What Would Matt Do

I reckon I aim to play some games.

Archive for the ‘MMO’ Category

[Updated] Blizzard makes plans to conduct largest internet social experiment ever

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Update: Man, that was fast. As a friend suggested, maybe this was a PR move. “Now that we aren’t going to do obviously outrageous thing, here’s what we’ll do instead…” We shall see.

Blizzard’s Plan

If you are any sort of MMO player or you know one, you probably have already heard about Blizzard’s plans to use what they call RealID. The basics are this:

  • If you use the system and friend anyone else, they can see your real name. It’s not based on character or server, it’s your unique ID with your real name tied to it. No more anonymity in Blizzard games, basically.
  • It will also allow you to do as Steam does now, track people across games. It’s an external friending service, rather than a friend system in a specific game.
  • Some other stuff Blizzard totes as really helpful.

The reality and the why

Here’s the part they don’t mention on that link above…yes, it’s completely optional, but if you want to post on any Blizzard forum, you will have to use your RealID, and hence, your real name. Not to mention once the system gets started and guilds start to require it, as we all know they will, you’ll be giving it up to people you often only known in an online capacity. Why play with someone anonymously, when you can play with them where they have some accountability. It’ll sweep the entire game like wildfire. There will be holdouts of course, but for any serious (read catass) WoW players, they are basically seeing the writing on the wall of having to now be out, so to speak.

Why is Blizzard doing this? Well, if you don’t know, public forums are really hard to control (great, long article). And Blizzard has one of the largest, if not the largest, gaming forum online because of how popular WoW is (most popular MMO of all time still). As you can see from this very scientific documentation, people online aren’t always 1) aware they aren’t anonymous and 2) able to control themselves when anonymous. It’s hilarious and sadly true.

Internet Assholery (or IA) been a big problem for online forums of all types pretty much since the beginning of the internet. There is some disconnect with many people when they think there are no repercussions for their actions. This guy can probably explain it better, and even offers up how he’d like to track the changes.


The reasons no one has done this before

Well, let’s start with some simple examples. Since Blizzard announced this, a few people defending it have offered up their real names. This guy and this guy have both probably thought better of it now. You see, you aren’t actually anonymous anywhere. You aren’t in real life obviously, but you aren’t on the internet either (well, 99.9% of us aren’t). Everything you do online can be tied back to you in one way or another. Even without your real name being given out; that just makes it easier. Look at both of the examples above. The people tracking down these guys used their real names to get started tracking them down, but if they had any other piece of information, or postings where you shared pretty much anything, or posted anything, you can be tracked. Just because you use a fake name on a forum, don’t think that means that people can’t find you. There are a thousand stories of people online being tracked down, well before Blizzard ever even thought of this idea or even running an MMO. It’s a fact of internet life most people don’t realize.

Ok, so we aren’t really anonymous. Well, we aren’t really anonymous once we start engaging. If we post on any forum, any page comments, facebook, etc, not only is that all trying to be tracked by your ISP, it starts to link information to your fake online identity. Which has an IP address, which has a real name attached, etc, etc, etc. So what’s the problem then? Well, because people feel they are anonymous, they act as stated above AND because they aren’t particularly well informed, they believe other people are anonymous. So things like this don’t happen as often as they could.

For others, the big concerns are what are going to happen to the groups of people that really needed the anonymity. For instance, women and/or minorities. No longer can they go online in WoW and join up to a guild or post in forums without people knowing their ethnicity (many names alone suggest this, sometimes as wrong as not) or their sex. Why is this a problem? Well, as you might guess, many gamers are socially retarded. I don’t say that without some self reflection, as a gamer, but I also say it as someone who thinks that invading people’s personal lives is well beyond something I’d condone or do. For many others, it’s just a matter of access to the information. Without the it-takes-more-work-than-its-often-worth-to-figure-out-someones-real name barrier, this sort of thing may happen more. If you’ve ever gone on XBox Live, you’re probably aware of how idiotic people can be online.

To boot, who would be responsible for all of this in a court of law? Some might argue that it’s the company that requires people to give up their anonymity to post on their forum or to be in any of the more serious guilds (I state this as fact, but it could turn out otherwise). Blizzard may very well see lawsuits based on their plan.

Why it’s a potential good thing in the long run

Didn’t expect that title, did you? Well, just think about it for a second. If people have to start thinking when they post online, this could be tied back to me, maybe, just maybe, they will stop acting like assholes. Maybe it will sink in that they aren’t anonymous and that they should have the social grace to handle themselves like they were talking with actual people. Hey, it could happen. As a matter of fact, I think it will happen in the long term. And if this social experiment works for Blizzard, expect more and more companies to do it. The internet isn’t going to directly expose you in the future, you are. You will have to sign up for and validate your identity at every site you want to post on. And you will be banned based on your real identity. No more just signing up another account. And once multiple sites start requiring real names, they will all start using the same service and to post, you’ll have to give up a link that shows your entire internet posting history. For some, this going to be a HUGE change. For others like myself, that have been posting under their real names for a long time, it won’t be such a huge thing. But notice I don’t directly state my full name anywhere on this site, though any enterprising person could easily track me down. I like that layer of separation for my personal site. Heck, many people that read here do so because they know me in RL, so it’s not that big of a deal, but that layer of obfuscation, that bit of work required to track me down, gives me at least a bit more of a wall between the world and my personal life. That I’m sharing for anyone in the world to read… Ya, dumb, I know. But that’s the whole point. Many people aren’t even aware that the anonymity is a lie.

