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Posts with tag battle-net

Should there be a hide option for RealID?

No matter how much we may love playing with our guilds and friends, sometimes we just want to take some time off and play in single-player mode. However, with the pervasiveness of the RealID system, is it truly feasible to go off the grid to do this? Syl over at Raging Monkeys attempts to tackle this very problem, arguing enthusiastically that we should be allowed this option, that it would not only be convenient but also would benefit those relationships we have built both in-game and out.

Personally, I'm a bit torn on the issue. On the one hand, I can identify with this situation, as I have been there many times before. My own friends would always want to level alts together, but our goals for those characters never quite lined up. I'd find myself creating secret alts on another faction, sometimes on another server -- not only to experience more of the story and lore than I had before, but to just be alone. Of course, this was all before the RealID system was implemented, because after its debut, I was not able to start a new draenei paladin or blood elf rogue without being flooded with questions and, admittedly, a little guilt.

On the other hand, there is a very simple solution to all of this: Put your foot down. If someone asks why you're on Area 52 rolling a worgen warlock (or why you're even rolling a warlock in the first place, yuck), I think we all can agree that the best solution would be to honestly and delicately state that you need some time off, away from all of your in-game obligations -- including those inquiring minds. But is confronting your pursuers really that easy? For some, this type of thing comes naturally, and I for one am extremely envious of these people. For others, confrontation of this sort is not something we want to deal with, and the option to hide from RealID becomes a safe, albeit passive-aggressive, option.

What do you think? Is this a feature that Blizzard should be working on, or should these players find other means of enjoying the game in solitary peace?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard

Blizzard announces new Battle.net BattleTags

Blizzard has just announced and posted a FAQ about its upcoming Battle.net feature BattleTag, a feature separate from Real ID that connects players across all of Blizzard's games with a screen name rather than your own full name. BattleTags seems to be Blizzard's response to the community's privacy issues with Real ID, in which many players want to make new connections with people they meet in game but are not willing to share so much personal information. BattleTag will eventually have access to all of the grouping and queuing features that Real ID users currently have access to.

Not only will your BattleTag be your identifier across Blizzard games, but it will also be used as your forum handle on the community websites. These handles are not unique, so you could potentially have the same name as someone else, but you'll have an identification number that appears after your name in your profile so that people can find you and send you messages. BattleTags do not interrupt your Real ID friends or any other feature. Again, BattleTags are optional, and you are still able to post on the forums using your World of Warcraft characters or StarCraft II account. BattleTags are rolling out soon in the Diablo III beta and will be available for everyone at a later date.

Personally, this is exactly what I wanted from Real ID, now pared down to a manageable, private screen name. My real friends can stay on my Real ID list, and my online friends, guildmates, and other people can use my BattleTag. This new feature is a great response to players' concerns, and I cannot wait to try it. Hit the jump for the full FAQ and learn all about BattleTags.

Read more →

Filed under: Blizzard

Battle.net undergoing emergency maintenance

Moments ago, Daxxari announced that Battle.net is coming down for immediate urgent maintenance. Players logged in to Battle.net should be able to play as normal, but the system may prevent people from logging on. Maintenance is expected to last from 2:30 p.m. PST to 4:30 p.m. PST.

Daxxari announces urgent Battle.net maintenance

We will be performing an urgent maintenance on Battle.net which may prevent players from logging into the system. Players who are currently logged in should be able to continue to play normally.

We expect this downtime to begin at 2:30 p.m. PST and end at approximately 4:30 p.m. PST. Thank you for your patience while we improve the Battle.net system.



Brace yourselves for what could be some of most exciting updates to the game recently with patch 4.3. Review the official patch notes, and then dig into what's ahead: new item storage options, cross-realm raiding, cosmetic armor skinning and your chance to battle the mighty Deathwing -- from astride his back!

Filed under: Blizzard

The Lawbringer: The relationship between Blizzard and PayPal

Pop law abounds in The Lawbringer, your weekly dose of WoW, the law, video games and the MMO genre. Mathew McCurley takes you through the world running parallel to the games we love and enjoy, full of rules, regulations, pitfalls and traps. How about you hang out with us as we discuss some of the more esoteric aspects of the games we love to play?

On Wednesday, Blizzard announced that PayPal would be its payment service partner for the new Battle.net wallet and Diablo 3 real money transaction Auction House coming with the release of the next Diablo game. Was anyone really surprised at this announcement? I sure wasn't, but that's because I already knew PayPal would be the payment service partner for the Diablo 3 real money Auction House from the moment the Diablo 3 real money Auction House was announced. I'm not trying to be smug here, because you knew it, too. You just didn't know that you knew.

The relationship between Blizzard and PayPal is an easy one to decipher because of the nature of the business Blizzard is getting into with the Diablo 3 RMT Auction House. Auctions for real money are firmly in PayPal's wheelhouse because, shocker of shockers, PayPal is owned by eBay. When you think about the feasibility of the RMT Auction House and all of the legal ramifications that go along with it, you point to the eBay model of online auction facilitation for what works and provides the path of least resistance.

