An Open Letter to Blizzard

Dear Blizzard;

I’ve been enjoying your game for quite some time now — nearly six years in fact. That’s an awfully long time for a video game to hold my interest, so congratulations on producing a game that is engaging enough to do so. Hooray! But you know, I’m not here to talk about that. I’m here to talk about this silly thing you’ve implemented called Real ID. I’m sure you’ve been getting a lot of feedback on it already, but seriously, stick around. This is worth reading, this right here.

I understand the Real ID system in game, I even tested it on the PTR servers and it was kind of neat. Not for me, but kind of neat regardless — however, while I consider my guildmates my friends, I don’t really feel close enough to them to share all my personal information, and I do enjoy my private time on random alts here and there. Since you’ve neglected to include an “invisible” option on the system, I’ve decided not to use it. It really is quite a nifty tool though, and I’m sure there are plenty of people that enjoy it.

I’ve been posting on your forums for a long time now, (I did mention I’ve been playing the game since the beginning, right? Right.) offering feedback, writing stories, writing RP guides, helping out those that needed items crafted, reporting the odd bug or two that I come across, asking for help on the Customer Service or Technical Support forums if I needed it, and generally having a good time with things. Sure there are trolls, but they are easily ignored for the large part. But yesterday I learned that if I wanted to continue posting on your forums, providing feedback, stories, guides, crafting or getting any kind of support come Cataclysm, I am going to have to post using my real first and last name.

Don’t get me wrong here — my name is public already, as I now write for a high-profile website regarding your game. But there is something intrinsically wrong with requiring people to use their real name when posting on your forums, and I’m going to try to lay this out as clearly as possible, so hang in there with me.

I don’t play your game to engage in social networking. If I want to engage in social networking, I use a social networking site like Facebook, or Twitter.

There is one reason I play your game, and it’s a reason that a lot of players share:

Internet dragons.

I enjoy killing dragons. On the internet. This has nothing to do with my real first and last name. This has nothing to do with social awareness. This has everything to do with those amazing internet dragons you have created.

This internet dragon was really hard to kill and took forty people. FORTY FUCKIN PEOPLE GUYS THIS IS ONE BADASS INTERNET DRAGON LET ME TELL YOU

I SEE HOW YOU ARE TRICKY BLIZZARD WITH YOUR FRIENDLY INTERNET DRAGON STRATEGIES

BUT WE KILLED THIS DRAGON AND SKINNED HIS CORPSE BECAUSE HE INSULTED OUR MOTHERS

THIS DRAGON IS BADASS BECAUSE SHE’S GOT FUCKING EARRINGS ON HER HORNS I MEAN WHO DOES THAT SHIT FOR REAL SHE ROCKS

KILLING INTERNET DRAGONS IS SO EXCITING EVEN THE GROUND WANTS TO DO IT

GOD DAMN WE WILL KILL THAT DRAGON WE WILL KILL IT WITH FIRE UNLESS IT IS FIRE RESISTANT THEN WE WILL KILL IT WITH FROST

Not only do I enjoy killing internet dragons, I like killing internet orcs, too. And humans. And bug things that live in the ground, and demons from another dimension, and undead kings that raise other undead kings and stuff them in swords and aliens that don’t have bodies and live in bandages and goblins and ogres and you know what else I like, I like exploring all over the landscape, scenic mountains and grassy plains and dear god we just went through a portal to another fucking realm and THERE ARE PLANETS IN THE AIR OH MY GOD ARE THOSE ISLANDS IN THE SKY I WANT TO GO TO THE ISLANDS IN THE SKY TELL ME I CAN GO THERE HOLY SHIT I CAN YOU KNOW WHY

BECAUSE NOW I CAN FLY ON MY OWN INTERNET DRAGON HOW COOL IS THIS SHIT

FUCKING HELL I LOVE THIS GAME SO SO SO MUCH MAN ALL I WANT TO DO IS ADDRESS THIS INTERNET DRAGON PROBLEM

…okay. Sorry. Little carried away. But that’s it, you get it? That’s why I play. That’s why my friends play. Because we like to come home from a long day of being John Smith or Jane Doe and get on the computer and MURDER SOME REALLY AWESOME INTERNET DRAGONS.

We don’t want to be John Smith.

We don’t want to be Jane Doe.

We don’t want our friends to just be John Smith, or Jane Doe. That’s not the point. That’s not the point of what you’ve given us. What you have given us is an awesome, amazing, awe-inspiring game where we don’t have to be ourselves. Where we can pretend we are Kronk, gruff and oft-misunderstood orc warrior with an odd penchant for interior design. Where we can pretend we are Gisella, noble paladin of the Light and kidnapper of baby wolvar . Where we can forget about the real world, the real world’s problems and issues, the real world’s pressures and annoyances and just settle back and kill some internet dragons.

We don’t want Facebook. If we want Facebook, we’ll go to Facebook.

We don’t want Twitter. If we want Twitter, we’ll go to Twitter.

We don’t want people knowing our real names or our real lives. That’s not the point. It’s a fantasy. You gave us a fantasy, and now bit by bit you are trying to take that fantasy away and convince us that it is “cool”.

We love the fantasy you gave us. It is beautiful, it is not perfect but you are working hard every day to keep it as perfect as possible, and we love it. That’s why we’re all still playing after all of these years.

You talk about “concentrated coolness,” you talk about how everything should feel “overpowered and epic,” yet bit by bit you are taking this away. You cry that posting on the forums is optional, but for those of us that have been posting for years, giving you feedback, asking for help, providing help — now we can’t. Not if we want to stay in our fantasy. Now if we want to offer feedback to you, we have to be John Smith. Or Jane Doe.

We loved the fantasy, we loved putting our words out there for you to hear, but now we can’t do it unless we want to expose our real first and last names to the world. Sure, it may help your internet troll problem — but in doing so you are silencing the voices of thousands of players who just want to offer the player base help, advice and creativity. Some people may be okay with putting their real names out there for all to see. Some people, however — many of my friends even — aren’t.

You’ve heard from parents expressing concern that their child’s name would be exposed. You’ve heard from women that live in constant wariness of predators that could easily track them down if they had that first and last name. You’ve heard from military personnel that are concerned with the safety of both themselves and their families should their real names be somewhere easily found. You’ve heard from members of the GLBT population who are still in the closet out there in the real world, but free to express themselves under the blanket of anonymous fantasy that you’ve provided.

“It’s optional,” you say. “Optional to post on the forums.”

What you have created is a community. A beautiful community full of amazing people and yes, jerks here and there. These people have grown to know each other under that safe blanket of anonymity, where they can simply be whoever they want to be without having to worry about whether or not their next door neighbor will find out anything unsavory about them. Where they aren’t judged on how they look, how they dress, how they speak, what they drive, what they wear. Where they are just voices sharing thoughts and ideas, and ears hearing thoughts and ideas in return.

And you are taking that community away.

“It’s optional,” you say. “Optional to post on the forums.”

You gave us a playground that over 11.5 million people love to play in. We felt comfortable and safe there. We aren’t feeling so safe anymore. You’re not only killing the voices of trolls, you’re killing the voices of thousands of players who simply don’t feel comfortable sharing their names.

You’re losing feedback. You’re losing the creativity. You’re losing the community that made this game so amazing in the first place. In return, you’re gaining nothing but a sharp increase in technical and customer support calls because people are far more likely to call in with a problem than post their real name someplace so public that anyone could retrieve their information in a matter of minutes.

Do you have the staff to handle that influx? Because that’s what’s going to happen. That, and you’re going to get a lot of people canceling their accounts. Why?

Because they played this game for what it was — a fantasy. And now it’s looking like you want to take that fantasy away.

Without the fantasy, there’s no reason for them to stick around.

Even with a thread that is at this moment 1,755 pages long and growing, you’ve been largely silent on this issue. I’m beginning to wonder if you’re actually going to do something about it.

