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Posts with tag real-id

Drama Mamas: The case of the nice guy and the social leech

Drama Mamas Lisa Poisso and Robin Torres are experienced gamers and real-life mamas -- and just as we don't want our precious babies to be the ones kicking and wailing on the floor of the checkout lane next to the candy, neither do we want you to become known as That Guy on your realm.

I really don't think nice guys finish last. Sure, being the Nice Guy comes with pain and challenges, but overall, you are better off. At least at the end of the day, you know you did the right thing and will always have that to fall back on. But there's a difference between being nice and being a pushover. Sacrificing your leisure time every once in a while to help out a friend is good. Sacrificing your leisure time because your "friend" has alienated all other friends and is using guilt trips and pouting to ensnare you is not good.
Dear Drama Mamas,

I am an officer in a casual raiding guild. We were running 10-man ICC with a core group of about 12 people until the summer slump hit. As we progressed, we started getting all 12 people showing up on raid day, so we had to choose. The problem came when one of our DPS was showing up on time but was constantly going AFK, not paying attention, and being obnoxious in Vent -- generally holding the raid back. He started getting skipped over every time extra players were online. When he outright asked about this, the officers decided he was always going to be last pick. I insisted that we tell him that he was on backup status and why. The other officers didn't think it was necessary to say anything to him, but I did it anyway because I felt it was the right thing to do.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Drama Mamas

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.

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Filed under: Blizzard, News items

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

15 Minutes of Fame: Anthropologist Bonnie Nardi on WoW culture and art

From Hollywood celebrities to the guy next door, millions of people have made World of Warcraft a part of their lives. How do you play WoW? We're giving each approach its own 15 Minutes of Fame.

We've written before at WoW.com and even here in 15 Minutes of Fame about attempts to study World of Warcraft culture from a sociological, psychological or anthropological point of view. In all of these cases, the researchers in question have logged time playing WoW as part of their research, albeit some with greater degrees of immersive success than others.

So I was very pleasantly surprised to learn that Bonnie Nardi, a University of California-Irvine expert in the social implications of digital technologies and author of the rather blithely titled My Life as a Night Elf Priest, not only rolled the token raiding character in order to observe the curious behavior of the raiding animal -- she actually enjoys WoW in its own right. Rather than cautiously sniffing WoW culture only to generate another wide-eyed, ZOMG-look-at-this-funny-lingo report from the digital field, Nardi dove deep enough to play in four different guilds: a casual raiding guild; a raiding guild composed of fellow academics; a small, casual guild; and her own friends-and-family guild. Our two-part interview with Nardi, packed with opinion and cultural analysis, reveals a witty approach to WoW culture that successfully combines academic insight with the familiarity of a seasoned player.

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Filed under: Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

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

Drama Mamas: When connecting online seems like a Real bad IDea

Drama Mamas Lisa Poisso and Robin Torres are experienced gamers and real-life mamas -- and just as we don't want our precious babies to be the ones kicking and wailing on the floor of checkout lane next to the candy, neither do we want you to become known as That Guy on your realm.

When is your privacy not your privacy? When it's connected to everyone else's privacy. This week, the Drama Mamas help a reader whose desire to reserve sharing her email address and online status for her real-life friends is heating up her WoW friends list -- and they're boiling over at not being included.
Hi Drama Mamas, I've decided to only add people as Real ID friends who are RL friends that play on another server. I'm one of those people who sometimes like to hop on a character unknown to the folks I usually play with and spend some hours ingame on my own or with my boyfriend. However, I do have a lot of ingame friends I'm pretty close with and talk about a lot of things apart from the game.

After installing the patch and logging on my main, it took only half an hour before I got the first whisper, containing an email adress and asking me to add them via Real ID. I told the person no, I'm only going to add very few RL friends to that list. I recieved a very sulky reply. Today the scenario repeated itself, meaning two days of playing very little have passed and two people are already angry at me for not adding them. Is there anything I can do to prevent other ingame friends to react the same? Why can't some people accept that sometimes I do want to play, but don't want to chat? Taz'Dingo, Anonyma

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Drama Mamas

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.

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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

ESRB issues apology over email leak

Yesterday, we learned that the ESRB (Entertainment Software Rating Board) accidentally emailed the names of people who had complained about Blizzard's potential use of Real ID names on the official Blizzard forums. The ESRB has since sent out this apology:
Yesterday we sent an e-mail to a number of consumers who wrote to us in recent days expressing their concern with respect to Blizzard's Real ID program. Given the large number of messages we received, we decided to respond with a mass e-mail so those who'd written us would receive our response as quickly as possible - rather than responding to each message individually, as is our usual practice.

Through an unfortunate error by one of our employees, some recipients were able to see the e-mail addresses of others who wrote on the same issue. Needless to say, it was never our intention to reveal this information and for that we are genuinely sorry. Those who write to ESRB to express their views expect and deserve to have their contact and personal information protected. In this case, we failed to do so and are doing everything we can to ensure it will not happen again in the future.

