Posts Tagged ‘Blizzard’

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Real ID – Proceed With Caution

July 7, 2010

Note: There has since been an update on this, please see bottom of post.

In a move that I find completely baffling, Blizzard announced today that they are moving all of their forums to the Real ID system. A lot of people are already expressing their concerns over the news, especially with regards to the following taken from their statement:

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.

Interesting. I very rarely post on official MMO forums, and to be honest I wouldn’t touch World of Warcraft’s with a ten-foot-pole, so ultimately this change wouldn’t affect me much at all. But for once, I actually find myself empathizing with the outspoken dissenters. This announcement…simply doesn’t feel right. And I can’t understand the reasoning behind such a move. Like Hunter has already pointed out, are real names really going to magically somehow make people accountable for the things they say?

WoW players: "RealID? This is madness!" Blizzard: "Madness? This is Sparta!" *punt*

This has the potential to drive away the people who are wary about revealing their identities, folks who otherwise would have contributed with constructive comments, and meanwhile, trolls are still going to troll. I can also understand if this decision was precipitated by the desire to stop those forum trolls from hopping from alt to alt, but is the use of real names really necessary? Why not take a page from Cryptic (yes, I said Cryptic), who has a very similar system to Real ID in place right now, where a player’s handle can be used to post on forums as well as communicate with friends across both the company’s MMOs? It works even if you happen to be on an alt, on another faction, or even on a test server. Clearly, it’s a system that can be implemented without the involvement of real-life first and last names, so like I said, I am baffled as to why Blizzard is moving forward with making them a requirement.

The other thing that unnerves me about Real ID is how acutely some people’s concerns are resonating with me. I mean, just last week I wrote a post about my reluctance at sharing the fact I play MMOs with friends and acquaintances, especially with the people I work with. Mind you, it’s not that I’m ashamed of my love for MMOs, but I have a right to keep some pastimes private. And with the googling of names being such a common practice these days, maybe people don’t want certain aspects of their lives made public, like the fact they post on a World of Warcraft forum. I can understand that, all too well.

It might seem finicky of people to fret about their real names being revealed on a game forum, but it’s actually quite possible for small things like that to affect lives. You might notice that I emphasized the workplace in this post and the other one, and it’s because this is where I’ve personally been most affected. I used to work at a corporate staffing agency and have seen how employers can and most certainly will google candidates’ names before hiring, or even before granting an interview. Needless to say, after a week on the job of witnessing the things that happen, the first thing I did was wipe my Facebook information page.

I’ve always advised new graduates and anyone looking for a job to do the same (or at least clean up their profiles), as well as take a look at what’s out there when you google your own name. It’s heartbreaking the number of perfectly decent people I’ve seen lose their job opportunities because a potential employer disliked something they found out about them on the internet. “Oh, there was a picture of him smoking in a bar, I don’t think he’ll be the right fit” or “They like heavy metal music, that’s just way too hardcore for us” or “They’re part of this particular special interest group, that’s just too scary!” Think you’re safe because you set privacy protections on your page? Think again. One girl lost an interview simply because the employer noticed a tongue ring in her tiny profile picture, which was probably several years old. Yes, some of it was completely ridiculous and in a few cases even bordered on unlawful, which is probably why the employers only told us and never the candidates. You’d be surprised at how rarely people are given the benefit of the doubt.

The point is, this is just one way this system can be abused, but others have already pointed out a myriad of other concerns ranging from harassment to identity theft. You never know what anyone will do with the information they find on you, even if it’s something as innocuous as seeing your name on a post arguing Mage DPS in an online game forum. I’m usually pretty laid back about a lot of things and I really don’t like getting on the soapbox, but if there’s one issue I get all alarmist on, it’s privacy and identity. My own full name is kind of unique, and I take great care whenever I use it or give it to someone online. It can be a cruel, judgmental and scary world out there, so I don’t blame the anti-Real ID people for wanting to err on the side of caution. I’m kinda with them.

July 9, 2010 – Update: Well, what d’ya know, as I had speculated that it might happen, Blizzard eventually came to its senses. And it’s a good thing too, because for a few days there, things were getting pretty scary. But the damage has already been done for a lot of people, unfortunately. Now to see if Blizz can recover from this PR nightmare.

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Fresh from the Rumor Mill…

January 10, 2010

So the internet has been abuzz with the rumors that the next Blizzard MMO…will be a Sci-Fi FPS?

According to the French site NoFrag, an inside source has stated that the new game will take place in a futuristic universe and will feature two elements: a social life where players can interact with each other akin to The Sims Online, and a second life they can connect to which allows them to engage in combat, which is presumably where the FPS part comes in.

Like, wow. I knew Blizzard has stated that their new MMO would be completely different from World of Warcraft, but damn. Providing this rumor has any merit, this is farther than I thought they would stray. For some strange reason, I keep thinking Avatar. Or maybe, True Lies. Also, I never thought I would ever see The Sims Online and FPS together in the same sentence, or nay, same paragraph, even. Oh well, there have been stranger bedfellows. It would be interesting to see how this plays out, as some of the most rabid MMO players (and WoW fans) I know hate FPS games with a passion.

