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Privacy Games Your Rights Online

Blizzard Rolls Out Real ID Privacy Options 145

Posted by Soulskill
from the step-in-the-right-direction dept.
tacarat writes "The last time Blizzard mentioned their new Real ID system, there was a strong backlash from users over privacy issues. Blizzard reconsidered their plans to require real names for forums, and little has been heard about it since. Now, they've announced new privacy settings, allowing users to limit how their name gets shared or to disable the system entirely. Quoting: 'These options provide Real ID users with additional tools for customizing the service based on their preferences, enabling the ability to opt in or out of the Real ID "Friends of Friends" and "Add Facebook Friends" features or to turn off Real ID altogether.'"
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Blizzard Rolls Out Real ID Privacy Options

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  • by DirtyCanuck (1529753) on Friday October 01, 2010 @12:15AM (#33755996)

    Real ID making Identity Fraud Criminals out of us all since, 2011 ;)

  • Dear Blizzard... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by syousef (465911) on Friday October 01, 2010 @12:15AM (#33756000) Journal

    Dear Blizzard,

    Gaming is my escape. I don't want harsh realities, real names, and idiotic DRM ruining my suspension of disbelief. If you create a system that brings me back to reality to resolve issues and work around bugs, I'm going to find other ways to spend my leisure time. I already have a Facebook account and rarely use it because I have better things to do.

    Sincerely,

    A. Gamer

    • by bgweber (1676858)

      This comes from a company with a fantasy IP?

    • Re:Dear Blizzard... (Score:4, Informative)

      by Lulfas (1140109) on Friday October 01, 2010 @12:45AM (#33756124)
      You can turn it off 100% now with this change. Go to the same page the article mentions to change the settings and you can just turn it off.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by flimflammer (956759)

        You could already disable RealID support anyway, so I don't know what the OP is having a cow about, unless he wants no one to be able to use it. All this update does is give you a finer grain of options about how you want to use the service.

        Before this change, if you decided to use RealID, you had no control over your friends' friends seeing your name and trying to add you to their friends list. This allows you to disable that, and a few similar options.

        I've been waiting for this. There were a few friends I

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by elrous0 (869638) *

        If you don't like the way your dealer is treating you, feel free to quit the crack.

        No?

        Yeah, that's what I thought.

      • by Krneki (1192201)
        The problem is, most of this stuff I presume it will be turned ON and you have to waste your time in order to turn most of this shit OFF.

        Like Facebook was fine when you shared your stuff with close friends, now when everyone is using it, it has become a PITA, like RL is when you share your party picture.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Lulfas (1140109)
          You're entirely correct, but the Facebook reference isn't a good one for the simple reason that the Blizzard Real ID is pretty clearly marked and turning the whole thing off it is literally a single radio button. As compared to Facebook's labyrinth of menus to go through to figure it out.
    • by jhoegl (638955)
      Blizzard is the diet coke of evil.

      Once they have you, it's "Gottcha' bitch!"
      May the fan base repudiate these statements in only ways Fox News could love.
    • by djdevon3 (947872)
      You expressed my sentiments exactly. Furthermore, there's got to be a special interest involved because the entire fiasco makes absolutely no sense. Why are brain-dead companies trying to push this Real ID crap like they're drug dealers. Just say no to Real ID. Nothing good can come of it.
      • Re:Dear Blizzard... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by silentcoder (1241496) on Friday October 01, 2010 @03:47AM (#33756646) Homepage

        I *like* realID - and I like these features so I can control it more.
        I got several alt characters, I do not want to lose my conversations - the SOCIAL aspect of a highly social game just because I switched alt. I don't want to lose the ability to talk to my guildies on the alliance side about tomorrow night's Lich King tactics just because I'm busy levelling my troll hunter.
        The only feature I would dearly love to see added is an invisible mode, so I can appear offline for those rare occasions when I actually don't want to talk to anybody (e.g. like when I'm doing AH-PVP which means I'm AFK for most of the time watching a movie on my other screen).