I’ve already said goodbye to Kronk, and Gisella, and countless others — friends, all of them — who have decided to cancel their accounts. Logging on isn’t fun right now. It’s a litany of “how could they do this” and other similar opinions. I’m tired of seeing “friend not found.” Please at least let us know what you are thinking. What’s going on out there in Blizzard HQ, and whether you are going to do something about this, or continue to ignore the people that have been enjoying your game for so long.

I’d just like to kill the internet dragons, please.

Sincerely,

Shade

Edit: And, two days later we have our answer — they listened to us. NOW WE CAN GET BACK TO THOSE INTERNET DRAGONS HELL YES WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO SAY ABOUT THAT INTERNET DRAGONS

THANK YOU INTERNET DRAGON WE APPRECIATE YOUR CONTRIBUTION AND WILL BE AROUND TO BEAT YOU LIKE A SCALY PINATA LATER

SHIT MAN CHECK OUT THAT AWESOME INTERNET DRAGON IT’S GOT BLUE CRYSTAL SPARK SHIT EMBEDDED IN ITS HIDE HOW AWESOME IS THAT

Aw. Will do, Ysera. Will do.

About these ads

213 Comments

  1. Matticus said,

    07/08/2010 at 1:50 am

    Such hatred against dragons. It is unbecoming of a loremaster.

    • Shade said,

      07/08/2010 at 1:52 am

      It’s okay man. Some internet dragons are cool.

    • Shade said,

      07/08/2010 at 1:52 am

      And some internet dragons are full of LOOT. :D :D :D

  2. 07/08/2010 at 1:57 am

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Kenny Chan. Kenny Chan said: RT @Shadesogrey: There is a new Shades of Grey up. A very special Shades of Grey: https://greyshades.wordpress.com/2010/07/08/an-open-let … [...]

  3. Wulfy said,

    07/08/2010 at 1:59 am

    Excellent letter. This is after all, supposed to be a fun game about killing dragons. Why does Blizzard have to ruin that in a stupid attempt to become Facebook?

  4. LS said,

    07/08/2010 at 2:04 am

    This post is made of epic. If I followed a WoW blog, it would be yours. Because of this.

  5. Skiannach said,

    07/08/2010 at 2:34 am

    Oh my. Your writing is always superb, but this letter has raised the bar even higher.
    Thank you for saying the stuff I was thinking about this whole silly, silly business.

  6. Pewter said,

    07/08/2010 at 2:37 am

    This is a brilliant post! INTERNET DRAGONS.

  7. lifedeathsoul said,

    07/08/2010 at 3:21 am

    Beautiful post. To the point and sweet :)

  8. 07/08/2010 at 3:53 am

    [...] posted an open letter to Blizzard, in which he gets distracted by [...]

  9. Verde said,

    07/08/2010 at 3:58 am

    internet dragonz is SRS BSNS!!!

    Great letter! i nominate Shade as the voice of Azeroth!

    • DARKSAVIOUR said,

      07/09/2010 at 11:35 am

      I second that !!!

  10. Susi said,

    07/08/2010 at 4:59 am

    Come for the smart arguments, stay for the internet dragons – great post all ’round.

  11. compassstudies said,

    07/08/2010 at 5:12 am

    This. This is an amazing post. I think I love you for it.

  12. Dechion said,

    07/08/2010 at 5:22 am

    Well said, and thanks for putting into words what I have been trying to.

  13. 07/08/2010 at 5:35 am

    [...] over at Shades of Grey wrote an open letter to Blizzard, and Wow… just [...]

  14. Rathwirt said,

    07/08/2010 at 5:44 am

    If this is what it takes to make you write here again, then they should make a change like this every single day! :)

  15. Fallen Envyy said,

    07/08/2010 at 5:51 am

    I kill internet dragons every week! But if blizz does this they will know my real name and come burn my house down! D:

  16. youyankityoutankit said,

    07/08/2010 at 6:51 am

    I second this. Completely.

  17. Keeva said,

    07/08/2010 at 6:57 am

    This post is so very, very full of win.

    +1 internets!

  18. 07/08/2010 at 6:59 am

    [...] without permission. Dear Blizzard, I Second This. July 8, 2010 Here’s an open letter to Blizzard written by Shades of Grey about why we play this [...]

  19. Miiu said,

    07/08/2010 at 7:01 am

    Excellent post. :) made me tear up with your simple honesty and beautiful words.

    ps. Keristrasza and Eregos feel that you are discriminating against their dragon-ness by not including them in your SRSDRAGONDIEDIE post.

    • Ballywabba said,

      07/08/2010 at 5:00 pm

      I was going to post the same about getting teary-eyed over this. And I see someone else has also agreed.

      Super funny, and super poignant. Well said, friend.

      I smell some “Just killin’ a few more Internet dragons, mom!!!” signatures coming out of this :)

  20. morkuma said,

    07/08/2010 at 7:14 am

    this.

  21. ReversionLFM said,

    07/08/2010 at 7:24 am

    This. 100 x this.

  22. Lufitoom said,

    07/08/2010 at 7:28 am

    I usually kill the other faction, but I have been known to slay a dragon or two in my day.

    But that’s not what I want to really say here. This post is amazing. I almost got teary eyed. I look back over the years and the friendships I have made. The way you summed this up is superb.

  23. zelmaru said,

    07/08/2010 at 7:38 am

    This post makes me want to murder some dragons RIGHT NOW!

  24. 07/08/2010 at 7:40 am

    [...] https://greyshades.wordpress.com/2010/07/08/an-open-letter-to-blizzard/ VN:F [1.9.2_1090]please wait…Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast) [...]

  25. Rholm said,

    07/08/2010 at 8:19 am

    A wonderful letter.

  26. 07/08/2010 at 8:58 am

    [...] You could even read why most of us DO play WoW. [...]

  27. Faeded said,

    07/08/2010 at 9:02 am

    Well said. For many of us, WoW is an escape from reality. Yes, I have given a few of my online friends my details for RealID so when Starcraft comes out I can still chat with them, they can let me know what is going on in the realm, that sort of thing. But when they start to make things compulsory, it definitely stops many people from continuing on. I haven’t lost any online friends because of this issue yet, and I hope I don’t, but if BlizzBook ends up becoming compulsory I can see many of them disappearing.

    It is a sad day when we can’t enjoy ourselves anymore due to changes to a system that really doesn’t need to be changed any more. I for one won’t be posting on the Blizzard forums if this change becomes reality.

  28. thrinetu45 said,

    07/08/2010 at 9:59 am

    everything i could ever want to say on the issue.

  29. Telinia said,

    07/08/2010 at 10:12 am

    For years I always thought “Man, WoW is so freaking awesome, the best game ever, EVER. I just can’t picture what could ever bring it down from its No 1 pedestal.”

    Oh well, here is the answer, in game selling items? Paying for AH online? And… real name ID, with my real name… no… I am not Laura something in the game, I am just… a cool warlock who juggles between affli and destro and misses fiercely her easily dying felguard. And I don’t wanna be Laura the programmer who is playing a lock…

    I am canceling my account in this moment actually. I have always wanted to try other MMOs, perhaps LOTR, or Star Trek. I have heard the new Star Wars MMO will kick ass. I will try those.

  30. Miyra said,

    07/08/2010 at 10:31 am

    Great post. I’m sorry to hear about your friends.

  31. Lyani said,

    07/08/2010 at 11:07 am

    Agreed 100% Shade. I’m (for various reasons) protected from this kind of thing happening ingame, and I don’t need to worry about the forums because I was permabanned late in 2009, but this is a really, really good way for Blizzard to ensure the RP forum and the RP server forums all become ghost towns, except for BLOOD AND THUNDER and related trolls coming by to stroke their epeen.

