There are altaholics.... and then there's the rest of us. A Druid blog for the player that never wants to have to roll another character again. A Bear/Tree/Cat blog dedicated to being able to queue for all three roles in the Dungeon Finder.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

On retractions:

Today, Blizzard co-founder Michael Morhaime walked Real ID back.

Great, right?

....not really. There are still too many things *wrong* with what they're doing. Like they're putting the cart in front of the horse.

I wrote up a forum post in the same thread, maybe you've seen it, maybe not, but I'll cross-post it here, because I don't think I can explain my position any better than I did.

Thank you for your letter Mr. Morhaime. I feel that you've done right by the community by putting the kibosh on things, even if the decision is only "at this time".

That being said, I'm still very disappointed with what did happen. Blizzard was the gold standard to which I held other video game companies, always thoughtful, never impatient, and always listening to their playerbase. I can't help but feel betrayed when it seems that the first two of those were thrown out with the bathwater.

I don't mind a greater community. Community is good. But community doesn't happen when some force from the top brings down stone tablets with fifteen! *crash* Ten Commandments! and commands us that we have to be closer to each other. It just doesn't work that way. Community is the funny chatter in a PUG Heroic that leads to "Hey, can I friend you?". Community is the camaraderie that you get when your random PUG raid turns into a weekly ritual. Community is your guild, the people you can whine to when you go through four or five healers and tanks in a row in a H:HoR wipefest.

So I'm thankful that you've taken our collective voice, and listened to it.

Please listen again to what I, and others have to say.

Real ID isn't the way forward. There are too many intrinsically *wrong* things about it. There *are* people that we know, cross-server and cross-game, that we know only by a screenname. We are good friends with those people. We might know the names of their cats, we might know that they live in their parents' basement, we might know that they raid better drunk than sober, or that they eat pizza with everything on it, and by god, I mean everything, and if you forget the anchovies again, there will be hell to pay. But in the end, we only know them by screenname, and that's all we want to share with them. We just want the ability to friend people, cross-server, cross-game, what-have-you, without having to share one's One True Name. (And that's not a joke, either. In the age of Google and, and readily available background checking sites galore, having one's real name *does* give them power.) Given the rapidity with which poor Bashiok had his information found and collated, and I can understand if the official line is to deny that is his personal information, because it is a real danger, and a real risk.

A community is frequently compared to a web, and the depth of the community is often compared to how strong that web is. Now, there *are* two ways to make a web, or community stronger. You can make the threads linking people together stronger, or you can let people make more connections with more people. And wouldn't you know it, the way nature takes its course, nature tends to favor the latter solution instead, making ever more intricate webs, and letting the individual people make their bonds together stronger as they see fit.

What I'm trying to say is that Real ID is too binary. There's an "On" position, which lets you friend everyone, and tells EVERYONE who you are, and an "Off" position, which tells nobody who you are, but also traps you to your own server or game. There needs to be a middle ground, one where you can friend that funny person on another server, or your younger sister that's off at college, and the only time you ever see her online is on Bnet. I can't imagine the community at large getting angry with these kinds of greater community bonding.

And the most important thing is, is that it's not Blizzard's choice to reveal our personal information.

So give us the ability to use a unique "Gamertag". Link that gamertag to all our other profiles. Link it to all our WoW characters, even the ones under level 10. Make it so that no matter what we do, the rest of the community can see past any the disguises used by trolls, make them traceable to the community at large.

Again, I want to thank you for listening, and for stepping in and walking things back. My relationship with Blizzard, one that I've had for a very long time, has taken a hit, a very severe one.


Kirin Tor-US-H

PS: One more thing, and I feel that I should still get this off my chest. I am still *very* disappointed with the Real ID announcement. I meant it when I said that I felt Blizzard was the gold standard in the video game industry.

You can be sure that I will never take anything that Blizzard says at simple face value again, nor should anyone else. With such a drastic move with such blatant disregard for privacy, I feel that my intelligence has been insulted, that someone at either Activision or Blizzard said, "Oh, they'll think this is a GREAT idea!"

For now, I'll trust you again, but not until after I've verified.

Maybe not even until *after* I've verified

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