Multitudes of Smoke

The thoughtful ramblings of a space goat and his alts.

Taking The RPG Out Of MMORPG One Step At A Time

Posted by Smokimus on July 6, 2010

Or why the implementation of “Real ID” may be the most stupid thing ever done by Blizzard.

Don’t many people play an MMORPG to escape from real life?  Isn’t this type of game supposed to be a refuge from our real life drama?  Doesn’t having your real name pop up anywhere while in game remove whatever emersion there was?  Don’t most people, while in game, go by the name of their main character?

When “Real ID” was announced, I didn’t really pay much attention.  I figured that it would be nice to talk to friends or guildies when I was playing alts on different realms or other Blizzard games.  When it went live, I knew enough that I didn’t care to participate as I don’t see the point of everyone knowing my real name (I don’t use my real name in real life, so why would I want to use it in game) as I don’t interact with any of them outside of the game environment.  Also, isn’t one of the first “rules” of internet security to not give out your full name?  Not a big deal to me at the time, would have been nice, but not necessary.

I could choose not to participate.

I so chose and I believe that many/most people also chose not to participate.

Then “Official forum changes, real life names to be displayed”.  Are you frick’n kidding me?  So, in order to post on the official forums, the hub of the game’s community, you will have to display your real name when Cataclysm comes out.  Apparently, they are out to destroy the usefulness of the forums under the guise of eliminating the trolls.

Many may believe that the forums are useless as they currently are, but I would disagree.  When I started playing, the forums were the first and in many cases the only place where I went to look for information on how to progress my character.  This was very noobish. I know, but I still think for information on leveling the various professions, it was the best place to start as there were some great guides put out by some very dedicated community members.  In cataclysm what will the incentive be to do this?  So that some asshat can go all nerdrage over some advice freely given and start to cyber stalk the person outside of game?  No thanks.

The law of unintended consequences cannot be violated.  What happens when some freak gets hung up with someone in game and proceeds to track that person down as a result of the information they were able to get from Real ID?  What happens when that freak gets violent?

As stupid as it may sound, I think this (unless changed) may be the beginning of the end of WOW as we have known it.  Much more than the pets or the sparkle pony, the whole of Real ID strikes me as some very poor implementation and design of something that could have been great and expanded the WOW community, but will instead shrink the community and be a very large negative to the game.

The problems of Real ID are correctable (allow for aliases, invisible settings, character specific opt-in), but it doesn’t seem as if Blizzard has any concern for these and is going to go full bore ahead with whatever their plans are.

What say you?

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2 Responses to “Taking The RPG Out Of MMORPG One Step At A Time”

  1. Secretworld said

    Couldn’t agree more with you on this Smoki, I think you know my feelings on the subject. I do think this is more of a marketing thing for Blizzard. Kind of like what Facebook did a few months back, changing security settings, making everything open by default and not really letting anyone know. Now I’m no business genius, but although Blizzard is letting us know and we do seem to have a say in the matter (don’t want your name known? then don’t post!), I really do think this might be a really bad move for them. Plain and simple, I see this as Blizzard selling out. I remember a time not so long ago when Blizzard swore up and down that there would never be any advertising on their website …. yeah right, look at it now!

  2. Smokimus said

    @Secret

    Thankfully, they appear to have changed their mind on this issue…for now.

    I believe that they still intend to find ways to more deeply integrate with Facebook and this is likely to be an issue at some point in the future. This seems to be about round 3 of a 12 round fight. The judges have scored this round in favor of the community, but there is going to be more of this in the future.

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