Thursday, July 8, 2010

My last thoughts (for now) on the RealID Forums change

When the plans to integrate RealID into the forums were announced, I was unhappy. I didn't like them. I blogged a quick thought about it here, and also added my voice to the official thread over on the forums.

Normally when a change comes along, whether I do or don't like it, I'm content to keep my thoughts to myself. Or at least confine them to my personal blog here. I don't feel I need to be a voice on the forums that's saying things people are already saying. But in this case I felt it important to be one more person to voice my displeasure.

At first I simply thought to myself, "Well, if they go ahead with it anyway, I'll just avoid the forums. But I'm not going to quit the game."

I'm honestly rethinking that position, though. As of right now the thread where this change was announced has exceeded 2,041 pages, at 20 posts per page. That's 40,820 responses. (And that's just on the US WoW thread. I haven't checked the EU thread, or the thread on the SC2 forums where the same announcements were made.) Based on the random pages I've clicked on and skimmed over, I'm going to assume that they're about 95% against the change. I could be off. But I'm sure I'm close.

When that much of your customer base is opposed enough to a change, you have to be insane to go through with it. We're not talking about a simple change to the game here, either. This is a big change that has the potential to affect customers in a very real way, in their very real lives outside of the game.

To implement their RealID plans on the forums as currently laid out would basically send a message to me that our opinions as their customers don't mean anything. Regardless of how many times our input on class mechanics or balances or encounter designs or any of that may have been taken into consideration in the past, this would undo all of that. It would be a giant middle finger to the community.

That's not a company I could support. And that makes me sad. I've enjoyed WoW for 4 years...enough so that I maintain a blog dedicated to talking about it. And I'm excited about Cata. I'm even looking forward to Diablo 3's eventual release. I believe Blizzard makes quality games and I do want to play those games.

But if a company is going to show that amount of disregard to its customers...I just can't support it.

I'm not quitting yet. There's no reason to jump the gun. People make mistakes. People come up with bad ideas. The idea hasn't been implemented yet, though, so there's no reason to react so severely just yet.

I just hope there ends up being no reason to react at all.

The ball's in your court, Blizzard. Run the right play.


  1. Its just a lazy solution to a bigger problem. They let those bnet kiddles get carried away and now the forums are a pigsty. I just can't see that its okay in this day and age to put my real name up with a bunch of sociopaths because of their mistake. 40K isn't a big number considering their player base, but hopefully its enough to make them think.

  2. It's not a big number compared to the player base, no. And I almost took that number out of the post once I did the math and saw how relatively insignificant it was.

    That said, the average QQ thread on the forums hits epic status around 100 pages. This is already 20 times that long and still growing. In 48 hours. The representation, I'm sure, is much much larger than the actual numbers.

  3. Blizzard cares very much what we think, I think they lost more players to the new MMO's then they let on. I think that when its all said and done they may actually rethink this idea. One can only hope at least.