Thursday, July 8, 2010

Would you stop whining about RealID?

"Good news, everyone! I think I perfected a plague that will destroy all life on Azeroth!"

If you look at my blogroll, you can be sure that no one else but Professor Putricide designed RealID with the only purpose to drive us away. All the bloggers that I regularly read (and the legions I don't but the previous ones linked) cry and whine about this terrible event. Even the otherwise perfectly moderated Elitist Jerks allow whining over it.

News flash: Blizzard does not make mistakes, Blizzard makes billions. They imported this feature from facebook games like Farmville. The point is to force you to play. You wanted to do something fun, like a Starcraft II game or PvP as a mage instead of boosting retards in the Cataclysm equivalent of ICC first wing? No luck pal! They will find you and "ask" you to log instantly because they need one more healer to outheal the void zone!

To make billions they must make the game enjoyable for M&S. This does not mean easy game. Of course the game can't be too difficult, but if it's simply easy, everyone who is not retarded will "complete" it in a week and move on. Also, if the game has "easy" reputation, its rewards (the epics) have no social value. No one brags that he completed a 9 pieces puzzle meant for 2 years old kids.

To make the game enjoyable for M&S the keyword is "boosting". Blizzard creates an environment where you must boost several retards or you either cannot advance at all or only if you do huge organizing overhead. You can collect 9 others to go WSG but you don't get the random BG honor and the arena points. The only way to get them is boosting M&S ganking in midfield. You can collect 4 others to do a 5-man but finding them takes longer than the instance. So you'd better queue up alone and boost some really special snowflakes.

To make the game successful Blizzard needs you to boost the M&S, making them believe that they earned their rewards and they are equal players. RealID is a tool to keep you on the leash. You can completely abandon the game(s) or you must log to your healer/tank and boost them. You can't hide as an unguilded alt. You can't play Starcraft II or Diablo III. And you don't have the guts to just give them the finger and tell them that they suck and don't deserve your help. After Facebook integration you can't even hide outside Blizzard games. They can find you anywhere online and "ask" to help them.

RealID is a really good move and I applaud the guy who figured it out. Your pathetic whining won't change their mind. On the contrary, they will feed on your tears. They are happy to see how helpless you are against them.

As you don't dare to tell some M&S that you won't boost their worthless butt, you also don't stand up against your boss and tell him that it's not his business what you're doing in your free time, or tell the HR guy of a prospecting employer that if he thinks you are a bad employee just because you play a video game instead of watching Oprah with a six-pack then he is unfit for his job and with your qualifications you can find another job in a month (If you don't have a month because you need money now to pay the bills, you are an idiot deserving his fate.)

I don't whine, I act:
  1. Log in to Battle.net and find parental controls:
  2. You get to a page where you are asked if you have set it already up. Choose "No, set it up now". You get this:

    "address" of course the e-mail address of your account. You don't need a "parent" address, just copy&paste the same everywhere
  3. You get an e-mail to your address. Open it, you get a link there. Don't lose this e-mail, as the link is the key for the setup page. By clicking it, you instantly get to the page
  4. On the page, simply unselect RealID and you are done. After some time, the changes take effect and all RealID options disappear from your interface.
No more Real ID. Ever. And Blizzard can't do anything about it. They can't remove this option, it would be illegal. The personal data of children cannot be submitted, even if the child agrees. The parent must have control over the data. So the only way for them to make RealID mandatory is to make WoW 18+. And I doubt if they want to lose half of their playerbase.

They won't give up. They will offer cosmetic rewards for using it and restrictions for not using it. You can't post on their forums as first step. Terrible loss! Like you ever posted there since the first and last time when you naively put something there and got 2 pages of "lol its fail".

If I'd have to guess, the next moves will be: you can't log in from mobile/browser to do AH, you can't use public chats (/trade /general...), you can't use RAF, scroll of resurrection and so on. They will do everything to push you to do it. But they can't really force you since they have to keep in mind: kids can't use it since their parents don't let them. If they make the consequences of not using RealID game-breaking, the kids will leave the game after begging to their dad for an hour to "plzplzplz lemme use relaid". And Activision wants the money of the parents of the kids.

Summary: whining is useless. Do something! Or if you really can't do anything, at least don't let them see you cry (whining = crying)!


PS: if people turn Real ID off in masses, Blizzard will see it. If using RealID becomes "n00b" thing, if people with voice and with respect (like top players) refuse to use it, RealID will die.


PS2: many people commented to just say no to anyone who is not your real friend. That sound nice until you think about that "friends of friends" see your real ID information. Trusting one guy is OK. Trusting everyone he trusts is not. Also, you have to give out your Real ID on the forums (that caused the uproar). Blizzard won't stop until every M&S who ever crossed your way can reach you to ask for boost unless you turn it off.

100 comments:

Pangoria Fallstar said...

or they can simply leave the game.

Anonymous said...

Good points,

I'd have 2 observations. Onis is that as far as i know they have to know your RealID in order to reach you cross-games, and they can only know if you give it to them. (but correct me if I'm wrong please. In this case its easy, dont give it to your "guild friend" who you met twice in your life at best.

The second is that to be honest I would tell them to piss off if I don't want to boost the retards in my guild. I have done this already. Just an example I wont go to 25 man raids, just because we simply dont have enough people in my guild not to have 4-6 retards from the 25. I do 10s, hard of 10s with pleasure with 9 other people i know are not retards. I think you always have a choice.

Anonymous said...

At first, it was: we will never reveal your real name or other personal data to anyone.

Then it was: we will reveal your real name to people of your choice, as long as you ask us for that.

Now it is going to be: we will reveal your real name to people if you use our forums.

Next it will be: we will sell your real name to our partners "we think you might be interested in" and so on and so forth.

Talk to you then.

Also, you seem content to be betting the security of your personal data on:

"They can't remove this option, it would be illegal."

I am not and I suspect a lot of people aren't either. If Blizzard finds a way to work around that option, I don't want to be a victim.

Anonymous said...

The large portion of the product Blizzard sells is an opportunity to escape from your "real" identity. Instead of Greg the office assistant you can be Ghost the rogue, Thundax the barbarian, or Alfred the mendicant.

It's like Starbucks deciding that the coffee isn't a necessary ingredient in their prepared drinks. Coffee free latte's, frappachino's etc.