The fact that our message addressed individuals' concerns with respect to their privacy underscores how truly disappointing a mistake this was on our part. We work with companies to ensure they are handling people's private information with confidentiality, care and respect. It is only right that we set a good example and do no less ourselves.

We sincerely apologize to those who were affected by this error and appreciate their understanding.

Sincerely,
Entertainment Software Rating Board
I am glad that the ESRB apologized, and it is telling that they have also acknowledged how ridiculous the mistake was in light of the subject matter. Suffice it to say, good on the ESRB for not only apologizing but understanding the issues present over online privacy. Hopefully this whole debacle can be used as a teaching moment.

Filed under: News items, Account Security

ESRB unintentionally exposes email addresses of people who filed complaints over Blizzard's Real ID system [Updated]

Update: The ESRB has since issued an apology.

During the recent Real ID catastrophe on the forums, many players decided to appeal to an industry source that might have been able to sway Blizzard to change its mind. These players contacted the ESRB (Entertainment Software Rating Board) as a Better Business Bureau-type middleman in this situation with their concerns. The ESRB itself has championed such causes in the past with its Privacy Online program, which is designed to help companies meet various privacy laws like the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).

Since Blizzard recanted its decision about the forums, the ESRB faithfully followed up with those concerned.

Unfortunately, in that followup email, the ESRB exposed individuals to a new set of privacy concerns.

The letter and more information after the break.

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Filed under: News items, Account Security

Sunday Morning Funnies: Huff huff bing!

This week's list is long, so I'll get straight to the point! Note: If you're the artist of one of the comics on this list, please pass through the break for a special, clearly super secret club message.
This week, I have devoted a special section to comic artists who chose to comment on the Real ID fiasco through their art.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Humor, Comics, Sunday Morning Funnies

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

Mike Morhaime: Real names will not be required on official Blizzard forums

In a move that is sure to generate just as much discussion as the initial decision itself, Mike Morhaime, co-founder and CEO of Blizzard Entertainment, has released a statement that says "real names will not be required for posting on official Blizzard forums."

Morhaime says that Blizzard has been "constantly monitoring the feedback" given by the community and that they are "driven 100% by the desire to find ways to make our community areas more welcoming for players and encourage more constructive conversations about our games."

The other upgrades to the forums will still apply, such as rating posts up or down and conversation threading.

This will, no doubt, make many members of the community quite happy.

The full statement (updated) after the break.

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Filed under: News items

That scary GearScore/Real ID screenshot is fake, guys

Normally we wouldn't take an opportunity just to debunk an edited screenshot, but given how riled up people already are over Blizzard's upcoming forum change, it seems like it's necessary in this case.

There's a screenshot circulating, which is cropped above, that shows a new "beta version" of the infamous GearScore mod that is able to see your Real ID name -- that is, your real name -- just by mousing over your character. It's not real. We reported on a possible security loophole in addons that could, with enough black magic, reveal your Real ID name -- but this isn't what's happening here.

The creator of the image has admitted that the screenshot isn't real. You can officially cease linking it around and freaking out. We know that the idea your real names being on the forum might be scary, but it's important to keep a level head and not let fear take hold of your behavior, no matter what side of the issue you're on.

The important thing is that Blizzard knows how you feel. Post on the forums and let them know, cancel your account (or don't), and if you want to opt out of Real ID altogether, Robin Torres has assembled a guide on how to do just that.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Customizing and opting out of Real ID

This is not a discussion of the good (yay, crossrealm chat!) and the bad (boo, privacy fail) of Real ID. This is a guide for how to truly opt out of this feature and how to adjust the settings if you do participate in game.

To be clear, everyone who does not have a parentally controlled account has in fact opted into Real ID, due to a security flaw. Addons have access to the name on your account right now. So you need to be very careful about what addons you download -- make sure they are reputable. In order to actually opt out, you need to set up parental controls on your account. This is not an easy task. Previous to the Battle.net merge, you could just go to a page and set them up. Done. Now, you must set up an account as one that is under parental control. Once your account is that of a child's (a several-step process), your settings default to Real ID-disabled. Any Real ID friends you have will no longer be friends. In order to enable it, you need to check the Enable Real ID box.

Setting up parental controls:
  1. Go to the appropriate battle.net site for your region. (That link should take you there.)
  2. Push the Create or Manage a Battle.net Account button.
  3. Log in as normal.
  4. Click on Parental Controls, which is an option listed under Manage My Games. (And, if you're like me, you'll be sad that you are still not in the beta.)
  5. Choose the No - Setup Parental Controls button.
  6. Fill in your info as both the child's account and your own. (Why they make this distinction, I don't know. Parental controls always used to be an option for adults to manage their own game time.)
  7. You will receive an email. You need to save this email, because the link in there is the only way to get to the parental controls. Otherwise, you have to make Blizzard resend it. Click the link to get into the controls.
  8. Save Settings and then be told it will take up to 30 minutes to go into effect.
That is how to opt out. How to optimize opting in is after the break.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Account Security

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