Blizzard aborts plans to display real names on forums

By on July 9, 2010, 4:04 PM
Facing a firing squad of basement dwellers, Blizzard has abandoned a controversial forum update that would have required players to post using their real first and last names. The idea was to discourage users from flaming and trolling by revealing their true identity, but gamers furiously protested the idea over privacy concerns and rightfully so.

Fortunately, the company has recognized what could have been a disastrous move. In a statement, Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime said that instead of displaying your Real ID when the new StarCraft II board launches, you'll post with your StarCraft II Battle.net character name and character code. That also applies to the Cataclysm forum when it opens alongside the forthcoming World of Warcraft expansion.

Despite the current change of heart, don't be surprised if similar matters arise in the future. "Over time, we will continue to evolve Real ID on Battle.net to add new and exciting functionality within our games for players who decide to use the feature," Morhaime said. Blizzard still plans to move forward with new features such as the ability to rate posts and improved search functionality.




User Comments: 15

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matrix86 matrix86 said:

"Facing a firing squad of basement dwellers"

Hmm...maybe it's just me, but I don't think stereotyping is a great way to start off an article, lol.

Staff
Matthew Matthew, TechSpot Staff, said:

Oh c'mon. It was a joke. I live in a basement apartment myself.

Guest said:

At times like this, it makes me wonder how dumb do you have to be come up with such idea in the first place, only to have it back fire in your face like pile of cow turd out of canon.

Matthew Smith Matthew Smith said:

They backed away from forcing it on the forums, but you Real ID is still going to be implemented in World of Warcraft, Starcraft II and Diablo 3, and it is still a bad idea.

thatguyandrew92 said:

Damn. Don't **** with the WOW community lol

Xecutor Xecutor said:

Matthew Smith said:

They backed away from forcing it on the forums, but you Real ID is still going to be implemented in World of Warcraft, Starcraft II and Diablo 3, and it is still a bad idea.

Why?

Real ID in game is only as dangerous as you'd make it. If you give out your Real ID to any Tom-****-and-Harry, then you deserve to be burned. You're supposed to share it with gaming pals you trust. I've known several people for around 8-10 years on the SC BW community that are now testing SC2 Beta, and us sharing our Real ID is no biggie. If I went on and shared it with some random person I don't know on Battle.net, then that person has free reign with my personal info. But, it was my CHOICE to begin with.

The issue with the real ID on the Blizzard Forums was that there was NO control on how your ID was handled and "distributed". In-game the control rests with the gamer.

Why is it still a bad idea, according to you?

Matthew Smith Matthew Smith said:

Although I could post a diatribe, it would probably be better to just link you to a blog post that brings up the points I also see as problems: http://brokentoys.org/page/2/

One big point - you can browse the friends list of anyone you are friends with.

You're also painting a pretty ideal picture. Sure, if you only give your contact to trusted friends, you'll be relatively secure. But this isn't a message system designed for trusted friends. It is a message system designed for use by everyone in the game.

DokkRokken said:

At least they changed their decision in a relatively timely manner. I'm amazed it made it out of a brainstorming session at all; it doesn't take a genius to realize that a system like this wouldn't stop the 'trolls' but only give them another way to make someone's life miserable.

Tekkaraiden Tekkaraiden said:

I'm pretty sure the author of Ctlr Alt Del summed it up best.

http://www.cad-comic.com/cad/20100707

Matthew Smith Matthew Smith said:

Yep. If you make people reveal real names, some trolls will go away. But other trolls will use it as an opportunity to escalate their attacks.

Guest said:

Ubisoft should take some notes.

Listening to the customers is ALWAYS the way.

Guest said:

When I used to play wow the biggest problem I noticed on the forums was people wanted to troll or even just ***** about stuff. This would pretty much always be on a level 1 alt. I really don't think you need to show real name to try and stop this. They can just use realID to link all the characters to the account. That way if someone posts you can just click on there character and see all there characters.

Also with the friends list they should adopt an xbox live like setup for who can see your list. Make the options so you can block your list from everyone, block your list from non-friends, make your list viewable to everyone. Also they could make it so you can set how many times you can view someones list than view a persons list on that list. On xbox live you don't have this option but it is setup so if someone views my friends list than selects someone off my list and views there profile that won't be able to see there friends list, since they got to there profile from my friends list.

The idea of RealID is great if they setup the privacy controls correctly. It was always a pain playing wow and having to add everyone alts. Even worst was when you had some real life friends that mostly played on other servers and you only knew one of there characters making it really hard to play with them.

Guest said:

I agree highly with you, as I don't have a basement to dwell in rather than just a simple living room. LOL...

Xecutor Xecutor said:

Matthew Smith said:

Although I could post a diatribe, it would probably be better to just link you to a blog post that brings up the points I also see as problems: http://brokentoys.org/page/2/

One big point - you can browse the friends list of anyone you are friends with.

You're also painting a pretty ideal picture. Sure, if you only give your contact to trusted friends, you'll be relatively secure. But this isn't a message system designed for trusted friends. It is a message system designed for use by everyone in the game.

I dont know what u mean.. ive never been able to browse my real id friend's list through the battle.net system. I only see their real name and user handle. If ur referring to the facebook integration feature then, u cud b right. But the latter system only exposes ur real id friends via facebook if u havent set up ur privacy controls on fb correctly. Also, it comes down to trust. Who are u allowing on ur real id list via fb. Is this person trustworthy? if the answer is No, then its not the fb integration feature thats the problem.

Privacy controls have to b set up correctly for this feature of bnet to work. And it is worth mentioning that the Real ID feature of bnet doesnt depend on the fb integration feature. U can add real id friends without using fb at all.

Btw the link u gave only directs me to a page with a list of titles, and when i click it it comes back to the list. What were u trying to illustrate with it?

AlienOverlord said:

I like the idea of all people having to show their real name across all forums and video games, then people might actually stop to think before writing.

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