21st Century Digital … something?

As an update to my previous post, Blizzard/Activision has announced that due to the feedback (and possibly the staggering number of people who cancelled over the issue), that the upcoming Starcraft II forums—and forums in the future—will not require users to post under their real first and last names.

You may be seeing tweets or posts saying they have abandoned Real ID entirely. This is notthe case. They are only changing the Real ID implementation on the discussion forums. The Real ID chat features are still intact, as is the friend-of-a-friend feature that so many people have also been concerned about.

They will instead be requiring a unique handle. When the Starcraft II forums launch with the release of the game, they will use your Starcraft II Battle.net character name + character code* as a unique forum identifier.

In addition, they have stated, “The upgraded World of Warcraft forums with these new features will launch close to the release of Cataclysm, and also will not require your real name.”

Two days ago I quit playing World of Warcraft over this, as did many of my friends. And so did many of you.

The WoW forums in the US and in Europe have been non-stop buzzing about the Real ID issue, to the tune of (no, not a vuvuzela!) this post with over 2400 pages of comments. That’s pages, not individual comments.

The wow_ladies community on livejournal exploded with discussion, including a post asking for people to speak up if they were quitting or considering quitting over this that received hundreds of comments. While most of these were screened to ensure that people’s privacy would be maintained, you can see over 100 comments from people who spoke out and told their stories. Some of which are quite simply gut-wrenching.

As of now, my account is still canceled. It runs out at the end of July, and I’ll make the decision then as to if I’m going to return to my gnomes, and my guild and my game.

I am pleased that Blizzard listened to their customers. But it will take more than just to restore my faith—and the faith of many others. Some of the wording in the post that stated their intent to change how Real ID will work on the forums is unsettling and they still have not allowed us to remove the friend-of-a-friend “feature”.

* I don’t actually know what this means, since I’m not in the Starcraft II beta. If someone in the beta can leave a comment here, that would be great!

Posted on July 9, 2010 at 14:20 by Frito · Permalink
In: Games: MMORPGs and Text-Based RPGs, Video Games · Tagged with: , , ,