I put together a small handful of interesting posts from the protest forum. I also copy and pasted the contents of said posts for people who may have issues seeing images/ clicking through. Most of the images were unfortunately too large to post full size on the blog. All posts are quoted in their entirety and are unedited (including the errors in my own). They all raise good points, and one of them in particular is a real tear jerker (at least for me).
I also urge you all to post on the forums, whether you agree with the changes or not. Please be polite and reasonable while doing so, and be clear and concise in your writing (unlike me!)
1. My response to the forum
I don’t often post on these forums. I will admit that I can be put off by the juvenile behaviour of some, and the flame wars of others.
I do not believe that such a grotesque violation of people’s rights is the answer to this problem.
I’d like to draw attention to a part of the Code of Conduct that you find important enough to highlight every time we make a post on the forums:
Q u o t e:
Help keep these forums a fun and safe place for everyone – please report any Code of Conduct violations you see, including:
* Posts containing personal information about other players.
Why is it acceptable for you to essentially post our personal information? To have our real names viewable by all others, to reveal or open us up to assumptions about personal details such as gender, age and race?
By posting as ‘Saresa’, I can feel comfortable knowing that people view me, above all else, as a person who chooses to play a level 80 female Human Warlock. That is all one can assert about me from this handle. By posting as my ‘actual self’, people immediately view me and may make these assumptions or reach these conclusions:
- ‘Oh she’s a girl. She clearly doesn’t know what she is talking about’
- ‘Oh, she’s got a funny name. If I can’t agree with her about whatever she is talking about, I can always poke fun at her name!’
- ‘Hmmm. She must be ‘old’, with that first name. Who cares what an ‘old’ person has to say anyway?’
- ‘Oh look, I know that name, she’s my school teacher! I’m going to make fun of her and tell everyone at work LOLOLOL’
It is also staggering that Blizzard has not learned from the privacy fiascos of entities such as Google and Facebook. Why make the same mistakes as these companies? It leads me to assume that you are banking on the poor understanding of online security that young people have (see: http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/national/crooks-prey-on-young/story-e6frf7l6-1225888665174 just for starters), and are hoping that they simply will not care. I would advise you to remember the largest demographic of WoW players for starters (not children!) when making these changes – many of us are from a generation of older, more wary gamers and internet citizens.
Please reconsider this change. I say this as a fan of Real ID in it’s first release state (not perfect, but opt-in, which is what we feel it was marketed to us as). Honestly, if this comes down to making the forums ‘more friendly’, then I feel your motivation is misplaced. It will lead to more racially and sexually targetted flaming, and will not save you time or money in moderation.
I also feel that giving us the option to ‘not use the forums’ is no real option at all. Making an MMORPG more social by telling people to ‘not use the forums if they value their privacy’? I’m very sorry, but that doesn’t make sense to me.
Thank you for taking the time to read this.
Saresa (Gamer, Blogger – http://destructivereach.com – and all round Blizzard fan)
2. Employment Oriented Post by Qawiu of Greymane
Medical professionals, educators, law enforcement officers, legal personnel, these are just a few of the people who CANNOT AFFORD to draw aggro to their real legal names. People for whom even an arrest on false charges, later vindicated, is the end of their careers. People who can be crushed by anonymous accusations and groundless complaints, or even by the very act of harassment itself. These are the people you are guaranteed to be rid of if you implement this. The people with nothing to lose because they’ve accomplished nothing in life will not be deterred.
And we were your ideal customers, because we pay regularly, often without even using the game during that time, we often don’t have much time to tax your resources, and we don’t make much trouble for you in general.
But more awful to contemplate, are the young people who will ruin their lives without realizing that what they do as youths will be attached to their names FOREVER. Archives of internet content persist and they will find you. Forget ever making anything of yourself if your reputation is ruined now. Not even for anything you’ve said, but because someone else didn’t like the way you speak, didn’t like your name, didn’t like that someone else liked you. Didn’t feel you paid enough attention to them or were impressed enough by their l33t g34r.
And even worse, the innocent bystanders whose names coincide with or are used by misanthropes, who get hell rained on them without anybody even understanding why. Because ‘cyberbullying’ is not a problem, right? No one’s having their life ruined by harassment from internet sociopaths.
I can’t hold on to hope for this anymore– I’m going to go grieve a game that was so much a part of my life for so many years, and all the memories I’m going to have to leave behind. I’ll never forgive this, Blizzard. Never.
3. Rights for Transexuals by Occam of Shandris
How’s it going?
Why don’t you have a seat, I have some anger to blast at you.