The Starbuck's customer base that drinks tea might not care that all of the coffee drinkers have left. But that doesn't mean the remaining business model is sustainable.

Andru said...

Or, well, they can learn to say no, if they don't want to leave the game.

I have no trouble saying no to my friends. They understand. If they don't, and try to hold me emotionally hostage, they're not my friends and I should slap myself for adding them in the first place. Removing them is easy.


Parental controls and all that jazz? Pfff. Learning to say 'no' is perfectly effective.

Maybe I can't tell my boss what I think of him since he's not my friend.

But friends? Why exactly is wrong with "Sorry, I don't feel going raiding today. I only sign for scheduled raids and I'm not going on to unscheduled raids. Ever."

My friends also know that I neither ask for, nor do boosts.


In fact, I thought RealID was a social thing designed to let you talk to people about random stuff without putting in one trillion alt friends.

What's wrong about using it as such?

Anonymous said...

you also dont have to accept real friends :) thus no one will still see you on... at least for now.

Sweetiebird said...

RealID in game is fine in my opinion, use it or don't.

RealID in forum posts, that's a problem in today's age of ease of information.

I guess you didn't see what happened to the blizzard guy who posted his real name? Some blogger pulled up the poor sap's full details, family details, fav movies etc. and posted it on the blog.

As a blogger you probably wouldn't care, but the majority of people out there are a little cautious of their privacy.

Cap'n John said...

Or you can write a letter of complaint to Blizzard's Legal Department as per WoW's Terms of Use #19. Dispute Resolution and Governing Law, but as this possibly falls under 'Invasion of Privacy' it's probably excluded from their Voluntary Negotiation & Arbitration process so most likely needs to be pursued in the Courts. Good luck there.

Easier to use Parental Controls and turn off RealID, which I discovered was already Off/Unchecked (once I became my own parent).

tobbelobb said...

Or you could only accept people you know in real life as RealID friends.. I thought that was the purpose? Only difference it has made for me so far is that I don't have to tab out to my instant messenger that often.

Some noob officer in the guild asking me to accept him? "No, I only accept people I know IRL." Socialist excuse for the socialists.

Larísa said...

I disagree that blogging about this is a bad thing and just whining. There are unfortunately many people out there who still are unedudated and don't think about how it might affect their lives if their real name is published in a certain context on the webs. I know personally about a case where a young, newly examined PR specialist had gotten her first job, at a huge, prestige organization in my country. Right before they signed the contract they did a google search just to be sure. And they found her blog where she wrote open hearted about what she thought about her future employer and how she had perceived the interview, calling them "suckers". You bet she didn't get the job and I hope that taught her a lesson.

The concerns are valid and it is worthwhile to discuss it, even though I'm starting to get an overdose as well. But it's rather easy to skip those posts if the topic doesn't interest you.

Thanks though for reminding me about turning off Real ID. I hadn't come around to do that yet.

altaholicsdiary said...

The "whining" as you so eloquently put it isn't about Real ID itself, its about the fact that now to use one resource of the games (the WoW forums) your Real ID information (first and last name) will be posted along with your post.

For those people who follow your helpful walkthrough in turning Real ID, it means they are effectively cutting themselves off from a resource they are actually paying for with monthly subs.

There are many people out there who do not want their real life to get entangled with their WoW "life". I am not one of them. For me the scary part of all this isn't just this one feature, but it bodes for the future of privacy in WoW as I discussed in my blog as well. (http://wp.me/pSWoe-M)

Anonymous said...

I do think there is a different side to the argument against ID, and is about game design. This is the second step, soon (same as battlenet), RealID will be compulsory, that is what everyone is in fear of. The third or forth step is the full integration with facebook.

And Gevlon, you have substituted God for the capital, and you show the same faith in "The Companys" that have a profit as in God himself or herself (kind of does not use RealID).

Just as an example, Sony killed an entire game (SW) within a few weeks with one bad decision, one. Where RealID is taking WoW is a type of game design I personally do not like (and no, you will not be able to turn most of its functionality off)

Anonymous said...

http://us.blizzard.com/en-us/company/about/privacy.html

The most important thing to know from the Privacy Policy is that you must specifically request the deletion of your personal information from Blizzard's records.

Even after you cancel an account, they retain that information until you request its deletion, and have the right to share or sell it as stated in the policy:


Q u o t e:
Blizzard may enhance or merge the personal information collected at a Blizzard site with data from third parties. Blizzard may also provide your personal information to other companies or organizations that offer products or services that may be of interest to you.



--

Q u o t e:
When you are asked for information while on a Blizzard site, you are sharing that information with Blizzard, its parent, and its various affiliates and sister companies, unless specifically stated otherwise. As a result of this sharing, you may receive communications from any of Blizzard's affiliates. In addition, some services are provided in conjunction with partner companies.



--

Q u o t e:
Please be aware that we cannot control the activities of third parties to whom we provide data, and as such we cannot guarantee that they adhere to the same privacy and security procedures as Blizzard.



--

Q u o t e:
As with any business, your personal information is also an asset of Blizzard and will become part of our normal business records. As such, we may also disclose your personal information to a third party if we decide to sell a line of business to that third party, so you can continue to receive service and information in connection with that line of business with as little disruption as possible. Similarly, in the event of a merger, acquisition, reorganization, bankruptcy, or other similar event, your personal information may be transferred to Blizzard 's successor or assign.



--

All of this remains true so long as Blizzard has your personal information. That information will not leave their records until you specifically request it:


Q u o t e:
If for any reason you are concerned with the way we are using your personal information, or would like to correct or request that we delete such personal information, please contact Blizzard Entertainment Privacy Policy, Attention: Privacy Policy Administrator, at 16215 Alton Pkwy. Irvine CA 92618-3616. You can also contact us by e-mailing us at privacy@blizzard.com.

Please note that the deletion of your data will lead to the termination of your account and applicable services.









Does parental controls stop this as well?

Anonymous said...

Someone please post this method (or at least URL to this post) on EU/US forums... I'm sure a lot of people don't know how to turn RealID off by using Parental Controls.

I'd do it myself but I quit playing in February.

Nice find, cheers Gev!

Anonymous said...

Thanks a lot for the info / advice!

And... done!

However, you said no one cares about posting on wow forums, yet you used them yourself, for example to promote / recruit to your projects like the ganking guild or undergeared? You posted some suggestions?

