So, today is patch day. This patch has a lot of neat features (like the Ruby Sanctum raid). One of these upcoming features is the Real ID system. This system is designed to blend your “real life” with game life to a somewhat uncomfortable facebook-stalker level.
When the Real ID system was first announced, I thought I’d be able to get into contact with my friends & blog readers that I’ve met through the game, twitter, etc. However – the level of detailed information that the system provides to your “friends” (and the friends of your friends) makes it such that I’ll only be using the Real ID for the people I know in real life, and not likely people I met through the game (even if I think you are a great person, I may not trust your friends). That means I won’t be using the feature to it’s fullest.
They could have designed the cross-server chat to be less invasive, but they chose to reveal too much personal information in a fantasy roleplaying video game, and didn’t implement enough choice & privacy options.
Unfortunately, it’s not just YOUR friends that can see all your personal info. It’s also the friends of your friends. If I invite someone to be my friend, and they have 100 friends, all 100 of those friends can see my RL info, and that makes me very uncomfortable. So, I’ll mostly be waiting & hoping that they add more privacy options into their system in the future. If they gave us the option to disable friends of friends, then I’d like the system a lot more. Until they implement privacy options into their system, I’m going to keep my friends circle limited.
Now, there are RL friends who play WoW that I’m looking forward to having cross-server communication with, and I’m happy that I’ll be able to reconnect with them. I just wish the system was better.
Just remember to be safe about how you use the Real ID system. It’s not supposed to be a friends list that you give to everyone you ever meet in-game. (my battle.net e-mail is not the e-mail I use for this blog).