Blizzard Ready to Hear Feedback on Real ID System
Adjust text size:
Blizzard has recently announced that it is making use of real world names and other data mandatory
on the official forums for Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty, the long awaited strategy game sequel set to arrive on July 27, and for the World of Warcraft MMO, which should get the Cataclysm expansion. After a rather hostile reaction from the community of players, the studio revealed that it would be continuing to talk to players about the system but that it would nonetheless go ahead with its implementation.
A representative from Blizzard talked to Gamasutra about the Real ID concept and about how it would be implementing, saying that his company “will be carefully monitoring how people are using the service. Real ID is a new and different concept for Blizzard gamers - and for us as well - and our goal is to create a social gaming service that players want to use.”
He added, “It's important to note that both enabling Real ID in game and posting on the official Blizzard forums are completely optional. Players can continue to read the forums anonymously regardless of whether they choose to post in them, and their gameplay experiences will not change if they choose not to use the Real ID communication features in game.”
It seems the company is comfortable with the fact that a lot of players might migrate from the official forums, asking questions and participating in other Internet-based communities. It might have some problems as bug reports from the player base are crucial to the ongoing task of World of Warcraft
, the best MMO.
Blizzard is also assuring gamers that the moderating team will be more vigilant than ever when Real ID is being implemented, trying to limit all the incidents that can arise from the use of real world names on a gaming forum with a player base as big as that of World of Warcraft. Still, the potential for abuse is high and the official forums might feel much more empty in a short while.
MUST-READ RELATED ARTICLES:
|Comment #1 by: Shata on 08 Jul 2010, 11:46 UTC|| reply to this comment|
Nice article, but a bit flat.
Its not the forums that are going to be empty, it's the servers.
This is a total kick in the face to all the users by blizzard. This is bullying.
Bad - wrong - bad.
|Comment #2 by: Sorelia Dawnbreeze on 08 Jul 2010, 11:59 UTC|| reply to this comment|
Way to fail, Blizzard. Way to fail.
How are you going to prevent someone with a WoW subscription from reading my post, seeing my female first name, and hitting pipl.com to find me?
That's right. You can't. Because that's not an invasion of privacy on your forums.
You can't moderate the whole Internet, you morons. They don't HAVE to post to see my name, as your model stands right now.
|Comment #3 by: boars on 08 Jul 2010, 12:30 UTC|| reply to this comment|
I for one am unsubscribing. ALL of my accounts. I am also cancelling my SC2 pre-order. I will boycott Activision products until this is reversed or softended to an ALIAS... not a name.
|Comment #4 by: Caz on 08 Jul 2010, 12:43 UTC|| reply to this comment|
I've noticed a lot of media sources are leaving out a rather interesting bit of information when they mention that people will migrate away from the official forums. Many of these same people will also be migrating away from the game itself.
It's one thing to boycott or not use a service offered by a company because of a change to that service. It's quite another for a customer to completely walk away from that company due to rather serious concerns over a change to one service.
|Comment #5 by: Benevo on 08 Jul 2010, 12:43 UTC|| reply to this comment|
Simply put, this is a violation of trust in that Blizzard is now using personal information provided (required actually) upon signup, in a way that I never agreed to. It is a complete affront to personal privacy.
I can guarantee you that I will never post on any Blizzard forum after the change takes place. I am debating whether to cancel my five WoW accounts as well; if they cannot be trusted with my personal information, then I don't want them to have it and will demand that they remove all trace from their records.
|Comment #6 by: Not Telling You on 08 Jul 2010, 12:51 UTC|| reply to this comment|
This is the worst, worst idea Blizzard has ever had. A "rather" hostile reaction? Upward of 75% of your customers LOATHE the idea. Many of my friends are talking about canceling, and some already have. I'm now seriously considering it myself.
"Continuing to talk to us about it?" You haven't talked to us about it AT ALL. You told us "we're doing it." Then you said, "Oh ha ha, if you don't like it, you just can not post, we don't care." This is unacceptable considering the amount of money my household has paid to you to play your games in the last 5 years.
|Comment #7 by: Drae on 08 Jul 2010, 12:58 UTC|| reply to this comment|
The problem is they are creating a service subscribers DON'T want to use, which is exactly opposite their stated goal.