This article is not a critique of PayPal as a service. There are plenty of places on the web to find that type of article. Instead, The Lawbringer will look at the actual services that Blizzard provides with PayPal, why PayPal was the obvious choice for real money transactions, and how PayPal's integration into Battle.net is not the potentially apocalyptic scenario that a few have presumed.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Lawbringer

iPhone Mobile Authenticator temporarily removed from iTunes store

Those players using the iPhone Mobile Authenticator in conjunction with their Warcraft accounts may want to note the latest news from Community Manager Lylirra on the official Blizzard forums. Due to an issue with the latest version of the authenticator, the app has been removed from the iTunes store, to be replaced with a new version at a later date.

Don't panic if you happen to have the authenticator tied to your account -- all current authenticators will continue working as usual, but players looking to download or update the app for their iPhone or iTouch devices will have to wait until the new version is released. Also note that whatever this issue may be, it is not a security issue; your account is perfectly safe.

Follow after the break for the full announcement.

Read more →

Filed under: News items, Account Security

Predicting Battle.net's social future

If you think we've scratched the surface of Battle.net cross-game implementation with Real ID, you are going to be amazed at what is coming next. Do I know any of this for sure? No, of course not. I base my predictions on three simple facts:
  1. Blizzard has created an account-based loyalty program that has encapsulated each and every one of its games;
  2. Blizzard is chock-full of smart individuals who understand community, as illustrated by the new community website; and
  3. Blizzard has made your account mean something into perpetuity.
If you think Battle.net is sharp at 2.0, you can't even imagine 3.0.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard

Blizzard introduces Dial-in Authenticator

If you do not have an authenticator or mobile authenticator on your account, Blizzard has just introduced an alternative. The Dial-in Authenticator, now available for those without authenticators, is a new Battle.net feature that will hopefully help those players who don't have some sort of authenticator already on their account.

Here's how it works. When you sign up, you'll be asked to make a toll-free call from a specific phone of your choosing to authorize login attempts with the battle.net account. You get to assign the phone number that is used, and if there is something unusual about the login attempt on your account, you'll be asked to call the toll-free number to verify you are you. An example of unusual activity would be playing from a different location than you normally do. In other words, if a keylogger gets hold of your account information and attempts to log in, they'll be prompted to call the number -- and they won't be able to go any further, because they don't have your phone and they don't have your PIN. You will only be asked to call if it's an unusual login -- otherwise, you can continue to log in and play with no worries.

The Dial-in Authenticator is currently only open to U.S. residents, and it only covers World of Warcraft accounts -- although Blizzard may update it to cover more countries in the future, as well as StarCraft 2 accounts. In order to sign up for the Dial-in Authenticator, you must log into your account on Battle.net, then go to Security Options and choose to add the Dial-in Authenticator. If you already have an authenticator on your account, you must remove it in order to sign up for the dial-in service; you cannot use more than one security method at a time.

For more information on the service, check out the official FAQ on Blizzard's website.

Filed under: News items, Account Security

New Blizzard community website, forums begin testing in November

The announcement came out this morning on the EU forums that Blizzard is getting ready to roll out its new community website and forums for World of Warcraft some time in early November. Anyone who has been to the community site for StarCraft 2 will already be aware of some of the new features including a more advanced forum system than what we have now. Features will include the ability to report a post for trolling or spam without changing pages, being able to see a quick summary of the thread by mousing over and letting players up- and down-rate responses.

The current forums will be set as locked during the beginning of the transition and then will be completely removed toward the end. This means that if there are any old guides, posts or fun things from days of old that you want to see moved to the new forums, you should copy them to your own computer now.

One thing that is curiously missing from the announcement is what alternative Blizzard has developed to its original Real ID forums concept since it was thrown out. StarCraft 2 has a centralized handle that is associated with your Battle.net login, and it is the same handle/avatar that's used for multiplayer games. Hopefully, they'll provide more details on issues like this as things start to lead up to the changeover.

The full blue post is after the break.

Read more →

Filed under: Blizzard, News items

Battle.net authenticators limited to one account

Blizzard is changing up the security on their authenticators a bit. This isn't a major change and shouldn't affect that many people. Starting now, if you happen to have multiple Battle.net accounts (not multiple WoW accounts under one Battle.net account), then each account must have its own authenticator. This means if you have separate Battle.net logins for zergrush@somedomain.com and taurenfever@example.com and you want to use an authenticator, you'll need to buy two. If you've just got taurenfever@example.com and all of your games are under that Battle.net login, then you're perfectly fine.

This is not retroactive. If you already have two accounts linked to a single authenticator, everything will still work as it does right now until you unlink that authenticator. The full blue post detailing the changes is behind the cut below.

Read more →

Filed under: News items, Account Security

Real ID and Battle.net get expanded privacy settings

Blizzard has come through with its promise of updated and more expansive options for its controversial Real ID feature, connecting Blizzard's games through use of real names as identifiers. The new options allow you to opt out of being listed in the "Friends of Friends" of other users, to deactivate the ability to be seen in Starcraft II's Facebook feature, or to turn off Real ID altogether.

