Long a source of rampant trolling and epic flamewars, Blizzard's official World of Warcraft forums will soon be a lot less anonymous. The company announced today that it will be using the Real ID system, which was recently implemented into Battle.net, on its forums. Once Real ID is in place, each catty remark and witty comeback on Blizzard's forums will have the poster's real first and last name attached to it. (Previously, posters could hide behind their in-game character names.)
Real ID will be rolled into WoW's forums by the release of the Cataclysm expansion later this year. Additionally, the system will be added to the StarCraft 2 forums before the game's July 27 launch.
Blizzard's eating its own dog food, too -- its community representatives, previously known only by aliases, will also be posting under their real names. Additionally, forum posts will be subject to a new ranking system, replies to forum threads will be grouped, and Blizzard posters will be able to "broadcast" messages out to everyone on the game's forums. Blizzard says its goal with these changes is to form "a new and different kind of online gaming environment -- one that's highly social, and which provides an ideal place for gamers to form long-lasting, meaningful relationships."