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Posts with tag realid

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.

Read more →

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

Blizzard's responses on the Real ID situation

Blizzard has provided three updates to Real ID news that broke today. One of them we reported on earlier (the fact that our real life names will not be displayed retroactively). The other two are about parental controls and Blizzard's attentiveness to the response.

We provide all three responses after the break.

If you're interested in contributing to the discussion on Blizzard's forums, you may do so at the 11,000+ thread. Don't create a new thread though, it'll just be locked. And try not to fall into the trap of responding too harshly... Blizzard has been banning a lot of people today.

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Filed under: Blizzard, News items

Real ID security concerns

Ever since the Real ID friend system was announced, players have voiced concerns about hackers and phishers exploiting this system. They're worried that hackers will move through a group of Real ID friends like a wildfire during a drought. While it is always good to have concerns about account security, sometimes paranoia is a bit too much.

Yes, you do need your friend's email address to add them as a Real ID friend. However, that is the last time you'll ever see that email address in your game client -- once you hit the "Send Request" button, that's it. There is no way to look up that person's email address from the interface again. The only personal information in the client after that is your friend's name.

Just remember that this system is meant for your real-life friends and family and not for some guy who was a good healer in your ICC PUG last week. If you don't know where to go to knock on the person's door if something happens to your account, then don't share your email address.

Filed under: Account Security

Patch 3.3.5 PTR: Battle.net Real ID system

After several tries at character copies, extended-extended downtime and Battle.net issues, we've been able to hop onto the public test realm and play around with the new Real ID features. We were able to grab a lot of screenshots of the new chat features.

Now, if you're not familiar with the Real ID system, I'll give you a quick summation. If you have a real-life person you know who also plays Blizzard games and you would like to keep in touch with them despite realm, faction or even game (Diablo III, StarCraft II or World of Warcraft), then you can now add them in a social media-type format with announcement, statuses and cross-realm/faction/game whispers. This is not something you want to do with someone you've only ever known in game. The reason you don't want to do this with just anybody is that you will be using your Battle.net email login.

If you happen to try out this feature on the PTR, please note that we're still in an early test realm build and there are still a lot of bugs in the system. This means you're going to get Lua errors off of the default interface, and the Battle.net server managing your friends list is often down as they're tweaking things behind the scenes. It's the test realm; it's meant to test things. So don't take its stability as a sign of what the functionality will be like when the patch hits the live realms.

Filed under: News items, Cataclysm

Battle.net Real ID preview and FAQ

We're getting a lot of info today about Battle.net's new features. First it was Facebook integration and now a full explanation of the Real ID features. We previewed some of the features of Real ID before and there were some concerns. This Battle.net feature is completely voluntary and requires mutual acceptance. So the only people who will be your Real ID friends are the ones that you agree to (and they have to agree as well).

Real ID features
  • Real names for friends Your Real ID friends' names will appear next to their characters.
  • Cross-Game chat You will be able to talk to your Real ID friends cross realm and in other games like StarCraft II and Diablo III.
  • Rich Presence You will be able to snoop see what games and modes your Real ID friends are playing. So you'll know if they are just hanging around Dalaran. And they'll know the same about you.
  • Broadcast You can broadcast short messages to all of your Real ID friends and view recent messages that they have broadcast.
  • Friend once, see all characters Real ID friends can see all of each other's characters. All. You won't be able to pick and choose which ones can be seen, unless they are on another Battle.net account.
Again, both friends have to agree to become Real ID friends and this will not be a mandatory feature of Battle.net. This is obviously a feature that you will want to use only with people that you don't mind knowing what Blizzard game you are playing on which character and where.

The complete Real ID FAQ is after the break.

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Filed under: News items

Battle.net preview: Real ID

There is a Battle.net preview up at the official StarCraft II site. While much of it talks of the integration of the StarCraft with the new Battle.net, including new mod functionality and better matchmaking, it also discusses something that affects WoW players: Real ID.

Blizzard mentioned this new cross-game social aspect of Bnet at last year's BlizzCon. Real ID is an optional system for chatting with and keeping track of "real life" friends in any Battle.net game. You invite friends with your Real ID. If they accept, you can find out what game they are playing and on what realm and character. You can also chat across realms or games. You won't have to remember the usernames of your Real ID friends and family, because you will see their real names on the interface. And you will also be able to broadcast messages to all on your Real ID friends list, rather than just chatting one at a time.

I cannot wait for this to be implemented for WoW accounts. I would love to be able to chat with my friends who are scattered across many realms and who defect to play StarCraft. I really think this is great for more hardcore players (I'll be on my Alliance alt until you Hordies can get your act together for the raid) or very casual, chatty altoholics.

Will you use the Real ID system?

Filed under: Blizzard, News items

Battle.net 2.0 to allow cross-faction communication

As noted in my previous article on the subject, the new and improved Battle.net won't affect only StarCraft II -- among other things, the Real ID feature will allow you to see what other Blizzard games your real-life friends or acquaintances are playing, should they desire it. But that's apparently not the only perk for WoW players. Blizzard recently announced that migration of WoW accounts to Battle.net accounts will soon be mandatory, and posted a FAQ about it on the official website; one detail immediately caught my eye...

What will change in World of Warcraft after the forced migration?

The core gameplay experience will remain unchanged as a result of the migration. However, you'll be able to take part in all of the new Battle.net features, such as cross-realm, cross-faction, and cross-game chat.

That's right. Got a friend that plays Horde and you play Alliance? You'll be able to talk to them from inside WoW, even if they're on a different server. Heck, even if they're playing StarCraft II or Diablo 3, you'll still be able to chat with them. How cool is that?

To quell some concerns that'll surely get posted in the comments, the extent that others can utilize your Real ID is completely up to you. You decide who gets to see what information and to what extent -- if you want your best friend to be able to see what game you're playing or what server you're on, you can do that, but you can also prevent your annoying cousin from pestering you to play StarCraft II while you're raiding. No, Jeff, I actually can wait for you to "pwn" me. Gots to get me some purps.

Filed under: News items

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