Forums might be 90% useless trolling but sometimes you use them for valid reasons like ask for technical / web / in-game support (phoning Blizzard is expensive and tedious, GMs in game are not always helpful and they can't solve your matter in 5mins they're allowed to spend with you before next one in the queue), also the promotion of player-created events and guild recruitment.

And if they get very restrictive about Real ID (like on trial account, can't talk, can't trade, can't use mailbox nor auction, can't freely group to parties and guilds), then where do you believe will be the point when they think "ok, we started to lose money rather than gain"?

Or will the go the way of LOTRO? Where you are going to have "VIP", "normal" and "crap" type of players depending on how much they pay?

Well, I pay for this game. I want to play it. I want them to have my money. I don't want them to force me to quit. I'm not someone who complains every odd day the game is bad. I'm actually happy about most announced Cataclysm changes, I was happy about many TBC -> WotLK changes. I could probably afford paying bigger subscription or for "premium services" if they actually enhanced the game (sorry, I found celestial pony useless).

But I'm not a facebooking kid or any such kind of internet exhibitionist "look at my irl picz xDxD" so no thanks for Real ID.

P.S. RAF is disabled because of "my country of origin laws" or whatever, so I already got used to live without free level 60 alts, and fancy RAF mounts.

Anonymous said...

As I did, i simply don´t care about wow and it´s hidden privacy rules. Perhaps they´ll check your age, driving you to send in a copy of your ID to show that you´re your kid´s parent and so on. I don´t want to lie just to keep my privacy.

Anonymous said...

Or you can use it just for what it is for... your real life friends... Of course you need to know how to say "no" to the ones asking for your email

aabrahm said...

Finally a pro-active solution. Thank you!

Mongarwer said...

Tnx for the tip, didn't have RealID (since I haven't been playing a few months), but I'm glad this workaround exists if I get back to the game.

Zeran said...

Personally I like being able to stay in touch with my family while on different servers/factions, and I applaud that aspect of real if (since I can tell them no I'm busy). However, the new change means that the official forums are dead to me. If/when I get into beta/ptr I'll post my testing to ej or give it to someone that's Google-proof to post.

Dan said...

I'm glad you posted this. This method is certainly the Goblin way of dealing with RealID, provided none of the "benefits" you mentioned is restricted.

I'm going to pass this along. Thanks again.

Olga said...

I don't think that this ID will be shared with random guildmates tbh. It's based on your login email, after all. I think it will be really friends-only thing, i personally use to chat with my two real-life friends, that happen to play on other realms.

Amarek said...

You Gevlon, and most people out there, got it wrong. RealID is for friends, and when I say friends, I mean people you know and like in real life. That means a small and very select group of people should be on your RealID list.

You should never put a
- nice random after a successful 5-man
- guildy who you've never seen
on the list

It is not a tool for guild leaders/officers to monitor your activity. If you don't want someone to know you are auctioning on an alt, that person isn't your friend. It's as simple as that.

Auspice said...

This is the most baller pro-RealID thing I have ever heard. I don't think that Blizzard marketing actually uses this argument, but it's a very valid point nonetheless.

You win some internets, bro.

There are some other issues with RealID, though. Hardcore StarCraft II players have to buy multiple copies of the game in order to practice, because their "main" tournament accounts often get scouted for replays and such. I think you'd consider this a good marketing decision, since buying a second or third copy of the game should be a "reasonable price" to engage in the game competitively.

Still, I can't see RealID as anything but a malicious, exploitative business practice. It might be effective. We'll have to see whether the price of doing amoral business pans out for Blizzard. My guess is that it will; the sparkle pony is pretty good proof of that already.

Muneyoshi said...

From a business perspective in the UK what Activision-Blizzard has done with RealID is a "Ratner" moment.

In the early 1990's there were three extremely successful entrepeneurs (who clearly all had the magic touch)Gerald Ratner,Charles Saatchi and Michael Green. At a speech in 1992 Gerald Ratner came up with an idea. It wiped £500 million of the share value of his company.

http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/books/book_extracts/article2701311.ece

FireStarter said...

Being able or not being able to hide is what frustrates most people about this i think
If its either ingame (hide with your alts, hide with toons from oposite faction), Or in real life (hide behind your computer nobody knowing who you realy are) That's what people want to do from time to time.
So i can understand their frustration a bit.

The optional part...yeah...except if you want to post in forums , and that something that worries me a little bit when i would ever need technical assistance for something and be unable to reacht them true phone.

In my eyes the only people who could complain with 'real' reason are those who do RP.

Ursa-arctos-horribilis said...

Understanding the fact that real ID is not even near the menace they imagine it would be, is not an easy job for an everyday- retard. Mostly because they can not comprehend, that every step of them is recorded on the internet. Even in RL, all available data from the people are recorded in at least 2-3 databases: your countrys administration database for tax, your everyday telephone/internet/tv-company for your pleasure, and every place on earth you ever ordered something.

And the RealID is not as horrible as some paranoid retards wish it to be. There are more than 5 billions of people on the world, so there is a chance, that at least a thousand people share the same name, as little Jack Rowlington. Good luck finding you. It's more simple to do it on retardbook, and socialnetwork-space than scanning the forums for little Jack. But that's just my opinion.

Anonymous said...

really enjoyed the parental control solution! great idea. but some things came up to my mind:
1. what about the date of birth of the "child"? presumably you stated your real date and it's pretty much over 18. and blizz says - "wait a minute, you are 30 y.o. what's with the parental control thing? disable it, or we are calling your mother!"
2. the 2nd thing derives from the 1st, and goes like: then if stated false date of birth, then blizz could say you are cheating and must be punished via "enable the RealID thing", or even gift you with a banhammer.

Okrane S. said...

or they can simply cancel their subscribtion.... a much stronger button to push.

Frankly if you skim through the pages of replies in the forum thread regarding this you will see many of them announcing to have cancelled their subscribtion.

Oddly enough, the raging feedback of this is much stronger in the US than in EU.

Maybe because there are more risks of getting harassed/profiled because of your hobbies there than here?

Anonymous said...

really enjoyed the parental control solution! great idea. but some things came up to my mind:
1. what about the date of birth of the "child"? presumably you stated your real date and it's pretty much over 18. and blizz says - "wait a minute, you are 30 y.o. what's with the parental control thing? disable it, or we are calling your mother!"
2. the 2nd thing derives from the 1st, and goes like: then if stated false date of birth, then blizz could say you are cheating and must be punished via "enable the RealID thing", or even gift you with a banhammer.

mat said...

