Obligatory Real ID post

Oh let’s see now. Blizzard have said that they’re going to change all of their forums to use the Real ID system.

Chas at Righteous Orbs makes makes a strong case again this change from a discrimination standpoint. He’s (tragically) almost certainly correct.

Larisa at the Pink Pigtail Inn is horrified (that’s my reading, not a word she used btw) that the slippery slope, so often erroneously invoked, appears to apply in this case. I fervently hope she’s not correct, because that would suggest there’s more to come. I’m not confident though.

Hatch suggests that implementing real ID on the forums in this way will have precisely the opposite effect to the goal stated in Nethaera’s announcement — the humans leave, the trolls colonise. I think Hatch is probably right too.

Kurn suggests that this might be a money-saving exercise. Much as I instinctively shy away from the “Actiblizz is ruining teh game for $$$$” memes that show up on a regular basis, that sounds plausible even if only as a useful side-effect.

Gah. I could carry on linking to people who make valid points but at this point it seems like you could pick almost any random blog and find an argument against the forthcoming change.

Rather than repeat the points other people have made with different words, here are some bullet points. Because bullet points are nice when you can’t structure things in your head properly.

  • Could this make money for someone? *If* the furore of the blogging few is in any way representative of the wider community, then there’s potentially a good number of people who now need somewhere new to post guild recruitment threads, discuss classes/specs/mechanics without needing to be EJ-approved, organise realm activities etc. ZAM networks, the people behind Wowhead/Thottbot etc., might be an obvious candidate given their knowledge of the game and expertise with web properties. Perhaps the forum sections of the guild website hosting sites are about to get busier.
  • I realise that, RP servers notwithstanding, Blizzard don’t really care too much about RPers, but even if care about roleplay at all, seeing “[Ragescream] (Steve Weatherspoon) roars with bestial vigor” would break the immersion a little, don’t you think?
  • If they’d provided the privacy optionsĀ  people suggested at various points and which aren’t *that* hard to come up with (appear offline, disable friends-of-friends, assign a single master “name” for forums etc, make it possible to find the master name by inspecting a character) then we’d probably all have ended up disabling them with the year anyway, once we got used to it or found a reason to.
  • Facebook is facebook. Warcraft is not facebook. Gamers have Facebook accounts. Gamers who want to share their identity and their love of games with others are doing so on Facebook already. Why not just have an option to integrate your battlenet account with your facebook account, and designate a contact group who can contact you ingame?
  • Why do people have to post absurdities to try and make a point. Just make your point. The first reply on that previous link is from someone who has had their identity stolen in the past, who is known to classmates only as “Dagoth” because they protect their real name so carefully, and is in the witness protection programme as a threatened key witness in a capital case. O RLY?
  • I do not want to be “me” in the game world, in the game community. I want to be me+. That’s the escapism part, remember? Don’t make the in-game “me” be the me who forgets to unload the washing machine or phone home often enough.
  • My friends do not automatically forward my contact details to all of *their* friends. When I am asking the beleaguered LU worker besieged by angry commuters why the Jubilee line is broken AGAIN, I do not begin my question by first announcing my name to the crowd. I cannot claim to be a particularly private person but I do not broadcast personally identifying information to random psychopaths in the street. I do not do these things because I AM NOT A TOTAL MORON.

Right. That’ll do. Next up, some tales of derring-do in Icecrown Citadel (spoiler: Sindy was not involved), Ano comes to terms with the fact that knowing the hit cap for ret paladins does not make you an expert on all things WoW, Cent has shiny new shinies and went on a “PuG” “”raid””, trinket envy, and why I love Looking for More.