        I think a very large part of the player base agrees with me. We freaked out about requiring it on forums, I personally would like to see it changed to be able to use a nickname rather than real name but other than that RealID is really not such a huge thing as people make it out to be. Quite the contrary - it's a logical extension of the same chat features that all online games have had back to the earliest MUD's.

        I am all for constructive criticism to ask for features that allow users the control they should have over *any* form of communication their involved with but the vast majority of the reaction to realID is kneejerk shouting with absolutely no basis in any rational thinking.

        • by ShakaUVM (157947)

          >>I got several alt characters, I do not want to lose my conversations - the SOCIAL aspect of a highly social game just because I switched alt. I don't want to lose the ability to talk to my guildies on the alliance side about tomorrow night's Lich King tactics just because I'm busy levelling my troll hunter.

          Ditto.

          >>We freaked out about requiring it on forums, I personally would like to see it changed to be able to use a nickname rather than real name

          The Blizzard forums are an absolute cesspool.

          • The Blizzard forums are an absolute cesspool.

            Maybe they should like... moderate it?

            And make it so posters can't use any one of the 50 potential characters to post but rather have it all under one name?

            Oh, and treat forum bans with an ingame ban as well.

            An "Ignore Account" would be a nice feature too. I mean, sure someone could make a new account if they were really determined but at that point you're probably already looking at legal action whereas creating a new character to get passed the terribly short

          • by RobDude (1123541)

            It's still really, really, really easy to make an anonymous RealID. All you need to do is buy a new Blizzard game. There is nothing to keep it 'real'.

            The data they collected pre-dated people having a reason to lie. Nothing stops trolls and jerks from getting a new RealID. There is nothing 'real' about it.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Rysc (136391) *

          It's a logical extension of chat features... which displays your real, meatspace identity to random people on the internet.

          I'm with you on the *features*, that's cool, I am not okay with someone else deciding what my name is and who gets to know it. I am not the same person to everyone and I don't want all my identities connected, not even all my identities for the same game (much less different games, much less the rest of my life).

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by Trolan (42526)

            It is opt-out by default. In order for anyone to see your real 'meatspace' identity, they have to request to be your RealID friend, and you then have to approve them. And in order for them to do that, they have to know one of the following:
            - Your battle.net account name
            - Be a friend of a friend of yours (who you would have approved by means of the above or below)
            - Be a friend of yours on facebook, and you would have had to login via SC2 to your facebook account.

            All of those require you to have done some d

            • by Rysc (136391) *

              All of these so-called "deliberate actions" are thereby implicitly authorizing Blizzard to disclose my real identity. Such disclosure should never be implicit and should only occur with my express approval. Don't say "Well because they're my friend this means I approve of them knowing my name" - this is totally untrue. Again, and let me repeat, RealID as a system offers unique features which people will want to use. Making use of this system should not require me to disclose my meatspace identity to anyone

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Kreigaffe (765218)

          The thing is that none of the important things the RealID friend system does couldn't be done better by simply NOT USING PEOPLE'S REAL FUCKING NAMES.

          That's the issue. It's really not a bad system, if it just DIDN'T USE PEOPLE'S REAL FUCKING NAMES.

          There's also the unsavory fact that releasing RealID to their forums with intentions of it reducing trolling reveals that Blizz believes people should be afraid of RL consequences for forum posts while at the same time telling people they're completely safe and no

          • by silentcoder (1241496) on Friday October 01, 2010 @07:13AM (#33757396) Homepage

            Why are you still screaming about the forums ? We already WON that battle - the company listened to their users and changed their stance ! What the hell more do you want from a company ?

            This article is about them listening to users regarding the in-game version and adding features people wanted. The one you're getting vitriolic about and cussing over is one I already mentioned. These latest changes show them being responsive to people's concerns - even if clearly they are not getting the kind of high developer priority you demand - some of us think that what with having cataclysm in beta their developer resources may be a just a tad strained at the moment. It's a positive sign and promising with regard to getting the other features we would like in the near future.

