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. Battlegrounds's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Brennen View Post
    First your name is not private information.
    If I refuse to give you my name, then how is it not private information? You think that because someone somewhere knows who I am, that entitles the rest of the world to know too?

    Military personal may walk around wearing name tags, but the general population does not. And, people are not required to give their first and last name to the average citizen. Plus, privacy laws exist to protect people and their information. In addition, with internet related crimes on the rise, my government is urging its citizens to keep our information private.

    Finally, a WoW account is worth more on the black market than private information. Blizzard wants to post names. By all means, throw your name out there. The gold sellers will love you for it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brennen View Post
    maybe you should have been more careful elsewhere also.
    Have been careful. Now, trying to be careful with my WoW account. My boss doesn't need to know I spend my free time posting on the WoW forums, and the gold sellers don't need another piece of the puzzle.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brennen View Post
    you probably don't want to work there anyways
    You're wrong. I enjoy my work, and the people I work with. Not going to quit my job because the boss doesn't like online games, I just won't tell him.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brennen View Post
    as someday they might still find
    Yeah, 'cause after working the same job for 15 years, I'm suddenly going to freak out and shout, "Hey, boss, I play World of Warcraft!" Okay, I'm sorry, that was sarcastic and uncalled for. What I meant to say was, and they may never find out.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brennen View Post
    someone who really wants to stalk you has many more option then just your real name to go on
    You're right, but a name is another piece in the puzzle and makes the job easier. We don't have to make it easier.

    Quote Originally Posted by VeeVee View Post
    Yep. You got me. It was all a scheme to stroke my ego. Or something. What?
    I don't know, you're the one who keeps saying, "how this can be used against me", like somehow you're the key to solving everyone's fear. Like, somehow your special? Your different? Maybe try being less cryptic and more to the point.

    Quote Originally Posted by VeeVee View Post
    Anyway, I don't support the RealID thing but I'm not against it either. Tried to help and people weren't interested in participating with an experiment!
    You tried to help people, that don't care about finding your information, do what exactly? Send you an empty box just to prove we can? Is that what you want? A phone call at work? An e-mail? A photoshoped picture to your boss/clients?
  1. FrozenFlames's Avatar
    I like this idea. Begone trolls! >:|
  1. Keasheo'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.


    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.
    Umm... You can find everything about me except my SSN from using a search engine with my name due to newspaper articles, school articles, awards, etc... I have a one of a kind name. Do not act like people don't. I do not use my real name on any social network sites. I used my name on my WoW account because at the time, my name could not be shared and the rules have changed since then because Activision wants more money.
  1. Rowrin's Avatar
    Edit: Blue post just said:
    Hello everyone,

    I'd like to take some time to speak with all of you regarding our desire to make the Blizzard forums a better place for players to discuss our games. We've been constantly monitoring the feedback you've given us, as well as internally discussing your concerns about the use of real names on our forums. As a result of those discussions, we've decided at this time that real names will not be required for posting on official Blizzard forums.

    It's important to note that we still remain committed to improving our forums. Our efforts are driven 100% by the desire to find ways to make our community areas more welcoming for players and encourage more constructive conversations about our games. We will still move forward with new forum features such as conversation threading, the ability to rate posts up or down, improved search functionality, and more. However, when we launch the new StarCraft II forums that include these new features, you will be posting by your StarCraft II Battle.net character name + character code, not your real name. The upgraded World of Warcraft forums with these new features will launch close to the release of Cataclysm, and also will not require your real name.

    I want to make sure it's clear that our plans for the forums are completely separate from our plans for the optional in-game Real ID system now live with World of Warcraft and launching soon with StarCraft II. We believe that the powerful communications functionality enabled by Real ID, such as cross-game and cross-realm chat, make Battle.net a great place for players to stay connected to real-life friends and family while playing Blizzard games. And of course, you'll still be able to keep your relationships at the anonymous, character level if you so choose when you communicate with other players in game. Over time, we will continue to evolve Real ID on Battle.net to add new and exciting functionality within our games for players who decide to use the feature.

