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Blizzard Introduces BattleTag as Real ID Alternative

By - Source: Blizzard | B 33 comments

Blizzard has killed off the Real ID system for an Xbox LIVE-like BattleTag alias setup.

On Thursday Blizzard introduced BattleTags, a new method of identification that doesn't require players to display their real names across the entire Battle.net landscape. More specifically, it's a unified, player-chosen nickname that will identify each player in all Blizzard games, on the official websites and in the community forums.

In a post on the Diablo 3 website, Blizzard said it will begin testing in the next patch for the Diablo 3 beta test, adding basic in-game functionality like chatting and friends list support. However as of Thursday, players can now create and use their BattleTag when posting on the Diablo 3 community website. Eventually BattleTags will encompass the entire Battle.net community -- World of Warcraft, StarCraft 2 -- at a later, unspecified date.

"BattleTags will ultimately give players on Battle.net a new way to manage public profiles, find and chat with friends they've met while playing, form groups, and stay connected across multiple Blizzard games," the company said. "While most of these features are coming soon, players who wish to pick a BattleTag now can do so via Battle.net Account Management. Note that BattleTags are not unique, meaning multiple players can choose the same BattleTag."

Blizzard's new BattleTag system is in response to complaints over its previous cross-game friend system, Real ID. This system actually forced users to provide their real name with everyone on their friends list, thus raising privacy concerns, especially in regards to those under the age of 18. Blizzard killed the requirement to use real names on the Battle.net forums just three days after Real ID launched, and then later provided a means for Blizzard customers to opt-out, letting them skip Real ID altogether.

Blizzard's new BattleTags identifier seemingly borrows from Microsoft's Xbox Live where users choose one alias that's used across the board. "We look forward to sharing more about all of the ways they’ll help you connect and play in the months ahead," the company said without disclosing additional details. "Stay tuned to Blizzard's official community sites for further details."

Blizzard has provided an FAQ which can be accessed here. It points out that the BattleTag isn't unique, but rather is "automatically assigned a 4-digit BattleTag code, which combines with your chosen name to create a unique identifier."

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  • -6 Hide
    shin0bi272 , December 17, 2011 6:32 PM
    having to have a 4digit code attached to my name just makes this lame. All they have to do is have me pick my handle, assign my player profile a 16 digit guid that's not displayed on my name but is associated with it, and then I can do anything on any blizzard game with one name and possibly even save my configs etc to a cloud storage system.
  • 1 Hide
    halls , December 17, 2011 6:37 PM
    The RealID system didn't show your full name to all your friends, just the ones that you shared your B.net e-mail address with. You could still add in-game friends, but they couldn't see if you were signed into another Blizzard game - RealID friends can.

    Been playing the Beta for D3 and it's extremely fun. Can't wait!
  • 3 Hide
    wildkitten , December 17, 2011 6:48 PM
    shin0bi272having to have a 4digit code attached to my name just makes this lame. All they have to do is have me pick my handle, assign my player profile a 16 digit guid that's not displayed on my name but is associated with it, and then I can do anything on any blizzard game with one name and possibly even save my configs etc to a cloud storage system.

    Actually the 4 digit code won't be displayed.
  • -2 Hide
    kcorp2003 , December 17, 2011 6:51 PM
    All the attention focus is on Origin now. I remember when Battlenet and Steam was an issue.
    However i really want to play this game. I'm almost done with Skyrim, waiting for mass effect 3 to finish the epic fight :) 
  • -7 Hide
    wildkitten , December 17, 2011 6:51 PM
    For Blizzard to have done this, Real ID must have been a failure or else Facebook would be opposing this vehemently. The question is will they let Real ID die like they should, I will they try to implement it in some other way.
  • 1 Hide
    doorspawn , December 17, 2011 7:47 PM
    kcorp2003*ahem* in4b the fanboys. NO BUY IF ITS NOT ON STEAM....

    How can you be before yourself? Steam fanboys are as bad. DRM lovers all.
  • 8 Hide
    doorspawn , December 17, 2011 7:50 PM
    NO BUY IF NO OFFLINE SOLO AND LAN.

