First, what Gnomer said.
Second, I haven’t posted here in quite some time. Actually, none of the bloggers who have posting rights have done so. Some of us are still playing the game, very regularly. I have taken some breaks from the game, but I’ve been back now for a while. And I have been having so much fun. At least I was.
I have never been chicken little. Throughout the course of my wow career I have seen game changes come and go, and I’ve heard the nay-sayers proclaim that the end is here or near or around the corner. The introduction of Badges of Justice, Blizzard selling vanity items (to name a few) are some of the issues that people have cried havoc about and let slip the dogs of account cancellation. This happened again with the announcment of Real ID not too long ago and I’ll admit, I once again thought that it wasn’t too bad a system. Even once implemented, I actually enjoyed most of the functionality. It did take away my ability to go bounce around on a lowbie without logging into vent and having that sense of anonymity to it, but it was okay since it wasn’t the end of the world, even though as one of the more knowledgeable members in my group of friends (about the game), some of the newer folks are constantly asking me questions about what this means, or how’d they do that, or which piece of gear is better. Those things get tiresome after a while, and now I have no way to hide from that, but, not the end of the world.
But now the sky is falling. The WoW sky. In order to play this game that we all enjoy, we have to sign the Terms of Service and as such, we declare that we have no right to the in-game stuff and all that techno-babble that most people don’t bother to read. But that does not give you the right to publish my personal information. Period. And this isn’t even some paranoia rant or ‘dual-life’ argument that I’ve read about. I’m not a chick, so I’m not at much risk of being stalked, and I don’t have a really unique name or anything IRL. People that I work with already know about my pastimes and I’m not disadvantaged because of it.
I can understand the need to give Blizzard my information to play their game. That is reasonable to me because when I give them that info I trust that they aren’t going to do anything stupid with it. I trust that they are going to respect my privacy. And this is the part where all the people who disagree with me will say “Oh Noes, but failID is optional, you don’t have to use it.” And yes, that may be true. But if they are willing to let my personal information that I gave to them in trust be published WITHOUT PROVIDING ANY OTHER ALTERNATIVE THAN TO NOT USE IT, than I’m not going to use it.
One more quick little side bar. I only play one MMO at the moment, this one. In fact, I rarely play any other video games at all. Why? Because WoW is where all my friends are, it is fun and interesting and its all I really need as a hobby. But this is going to far for my personal likes. There are plenty of other games out there I can play. I did play Assassin’s Creed II over the Christmas holidays and had a blast with it, despite the fact that its really short, in comparison to something like, say, wow. I stopped playing Oblivion mid-way through completing that game when I started playing wow, and never went back. I have only played Civ III, my all time favorite game ever, a handful of times since I started playing wow, and that game was old faithful for me for so, so many years. There are other options for my gaming time.
As one individual I don’t have very many options to protest Blizzard’s actions. I can’t tell them that in order to get my subscription fees (and numerous server transfers, race/faction changes, character re-customization fees), they need to sign a terms of service with me that says they are not allowed to publish my personal information anywhere without my direct permission. They don’t allow petitions on their forums, so we can’t show our support that way. They didn’t ask us in a poll. They just decided that they needed to make their game more like failbook. And I use failbook, but I use failbook with people who I already know, who already have my information and could get nothing else from it no matter how hard they tried.
So to Blizzard, I say this: My identity has value. It has value to me and you have no right to devalue my personal information by making it available to anyone, anywhere, anytime, in direct violation to the trust I placed in you when I gave you that information. I suppose I could go on paying you each month and then some, but that would just be tacit approval that what you are doing isn’t wrong. And it is wrong. It violates the trust I placed in you and the faith that I’ve had in you ever since I played Diablo 1 oh so many years ago. The only recourse that I have open to me is to tell you that I will stop supporting your company with my hard earned money. That goes for this game and every other game you make. I don’t care how amazing they are, you will not see another penny from me ever again.
That, and what Gnomer said:
FUCK YOU BLIZZARD!
Fikkle and out.