            Can't you be happy about that ?

            • by Kidbro (80868)

              Can't you be happy about that ?

              As long as the feature is still useless, I see little reason to be "happy" about it. It doesn't matter to me if it's a light year or an inch from being useful, it's still useless.

              • Then don't use it ? Nobody forces you to. If you don't like it in it's current state switch it off. If you find in future that new additions made it usable for you switch it on again... I am quite picky about my RealID friends list - in fact I have only three friends on it at all, but I wouldn't trade the the ability to talk to them - and our shared friends from their equally short lists back now - it's just so damn useful.

                A very accurate analogy - you're like the guy who cries because the phone book exist

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by RobDude (1123541)

          I think people are suffering from a 'false dilemma' mentality.

          "I want some features this thing would give me, so I have to support the whole thing. Because that's the only way I could get those features."

          All of the social aspects you are describing could be achieved *without* it ever being tied to your actual identity.

          You need (or at least used to need) a Battlenet account. All of your characters are associated with that account. Adding the ability to be 'account friends' or 'account guilds' that would l

        • by seebs (15766)

          I would like it if it allowed nicknames.

          I have a couple of transgendered friends who played WoW. They played WoW to get away from people staring at them and asking them about their gender and so on. So as long as Real ID uses legal names, they can't use it. And since, as you note, it's an awesome feature, that means they're being told that this awesome feature is not for them. You know what? Transgendered people are told plenty often already that they are not allowed to have the things they want.

          I swit

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by ukyoCE (106879)

          I'm pretty sure the Real Name Required / Made Public aspect was what people were up in arms about. Having the option to keep 1 friends list across all your alts is pretty universally desired.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        Why are brain-dead companies trying to push this Real ID crap like they're drug dealers.

        Ironically, the reason is that their customers are actually paying 15 a month for WoW, etc, and would probably be treated a lot better if they weren't paying anything at all.

        The companies receiving this money view you as a regular source of income and treat you accordingly--monetizing their cash cows to the fullest, and generally treating them like bovine chattels instead of paying customers. Such is modern business.

        Howe

        • That's not at all true. If you are paying money to a company, then you are the customer. If you're using a "free" (ad-supported) service, then you are the *product*, and the advertisers are the customer. This is an important distinction that people should keep in mind when using services like Facebook: you are the product that the company is selling to advertisers. Your happiness and satisfaction are only relevant if they generate more saleable metrics. Don't pretend that those companies care about you; the

        • A nicely written argument, but I would go the exact opposite direction. Blizzard has to earn my $15 every month. When I get bored (run out of content) I unsubscribe. When they come out with great new expansions (and I think they are), I buy them. Blizzard is completely obligated to keep me happy on a month to month basis or I quit.

          Contrast that with a boxed game. The standard process is to publish the game, max out sales, and then fire the dev staff. They never hear from me again, and my satisfaction

    • On the other hand, the official WoW message boards have become a cesspool. If they have one OPTIONAL Real ID-only forum, then I guarantee that it'll quickly become the best one they host.

      The same will probably happen in-game. Real ID enabled players will probably be better behaved on average, since they've (theoretically) got their actual identity on the line.

      It'll be interesting to see it play out.

      • There's still no reason for a RealID forum unless you want people to be nice under the potential threat of someone on the internet tracking them down in real life to enforce niceness.

        All they have to do is tie one account to one name (fabricated or, if anyone feels like it, their own) and tie forum bans to bans ingame.

      • by tlhIngan (30335)

        On the other hand, the official WoW message boards have become a cesspool. If they have one OPTIONAL Real ID-only forum, then I guarantee that it'll quickly become the best one they host.

        The same will probably happen in-game. Real ID enabled players will probably be better behaved on average, since they've (theoretically) got their actual identity on the line.

        It'll be interesting to see it play out.

        Happened on the SC2 forums as well.

