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. clayvox21's Avatar
    I think the one thing that people dont realize is that there is a certain social stigmatism involved with playing wow or most online games. My family knows i play wow but i know people in guild that do not tell their families that they play wow due to the discrimination that most people associate with the mmorpg area.

    Think about it this way your going to hire a lawyer or doctor or some other professional. You want to make sure you are going to get a quality professional you search 2 different names thru google. One looks like a pretty normal guy the other is a pretty normal guy BUT he plays WOW. To a gamer this means nothing. To someone outside of the realm of gamers understanding they think he sits around at his computer and plays an ONLINE GAME as opposed to this other guy who idk plays with his local softball team or plays tennis. Is it stupid yes is it ignorant yes. Will it happen yes.

    Flip it around to the employer standpoint. Here are two people that are pretty much the same on paper. Google one you get the "norm" face book twitter and what not the second one you get the norm PLUS wow posts. Once again to a gamer there really isnt a big difference. However for the sake of arguement the employer isnt a gamer and sees this guys /played as idk 70 days realisticly isnt a lot compared to a hardcore gamer but sees it as a waste of time. which would you hire someone who seems the norm or someone who you see (in your opinion) wastes time on an mmo.

    And for the OH thats not gonna happen yeah friend of mine applied to a job where i worked he was perfectly qualified for the job but put one of his interests as World of Warcraft didnt get the job and i got this IDIOT co worker instead. Found out that the HR lady's marriage broke up due to wow. Is it ignorant is it stupid YES but it happens.
  1. daburton's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Metian View Post
    ... I got a feeling gold sellers are going to abuse this. Get your personal information (address etc, it's easy to find with your first & last name) and send you crap to your mailbox about buying gold... :S

    At least make it possible to turn off your last name.
    Are you kidding me? Easy to find with your first and last name? I've done a fricking yellow pages search under my name alone in my city, which is relatively small and there must be 50 people with the same name as mine. I also work for an insurance company taking calls and when I do a simple name search (ie... John jones) sometimes i pull up 250 or more hits with that exact same name. Without other supplemental information, names dont mean crap.
  1. Caradinist's Avatar
    Huh. Well. Doesn't concern me.
  1. Kekbur's Avatar
    You have absolutely ZERO legal rights to keeping your name a secret.
    You may want to check that again.
  1. Yangli's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by bigjenk View Post
    E stalking is somewhat prevelent in this game already as is hardcore raging i can guarantee almost no girls will post on forums again unless they at least have an ambiguous name.

    It doesn't even need to be stalking. Being a female in this game - heck, being a female in the internet - makes you extra careful with your information. I learned my lesson eight years ago, when I got roses and chocolates for my birthday from a person I hadn't ever even given my last name. Sure it was only roses, but it was creepy enough for me to throw them in the bin cause I didn't want to look at them...

    Now imagine somebody's interest in you isn't of a positive nature. Someone already mentioned ordering things to your home under your name; meaning a few clicks that will cause you a lot of trouble.
    And this is only one of many evil things people can do with your name and adress.
  1. dahaliana's Avatar
    This is step one. They seem to be on the path of making RealID the default method of identifying you.

    1. RealID? Don't worry about that! It's meant to be "a system designed to be used with people you know and trust in real life -- friends, co-workers and family -- though it's ultimately up to you to determine who you wish to interact with in this fashion" - you wouldn't ever need to worry about weirdos after your personal information, you only give it to friends you know in real life!

    2. Oh and your friend's friends can see your RealID - your buddies with someone who gives out their RealID to everyone? NP you can manually go in and disable or 'ignore' all those other strange folks messaging you!

    3. Did we say optional? We meant mandatory for forum posting.

    4. ....

    5. Did we say optional? We meant mandatory for <insert any game related activity here>
  1. Aerts's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Vasz View Post
    Already been posted. Thats his mums adress. Strangly, he doesn't seem botherd much.
    Mom's address or not, it's connected to him, and now her phone is just a dial away.