The forums are not optional; try calling tech support, often the first thing they tell you to do IS POST IN THE OFFICIAL FORUMS.
How are guild / raid leaders going to recruit?
There's a bug in the Blizzard API (the information usable by UI addon authors) that allows the collection of REALID information regardless of opt in or parental controls.
Privacy and security.
Playing the game is "optional" too. We pay for a service, for a very long time that service included forums. Now it does not.
The core of the issue here is trust. I trusted Blizzard. I don't trust activision.
|Comment #8 by: Naktab on 08 Jul 2010, 13:00 UTC|| reply to this comment|
Sadly, forum trolling was/is a red herring to detract from the real issue: impending data exposure & exchange with Facebook, as originally alluded to in USA Today:
The new Battle.net policy, seemingly innocuous and pro-gamer, represents "Step One" in a broader joint initiative between Facebook and Activision/Blizzard to monetize the subscriber base over time.
For a look at the man behind the curtain:
For those using Facebook to "fight fire with fire":
|Comment #9 by: Corey on 08 Jul 2010, 13:05 UTC|| reply to this comment|
Read forums annon, yes. Post? no. then you give up your RL name. And seeing as Forums are the easiest way to get answers to like 90% of technical problems, that means in order to take advantage of the best customer service outlet available, you have to give up personal information. Thanks Blizzard, but after Blizcon this year I'm done with your game, your services, your company, and everything to do with you. Another long term loyal customer gone. Not that Activision cares. This company has the worst customer service of any customer based business in the industry, and they have since Activision entered the picture.
|Comment #10 by: slimj091 on 08 Jul 2010, 13:20 UTC|| reply to this comment|
looks like our old friend bobby kotick needs a cash influx now in order to make it to his bi-monthly baby seal clubbing vacation on time...
|Comment #11 by: luc on 08 Jul 2010, 13:22 UTC|| reply to this comment|
Sub canceled. Im not coming back... 5 + years i payed your sorry ass and now you do this.
Just cough up the real reason for doing this, instead of trying to cover it up.
We all know it, just waiting for you to say it.
Blizzard, you effed up bigtime, and i hope u pay for it...
|Comment #12 by: Real ID fail on 08 Jul 2010, 13:55 UTC|| reply to this comment|
has anyone ever thought that maybe, just maybe, people will now go to the blilzzard forums to fish for first and last names to commit malicious acts if desired?? there are crazies out there and this is asking for trouble no matter how you look at it. you never give out your personal information on a public forums like that...EVER. i dont care how moderated your forum is. the internet remembers. enough of our information is out there to begin with, why in the hell would you facilitate this? someone needs to be slapped for this.
|Comment #13 by: SkunkWerks on 08 Jul 2010, 14:02 UTC|| reply to this comment|
Blizzard isn't "ready to hear" any feedback at all. They've already identified anyone who doesn't agree with this change as "scare-mongers" and in general people who they don't care to have posting in their forums in the first place- people who SHOULD feel intimidated by this change and simply not post.
"We have been planning this change for a very long time. During this time, we have thought ahead about the scope and impact of this change and predicted that many people would no longer wish to post in the forums after this change goes live. We are fine with that, because we want to change these forums dramatically in a positive and more constructive direction. "
If those of us who won't be posting don't form that "constructive direction", why on earth would they be interested in feedback from us?
All in all, it's a lot of saber rattling, and since this is ultimately about a cash grab to get a sweet merger deal from Facebook- which is due to happen in multiple phases- this only being "Phase 2" of that deal. They lied to us weeks ago when they said this RealID thing was for "real life friends and family ONLY" and I rather expect to be lied to more before this plan has come fully to it's fruition.
I'd say Blizzard is ready to see dollar signs, and little else.
|Comment #14 by: Canceled Account on 08 Jul 2010, 14:13 UTC|| reply to this comment|
Wanting to hear our opinions on the subject?