    Lately, it feels like their forum staff has jumped the shark–first with overzealous, near tyrannical deletion of threads just because there’s a grey Biohazard symbol in the first post (seemingly without reading the thread) and now by essentially empowering cyber stalkers, predators, and sociopaths who are perfectly willing to ruin your life over a slight on the internet–it’s something Anonymous is infamous for. They’re not going to make the forums a Warcraft-flavored MySpace, they’re going to make the forums ghost towns and they won’t be able to justify the cost of keeping them up.

  32. Analogue said,

    07/08/2010 at 11:08 am

    Wow, um, awesome. And… yes, please, I want to kill internet dragons. Not play Farmville. Ok Blizzard?

  33. Icedragon said,

    07/08/2010 at 12:00 pm

    Pure, amazing, epic win. There are no words to describe quite how awesome this post is and why every Blizz employee should read it.

  34. Kae said,

    07/08/2010 at 12:19 pm

    Rocking. Well-said, and so true.

    You go, little melee internet-dragon-tanking tree!

  35. 07/08/2010 at 12:47 pm

    You get it. I get it. The other commenters here get it. Thousands of people—probably millions—get it.

    Blizzard doesn’t get it.

  36. 07/08/2010 at 12:53 pm

    [...] Tags: helpful links, I found awesome stuff on the internets, OT trackback Have you read this open letter at Shades of Grey?  If not, go on ahead.  It’ll be better than anything I can post [...]

  37. Ermoonia said,

    07/08/2010 at 12:54 pm

    Excellent letter. Thank you for posting it!!

  38. Issy said,

    07/08/2010 at 12:59 pm

    Beautifully put.

  39. Thorn said,

    07/08/2010 at 1:15 pm

    We are dragonslayers and if Blizzard keeps acting like a dragon and nomming away at our privacy they too might fall.

  40. Alamara said,

    07/08/2010 at 1:19 pm

    This post sums everything up perfectly. Thank you so much, I hope you don’t mind if I post a link to it on the forums. I am wondering if you have done anything like filing a complaint with the ESRB/government representatives and if you think that doing things like that will help?

  41. Shawndra said,

    07/08/2010 at 1:24 pm

    *packs up her worn dagger and douses her cooking fire*

    Maybe if I follow the path Hack took when he left, by the time I find him, Blizzard will have changed their mind on this. I sure hope they read your letter, and pass it around the break room.

  42. Averna said,

    07/08/2010 at 1:26 pm

    *Awesome* post.

  43. Antigen said,

    07/08/2010 at 1:28 pm

    Where do I sign?

    Eloquent, thoughtful, heartfelt, honest opinion right to its point… with a small helping of internet dragons. More of a garnish, really; just enough to be that sprig of humor on top of beautifully-expressive thought.

    I think I just wet myself. Thank you.

  44. Christine said,

    07/08/2010 at 1:38 pm

    Amen!!!! Excellent Letter, Hope Blizzard Read this!! More Internet Dragons ftw! lol

  45. Jeff said,

    07/08/2010 at 1:38 pm

    Sorry, you mis-addressed your letter, and the correct addressee (Activision) couldn’t care less what you think… who cares what the bait thinks about the situation when you go fishing?

    What people need to understand: what’s happening is that an “entertainment” company is now in charge of the “gaming” company they bought. This matters because to an entertainment company we, the players, are THE COMMODITY not the CUSTOMER!

    Think of it like television. The shows on TV are bait, intended to catch the product the entertainment companies (ABC, NBC, CBS, HBO, etc.) sell to the customer – the advertisers.

    In both cases, the entertainment companies have been brilliant, in that they have convinced the bait to actually PAY to be the bait!

    Activision is determined to turn the product (WoW) into bait, trying to catch the product (players) they can sell to the customers (advertisers,) whether directly or, more probably, via the Facebook “integration” they announced last May…

    …because that’s the only thing they know how to do.

    Game Over.

    • Velendrood said,

      07/09/2010 at 7:52 am

      Very well put.

  46. AgainstrealID said,

    07/08/2010 at 1:47 pm

    I thoroughly enjoyed your post, and it was very entertaining also.

    PS. INTERNET DRAGONS ARE THE BEST PINATAS
    cause of all the loot ;)
    I have also explained my reasons against it

    • Medb said,

      07/09/2010 at 5:45 pm

      video not viewable – asks for acceptance of nonexistent friend request

  47. Mentoman said,

    07/08/2010 at 1:49 pm

    Two words: Bobby Kotick

  48. Fiorra said,

    07/08/2010 at 1:50 pm

    LOVE this post. We need more internet dragon killing and less Facebook. I have Facebook, it’s addicting we all know this. But Facebook is my RL. WoW is my fantasy life. The two merge and well…one has to go :/

  49. Sara said,

    07/08/2010 at 1:56 pm

    This is fucking brilliant. Thank you so much for this.

  50. lissanna said,

    07/08/2010 at 2:43 pm

    Thank you for posting this.

  51. Orkchop said,

    07/08/2010 at 2:59 pm

    This post is So AWESO-**distracted by Internet Dragon**

  52. Saif said,

    07/08/2010 at 3:06 pm

    Thanks for this. Love your writing but this was exceptional. :-)

  53. 07/08/2010 at 3:26 pm

    [...] I stumbled across a link to the most epic open letter to Blizzard ever regarding RealID and what World of Warcraft is really about. Well worth the [...]

  54. 07/08/2010 at 3:26 pm

    Full of win. Thank you.

  55. Malvenue said,

    07/08/2010 at 3:45 pm

    Did I just log into icanhazcheezburger.com for dragons?? :D

    • Shade said,

      07/08/2010 at 3:46 pm

      INTERNET DRAGONS DON’T ASK FOR THE CHEESEBURGER
      THEY TAKE IT FROM THE STEAMING CORPSE OF THE BURGER EMPLOYEE

      • 07/08/2010 at 3:57 pm

        AND THEN WE KILL THEM SO WE CAN HAVE CHEESEBURGERS FOR DINNER

        IGNORE THE FACT THAT THE CHEESEBURGER HAS A PURPLE-COLORED NAMETAG ON IT

  56. Chryseth said,

    07/08/2010 at 4:08 pm

    Yes. This. So much of this. This and INTERNET DRAGONS. I’ve been into slaying INTERNET DRAGONS since when… that meant Lady Vox and Lord Nagafen. And while I have no plans to quit right this second (too attached to my friends, to the stories we tell, to the community I still love) I am worried for the future and understand why others might decide that’s the right choice for them.

    Thank you for writing this.

  57. 07/08/2010 at 4:19 pm

    [...] RealID to appear on Blizzard Forums. We also mention an open letter from Shades of Grey [...]

  58. Cynwise said,

    07/08/2010 at 4:37 pm

    I especially like the Kill Me For Gold song.

    Well said.

  59. Gianna said,

    07/08/2010 at 4:45 pm

    Just popping in to say that this is an amazing post.

  60. seebs said,

    07/08/2010 at 4:46 pm

    Yes, this exactly. I miss my internet dragons, but WoW isn’t fun anymore; now it’s just the game that kicked my tranny friend to the curb because she’s not able to safely post under her current legal name, and I just hate them.

  61. Torsten said,

    07/08/2010 at 4:55 pm

    Brilliant.

  62. K. said,

    07/08/2010 at 5:47 pm

    I absolutely HATE FACEBOOK! I do NOT want (mandatory “optional”) Facebook integration in my fantasy game. Real ID is NOT secure and I do NOT want my information to be data-mined and exploited to Facebook!

  63. Winter said,

    07/08/2010 at 5:59 pm

    Shade, count me another whose eyes teared up. And @Fiorra, you have hit the nail on the head: Facebook is real life and WoW is another world.

    For me, I also have a public face, a real name, and the two worlds overlap because I do academic research in WoW as well as play because I love the game. I’ve played 4.5 years and had expected to play for many more. But the worlds are not identical and RealID issues may truly break the game for me. And that will make me incredibly sad.