        When you first link your SC2 game to your account, SC2 presented a nice "Na

    • Then don't use it. Its opt in. You do not have to use it if you do not want to. That is why Blizzard is giving users choice, because some people don't want REAL ID.

      Unless you are insinuating that this is only the first step of their insidious plan to subvert all into the REAL ID world... in which case, here you might want to borrow my tinfoil hat.

      Personally I think it has good and bad possibilities. The good is perhaps I might find more friends that are WOW players through services such as Facebook, and thu

    • by RobDude (1123541)

      Eh - the funny thing is that it's unbelievably easy to make a fake RealID - it just requires that you do it 'from the beginning'. Since most people created their WoW accounts in a time when companies respected your privacy, they gave real information.

      Blizz has made it an insane amount of work to change the information associated with your account, after the fact. But if you are willing to buy a new game; you can, once again, use fake names and be anonymous.

      I know this because my girlfriend's "RealID" has

    • by ildon (413912)

      Uh, ok, don't add people as Real ID friends. It's optional. PROBLEM SOLVED.

  • by Joce640k (829181) on Friday October 01, 2010 @12:26AM (#33756054) Homepage

    There has to be a PHB behind this.

    • I think that they are trying set it up so that they can use it for demographics. Then they can add another revenue stream by selling targeted ads in their games. Hmm...then again maybe the tinfoil hat is causing some issues with my thinking and stuff. :)

    • There probably was a PHB behind RealID (which has been up&running for months now), but how did they learn nothing if they now offer privacy options for that? Actually I believe that is basically the first good idea they had for RealID.

  • by LostCluster (625375) * on Friday October 01, 2010 @12:37AM (#33756098)

    Banning or shaming customers who disagree with you and publicly say so is no way to run a business. It doesn't leave you in the perfect world where everybody agrees with you, it leaves you in a world where nobody cares about you and you go away.

    • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      They're trying to clean up the Blizzard forums and good on them - it's a circus.

      • If your own forums about yourself are a circus, you're clearly doing something wrong.
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          If your own forums about yourself are a circus, you're clearly doing something wrong.

          Except when it's a game company. Read some WoW forums and behold: hordes of clowns inhabiting Blizzard forums.

          If they are Blizzard's fault then the fault is that Blizzard makes its games for widest possible audience. That includes drooling idiots. But hey, as long as they are _paying_ drooling idiots..

      • RealID is not, and never was, used on the Blizzard forums. It was shortly planned to do so, but because of the have backlash from the users they never implemented it (and I doubt they will try to do that again).

    • by _Sprocket_ (42527)

      Banning or shaming customers who disagree with you and publicly say so is no way to run a business. It doesn't leave you in the perfect world where everybody agrees with you, it leaves you in a world where nobody cares about you and you go away.

      I don't believe this is about silencing dissenting opinion. RealID is about other things beyond forums. If you believe that using RealID in the forums was about altering posting behavior, then it was simply a conveniently available tool to attempt leveraging peer pressure to self-police the community. In which case, whoever came up with the idea is out of touch and / or delusional. More likely RealID is buying in to the whole "social media" thing and, even more so, the marketing / "monitization" strateg

      • by Undead Waffle (1447615) on Friday October 01, 2010 @01:30AM (#33756264)

        Banning or shaming customers who disagree with you and publicly say so is no way to run a business. It doesn't leave you in the perfect world where everybody agrees with you, it leaves you in a world where nobody cares about you and you go away.

        I don't believe this is about silencing dissenting opinion. RealID is about other things beyond forums. If you believe that using RealID in the forums was about altering posting behavior, then it was simply a conveniently available tool to attempt leveraging peer pressure to self-police the community. In which case, whoever came up with the idea is out of touch and / or delusional. More likely RealID is buying in to the whole "social media" thing and, even more so, the marketing / "monitization" strategies associated with it.

        Basically this. I suspect this is part of Activision's plan to get the most out of Blizzard. Use their popularity to try to force some sort of social networking BS to masses of people in hopes of building it into something larger when it starts to catch on.