    Some people will utilize this, trust me, I've had it happen to me.
  1. Spurmwhale's Avatar
    this is f'in retarded. i can't believe they're serious about this, and this isn't some april fools day joke. wtf is blizzard smoking? i guess they're trying to be facebook in a way, but theres a difference between people creating profiles specifically for connecting with others, and gamers that just want to game and post, having to put their name on the web for anyone to investigate. i swear Blizzard has some idiot people running things that are way too socially desperate.
  1. Davlar's Avatar
    Just one thing to Blizzard. They say they want us to post feedback on the forums but today there are very few who does that. I'm just wondering, what was the idea with putting in a feature which splits the community in half and will probably drive away alot of people from the forums ? Just a rethroical question but I feel it should be out there :/
  1. Fiddlesnarf's Avatar
    I love all these morons who are saying Blizzard is forcing them to give their name out. Blizzard isn't the one clicking the 'send' button, you are.
    Thread Over.
  1. Tsimp's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by daburton View Post
    Are you kidding me? Easy to find with your first and last name? I've done a fricking yellow pages search under my name alone in my city, which is relatively small and there must be 50 people with the same name as mine. I also work for an insurance company taking calls and when I do a simple name search (ie... John jones) sometimes i pull up 250 or more hits with that exact same name. Without other supplemental information, names dont mean crap.
    Im sure they would just send emails to all of them...
  1. Collected's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Kekbur View Post
    You may want to check that again.
    Then facebook are in a whole world of hurt because they tell everyone your real name, friends, friends of friends, people who search, people who belong to the same groups as you, people who post to the same items as you.. the list goes on.
  1. Spurmwhale's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Pnad View Post
    : /

    just got banned, guess I have nothing to worry wbout.

    Apparently posting on a lvl 3 tuaren named John Connor telling people not to worry about skynet (Bnet) obliterating humanity is considered trolling.

    don't worry half the player base is banned from the official forums.
  1. Astrocanis's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by daburton View Post
    Are you kidding me? Easy to find with your first and last name? I've done a fricking yellow pages search under my name alone in my city, which is relatively small and there must be 50 people with the same name as mine. I also work for an insurance company taking calls and when I do a simple name search (ie... John jones) sometimes i pull up 250 or more hits with that exact same name. Without other supplemental information, names dont mean crap.
    Can't decide if this post is naive or glib. Do you have any responsibilities, aside from yourself? Ask yourself whether you want to have even a 1 in 50 chance of exposing your children to potential predation.

    It's not whether "you" can do it, because you obviously don't care about it. It's whether someone else, who has much more nefarious aims in mind, can do it. Becoming a victim is an unpleasant experience. The mistake lies in the difference between "I don't care, so I don't care if you do" and "I don't care about myself". Your level of expertise is not absolute, and believing it is makes you P.T. Barnum's favorite target.

    In any case, the point is moot. Blizzard will do whatever they decide to do. And we will live with it. I do hope, though, that this bites them in the pocketbook.
  1. Ozzmodious's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Darger View Post
    Your foolish to think that trolls will stop. Infact with all this happing now, 250+ pages on the wow forums, trolls are going to be 100x worse. It wont be the simple ones either it will be the real assholes who dont care ig or irl if ppl hate them.
    Speculation on both our parts indeed. I'm sure it will be a deterrent for some, but not all for sure. I just don't like the fact that everyone will know who you are.
  1. 420rogue's Avatar
    This reminds me of ancient times when they would say a town is corrupt so they would burn the town down. Sure your stopping the problem you wanted to, but your solution is too extreme. Would it not be easier to just make the forums require lvl 10 higher to post similiar to like how they must be lvl 10 to show up on the armory?
  1. Vehemence's Avatar

    No thank you.

    I'll just stay away from the forums from now on, using the battle.net excuse isn't going to cut it. Sorry...
  1. Aerts's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by pVVn3c| View Post
    Had you already read what others have found you would already know that is incorrect. If you want to check the phone number then give it a ring. I'll answer. Even if it WAS correct. I'm not worried about it, hence I will use the service on the forums. If you ARE, then don't. It's pretty simple.
    The bigger question is, why are you so adamantly speaking out against legitimate concerns?

    Just because you're not bothered by something, [name], doesn't mean other people aren't, and it's pretty evident from the many people speaking out against this that you are generally in the minority.

    Like I said, if you think it's a good idea, that's great, use the service; just don't get upset when people voice their concerns on a forum thread specifically made to discuss this issue.
  1. Usagi Vindaloo's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Endus View Post
    I'm a little bit irked, but not surprised, to see the massive frenzy of fearmongering going on here.

