Blizzard Changing Forum Policy: Real Names Will be Shown

By Brian Leahy, Jul 06, 2010 11:27am PDT Blizzard Entertainment will be making a major change to its forums, with the largest change being "anyone posting or replying to a post on official Blizzard forums will be doing so using their Real ID -- that is, their real-life first and last name."

"These changes will go into effect on all StarCraft II forums with the launch of the new community site prior to the July 27 release of the game," reads an official posting by Blizzard. "with the World of Warcraft site and forums following suit near the launch of Cataclysm. Certain classic forums, including the classic forums, will remain unchanged."

The official forums have always been a great place to discuss the latest info on our games, offer ideas and suggestions, and share experiences with other players -- however, the forums have also earned a reputation as a place where flame wars, trolling, and other unpleasantness run wild. Removing the veil of anonymity typical to online dialogue will contribute to a more positive forum environment, promote constructive conversations, and connect the Blizzard community in ways they haven't been connected before. With this change, you'll see blue posters (i.e. Blizzard employees) posting by their real first and last names on our forums as well.

Blizzard has clarified in another post that this will not apply retroactively to any posts made before the change. It will only apply to the new StarCraft II forums and new World of Warcraft forums before the launch of Catalcysm. "All posts here on the current World of Warcraft forums, or any of our classic forums, will remain as-is. They won't (and can't) automatically switch to showing a real first and last name." Along with this, Blizzard will be improving the forums with post rating, threaded responses to help track conversations, and the ability to broadcast news across the forums to assist in spreading breaking news.

StarCraft II will be released on July 27. The second phase of the beta test is scheduled to begin soon prior to the game's launch. World of Warcraft: Cataclsym will be released later this year and the closed beta is already underway.

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  • I'm 100% behind this. In fact, I don't think they go far enough. Let's have all our characters renamed with our real names, too!

    I respect the idea that it might reduce meanie trolling, but the reality is that some people really are nuts, and I'm not inclined to have people able to track me down by my real name. "Oh, John Jones? He's on an East Coast server, so let's see... hmmm only 2 John Jones's on the east coast, alright... and one has lived in his house for 50 years so I bet it's the other one... let's just go to his house and shoot him because he was happy Rogues got nerfed."

    Ok, what I'm really worried about is that you guys will then know my real name is Weeble McGillicutty the 3rd. It would be so embarrassing if that got out.

    Thread Truncated. Click to see all 2 replies.

    • Hate to append my own post, but I work a job where I have a lot of clients with a lot of money. It wouldn't be out of the realm of possibility to have someone suddenly out me as working for the firm I work for, and then try to undermine my client relationships.

      I actually wrote a letter to the editor a couple years ago regarding a semi-contentious issue, and i was amazed how many of my clients read the letter AND told me they read it. It taught me that it's best to not express opinions or make any broad statements, even though all my clients agreed with my letter. There's always the chance of alienating someone who pays your bills. I don't think I would shy away from controversial or nerdy or embarrassing discussions. I think I'd just vanish.

      That's fine. Probably save me time better spent doing other stuff.