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Answers to Common Community Questions About Battle.net Real ID

Nethaera revealed the new plans for the Battle.net Forums Real ID System as a response to fan feedback provided after the whole Real ID first name and last name mess that spread wildly throughout the global internet.

Blizzard has a new plan to address the feedback and concerns about customer privacy. Among these new decisions is the introduction of an opt-out to the “Friends of Friends List”, a forum post rating system and an optional Facebook Friend Search feature that pulls your friend list from Facebook to populate your StarCraft II in-game friend list.

Read the full list of answers to common community questions about Battle.net Real ID.

Blizzard Quote:
Answers to Common Community Questions About Real ID™

Since the launch of the Real ID™ system in World of Warcraft®, we’ve received a number of questions from the community about our plans for the service, features like StarCraft® II’s Facebook® integration, and how we see Real ID evolving in the future. We’ve been keeping tabs on the conversations on our forums, social media sites, and fansites, and have compiled some of the most common questions to answer for you here. We hope you find this information helpful, and we look forward to hearing your feedback and continuing the conversation in the thread below.

Do you have any plans to allow players to not show their real name to friends of friends while using the Real ID system?

As with any new feature we add to our games, we’ve been evaluating how Real ID has been used since its release to identify new functionality that would help improve our players’ experience. The in-game Real ID “friends of friends” list is designed to give players a convenient way to populate their Real ID friends list with other players they know and trust in real life, allowing them to quickly and easily send Real ID friend requests to these people without having to enter their Battle.net® account names. However, we recognize that some players would prefer not to be displayed on friends lists in this fashion, so we plan to include an option that will allow players to opt out of appearing on their Real ID friends’ “friends of friends” lists. We’re anticipating this feature to be available for StarCraft II shortly after release of the game, and World of Warcraft at around the same time — we’ll have more information for you in the coming weeks.

What are your plans for Facebook integration?

With regard to Facebook, our goal is to help Blizzard gamers on Battle.net more easily connect to their real-life friends and family. For the launch of StarCraft II, we are introducing an optional Facebook friend finder feature to help achieve this goal. The friend finder enables players who decide to use it to easily populate their Battle.net friends list by sending Real ID friend requests to the people on their Facebook friends list who have Battle.net accounts. We hope players will find this feature convenient, but it’s completely optional. In the long term, we hope to give players who use Facebook some fun, and also optional, ways to share what they’re doing in Blizzard games with their friends, similar to the optional World of Warcraft Armory integration now available, but we don’t have any specific plans to share at present.

How does the friend finder in StarCraft II work? What’s sent to Facebook?

When you use the Add a Friend feature in StarCraft II, one of the options you’ll see is to search your Facebook friends list for people who also have Battle.net accounts in order to quickly send them Real ID friend requests. When you click this button, you’ll be asked to enter your Facebook login information, and you’ll then see a list of your Facebook friends who also have Battle.net accounts. You’ll then have the option to send any of these Facebook friends a Real ID friend request in-game. (Keep in mind that for someone to appear on the list, their Battle.net account email address must match their Facebook email address. In addition, you’ll see the names of any Facebook friends who have registered Battle.net accounts, regardless of whether they have Blizzard games attached to their account or just, for example, created the Battle.net account to make a purchase on the online Blizzard Store.)

It’s important to note that Blizzard Entertainment does not share any personal information with Facebook as part of this process. Keep in mind that as with other Real ID features such as the “friends of friends” list, our goal with the friend finder feature is to create convenient options to help players easily find people they know in real life on Battle.net without having to remember email addresses or account names. We hope players will find the feature easy to use and convenient.

How can I prevent World of Warcraft add-ons from accessing Real ID first and last names without my knowledge?

As always, we recommend that you get your UI add-ons through reliable sources. It’s important to note that without installing a UI add-on specifically designed to retrieve that information, there’s no risk of it being accessed. On our end, we’re looking into the issue and are at work on some changes that we can make to help protect against these types of add-ons. We’ll provide further details as soon as we have more information to share.

Are you secretly trying to build a social gaming platform with the new Battle.net?

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. 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.

If my account was compromised, what information about my Real ID friends would a hacker have access to?

