The Growing Storm

Seems as if some folks might be thinking that Blizzard stepped on their wanker a bit with this Real ID forum name real name shown thingie.

I’ve been following the discussion about it on WoW Ladies, and I think there is a lot over there well, well worth reading and considering.

Oh, and please… just for me. If you go over there after following the link, please behave yourselves. Please? I’d hate to think some of my readers dirtied their carpet. That’s not really a blog, it’s a community. Just a very nice community. So stay good Riff! Stay good!


17 thoughts on “The Growing Storm

  1. It would be interesting for a site like or some new site to basically start a unofficial wow forum, setup pretty much like blizzes and using a single login id. using adds on the forum to make the money needed.

    Sure you would not have the blue posters but i bet you would get most all the green posters (mvp). You could browse the official forum and post your answers on the unofficial forum.

    Dang were did i put those blade servers and my NAS…


  2. They are trodding even more heavily, now, since the news just went out that a horribly simple hack lets addons get and broadcast your own RealID name, even if you don’t have any friends accepted on it. It sends a whisper to itself, boom, it has your real name, and can communicate it — intentionally or unintentionally — to anyone on the game.


  3. @Grayzzur: there may be new faces involved, but there will still be people around to answer questions under Blizzard’s New Forum Order. People with common names, people that figure the odds of any nutbar being close enough to them to bother them are pretty low, people that aren’t worried about the effect of being a WoW player on employment prospects. After this announcement, I was doing a bit of ego surfing with Google this evening, and based on that I’ll likely still be happy to post on the official forums even after the NFO comes into effect (although I doubt I’ll select the option to display the Nimizar@Proudmoore identity alongside my real name).


  4. Next step for Blizzard:

    Character names will now all be ReadID names. Thus John Public @ Cenarius will be your druid and John Public @ Cenarius will be your paladin because you can only be on one toon at a time on that account anyhow, right? And it will make it easier for your stalkers … err employers ………..errrrr friends to find you.

    Hey, Johnny, want some candy?


  5. I just caught up on the blue posts in the EU sticky thread rather than the US one, and found these to be the most enlightening parts:

    “These threads, however, can often be lost amongst a great deal of other threads that are basically filled with trolling, name calling, flaming, off-topic conversations and that’s just a small amount of some of the content that has been found in these forums over the years. We don’t want that anymore, and we believe the Real ID change will bring about a lot of the improvement that we are hoping for.”

    “Posting on the forums with your real name will be optional — yes, in the sense that the options are simply post and show your real name, or do not post and you keep it confidential. If people are happy to post and do not feel intimidated by this, then great — hopefully they will also post constructively (though it’s fair to say, this isn’t a given). It might be scary to consider posting with your real name, in which case it might be advisable simply not to post in these forums. There’s a whole load of other forums across the internet where you’ll be able to post in a more anonymous way, and maybe you will make a useful and constructive contribution there instead.”

    I think Blizzard felt they were faced with a stark choice in cleaning up their forums: continue with the current cesspool, where the good threads are hard to find, or else take the course of action they have (i.e. either post with your real name, or post somewhere else). They really are saying what suxxy inferred above: “Folks, we know some of our genuinely helpful contributors won’t like this idea and will choose to post elsewhere, or even abandon the game entirely. We’re sorry to see you go, but feel it is a price worth paying in order to drastically change the culture of our forums.” They realise that they’re up against the GIFW*, and are taking this step in an attempt to cut out the anonymity part of that equation, even if they lose some good posters as collateral damage.

    I think the reaction of existing forumgoers is perfectly legitimate, but I also expect Blizzard will have anticipated it and hence won’t change their minds because of it. Once the new forums have been out for a while, and (with any luck) their hoped for cultural change has taken effect, then they *may* start allowing pseudonymous posting on some sections of the new forums. I wouldn’t bet on it though.

    Let’s face it, Blizz could lose the entire community on the current official forums without putting a significant dent in their subscriber numbers, and there will still be players that step up to write levelling guides and the like (and even if the authors of those guides don’t post them to the official forums themselves, someone that does post there will likely at least link to the good ones).

