Wednesday, 7 July 2010

The good and the bad, all in one shiny day...

A bright day it is. Sun is shining, a few white clouds about to break up the monotony and we are currently stuck at 25°C. Perfect in every sense.

Yesterday it was a little bit cooler and a little more cloudy, but of course yesterday I finally handed in my 25 saronites and a few bits and dribbles and got my Shadow's Edge. A proper highlight as well. I am now wondering about how to most quickestest get my 1000 souls. This is probably the coolest way in a long time. I have sort of decided to play DPS during trash and go back to tanking for proper fights.

And use a weird abomination spec for the fights with Putricide, Sindragosa and the Blood Queen. Of course it's possible to tank with a two-handed weapon and a shield - it just requires a bit of creativity. Ends up a lot like this, though:

Impractical, and frankly, quite hideous (to quote an old friend).

So yay! Highly cheered up and bouncy all night. Looking forward to the next days.

And then, of course, came the bad. The weather forecast predicts something around 38°C for the weekend. I play near the roof in a room with one window (and a fan, a blessed, precious fan). It's not going to be pretty (and only part of that is because I might have to play topless. I am not a supermodel).

There also is this RealID thing. When it first was announced I was sort of looking forward to it. I would love to be able to chat with my friends from other servers. It worked in Star Wars Galaxies (not very well - you had to enter the names manually as in MyFriend-ServernameofLengthyWeirdSpellingInStarWarsStyle) and it's nifty. And then I got to read the FAQ (linked again here, because it needs to be easier to find).

So friends of my friends can see my real name?

In addition, players with Real ID relationships will be able to view each other's online status, Rich Presence information, and Broadcast messages, and will be able to see which character and game their Real ID friends are playing across supported Blizzard games.

Oh really now? So people I do not know - or worse, actively do not like (we had this argument before, some of my friends really enjoy playing with someone I'd call a total tosser) - know my name, the game I currently play, which alt I am on (some of which I specifically created to avoid the tosser specific people) and what server and such?

Admittedly - in most cases that won't be a big problem. I am fairly laid back about abuse (see the Spellpower DK posts - I'm currently trying to generate rude remarks) and can ignore a lot, but it's a little concern.

Look, even facebook allows me to choose to share my information only with friends. Facebook. You know? The people Blizzard just signed a cooperation with? The security nightmare of security nightmares? Not Blizzard, though.

Does this concern me?

Well, it didn't so much when I started online gaming. I was a mere 20 years old, going on 21. The internet was still young and the search engine of choice was Altavista and possibly Yahoo!. Are they even still around? Seems like. I was actually proud when my email account got the first spam message.

When I finished university and applied for my first job, I didn't feel bad about listing my work on Stratics as a hobby. It outlined that I actually wrote English well enough to post on an international site. That's how I meant to play that card and that's (luckily) how my employer read it. I did get a question on "I hope you'll find enough time to work with all that internet gaming", but didn't even react to that at the time.

Currently, I see the whole situation a bit more critical. I have published a paper or two on academic subjects. I'd rather like those found than a post of mine on technical problems connecting to my favourite a game. I have posted on the official boards a grand total of three times in the last five years. Still too many for my employer to find out about.

I want the choice to display private information - and yes, I consider my name private.

Blizzard seemed to agree with this up until two years ago:

Nowadays, this seems to be different - and pretty much all blogs and large sites connected with World of Warcraft have pointed that out. Once or roughly 22 thousand times (at 7 pm Central European Time today).

My cunning plan was to just change my name. They don't technically need an accurate name for their billing - I can just pay by gametime card like any good troll or chinese farmer. Sadly, it's impossible to change my name without rather large legal hassle. I remembered giving up on that point before when my wife accepted my name.

Upload legal documents pertaining to my namechange? I'm sorry, but this goes too far for a game.

A lot of quite real concerns have been brought up within the uproar - about stalking, about discrimination and about using the game as an escape from real life. I'll not reiterate. Check a random link (not usually known for their lenience towards whining) for examples.

At lunchtime today I was completely with Gnomageddon. I'm real sad to see him cancel (him? her? I'll never find out via RealID now - and can't send him/her chocolates either by a simple google search. Such an opportunity lost!) but I was very much tempted to do the exact same thing.

I have calmed down a little, though. At the moment I choose not to enable RealID and I'll give Blizzard until the end of my current billing period. The outcry is rather massive and cannot really be overlooked. They are basically aware that this was not a good stunt to pull.

Make some changes to the system to allow me more choice over who and where I want to share information. I'm quite happy playing the game, but I am not willing to have World of Warcraft trample all over my privacy. When this billing period is over, I'll have to reevaluate my commitment. In the current state of affairs we will be parting.

And yes, I am aware that no one from Blizzard will reach an outlying Blog such as this. I merely use this as a medium of information for friends and family. Don't add me to RealID yet - I have no intention whatsoever of accepting anything.

1 comment:

  1. Its posts like this that should be on the forums right now. None of the "Screaming & Yelling" they are getting is going to help. Unfortunately most people I've seen are deleting their posts in case the real-id gets setup retro-active on all posts.