Gevlon, wtf are you smoking.

RealID is not the problem that everyone is up in arms about.
RealID is fine (if they get the bugs out of it and if they resolve that problem with being able to see the realID of your friends friends.).

The big issue is blizzard forcing everyone to use their real names to post on the forums.

This goes way beyong the bounds of RealID.

It is in fact a way of forcing RealID on everyone rather than letting the player make a choice about it.

Well, there is still a choice, don't post on the forums, and I think a lot of people won't for various privacy and security concerns that have been well listed on other sites/blogs.

If blizzard want a way of shutting down their official forums due to lack of use, I think they have found it.

mat said...

The issue here is not the ingame implementation of RealID, althought that could use some work. I place a friend on RealID so that I can be seen by him/her, not by all his/her friends as well.
And anyway, the ingame implementation is a choice thing.

Where blizzard have shot themselves in the foot is the forced outofgame implementation of RealID on the forums.
I DO NOT want my real name to be plastered all over blizzards forums every time I want to post something.
And in contrast to the ingame implementation of RealID, you will not be able to opt out of it.

I know you often try and stir up discussion, but I think you have gone in completely the wrong direction this time.

Andru said...

As for the forum outrage, all I can say is meh. I've been permabanned twice on two different accounts from the official forums for telling idiots that they're idiots.

The official forums are a cesspit of whining, wailing and unfounded tears.

There's NOTHING of worth there that requires posting access, or indeed, even visiting. (Blue tracker on MMOchamp is doing just fine.)

I also imagine that soon the forums will explode with random drivel the closer we get to this change. I advise everyone who doesn't want to post because of the change. Be obnoxious, insulting, get perma banned. Call idiots idiots. Make the forums go up in flames. Gevlon was right. Burn those bridges!

With no exception, ANY other forum is better than the official forums.

IMO, good riddance. A place where idiots congregate and are protected from learning anything deserves its fate.

Anonymous said...

Quite honestly, I don't see the huge issue with real ID. Blizz quite clearly tells you to only share it with people you trust. If you don't want to be Real ID friends with someone, you are by no means obligated to do so. If your guild is shit enough to require you to be Real ID friends with the raid leader to track you down if you're hiding on an alt to avoid carrying their worthless asses, why are you there in the first place?

Anonymous said...

Activision refused to pay their employees, and got away with it.

Making the personal information of "children" public is something they can, and will do. What are you going to do, sue them? IW tried that. You cannot beat their lawyers, no matter what logic would tell you.

Anonymous said...

People can leave the game regardless of Real ID.

If you want to play the game, play the game.

If you dont like Real ID, but would play the game if it wasn't there - turn it off.

This is complicated stuff!

Bobbins said...

If you'd put in the title 'Stop whinging and turn off RealID using parental controls' the blog could have been alot shorter.

Gevlon certainly knows how to smack people down giving a step by step guide to something that couldn't be easier.

I think the question about RealID is why do you have to opt out surely it would have been better for everyone who wanted to use it to opt in. (but then that question was answered wasn't it)

ardoRic said...

"or they can simply leave the game."

That's just silly. It's nothing different from those people who cancel their subscription every week when Blizzard makes some kind of announcement.

Besides why would I give up World of Warcraft if my quarrel is with one feature which I can opt-out of?

While I have nothing against the original stated intent of RealID (being able to communicate with my friends no matter what character/game I'm in), I already thought that the friends of friends feature was a bit too much. This real name on forums crap is pushing it over the line.

I had (and tried to advertise) another idea to show our discontempt at this, but it didn't stick, so I guess it wasn't a very good one. This idea is a bit softer and might just be visible and directed enough to mean something.

Even though I've been happily using RealID to keep in contact with my IRL friends cross-realms, I will be turning the feature off in protest against this real name in forums nonsense.

Anonymous said...

real ID is actually a very good feature, you're just using the feature as a way to complain about something evidently. you dont have to give people your email, and the previous system is still in place. if you have a large amount of friends on the game over different servers or with hundreds of alts, the system is very very good. stop looking at the negatives.

Anonymous said...

and also, mass whining has worked if you look at the sc2 scene. blizzard said chat rooms wouldnt be implemented, people whined, chat rooms are being implemented. stop being so narrow minded!

Marius said...

You make it sound like RealID is the devil... cool idea with the parental control though

Okrane S. said...

This is going to be a speculation about this entire shift towards RealIDs.Its a rather long post (kinda wish I had a blog of my own to post this)

So *why* are they doing this? Why such philosophy shift in the identity under which we play the game? I guess this is pretty obvious: Facebook. Facebook is the only (big) place where people interact, play games and spend time by their real name, not behind some avatar, and Blizzard saw this. Facebook integration of Starcraft II also shows that they are aiming towards a more Facebook oriented type of approach to their new games.

This is due to a couple of things we must first take into account. First of all, the obvious, Facebook is huge, and Blizzard saw this. I might go as far as to say that Facebook is the main competitor of Blizzard in the "spending time in front of your computer" industry. If we look at some approximate data we can see that right now, a game like Farmville and all other small Facebook games together are the largest niche of games that Blizzard does not cover, and that this type of in-Browser game attracts a huge amount of players that normally might not be interested in slaying dragons in a fantasy world from a game-client. Blizzard wants a piece of the Facebook pie (and maybe Facebook desires a piece of Blizzard's pie(nerds))

I am sure that this type of player, the social casual, is the only niche worth exploring for Blizzard right now in order to extend their game. Again some more speculation: Blizzard games so far were made for die-hard harcore players. Spending 11+ hours a day farming Hell-Baal was not something anyone would do. Their games were for Nerds: and I can go as far as to say for people with *lesser* social skills that preferred hiding behind their avatars and engage into an imaginary world. But what happened?

I can think of two things: First, the nerds got older. That teenage guy farming Baal for that extremely rare unique item is now in his mid-twenties, or even thirties. He probably has a job now, children, a life of his own. Less time to nerd around. Of course, there are still some losers left but their ranks are thinning. Nerds playing less and less, and eventually leaving the games Blizzard designed is not a good sign.

