkers come to mind).

    Really, people need to start thinking before they act and think about the general rules and not the exceptions when deciding how good something is. This is a huge improvement that helps FAR FAR more than it hurts. But people will whine about how stupid on unsafe this change will be, but will open a door to a stranger or answer a phone call that they can't see on the caller id.

    I really don't see how this makes it any less safe, going to a bar or club seems more dangerous than this. AS for privacy, like I said, it really isn't as private as you think online, so that's a non issue and a moot point to tear anything down about real ID just yet.

    Wish I'd seen your comment before I posted mine so I could have just made one. Are you ever WRONG.

    People have already been turned down for jobs from playing WoW and other games. That isn't something that was made up for this thread just to stir controversy. It happens.

    How is going to a bar or club more dangerous than this? WTF kind of bars are you going to? I've never been to a bar where I handed out my full name to random strangers, much less worried about the 'danger' of being at a bar.

    Answer a phone call that they can't see on caller ID??? What in the name of...OK, nm, I'm done replying to you. You can't be sober right now. Seriously, you wrote that, to prove your point about danger, with a straight face??

    I will say I'm amused by your constant use of 'most people'. No shit 'most people' don't care. I'm not worried about 'most people'. I'm worried about the ones that DO care.
  1. Kelzam's Avatar
    I suggest those of you who dislike this put your name or email into Spokeo.com so you can see the reality of how much of your information is probably already on the internet. You think these WoW forum changes are bad somehow? Most of you clearly have no idea how much of your information is already accessible to the masses.
  1. Arishia's Avatar
    I like posting on the forums. I like offering advice and opinions, occasionally offering stories and such of my encounters. Nothing I post is of major importance, but none of it is trolling either.

    Once this goes live, I will no longer be able to post in the forums. Having my name freely available on the net makes me uncomfortable. Googling my name brings up only matches that are me, which is bad enough on its own. There is no one else with my name that shows up in a search.

    Count me in with the folks who think this is a BAD idea.
  1. Nesemar's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by OldHordeGlory View Post
    I dunno, man...it says you'll have the option of displaying your main character. One has to wonder, though, what dictates a 'main character'. It may mean you can only post on level 80's, but that would exclude new players from using the forums. In all likelihood, it will probably mean you can choose a 'main character' to post on, which means you may still have a level 1 named "Youmadbrah" talking about how your idea sucks on the Suggestions forum...you'll just have a useless name to go with it that doesn't really tell you anything about their age.


    Clearly this WILL scare some of them away though, but the fear is seemingly illogical.
    It says you have the option of displaying the name of your main character alongside your RealID. You don't have the option to display your main character's name exclusively.

    I don't understand the fear associated with having your real name out and in the open. Other user's knowing your real name has no impact on your personal security. The only real problems that are going to pop up here are the social ones. "I don't want so and so to know who I am", etc. If it really bugs you that much, just go change your Battle.Net information.

    I for one welcome our new RealID overlords. Not because I want to use the system, or necessarily agree with it. But, I do like that it will cut down on the rude and insincere posts on the forums.
  1. Pisholina's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Mr_Bojangles View Post
    Or don't give your real name for real ID. Some peoples names are more identifying then others. My first name is rather rare, Colby, and my last name is extremely rare because the judge couldn't spell the proper name when my great grandfather came here from Russia.

    There are only 2 active Colby Dame's on facebook (if you don't count the one of the 2 year old).

    However, if your name is John Smith, you really don't have to worry, at all.
    You don't like the change but you said, with nobody asking for it, your full name and the chance to find you on Facebook. Let's think this through...
  1. izziebot's Avatar
    Why can't it just be first name, last initial?

    I'm not a troll, I've always had a decent time having fun talking to people on forums, and I've never hid behind an alt (for malicious reasons anyway) but that doesn't mean I want my name public.

    Sure, all the John Smith's out there may not care, but some of us do have some unique names. Trolls will be trolls. Now instead of using armory and "lol ur arena scoring" people, they can google someone and be like "lol ur real life pic" them.

    This is going to suck for girls, too, because male players can be retarded and have little respect for anything a female player has to say. Inc "get in the kitchen / tits or gtfo" every other post. Great.

    Online games are online games. Many people want to keep their real lives and internet lives separate. If they want to up the quality of forum posts and get rid of anonymous trolls, they should just use unique ID's for posts and have requirements for the toon you're posting on.
  1. Bobisadrummer's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Nalnik View Post
    Actually, like others have said, I kinda am.

    Googled my name. First result was me, with the schools I had attended listed and a picture of my from high school. Now, someone has my name, hometown, schooling history, and a picture of me that is still fairly recent.

    What was that you were saying?
    And someone will be able to do what with that info? How are you in anymore danger than any other thing.
  1. tusker's Avatar
    Curious, does this change apply retroactively to all current WoW forum posts?
  1. Turbo_ski's Avatar
    This is an awful idea, it's the type of thing that would make me quit WoW. Why? People don't like their personal info divulged freely over the internet out of their control, and this change sets a very dangerous precedent. If they would give away a person's real name without their permission they could easily give away your address, phone number, email, etc. without your permission as well. I don't post on the official forums either, but ask yourself how long before they do this to Armory as well. It's common knowledge that it's within a "Social-networking" site's nature to expand in this way.

    EDIT: keep in mind that you can't change your name on your battle.net account.

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