    This is not a privacy issue.

    This is not a risk of identity theft.

    Your name is an identifier. It's the most public identifier you have. You give it to people you meet as a matter of course. You'll need to put that down on pretty much any application for anything you sign up for, in the real world. It's even printed, along with your address AND phone number, in the phone book.

    Sure, you can spend a little extra and the phone company won't print it, giving you an unlisted number. But that's a special service, and nobody has EVER claimed that it's extortion, or that phone books are massive identity theft risks. Because they are not.

    What Blizzard is doing is far less of an infringement than a phone book. Sure, people might be able to Google your name and find out either that you play WoW, or that you've expressed yourself unprofessionally in a public forum. The first shouldn't be a factor when it comes to hiring, and if it is, you're probably better off not getting hired rather than it coming out further down the line. As for the second; it's a public forum. Acting like an asshat in a forum is not significantly different from going to a public market or some such and acting the same way. In many professions, acting poorly in public, even when you're not on the job, can and will get your fired, and possibly barred from your profession to boot.

    What this does is remove the anonymity so that people can be held responsible to themselves. There's no risk of identity theft, and the rest boils down to people wanting to act like jerkholes in public and not have anyone know it was them.

    Right now, you're running around wearing a mask and slapping people in the face with a dead fish. And you're complaining because your mom's just spotted you, despite the mask, and took it off you. You've even been given a reprieve; they're doing it so that your past actions won't be revealed, just how you carry on from here on out.

    This is only a bad thing if you're acting badly, or you're so free with personal info that stalkers can find you with just a name. Which is a bad thing, yes, but it's YOUR fault, since all Blizzard is giving out is a name, and that's the easiest piece of info to find.

    Also, let's be clear; there's a huge difference between an annoying guy you don't like who likes you and wants to get closer, and a stalker. Locating you and approaching you is not "stalking". Breaking into your house, or following you everywhere you go, is stalking. Plus, if you've got an actual stalker, rather than some guy you don't have the guts to say "piss off and leave me alone" to, call the goddamned cops and stop whining about it.
    Endus, you're both missing the point and making the point I was trying to make. You're right, a name is an identifier. But many of us already HAVE an identifier. It's our online nicknames. THAT is what we use to identify ourselves to each other in fannish, geeky or gaming space. That is, for all intents and purposes, our name when it comes to this area of the Internet.

    I use my real name on the Internet for Facebook (real life friends), LinkedIn (professional networking) and my website (for selling my freelance services). When I am Real McNamerson, I am a professional writer with a calm and mature demeanor that takes things seriously.

    When I am Usagi Vindaloo, I am enjoying my hobbies. I write smutty Final Fantasy fanfiction. I squee over anime. I engage in ribald debates over just what is under Tali'Zorah vas Normandy's helmet. And I discuss World of Warcraft. This is part of my identity... specifically, THIS identity. I do not troll... in fact, I do the opposite and continually encourage people to set aside their anger and engage as friends and fellow players. This has nothing to do with "behaving badly". This is to do with what you do in your offtime, when you don't have to be professional or "normal" or "mature" (mature here meaning being restrained and calm vs. excitable and squeeful)

    I do not worry about putting my real name on the Internet. What I DO worry about, continually, is that that real name will get connected to what I do as Usagi Vindaloo, because that is MY escape, MY private time, MY hobby.

    I am not ashamed of "bad" behaviour. I just want my private time to be just that, private. I don't want my friends, family, and potential employers knowing that I post on WoW forums. Nor do I want WoW forum posters knowing what I do or where I live, unless I *choose* to reveal it.
  1. Pafinator's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by pVVn3c| View Post
    If that number were my parents number then I would care. Also, lol information is lol. I don't work at the bowling alley. But seriously if you want to call Jill Smith, she is the manager, and she does know me. Go ahead.
    [name], we already know who you are. We posted your myspace page and soon after it MYSTERIOUSLY disappears? So by you taking down your myspace page you have confirmed your identity. Now you're trying to lie about it.

    And lets say we have the wrong [name].. you piss off the wrong person and the wrong [name] gets his knee bashed in with a baseball bat as he's leaving the bowling alley.

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