Like the 1885 page thread, nearly forty thousand posts condemning it? The one that hasn't seen a blue post in over 1500 pages? The one that hasn't seen anything addressing it in two days?
By the way, the talents change was an obvious smokescreen to try to get people to not focus on the RealID changes as much.
|Comment #15 by: R0nin on 08 Jul 2010, 14:20 UTC|| reply to this comment|
This is so much spin that I'm dizzy just from reading it. The funnniest lie... er, line, is "and our goal is to create a social gaming service that players want to use". No, if that was their goal, they'd be more responsive to players, the vast majority of whom are telling them that they don't want a "social gaming service" to begin with. See, for example, the thread in the forums that's now approaching 2,000 PAGES-- currently at 38,000 posts: http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.html?topicId=25712374700&sid=1
Activision-Blizzard is just trying to make new money off the huge player-base of WoW. That's all it is, plain and simple. This isn't about giving the players what they're asking for; this is about giving FaceBook and advertisers what _they_ are asking for.
Another lie: "their gameplay experiences will not change if they choose not to use the Real ID communication features in game". Our in-game experience has already changed, for instance, the widely unpopular changes to the chat system, designed to make the game itself work more like a social networking site. Again, these were changes that no one was asking for and a huge number of people find irritating. Oh, and the kicker? They provide a "classic" chat button in the UI settings, that does nothing to make chat revert to the classic chat set-up. Just more lip-service that amounts to nothing in reality.
The headline shouldn't have been "Blizzard Ready to Hear Feedback on Real ID System". It should've been the only really truthful line in the story, Something like "Blizzard Will 'Go Ahead with its Implementation', Regardless of Player Feedback".
|Comment #16 by: Philip Fry on 08 Jul 2010, 14:21 UTC|| reply to this comment|
You may want to a bit of research there, there are massive threads on blizzard's general forums, across a variety of languages, with the vast majority of posters arguing vehemently against this change.
People are cancelling pre-orders, closing down multiple accounts and getting their family away from the game as fast as they can.
The secret they neglected to share with you is that the vast majority of the forum community that contribute constructively by creating mods, writing guides, analyzing data for all facets of the game, have vowed not to post any more under the new system. So if all those people quit posting, what will the forum community consist of?
American General Forums: 37717 posts, 1886 pages over three days
English European Forums 10300 posts 515 pages
French European Forums 4120 posts 207 pages
The vast majority arguing against this change. I have no doubt that they will go through with this, but if you report on this, make sure you know that they do so without the support of a massive portion of their playerbase.
|Comment #17 by: Falena on 08 Jul 2010, 14:41 UTC|| reply to this comment|
So I was stalked irl and that person found out i played WoW so the rl stalking turned to ingame, then i name changed/race changed and server xferred. Didn't work out like i planned. I Even reported the person multiple times nothing happened. After dropping my account and buying this one the stalking stopped ingame, but now still going on irl, and the person still knows I play.
So with this change I hope you know that i will have to stop playing since i am not buying a new account or spending any more money than i already have to be rid of this person ingame than i already have. Thanks for making my info readily available to this person once again if this goes live and thanks for helping me go through this horrible experience again.
|Comment #18 by: DownWithRealID on 08 Jul 2010, 14:45 UTC|| reply to this comment|
It a game, not a social network. Focus on the game and fix whats broken instead of making a lame ass online social experiment that the players, YOUR CUSTOMERS, do NOT want.
|Comment #20 by: nonya buisness on 08 Jul 2010, 14:52 UTC|| reply to this comment|
The playerbase (or at least the players that regularly use the forums) are speaking out in a massive thread on the official forums about this. 1,901 pages and 38006 posts on this topic, so far, which will be at least 3 pages longer by the time i hit submit. The majority of the posts in that topic are negative. Sadly, a few of the 'positive' comments on there are troll posts, which this change is supposed to stop. by troll post, I mean "QQ moar" and the like. It's amazing to me that so many people can be negative to this change, and they have said in that thread "we are listening", and then in another place they said "we are listening to what they say, we just don't care and are doing it anyway" (that last is a bit of a paraphrase) is just dumbfounding to me. I have already canceled my account, which I just got on fathers day from my 6 yr old son (and wife). So, thanks for throwing that taint on my fathers day present folks.
