Blizzard To Use Real Names On Forums

by on July 6, 2010

The Real ID system hit recently in patch 3.3.5, the system allows players of Blizzard games such as StarCraftII and World of Warcraft to participate in cross game chat. As Real ID suggests, it uses players real first and last names. At the moment Real ID is only seen by friends and friends of friends, some players feel this is a little too personal but Blizzard is about to take things a step further.

Blizzard announced today that in the near future anyone posting or replying to a post on official Blizzard forums will be doing so using their Real ID. At the moment posters are identified by a chosen game character giving a large amount of anonymity, the idea behind the move is to improve the mood of the forums and cut out the trolling (being a dick).


Recently, we introduced our new Real ID feature – http://www.battle.net/realid/ , a new way to stay connected with your friends on the new Battle.net. Today, we wanted to give you a heads up about our plans for Real ID on our official forums, discuss the design philosophy behind the changes we’re making, and give you a first look at some of the new features we’re adding to the forums to help improve the quality of conversations and make the forums an even more enjoyable place for players to visit.

The first and most significant change is that in the near future, anyone posting or replying to a post on official Blizzard forums will be doing so using their Real ID — that is, their real-life first and last name — with the option to also display the name of their primary in-game character alongside it. These changes will go into effect on all StarCraft II forums with the launch of the new community site prior to the July 27 release of the game, with the World of Warcraft site and forums following suit near the launch of Cataclysm. Certain classic forums, including the classic Battle.net forums, will remain unchanged.

The official forums have always been a great place to discuss the latest info on our games, offer ideas and suggestions, and share experiences with other players — however, the forums have also earned a reputation as a place where flame wars, trolling, and other unpleasantness run wild. Removing the veil of anonymity typical to online dialogue will contribute to a more positive forum environment, promote constructive conversations, and connect the Blizzard community in ways they haven’t been connected before. With this change, you’ll see blue posters (i.e. Blizzard employees) posting by their real first and last names on our forums as well.

Some posters are unhappy with the announced change, one poster claimed “This is possibly the worst thing I’ve ever read in blue, I can’t even begin to fathom why you would do this.” Ironically he posted on a level 1 character rather than on one of his main characters to ensure he didn’t give away his in game identity. Personally I feel this is a good move from Blizzard but then again my name is all over this public site, the downside is that discussions may not be as frank as they used to be but a certain level of decorum should be present, we could all do with being a little more polite in life and online.

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