We take account security very seriously, and we offer a number of ways to help players keep their account secure, including the Battle.net Authenticator and the free Battle.net Mobile Authenticator app, available for a wide range of mobile devices. Aside from your friends’ first and last names, no other personal information is shared through the in-game Real ID system.

What’s a StarCraft II “character code”?

When you first log in to StarCraft II, you’re prompted to choose a single character name. This is the only name you’ll use on Battle.net, and it’s tied to your StarCraft II license. In order to allow players to select any name they wish regardless of whether another player is already using the same name, we then generate and assign a three-digit character code that uniquely identifies the player. When posting on the forums of the new StarCraft II community site, players will be posting using their StarCraft II character name and character code.

Will the new StarCraft II forum posting name format (character name + character code) carry over into the forum communities of other Blizzard games?

Following our recent decision to no longer use real first and last names on Blizzard forums, we’re still evaluating how we’ll move forward with our other forums. Our ultimate goal is still to promote constructive conversations and improve the overall forum experience for our players, and we think increasing accountability is an important part of achieving that. 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. Ultimately, we want to come up with a system that makes sense for each community and fits our long-term vision for the forums.

Are there any plans to change the in-game Real ID system so that players will have the option to display an assigned user name instead of their real names?

The Real ID system is designed to help real-life friends and family who decide to use it keep in touch with each other across Blizzard games, and our goal in using real names is to ensure that players will be able to maintain long-term, meaningful relationships on the service for years to come. One way it helps make that happen is by eliminating the need to remember who, for example, “Thrall123″ really is when you see him or her pop up on your friends list again after months — or years — of being offline. 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. 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.

What plans are there to improve moderation since the use of real names on the forums has been changed?

Our new community sites’ forums, beginning with the StarCraft II site, will have an improved moderation system as well as a post-rating system which will help our players promote the conversations they find the most constructive, as well as help forum moderators identify quality discussions. This, coupled with the unique StarCraft II character name and code, will help us to create a more positive atmosphere based on community interaction and accountability.

Share your opinions with Blizzard here, and with our community in the comments area.

JINX T-Shirts: WoW, StarCraft II, Diablo 15% Off Discount

J!NX has a new limited-time offer! Buy $30 or more on any WoW, StarCraft II, Diablo III or any non-Blizzard T-Shirt and get a 15% off your purchase by entering the code MEEPS (in CAPS) at checkout.

Offer valid until 11:59pm (PDT) on 7/16/10. Not valid in combination with any other sale or discount.

JINX 2010 Independence Day’s 25% Off Discount on T-Shirts

Another discount special to stock up your World of Warcraft, StarCraft II and Diablo III T-shirts collection to wear during BlizzCon, at home, school or work.

Grab all the T-shirts you want, and at checkout enter the code 07041776 (those are zeros, not O’s) to receive 25% off all products. Offer valid until 11:59pm on 7/8/10. Not valid in combination with any other sale or discount.

Robert B. Marks Denounces Piracy of Diablo: Demonsbane

I posted over at Diablo.IncGamers my thoughts on a recent article by Robert B. Marks (of Garwulf’s Corner fame) which denounced the piracy of his Diablo: Demonsbane. You can read my post here.

I invite everyone to use word of mouth, social means to support Robert’s message. Say no to piracy. Buy the Diablo, Warcraft and Starcraft books in either eBook or paperback/hardcover formats. Read and enjoy. Then continue to support these amazing writers, publishers and Blizzard’s Creative Team.

Diablo III 2011 Wall Calendar Pre-Orders

Sellers Publishing is selling a brand-new Diablo III 2011 Wall Calendar now available for pre-orders in USA and UK.

It is slated for release on July 25, 2010, however other places list it to be released on mid-August. Either way, if BlizzCon tickets are to be set as example, get ahold of one before they are gone with the wind by crazed Diablo III collectors.

Diablo Wall Calendar: Two decades have passed since the demonic lords Diablo, Mephisto, and Baal set out on a vicious rampage, twisting humanity to their unholy will. Now Diablo III surfaces amid the rising powers of the Burning Hells. This calendar’s twelve images of the Diablo III universe—an ethereal realm—will mesmerize fans of the game and dark-fantasy aficionados alike.