|Comment #21 by: Bob on 08 Jul 2010, 14:55 UTC|| reply to this comment|
Blizzard is ignoring the outcry of at least 35,000 subscribers in a 1900 page thread on their own forums: http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.html?topicId=25712374700&sid=1&pageNo=1
|Comment #22 by: Uriel on 08 Jul 2010, 14:57 UTC|| reply to this comment|
Except that they arent going to listen to the feedback. The community does NOT want this. Someone should ask blizzard what the account cancellations have looked like in the last 48 hours. How about the fact that a person cant get through on the phone support lines--we aren't being put on hold, we're told to call back at a later time. If we try to cancel online, we have to agree to their new terms of service (that allows them to give our personal information to places like facebook.) before we can cancel our credit card payments.
|Comment #23 by: Dave on 08 Jul 2010, 15:00 UTC|| reply to this comment|
The Dungeons and Dragons Online (DDO) community is fantastic, and they have never had to resort to these extreme measures. Their forum mods do their jobs. What's that? Got more forum posters that your mod can handle? Then HIRE MORE. More customers should equal more staff, but as thin as they are trying to ride the line (see Act/Blizz CEO public statements) they aren't going to do that.
Besides, we all know this is all about something green....and it's not trolls.
btw DDO is FREE and tons of fun. Better graphics and customization than WoW and almost NO trolls or gold farmers. www.ddo.com
|Comment #24 by: John Hancock on 08 Jul 2010, 15:03 UTC|| reply to this comment|
I would like to post an opinion, but I would have to leave my Real name. I guess seeing how its optional to post, and I dont post regularly, I'll keep my valuable 2 cents to myself. Maybe I can go to another forum where there might be something of interest to read from a community that isnt scared of posting...
|Comment #25 by: R0nin on 08 Jul 2010, 15:09 UTC|| reply to this comment|
Btw... You either have to opt in to Real ID, or you can't post in the forums? That does NOT equal "completely optional". That's some twisted logic right there-- or it would be, if it reflected the actual logic involved. In reality, it's just Blizz's attempt to spin this, similar to their ridiculous line about them doing this "to reduce trolling".
|Comment #26 by: guest on 08 Jul 2010, 15:57 UTC|| reply to this comment|
In other words: we dont give a thing about how you feel, were only after your money so swallow it if you want to continue playing. The thing is: World of Warcraft isn't the only MMO and if they continue to be this neglectant about their customers, the moneytap will dry out pretty soon.
It isn't about avoiding flamewars or trolling, it's all about money and their facebookdeal.
|Comment #27 by: A Furious Gamer on 08 Jul 2010, 16:44 UTC|| reply to this comment|
"Blizzard is also assuring gamers that the moderating team will be more vigilant than ever when Real ID is being implemented, trying to limit all the incidents that can arise from the use of real world names on a gaming forum with a player base as big as that of World of Warcraft."
So, if someone with a screw loose and too much free time on his hands sees my name next to a post he doesn't like, and decides that I need to be "taught a lesson" in real life... how, exactly, is Blizzard going to "limit" any "incidents"? Will they send a bodyguard to my house? Offer to pay fees for any phone-number changes, or credit freezes, or even cross-country moves that I may have to incur to protect myself from a lunatic?
No, that won't happen. Blizzard will hide behind their Terms of Service and End User License Agreement and maintain that they are not responsible for what becomes of me because of their broadcasting of my information. I will be on my own, endangered through no fault of my own, and forced to spend time, money and other resources to protect myself from someone who would never have found me without Blizzard's "help".
Many of RealID's defenders insist that "no one cares about you" and that the likelihood for individually-targeted fraud, harassment or violence is low. In my mind, this is tantamount to a musical group foregoing security and even basic safety procedures during a concert and telling their fans that it's highly unlikely anything bad will happen to them personally.