The second thing: World of Warcraft attracted a new type of player: the social. Unexpectedly, a game about slaying dragons attracted the "cool ppl". I will not go deeper and try to explain how and why this happened, but one thing is for sure, it did. This created a big contradiction inside the game we are playing. The die-hard nerds wanted their challenge, the difficult tasks, whereas the socials were out for fluff. This tore the game and Blizzard, trying to please both worlds had to completely shift the philosophy of the game they created for those hardcore nerds to cater to their new demographic. And what do all these "cool social ppl" have in common: you guessed it, Facebook. Nerds may or may not use Facebook, even if they do, they might not be very active, however, be assured that the "cool freindly peeps" have a very active facebook account.

Another issue worth noting is Blizzard's ongoing quest to make things better for *the new player*. Revamping all starting zones, new character creation and progression paradigms, who are these benefitting? Who are these new players? Withing its six years of existance we can be sure that World of Warcraft is already known by each and every nerd on this planet. Who is left? You guessed it: the social who plays Farmville, because he is too *cool* to play wow because it's "for losers lol".

Okrane S. said...

The last point I will be raising is about the exteriorization of so many features of the game. The Browser based Auction House for WoW, Facebook integration for Starcraft, RealId, all these take us out of the immersion of the game and put us in a web-browser: Facebook land. So the game made for die-hard nerds which, in their basement, would shun the light and immerse in their fantasy world is moving closer and closer to the "freindly" environment of social networking.

What will happen? I believe with all the bricks I have put together things are a bit more clear. Blizzard wants new players and targets their games at Facebookers, Farmville playing socials. In order to do that, they revamp the game world to be more attractive to them, they give them all the social networking functions they like. Even more web based support will come in the next years. Facebook integration of WoW is just around the corner. You can now post on the AH, soon, Facebook players will be able to chat, fish, craft, do some dailies from the Facebook window. More and more Farmville fluff will be available for purchase and soon enough we will have a whole player base playing WoW directly from their Facebook account. On the other hand, the nerds that will still play the game will be forced to use facebook more and more.

Anonymous said...

you are missing one very crucial point. As of right now, you have a choice not to use realID. It will not stop you from playing or posting. If you DO chose to use realID, you have a choice of whom you add to it.

what they are trying to implement now has nothing to do with boosting and everything to do with privacy and serious breach of thereof.

You cannot force me to boost you if I post on the forums. But revealing my real name in order to contribute to the forums at all is going too far and has potential consequences that go beyond the game.

I have to say though, compared to their future intentions for realID, its current implementation looks harmless by comparison.

Anonymous said...

I actually applaud Real ID. Specially because I have the courage to simply ignore M&S whinning, and I like to stay in touch with REAL friends while playing another game,or even WoW Realm. If anything, Real ID should make people rethink their relationship with the game, as "freindly ppl" start becoming more annoying than before.

Puffy said...

I think you overdo this issue. By a long mile.

My main is a tank. I had been tanking in multiple guilds since vanilla. And while there may be requests here and there that I will help/boost guys, its rather rare. And if you don't want to do it, cause you level an alt (and usually my alts are with me in the guild, so everyone can see it), I just write "sorry, alting now" and that's it.

I guess each of us have his own experience as to what happens, and there will always be those who got bad experience. Much like in LFD, where you see lots of forum threads about bad tanking experience. But over all its quite rare and easy to handle. Same here. For most of us its not a big deal to be in a guild, to be asked to tank/heal and to refuse the rare request.

We have a phrase here, "You climb over trees" to signify when you take something and take it out of proportions. This is, in my opinion, the case here.

Regards,
Puffy

Backthief said...

ReadlID turned off, thanks.

Something very funnny happened on the forums. In case you don´t know, soon your real name (with last name) will appear everytime you post something, intead your Alias.

A couple GMs decided to post their own names first, maybe to gain some whinners respect, i dont know. They end up having their address, phones, home photos, posted on the forums.

Another example of the "Zero Privacy" Policy blizzard is implementing. Even your real name will appear now, everyone can Google you from now on.

Anonymous said...

An even better option is to simply quit. Money talks louder and it's less hassle.

Antaria said...

WAY ahead of you, as soon as i noticed my name showing up in the realID beta (starcraft 2 beta) i disabled all of it

its still THE most retarded thing blizz ever did, EVER
i seriously do not want people to know my IRL name
piss someone off + realid = stalker

Anonymous said...

That is genius, forwarding this to all my friends that play wow. Blizzard has taken pretty sickening actions of making WoW as "social" and transparent as possible. It started with the progress tracker on the armoury and now the real ID which makes me show up whenever I am online.

No thank you Blizzard I prefer gaming as it used to be: I like to be a social outcast while gaming, I like to be anonymous when I'm online, I like to be a faceless asshole from time to time. I never liked the whole internet as the next big "social" thing, thank you I got a real life for that.

Anonymous said...

clever about the real ID thing brighter then my idea to change your adress to fuck and off
il do so
btw regarding HR - i work in HR we dont tell people why we dont hire them nor the real reason why we fire them as that leaves us up to lawsuits.
I.E you wont be told you are not being hired cuz you are a gamer you will just not be called to an interview, and not being given a reason why that is so at best you get "the position has been filled but we are happy with your interest".

Xerian said...

Previously I kinda liked the idea of Real-ID and used it with two friends.

With this upcoming change (and the other thread about the possibility for addons to display your Real-ID via a script), I already deactivated it.

And also, cancelled my subscription. I for one do not support this change in any way, and stopping to pay them is actually the only thing I might possibly be able to do about it.

The lack of blue posts to this topic all over the world is all what is needed to show their "listening to community concerns"

Bambislayer said...

you don't quit WoW, WoW quits you ;)

Bigjimm said...

This is an excellent, elegant solution. Well done, Gevlon!

Brian said...

There are two things wrong with this logic. First of all, RealID doesn't allow anyone to find you in other games unless you friend them with your RealID, which I imagine most people won't do from random M&S they happen to know. My making their cross-game, cross-realm, cross-toon ID your actual name, Blizzard actually made it far less likely that people will share this ID with the masses they casually know in game. If their goal is to "force" you to boost bad players no matter what you're doing, they're going about it in a bad way.