        • Everything I've read coming out of Blizzard so far leads me to believe that Blizzard is as much behind it as Activision. The Blizzard guys want to milk that cow as much as they can, too.
          • by _Sprocket_ (42527)

            Everything I've read coming out of Blizzard so far leads me to believe that Blizzard is as much behind it as Activision. The Blizzard guys want to milk that cow as much as they can, too.

            It's hard to tell where the distinction is between "Blizzard" and "Activision". If you look at the timeline, a lot of this additional nickle-and-dime behavior started up shortly after Activision came in to the picture. It is behavior in line with what Activision did before aquiring Blizzard. So while these things happen within the Blizzard realm, it really has the overtones of Activision. But all this is a moot point. It doesn't matter what internal group came up with these ideas. All that matters is

        • some sort of social networking BS to masses of people in hopes of building it into something larger

          I think you mean this. [battle.net]

      • by furgle (1825812)
        I agree, it probably is to allow better marketing and monitization strategies through social media; But that by itself is not nessesarily a bad thing. We all get annoyed at junk mail, and random salesmen/preachers knocking at our door. Only because we already know what we want. A more personalised marketing strategy can be a lot less obtrusive as it fits into what we do. Some people worry that because of this we may not be aware of ads / marketing strategies being used on us and because of that we will be c
        • by _Sprocket_ (42527)

          I agree, it probably is to allow better marketing and monitization strategies through social media; But that by itself is not nessesarily a bad thing. We all get annoyed at junk mail, and random salesmen/preachers knocking at our door. Only because we already know what we want.

          You make it sound as if marketing / sales and I are a team. We're not; we're adversaries. That plays out in almost every interaction between us.

          The sales and marketing folks are in the business of being seen and delivering their pitch. The vast majority of my day involves doing things other than receiving a sales pitch. I am not annoyed because the sales pitch isn't targeted, I'm annoyed at the sales pitch. I don't ever look at my day thinking "you know - what I need is another sales pitch." It doesn'

    • Well, they DID listen to their customers and backed from using RealID on the forums. Now it's just a way to connect with friends on the games (ATM just WoW and SCII). You can (at least in WoW, dont know about SCII) still add friends the old way (character name). If you want to be able to chat when your friend plays a different game, or on a different server, you can use RealID. As you are not forced to do so, I don't believe it's a inherently bad system. However, the privacy options were definately needed,

      • by Kreigaffe (765218)

        They only listened to their customers because their customers were doing their best to ruin the life of one of their employees, or possibly some other guy with the same name -- and showed every intention of doing the same over and over just to prove that RealID on forums was a terrible idea.

    • by ukyoCE (106879)

      Are you talking about the WOW forums? People there disagree with them all the time. It's nearly the only reason anyone ever posts at all. You only get banned (or "shamed") if you're trolling, cursing, screaming, and generally being an obnoxious jerk.

      They also give people many many chances before banning, usually locking threads and asking nicely to calm down and correct your tone/language. I've been disagreeing with Blizzard on their forums for years now and never had a problem.

  • Good! Disabled it. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by AbRASiON (589899) * on Friday October 01, 2010 @12:47AM (#33756128) Journal

    Now will SC2 stop showing my real name in the UI? It's bad for streaming and screenshots.
    Also when can everyone play with each other on the GLOBAL INTERNET in all regions?
    Meh.

    • by ildon (413912)

      Also when can everyone play with each other on the GLOBAL INTERNET in all regions?

      When I can have a sub 50ms ping to a player in Taiwan from here in Florida.

  • this is the problem (Score:5, Interesting)

    by phantomfive (622387) on Friday October 01, 2010 @01:30AM (#33756262) Journal
    The reason Starcraft, and Starcraft 2, have sold so well is because of the pro-gaming league. If it weren't for that, Starcraft wouldn't have much of an audience. It is so easy to get sucked into. Me too, in my more irrational moments have dreamed what it would be like to be a pro Starcraft player. It won't happen of course, but having that idea in the back of my mind makes the game that much more fun.