It's going to take just one kidnapping, one rape, one murder, abetted by information gleaned from RealID, to drop a ton of bricks on Blizzard's head for this. All the legalese in the world won't protect them from culpability. Is a quick profit really worth it?
Apparently, to Blizzard/Activision and its CEO, Bobby Kotick, it is worth it.
|Comment #28 by: John Smith on 08 Jul 2010, 17:40 UTC|| reply to this comment|
"World of Warcraft, the best MMO."
You guys need to find some new writers.
|Comment #29 by: Paul on 08 Jul 2010, 17:48 UTC|| reply to this comment|
Canceled all my accounts (7 WoW accounts between myself, GF, cousin, friend), won't be buying SC2 or D3. Kotick has made a bold move at the helm of Blizzard and I can guarantee this is the beginning of the end of this company. No doubt Blizzard employees will be jumping ship as more changes are made integrating WoW and Facebook. I don't trust Zuckerberg with my information because he's an evil scumbag, so I certainly can't trust Blizzard with my information any longer.
Way to ruin the game guys! :)
|Comment #30 by: michael on 08 Jul 2010, 17:52 UTC|| reply to this comment|
The claim that they're going to continue talking to us, but all that they are doing is deleting threads, including those that have legitimate questions, and there hasn't been a blue post in the main thread since page 324. there are over TWO THOUSAND pages of people who think that this is a horrible idea, and Blizzard has shown no reguard to our thoughs and feelings about this.
|Comment #31 by: Astoria of rexxar on 08 Jul 2010, 17:54 UTC|| reply to this comment|
I think this is awful. The only retort to peoples complaints has been " don't like it don't use it" but there are members on the community that uses the forums as a means to better their guild through recruitment, arranging groups ahead of time even selling rarer items. Blizzard says the forums are a nice bonus to the game not part of the game, but in alot of cases it is fairly mandatory to use.
A simple solution, if this is indeed to cut down trolls, would be for you to pick One alias to post on. If you wish to change it, have it cost money to do so like a character name change. That would create MORE income for a company that is already raking it in.
As a female gamer, who has taken lengths to keep my identity private, I do not appreciate the upcoming change, and I am contimplating taking my business elsewhere.
|Comment #32 by: Jimsatank - Altar of Storms on 08 Jul 2010, 17:59 UTC|| reply to this comment|
|Comment #33 by: My Name is Mine to Give on 08 Jul 2010, 22:48 UTC|| reply to this comment|
“It's important to note that both enabling Real ID in game and posting on the official Blizzard forums are completely optional. Players can continue to read the forums anonymously regardless of whether they choose to post in them, and their gameplay experiences will not change if they choose not to use the Real ID communication features in game.”
In-game petitions normally lead to being redirected to the forums. Emails give generic advice and say to post on the forums if you need more help. Their phone service is laughable. Waiting forever to get through queue only to be told that their lines are tied up and to go..... to the forum!
They pigeon hole us to the forums and then say it's optional? Yeah, funny Blizzard. Tech support forums often ask for you to post information on what is specifically happening so you can get the help you need and now I have to decide whether I want to give my real name, a name I gave to Blizzard for billing purposes and nothing else, just to be told not to post if I don't want to be flippant with my Internet security. It can affect gameplay if you can't get the help you need, and to say to go to unofficial forums for official game problems is very lazy of you.
And the worst part is the blues have already said this is the first step in a long term vision for Real ID. What's next, in game? Armory? They did the same thing initially with the Battle net accounts. Battle net accounts are optional, then they aren't. Real ID is an optional feature for FRIENDS AND FAMILY, and now it's mandatory for the forums for every Joe Schmoe to see. Joe isn't my friend, he isn't my family, he has no business knowing my name.
