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. rkma's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by sicness View Post
    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.
    You're quite wrong about that. There will still be idiots and trolls on the wow forum, they will just be trolls who suck up to Blizzard. Meanwhile, anyone who criticizes Blizzard will have to fear the onslaught of thousands of irrational fanboys.
  1. Mister K's Avatar
    Not a bad idea although i do believe there is a public privacy thingie that applies to this, so that we should have options not to display our profiles. People will facebook the names and shit.... anyway decent idea. Privacy is fucked... Bill Laden will get us all =[
  1. Tyrianth's Avatar
    Still waiting for someone to stalk me.
  1. frott's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by AgentBuckwald View Post
    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.

    You're very short sighted about the far reaching implications of providing personal information on a message board. Hiding behind poor grammar and insults? Really?

    I'm not posting anything to this retarded system, where someone who disagrees with me can look up who I "really am" and harass me for not agreeing with them, because my name isn't as common as "John Smith."

    Sorry but the system sucks and the last thing I need are a bunch of people who get bent out of shape because of my opinion having an easy way of looking up who I really am and contacting me off channel.
  1. Taftvalue's Avatar
    Worst idea since 5 years.
    I do not want that everyone can read MY real name in the official forums.
    My Name is the only privacy online and Blizzard will not force me to tell it everyone if i wanna post something on the forums.
    Its good to hear that they want to stop trolls from spamming via the downrank system but posting reallife name is seriously bullshit.
  1. dotSeed's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Zlodo View Post
    Wait until you're applying for a job and get rejected because your would-be employer google your name
    Stop posting shit that's associated with your real name then. When there are actual repercussions for posting things five year olds would find childish, maybe the tone of conversations will rise above that of a goddamn cesspit.

    Worst comes to worst, you stop using the official forums. There are plenty of other places to discuss WoW.

    Quote Originally Posted by frott View Post
    Sorry but the system sucks and the last thing I need are a bunch of people who get bent out of shape because of my opinion having an easy way of looking up who I really am and contacting me off channel.
    Why are you assuming people will magically find your contact details just via your name. My name is widely available with my nickname on plenty of places, and a google would give you a county - that doesn't mean someone could actually find out my contact details.
  1. Fujisaw's Avatar
    thats what i was saying oldhordeglory. i know for a fact that i could care less about everyone on wow except for the people in my guild and they already know im a huge troll so they wont care so whats stopping me from trolling. i can just go to court and get my name changed and then my real ID wont be my real name. i can just keep an old ID card so if my account is in trouble i can still get in it.
  1. Sparkymisslecat's Avatar
    Setting aside the drama of the real names for a moment, I REALLY like the other changes they have planned for the forums. Nice work.

    Instead of using people's real names - I think Blizzard should allow the "promote/demote" post function to help filter out all of the flaming and trolling. With demotions by enough people, a bad post could get basically minimized to nothing so that people don't see it at all.

    I think that would be a good compromise.
  1. molinator'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.
    but in the meantime everyone who got trolled is getting imaginative revenge today.

    Well worth it.
  1. Hezron's Avatar

    Looks like I will be sticking to the MMO-Champion forums from now on. Normally I don't post on the official forums much, but this change is ridiculous. Sooner or later they will make a custom title that shows your real name on your character, that is if things keep progressing like they are.

    I won't be using the RealID feature, and nor will I use the WoW Forums ever again. :| I just hope this is where they stop, or even better I hope they reconsider making this change, but this IS Blizzard.. so I doubt they'll stop adding it.
  1. sicness's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Fornaw View Post
    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.
    Considering that you can still very easily leave feedback in game I don't see how this really effects people leaving feedback at all, I mean unless of course you can't login to the game for whatever reason.
  1. Jeina's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by areoborg View Post
    Making all of our information public. What could possibly go wrong?
    Your public information is already public. Just take a stroll down to City Hall.
  1. Vengeblade's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Nyn View Post
    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.
    People losing their job or potential jobs because of WoW or any hobbies is the exception, not the rule, so you can parade it around like it means something. None of my friends have ever lost a job or not been hired due to the fact we play WoW, video games, and Dungeons and Dragons. We're totally open about it, but we know our priorities and prove ourselves. SOrry, not gonna buy that WoW is some blacklisting activity.

    Clubs and bars are easily more dangerous because you are right there. Virtual stalker can take time before the two parties are even close to each other physically, bar or club can be just that night. Tons of drunker people in a space can easily be trouble. The idea is that this information is not anymore dangerous than things you do in real life, so why whine about it when you are already taking the risk.

    AS for the phone call, bit of a stretch, but its not hard to see a reasonable danger. People who still have land lines and someone knows that, well a burglar can just call to see if someone's home. Or what about all those scams from outside the US that charge your phone tons of money (I know, old news, but it happened quite a bit.), there was little you could do when you lsot the money and the call seemed innocent enough.

    AS for the ones that do care, they won't use wow or the forums. There are plenty of sites that can find enough relevant information better, sometimes even for free, but a couple of bucks is nothing to someone who wants to find someone anonymously. Hell, Facebook is better than WoW for that, unless you are a gold seller lol.

    The point is, we do enough things that have compromised our privacy that real ID doesn't affect it in the larger scheme of things. At least Blizzard is doing this themselves and overlooking the whole system, Facebook is pretty much do at your own risk and more more revealing, these changes for WoW are nothing, its not a big deal.
  1. izziebot's Avatar
    I feel bad for gay / transgendered players who post. I imagine they'll stop.
    Isn't this also illegal for people under 18, too?
  1. Treesus's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by dmiasek View Post
    But on the other hand, we are willing to give up the security of anonymity for freedom from trolls :-)
    Those who truly want to troll will create alternate accounts to do so, if they even really care, its those who play the game the correct way and use the forums as they are intended that will suffer.
  1. manniefaces's Avatar
    I laugh at those of you who think your personal info is not already online. This is being done for one reason "Trolls". If you don't like the changes don't use the forums when they go live. There was always another option and that was for you the community to police yourself and behave like mature members of society. The WoW community brought this upon itself now take it.
  1. dmiasek's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by ramsesakama View Post
    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.
    In most developed countries who you vote for is indeed anonymous.
  1. mikedarling905's Avatar
    Just a name so what, my email address is my name, my facebook is wide open for the public which has my phone number, I am absolutely easy to find on google and in the world if you tried. I do not care, it is just a name. In truth, anonymity is just a myth. It does not exist. We are on camera every day, recorded, our browsing is tracked. What we do is tracked and monitored. No computer is 100% protected while connected to the internet. I say this not even as an American, I am Canadian. I can only imagine how bad it is in America. oh no, someone has your name! meh, who cares? 95% of the people in this world are findable.
  1. AvA-LaND's Avatar
    Because having easy to access personal information is a great idea!
  1. runeb1980@hotmail.com's Avatar
    And what makes you think people will STOP being jerks and trolls?
    Public humiliation? The inability to change identity? I realize some people are jerks by nature, but at least we'll know who they are.

    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?
    Honestly couldn't care less. That's what filters are for, after all. I'm not offended by men having sex with other men, as long as it's not with me.

    Anonymity protects unpopular opinions.
    To a certain extent. But WoW is not high stakes politics. It's a game. It's supposed to be fun. Right now and for years the forums have been toxic. This is an attempt to clean that up.

    The fact is that 10 or 20 years down the line we'll be voting for presidents and prime ministers who have said many stupid things and posted many stupid pictures of themselves on their facebook, twitter, blog, forums etc.

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