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. molinator's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
    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?
    And what makes you think people will STOP being jerks and trolls?

    You think it will be because someone will get assaulted or hurt due to a post someone took too offensively? Would you like that to happen?

    Anyone that is rejoicing in this change is just holding out some grudge against someone who made them angry over the internet. Everyone else (including myself) sees this as an unprecedented breach of privacy.
  1. Buckwald's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by molinator View Post
    it also allows people to be MUCH more honest.
    It only allows those who are afraid of something to be more honest. Also, it's very easy for "AgentBuckwald" to say "Man blizz, you really fucked up. Your programmers must've been asleep because raiding is loleasy" As opposed to John Smith saying "In my opinion raiding was fairly easy in LK, what are the steps you are taking to increase difficulty?"

    In a modern society, where cursing and foul language is generally excepted on message boards and forums, it's going to be hard for some people to actually speak maturely and have a strongly back opinion. "Pwnuhard" can write an unintelligent post with little use of punctuation and use the whole "This is a message board you fuckin newb, L2P! QQ!" While Billy Jamison can't get away with something like (usually). It's taking away, as I said before, the internet super hero's anonymity and holding the real person accountable for their actions. Which I love. Most "Kids" these days don't have to take responsibility for anything and let their mommy and daddy worry about it.

    I'm not worried, even in the slightest, about my privacy on some video game message board.
  1. Buzzinjoe's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by tusker View Post
    Curious, does this change apply retroactively to all current WoW forum posts?
    It better not because at the time of said posts we did not agree to our RL names being posted. You can sue them if it does apply to old posts.
  1. Swizzle's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Offhand View Post
    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.
    i could do the same thing by typing in random names in that thing. does it mean i wil lgo out and rape/kill/hunt/flog/jovially hug them? hell no. does it mean that i can use their name to buy things off of porn sites liek a flesh light? again no, because i have no way of confirming or paying for that order (no matter how badly i want a flesh light).

    everyone's name is already on the internet whether you like it or not, or do people really think their privacy is actually private? birth certificates, socials, credit card numbers, etc etc are already stored on massive hard drives all over the country/world, blizz is just doing what CNN tries to do: keeping you honest.
  1. carenard's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Nyn View Post
    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.
    or just head over to http://www.intelius.com/

    search for your name across all states(do not include middle initial)

    for me.. 1 result.. me, there might be 1-2 other ppl in the world with my name(english first name, german last name)

    Im prbly gonna go delete all my old official forum posts and never post again

    also alot of people that I know of let the city they live in be public, and unless you have an extremely common name there would only be 1-2 ppl with that name in said city.
  1. frott's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
    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?
    Well, for instance right now someone could sign up your e-mail account for tons of free gay shit fetish cutting porn, and that would suck, right? So yeah, someone could essentially triangulate on who you are and harass you if your opinion differs.

    Anonymity protects unpopular opinions. all this will do is cut down on unpopular opinions from people with easily tracable names.
  1. sicness's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Fujisaw View Post
    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.
    Did you not read the blue post? Your Real ID name is posted and that cannot be changed without significant effort contacting blizzard to do so. I'm sure there will be some sort of restrictions on the ratings system, such as not allowing you to rate someone more than once per post and not more than once every 15 minutes or something. We have yet to see that though, but any anonymity you had on the official forums is now gone.
  1. rkma's Avatar
    People behave better when anonymity is removed. This is why national elections are not conducted anonymously; it keeps the citizens from stepping out of line.
  1. Frozenbeef's Avatar
    someone can type my name into facebook find out what i look like, my personal details, address etc...nice one blizz :P
  1. Sydien's Avatar
    Is this any more dangerous than usual? No. Not at all. If someone wanted to stalk you, they probably would have found a way. Stalkers don't stalk out of convenience.

    But that doesn't matter. People just don't like this idea. It bothers them, probably irrational but still. Maybe this will be a step to outing all the nerds of the world who still feel that slight shame for playing video games. Personally, I like my anonymity whether it is real or not.
  1. Donano's Avatar
    If i want some stranger to know my name at least give a option to turn it off. With a persons first and last name you can find a lot. I.E. I typed my name i scrolled a bit and clicked on a site that showed were i went to school 2 years ago and how old i was. Then all you have to do is type in my school and you now know what state and city i live in. creepy?
  1. dmiasek's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Fornaw View Post
    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.
    It is true that there are some cases people will have legitimate feedback to give, but will decline to do so because they don't want their name published.

    However I think there will be many more cases where trolls will be turned off from posting, and overall the post quality will go up and it will be easier to find the constructive feedback that people post.
  1. Ink's Avatar
    I don't even use the forums and I don't like this idea at all. :l
  1. Arteous's Avatar
    haha imagine if 4chan forced your real name on your posts there ... epic threads incoming on wow's forums due to real-id!
  1. molinator's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Major Neptune View Post
    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?
    I didn't even think of that.

    That could then attempt to scam your bank account by keylogging your online banking password.

    Another reason why this change is absolutely foolish.
  1. Swizzle's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Tsimp View Post
    You have your location listed on MMO champ. With your sig, plus the future changes, I could find you in a matter of seconds.
    and? if i actually cared or was worried, i wouldn't have it listed. could it be that i really doubt someone is going to take the time and effor to find a random dude from a forum about a MMO? possibly. could it be that i know that i could probably handle anyone who WOULD try and come after me? highly likely.
  1. sicness's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by frott View Post
    Well, for instance right now someone could sign up your e-mail account for tons of free gay shit fetish cutting porn, and that would suck, right? So yeah, someone could essentially triangulate on who you are and harass you if your opinion differs.

    Anonymity protects unpopular opinions. all this will do is cut down on unpopular opinions from people with easily tracable names.
    Anonymity also protects idiocy and trolling and anything else that can be labeled as poor characteristics and is a big reason why trolls and flamers exist. Removing the anonymity from the equation of most of those people will make them stop posting simply because they'll be able to be trolled/flamed in return now whenever they post based off their previous postings.
  1. robbaneken's Avatar
    Bah. Now we'll get even more trolls to mmo.

    But this is a really nice change. Lets hope they do the same in-game.

    And to all those who say "what about my privacy"
    Noone cares about you, get over it.
  1. atroxes's Avatar
    Worst change I've seen in a while. A step back for us all.
  1. dmiasek's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Sungamnori View Post
    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.

    But on the other hand, we are willing to give up the security of anonymity for freedom from trolls :-)

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