"Blizzard is also assuring gamers that the moderating team will be more vigilant than ever when Real ID is being implemented, trying to limit all the incidents that can arise from the use of real world names on a gaming forum with a player base as big as that of World of Warcraft. Still, the potential for abuse is high and the official forums might feel much more empty in a short while. "
If they had done that initially when the trolls were starting flame wars then we wouldn't even be in this situation. And in the end, this isn't about the forum trolls or cleaning up the forums. This is just a way for them to integrate Facebook into WoW in an attempt to get more subscribers. Well Blizz, you have fun with that. I'm going elsewhere.
|Comment #34 by: Trademere on 08 Jul 2010, 22:54 UTC|| reply to this comment|
So what, they plan to hire Bodyguards for everyone to protect us from those who will want to Kill us for:
1) Disagreeing with them and proving them wrong?
2) Defeating them in Player vs Player Combat?
3) Getting Server First Achievements before they do?
What are you doing Blizzard. You say your Moderators will be more vigilant when it's released. Are you really that scared right now to Hire 10-50 more Forum Moderators to "Police" Your forums? That you are going to Drive Thousands! Of People who use your Forum's every day?
I read, on Tankspot.com that Ciderhelm, probably one of the best Tanks in the Game, has posted that if This Real ID goes to the Forums, HE will stop posting on the Official Forums.
Ciderhelm has been Extremly active on those forums, helping new Tanks and even Experienced Tanks with questions that they have. Now, He hasn't been able to help every single tank, he also Runs a website for People to post Video's on Raid Content to help others get through tough fights.
Ciderhelm's announcement, is not expected. As I join Thousands of others in Protest of this Change.
|Comment #35 by: cardinalcyn on 09 Jul 2010, 06:52 UTC|| reply to this comment|
Bliizard is going to "monitor", eh?
I think if I got 40 thousand negative responses from the people most direct;y affected by this, then I would change that to "reconsider", as in " Is this really what we want to do as a company?"
I can see how the blood-suckers at the social pages companies must be drooling over the chnace to fleece ~ errrr."market" ~ the 10 million plus customers who by and large are loyal fans of a game that is totally submersable, but I think they have misjudged the culture of these very same gamers.
I'll try to highlight the important part : we do what we do as a primary activity INSTEAD OF spending our time "friending" people on facebook.
So much of modern tech/ social culture is short-term, transient, fleeting in almost every way.
The newest form of communication is limited to 128 characters and can be broadcast on most cell phones. Welcome to Twiiter, the ADHD version of a conversation.
Gamers, particularly THESE gamers, play for hours at a stretch, they turn off the phones, ignore the doorbells ( unless it's delivery!), and pay attention to what they and their friends are doing.
There isnt much Instant Messaging going on outside the game. The chat feature in the game already works. Most outside communication is to ask " are you logging on or not? we have a raid tonight!"
We don't WANT to be constantly interrupted, permanently distracted, and unable to focus on something for less than 30 seconds. That's for the people we laugh at who follow twitter and hit FWD on all that inane crap floating around on the internet.
By and large we are more sophistucated than that 'other' bunch ( at least we think we are), and even if we have succumbed to the social pressure to put up a myspace/ facebook/ yahoo page.... I highly doubt if most of us take them seriously.
To attempt to merge these two disparate bases into one working organization is Herculean in nature. And unlike he cleaning of some long-ago stables, this is going to stink no matter how much effort goes into it.
Warcraft is serious business. And that includes the players, not just the people trying to cash in on them.
In forum speak: bad idea = bad.
|Comment #36 by: anon on 10 Jul 2010, 15:45 UTC|| reply to this comment|
I was lucky enough to find out about real ID before the patch. I was also a long time, loyal customer, and though I disliked many of the company's moves, I never was one to complain or rage quit.
This did it for me; I quit, cancelling as well as deleting every character, and saying goodbye to my guild.
Even if they were to reverse their decision now, I'd never, Ever go back, as they've proven themselves to be a company entrenched in greed and that does not care about customers. They deserve to go down.
Further, I got sick of hearing about how I was being 'paranoid' and the 'tin foil hat' crack from forum jerks. So you can imagine how I saw total RED when I found out that Activision-Blizz themselves are so far gone. This is what they think of us:
Copyright © 2001-2013 Softpedia. Contact/Tip us at