  64. slythwolf said,

    07/08/2010 at 6:09 pm

    *slow, methodical applause STANDING OVATION*

  65. 07/08/2010 at 6:12 pm

    [...] An Open Letter to Blizzard Dear Blizzard; I’ve been enjoying your game for quite some time now — nearly six years in fact. [...] [...]

  66. 07/08/2010 at 6:25 pm

    [...] Because this game is about killing dragons, not about who you are in real life. Shades of Gray had a great post about what world of warcraft is all about: Killing dragons on the internet. [...]

  67. Ixidane said,

    07/08/2010 at 6:48 pm

    Basic campfire lost the election for Horde Warchief. However, that doesn’t mean it’s given up internet politics completely!

    VOTE BASIC CAMPFIRE FOR ACTIVISION-BLIZZARD CEO!

  68. Demyan said,

    07/08/2010 at 7:16 pm

    Not attacking the letter itself, it was beautifully written and evokes an emotional response very well, but you can’t have it both ways I’m afraid. It’s one thing to be upset that your community may suffer as a result of this (which I’m skeptical of in most instances, the exception being RP since a persona is vital to the art form), and quite another to fear for the safety of your family or yourself. Fact of the matter is, this information being available on the forums for an MMORPG is unlikely to make much difference considering the amount info that’s already out there. It’s less than six degrees of separation for internet persona to real life identity, and that information can easily be obtained through the internet by a determined user. I applaud Blizzard’s decision to try this, not because it’s the ideal solution, but because it’s A solution. They’re trying, after years and years of internet trollery and douchebaggery, to create a community based around a video game that offers accountability for one’s statements and promotes constructive feedback to the developers.

    As one of my friends at Blizzard stated (in paraphrase), the forum community had always been a place to get great ideas and feedback, but you had to wade through a hundred pages of crap to get to one gem of awesome. Their options at this point were: find a better way to support the forums, or close them down entirely. The man-power required to police them was becoming prohibitively expensive in terms of time invested by moderators and CM’s, and I’m pretty sure it’s driven Ghostcrawler insane.

    In summation, I like how you’ve phrased your arguments, and you make some compelling points. I’m certainly very sorry this is having an effect on your community. But the fact remains that the forums in their current form were hurting the company you love, and something had to be done. For myself and many others this won’t change our experience, but I feel truly sorry for those that are so impacted by the change.

    • Rooker said,

      07/08/2010 at 11:32 pm

      I almost didn’t reply due to “As one of my friends at Blizzard stated,” but hopefully it’ll set things straight for anyone else reading your post.

      “but you can’t have it both ways I’m afraid” – Yes, we can. You are creating a false dichotomy where one doesn’t exist and not doing a very good job of it. There is nothing at all about worrying about the community and worrying about our families that is mutually exclusive.

      “this information being available on the forums for an MMORPG is unlikely to make much difference considering the amount info that’s already out there” – Any other info “that’s already out there” has absolutely nothing to do with this. That other information isn’t placed in front of an audience that everyone agrees has a larger than normal concentration of internet douchebags. That other information can’t be found by looking up the name of a video game player. The name of a video game character can’t be found by looking up the other information. Nothing connects these two very different bits of information unless the person they both refer to decides to connect them.
      Here’s all the example any reasonable person needs: http://i25.tinypic.com/10sdgts.png

      As for the forum trolling, only the naive believes forcing everyone to post under a real name will help that. Douchebags are douchebags and do not care what people think of them. That’s what makes them a douchebag. A quick look at any Facebook game forum is all the proof anyone needs that people will act like douchebags under their own name.

    • Lyani said,

      07/08/2010 at 11:52 pm

      The problem with RealID is that it will not deter the trolls. It will not deter the people who will look up your real life information simply to make your life a living hell just because you would dare have a different opinion, nationality, gender/gender identity, sexual orientation, or what have you than they do on an internet forum. Now, instead of Trollinu the level 1 troll rogue from Bonecrusher, you get Fakestan Namingston (Trollinu – troll rogue 1 – Bonecrusher) trolling the forums.

      In short? Nothing will change for the better, and instead Blizzard is saying ‘risk the /b/tards who play WoW deciding to indulge in their more sociopathic tendencies to ruin your life or stalk you (both over the internet and real life)’ is preferable to ‘have to actually administrate our forums and employ stricter ban penalties for harassment and chronic trolling.’

      • Demyan said,

        07/09/2010 at 1:48 am

        Actually you and I agree about the end result. I honestly don’t think this will do much to end the trolling problem they’ve experienced, but I think the action serves a purpose. By sending a message that the behavior is “not okay” using a broader brush than quietly banning individuals and locking threads, maybe they’ll get the industry to reconsider the role of an active forum administrator/moderator. I don’t so much view Blizzard’s action here as the ultimate answer so much as the impetus for later change. I really hope someone comes along later and “does it better”, as Blizz is so fond of doing with software, so this sort of thing isn’t necessary.

    • Mik said,

      07/09/2010 at 1:18 am

      The problem is that having access to a real name really does make it that much easier for a less-then-determined user to now bridge that six degrees of separation and potentially find something out about you. Case samples are being posted on numerous sites of just how easy it is to prey on the unwary.

      Asking a wildly unpredictable, varied and unaccountable gaming community to police itself to maintain decorum on the main forums is a potentially hazardous way to solve this problem. I will gladly submit to the ban-powers of paid Blizzard employees to vet my posts. I abolutely refuse to trust to the ‘better angels’ of unknowable forum lurkers who may decide to take offense to my ‘constructive criticism’ and take some ill-advised actions against me or unwitting family/friends who may be associated with me on another non-gaming related social site.

      Sorry, just not willing to take that risk. As someone else commenting on this said; even if the chances are one in a million…there are 11.5 million people playing this game.

      For years we are told, by Blizzard, NEVER to disclose personally identifiable information to strangers online. Now they’re saying it’s ok to disclose our very NAMES to an audience of millions we will never know, interact with, add to our ‘friends’ list, etc?

      The only way to get from one side of that statement to the other is through corporate $$$$. This really has little to nothing to do with cleaning up forums. It’s all about linking Blizzards substantial playerbase with Facebooks and reaping all the targeted marketing rewards they can get their hands on, and selling customers privacy down the river to do so.

      Shade said it, loud and clear: Social Networking != Fantasy roleplaying. No bridge between those worlds is needed, desired nor should be enforced. You get the sense, however, that whatever the ‘opt in’ fenceposts are now may change once again down the road. Death of privacy by inches…

      • Medb said,

        07/09/2010 at 6:01 pm

        Linden and MindArk both already built that bridge. Neither version worked.

        Also, isn’t RealID illegal? Think safety of children here.

    • 07/09/2010 at 8:36 am

      this information being available on the forums for an MMORPG is unlikely to make much difference considering the amount info that’s already out there.

      It must be nice to have a not-unique name that actually gives you security by obscurity.

      You know what the entire first page of results on Google are when you google my full name as it is in my Battle.net account? Me. My LinkedIn. My professional Twitter. My personal website (not to be confused with my blog, that I link to in WoW settings). My resume. Things that I’ve put out there for the explicit purpose of building up my professional image and connecting with other people in my industry.

      The only other living people with my name if you drop the suffix are my father and some random guy in the UK. Given that I’d be posting on the US forums and not the EU ones, that scrubs the third guy, so…

      There are literally no positive benefits to the end users from this change. Sure, Activision-Blizzard will make money hand over fucking fist from selling us all out to Facebook and a host of other third parties, but quite frankly, I don’t give the slightest bit of a damn about A-B’s bottom line if it comes at the cost of my security and safety.

    • Benggaul said,

      07/09/2010 at 9:32 am

      They don’t need to hire extra manpower to police the forums. Give it a rating system and let the users police it. The awesome (or at least polite/coherent) posters have always outweighed the trolls there, with the possible exception of the General forum, which is almost by definition a dumping ground on just about any internet forum.