But secondly, I don't see that as Blizzard's goal anyways. Sure, they might LIKE good players to help bad ones, and might reward you for doing so, but MAKING you do things that way is counter-productive. Many, if not most, good players wouldn't like having to spend all their time boosting idiots. Making that inescapable would almost certainly result in good players leaving the game, then boosting would be impossible. Kind of a self-defeating approach then, isn't it?

Anonymous said...

One of the problem with the way RealID is implemented for the moment is that it makes it illegal in Canada. The Canadian Privacy Commissionner forced Facebook to make some privacy option opt-in instead of opt-out, that is if you wanted to share some data, you had to explicitely select an option to share, not "un-select" that option to not share.

The way RealID is implemented, you have to opt-out of it like you described instead of opt-in to use it. If it stays that way, then the Canadian Privacy Commissionner will step in an tell Blizzard that if it wants to do business with Canadian they have to comply with the law.

Rumors has it that many European countries have even stricter laws than Canada.

There is much more to RealID than what has been published so far.

Sjonnar said...

'or they can simply leave the game.'
yup. i left WoW a while ago, and up until the release of realID, i might have come back. not anymore. i won't delude myself into thinking that blizz will notice the loss of my sub, but whether they notice it or not, that money is lost to them nonetheless. and now i need not ever worry about realID.
now, the blogger sector is pretty worked up about this thing, and most of the comments i've read are negative. on the official forums, most of the posters i had identified as being intelligent, reasonable people have had nothing good to say about it either. and of course, the EJ community is mostly against it as well.
all this taken together has left me with the opinion that most of the non-M&S in the community oppose realID. and as blizz tries to make realID more and more 'mandatory', more and more of these non-M&S will depart for greener fields. meanwhile, lured by the new 'social-gaming community', M&S will immigrate. this will proceed entropically, with blizz expanding the 'social-gaming' aspect, driving away good players and attracting more M&S, until there are no good players left, just a swirling cesspit of M&S. wow will have become the new farmville - just as bobby kotick and activision wanted.
that it will also blacken the name of blizzard for all time to come is not even a factor in activision corporate's decision.

Dreadpirate said...

Thats what ive done pangoria.
My subscrition was cancelled yesterday and with the forum change going ahead will no be renewed. Its a shame by i personally cannot reconcile the thought of continuing to support bliz with the disregard they are showing their loyal fanbse here

Borlagor said...

You actually don't have to give your account email to anybody. Who can force you?

Oh I can guess top guilds will force their members - I already see that GM writes in the guild info "gimme your realid or quit".

But if I'm just a casual player noone will know my real name and my login email (it's not the common email I use with my friends).

Anabella said...

This is the first constructive strike-back to Blizzard's Big Brother scheme I saw anywhere, so thank you!

Anonymous said...

I think you're missing what all the whining is about. Personally I like the Real ID system, it gives me a way to keep in touch with some of my friends who play on different servers or factions.

The uproar that has been occurring over the last few days is the Real ID change to the forums. When posting on any battle.net forum, Starcraft, WoW etc. Your real first and last name will displayed.

The only way to "opt out" of this is to not post at all. When you live in an age of potential employers goggling your name, do you really want them to find a game attached to your name? Would that present you in a favorable light to them?

How about those with unique names like myself, do I really want some guy that I just kicked from my guild over poor behavior to go look up my name on recruitment posts that I have up and harass me in real life because of a vendetta?

As for me, It won't cause me to quit the game or cancel my subscription, but I will do the only thing that I can to protect my identity. That is simply not post. I think you'll find a large number of people will feel the same way and the content and quality of the overall community on those forums will be degraded.

Anonymous said...

Gevlon, you of all people should know that money talks. I'm a little dissapointed that there is no wording in your post to cancel your account over this (like I and many people already have.) If you truly care about your privacy quitting a game is a small price to pay to make your point.

Anonymous said...

As much as I don't care for RealID, I don't see it going away. I would guess that most of the people complaining are older than the atypical M&S WoW player and are a more wary of knowingly giving up personal information to total strangers, hence the reaction at places like Elitist Jerks. The M&S and kids see it a being just like Facebook where they will post almost anything with no regard for the potential consequences of their actions.

Zaldinar said...

This only applies to in game, and does not disable the existing UI flaw that allows addons to display the real world name of the account that is running them.

This does not cover the forums, which are important to many players. I, for one, am not likely to continue playing long term if I am unable to safely participate in the forums.

I consider divulging my full first and last name to the whole internet as being unsafe. Privacy is important.

JU1CYFRU1T said...

Gevlon,

Normaally I like your ideas when it comes to topics like this, but this time I have to disagree.

The easiest way to deal with this problem is not to turn off RealID. Just... (wait for it... wait for it...)

DON'T GIVE YOUR REALID TO PEOPLE!

If you don't give out your email address, and decline requests that people DO make... it's that simple.

I personally like RealID, especially because I have several friends who play on different servers, but then again, I also don't have a problem telling people, "Piss off... I am not helping that PUG get past Saurfang (normal). I am posting my glyphs, then I need to craft my gems and leg enchants before I do my JC daily. After that, I'm going to watch a movie."

IMO, the easiest solution to the RealID problem is a one-step process...

GROW A SPINE AND TELL THE TARDS **NO**!

Hatch said...

As much as I am hesitant to quit because my guildies are actually my friends and I don't want to leave them (we don't all have any other game in common), there is still a line they could cross that would make me quit WoW anyway. This isn't that line. But this particular line did cancel my SC2 preorder, cause me to vow to not buy Diablo 3, and canceled my plans for a paid race change before cata.

Losing the forums is annoying but not that bad. Having real id in required in the game - even for "optional" things like the auction house or guild perks or certain raids - is a dealbreaker.

Anonymous said...

You're wrong about one thing though.
This plan to basically turn WoW into facebook will INEVITABLY make the game easier and easier as time passes. And here I was hoping for TBC-style 5 mans in Cata. So naive.

Mick said...

I agree with you that functionality within the game will become more and more dependant on a players use of RealId, as RealID is all about the monetisation of your private information.

I also deleted the recurring subscription of my accounts when I changed the parental controls, I'm by no means quitting the game but I will be assessing month by month if the enjoyment I gain from playing the game is outweighed by the continued intrusion of my privacy.

And finally, I ticked the box to be sent a breakdown of how much time my 'child' is spending playing the game each week, if that won't get me to quit this game nothing will :p

Matt A. said...

@Pangoria Leaving the game because you don't like the game anymore is a valid, logical decision.

