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7-08-2010 @ 4:55AM
First off, the excuse that this is to stop trolling, is complete crap. In fact, it will make it worse. Displaying real names will not stop people from trolling others, or harrassing them, or stalking them. Why? Because the troll in question, wouldn't even need to post to get a hold of someone's name. And despite what the naysayers say, countless incidents prove that a name is all you need. Seriously. Go to 4chan or Encyclopedia Dramatica and see for yourself. Both sites are a testament to what can happen when some internet sociopath gets a hold of something as trivial as a name. I have personal experience with this. I have known a so-called "Internet Sociopath" at one point in my life. This is how people like him get off. By fucking people over. They don't even need a reason. They may never have met you, ever. One day, they may just decide to get a hold of someone's dox (Personal info), and say "Well, the WoW forums post people's real names, that's the best place to go!". Next thing you know, pizzas are arriving throughout the night, people are calling your wife/girlfriend/kid and harrassing them, your facebook/myspace/twitter is hacked, and photos of you are all over the internet. This can potentially ruin peoples lives. This is not even including crazy exes, potential/current employers, friends, random crazy stalkers, etc. There are so many things that can go wrong with this kind of information so publically available to people. Saying that this is overreacting is also crap. This kind of thing is extremely common (Not so much killings, or the far more dangerous possibilities. But dox dropping, RL harrassing, hacking, and 4chan style trolling are quite common.). Again, Encyclopedia Dramatica, is a perfect example of how damaging even non-lethal or physical harrassment can be. This is exactly the kind of thing internet sociopaths pray for. And despite all of that, you'll still have people trolling on the forums via posts, because some trolls, simply don't care whether their reputation is at stake. Mostly because these people are generally just assholes in general.Sure, I could choose to just -not- use the forums, but why should I have to? I don't use it often, but I do consider it an important tool to make my in-game experience better. I've never had a reason to use the tech help boards, and i've never whined about nerfs or anything class related. But I use to forum to scout potential RP servers (Or any server in general, really. I like to have an idea of what i'm getting into before I bother rolling an alt or transferring a toon.), or to ask questions regarding lore, guilds, or raiding. And now I can't use that tool, because I don't feel like taking the chance of being troll food? The deal with it or don't post excuse is just another way of Blizzard (Or, far more likely, Activision.) saying "Don't like it? Well screw you, loyal customer. Bend over just a little further, we're not all the way in. Lube? Hell no, we want you to cry!". I was all for the RealID thing when it was simply being used as an in-game chat feature. Why? Because I had the option to not use it, and it was consent only. I have a choice of who I give my information to. But the forum changes are disgusting. And as a few other people are correct when they say this could possibly be a "slippery slope" situation. It's very possible this could get worse. What if they force us to link our facebook/myspace/twitter profiles to a b.net account? What if anyone on your friends list in-game, RealID friend or not, will be listed by their real names? Think of the sparkle pony fiasco. Do you think that was a one time deal? It would have been, had it sold poorly, and created a massive firestorm like the one that's been created by the announcement of the new forum changes. Blizzard was testing the water. And because everyone had to buy a pony, we'll see new and bigger things being sold in the Blizzard store. We saw it first with the armory, and the activity lists (Dates and times you completed various tasks at.), then with the first announcement of the RealID system as an in-game chat feature. Now we get hit with the forum changes. It may or may not get worse, but I don't think it's far fetched to say their social networking idea will become more invasive to your privacy.And the worst part about it is that if they really wanted to fix the problem of trolling, they could have gone with far less invasive and infuriating changes. But they didn't, because it's not about trolling at all. It's a flimsy excuse. Plain and simple.Even the RealID feature could be smoothed out by allowing an optional use of an account-wide nickname. None of this would bother me, if they just gave you the simple option of choosing to display your real name or not. That way, if you're not comfortable with people knowing your real name, you can just display your account-wide nickname. That would prevent trolling about as much as the RealID forum idea, and prevent privacy from being an issue to those who wish to keep theirs.
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