I’m an Male-to-Female transsexual, Blizz. I haven’t legally changed my name yet, and I made my account long before beginning to transition. As a result, my account is labeled with a fairly masculine name, which I cannot change under the current system until I get it changed legally. This was a major concern for me when the realID friend list happened, but it’s not been a big deal, thanks for outing me to a good portion of my friends who play WoW, though. That lead to a few tears, not like I haven’t had a hard enough time convincing the various guilds I’m a part of across the four or five servers I have 80′s on that I’m female when they hear me over Ventrillo.
I just wanted to say THANK YOU for making this decision to out me and, oh, for the sake of statistics, the some odd THOUSAND others in my situation to every single person with a battle.net account. It really means something to us.
I skimmed over the previous pages, and couldn’t find any post pertaining to this, and felt it needed to be said. I’m sure there’s more than a mere thousand in situations similar to this, so let’s say a nice, low, 10,000 players of your supposed several million strong playerbase, and assume they all play WoW.
I plan on cancelling my subscription, and never looking at Blizz again after this change, and we’ll say half of those people plan to as well. 5,000, times 15 every month just from this group loss to profits. Is whatever cock-eyed profit scheme this is based on really worth that sort of income loss?
Also, posted on an alt keep from outing myself to my ENTIRE guild, instead of just people it’s beneficial to be able to pull off of alts at any give time. Yeah, only for IRL friends my ass.
inb4 my post is buried under more recent replies and I’m the only person to ever read it
4. Quitting WoW post by Tacobeef of Zul’jin (one of many similar posts)
After posting here in this thread, around page 200 something, I ask again, is there something that can be done legally to block this? I’d like to read a post from someone with a law background regarding this topic which I think it surely has to break some internet or civil rights law.
Thank you for playing World of Warcraft, and we hope you enjoyed your stay in Azeroth. All credit card information has been removed from the account ******** as of July 6, 2010 7:46:15 PM, so no further billing will be processed on this account unless payment information is manually re-entered. Your account will remain accessible for play until August 5, 2010 7:12:51 PM, when the remaining pre-paid time expires.
Good luck, Blizzard, you’ll need it.
EDIT: I also filled out a complaint at the ESRB.
5. Unique Name post by Shrike of Wyrmrest Accord (again, one of many)
Q u o t e:
Q u o t e:
Feel free to see how many other people in the USA have your name, for me it’s 27.
And my name isn’t even that strange. If it was first name? 1,500 or so. My last name has 572. But the combination? *One* person has that, and it’s me.
Obviously, I am aware that Blizzard is not a single entity, but we have not been informed, nor (I’m sure) will we ever be informed, who made the decision to do this… So I’ll address the following as "to the relevant parties at Blizzard…":
- I defended you all the way back to when you opened paid server transfers for the very first time and made my first server into a cesspool and utterly destroyed the RP community there, because I trusted that you would make things right (and you did, you doubled the "new server" delay before transfers were allowed).
- I defended you when you made sweeping changes that hamstrung my own class, because I trusted that you would make things right (and you did, by drastically overhauling my class and making it fun to play again).
- I defended you when you forced the migration of all World of Warcraft accounts to Battle.net accounts, because I trusted that you would make things right (and you did, by making battle.net more user-friendly, and adding the ability to use Authenticators).
- I defended you when you allowed the Trading Card Game to include in-game items, because I trusted you, that it would never include game-altering items.
- I defended you when you started selling in-game items for cash, because I trusted you, that it would never include game-altering items.
- I defended you when you implemented RealID, even though it made me extremely unpopular with my friends, because I trusted that you would actually take privacy concerns into account and make sure that no "slippery slope" came into effect.
I cannot defend this travesty, and I feel sickened that I ever defended you about RealID in the first place.
You’ve proven all the RealID naysayers right, destroyed your credibility, and alienated your most vocal defenders and proponents, all at once.
The only thing you can do to make this right is to implement a RealAlias option, so each Battle.net account can have a single NON-REAL-NAME identifier attached to it, that is just as difficult to alter as a real name attached to the account would be. Without this change, the service will be unusable by anyone with even a shred of self-preservation.
I’ve never threatened to cancel my accounts. It’s always a stupid move to threaten it. And I won’t threaten now, because it doesn’t work. I’ll just state very simply that this move insults me, my wife, and everyone I know who has any dignity or desire for privacy, and I feel no interest in continuing to play a game whose operators insult me.
6. MVP’s against the changes: Frejya.
Just saw Blindsight’s post a few pages back. Evidently Icedragon and Nok posted as well. All against this change.
For those of you that might not know – these guys are part of a core group that posts regularly in the Getting Started forums.
I don’t see how losing them is going to improve things.
¸..• ‘¨¨)) -:¦:-
¸.•’ .•’¨¨)) Frejya -:¦:-
((¸¸.•’ …•’ -:¦:-
7. Another MVP post, with a remarkably fitting signature. Snowfox.
“Paranoid: Worrying about Big Brother
Cautious: Worrying about his little brothers”