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. Ricketz's Avatar
    If linking your primary character to your Real ID name is "optional", I just don't understand how this will deter trolls from, well, trolling. Nearly every answer to this question suggests that Blizzard would condone e-harassment outside of the forums.
  1. mofi's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Buzzinjoe View Post
    Well time to stop posting on the official forums.

    I don't want my RL name search on google to return anything related to WoW.

    WoW is still frowned upon generally in society. Imagine you apply for a job, they do a google search about you and find lots of links to WoW forum posts. Fantastic.


    I'm out. They only keep making things worse. They really don't deserve anyone's money anymore quite frankly.
    you´ll still pay
  1. genericpeter's Avatar
    privacy privacy privacy privacy privacy privacy privacy privacy privacy privacy privacy privacy privacy privacy privacy privacy privacy privacy
  1. Asleep's Avatar
    i have to assume this is just a way for blizzard to get rid of the forums. I've not seen their explanation. But, if Blizzard's goal is to endorse the forums, this seems counter-intuitive. I have a job...and employers who, legal or not, would view my playing video games as detrimental to their reputation. They won't want prospective clients doing a cursory search of my name only to find that the man in charge of their case likes to play an undead priest. No thanks, blizzard. I'm okay not freely offering personal information to droves of the anonymous on the internet.
  1. Glomp's Avatar
    This reminds me of DRM, companies put it in place with the intention of preventing piracy but it usually ends up punishing legit users, and piracy ends up unaffected.

    People who want to get around this can by making fake battle.net accounts...
  1. Albert the fish's Avatar
    i barely show up on the internet even if you look for my first and last name.
    that being said i am very uncomfortable with this idea,i don't make my message board names MY name for a good reason.
  1. sicness's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Turbo_ski View Post
    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.
    Correction: It's not freely on the internet and out of their control, it's completely optional to post on those forums and not a requirement at all in order to play the game. You have a choice to post your information out there or not by making a post or not. It's completely up to you.
  1. zbegra's Avatar
    What's the problem? really? Ashamed of your name? If it bothers you so much; just avoid posting on the forums, it's that simple, really. If you never post your name wont be on there.

    In most cases there are other people in this world that has the SAME name as you anyways. There are of course rare cases where there's only one person that goes by a name. As another poster put it, you're not a special snowflake, most IRL names are shared by many many people.

    It's not like they are putting your social security number out there :P

    Sorry if this post sounds harsh, I just don't see the problem. Google your name, you'll probably find people that are not you.
  1. Swizzle's Avatar
    FYI, for all you people who don't want your precious names on the interwebs...do you really think that out of the near seven billion people on this planet, YOU'RE the only one special enough to be graced with that assortment of letters?

    it's not like blizz is asking for your social security, credit card number, or birth certificate.
  1. Typhron's Avatar
    Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
    he 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.
    THIS IS A TERRIBLE IDEA. A REAAAALLY TERRIBLE IDEA. The forum code is old and needs updating but THAT IS NOT THE WAY TO DO IT.

    Quote Originally Posted by tusker View Post
    Curious, does this change apply retroactively to all current WoW forum posts?
    Good question. That might mean a lot of the old stickies on realm forums will be deleted due to Privacy being such a treasured thing.
  1. Faolchu's Avatar
    Most people enjoy some measure of anonymity on the internet and I think it should remain the users choice.

    I don't like this change and although I very rarely post on the official forums this will ensure that I never do so again in the future. I don't want to post with my real name on forums on the internet, if I did I would've made my name my username/charname.
  1. rkma's Avatar
    I'm quite capable of forming personal relationships without Blizzard's "assistance." If they don't want me to participate on their forum anymore, they should have just asked.
  1. molinator's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Sakashima View Post

    And funnily, almost everyone whining about this have probably at some point plastered their first and last name, mobile number, or other personal information elsewhere on the internet such as Facebook, MySpace, Twitter etc. So why are they suddenly worried that their first and last names will be shown on a WoW forum where no one would care about looking for them, anyway? Because these are the people that post on those level 1 alts trolling other people due to lacking the balls to post on their main. The sensible ones who will have posts worth reading will recognize this as a beneficial change, while it chases the trolls and e-thugs away along with players that have a tendancy to knee-jerk react to changes, making the WoW forums a better place to visit.