      It works great for several wow fansites, and coupling it with a single alias (note: alias, not real name) per account would do wonders for both reducing trolls and just getting their posts removed from view.

      Everyone always seems to have “a friend at Blizzard who says”, but I find it hard to believe that they would eschew much more sensible resolutions in favor of divulging personal information about its customers in the name of curbing forum trolls. I know this has been said before, but it reeks of a Bobby “they are walking wallets” Kotick scheme to grab as much money as possible regardless of the damage it does to Blizzard’s reputation.

      • Medb said,

        07/09/2010 at 6:05 pm

        A friend of mine who works for a game design firm said that their single-alias system “works like a charm”.

    • Snaffy said,

      07/09/2010 at 10:24 am

      So it all comes down to the richest MMO company in the world under the direction of the tightwaddiest game company CEO in the world having to get their costs under control? Can’t that that’s a surprise, but seriously, this solution reeks of business-over-community and ill-thought-out decisionmaking.

      From a traffic-reduction perspective it’s actually quite brilliant; only instead of booting the trolls (minority) they’re going to end up booting all the joe shmoes (majority).

      From an all-round PR and business-building perspective, we’ll see if the reduction in forum management cost is outweighed by the drastic reduction in subscriptions. Methinks this move will actually cost them a lot of money instead of generate savings.

  69. 07/08/2010 at 7:24 pm

    Oh yeah ! Really nice thank you !

  70. Zhela said,

    07/08/2010 at 7:44 pm

    I laughed out loud at this article even as I agreed with every word of it. Thank you for both.

  71. Dnite said,

    07/08/2010 at 8:05 pm

    +1

  72. tobeume said,

    07/08/2010 at 10:16 pm

    I also teared up. This is beautiful and amazing, thank you. The “kill me for gold song” had me in stiches. Very well done. We have all bitched about things in the past and Bliz still implemented them. I really hope that Real ID won’t be added to that list.

  73. ambaa said,

    07/08/2010 at 10:31 pm

    Absolutely brilliant post. Thanks for writing this!

  74. Mister K said,

    07/08/2010 at 10:43 pm

    This is an epic post of win!!

  75. 07/08/2010 at 11:02 pm

    [...] play this game for INTERNET DRAGONS, not to be Bob Smith the [...]

  76. Metaneira said,

    07/09/2010 at 12:16 am

    Brilliant. Just goddamn brilliant. I’ve spent the day in a pretty emotional state after canceling my two accounts but this made me laugh. And you’re completely right. I’ve made similar arguments (though not nearly as funny as yours), but part of me is just saddened I had to reduce the argument to this at all. An argument based on the concerns of women, ethnic minorities, LGBTQ persons, and military personnel wasn’t significant enough to some people. But maybe telling Blizzard that sometimes we just wanna kill dragons might help.

  77. 07/09/2010 at 2:15 am

    [...] Tobold, Spinks, Gnomeageddon, Shades of Grey – the list of very articulate, eloquent and popular blogs is endless, I won’t even try [...]

  78. dwism said,

    07/09/2010 at 2:18 am

    Thank you for this. It warms my dwarven self to hear this being put into words so eloquently.

    Thank you.

  79. 07/09/2010 at 5:30 am

    [...] finally, possibly my favourite of all reactions to RealID so far has been this letter to Blizzard by Shade. Because after all, Warcraft is about fighting internet dragons, not money-grabbing [...]

  80. Nimble said,

    07/09/2010 at 5:46 am

    I second this letter!

    Nimble

  81. Jarr said,

    07/09/2010 at 6:47 am

    Awesome, awesome read. Internet dragons rule and I argue that dragons remain the best hunting in the game. And I couldn’t agree more with your points on RealID. Hopefully Blizzard will take this to heart. I doubt it, but we can hope. At the very least I hope they make the opt-out option much easier.

    • Medb said,

      07/09/2010 at 6:08 pm

      Got to preclude children from using RealID if they want to make it safe :-)

  82. Invisusira said,

    07/09/2010 at 7:19 am

    That is the finest letter ever conceived in the history of mankind. Bravo, sir.

  83. Tony aka Sevenshadows of Alexstrasza said,

    07/09/2010 at 7:44 am

    I dont know who you are Shade, but I can tell you that I couldn’t have said this any better. I love this game, and I will always cherish moments like walking into SW for the first time, seeing a gryphon fly thru Elwyin and saying “One day, I am going to ride one of those”, and then actually doing it for the first time. Thank you for your letter, it makes me want to go back to that fantasy and save some people, kill some boars, collect some plants, fly over cities, run a flag in WSG, talk to my friends, and kill me some motherfuckin internet dragons.

  84. Adaryn said,

    07/09/2010 at 8:09 am

    Fantastically well put, I’ve linked this in the English EU forum, in the Real ID post. It sums up the situation so well, Thank you.

    Brewmaster Adaryn.

  85. Wizzle Dead said,

    07/09/2010 at 8:10 am

    Pointed at with a big stick for truth…

  86. Frankauw said,

    07/09/2010 at 8:14 am

    Hello, i’m french gamer so excuse my language.
    I had read your letter, and it’s just the right : The RealID is bullshit, we love World Of Warcraft, not World of Facebook.
    I’ve cancelled my subscription.

    (Sorry for my english level … )

    • The Rogue Wolf said,

      07/10/2010 at 7:12 pm

      Don’t worry, friend. If nothing else, your English is far better than my French!

      This article made me laugh. In the end, this game really is just about us all slaying INTERNET DRAGONS together, being awesome and epic in a way that we just can’t be in real life (RL’s respawn timer sucks, BTW). There’s no reason to destroy our community and put any of us in danger for “accountability”. And I fully believe it was articles just like this one that had a major hand in getting Blizzard to change their mind.

      …y’know, when you think about it, we all banded together and slayed a real-life threat. I’m gonna roll Need on the head.

  87. 07/09/2010 at 8:17 am

    [...] An Open Letter to Blizzard We don’t want our friends to just be John Smith, or Jane Doe. That’s not the point. That’s not the point of what you’ve given us. What you have given us is an awesome, amazing, awe-inspiring game where we don’t have to be ourselves. Where we can pretend we are Kronk, gruff and oft-misunderstood orc warrior with an odd penchant for interior design. Where we can pretend we are Gisella, noble paladin of the Light and kidnapper of baby wolvar . Where we can forget about the real world, the real world’s problems and issues, the real world’s pressures and annoyances and just settle back and kill some internet dragons. [...]

  88. Sindar said,

    07/09/2010 at 8:19 am

    I really love that letter. Thank you.

    Greetings from Germany

  89. Solean said,

    07/09/2010 at 8:21 am

    Love your Post.. Really..

  90. 07/09/2010 at 8:30 am

    [...] This post was Twitted by BlizzardPR [...]

  91. eddie said,

    07/09/2010 at 8:37 am

    am i incorrect in the observation that blizzard is in the process of f***ing themselves in the a** with their own d***s?

    btw shade, epic f***ing post, man.

  92. 07/09/2010 at 8:51 am

    [...] Shade (thanks to a link from Dechion) who certainly defined it for me:  Internet [...]

  93. Ryan said,

    07/09/2010 at 8:51 am

    I like everything about RealID EXCEPT using my real name. It would be so much nicer if we could just set a universal handle that everyone could see. If you have never used the Steam game client, check it out. They did it the right way.

    • Medb said,

      07/09/2010 at 6:11 pm

      Beautiful. Thank you for saying it! I third that motion.

  94. Kelathos said,

    07/09/2010 at 9:00 am

    Thank you Shade.

    I’d just like to kill the internet dragons, please.

  95. M said,

    07/09/2010 at 9:01 am

    Posting in an epic blog, that doesn’t require my real name!

