Blizzard backs down on Real ID for forums

Earlier this week, and to the dismay of the many users of Blizzard's official forums, Blizzard announced it would soon force all users to use their "Real ID" -- or their real name -- to be identified, in a bid to remove "flame wars, trolling, and other unpleasantness" that currently exist in the username-based forums.

But today Blizzard announced that it has decided to put on hold its plans for Real ID to be mandatory, noting that the company has been "internally discussing" the outrage towards the decision and felt it was no longer appropriate to force users to use their real names on the forums for popular Blizzard games including World of Warcraft and the upcoming StarCraft II.

"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," Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime said in a post on the 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."

He says the company will instead require users in the upcoming StarCraft II forums to go by their Battle.net character name and character code, with Real ID to remain separate from the forums for the foreseeable future.

But Blizzard isn't dumping the Real ID notion entirely, with Morhaime noting the company has still got big plans for it.

"We believe that the powerful communications functionality enabled by Real ID, such as cross-game and cross-realm chat, make Battle.net a great place for players to stay connected to real-life friends and family while playing Blizzard games," Morhaime said.

"Over time, we will continue to evolve Real ID on Battle.net to add new and exciting functionality within our games for players who decide to use the feature."

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It is funny because before some users was banned from forum by publishing real life personal information.

who cares what you name is? i certianly the hell don't... i think its good that you would be able see an actual name so that you can't hide behind an E-peen.

They could keep the Real Name ID but hidden and only looked upon if the person was trolling/flaming but still allow the user to make post with his game name id. That way they can still identify the flamer but won't be public on the board. They could also make a board of shame where all those unpleasant people can be shown.

Morisato said,
They could keep the Real Name ID but hidden and only looked upon if the person was trolling/flaming but still allow the user to make post with his game name id. That way they can still identify the flamer but won't be public on the board. They could also make a board of shame where all those unpleasant people can be shown.

They already have a real name from your account. What they should have done a long time ago is give everyone ONE forum account that's tied to a handle and disallow trial accounts from posting in the forum. No more level 1 trolls, no more trolls that didn't pay for the game posting. This fiasco will be back, and it will be worse than this.

If your actions on the forums make you not want people to know your real name, then you shouldn't be posting in the first place.

RichardK said,
If your actions on the forums make you not want people to know your real name, then you shouldn't be posting in the first place.

Considering how there have been some psychos out there who have killed/stabbed/maimed other people for trivial reasons over in-game happenings, I'd rather not have my real name publicly available. I know that probably sounds a bit paranoid, but it still begs the question about whether it's really necessary to force people to put up their real names for this.

I'd predict that it would cause people with so-called 'funny' or 'unusual' names to be flamed anyway. eg. anyone of Chinese origin with the surname 'Wang' or people with names like 'Fanny' or 'Dick'.

RichardK said,
If your actions on the forums make you not want people to know your real name, then you shouldn't be posting in the first place.

It's cool if you have no idea what you're talking about. If it's fine for you, it must be fine for everyone else right?

RichardK said,
If your actions on the forums make you not want people to know your real name, then you shouldn't be posting in the first place.

It's the other people on the WoW forums that make individuals not want to display their real name.

GreyWolf said,

It's the other people on the WoW forums that make individuals not want to display their real name.

If memory serves, the guy that got stabbed over Counter-Strike only offered his in-game handle and he still got stabbed. If someone's out to get you, they will and hiding your real name apparently won't save you. Might buy you a month or two, though.

Great. Though I don't play WoW, friends are getting me Starcraft 2, and if the community is anything like Heroes of Newerth, you sure as hell don't want anyone knowing your real name.

Seems like a suspension or an account ban that disables your online play options would be a sharp kick in the teeth. That would calm the kiddoes down a bit.

I agree with that. Maybe it will something to keep all the con artists away as well. I have a free account with them and get about 20 emails a day trying to tell me that I did something with my account that is against their guidelines. It is so bad that I am getting another email address just to keep from looking at them ....

Heh, i guess the few people around here who were paranoid and delusional enough to think they'd be desirable enough in any way to be 'stalked irl' by someone knowing their name will be happy now.

Blackhearted said,
Heh, i guess the few people around here who were paranoid and delusional enough to think they'd be desirable enough in any way to be 'stalked irl' by someone knowing their name will be happy now.

Some people don't want the world to know about their dirty little WoW secret... especially if they have an uncommon name. Imagine an employer searching your name only to find a bunch of hits from WoW. Unfortunately, it would be viewed unprofessional by some.

D'oh.

"We believe that the powerful communications functionality enabled by Real ID, such as cross-game and cross-realm chat, make Battle.net a great place for players to stay connected to real-life friends and family while playing Blizzard games," Morhaime said.

And you can't enable any of those features without "real id"? seriously now.

chaosblade said,
D'oh.

"We believe that the powerful communications functionality enabled by Real ID, such as cross-game and cross-realm chat, make Battle.net a great place for players to stay connected to real-life friends and family while playing Blizzard games," Morhaime said.

And you can't enable any of those features without "real id"? seriously now.

I know eh? How did we ever manage to get by in the past? I know Steam supports crossgame chat, maybe Steam uses magic to work!

Seriously, biggest bull**** feature I've ever heard of. If I want friends or family being "connected" to me I'll ask them myself. Maybe I don't want all my friends/family adding me, or people adding me because I have the same name as another person.

Raa said,
No, you can't.

Steam. Multiple games, cross-game chat, forums, handles. Forum accounts are still bannable, as are the account handles.

I saw this coming. All those people that canceled their accounts were being stupid. Always wait out a controversy like this.

neudera said,
I saw this coming. All those people that canceled their accounts were being stupid. Always wait out a controversy like this.

There's always one of you... maybe all those people that cancelled their accounts sent a clear enough message to Blizzard that showed them the err of their ways.

vaximily said,

There's always one of you... maybe all those people that cancelled their accounts sent a clear enough message to Blizzard that showed them the err of their ways.


I'm guessing the we're freaked out by the guy who called up the guy and told him about his whole life-story and posted the censored story online.

And then they we're like: "****, didn't think cross-searching full names we're possible...."

vaximily said,

There's always one of you... maybe all those people that cancelled their accounts sent a clear enough message to Blizzard that showed them the err of their ways.

I thought it was a good idea. I'd like to see more of it happen throughout the internet.

neudera said,
I saw this coming. All those people that canceled their accounts were being stupid. Always wait out a controversy like this.

How are they stupid? It takes literally two seconds to re-activate your account. I do it all the time to ensure I don't pay more than I should if I turn out to not be playing too actively towards the end of the month.

vaximily said,

There's always one of you... maybe all those people that cancelled their accounts sent a clear enough message to Blizzard that showed them the err of their ways.

Nope. They will still implement RealID on the forums eventually, just not right now. The percentage of the playerbase that actually post on the forums is very small.

This sounds loud warning bells to me.

I can just imagine at some point in the future it will be made mandatory and retrospective, so all those comments you made anonymously 12 months ago, will suddenly be associated to your real name.

Imagine anonymously posting that your boss your boss a dork one day and suddenly that comment appearing under your real name!