    In closing, I want to point out that our connection with our community has always been and will always be extremely important to us. We strongly believe that Every Voice Matters, *link blocked so i can post this* and we feel fortunate to have a community that cares so passionately about our games. We will always appreciate the feedback and support of our players, which has been a key to Blizzard's success from the beginning.

    Mike Morhaime
    CEO & Cofounder
    Blizzard Entertainment

    My Old post:

    Real life physical danger is a concern, although very unlikely. There are some mark cases of real life stalking and it >can< happen.

    More than likely however there will be skyrocketed numbers of scam mail and this time it may not only be to peoples email. You can get an address, and phone number from a first and last name, these can make a very convincing scam. Trolls will still be on the forums and they will just mess with you rl instead of posting. (they dont need to post to find your name). Imagine getting 50 friends requests from people like "JollyGreen Giant" or "Chuck Norris" on facebook/myspace/etc. or getting spammed emails or a troll signed you up for retarded amounts of real life free advertising.

    The risk of personal injury, where possible and previously recorded, is very low, even so that some of the ppl laughing at it cant be proven exactly wrong. However simple harassment like i mentioned and/or identity theft can easily be accomplished.

    Personally, it is just the sheer arrogance that blizzard would expose you to scam mail, and this level of harrassment for an obvious social networking scheme and pretend to say it is to prevent trolling.

    edit: Even if there are more than one ppl with your name, you can find the address/phone/etc of multiple ppl and just harass them all. I mean why not? If you are a troll why not spam 6 ppl? Either way you are a troll/scammer, you wouldn't care. It isn't that much more effort. And even if they miss your information, they are now harassing some other dude who is probably like "WTFFFFFFF?"
  1. Xykotic's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Keasheo View Post
    Umm... You can find everything about me except my SSN from using a search engine with my name due to newspaper articles, school articles, awards, etc... I have a one of a kind name. Do not act like people don't. I do not use my real name on any social network sites. I used my name on my WoW account because at the time, my name could not be shared and the rules have changed since then because Activision wants more money.

    but why would anyone care enough to find you? are you really that big of an asshole ingame you're afraid that someone is gonna kill you?
  1. Adolecent's Avatar
    To all the people who are concerned about their privacy with the upcomming RealID, and to all the people that aren't, here is a small example of what a real name, internet access and simple investigating can come up with:

    Although this is actual information, i strongly urge you not to misuse it!

    Gregory T. (Tobias) Street
    22411 Peartree
    Mission Viego
    CA 92692-4800
    Telephone: 949 3058017
    Married to: Jennifer L. Street

    The internet is a gathering bin of information. Now.., do you still want to dump more info into it?
  1. Lilija's Avatar
    Personally I didn't really care if the change went live or not. I did like the part where people would be unable to hide under lvl alts (I still hope they will leave some kind of unique account name displayed on forums).

    However, this whole discussion kinda scared me personally. It scared me that it seems the world is so fucked. And I don't mean the whole stalkers part of which I was sort of aware. What bugs me is that there are places where you can lose/not get a job cause you are playing a computer game. Also, that people can try harrassing others just to prove a point. Those 2 things are sick in my eyes ... something we should fight rather than trying to hide our identity at all cost. You know why those things are there? Because majority of you think it's normal and let it be. Gues what, IT'S NOT. Do you really want to live in the world that is based on lies?
  1. Adolecent's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Lilija View Post
    Because majority of you think it's normal and let it be. Gues what, IT'S NOT. Do you really want to live in the world that is based on lies?
    Although there probably is a large percention of people accepting it as "normal", i'm convinced there is an equaly large percentage that simply sees it as a fact and acts because of it.

    History is full of stories about information abuse / power abuse. And information is controle, controle is power. In my country we have a simple saying: "power corrupts".
  1. Exaltednun's Avatar
    About time for a bump... Dont think they weren't just looking for the line they couldn't cross and then camped out next to it until no one was looking.

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