The Aftermath before the Cataclysm

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.

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They heard us

Well, big news everybody… Mike Morhaime just came out with an announcement on the real names on the forums. According to his quote, real names will not be required for the WoW Forums, both current nor the Cataclysm forums that will eventually be released.  Same with the Starcraft II forums.  They too will not use your real name, but rather a character name + character code.

The full text is below (this is from the site, so I haven’t found a direct link to the post yet found the source, and it is now linked):

Mike Morhaime (source)

Hello everyone,

I’d like to take some time to speak with all of you regarding our desire to make the Blizzard forums a better place for players to discuss our games. We’ve been constantly monitoring the feedback you’ve given us, as well as internally discussing your concerns about the use of real names on our forums. As a result of those discussions, we’ve decided at this time that real names will not be required for posting on official Blizzard forums.

It’s important to note that we still remain committed to improving our forums. Our efforts are driven 100% by the desire to find ways to make our community areas more welcoming for players and encourage more constructive conversations about our games. We will still move forward with new forum features such as conversation threading, the ability to rate posts up or down, improved search functionality, and more. However, when we launch the new StarCraft II forums that include these new features, you will be posting by your StarCraft II character name + character code, not your real name. 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.

I want to make sure it’s clear that our plans for the forums are completely separate from our plans for the optional in-game Real ID system now live with World of Warcraft and launching soon with StarCraft II. We believe that the powerful communications functionality enabled by Real ID, such as cross-game and cross-realm chat, make a great place for players to stay connected to real-life friends and family while playing Blizzard games. And of course, you’ll still be able to keep your relationships at the anonymous, character level if you so choose when you communicate with other players in game. Over time, we will continue to evolve Real ID on to add new and exciting functionality within our games for players who decide to use the feature.

In closing, I want to point out that our connection with our community has always been and will always be extremely important to us. We strongly believe that Every Voice Matters, ( ) and we feel fortunate to have a community that cares so passionately about our games. We will always appreciate the feedback and support of our players, which has been a key to Blizzard’s success from the beginning.

Mike Morhaime
CEO & Cofounder
Blizzard Entertainment Blue poster text.

Well, if this is all to be taken as fact, then it appears that Blizzard has listened to our concerns and have decided to protect it’s assests, a.k.a the players, and not require your name to be used.

I’ll update this post as more information comes to light.

How Real should it get?

Wow, it looks like the Cataclysm came early.  It seems that Blizzard’s player base has been torn asunder, with fissures and vents forming everywhere. Some have simply left the game, while others are unsure of their future with our favorite MMO, while even others feel that the new RealID feature may be a good thing. Anyway, here is my two copper on the whole RealID concept, and it’s plusses and minuses. & RealID & RealID

I myself am a bit split. I have taken advantage of the feature already in-game. It is really nice to be able to see when Friends are on, even if they’re hiding.  I’ve even been able to connect with some of my friends from Australia from my Halo 2 days.

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