The internet is raging this afternoon over Blizzard's plans to put World of Warcraft users' real names on their official forum posts. The bastards.
The Diablo developer's revealed that, if you post on the version of its forum that will launch with the new StarCraft, your real name, rather than your username, will be shown.
It seems like Blizzard's looking to turn Battle.net into more of a social network than a competitive matchmaking service, as it says itself:
"It's important to us to create a new and different kind of online gaming environment - one that's highly social, and which provides an ideal place for gamers to form long-lasting, meaningful relationships. All of our design decisions surrounding Real ID - including these forum changes - have been made with this goal in mind."
Our colleagues at PC Gamer UK call the plans "foolhardy" and "asking for trouble".
"The gamers that live and breathe their service, at every level, from the bottom, to the super-hardcore pro-gamers, simply don't identify themselves by their real name when they play," the mag says. "They live by their identity or handle. Battle.net isn't a social network. It's a fight club.
"According to Blizzard's announcement, all StarCraft II and Cataclysm forums will display your real name. That means even the tech support forums. And the roleplaying forums. I'm not sure why I need to identify myself when I'm trying to figure out why Warcraft crashes. Or when I'm pretending to be a druid."
One angry reader said of the plans: "I don't want all the world to know my real name. More social it might be but it's very intrusive to my privacy... In this day and age when most social websites are being pushed for more privacy functions they decide to open it up in one of the worst possible way."
Frankly, we don't give a monkey's who knows our real names. We post stuff on the internet all day with our names on the bottom. But we can see how this could be a problem for MMO fans.
Any WoW players out there care to offer their two pence on this issue?