Leaving the game to protest RealID is the decision the M&S make...

Anonymous said...

Nice post! I was waiting for you to weigh in on RealID. Nobody wants to just quit a game that we otherwise love simply b/c of RealID. This logic (and easy instructions with pics for lazy people like myself) is great. Hopefully RealID will soon become just for n00bz only!

Anonymous said...

You should stick to Economic issues. You display a basic lack of social skills that are needed to evaluate this change.

It's fine to you because A) You don't post on the forums and B) You are anti-social and won't give out your RealID or help anyone.

Their stated reason for doing this is to make the forums more personal and to help curb trolling. The effect will be that a large majority of helpful posters will stop posting. People will continue to troll. And women will be harrassed in and out of game.

Anonymous said...

Missing the point as usual.

In case you failed to notice it's not the appearence of realId for friends which made a mess (BTW I know noone who uses it), it's the "you are forced to use you real name to post on official forums".

Complaining is not whining: when you pay you estabilish a contract with Blizzard, now they are changing it on the fly to suit their bank account. Step 1 is complain, step 2 is move to another game. But step 2 is easier said than done, as people have a group and friends on the game.

Denethal said...

@Pangoria Fallstar: Why leave the game for a minor thing like RealID is? You can disable it fully from your account pages. You don't have to quit the game to make an impact, that's just misguided rage-strategies.

Disabling it tells Blizzard that "Hey, we want to play the game, but we don't want this new addition to it."
It's harder to explain a high number of players not disabling this feature to their shareholders, than it is to explain that "there is a minimal reduction of players in July and June, but that's to be expected during summer."

The latter is easily accepted, while the first is a sign of time and money wasted on creating a feature very few players want to utilize.

So people should go disable it today instead of inciting drama over leaving. Despite the common misconception of being a special snowflake, they are not.

Furukawa said...

You can choose between friends and contacts. Why would you want to use Real ID with someone, who's real name you don't know by now anyway? I got one real ID friend so far, I know his name and I know how he looks, he is not a stranger.

Myze said...

Indeed, you have chosen to address the topic that is tangentially related to the actual topic of rage. RealID in itself is not the source of ire, it's the usage of it on the Blizzard forums.

Will you still post on the forums about your projects like Undergeared and the PuG knowing that your name (or whatever name you gave Blizzard when you signed up) will be displayed, ready for anyone who wants to spend but a few minutes online to find you and harass you outside of the game? (If you think it can't be done, look at what happened to Bashiok.)

Yeah, you could just not post on the forums, but where else can you reach many of the players on your realm to participate in these projects?

Denethal said...

In reference to my post, I see I made a blatant error: It's harder to explain a high number of players not disabling this feature to their shareholders, than it is to explain that "there is a minimal reduction of players in July and June, but that's to be expected during summer."

This should, of course be:
"It's harder to explain a high number of players disabling this feature to their shareholders, than it is to explain that "there is a minimal reduction of players in July and June, but that's to be expected during summer."

Anonymous said...

It's SHOCKING how many players and even bloggers do not realize the real reason why Blizzard is pushing RealID in the game and the forums. It has nothing to do with cleaing up forum trolls. They're trying to turn WoW into facebook, and already have an agreement with Facebook:

http://content.usatoday.com/communities/gamehunters/post/2010/05/blizzard-and-facebooks-friendly-social-networking-deal-launches-with-starcraft-ii-/1

Anonymous said...

When they're going to effectively remove features I'm paying for, that upsets me. I'll try to stop this in any way I can, if I can't I'll quit.

Whatever $$$ Blizz are going to make from this, it's not something I want to pay for.

Nielas said...

What actually happened is that Blizzard decided to stop giving access to the forums as a free perk to its customers and now has put a new 'cost' to it.

It's kind of like grocery stores no longer giving out free grocery bags but requiring you to pay a few cents for them.

Anonymous said...

I want to talk with people I know (friends, RL friends, WoW friends that stop to exist when I switch the client off) across the realms, or when they are on a different alt. Real ID idea would be AWESOME, if...

1. Not Friends of friends, or make it optional

2. Invisible mode should be implemented, and displaying of alts should be somehow restricted - again optionally

3. Real name. Many people have problems with it. I do not that much, but almost everyone ingame and in RL knows me under my nickname, not my RL name.

I don't understand why Blizzard didn't implement these 3 simple things. Make it optional, paranoid people will be happy, random retards will be happy. Where is the problem?

Andru said...

I see that people have taken my burning bridges comment to heart.


Check out the EU General discussion frontpage. The locks are invading!

And by locks, I don't mean the friendly curse-casting, demon-enslaving locks either.

If I were them, I'd cut my losses now. The Sunken cost fallacy applies perfectly to this situation.

(Which makes me wonder. Why didn't they wait with dropping the bomb in the Cata pre-patch?)

Anonymous said...

What you suggest only deals with part of the problem. There truly is a privacy issue here that cannot be controlled unless you don't use forums and don't use realid. For some of us that are professionals with our own companies, the simple fact that a google search at some point in the future could show my company along with post in wow forums just is something I don't want to have to deal with. At the moment it means I will never post when this goes into effect.

Anonymous said...

I found another bonus to turning on parental controls. You get an email every week telling you exactly how much you're playing.

Not sure if this is good or bad. But it's interesting.

Bristal said...

@Okrane: totally agree. It's an obvious and prudent move to incorporate the successful Facebook model.

Facebook is (potentially) worth many billions just for the ability to mine consumer habit/preference data of social networks of a desirable demographic, and those people are ENJOYING themselves while providing that data, as well as their eyes and ears for many hours a day.

Blizzard wants a piece of that.

It's inevitable. How to reach (and monetize) people staring at a computer screen for 20 hours a week is one of the holiest of grails right now.

Blizzard has the numbers. And the demographic as Okrane pointed out is becoming much more desirable. They need the identities.

Blizzard wants to be seen as a PLACE to go, not just a game to play. The ability to communicate and network with our friends is key.

The risk of pissing some of us off is quite likely worth the potential payoff.

Anonymous said...

You know, beeing all elite and cool is nice and dandy but it won't make live easier in the long run, when bloggers unite and shitstorm on this bullshit they lead a campaign, just like in a election you can't just go and vote and hope other people do the right thing, you actually spend ressources to make them vote it.