    See, not all fanboys are bad.
  • -5 Hide
    doorspawn , December 17, 2011 7:53 PM
    Actually, no buy fullstop if we're talking D3. It's like WoW minus MMO, free-look, complexity, with a smaller world and RL-money-for-functional-items. It has better graphics, but that's all.
  • -2 Hide
    enkichild , December 17, 2011 9:25 PM
    woot I got my nickname, thanks Tom!
  • -1 Hide
    Benihana , December 17, 2011 9:30 PM
    Just to point out, but Blizzard has not "killed off the Real ID system". From the FAQ link posted in the article:


    "Do BattleTags replace Real ID? Can I create new Real ID friendships?

    BattleTags are a new feature separate from Real ID. Real ID will continue to work as it always has, and you can continue to create Real ID friendships with people you know in real life."
  • 1 Hide
    tuch92 , December 17, 2011 9:39 PM
    And for half a second I thought they were saying you could use your Battletag as a "real ID" in real life.
    "Sir, can I have your license, registration, and Battletag?"
  • 0 Hide
    alidan , December 17, 2011 10:13 PM
    i dont understand what was bad about real id... can someone tell me?

    i mean seriously my name is kyle harder in real life, and im as much a prick to people online as i am in real life.

    realistically, you cant find me if you are casual about it, but if you want you could search my name enough to find aliases attached to it, and honestly anyone can do this with enough work, and find out where i live... my information has been on the internet sense i was 10... are people really worried about others to the extent that their real name cant be used on a forum... realistically, id theft is about the only thing you should worry about, and most of that happens through dumpster diving and other things you have no control over.
  • -3 Hide
    sykozis , December 17, 2011 10:47 PM
    kcorp2003*ahem* in4b the fanboys. NO BUY IF ITS NOT ON STEAM....

    Your post makes no sense. Unless you're trying to tell us all that you're the first fanboy to post....

    Not sure why people's lives revolve around steam, but I'll stick to buying directly from Blizzard....
  • 2 Hide
    alidan , December 17, 2011 11:21 PM
    sykozisYour post makes no sense. Unless you're trying to tell us all that you're the first fanboy to post....Not sure why people's lives revolve around steam, but I'll stick to buying directly from Blizzard....


    i wont not buy it from blizzard if i get it, but i would rather have it on steam, you know, keeping my collection in one place and all.
  • 1 Hide
    jezus53 , December 18, 2011 12:51 AM
    alidani wont not buy it from blizzard if i get it, but i would rather have it on steam, you know, keeping my collection in one place and all.


    Yeah, on a disc, in my room...
  • -4 Hide
    wildkitten , December 18, 2011 3:05 AM
    BenihanaJust to point out, but Blizzard has not "killed off the Real ID system". From the FAQ link posted in the article:"Do BattleTags replace Real ID? Can I create new Real ID friendships?BattleTags are a new feature separate from Real ID. Real ID will continue to work as it always has, and you can continue to create Real ID friendships with people you know in real life."

    No one has suggested they have killed of Real ID. But Real ID was done in partnership with Facebook. Facebook was making money off it. For Blizzard to implement a parallel service but using aliases has to mean Real ID has not been as successful as they wanted, in other words not being used by that many people, or Facebook would have vehemently opposed Blizzard creating competition to it.

    And the fact is, if you know anything about Real ID you know Blizzard has always been hypocritical about the "it's for real life friends and family" argument. In the Blizzcon announcement they suggest using it with guildies, in the patch notes that introduced Real ID into the game they say to use it to "form friendships" inside the game. Now, forming a friendship means making a NEW friend. How do you form a friendship where one already exists? Not to mention the friends of friends feature was not optional when Real ID came out. Then they were going to force it's use on the forums. Is everyone who uses the WoW forums either real life friends or family? I don't think so.