Format: Standard Wall
Size Closed: 12.0 ” x 12.0″
Size Opened: 12.0 ” x 24.0″
Publisher: Sellers Publishing, Inc
Product ID: 201100001560

2010 Blizzard Global Writing Contest Announced

Blizzard has announced the 2010 Blizzard Global Writing Contest. Get the chance to visit Blizzard’s headquarters and BlizzCon. Meet the Creative Development Team as a bonus. Who wouldn’t want to shake hands with Chris Metzen the Bourbon Cowboy, and Micky Neilson?

Blizzard Quote:
You’re called to action once again, to use your wits and strength, to compete for the ultimate prize. Your weapons? They seem to be but a musty tome and quill, but know that their power is far stronger than the armies of the Scourge, far craftier than the zerg Swarm, and far mightier than any demon from the Burning Hells. Ready your tools, scribe, and prepare for combat with the inky beast called fiction!

Enter a short story for the chance to win a free trip to Blizzard’s headquarters in southern California! This contest is open to entrants from around the world and will be judged by Blizzard’s very own writers and masters of lore. For more information, head to the contest page:
http://us.blizzard.com/en-us/community/contests/writing2010

JINX T-Shirts Father’s Day 2010 Promo

JINX has a limited-time promotion saving you $10 off your purchase of $35 or more on any T-shirt or product including the World of Warcraft, Diablo III and StarCraft II T-shirts and Talking Murloc Plush Pet.

Use Promotion Code: DADSROCK
This offer expires Friday, June 18, 2010 at 11:59 PM EDT, so don’t wait!

Blizzard’s Next-Gen MMO: Job Opening Reveals Armor and Weapons Game

Blizzard Entertainment posted this week a brand-new job opening for the still-unannounced Next-Gen MMO. Based on this job opening for a 3D Character Equipment Artist it might be hard to tell if this fourth game currently in development will be based on one of the existing franchises: Diablo, WarCraft or StarCraft. This is the first time we know anything substantial about the enigmatic Next-Gen MMO, nevertheless. This job opening is for a developers that will be in charge of modeling armor and weapons based on the concept art from Blizzard’s Art Team.

The fifth game in development, not to be confused with the Next-Gen MMO, is still young, but it is confirmed unofficially through Blizzplanet to be a brand-new IP.

The Next-Gen MMO hasn’t been confirmed to be based on a new IP or on an existent IP, but this game is a strong candidate to be revealed at BlizzCon 2010. Personally, I have said it many times in the past couple of years, and still think it is based on StarCraft and StarCraft: Ghost. Only time will tell, and Blizzard fans are know to be loyal and patient.

Blizzard Quote:
3D Character Equipment Artist – NextGen MMO at Blizzard Entertainment

Location: Irvine, CA (Orange County, California Area)

URL: http://www.jobs.blizzard.com/

Type: Full-time
Experience: Mid-Senior level
Functions: Art/Creative
Industries: Animation, Arts and Crafts, Computer Games, Computer Software, Entertainment
Posted: June 8, 2010

Job Description

Blizzard Entertainment is looking for an exceptionally skilled 3D character equipment artist for a team focused on next-generation massively multiplayer online games. The ideal candidate has extensive experience modeling and texturing a diverse visual range of character armor and weapons. A solid grasp of armor and weapon design, structure, color, and light for the creation of both 2D and 3D art assets is essential. The 3D character/character equipment artist must have a skill in another art task as well (illustration, modeling, texturing, animation, or concept drawing), and be well-versed in related tools — Maya, Photoshop, etc.

Skills

Requirements

  • 2+ years game development experience modeling and texturing sci-fi and fantasy character armor and weapons for next-gen art pipelines

  • An exceptional understanding of visual design and a keen eye toward form, shape, structure, and silhouette with regard to modeling and texturing character equipment
  • Superior eye for light, color, and detail in creating texture maps of different material types
  • Self-motivation, good communication skills, and a great team-player
  • Skill in one or more of the related creation tasks — illustration, modeling, texturing, animation, or concept drawing

Pluses

  • Have shipped AAA PC or console titles as a 3D character artist

  • Experience with Mudbox, ZBrush, (or equivalent modeling program) and the process of converting high-poly sculpted characters into lower poly game models
  • Experience with the creation of next-gen shaders and materials
  • Strong foundation in the traditional arts, including but not limited to figure drawing and illustration.
  • Passionate gamer with experience playing a wide range of games

TeliaSonera and Blizzard Renew Two-Year Contract

TeliaSonera and Blizzard Entertainment renewed a two-year contract to continue online services for World of Warcraft and Battle.net servers in Europe. The Chief Operating Officer at Blizzard, Paul Sams, praised the reliability and speed offered by TeliaSonera, and look forward to continue that relationship in the wake of the launch of StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty and the new Battle.net.