To change your Battle.net privacy options, log in to your account's Battle.net management page and select Settings, then Communication Preferences.

Now all we need is an "go invisible" feature on Real ID, like most instant message clients have, and I'll be a happy Real ID user.

The full announcement by Nethaera is below:

Nethaera -- New Battle.net Privacy Settings
We'd like to make you aware of the new Real ID-related privacy options we've introduced to Battle.net. These options provide Real ID users with additional tools for customizing the service based on their preferences, enabling the ability to opt in or out of the Real ID "Friends of Friends" and "Add Facebook Friends" features or to turn off Real ID altogether.

Real ID offers an optional, convenient way for keeping in touch with real-world friends you know and trust, whether they're playing World of Warcraft, StarCraft II, or one of our future games. The "Friends of Friends" and "Add Facebook Friends" features provide you with even more options to stay connected while you play by making it easier for real-life friends to locate each other on Battle.net. You can easily enable or disable these features through your Battle.net privacy settings by logging in to your Battle.net account at http://www.battle.net/.

Filed under: News items, Account Security

Breakfast Topic: Casualties of casual gaming

The other day over dinner, my wife and I were talking about a new game on Facebook and how easy it would be for us to game the system. My brother-in-law stopped us mid-conversation and asked, "What the hell happened to you two? You used to be hardcore raiders! Now you're talking about min-maxing a Facebook game!"

My wife and I looked sheepishly at each other and hung our heads in shame. This is what it had come to. While we're committed to playing together come Cataclysm, we had now been reduced to the most casual of casual gamers -- playing browser-based games with no real, complex story or engaging gameplay. At least, nothing as complex or engaging as the World of Warcraft. But the reality is that casual gaming is a bigger phenomenon than we can imagine. Zynga's Farmville has over 61.6 million active users -- that's almost six times WoW's 11.5 million subscriber base. Never mind that World of Warcraft is subscription-based and that not all of Farmville's players are paying customers. Forget about revenue for a moment. That's 61.6 million gamers playing one game.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics

Email confirmation added to authenticator setup to foil hackers

For a while now, account thieves have been putting authenticators on their stolen accounts to buy more time for their scumbaggery. Blizzard has recently made that more difficult by requiring email confirmation when an authenticator is added to a Battle.net account. Rather than just logging in and putting in the appropriate information, you now have to follow the steps in a confirmation email sent to the address registered in your Battle.net account.

Note: Changing the email address on the account requires not only your password (which the account thieves already have at this point) but also the answer to your security question. So make sure the answer to your security question is not guessable or obtainable by any phishing information. As I have suggested before, if you use a password for your security answer rather than an actual answer, you are adding a very thick level of security. Make it a separate password you use just for security questions, like p45sw0rd (don't use that one).

We don't know how long ago Blizzard added email confirmation The email confirmation has been active since July 27 and we believe it will reduce the workload of Blizzard's customer service. More importantly, this will make getting your account back less painful.

Of course, the best way to prevent someone from stealing your account and then adding an authenticator to it is to put an authenticator on it yourself. There are keyfob and mobile versions available.

[Thanks for the tip, Joel!]

Filed under: Blizzard, News items, Account Security

Blizzard responds to common Real ID concerns

Nethaera (Blizzard community manager) posted answers to some of the common Real ID questions and concerns on the forums today. With the PR disaster that was Blizzard's original Real ID on the forums concept, a follow-up aimed at easing tensions in the community -- even after the retraction -- was to be expected. While Blizzard offered some good news on things people have been requesting, they also dodged other points for the moment in true Blizzard style.

Some highlights from the announcement:
  • no current plans for an online handle to be used in game with Real ID instead of your name
  • feature to disable your name's appearance in Friends of Friends list coming around the time of StarCraft II
  • plans for some sort of unique ID on the WoW forums
The full announcement is after the break.

Read more →

Filed under: Blizzard, News items, Account Security

New Battle.net site is live

The URL may include the word "beta," but the new Battle.net site is live and seems to be fully functional. Some changes we've noticed at first glance are:
  • Complete change to the interface and navigation.
  • You can check a box to stay logged in.
  • It gives the status of their franchises.
What's not there: an ability to chat with Real ID friends from the browser. Ah well.

We don't know as of yet when the old Battle.net site will be phased out, but we'll keep you posted.

Filed under: Blizzard, News items

The Daily Quest: Shh, the internet dragon is sleeping


Here at WoW.com, we're on a Daily Quest (which we try to do every day, honest) to bring you interesting, informative and entertaining WoW-related links from around the blogosphere. Is there a story out there we ought to link or a blog we should be following? Just leave us a comment and you may see it here tomorrow! Take a look at the links below, and be sure to check out our WoW Resources Guide for more WoW-related sites.

The internet can breathe again. Earlier today Blizzard announced that they will not be requiring real names to post on the official Blizzard forums, and the blogosphere in response breathed a huge sigh of relief. Here's a whole mess of thank-you's and other notes regarding the decision from various bloggers:

Filed under: The Daily Quest

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