Blizzard brings Balance and Battletags to Battle.net

Blizzard Entertainment has been steadily updating the Battle.net online multiplayer service recently, presumably in anticipation of Diablo 3's release next year. Last week, the company introduced what it's calling the Battle.net Balance, a currency total stored on its servers that players can use to pay for Blizzard items -- from a World of Warcraft subscription to in-game items and plushies in the company store. This is where funds not translated directly into cash will go from the real money auction house in Diablo 3, whenever it arrives.

Today, Blizzard introduced the BattleTag system, which is a specific public username that will identify players publicly on Battle.net services (similar to Xbox Live's Gamertag name). This is likely the compromise Blizzard came up with over its controversial Real ID service, which was originally meant to utilize real player names.

BattleTags are not unique, but players will have a number in their public profiles that will let you identify just which "touchFuzzygetDizzy" you're talking to. BattleTags will appear first in the Diablo 3 beta, and get used in all of Blizzard's games and services sometime after that.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.