    I love internet dragons <3

  96. Benggaul said,

    07/09/2010 at 9:20 am

    I wrote all of this around the 300-page mark on that thread, but you wrote it MUCH better than I did, and I neglected to mention internet dragons in there anywhere. I fail. Thanks for picking up the slack and expressing what pretty much everyone is feeling better than most of us could hope to. I’ll be linking to this Open Letter in pretty much every forum I frequent.

  97. Jeremiah said,

    07/09/2010 at 9:26 am

    Great post. It’s a shame that everyone who blames Activision and Bobby Kotick is missing the point like whoa. I think RealID is a system with good intentions that is in the wrong place.

  98. Moroder said,

    07/09/2010 at 9:29 am

    A lot of my guildies are going to hold an in game protes on EU Deifias Brother hood. Sounds like a great idea to me

  99. 07/09/2010 at 9:29 am

    [...] I’ll let you read it. Spoiling it is a bad idea. [...]

  100. megan said,

    07/09/2010 at 9:30 am

    I sincerely envy you for being able to sum things up so accurately. Yes, this game is supposed to be about INTERNET DRAGONS, not about Warcraftville.

  101. Lyani said,

    07/09/2010 at 9:38 am

    One more for the gipper: a what-if scenario posted by a guildmate where RealID could seriously damage someone’s life, if not outright ruin it:

    Joe, 50, a convicted child molester, plays World of Warcraft on (server). Jessica, 12, also plays World of Warcraft on her father’s account after she’s done her homework. Both of them are very active on their server forum, asking for/giving help and keeping up with player-driven server events like Tarren Mill-Southshore wars.

    With the RealID change, Joe will begin seeing Jessica post under her father’s real name, rather than as Autumn the human paladin. Now, let’s say they begin butting heads, and Joe decides he’s going to mess with Jessica’s father over Facebook. He surfs her father’s Facebook page, which is open to all, and notices, hey, Joe’s got a cute little girl.

    At that point, all it takes is Joe using photoshop to put himself in various family gathering photos and some convincing, and he has access to Jessica’s full name, address, what school she goes to (where Google can turn up the address just by plugging the name in and clicking a link to the school’s home page), what sort of activities she does after school by reading her wall, and whether or not her parents pick her up or she rides the bus home.

    From there, all Joe needs to do is drive up to her school when it lets out, and tell little Jessica her parents got into a car accident and that she’s going to stay with him for a couple days until he can sort out adoption papers. Granted, this is an absolute worst-case scenario, but like someone above said: 1 in a million doesn’t have the same impact with a customer base of 11.5 million because then statistics insist you have at least 11 people like that out there.

  102. Wilhelm2451 said,

    07/09/2010 at 9:38 am

    Nice! You really hit the nail on head for the “I don’t want to drag my real life along into my escapist fantasy” aspect of the debate!

  103. Doroga said,

    07/09/2010 at 9:51 am

    I read plenty of Wow related blogs every day, Elitist Jerks and Wow.com, even forum posts and other internet uselessness.

    I’ve never commented on any of them, until today.

    This is one of the most well written, thoughtful, and poignant opinions I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. And if I may : I LOVE TO KILL INTERNET DRAGONS

    I don’t think I’ve ever admitted that before. Thank you for the opportunity.

  104. Nicole said,

    07/09/2010 at 9:53 am

    I love dragons :(

    Why so mean to my dragons

  105. Bregni said,

    07/09/2010 at 9:55 am

    Fabulous post!

  106. Blackthought said,

    07/09/2010 at 10:04 am

    *clapping* While I know we all love killing internet dragons let us not forget the joy so many of use get from burying an ax in a gnome. Something as transcending as smashing roflmao stomping something so small, well, it just bring people together.

    Consider this letter linked back to.

  107. Zab said,

    07/09/2010 at 10:15 am

    THIS is it! THIS is the reason RealID is just not right. Shade, you have spoken volumes…I think I’m in love. Thanks for these words, I’ve been looking for them all day now. I will be linking back to your post on my blog (and every place else I can think of). /bow

  108. 07/09/2010 at 10:21 am

    [...] RealID Required Here After reading Shade’s post An Open Letter to Blizzard it got me thinking about everything this game means to me and to [...]

  109. Kavik said,

    07/09/2010 at 10:30 am

    Thanks for your clear, concise, and fun-filled post, Shade. I couldn’t agree more with all that you’ve put here.

    Thank you.

  110. Meraine said,

    07/09/2010 at 10:32 am

    Thank you for this! This is EXACTLY how I feel, but I had trouble wording it.

  111. Music-chan said,

    07/09/2010 at 10:34 am

    Pardon me, I must jump on my internet dragon to fly over to that other internet dragon and kill it! BEFORE EVERYTHING EXPLODES BECAUSE OF LACK OF INTERNET DRAGONS.

    You should have done a deathwing picture too. :D

    Also: http://www.senzeni-na.com/banners/WoW_Nefarian.jpg

  112. Anchorite Vajarra said,

    07/09/2010 at 10:43 am

    Anchorite Vajarra, devout Aldor priestess and slayer of internet dragons, is with you all the way.

  113. 07/09/2010 at 10:44 am

    [...] Must Read Posted on July 9, 2010 by Drannos In case you haven’t already, you should go read this. Go [...]

  114. 07/09/2010 at 10:54 am

    [...] you wish to defer panic for a few minutes, go read this, laugh, sigh, and smile for a [...]

  115. Haize said,

    07/09/2010 at 10:55 am

    When my dad calls, and I sound distracted, he asks, “Are you killing that dragon?” Sometimes I answer yes. Sometimes I tell him it’s the king of the undead, but “Yeah dad, say ‘Hi’ to the guild.” 24 people say hi to my dad. 24 people who I’m going to miss dearly if this doesn’t change.

  116. Kaelandros said,

    07/09/2010 at 11:01 am

    I fully agree with this post.

  117. Stabs said,

    07/09/2010 at 11:03 am

    Too right, very well put.

  118. wereprague said,

    07/09/2010 at 11:13 am

    +1, i can sign as Druljin under that

  119. 07/09/2010 at 11:17 am

    [...] to leave the game in protest (or at least cancel their subscriptions for the time being), while many helpful forum posters state they will cease to post altogether outside of their blogs. Keeva at [...]

  120. Kazgrel said,

    07/09/2010 at 11:26 am

    By far the best post/statement/etc. I’ve seen regarding this week’s Real ID fiasco. Deadly serious yet hilarious at the same time. Well done! :D

  121. Blarlack said,

    07/09/2010 at 11:26 am

    This is a fantastic letter, and I love the hell out of it, but uh, I have a serious problem with one of your images. Specifically the one of Emeriss, about whom you say, “He is a jerk.”

    Now, don’t get me wrong – Emeriss is totally a jerk. But Emeriss is also a “she.” Just throwin’ that out there. >_>

    Seriously, though, I love this, and it’s fantastic. :)

  122. Success! « said,

    07/09/2010 at 11:33 am

    [...] But for now…. success! Now lets go kill some internet dragons! [...]

  123. Thaag said,

    07/09/2010 at 11:46 am

    INTERNET DRAGON IS DEAD.

    Loot table: Nothing dropped. Especially not your privacy.

    Thank. God.

  124. Fibericon said,

    07/09/2010 at 11:47 am

    So I have to ask, with the decision reversed, will you be returning to Azeroth?

  125. 07/09/2010 at 12:04 pm

    THE INTERNET DRAGONS ARE SINGING

    THEY ARE SINGING THE SONG OF FUCKING VICTORY.