    Kudos, Blizzard.
    And you're the kind of person who gets trolled easily, or can't formulate any sort of an argument so you run and cry to Blizzard sayin "MAKE THEM POST THEIR FULL NAME PLEAAAASE".

    I can make a straw man argument too, BRO.

    When on the blizzard forums I never post on a forum alt. I post on my main. I do not my full name being broadcast to the world. I have my information posted on Facebook, however I do not have anything to do with this game on my Facebook page.

    Take your e-thug and troll fantasies away and recognize this as a breach of PRIVACY and not just a way for you to get some semblance of internet justice through killing off trolls.

    It will kill trolls, yes, but it will also kill the community.
  1. Lepertum's Avatar
    In my opinion Blizzard is taking it a step to far, reading throught the comments it's perfectly clear that most of the WoW community isn't ready for this yet. I'm all about creating a great community etc but this is to much, to fast. I have 1 RL friend on RealID atm, someone I know in RL and completely trust. Couple a days ago my GM gave the officers his RealID and I didn't add him eventhough I've played with him for quite a while now. That's inside a guild then, where atleast you 'know' the people a bit. Now they want us to give up our real name to post on the forums? I barely post on the forums, just to report bugs, ask a question, or reply to a post on my realm's forum but they wont see me there anymore after the inplement this.
  1. Buzzinjoe's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by agonyzt View Post
    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!
    Facebook and MySpace or Twitter unlike WoW are not frowned upon by the general society and have no effect on a potential job application.

  1. izziebot's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Ansible View Post
    And someone will be able to do what with that info? How are you in anymore danger than any other thing.
    It's the idea of online bullying reaching personal levels. Sure, the risk of these people showing up to your house is close to nil but that doesn't mean they can't harass you about your looks, education, hobbies, etc. Some people don't care, others do.

    Many websites that require you to enter personal information when you sign up (IE facebook) also sell that information to companies making it easy to find out stuff you don't want people to know.

    It's an invasion of privacy, and it's creepy.

    ^ Look up your name and see how much is out there, likely without your consent.
  1. Offhand's Avatar
    There's less then 100 people on yellowpages.com who have my actual first/last name, and I have a very common surname. Not only can I reasonably thin that number down to 2 based on other simple information like state or possibly zip code but there's a button right next to my name that says "background check this person?", giving me access to relatives, BOTH my previous permanant addresses (including one from 15+ years ago), 3 short term apartment numbers, as well as a bunch of other shit (without even going into the paid services).

    Fuck you, Blizzard. My name just so happens to be Bobby Kotick from now on.
  1. Vengeblade's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by molinator View Post
    The burden isn't on the anonymous to prove that going PUBLIC with information like your full name is DANGEROUS.

    And it's irrelevant to prove the opposite, because the only harm that comes from anonymity is the ability to say what you really want to say. As much trolling as that permits, it also allows people to be MUCH more honest.
    Its no where near as dangerous as you'd like to believe, like I said, everyone's name is already out there adn if someone wanted to do real harm, there are better ways than using forums on the blizzard site.

    And there is harm from not knowing who people are, they act as they truly would and it does affect people. I'd rather have people behave because they are in fear of being know that have people keep acting like they do because of anonymity. To put it simply, if this were like Death Note, I'd agree with Light because I'm tired a participating in things where people who behave poorly get away with it.

    I know that my privacy online is a joke for the most part, I damn well better get some perks for it. People keep living under this assumption about how private we have things.....we really don't. People need to stop laboring under a delusion and at least get something out of it.
  1. Roka's Avatar
    goodbye trolls, hello stalkers

    if you google my real name my uncle comes up

    o noessss

    don't stalk my uncle bros

  1. Nyn's Avatar
    OK, here is what we'll do to test this 'YOU ARE NOT THE ONLY ONE WITH YOUR NAME' theory.

    Everyone that said that: Head over to /b/ and post your full name (just your name, nothing else), then insult Anonymous, and dare them to come after you.

    I'll get the popcorn.

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