Blizzard is going to start requiring real names on the World of Warcraft and other battle.net forums, using RealID, a move echoing the optional use of RealID in-game. This could be good and bad. Most people are making comments on the various blogs and news outlets I've read are complaining about the lack of privacy, the potential for legitimate posters to be stalked or trolled in other venues as "bad people" find out who they are.
My reaction? Yawn.
I haven't even looked at the forums in ages, mostly because I could never find any useful information there. Forums by their nature are very disorganized at best, with posts and threads following the latest fad topic. At worst they are full of the sort of trolls and flame wars that Blizzard apparently is trying to get rid of. Sadly, despite the best efforts of some really great people I am sure, the vast majority of WoW players never go to the forums, for various reasons. This new requirement to use RealID is just one more reason to stay away.
Give me WoWHead or WoW.com any day. Give me something I can use.
BTW, is it not AWESOME that people are using WoW as the basis for doctoral dissertations?