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Reader Comments (34)

Posted: Dec 15th 2011 5:18PM Mikx said

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Probably should have done this in the first place.

I wonder if Ghostcrawler is already taken....

Posted: Dec 15th 2011 5:23PM Brockobama321 said

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@Mikx Might not want to use that name, if it isn't, anyway. The devil might mistake you for him when he comes to collect the soul he's due.
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Posted: Dec 15th 2011 5:25PM NeverDeath said

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@Mikx

Yeah, really. It seems to me that this would have been a natural first step rather than the full-identity disclosure of realID.
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Posted: Dec 15th 2011 5:43PM toychristopher said

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@Mikx It would have solved a lot of frustration with the realID chat system.
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Posted: Dec 15th 2011 8:01PM (Unverified) said

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@Mikx A lot of names likely will be blocked.
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Posted: Dec 15th 2011 5:25PM Eamil said

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FINALLY.

Posted: Dec 15th 2011 5:34PM (Unverified) said

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So they're adding a handle to their users already existing unified b.net accounts.

What's the big deal again?

Posted: Dec 15th 2011 5:55PM KvanCetre said

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There are a lot of people weird about having their name shared with friends. This allows you to share only a screen name with them.
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Posted: Dec 15th 2011 6:04PM Eamil said

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@(Unverified)

As it is right now, you can't interact with other people playing different games without going through Real ID, which uses your real name as a display name. I can't play WoW and talk to someone in Starcraft 2 through in-game chat unless we're friends on Real ID. As I understand it, once this feature has been extended to WoW and Starcraft 2 in addition to Diablo 3, all of Real ID's current functionality will exist in a form that doesn't require you to share your real name.

Their message on the purpose of Real ID has always been contradictory - they've insisted both that it's "for real-life friends only" (their reasoning for requiring real names) AND that it's a tool for "creating and maintaining friendships" (the first part of that makes no sense with the "for real life friends only" logic). So up until now Blizzard's refused to even acknowledge feedback that maybe people would like to "create and maintain friendships" across multiple games with people they don't already know in real life. I'm honestly surprised they're doing this at all.
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Posted: Dec 15th 2011 7:35PM Irem said

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@Eamil
I'm surprised, too. My only guess is that either it wasn't being used much at all (unlikely), or that people really -were- only using it for their RL friends and family, and that really wasn't the intention behind it.
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Posted: Dec 15th 2011 8:14PM Lucidus said

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@Eamil It's about capturing user metrics which Kotick's marketing department will use to capture your soul... metaphorically speaking.
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Posted: Dec 16th 2011 2:26AM (Unverified) said

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@Eamil
You are exactly right, and I pointed out the hypocrisy of the "it's for friends and family" argument ever since it was made.

When Blizzard announced Real ID, they mentioned using it with guild members. They even talked about all the knobs and dials for privacy in addition to parental controls. Not only was there no privacy knobs or dials, there was only ever one parental control, and that was added AFTER Real ID was released. And of course the friends of friends feature was not optional when Real ID was released, yet another glaring hypocritical point of it.

Of course the announcement for it I believe was pre merger, which meant pre Kotick as CEO of ActiBlizz, and Facebook was not involved in it. I can only imagine Real ID has been an absolute failure from what was expected or Facebook would be raising hell at Blizzard for introducing something that appears to be an identical, anonymous, service that bypasses what they are partnering with Activision Blizzard on.
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Posted: Dec 16th 2011 10:51AM (Unverified) said

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@Eamil

I get all that but i still don't see why consumers should be excited by it all the same.

It's a logical step forward after unifying all their accounts under b.net and distances them from the whole "Hey guys we want you to put up with all the inconveniences of Facebook without any of the dubious benefits so we can sell marketing data- I mean so we can get rid of all the trolls on the forums," fiasco, but pretty much everyone who really, really cares about real time communication between games already has several things to enable that. Between AIM, MSN, IRC, text messaging, skype, vent, etc I fail to see this as any sort of great advancement for anyone who isn't a tagged and licensed ActiBliz fanboy.

Basically it makes perfect sense for Blizzard because they get all the same data that they wanted from RealID, but it makes very little sense for the consumer unless two criteria are met: A) all the friends you want to keep in contact with are playing b.net games at the same time you are and B) you don't want to put the game in windowed mode/give out your phone number/turn the game sound down so you can hear people talking so you can utilize IMing/texting/voice communication.

As a consumer I have a hard time rationalizing using Blizzard's service when I've already been using alternate communication methods with greater functionality for 15 years AND none of those tie my personal gaming preferences and who I talk to into a neat little package for ActiBliz to profit from on the side.
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Posted: Dec 16th 2011 12:15PM (Unverified) said

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@(Unverified) I think real id is one of the things they really needed in the game from the get-go. People have tons of alts and being able to contact them at any time just to chat or join up to queue is great.
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Posted: Dec 16th 2011 12:55PM (Unverified) said

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@(Unverified)
Real ID no, a messaging system similar to Real ID yes. Real ID just had too much Facebook involvement to it and was so hypocritical in nature.
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Posted: Dec 15th 2011 7:01PM Azaetos said

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Is it just me that looks at anything that Blizzard does these days and wonders how there will be some sort of monetization scheme attached to it. For them to push this Real ID so hard there has to be some value in it for Blizzard, be it information, player interconnections or something else in the future.

Posted: Dec 15th 2011 8:15PM Lucidus said

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@Azaetos They're collecting data on you, your friends and your gaming habits -- so as to better market to you, and I'm sure there's a part of the EULA where they can sell that data to other entities.

Consumer metrics are a hot commodity.
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Posted: Dec 16th 2011 2:28AM (Unverified) said

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@Azaetos
Real ID was done in partnership with Facebook. Read the privacy policy with Blizzard and it states they can share your data with their 3rd party partners who may not be as secure with it, unless of course you opt out of the feature that is associated with that partner.

In other words, if you use Real ID, Facebook gets your data and gets to sell it. Question I've always tried to find an answer to is how much of a cut (kickback) does Activision Blizzard get from it.
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Posted: Dec 16th 2011 1:02PM (Unverified) said

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@Azaetos

I know for a fact mentioning Real ID as Blizzards' attempt at monetizing the player base even more can get you permanently banned from their forums.

"me thinks he doth protest too much" came to mind when they did that.

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Posted: Dec 15th 2011 7:31PM Irem said

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Finally. FINALLY. Why the hell did it take them so long? It should have worked this way from the very beginning.

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