    • Klinderas said,

      07/09/2010 at 12:37 pm

      For which, I am incredibly happy. :D

      /high five buddy, and /chest bump to the whole community! :D

  126. Fuzzybacon said,

    07/09/2010 at 12:07 pm

    First off, I love the pictures of internet dragons. Second, Blizzard just decided not to go through with it after all.

    http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.html?topicId=25968987278&sid=1

  127. Snaffy said,

    07/09/2010 at 12:11 pm

    Looks like they read your letter! ;)

  128. 07/09/2010 at 12:15 pm

    [...] Shades of Grey OutDPS Kurn’s Corner Life in Group 5 Mental Shaman Preposterous Pretentious Prattle Binds to Account Gnomeaggedon TankSpot World of Matticus Lazy Sniper Team Liquid (StarCraft equivalent of Elitist Jerks) Zeroday (a very interesting perspective from a Harvard Law professor) [...]

  129. Wolana said,

    07/09/2010 at 12:50 pm

    Thank you, Shade. I’m trying to figure out how to tell my adult daughter that I’m removing the Real-ID Friending even though everyone on her Real ID list is a guildmate whose real name we know and with whom we are Facebook-friended.

    The potential for harm is so far beyond what Blizzard seems willing to acknowledge that I shudder to contemplate it.

    Beautiful writing! The real reason I MMORPG (who wants to be a Medicare-card-carrying old broad when I can be a hot young elf?)!

  130. 07/09/2010 at 1:15 pm

    [...] seems that Shade’s Internet Dragons have won the [...]

  131. Asir said,

    07/09/2010 at 1:17 pm

    Yep, had me nearly in tears, and laughing my ass off. This article doesn’t just speak for us World of Warcraft players, it speaks for all of those that play different games online, and wish to keep a fantasy world that isn’t real life. It’s an escape.

    And it’s certain that when I log onto World of Warcraft, I leave me at the doorstep, and become a HALDRING, A PALADIN OF THE LIGHT THAT PROTECTS MASSES FROM TAKING FIRE FROM INTERNET DRAGONS!!!!!!

    So thank you, I felt a rush of pride once again, that I play this game. Needed that.

  132. Aurellie said,

    07/09/2010 at 1:21 pm

    Well said, and thank you.

  133. 07/09/2010 at 1:32 pm

    [...] news raised a furor among the community, igniting debate and many an opinion piece such as Shade’s open letter and our very own thoughts on the [...]

  134. Ino said,

    07/09/2010 at 1:41 pm

    If there was one letter to blizzard that represented why they repealed their decision. This was it.

  135. 07/09/2010 at 1:51 pm

    [...] Update: Blizzard has now put the breaks on the Real ID requirement for their forums. It’s good to see them listening to their fans & customers. I’m still wary though, because it’s now clear that they’re trying to leverage their games into Facebook’s territory. Shades of Grey said it best in a blogpost that’s now becoming a meme. [...]

  136. Dustin said,

    07/09/2010 at 2:50 pm

    I understand why people don’t want their names posted… but for a few of my friends, it is good, since I can never keep track of all of their alts…

  137. Tekira--Feathermoon said,

    07/09/2010 at 2:53 pm

    According to a post on Kotaku, Blizzard is cancelling the RealID naming system for the forums, at least for now. I haven’t heard anything on the in-game set-up, but since that’s voluntary I am a little less troubled by it (though it’s still got some pretty serious potential for disaster–and perhaps what they might be more willing to be concerned about, liability).

    • Shade said,

      07/09/2010 at 2:54 pm

      Hence the update at the bottom of the post! :D NOW LET’S GO KILL SOME DRAGONS GUYS

  138. Omgnomgnome said,

    07/09/2010 at 3:09 pm

    Forget the dragons. I take candle.

  139. 07/09/2010 at 5:05 pm

    [...] simple trust with Blizzard.  I pay them $15 a month, they give me a good game and let me go kill INTERNET DRAGONS all I want.  For five and a half years, that worked well.  But with this proposed bait-and-switch [...]

  140. Ariel said,

    07/09/2010 at 5:38 pm

    <3 this essay. <3 the LOLdragons.

    Well said. My account remains canceled (until sometime in August) while I wait out the SC2 storm… I hope they'll stick to it, but the "at this time" has me worried that we'll see this all again once they have our StarCraft/Cataclysm dollars.

  141. Medb said,

    07/09/2010 at 5:39 pm

    An attempt to enhance the integrity of guilds by abetting predators to stalk children via the interwebz. Which won’t work in the first place because guild integrity type stuff just doesn’t work that way – it works on a much more human level.

    As a footnote, MindArk already tried a similar concept to this one. What they got was a whole bunch of support cases, plus an epidemic of identity forgery which is still commonplace in their MMO – 6 years later.

    Take the red pill, Blizz. Take the red pill.

  142. 07/09/2010 at 7:58 pm

    [...] you hadn’t seen INTERNET DRAGONS, you fail.  I mean, really.  It was all over Twitter and blogs and podcasts and stuff.  You [...]

  143. 07/09/2010 at 8:26 pm

    [...] do it for the Internet Dragons. They deserve to get what’s coming to ‘em, and I’m just the one to bring [...]

  144. 07/09/2010 at 9:23 pm

    [...] Internet Dragons! VN:F [1.9.2_1090]please wait…Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast) [...]

  145. Keeva said,

    07/09/2010 at 9:38 pm

    Kite Real ID to Vael’s room.

  146. Daniel said,

    07/10/2010 at 4:24 am

    Nice little mail!

    I quit playing sometime during feb, after around 5 years of gaming..
    Having seen my guild poke Arthas in 25m a few times, I realised that this might be an even worse expansion than tBC (well, the thought didn’t strike me just then).

    I do love the surroundings and the music theme settings. The many types of odd mammals and egg layers, and whatnot!
    BUT, many event aspects (like bossfights), just lack touch.

    I wasn’t aware of this ID implement, obviously, and it’s apphauling that they have the stomach to rape the game beyond the damage they’ve already caused..

    Well, in all honesty I guess that I’m not that surprised. They ruined the game with the opening of the Dark Portal and the beginning of the Outofidealands.

    Not that I could quit playing because of that.. they sure had me hooked alright. I loved SSC and MT the most!

    But when it comes down to sticks and stones.. Viva Vanilla!

  147. 07/10/2010 at 7:01 am

    [...] in Site on Jul.10, 2010 Well, it's all over after all. The evil dragon released by Blizzard has been slain by Blizzard again, after several days of people alternately [...]

  148. Aoladari said,

    07/10/2010 at 8:52 am

    Yep… last thing I want is to be turned down for a job because a Google search of my name turned up that I posted on the Blizzard forums. Like it or not gamers have a large stima attached to them still.

  149. Alex said,

    07/10/2010 at 11:32 am

    Amazing and wonderful. You spoke for me and thousands of others. Thank you! :)

  150. Karl Hungus said,

    07/10/2010 at 12:56 pm

    I have shared this link wiht like five million people.

    PLEASE.

    MORE. INTERNET. DRAGONS. PICTURES.

  151. Music-chan said,

    07/10/2010 at 1:20 pm

    I just had to comment again to say that I love your internet dragons and that I’ll probably bookmark your journal here because of it. :) out of the whole wierd situation, I’m always happy to find new and interesting things to read out of it.

  152. 07/10/2010 at 2:27 pm

    [...] However, despite the resolution and the resounding call from the internet to get back to killing INTERNET DRAGONS, I’d still like to put in my two cents. As I see it, there are clearly two sides to this [...]

  153. calsong said,

    07/10/2010 at 4:47 pm

    I have nothing but WORLDS OF RESPECT for your wonderful mix of solid points and poignant humor.

    OMG its a DRAGON! KILL it for EPICZ

  154. Vianica said,

    07/10/2010 at 7:13 pm

    I found this a little late, but I absolutely loved it. Because guess what I did in Azeroth today? I killed dragons. Not once, not twice, but three times. I didn’t get any epicz, but I did get a nice bag of gems. Oh, and last night I killed a dragon and cut off her head and brought it to Orgrimmar for a reward.

