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Privacy Role Playing (Games)

Blizzard Exposes Detailed WoW Character Data 233

Gavin Scott writes "Blizzard has introduced a new web site called the Armory which lets you get information on any World of Warcraft character, extracted from their live databases, in near real-time. This exposes a great deal of information that was not previously obtainable including profession choices, skill levels for all skills, and the character's complete talent specification and all faction reputation data, along with all gear currently equipped. The complete roster of any guild or arena team is also available. Some players are upset about this, such as arena PvP teams who now have all their gear and talent choices exposed to the world, or players with non-standard or less-popular talent choices who fear they will have difficulty getting into pickup groups now that people can instantly find out everything about them. Are these complaints fair? Blizzard claims to own all the data and the characters, but at what point does this data represent personal choices and information about their players which would be covered by their own privacy policy? In a virtual society, should people be able to present a view of themselves that differs from (virtual) reality, or should all details be exposed?"
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Blizzard Exposes Detailed WoW Character Data

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  • Me (Score:5, Informative)

    by friedmud ( 512466 ) on Thursday March 01, 2007 @07:37PM (#18200904)
    I just took a look at my own character: .xml?r=Thunderhorn&n=Friedmud []

    I personally really like it. I've used similar services in the past (Allakhazam / Thottbot)... but they left a lot to be desired.

    I often want to check what people in my group have both gear and talent wise, so I know what I'm supposed to be doing. For instance, I'm a full Prot spec warrior (as you can see on my page above)... so my main purpose in life is tanking and holding aggro... so I really need to know if that other warrior in my group is also full prot-spec and maybe has better gear/talents for holding aggro... 'cause then I can defer to him. Sure we could sit around and talk about it for a long time (which is what goes on now for the most part)... but it would be a lot simpler to just look him up and compare our stats....

    Anyway... I think people that get overly worked up about this are just too damn serious about the game... it's just that, a GAME! Cool off and go kill something....

  • by Sciros ( 986030 ) on Thursday March 01, 2007 @07:46PM (#18201020) Journal
    Guild Wars has had "observer mode" up and running for a long time now. That lets you see not only the top guild's skill builds, but their strategy! You know how they act and react, and you learn *when* to use the skills they bring.

    Yet, the top guilds remain the top guilds because they're just better at doing what they do than anyone else. So, top WoW PVP folks should probably just have more confidence in their own abilities ^_^
  • by synoptism ( 1054066 ) on Thursday March 01, 2007 @08:11PM (#18201294)
    See the third-party addon SuperInspect []. While at the time of inspecting a player you must be within a 5 yard radius, it won't close if the player moves away. It also supports caching of the most recently inspected players as well as summarizes bonuses and statistics gained from items and weapons.
  • Privacy policy (Score:3, Informative)

    by TubeSteak ( 669689 ) on Thursday March 01, 2007 @08:15PM (#18201356) Journal

    Blizzard claims to own all the data and the characters, but at what point does this data represent personal choices and information about their players which would be covered by their own privacy policy?
    1. Blizzard does own all the data and characters
    2. The privacy policy covers stuff like name, age, date of birth, gender, home address, phone number, e-mail address, survey information, etc.

    I don't see how any of that was disclosed.

    What if I have a question or complaint?
    If you have any questions or wish to file a complaint, please feel free to e-mail us at, call us at (949) 955-1382, or send a letter addressed to Blizzard Entertainment Privacy Policy, Attention: Privacy Policy Administrator, at 6060 Center Drive, 5th Floor, Los Angeles, California 90045.
  • Re:Bad Idea (Score:4, Informative)

    by Barny ( 103770 ) <> on Thursday March 01, 2007 @10:46PM (#18202766) Journal
    There was a add on for dark age of Camelot (heavy pvp game) that scanned the incoming data and got the name, did a http lookup on the server to get info on level, class, amount of kills, etc and would then feed it back into the game as a graphic floating above the players head, expect similar for WoW when the pvpers get wind of this, the DaoC version is of course banned and if you are caught with it you will be suspended.
  • by crabpeople ( 720852 ) on Friday March 02, 2007 @06:45PM (#18212938) Journal
    You mean like this? []

    Its a bar graph but its been online for a long ass time. I used it back when I use to play wow.

"What the scientists have in their briefcases is terrifying." -- Nikita Khrushchev