What Would Matt Do: I’d wish Blizzard all of the best. I like the concept and I eagerly await details of how it goes. I’d love to see the things that Jamie mentions on his site above (povg) so we can get real metrics on how this social experiment on a grand scale goes down. Here’s hoping Blizzard not only shares that information at some future date, but that they realize they may be setting a trend for the much of the future of the internet and go…wisely into that great beyond.

Update: Jay and Silent Bob thought about this a long time ago.

Update II: Lots of people are angry. I’m not sure I disagree with them even. It’s a very tough issue.

[edited for grammer. probably more than once.]

Written by Matt

July 8th, 2010 at 11:57 am

Biggest game budget ever.

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According to some guesses and estimates based on some number EA released, Scott suggests that The Old Republic has about a 150 million budget.


That’s a huge budget. That bigger than most movies get. I don’t know if it’s a good thing or a bad thing that game budgets are starting to out do movie budgets, but it should get us some damn interesting games.

I’m pulling for it big time…because I want to play the game they keep talking about. Hopefully the one they release will be something like the one they keep pitching (often rare).

What Would Matt Do:: Keep an eye on this baby and try to get in the beta for sure.

Written by Matt

March 24th, 2010 at 12:30 pm

“We’re CCP! We march on fearlessly!”

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Indeed they do.



What Would Matt Do: Well, I guess I’d really like to play the game that they make that doesn’t require me to a good book to read…when they make that game, let me know. Until then, I’ll agree, HARDEN THE FUCK UP!

Written by Matt

October 7th, 2009 at 9:55 am

I’m tired of being so negative, but CCP is really making me angry!

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I haven’t been posting as much, as you may or may not have noticed. That isn’t so much because I haven’t wanted to, but more because I wanted to shift the focus of the site. Mainly just from the angry tone to a more mindful one. It is what it is.

That said, fuck CCP. How dare they try to make me break my no MMOs on the console rule. Much less my general lack of interest in FPS (CoD4 and any FPS you can play coop exluded…of course) games on the console. How are they doing it? By do something not many in the industry are even aware you can do, trying something different. That’s right, they are going to attempt a new idea. They will take an FPS with RTS attributes and tie it into their already existing MMO. They claim the following:

The team-based game has the player "fighting in a massive war" on existing planets in the EVE Online universe, and is a standalone MMO title, "but is also connected to EVE," according to the CCP boss.

In fact, when Dust 514 launches, the map of EVE, currently divined only by player structures owned in the PC game, will also take into account infantry successes and failures within the console game. Players in the PC MMO can "fund mercenaries and give them goals" in the console title.

CCP’s Petursson hope that "these communities will meld over time," expecting specific Dust 514 corporations to start with, but eventually social structures that bridge across the two. He quipped of the new game and the relationship between the two titles: "While the fleet does the flying, the infantry does the dying."

As I’m reading The Prince even (four books all about the future of humans and the military exploits of one John Christian Falkenburg. It’s a history of the universe created in The Mote In God’s Eye, another must read. The Prince is a great read if you like military and sci fi. Also does a very interesting and greatly detailed look at future and social issues), so I’m already in sci-fi military mood. What a bunch of complete shits to try something so interesting, one MMO linked to another, with the second being the land battles of the first (at least in theory), that I’m going to have to pay serious attention and maybe break my own personal rules on console gaming.

God, I can’t stand these CCP bastards.


What Would Matt Do: So that better, right?


Written by Matt

August 18th, 2009 at 3:42 pm

Since when do they let 13 year old UO PKers be professors?

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I was going to go into a whole rant a few days back when I first read about "Twixt" and his alter ego. Glad I didn’t since Lum managed to skewer him not once but twice.


In short, the guy PKed everyone using guards in the game to kill them. Which not only killed people, but got people a debt (takes longer to get xp) in a zone where you’re not supposed to get debt. And then? Complained that he wasn’t being treated nicely and blamed everyone else.

That’s both crazy and awesome. Awesome in that I didn’t know they let UO Pkers (the first group to use similar methods of destruction and reasoning as to why) be professors. Apparently universities are getting desperate. And crazy in that this guy is full of insane. He blames "static social laws" that people weren’t happy with him.

Yeah, those damn bastards, not wanting to be randomly killed by exploiting the game. And then the balls on those guys to blame the professor/twixt. He was just playing how the game allowed him, how can they be upset?


I can’t wait to see him try to apply that logic in real life.


What Would Matt Do: Laugh and laugh and laugh at this guy and Lum’s great coverage.

Written by Matt

July 9th, 2009 at 10:27 am

Posted in Bullshit,Gaming,MMO,PC