Yes, that title is a bit dyslexic, but oh well. I promise that this will be my last RealID post, now that it seems to have cooled a bit, and is now easier to handle and examine. As of this afternoon, about lunch time, Mr. Morhaime, CEO of Blizzard, denounced his robot overlords, and with a level head and group discussion renounced the usage of real names in the Blizzard forums. It will instead be using CharacterName.CharacterCode. This will obviously provide the same functionality, in that it gives a central alias that all characters branch from, allowing more folks to know who is actually posting; however, I don’t think that it will really remove the abundance of trolls that roam under the bridges of the Official Forums.
It seems that Shade’s Internet Dragons have won the day!
After following several conversations, and threads on the subject, I don’t believe that it is over. This is likely only the beginning. You see Activision is still that dark cloud hovering over Blizzard. They still have a say in the decisions made by the boys in Blue. There is still the possibility that contract changes can be made, giving Activision more power, and making Blizzard have that much less control over the content they provide. However, they must be vigilant, just as we must. I believe that Linedan said it best, when he cast Vigilance on Mr. Kotick (CEO, President and Board Member of Activision Blizzard), as it is likely that there will be some ninja aggro being picked up by him.
You see, there is this little popular thing called Social Networking. Apparently, it’s the “in” thing with all the regular folks out there. Not necessarily the gamers, but the moms and dads, brothers and sisters, even grandmas of the world. They can go there, oblivious to the obvious security risks and loopholes, and play their Farkle and Farmville. Meeting up with old flames, and chatting with family from across the country. Well, Mr. Kotick wants to go out in those crops and pick him out some more consumers. Adding them to his little crop so that he can then sell them off to the highest bidder. To him, we’re nothing more then a watermelon crop that has just ripened.
I am personally not a fan of Facebook, or it’s spinoffs. It has become a frothing pool of naivety and a testbed for spammers and hackers. Sure they don’t rear their heads, but they are there. Now, I really do not believe that the proposed integration of Facebook will actually interfere with our actual gaming experience, at least I hope not. I do not expect to see billboards advertising Mafia Wars and other Zynga, I don’t expect NPCs to begin blurting out advertisements. I do, however, expect to see the Official Forums and the Official sites of Blizzard’s games start to be peppered with “new content” pulled from Facebook, and other “social networking” sites.
To me it seems that Mr. Kotick was a little late to the social networking bandwagon, and wants to exploit what he can while he still can. If you remember, Activision used to actually have some really good games, games that you would remember and go back to, but as time went on, they began to steer closer and closer to the “popular” crowd, and whatever happened to be “cool” at the moment (e.g. Band Hero featuring Taylor Swift? DJ Hero? WTF?). Maybe I’m just jaded, maybe I just get sick of all the “pop” crap trying to put itself off as “rock”, maybe I’m a purist or something, but I just don’t follow, nor do I want to follow, what happens to be “in” at the moment.
Do I trust Blizzard? Yes, to an extent. I still trust that they will listen to their playerbase, and continue to produce good stuff for our little virtual world known as Azeroth. Do I trust some if their management (even higher than Morhaime), no, not one bit. They are too much into blurting buzzwords to try and get those who are naive to their usage to follow their every step, without question. The only paradigm shift that I plan on doing is the kind that prevents me from blowing up the raid (ok, that’s polarity shift.. but you get the picture). There is still the rumor that the current RealID system has a flaw that can allow malicious addons to see all RealIDs, but in my eyes, that is something that is under Blizzard’s control, and they should be able to fix it, notwithstanding any interference from their overlords.
Anyway, to conclude this, the pre expansion cataclysm seemed to have come early, and it wasn’t even in game, but at least we had Thrall, or maybe just an entire Horde of them out there to bring things back to some sense of order. My hats off to those who spoke up, to keep those who may not have known better safe. Now, to wait for the real Cataclysm.
Until then, in the words of Linedan.. Keep Vigilant.