    It’s a bold experiment indeed, but with Blizzard having made it as far as announcing it, I don’t see them backing down as a result of these entirely foreseeable protests.



  6. I just put disclaimers in my 2 forum stickies on the druid forums that I will not be posting the Cataclysm version of my guides on the WoW forums, and that people who want access to them after the forum change will have to come to my blog. I don’t see how that makes the WoW forum community better, to lose the leveling guide I’ve maintained for 4 years that has nearly 3 million page views, along with losing the healing guide that I started maintaining more recently. However, it’s my choice to not be a WoW forum guide writer anymore… and that’s a choice a lot of their guide writers are going to make.


  7. See, here’s the other thing that’s going to hurt the community more than help it. Sure, I have concerns about stalkers and children on the forums too. To me, this could potentially hurt the community itself more than help it. Sure, trolls are bad, but I’m pretty good about ignoring them and moving on. They don’t keep me from getting at info I need. As I was levelling this character (my 2nd 80) I found this site and Lissanna’s to be a great help. I see Lissanna and a lot of others frequently responding to a lot of druid questions in the druid forums, and didn’t have to ask anything, it was already there. Going forward, lets say some other noob is trying to level a new druid. The old forums are gone. Lets say he decides RealID isn’t that bad and posts a question. Who’s going to answer it?



    It means exactly what you think it means, so good call on not googling it 😛


    I can see why people are unhappy with this decision, and I admit it surprised me that Blizzard made this decision. That said for me personally it is not a big deal. I haven’t posted on the forums and do not see this changing.


  9. Giving some serious consideration to cancelling my account – having the potential for a harassing ex-employer following me ain’t worth the hassle.

    @Potatoman I thought the same thing (and yep, I’m from the UK too ) 😉


  10. “We have been planning this change for a very long time. During this time, we have thought ahead about the scope and impact of this change and predicted that many people would no longer wish to post in the forums after this change goes live. We are fine with that, because we want to change these forums dramatically in a positive and more constructive direction.”

    I read this and hear “We’ve put a lot of effort into this and never considered nice people wouldn’t like it… so what. We’re going ahead with it anyway, if you are a genuinely helpful contributor to the community, but don’t want to put your real name out there for stalkers, we don’t want your contribution any more.”

    Imagine a total newb to the game posting a genuine question on the forums & getting flamed to death. Eventually, that newb becomes a great player, a raid leader, a guild leader and they post a constructive reply to someone else’s question. Then they get flamed to death, because “that’s the n00b from a year ago, he didn’t even know “.
    Alternatively, you have that same player unwilling to ask questions on the forums & never becoming anything more than an average huntard.
    It’s a lose/lose situation for the community and the game.


  11. “…Blizzard stepped on their wanker…”

    This gave me pause. First thought was that maybe whichever management goon gave the idea the nod (now known as the wanker) had been trodden on heavily.

    But then I realised maybe it means something else outside of the UK and am wondering which it is. I know I’m definitely not googling “wanker” at work to find out though. 🙂


  12. Just canceled my account due to Blizzard’s decision. The funny thing was I never really used the forum anyway, I just think it’s a horrible decision. As Blizzard is a corporation and only sees the bottom line, the only way to make an impression is to cost them money. Of course, with over 11 *million* subscribers I know one guy won’t be much of a dent, or even noticeable for that matter, but it has to start somewhere. I was doing the 6month sub though, so I’m paid through October which gives them time to change my mind, but I don’t really see continuing at this point. I have enough problems with people trying to sell me stuff without handing my name out to any vendor who cares to search the forum.


  13. I thought about making a fake name for a forum posting account, but then I realized I’d be paying $15 a month to post on the forums because of a decision that I didn’t agree with, and I decided NOT to reward them with more of my money. Instead, I’ll just stop being a helpful, constructive poster on the forum because I just won’t post.


  14. I’ve been following that discussion also. I really need to get an account over there … although maybe I should wait until I decide on a fake name for my new account.


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