If this survives other will follow,e you don't want that so make sure to crush it now.

Anonymous said...

I have one major problem with RealID, the fact that you need to give your friends or ask them their Account mail.

Make a master name or something, but don't ask ppl to give out the most vital information about their account.

Tarrke said...

Can't see your point here Gevlon. What's bothering you with this real ID ? Three things if I read your article right :
- Friends of a friend can see your real name.
- Your friends can touch you anywhere you log.
- Lots of whinning about it on the Internet right now.
- Can't post on fora as long as you don't want your RID to be on fora.

Well, the last one is easy. As you said, you don't post on them already cause of M&S. The previous one is not so hard. Just don't read them. You don't have to read all the entries in the blogs you know.
First one is the most annoying, but hell, what can someone do with only your name and (one of) your nickname ? Not so much. Don't know about you, but I don't log in game with the nickname the community may (or may not) know to be mine.
I've tryed a little experiment with that RID thing and friend of friend knowing my real name. So this guy know my real name, and with a little chat get my main character name. With these two informations and some of my help, he could'nt find anything about the real me. How's that ? I don't post anything on the net about me.

This RID thing most anoying thing is that wow related friends can talk to you ni the middle of a 3v3 ST2 fight. And what then ? If they'll ask you to come and boost some guys in a random dongeon, jut say no. If they kick you, they make a mistake, they need you, more than you need them.

What about advantages ? I can see some. Example : i've a good IRL friend, but he got to move to other part of the world. We can chat via msn (but I'm not a big fan of that either) or wow. But we play on two separate servers, now we can talk to each other whenever the two of us are connected. Other thing, one patener of mine needed some help to do a GDKP run. He needed a tank desperatly and was able to find me throught this system. That afternon I made a 5k gold for an EdC (Champion something I assume in english) HM.

this system can be missused, but you can turn it to your advantage. the only things to remember are these ones :
- You can say no.
- If someone is asking you, he needs you more that you need him.
- Never ever display personal information other than a name on the internet. Your privacy stop wherever you decide it to stop.

Olga said...

Actually, it might not be Blizzard decision. They merged with Activision in 2007. Rumors are that Blizzard team is as unhappy with this change as community is, and the whole thing is supported by Activision CEO's.

warcraft gold said...

One of the brilliant idea I've heard so far, I'll let my other guildies know about your blog 'coz we're actually thinking of quitting the game. Crossing fingers that Blizzard will not succeed.

Anton said...

Seems that all the whining did help, Blizzard announced they cancel their plans about realID on forums.

Jyi said...

Well, it seems you were wrong after all: real names on forums cancelled. Maybe thousands of people complaining and canceling accounts actually has some effect.

However, there's still the problem that when you add people to realid, they see each other through me. I think there should be an option for that. It doesn't ask anyone's consent for that.

And there are uses for realid: friends who play on different servers. As an anti-social you may say "I don't care about friends on other servers" or "I don't have friends in WoW". But it's completely possible to have friends in WoW who don't want you to boost them, raid with them or give/make something for them. People who just want to engage in conversation every now and then. It is very easy to just say "I am busy now" or "cba" to them, and they won't bother you.

For that aforementioned use I have 2 realid friends. Or I had. One of them doesn't want his real name known by random people. And I agree with him.

Maleficias said...

So they backed down because of all the whining: "we've decided at this time that real names will not be required for posting on official Blizzard forums."

I guess there were more tears than they could eat in the end ;)

Ratshag said...

Guess Blizz don't like the taste of me tears after all.

Anonymous said...

Jesus Christ. What's the big freaking deal? Is it really that hard to just say "no" to whoever is messaging you and wanting a boost?

I personally dig RealID because it's optional, and I have a couple of real-life friends who play WoW and it makes it much easier to keep track of all their various toons and alts. These real-life friends are the only people I am connected to with RealID, but I wouldn't be opposed to connecting with fellow guildies. A lot of tightly-knit guilds share things like phone numbers and even facebook pages. It makes it much easier to contact someone if you get disconnect mid-raid or something, and besides, playing with people that you have some sort of real-life affiliation with makes the game a lot more meaningful and fun.

Zanathos said...

"Like you ever posted there since the first and last time when you naively put something there and got 2 pages of "lol its fail""

Ah, it's funny cause it's true

Kristopher said...

Thanx for the tutorial.

The way the links are set up on battle.net, I ended up hitting the parent's login, instead of setting up the account ( second button ). Which didn't work, of course.

Blizz does not want to offer this parental control feature ... they are required to offer it.

They are just not required to make it intuitive to set up.

YTou can also take this as an opportunity to set up a battle.net-only email address, and make that the "child" email ... by having only an unused one-of email for WoW, you enhance your account security.

Anonymous said...

There have been rumours of mods that can get your realid without you voluntarily handing it out.

I have started to get spam email addressed to my toons' names in my battle.net registered email so I can assume the rumours are true.

Jenny said...

I know at least for US forums they decided not to show real life names after the uproar.

I don't really care if friends of friends see my name, because they can see it on Facebook too.

This whole thing is pretty overblown. I actually like RealID and use it with real life friends and people I have been playing with for years.

Anonymous said...

Dont Like RealID? Why did you give them a real email address to start with for the battlenet account?

They take gmail you know....

Why did you give them a real name? It doesnt have to match the info on your credit card you know (ask a 12 year old if his mom gets calls from blizzard to authenticate her card)

Show me the bouncers at the login screen checking your drivers licence.

Hi! My name is john! My last name is some random punch of keys like a gold farmer, but I claim to be slovakian so you cant call me on it. I am at least old enough to type, but depending on which forum Im posting in Im 21-68 years old! (Id be 1 year old if the forums would let me read or post in them by accepting the first age option that comes up in the filter) If you wish to annoy me with realid spam, plese feel free to do so, and dont worry about contacting me at my registered email address. It automatically deletes your message after 90 days with a nice thank you note :)

I hear a lot about the efforts of account phishing for wow data via email. I never seem to get those messages. Weirdest thing, its like Im immune.

Anonymous said...

I dont know about you, But I am looking forward to being able to search the forums for a troll, then running a search under their real id name, and being able to see all thier posts, for 9 different lvl 1 alts, all different, all saying stupid shit, and in many cases, arguing with themselves.

The entertainment value of the incredibly stupid is simply too great to be ignored.

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