TeliaSonera renews IP-transit agreement with Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. for online games

Online gamers will continue to enjoy a rich and reliable gaming experience thanks to an agreement struck between TeliaSonera International Carrier and Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. Recently, the companies agreed to a two-year renewal for IP transit in Europe.

Blizzard Entertainment® is a premier developer and publisher of entertainment software best known for its Warcraft®, StarCraft®, and Diablo® series, as well as its popular massively multiplayer online role-playing game World of Warcraft®. TeliaSonera International Carrier has enjoyed a longstanding relationship with Blizzard Entertainment since 1999, providing Internet connectivity for both World of Warcraft and the Battle.net® online-gaming service in Europe.

“Customers are in pursuit of the best online gaming experience, and we are aware of the diverse nature of their needs and priorities,” said Brendan Ives, Vice President and Head of International Sales, TeliaSonera International Carrier. “We are striving to provide complete solutions for our customers, enabling the best gaming experience possible, as we look to become the provider of choice to the online gaming industry.”

“For years, TeliaSonera International Carrier has been providing high-quality, low-latency connectivity, helping us deliver great online-gaming experiences to our players across Europe,” said Paul Sams, Chief Operating Officer of Blizzard Entertainment. “As we prepare for the upcoming launch of StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty™ and the new Battle.net, we’re pleased to be working with a carrier that can provide the speed and reliability our European players expect.”

Leveraging experience and expertise in operating a global fibre-based network, TeliaSonera International Carrier has a superb platform in place on which to build its new high capacity and highly resilient network aimed at serving the needs of the professional online gaming industry. The gaming network is fully owned and operated by TeliaSonera International Carrier which means that every link and network element is monitored and managed from a central point.

Each fibre connection is fully redundant and individual streams are monitored and managed continuously. In the unlikely event of significant signal degradation or failure the network will instantaneously switch to an alternative path, without impacting quality of service to the end consumer.

We Love Diablo - Anniversary Mosaic

29 June 2010 is a big day for the Diablo franchise and all its fans. Three major anniversaries come up on the same day, the biggest of which is of course the ten-year anniversary of Diablo II. Incidentally, 29 June is also the nine-year anniversary of Lord of Destruction as well as the two-year anniversary for the Diablo III announcement.

In order to give due respect to this big date in the Diablo community, the most recognized Diablo fansites have joined up together to create a big mosaic compiled of photos of the fans, similar to the Blizzard-run “I <3 SC" event from last year.

Each site will collect images from their visitors, which will be merged together into one massive image of Big Red himself. It’s now up to YOU to show the world just how much all of us in the community loves Diablo by sending in your Diablo-inspired photos.

The photos should be themed with Diablo or his birthday and can be as simple as a shot of yourself posing with your Diablo I or Diablo II game box, holding a print saying “I <3 Diablo", someone with a Diablo shirt, a creatively decorated birthday cake, writing a massive "Diablo" in the sand on a beach or perhaps a shot of yourself summoning demons in your weekly Cultist rituals (joke! Please, it's definitely a joke!).

Each of these images will help build up a very small part of the mosaic, showing our combined appreciation for the dark Action RPG franchise and each participating member will forever be part of the final picture.

Two rules to enter:
- Submitted images needs to be 800×600 pixels (4:3 aspect ratio).
- Images needs to be submitted before 26 June 2010 17:00 GMT (18:00 CET).

We encourage each individual fan to upload as many funny/interesting/thoughtful/cool photos they can before the time runs out. The more pictures available when the mosaic is made, the better it will render the pictures into a cohesive whole.

Participating fansites:
- Diablo3-esp.com (main organiser)
- Diablo: IncGamers (formerly: Diii.net) (assistant organiser)
- Diablofans.com
- Blizzplanet.com
- D2mantix.com
- Diablo-3.net
- Diablo3.cz
- Diablo-Source.com

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