Even in semi-seclusion this week, I saw the Syp Sygnal light up the sky and had to respond. There was stupidity afoot.

As I’m writing this from my iPhone, I’ll keep it brief.

First, I apologize for leaving town. I never thought it’d come to this. Dogs and cats, mass hysteria.

Second, this RealID/WoW forum thing is the dumbest decision by a MMO company this year to date, and that is saying something all things considered.

Third, if Blizz doesn’t backpedal on this and pronto, well, I’m just not going to feel sorry for what happens to them.

Seriously, there’s no wiggle room for debate on this. There are many excellent reasons why this will end badly, and all Blizzard is saying that the ends justify the means. Having the biggest MMO in the world means greater responsibility, not that you can abandon common sense and violate privacy under the flimsy pretense of a better forum.

Bravo, Blizzard. Bravo.


16 thoughts on “RealMeltdown

  1. Klepsacovic July 7, 2010 / 10:09 pm

    Just to follow it up, they should release their own version of NGE right after Cataclysm.

  2. Tyrhoor July 7, 2010 / 10:53 pm

    I agree Syp, they need to employ a better method… I RealID’d a buddy of mine I played with at the launch of WAR- so we’ve known each other for a while, but all of a sudden things got awkward when we knew each other’s full names. I had not read the warnings closely enough (or was it even there?) to know that he’d get my FULL name… What’s next, my social and my credit card on file? you know, so we can communicate better?

  3. Green Armadillo July 7, 2010 / 11:20 pm

    I saw your guest blogger week going on as this kerflaffle unfolded and wondered whether it was somehow your fault. 😛

  4. Utakata July 7, 2010 / 11:21 pm

    Yep…not even Derek Smart would go that far. This how awful this thing is.

    I am looking at this as my last month or with WoW after 5 years of commitment to them…knowing full well that expanding Real ID is unlikely stop with the Forums. And since this may be a result of’s binding agreement with Facebook, it looks like Blizz are legally obligated to go even further with it. So this looks like their swansong…forcing me to quit, even when I don’t want to. 😦

  5. Judicius July 7, 2010 / 11:52 pm

    It should read Bravo. Blizzard/Activision. Bravo.

    Don’t worry, partnering/merging with Activision won’t change the way Blizzard does things…

  6. Stropp July 8, 2010 / 3:17 am

    It is interesting how these kind of things seem to happen when you leave town.

    Just a thought, have you and Bobby Kotick ever been seen in the same room at the same time?

  7. Creax July 8, 2010 / 5:18 am

    I don’t think it’s a big deal really. If people were so worried about privacy, they wouldn’t be running to Facebook every time they took a dump to update their status.

  8. chaosmos July 8, 2010 / 7:10 am

    Isn’t it a good thing that they are trying to increase the level of civility on their forums? I mean, what’s the alternative – shutting them down entirely?

  9. Drew July 8, 2010 / 7:26 am

    LOL @ Klep.

    @Creax: I’m pretty sure that most of us concerned about RealID aren’t the ones doing that with Facebook (or using it at all).

  10. moxie July 8, 2010 / 8:36 am

    I think they could have accomplished exactly what they’re trying to do (without invading people’s privacy) by:

    A. having unique usernames with all characters tied to the one username, and
    B. enforcing forum perma-bans on trolls.

    As it stands now, they’re throwing the baby out with the bathwater. The trolls are thrilled… they may not post as much, but now they can lurk and use real name info to hurt innocent people who made the mistake of making a suggestion on a game forum, especially females & minorities. I also don’t need potential employers Googling my name and finding out that I play WoW, or possibly getting hacked and some nitwit posting nasty remarks with my name on them.

    When I first heard about the news I was thrilled that Blizz was finally doing something about the troll issue. Now I’m both angry at Blizz for being so callous about customer concerns, and sad because I was really, really looking forward to Cataclysm. Account Cancelled. 😦

  11. Drew July 8, 2010 / 9:19 am

    @Chaosmos: If you truly believe this Real ID movement is about cleaning up the forums, I have a nice piece of oceanfront property in Nebraska I’d like to sell you.

    The forums piece is just the tip of the iceberg; this is all about exposure through Facebook and gleaning more customers from that connection.

    As for the trolls; now they’ll get to harrass you personally when you disagree with them- how lovely.

  12. Blue Kae July 8, 2010 / 12:38 pm

    Wow, Syp, after this, I’m not sure you should be allowed to leave anymore. I dread what’ll happen when you take an extended weekend for GenCon.

  13. Buhallin July 8, 2010 / 1:18 pm

    I find the outrage over this a bit baffling, honestly.

    Nobody is forced to post on the forums. In fact, a TINY percentage of players do. Those that aren’t comfortable with their name being attached can simply forego the posting.

    But even then, what’s the huge deal? I heard a great deal of hyperventilating, but very little concrete threat. People are freaking out because someone you disagree with on the forums or beat on a roll may FIND YOUR NAME AND COME KILL YOU!! Seriously, heard someone argue that today.

    Do MMO gamers not actually remember real life? When I head down to the store for a tabletop game, or play volleyball – you know, anything that actually requires PHYSICAL INTERACTION – I’m exposing far more than my name. If my Warhammer opponent doesn’t happen to like my army build, HE COULD FOLLOW ME HOME AND KNIFE ME!!

    Or, probably not.

    Honestly, I think it’s kinda sad that the MMO community is so full of fear and hostility that so many people cannot even imagine participating in it without hiding behind a shield of anonymity. People would rather leave the community than be forced to participate in it with a minimum of attachment to their reality.

    That fact – and what it says about the “community” – is the more interesting story here by far, IMHO.

  14. Void July 8, 2010 / 1:55 pm

    I love how the internet blows up every time you leave town.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s