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The Obscurecast Ep 8: Existential Hydra

Posted by Gazimoff on July - 8 - 2010

We thought this week would be nice and quiet. A calm period in which we could reminisce about our finest in-game moments. We couldn’t be more wrong. In the show this week we have:

  • Talent Tree Reshaping
  • The beta Continues, Starcraft II beta reopens
  • RealID to appear on Blizzard Forums. We also mention an open letter from Shades of Grey

This week’s obscurity is about the merits of beta, and what a true beta is versus a pre-release demo. We’ve got no Obscurity planned for next week as Stu’s on holiday in Orlando for a fortnight. Also, if you have topics you’d like to suggest for future Obscurities then please send them to the address below or hit us up on Twitter.

Intro music was  Decimal Places by I Concur.

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As always, if you want to contact us about anything on the podcast you can mail us at, post a reply here on the blog or tweet us at @manaobscura.

Thanks for listening!

8 Responses so far.

  1. Bordy says:

    Another thought came to mind – celebrity WoW players will be concerned I would have thought. Sure they may only give their real ID to genuine friends, but friends of them can see the celebrity’s name/ login name and will be able to lock the account out by entering bad passwords, or to harass them in game.

    • beep says:

      That’s an interesting point because there are A LOT of celebrities that play Warcraft, and many of them are very glad of the anonymity that it provides. I know for a fact that there are some big names over on the US servers and a few rather notable players on this side of the pond as well, so having that information released without consent is a big issue.

      There was also an incident a few years back with regards to a young lady who calls herself Mia Rose, now for those that are not aware of this, Mia Rose is an ‘Adult Entertainer’, which is fair enough each to their own, she named her characters the same as her on screen persona and certain people outside of her circle of friends would abuse, annoy and harass her, in fact i think SHE got slapped by Blizz for something or other, despite it not being her fault (clarification?).

      Now imagine that her real name was given out to the player base (i know personally that she is not the only person in that profession that plays Warcraft), what the hell do you think would happen when obsessives gained access to her real name and by that, a easier way of finding her?

      I find Blizz’s lack of appreciation for the impact this system will cause fucking insulting, and I am seriously close to walking away again.

      A very angry Stu

  2. Bordy says:

    Interesting thread about Real ID, the myths, the truths etc

  3. Bordy says:

    They do listen .. at least as far as the forums issue goes. There is still the issue of friends of friends in-game.

    • Gazimoff says:

      Aye, it was interesting to see them relent on the issue. Though others have pointed out that we’ll need to remain vigilant on the issue in the future.

      You’re right about the in-game setup though. We’ll have to keep an eye on that one…

  4. Elthrassar says:

    Thanks for the shoutout on the podcast about my email. I’m eager to hear your thoughts.

    Unrelated to that shoutout…

    As an interface designer, and a marketing person that dips into social media for projects here and there, I cannot support the absolute meltdown that the community had over the Real ID on the forums issue. Blizzard needed to announce the potential situation in order to gauge the community response, which I’m sure they expected to be bad, but they still had to do it in order to steer development. There is always that possibility that the community would be supportive and enthusiastic.

    Blizzard has always shown that they are willing to listen to the community. I have no doubt they would have been up for intelligent, reasonable discourse. Instead, the community chose to completely lose it’s mind. I personally feel like the likelihood of Real ID making it to the forums was quite minuscule. I just didn’t think the profanity filled rants and the people that claimed to have immediately canceled their subscriptions over something that was months off was really necessary.

    Blizzard is at a certain disadvantage in that they are developing an extremely sophisticated system for a truly immense user-base, and they have to do a lot of it in the public’s view, which is extremely difficult. I think the community should be more thankful that Blizzard is willing to preview new developments rather than just foisting them on an unsuspecting public.

    • beep says:

      *and breath*

      I can see your point, and I freely admit my rage-bent opinion was fuelled by the rather sudden drop of this system on the customer base. I’m still annoyed, i still think it was a bad idea and poorly implemented within the community (the forum drop, not RealID as a whole), but again, you are right in saying they do a hell of a lot of work with such a sophisticated system being brought into play for us.

      A less angry stu

      • Elthrassar says:

        I think annoyance is perfectly reasonable. I wasn’t overly thrilled by the idea either, although I was very amused by it. But I still think the key point to remember is that Blizzard put it out there for feedback, and we should be thankful that they take that approach rather than just flipping the switch on patch day and dealing with the PR mess later. I think the place they messed up was that when they announced it they treated it like it was set in stone, when they should have set up a mini-site explaining their points of view and discussing implementation options with feedback forms for the community.

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