First it was never a secret and second it was a "deliberate and open design decision," as they want friends and family able to play and chat.
Recently the studio suffered a setback to their social plans for Battle.net as the community went into an uproar over the Real ID system, which would have forced users on the StarCraft II forums to use their actual names and not hide behind an alias.
Blizz backed down from the ambitious goal, much to the delight of the community. "It’s no secret — as we’ve discussed openly since we first started sharing our plans about the new Battle.net, one of our goals is for it to serve as a social gaming service for Blizzard gamers," read a Blizz Q&A, reports .
"This was a deliberate and open design decision, driven 100% by the desire to create an even better online experience for our players by giving them powerful tools to compete with and stay connected to their real-life friends and family."
Real ID works by storing individuals first and last names so that you can add friends and family to your buddy lists across multiple games. Currently, in the case of World of Warcraft, each new character a friend creates must be added manually.
The Real ID system will support Facebook meaning you can flood your list of chums to play and chat with by scanning the social network. The StarCraft II forums will not being using actual names but a character code and name, where the code is a 3 digit number generated and the character name is chosen by you and tied to your game license.
"StarCraft II already uses a character name and character code combo in-game, which serves as a unique player identifier and fits well with our goal for the forums. World of Warcraft handles player identification differently, so we still need to determine whether adding a character code system like in StarCraft II is the best solution," added Blizz.
"Ultimately, we want to come up with a system that makes sense for each community and fits our long-term vision for the forums." This means Real ID uses made up names in place of real names to keep tabs on friends throughout games.
"Ultimately, we think this is the best way to ensure players who use Real ID are able stay connected with the people they enjoy playing with most in the long-term, and we don’t currently have any plans to change the system so it can be used with character names or alternate handles instead," the Q&A.
"That said, Battle.net is a living, breathing service that we will continue to evolve over time as we evaluate how players are using it and identify new ways to improve the experience." StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty releases exclusively on PC July 27th.
Battle.net becoming social gaming platform "no secret" says Blizz
19 July 2010 | By Simon Priest
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