    So this entire Battle Tags has been done because it's a lot closer to what people really wanted.
  • -2 Hide
    stoogie , December 18, 2011 3:09 AM
    This battletag may be good, i mean with it we can have multiple characters with the same name as they are linked to your 'battletag' which is 1 name, instead of having different names for every character WHICH I HATE!!!
  • -4 Hide
    wildkitten , December 18, 2011 3:27 AM
    alidani dont understand what was bad about real id... can someone tell me?i mean seriously my name is kyle harder in real life, and im as much a prick to people online as i am in real life. realistically, you cant find me if you are casual about it, but if you want you could search my name enough to find aliases attached to it, and honestly anyone can do this with enough work, and find out where i live... my information has been on the internet sense i was 10... are people really worried about others to the extent that their real name cant be used on a forum... realistically, id theft is about the only thing you should worry about, and most of that happens through dumpster diving and other things you have no control over.


    It was never about ID theft. It was about using real names serves no purpose. It was about Blizzard being hypocritical about the whole "it's for real life friends and family" argument and them never using it.

    Honestly, name just one thing where a real name is useful over an alias? There is none. Does your real life friends and family not already know who you are? They should. Not to mention, if you only use it for real life friends and family, that means only a very small portion of the community could ever make use of the service, so what was the point?

    And several people during the whole initial debate on the subject gave out their real names too thinking because they couldn't find themselves on a Google search, that was the only way they could be found. Well, there are plenty of people search sites out there, free ones too. Several who gave out their real names being all cocky like you just were, ended up getting a call just minutes later from people saying "Hi, guess what, you can be found".

    And if you play WoW you know there are a number of jerks who get angry, seriously angry, over nothing. It will only take one person being hurt over something game related for Blizzard to be in seriously legal trouble. So that goes back to the fact that there just serves no good purpose to using real names.

    There was only ever one reason they used real names and that was because of their partnership with Facebook. Read any article even here on Tom's and you will see how Facebook is all about ending anonymity. And, if you read Blizzard's privacy policy, if you use Real ID, Blizzard can share your information with Facebook who then can turn around and sell it to marketers as they are not bound by Blizzard's agreements with their customers.
  • 4 Hide
    alidan , December 18, 2011 4:14 AM
    jezus53Yeah, on a disc, in my room...

    cant play it off line, whats the point of have a disc?

    wildkittenIt was never about ID theft. It was about using real names serves no purpose. It was about Blizzard being hypocritical about the whole "it's for real life friends and family" argument and them never using it.Honestly, name just one thing where a real name is useful over an alias? There is none. Does your real life friends and family not already know who you are? They should. Not to mention, if you only use it for real life friends and family, that means only a very small portion of the community could ever make use of the service, so what was the point?And several people during the whole initial debate on the subject gave out their real names too thinking because they couldn't find themselves on a Google search, that was the only way they could be found. Well, there are plenty of people search sites out there, free ones too. Several who gave out their real names being all cocky like you just were, ended up getting a call just minutes later from people saying "Hi, guess what, you can be found".And if you play WoW you know there are a number of jerks who get angry, seriously angry, over nothing. It will only take one person being hurt over something game related for Blizzard to be in seriously legal trouble. So that goes back to the fact that there just serves no good purpose to using real names.There was only ever one reason they used real names and that was because of their partnership with Facebook. Read any article even here on Tom's and you will see how Facebook is all about ending anonymity. And, if you read Blizzard's privacy policy, if you use Real ID, Blizzard can share your information with Facebook who then can turn around and sell it to marketers as they are not bound by Blizzard's agreements with their customers.


    not cocky, just dont care...
    most people who get angry in an online setting, are being made angry by a douche bag...

    take everquest, in its peak, people would train your camp area to kill your group off and take it for themselves. its not funny just annoying, people generally don't get angry if you don't screw them over.

    that said i could see one psycho killing a kid over loot they ninjad

    but at the same time, its not hard to find people over aliases.

    if the facebook crap was true... well its annoying, but its not that bad. i dont use facebook, and i hate it, but some people just take their not likening it to a retarded extent.

    they sell my infromation and what i look at... o well, they are giving me how good of a free service in return? i dont like it but some people couldn't live without it anymore.
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