    Blizzard is destroying pro Starcraft. They want to control it completely. Which would be fine, except they have no clue how to run a competitive gaming league. They don't know how to get thousands of spectators to an event, they don't know how to organize an event. They see the dollar signs, but don't understand the effort that goes into making it happen.

    It would be best if they just made a way for people to play over the LAN, then got out of the way, so there could be real competitions.

    My point is, instead they are focusing on weird real-id things, instead of trying to figure out a way to make gaming as nice as possible for competitions (while at the same time accessible for the rest of us). They have lost focus of what will bring people in to the game.
    • by Aereus (1042228)

      I don't know what they want with Starcraft2, honestly. They claim to want an "e-Sport" (Whatever that is.) but no LAN kills off all but the largest tournaments due to most hotel/convention internet being terrible for ping. It also makes it difficult for grass-roots interest in the game to happen when their Matchmaking and Friends system is archaic to say the least. It's like taking the rudimentary matchmaking from Mario Kart DS, mixed with the obnoxious friend code requirement from Animal Crossing.

      As others

      • by Impeesa (763920)

        As others have said -- I have a feeling it's all some ulterior motive from Kotick to try to cash in on Blizzard or Starcraft in some anti-gamer way.

        Yeah, it's hard not to sound like the anti-corporate tinfoil hat guy saying it, but it's also hard not to feel like Blizzard is a bit hobbled by direction from above these days.

    • "They don't know how to get thousands of spectators to an event, they don't know how to organize an event."

      You don't quite understand Blizzcon do you....

    • by BobMcD (601576)

      The reason Starcraft, and Starcraft 2, have sold so well is because of the pro-gaming league. ...
      My point is, instead they are focusing on weird real-id things, instead of trying to figure out a way to make gaming as nice as possible for competitions (while at the same time accessible for the rest of us). They have lost focus of what will bring people in to the game.

      This strikes me as very odd. Blizzard isn't in the 'gaming league' business. They're in the video game business. And the whole 'Starcraft selling well for years' thing is utter crap. Gamers raving over a decade-old game from the bargain bin? That's exactly the opposite of what you want when you're cranking out subscription style expansion packs for the foreseeable future.

      And note I'm still talking only Starcraft. The elephant in the room is Warcraft, and to a lesser extent Diablo. They want your Real

      • That 'pro-gaming league' thing was an anomaly. Please do stop expecting Blizzard to form business strategies around it. It makes me wince. In short, Starcraft is NOT Magic the Gathering, nor was it ever intended to be.

        I don't. I expect them to get out of the way and let those who want to make a pro gaming league to do it. I expect them to stop acting like they want to control the pro-gaming scene if they have no clue how to manage it. That's what I expect.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by ildon (413912)

      You're an idiot. Pro gamers account for like 0.01% of people who bought SC1/SC2. SC was already a massive success as far as PC game sales were concerned before Koreans even knew what it was. And the majority of people who bought SC2 played through the single player campaign on medium or easier and then played maybe 10 ladder games before moving on to custom maps (which, by the way, accounted for like 90% of the people playing BW on battle.net last time I check like 6 years ago) or going back to playing WoW,

  • ugh (Score:5, Interesting)

    by kuzb (724081) on Friday October 01, 2010 @02:14AM (#33756402)

    Why the fuck does everything and it's turnip need facebook integration. Video games do not need to be integrated with Zuckerberg's privacy nightmare.

    • Video games do not need to be integrated with Zuckerberg's privacy dream.

      I think you were typing too fast. Had to fix it for you... unless you meant the nightmare is yours and you happen to share a last name with a douche-bag :)

    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Data on customers = targeted advertisements... A product that only 40 year old men will buy is best advertised to only 40 year old men. A service that only has 40 year old men on it gets a substantial premium from these advertisers since none of the "eye balls" they're paying for are wasted.

      Facebook integration is just a way to pull more data about your customers out of the system. Either directly or by some bargain with Facebook.

