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Is the Armory site an invasion of privacy?


While I think it's a cool feature, some players are up in arms over Blizzard's newly-implemented Armory character profiling service. The complaint? That players don't want cross-faction players knowing what gear and specs they have and thus gaining a potential advantage in PvP. Now, it's my opinion that this doesn't matter quite as much as some of the threads about it suggest, for several reasons:
  • There's not much reason to expect you'll be singled out amongst the many players within a single realm or battlegroup. And even if you are, what is the probability of a player having all of your information on hand when they encounter you in PvP, and being able to make use of it? (It's not as though they'll have time to look it up whenever they see you.) The exception to this would be very high-ranking players whom people may make specific study of.
  • Knowing your precise talent build only says so much about how you play -- a shadow priest can still heal and a holy priest can still surprise you with a mind blast. And in PvP situations it's assumed that you'll have one of a few variations on an optimal PvP build for your class, already suggesting your strengths, weaknesses, and abilities to your opponents.
  • By someone familiar with gear options, gear can be guessed at with simply a glance. Especially considering that most players are aspiring to the same high-end gear and are all somewhere along the same path to achieving it.
However, despite the fact that I don't really think it's worth arguing about, those arguing against the Armory aren't asking for anything unreasonable: they just want a way to opt out of the system. And since the feature is currently in beta, perhaps there's still time to see such a change implemented.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Blizzard

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