Archive for the ‘Terms of Use’ Category

Would smell as sweet

July 6, 2010

I’m not sure what I could say that could properly preface Blizzard’s latest announcement, so I’ll just let their words speak for themselves:

The first and most significant change is that in the near future, 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 — with the option to also display the name of their primary in-game character alongside it. 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, with the World of Warcraft site and forums following suit near the launch of Cataclysm.


I read this and my jaw dropped. I passed on the link to others, read comments, reread the post, saw the Blue amendment (old posts will be unaffected), went to lunch and came back. And now that I’m back from lunch, I think I’ve managed to sift through my thoughts and find the relevant bits, beginning with this:

What the FUCK are you thinking, Blizzard?

Yes, I just dropped the f-bomb. Because something like this deserves it.  I was fine – and continue to be fine – with the Real ID friendlist because I can choose who knows who I am. Not that I exactly go to great lengths to conceal my identity, but I don’t need some random pug tank calling me by my first name.

A person’s name is their identity. Yes, that sounds obvious but let me elaborate: you’re walking down the street and you hear someone say your first name. Immediately you pause – that name is your personal identifier, after all – and turn towards the voice, only to see someone else approaching the person like old buddies. It may be that person’s name as well, but to the both of you it is something personal.

I’ll admit to only half-listening to my husband at times, but if he says my name he has my full and undivided attention. It triggers something primal, a mental flag that I need to get serious, because whatever is happening warrants the use of my specific identifier. My name is personal, and if I don’t want someone to use it I can tell them to their face.

Blizzard doesn’t have a face. It’s a company that I’ve believed for a long time only wanted the best for its customers. So instead I will say this publicly: Blizzard, I want you to use my name to bill me. I do NOT want you to use my name to tell the entire World Wide Web that I play a tauren hunter, or that my undead mage yells gibberish in battlegrounds, or that my night elf druid has been sitting unplayed for over a year.

Blizzard, it’s not fair that I trusted you with my name, my moniker, only to have you tell me that I have to share it with the entire world to be a part of your forums. And now, I value my privacy too highly to post on your forums ever again.

I understand you want to reduce the amount of trolling on your forums. I don’t have an easy solution for you. But I will tell you that doing this will not only pare out just a few trolls (because the worst ones have no moral difficulty with lying to you in the first place), but additionally serve to alienate the most competent and intelligent section of your fan base. They are the ones who understand the value of their name, and they will shun you.

Don’t do this, Blizzard, I implore you. It will only serve to tarnish your company’s reputation. Or does your name mean as little to you as mine?

Edit 7/7/10: My post on the official thread, response number 19761.


I support the cause, but not the method.

November 8, 2008

I really have a lot of respect for BRK. The guy talks about huntering in ways that make it not only easy to understand, but also breaks down a lot of the more complicated mechanisms to help you improve yourself in the game. I’ve learned a lot from him, and think that he’s a pretty awesome guy. The fact that he chose to post a bunch of my emails as a post by itself doesn’t hurt, either.

But I cannot condone this.

First of all, it’s being held on a roleplaying server. I’ve been playing on roleplaying servers ever since I rolled my first character, Tchann, on Thorium Brotherhood. They’re not perfect realms of cohesive roleplay like we would all love to have, but they certainly have far more potential than a brutal PvP or even a simple PvE do. The most difficult thing about roleplaying realms, however, is that they’re almost entirely self-policed. There are extra rules that need to be followed on RP realms, but the players need to take it upon themselves to report infractions to the GMs. It makes things more difficult for the players, but it’s something we rarely complain about because at least there are rules that can be enforced. We have our garden of cohesive roleplay, it’s just up to us to plant and weed it.

So inviting thousands of non-roleplayers, who are traditionally loud, abrasive and rude, to a roleplaying server for a specifically out-of-character event? So not cool, BRK. So not cool. Any player who was planning roleplaying in Stormwind tonight has my sincerest sympathies, because it’s very unlikely you’ll even be able to see an NPC load in that city this evening, let alone the PCs who will be slaughtering you with out-of-character cries of glory (which, by the way, is against the Terms of Use).

Secondly, the server is Argent Dawn. It was the first (if not *the* first, one of the first) roleplaying server in World of Warcraft, which means it’s had the longest amount of time to degenerate. I know it has its problems with its population, and some people decide that the RP at the end of PvE-RP doesn’t mean anything at all. Despite that, it is still a roleplaying server, and it still has those rules that need followed. And, as an older server, it also has a fairly hefty population.

Upon BRK’s initial announcement of the event, comments started to pepper in about Argent Dawn’s queue times. I remember personally a while ago that the server was marked as ‘Full’ and I couldn’t even roll an alt there to play with my friends. While it’s obviously come down a bit if people are able to roll new characters now, I can’t imagine it’s that far off from where it was. So this event will be exacerbating a situation that was already near breaking point in the first place.

Despite myself and other players informing BRK of our concerns regarding his choice of server for this event, he has chosen to go ahead with it anyway. So BRK, I am boycotting the Run of the Bulls for Ezra. I wish to honor him in some way, and this event would have been a good idea on dozens of other servers, just not that one. I cannot condone such blatant disregard for the rules that, if you haven’t figured out by now, I try to inform people of so dilligently.

Instead, I’ll go out and complete Ezra’s quest, and pet Kyle when I’m finished. I’ll follow up with a donation to Make a Wish in Ezra’s name. It’s a far more pleasant way to honor someone than mass homicide, don’t you think? 🙂