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. Tyrianth's Avatar
    Ugh there is not much you can do with a name people. My name is Aaron Poulin, try and stalk me. But that doesn't mean I believe Blizzard has the right to do this, people are entitled to whatever amount of privacy as they feel is necessary and Blizzard shouldn't take that away from them. D:
  1. runeb1980@hotmail.com's Avatar
    I absolutely love this. I stopped posting on the official forums because of the horrible atmosphere and the fact that something like half the posters were nothing but jerks and trolls.

    What are you guys afraid of? That someone's going to Google you and discover you play WoW? Or that you can't troll anymore on the forums?

    EDIT: Tyrianth/Aaron above: People can opt out of the forums, and they can also opt out of Real ID. Nobody is forcing anyone to give away anything. It's more of an attempt to take WoW to the next step of social online interaction. Basically, and in my opinion, if you're not willing to stand for what you say, you probably shouldn't say it to begin with, or be on the internet. Privacy on the internet is a joke and an illusion. The new data storage directives in the EU (which has existed in the US and other countries for a long time already) makes sure of it.

    At least this you can opt out of! The only way to opt out of Carnivore, Echelon, EU DSD, Chinese internet security etc. is to not be on the internet.
  1. Sparkymisslecat's Avatar
    I think this would be hilarious if the change was retroactive to all previous posts over the past 5+ years. Haha!

    Wait..it isn't, right?
  1. Coldkil's Avatar
    don't like this idea.
  1. molinator's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Faolchu View Post
    if I did I would've made my name my username/charname.
    THIS is the most potent way to realize how important privacy is to even the people here rejoicing that this is the end of trolls.

    If you were given the choice, how many times would you use your full name as an alias?

    This is essentially what Blizzard is now forcing down our throats. I don't want a random facebook friend request because of a post I made 3 years ago in a stickied thread on Blizzard's forums.
  1. frott's Avatar
    All those who think it's cool, please sign your post with your real first and last name.

    Then those who think it's not cool can spend 5 minutes researching everything about you based on your name and see what they come up with.

    Really, the bottomline here is that there is very little feedback that REALLY matters to Blizzard, and those people are going to continue giving it because they're either obsessed or simply enjoy wow as a hobby (or a little of both). The anonymous tard posts all over battle.net have rendered it one of the toilets of the internet, true.

    But holy shit guess what happens to someone who voices an unpopular opinion or disagrees with some /b/ who will make it a personal mission to crap on you? Especially if you have an uncommon name that's easily searchable on the web?

    Why would John Smith get full pass at being a dickhead on battlenet but Jabjapal Fapewksi is an easier target?

    A completely shitty idea. Real ID is fine, but allow us a single nickname.

    ps: most of the trolling would get squelched on battle.net if you just showed all characters associated to the level 1 troll. That would only allow people with multiple accounts the honor of throwing up on th e forums.
  1. s0rk's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by zbegra View Post
    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.
    Yup googled my name, 3 top result was on me. And my name is not that special.
  1. sicness's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by molinator View Post
    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.
    We'll see if it kills the community. But honestly, anyone who has seen the wow official forums knows that it's comprised mainly of trolls and flamers who do nothing but that all day, removing most of them from the equation is a great start for making the forums much more accessible for new players to actually use them for constructive posts.
  1. cyloria's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Sakashima View Post
    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.
    yeah, luckily my real name is not attached to that site, but my characters ae with my e mail..I am pretty careful.
  1. Fujisaw's Avatar
    so how is this going to stop me from trolling again? it doesn't seem to stop me from doing it. i mean i can just get my name changed and i can just bind a lvl 1 alt to my name and people still wont know who i am? also this just give me the opportunity to make legit post get dimmer and dimmer? unless there is a limit on how many times you can rate a post we can see trolls rate good post badly and screw the system even more.
  1. Buzzinjoe's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Sakashima View Post
    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.
    Funny I got no result when I typed in my name. Now tell me these changes aren't bad again.
  1. Tsimp's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Swizzle View Post
    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.
    You have your location listed on MMO champ. With your sig, plus the future changes, I could find you in a matter of seconds.
  1. MIQ's Avatar
    I can see this as an improvement for game discussions and feedback, stil don't think it's best way to achieve this. It's kinda "Damn, our 3 day bans don't do it anymore, let's take them their anonymity!" ...
    But the fact that the support forums will also show your real name in public with additional information about your problem, system specification, isp, data which could start having a value to others outside of WoW ain't cool anymore. In that case they should add another support system/channel. But that's just my opionon, already wasn't a big poster on the offical forums druning the last years.
  1. Fornaw's Avatar
    I don't troll, here or on the Blizzard forums. My real name is so unique that Googleing it results in only hits about me, enough that you can determine my place of work, town that I grew up in, and college that I graduated from. I'm not sure but I wouldn't be surprised if a little searching through local newspapers from my hometown would reveal information about my relatives as well. If you don't think that is a massive invasion of my privacy you're crazy.

    You can say "Don't post in the forums", but that's equivalent to "Your feedback is unwanted" which is a very good reason for me to stop playing right there. In the meantime this will do wonders for MMO-Champion's advertising revenue since I think we can expect traffic here triple or perhaps even more than that.
  1. Sungamnori's Avatar
    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." -- Benjamin Franklin

    You might have heard it as "Those Who Sacrifice Liberty For Security Deserve Neither", "Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both." or some other variant, but the sentiment most definitely applies.

    If you are willing to give up your liberty of posting in character for the security of no more trolls, then you will end up without liberty OR security.

  1. Major Neptune's Avatar
    As many say, I also don't like this idea at all.

    What happens when Goldsellers get hold of your Real name or your private info?
  1. Terracresta's Avatar
    Maybe i can sue Blizzard for a million bucks or so then. $_$
  1. izziebot's Avatar
    So wait. What about all the celebrities that play wow. Are we gonna be able to find them and all their alts now?
  1. tusker's Avatar
    Not retroactive:
  1. OldHordeGlory's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Nesemar View Post
    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.
    That's what I was saying...or trying to say. You'll be able to see their RealID name regardless, and possibly a character name if they wish it. But it may be possible that George Doogan labels a level one as his main (and until we hear the method for 'main character' choice, I'm inclined to believe this will be possible), and then you're in the exact same boat.

    The only difference will be that, if/when George Doogan changes his 'main' character to post in another forum, you'll be able to link the two characters together by the RealID.

    I dunno, I think my confusion comes from the fact that posting on a main (up until now, the method possessing the highest perceived amount of credibility on the WoW forums) never stopped me from trolling the forums openly and unabashedly. Maybe to some little children to whom main character/personal credibility is important in their lives this will stop the trolling, but true dedicated individuals really won't give a darn, if'n you ask meh.

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