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Privacy Games

Blizzard Adds Timestamps To WoW Armory 318

Posted by Soulskill
from the hope-your-boss-doesn't-know-your-character-name dept.
Kharny writes "In a move that could cause serious privacy problems for players of World of Warcraft, Blizzard has added timestamps and an RSS feed to the game's online armory site. This new feature will mean that anyone can follow 'real-time' developments in a World of Warcraft character, which display the exact time and date, so that others can see that person's playing habits. Many players have already complained about the fact that there is no opt-out setting, and this opens very big possibilities for online stalking."
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Blizzard Adds Timestamps To WoW Armory

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  • Already possible (Score:5, Informative)

    by sopssa (1498795) * <sopssa@email.com> on Tuesday January 19, 2010 @06:25AM (#30817578) Journal

    This just makes it a little bit easier. One could easily write a LUA script that /who's the player in-game between some intervals and save the info. Or the more geeky ones could write a program that uses WoW's protocol and logins to do the same (and relogins if disconnected).

    So it's not like it wouldn't already be possible to gather those playing habits.

  • by MrRTFM (740877) * on Tuesday January 19, 2010 @06:30AM (#30817592) Journal
    unlike most other online communities there is no way to show your status as 'Offline' (which makes it very annoying sometimes) In fact all this data is obtainable anyway - just makes it a bit easier for mom to see that johnny got that epic sword last night at 10:30PM - THAT'S PAST YOUR BEDTIME JOHNNY!!!!
  • Re:Already possible (Score:4, Informative)

    by xouumalperxe (815707) on Tuesday January 19, 2010 @07:01AM (#30817708)

    Are you sure that WoW EULA does not have some conditions that prohibit scripting?

    It might prohibit cyber-stalking, and repeated status requests on a player might be considered as such, but the reason why the OP mentioned Lua is because WoW supports Lua as a user scripting language to make interface addons. (And except for bug exploits, by definition anything done with the Lua API can't be a ban-worthy offence)

  • Re:beyond stupid. (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 19, 2010 @07:02AM (#30817718)

    The only real things someone might be able to know, (especially with a class like a druid that requires up to eight [1] different sets of gear), is that someone might be PvP-ing, or running dungeons/raids when they do an armor swap. Some people who don't PvP can get away with a single set of gear if their class is a DPS only class (hunter, mage).

    Knowing someone is in PvP or PvE gear, especially on a PvP server may mean something though, especially if griefing is involved. For example, if someone is in their DPS gear, they likely might be Icecrown doing dailies, and perhaps can be easy gankings if someone is so inclined.

    [1]: Bear gear for tanking in PvE, tree gear for healing, cat gear for melee DPS, moonkin gear for ranged, moonkin PvP gear, bear PvP gear (for tanking bosses in AV), tree PvP gear, and cat PvP gear. At the minimum, a raiding druid will have three sets of gear, a tank or heal set (because DPS is so common on raids), a PvE DPS set, and a PvP/arena set.

  • Re:It seems (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 19, 2010 @07:17AM (#30817796)

    Many of the bots are not simple. They are quite sophisticated, and allow not just harvesting, but questing, rep grinding etc.

    There are "one click" profiles for ten or more levels at a time. Set it and go.

    Auction house bots manipulate the economy. Price fixing at it's worst.

    honor/mark farming, even arena point farming. Hell, there were instance profiles for solo'ing lower level instances, and follow profiles designed to let one person run a five-man instance with a couple bots backing him/her up.

    Not that any of this relates much to the article, but it's worth refuting your point of the bots being simple. I used to bot three toons at once. A couple made it to 80, and a dozen or so to 60. Mmoglider getting shut down is why I quit the game.

  • Re:What's next? (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 19, 2010 @07:19AM (#30817804)

    Based on your comment history that slashdot easily gives us, I can roughly assume that you normally check slashdot from 10PM-2AM.

  • by ichigo 2.0 (900288) on Tuesday January 19, 2010 @07:51AM (#30817926)
    What else would a sick person do at home other than play games and watch television? It's not like you can sleep 24/7...
  • Re:Already possible (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 19, 2010 @09:16AM (#30818318)

    WoW doesn't prohibit scripting, in fact it supports it.

    There are some things that you're not allowed to do in scripts, in order to prevent you from automating things that shouldn't be (such as actual gameplay, combat in particular), those things are prevented by technical limitations.

  • by thesandtiger (819476) on Tuesday January 19, 2010 @10:07AM (#30818662)

    Maybe hanging out with you is just less interesting/compelling than raiding. :D

    Seriously, though, I think the people that get "hooked" on WoW would fuck up for other reasons. When I was in college I had friends who dropped out over a relationship gone bad, or drinking, or drugs, or depression, or socializing, or anything else you'd care to name. People dropping out of college is not a new thing - it's been going on since there have been colleges to drop out from.

    My great uncle, who is 80, flunked out of college despite there not being WoW because of a girl.

  • Re:It seems (Score:3, Informative)

    by MetalPhalanx (1044938) on Tuesday January 19, 2010 @10:51AM (#30819122)

    Oh they ruin the game. As mentioned in sister posts, there are more than just "harvester" bots. They are a lot more sophisticated than you think.

    I just started playing WoW again after an 8 month break and I was dismayed at the number of bots in the new "random" dungeon feature. They're sneaky... they'll buff you appropriately, and if you whisper it, the bot will even respond. Then it will follow you through the instance doing the minimum possible. It becomes immediately apparently if you have a good damage meter. There's no way that someone with a 5k+ gear score (that means decked out in t9 raiding gear or better) should be barely pulling 1k dps.

    It is frustrating to have your random dungeon ruined by a bot... can't kick them until after the 15 minute cooldown is up, can't leave and re-queue until your 15 minutes are up. You're either forced to wait out 15 minutes - and honestly most heroics take about that time - or you can drag along a severely under-performing bot and fulfill it's purpose of "power gathering" emblems of triumph.

    Personally, I wait it out and then kick them.

  • by Killjoy_NL (719667) <slashdotNO@SPAMremco.palli.nl> on Tuesday January 19, 2010 @11:37AM (#30819684)

    This system baffles me every time it is mentioned though.
    I work in a school in the Netherlands, I get 40 days off this year, I brought over 8 free days from 2009 that I didn't use, so that's 48 days for this year.
    When I get sick, I stay at home, this isn't deducted from my free days.
    When I am on vacation for 3 weeks and I am sick for 2 weeks, I only lose 1 week of free time, since being sick doesn't cost free days.

    I have an absurd amount of free days though, the norm in the Netherlands for companies is about 25 days per year if I'm not mistaken.

    I really feel sorry for you guys, having so little vacation/free days. Wish you had more.

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