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An Introduction

January 7, 2010

Welcome to MMO Gamer Chick. As the title of this blog suggests, here you can expect to find the MMO-related musings (and thoughts about general nerdom) of a 20-something-year-old female gamer.

But first, some info regarding the author of this site: I’m passionate about gaming, obviously. Enough to get me off my ass and start a blog about it which is saying something, considering how ambivalent I am towards most things in life. Not to mention I am also cursed with the attention span of a goldfish.

What was I saying again? Oh, right. Gaming and how much I love it. Though this blog will ultimately focus on MMOs, I feel it is appropriate for my first post to be a summary of my own personal gaming experiences, as it will shed insight into my love of MMOs and the particular genres I enjoy. The earliest memory I have related to gaming was probably also my first exposure to the world of video games, though it technically doesn’t count as a personal gaming experience considering I was just a wee toddler being balanced on my father’s knee while he sat at the computer trying to babysit me and play Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards at the same time (he probably thinks I don’t remember, but I do). Lucky for him, the only lasting impression I had of that game was poor Larry being run over by a car and instantly killed every time he tried crossing the street, and nothing else. Even as a two or three-year-old, I knew that was funny.

He ain't gonna make it.

Skip forward to the late 1980’s or thereabouts, with the original Prince of Persia. You know, the game where you play that poor sap in the white jammies who’s always jumping around screen after screen trying to avoid deadly traps. The more you progressed, the more you felt the pressure building. I’ll tell you, playing this game was maddening as a little kid, but no matter how many times you were skewered by spikes or cut to bits by chomping blades, no matter how little time was left on the clock, you just couldn’t help but want to try it over again and again and again. And again. A warning sign of things to come, perhaps.

The reason I became a Bioware fangirl.

The 1990’s for me were a blur of games; without a doubt, there were just too many to name. But here are some that stood out: starting in 1993 when my brother and I received Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis as a gift from one of our mother’s friends. Thus solidified my love for adventure games, including such titles as King’s Quest V and later Myst and Riven, which ultimately lead me down the path to discovering the wonderful world of fantasy RPGs. Blizzard’s Diablo will always have a special place in my heart, as will Bioware’s Baldur’s Gate, both of which kept me enthralled for hours on end.

You see where this is going. Admittedly, I was a latecomer to the MMO scene. For years, I shied away purposely, telling myself that I enjoyed playing RPGs for the immersive factor. After all, in MMOs you have to play with real people. And real people are jerks. How am I supposed to get immersed and stay immersed when have to play with jerks? Somehow, I managed to hold myself back until 2006, when all of a sudden, it seemed like all the men in my life were playing World of Warcraft. My college roommate, who I could hear playing the game in the next room 24/7 but still miraculously managed to pass all his courses. My boyfriend at the time, that I had just started dating, who had been with the game since day one of launch. And finally, my brother, who raved about the game to me and can be credited as the one who finally got me onto the MMO bandwagon. After a brief consultation with him and placing more trust than I should have upon his recommendations for class and realm, I rolled my first MMO character–a human warrior on a PVP server.

I can't believe I lost my MMO virginity to WoW.

So, after only about 10 minutes of gameplay, I came to the realization that even after 20 years or so of growing up together, my brother knew absolutely squat about me. For one, he neglected to inform me that as a warrior I would be expected to be a tank-bitch in virtually every single group I joined. At this point in my life, I HATED tanking. Hated it so much, that I would rather be trapped in an elevator with six farting wet dogs than have to tank another run of Deadmines or Shadowfang Keep. Along the way, I also discovered my hate for PVP. So here I was, prancing merrily along my way in Thousand Needles trying to kill wyvern for a quest when out of nowhere, a hulking skull-level Tauren comes and makes roadkill out of me and proceeded to camp my body. Yep, I was right. People are jerks.

Amazingly (or maybe not, being the glutton for punishment that I am), I stuck with the game, though it wasn’t until I switched servers and rolled a new class that I was finally able to enjoy my WoW experience to its fullest. For one thing, I joined an awesome guild. It made me see that MMOs are about the community and socialization, and despite the irritating knuckle-dragging bonehead griefers, the fortunate reality is that much of the MMO populace is made up of helpful and friendly decent folk who are a pleasure to play with. Another thing, I rolled a druid, which really was the perfect class for me all along. Ironically, I spec’ed feral and learned to love the tanking gig. But I still hate PVP.

With two expansions under its belt, WoW isn’t like what it used to be, but I can’t deny its profound impact on me and my love for MMOs, or the influence  has over the genre as a whole. Since then, I have played other MMOs, some of which have succeeded in captivating me, others which have been disappointing. No doubt you will find me talking about them sooner or later on this blog. Until then, I hope I’ve at least succeeded in revealing a little about my style as a gamer, and why I love MMOs. Thanks for reading!