      Even though a targeted ad structure is the most likely growth from this type o

    • by tapo (855172)
      RealID's Facebook integration simply allows you to see what Facebook friends are on Battle.net (and have used the FB tool), and add them as friends. That's it. It makes perfect sense, its damn useful to add all your friends with the click of a button (they need to confirm, of course) and it only exists as a *single button* in the whole interface.
  • Friends (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 01, 2010 @02:39AM (#33756460)

    Remember: Friends don't let friends' friends friend friends' friends' friends.

    • by EnsilZah (575600)

      I for one am glad Friends is off the air, because that would convolute things even further.
      And as a general sentiment.

  • This is a positive change, folks. We can finally opt out of ReadID! If you want to keep it enabled for whatever reason, then at least you can opt out of the Facebook integration and the "friends of friends" feature. Why is everyone complaining about more privacy?
  • ...because when I'm pretending to be an elf, or an orc, slaying dragons and collecting loot, I want NOTHING more than my neighbors (or better - my boss!) to see that I'm doing it. Even possibly during work!

    Sweet!

    (Do any of this company's brilliant marketeers ask themselves why people haven't used their real names for login id's?)

    I think I'll go change my /. login info to use my real name, too!

  • I flipped the master kill switch for Real ID. Damn that felt good knocking that out completely. If I want to talk to people I know I'll use a common channel or log in to the other faction toon to talk to em.
  • by KeithH (15061) on Friday October 01, 2010 @09:15AM (#33758406)
    I manage the parental control's for my daughter's account (because I screwed up and was honest about her age - what a nuisance!). I have several complaints about this new system:
    • I wasn't notified; I had to learn about it from a friend.
    • The default behaviour is permissive.
    • Even though my daughter's account is subject to parental controls, its default behaviour is also permissive. (same as #2 but worse)
    • When I check my daughter's account, the settings are greyed out with a message that they are subject to her parent's control. But, the greyed out image shows the settings still enabled even though I disabled them. Is that accurate and hence a bug or inaccurate and hence misleading?

    Generally, I've been pretty pleased with Blizzard. In my opinion, they're a notch above most game manufacturers and *several* notches above EA, the provider of my 3 daughters' favourite game: Sims3 - now that is an appalling piece of crapware with wholly inadequate support.

    But Blizzard dropped the ball on this one and I've let them know. If you feel the same way, let them know via their web support interface. It's quite easy.

    • The lack of notification was a big problem for me as well. I was real surprised when I found out that my real name was being used in my conversations. I never signed up for it, I never 'enabled' it. It just started happening.

      The real problem is that I would like a feature similar to this, but not even close to the way they implemented it.

      Oh and Opt-In should be required by freaking law.

  • by seebs (15766) on Friday October 01, 2010 @10:12AM (#33759290) Homepage

    This still lacks a way to use cross-game or cross-server chat and friends lists without using real names. Without that feature, there's a lot of folks for whom Real ID is unusable... And it turns out that the functionality it offers is a really, really, big deal to many players. Because most people have multiple alts, trying to keep all the toons of a few friends listed overflows my friends list quite easily. So I can't have that functionality.

    So, I cancelled my subs and went looking, and started playing City of Heroes. Where they have a global handle system which does not require you to use your real name, and lets you chat with friends across all characters, and so on. And it works.

    So at this point, the three accounts I had, and my spouse's account, and our housemate's account, and a few other accounts, are just plain never coming back. Blizzard had lots of opportunities to address the foundational flaw of tying everything to a "real name". They had lots of clear-cut specific examples (people with stalkers, transgendered people, etc.) pointed out. And their solution is, months later, to say "well, you can turn it off."

    Yeah, that's not gonna do any good. What we wanted was the ability to use the cross-server friend feature without tying it to real names. Without that, it's simply not a service that offers me any value.

"'Tis true, 'tis pity, and pity 'tis 'tis true." -- Poloniouius, in Willie the Shake's _Hamlet, Prince of Darkness_

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