    And, as you so poignantly put it, THAT is why I love to play WoW.

  155. Joe said,

    07/11/2010 at 12:58 pm

    Welcome to my bookmarks.

  156. unbound said,

    07/11/2010 at 3:16 pm

    Great letter. And, one thing to add if this ever comes up again, is that not only would this just result in a lot more e-mail and phone call support contacts to Blizzard…it wouldn’t actually do anything to improve the forums.

    Thinking through the process, you begin to realize that the only people that actually have to give their real names are those that use credit cards to pay for their recurring charges. People that buy game cards can use whatever name they want…there is no verification actually required. So the flame wars, the trolling and the general nastiness would continue in earnest…but since a good chunk of pleasant people will would no longer post, there would probably only end up being a higher percentage of nasty posts.

    My guess is that Blizzard knew this…so getting rid of the flame wars, trolling and general nastiness was just PR. Definitely expect them to develop another approach for this that they think they can sneak this in. Whether it is due to the South Korean law, or trying to develop a business sharing model with facebook / twitter, Blizzard (probably due to Activision) will be looking to push this through one way or another.

  157. exwowgirl said,

    07/12/2010 at 7:05 am

    Fantastic post!!!

    One thing though… um…. real-ID is um, still in the game – the majority of players er..play the game, and rarely use the forum anyway. So… I’m not impressed by this apparent ‘win’ on our part.

    Ugly Facebook is still coming…..and Real ID is still unchanged, still a risk for many, and still a way for them to exploit our real life information. I still won’t be going back to wow or any blizzard game, ever again. Even if they made it ‘real alias’ at this point I wouldn’t go back, because they’ve exposed their true face to me – greedy and corrupt.

    -ex wow girl, 80 rogue and all toons deleted, 6 year player

    p.s. i’m off mmorpgs for good because of this. the potential for them to ‘slip things in’ and get around laws and change things on the internet is just too great. it’s a return to old pc games and non-internet-connected consoles for me.

    • 07/13/2010 at 6:48 am

      It’s also entirely optional.

      • exwowgirl said,

        07/13/2010 at 10:55 pm

        and unethical. but people without a conscience would never get that.

  158. Demo said,

    07/13/2010 at 12:38 am

    :)

  159. Herlev said,

    07/13/2010 at 3:38 pm

    LOL! Your blog post made my day. Thank you for giving me something to chuckle about :)

  160. Jurakan said,

    07/13/2010 at 5:17 pm

    This letter deserves a 50 DKP….PLUS.

    Hit it slowly. The internet dragon, I mean.

  161. 07/21/2010 at 8:02 am

    [...] don’t have much to say about the recent RealID discussions, but I will say that Shade’s Open Letter To Blizzard was the best post I saw on the subject.  It’s about INTERNET DRAGONS, [...]

  162. 07/26/2010 at 7:49 am

    [...] bet someone out there thought I was going to post about ReadID as well. Gotcha! 07/26/2010 | admin | No Comments [...]

  163. 07/30/2010 at 11:31 am

    [...] INTERNET DRAGONS. [...]

  164. Blaphe said,

    08/04/2010 at 9:20 pm

    I’m a loner. I don’t socialize. I don’t like people. That’s why I play WoW. So why the hell would I want to know who the other people playing are? And why would I want other people to know who I am? So, WHAT THE HELL IS BLIZZARD THINKING?!!! Just let me kill those internet dragons in peace and anonymity.

  165. 08/19/2010 at 11:32 pm

    [...] Posted on August 20, 2010 by keligh Yes it is the first post.    I named this after the great post at Shades of Grey during the height of the RealID/Blizzard [...]

  166. 08/20/2010 at 11:22 pm

    [...] LATE EDIT: We won, I suppose. And we can go back to killing internet dragons. [...]

  167. 09/14/2010 at 1:00 pm

    hey i have also been a player for a while now! over 2 years and still going strong and i am 2 impressed that it has still not bored me yet. It has incrediable features that you just cannot find anywhere else, n those internet dragon once they go down its party all round lol :P
    thanks for the share

  168. 09/16/2010 at 8:01 pm

    [...] part, however: I don’t want to be in a company that would look down on me because I choose to kill Internet dragons with friends. Older Cycling through most recent [...]

  169. 09/18/2010 at 2:52 am

    Thank you for this. This helped me so much. I wish more people could be like this and actually give good information. Wonderful site! keep up the good work!

  170. Apple said,

    09/21/2010 at 4:10 pm

    I know this is so very old (in internet time), but I kind of want to do a dramatic reading of this.

    If I can find my darn iMovie disc, I might do just that. Complete with Macros.

    >_> If you don’t mind.

  171. 10/12/2010 at 7:01 am

    [...] not trying to chart a course to India in the fifteenth century, you’re trying to go kill internet dragons. So what do you think about travel times in MMOs? Do you like a big world that takes a while to [...]

  172. 10/12/2010 at 7:01 am

    [...] — you're not trying to chart a course to India in the fifteenth century, you're trying to go kill internet dragons. So what do you think about travel times in MMOs? Do you like a big world that takes a while to [...]

  173. 10/12/2010 at 7:03 am

    [...] not trying to chart a course to India in the fifteenth century, you’re trying to go kill internet dragons. So what do you think about travel times in MMOs? Do you like a big world that takes a while to [...]

  174. 10/12/2010 at 8:49 pm

    [...] not trying to chart a course to India in the fifteenth century, you’re trying to go kill internet dragons. So what do you think about travel times in MMOs? Do you like a big world that takes a while to [...]

  175. 10/26/2010 at 8:29 am

    Thats what I love about blizzard, they actually listen to their customers

  176. 01/29/2011 at 4:39 pm

    [...] been a year. I think it’s time to show Shade that she may have won our hearts with Internet Dragons, but it’s her mastery of all that is Warcraft Lore that continues to win our [...]

  177. 02/15/2011 at 8:35 pm

    [...] Productions) and Shade (Anne Stickney, lore and other stuff columnist of WoW Insider; also of Internet Dragons). Each episode is fairly long, ranging from 1 to 2 hours. The audio quality is decent (though not [...]

  178. Roy said,

    03/04/2011 at 9:15 pm

    i Am ready to go kill some dragons.

  179. 03/12/2011 at 2:07 am

    [...] in a nut shell, a World of Warcraft sense. The best way to get a feel for this would be to visit this post from Shades of Grey. You don’t need to know anything about WoW to get it; just look at the images and the ALL [...]

  180. 03/29/2011 at 10:06 pm

    [...] Dragons are awesome. In World of Warcraft, they’ve become even more awesome than most other series or games that are out there. Not only are they dragons, but the idea of being separated into the aspects and each aspect having dominion over a certain part of the world is a great idea. Many series have dragons as being the “bad guys”, with some certain ones breaking away from that – which is what I like. They’re freaking DRAGONS. [...]

  181. 04/06/2011 at 9:00 am

    [...] Blizzard deliberately doesn’t refer to pets and demons like this. From a game design standpoint, they are moving DoTs – but they know that appearance and identity of NPCs is important. Players are not playing a neutral mathematical game of cold logic, they are playing a game where they want to forget themselves for a while and kill internet dragons. [...]

  182. 05/20/2011 at 1:52 pm

    [...] well, RealID doesn’t need much commentary. However, it offers an opportunity to link to maybe one of the best posts ever written about WoW. Reading highly recommended. RealID is the bold first step from “heroes venturing to vanquish [...]

  183. 08/05/2011 at 8:53 pm

    [...] and sometimes quite lovely spell effects in the game, caused by both you and your friends and the internet dragons you love to [...]

  184. 11/01/2011 at 11:22 am

    [...] but think that perhaps we’ve lost sight of the reasons we love this game. It’s not just internet dragons, after all. There’s plenty out there to look at and remember fondly and keep in mind as we [...]


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