Vote: Character Names or BattleTags?

I’d been looking for a good vote topic to fill the rest of this week, before we launch the final and definitive “which class will you play first” vote for D-Day, next Monday. And thanks to the CMs telling us that character names will be almost unseen in Diablo III, we’ve got a controversy to argue over! Our news post has over 100 replies and Raesane’s forum thread on the same issue has even more replies.

Hardly anyone is arguing against the function of the BattleTag, and most players like the convenience of one ID that links to an account. The complaints seem to be more about style and immersion — players want to see their own character names and those of other players — Kromtarg the Barbarian! Esslivia the Wizard! Not “RalphSmith#8731” the Demon Hunter.

On the other hand, a lot of players say they don’t care about character names, and prefer to avoid any confusion and just see the BattleTag always on display. Which are you? Pick a vote option and we’ll see how this issue breaks down.

Do you prefer to see Character Names or BattleTags?

  • 1) Character name should display in-game and chat. (43%, 2,436 Votes)
  • 3) Give players the option of which to display and view. (32%, 1,787 Votes)
  • 2) BattleTag should display in-game and chat. (15%, 858 Votes)
  • 4) Don't care/no opinion. (10%, 576 Votes)

Total Voters: 5,646

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Last Vote Results

The last vote measured fan interest in playing DiabloWikiHardcore, and showed that a strong majority of you guys are least curious to try it out. I was a little surprised that only 8% said they planned to go HC exclusively, but props to those who will, for that is a harsh path to follow.

Will you play Hardcore in Diablo III?

  • 2) Yes, but I’ll play normal mode also. (33%, 2,831 Votes)
  • 3) Possibly? I’m a little HCurious. (26%, 2,218 Votes)
  • 4) Probably not. (22%, 1,884 Votes)
  • 5) No way. Not even once. (11%, 902 Votes)
  • 1) Yes, exclusively. (8%, 659 Votes)
  • Total Voters: 8,494

    Tagged As: | Categories:, Diabloii.Net Votes


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    1. Christ, now Blizzard has taken away character names?  Why don’t they take the fillings out of our %@#$ teeth too!

    2. How about an option for showing them both at the same time?

      • I agree, it should display something like:

        ZombieSlayer (pinkwinky#12345) has joined the game

      • exactly what i was about to write. BOTH: “Character Name (BattleTag)”

      • blizzard just told us very recently that too many options displayed are not good for us and therefore more features will not be implemented. it would be too confusing for all the 5 retards that will play D3. 

    3. I noticed this almost imediatley when playing the open beta. On one hand it doesn’t really matter because it doesn’t affect anything gameplay wise, but on the other hand it makes selecting a character name next to useless. The only time I seen my character name mentioned was during NPC dialog. Now every one I meet in game will call me by my real name because thats my battletag. I don’t have any major issues with this but I can understand why some people would have a problem.
      The worst part is no one will know my awesome character names like VooDude the Witch Doctor lol.

    4. “I was a little surprised that only 8% said they planned to go HC exclusively”
      I imagine that has a lot to do with not being able to play lag free offline HC.

      • Or, you know, maybe it’s simply because it’s Hardcore. 🙂

      • I think the keyword is “exclusively”. I like both; they are two different games. Softcore lets you take a “rest day”. Drink some wine, muck about, and not have to get deeply into the zone. Just the thing after concentrating at work all day. 

        Hardcore is for when I’m feeling focussed and want to get fully engaged with the game. 

      • No he surprised that there’s even 8% who are going HC only.
        Edit to fix spelling.

    5. I think in game lobby chat should just show battle tag. In game chat and displays should show both battle tag and character name, e.g. Conan(tritium.1234).
      I can see their reasons for primarily relying on battle tag, but they simply aren’t making the character name meaningful enough. If I know my barbarian as Conan, I want my friends to also know him as Conan and not just as “tritium’s barbarian”. Just having his name visible to them on some website or occasional in game NPC interactions is not enough for this and takes away from the immersion into the game.
      Ok, so maybe displaying the character name in in-game chat isn’t all that necessary, but I seriously would like it at least included with the battle tag when hovering over the portrain of your allies or over your banner in game, as well as in announcements such as when you join or leave the game.

      • What this guy said 🙂  Names displayed in-game, battletags just for announcements, lobby chat and as a tool tip when you hover over banner or portrait.
        What is the point of naming your character if no one will see this name anyway.

    6. Initially, I was disappointed about Blizzard’s decision to roll with Battletags instead of character names.  But after thinking about it for a bit, I now agree with their viewpoint.

      I think that while we’ll be re-rolling characters in D3 far less often than in D2 (at least most of us), I do think that D3 characters will still have a more transient existence than a character in WoW, for example.  So going by Battletag seems to make sense.

      It also circumvents a lot of potentially-annoying issues like logging out and back in with a different character.  I think that the benefits outweigh not being able to see your character’s name in multiplayer games.  Besides, you actually still CAN see it – just not in every situation. 

    7. I don’t remember seeing the numbers next to peoples names in the beta

      • I was just thinking the same thing. If there are no numbers then you still have to ask them what their battle tag is, which doesn’t make it any easier to add people than if it were character names. In my case I don’t even remember what damn numbers it gave me.
        Maybe I am missing something but they said they did this to make it easier and less confusing? how so?

        • If you meet someone in-game, you can just right-click their portrait to add them as a friend – no number required.

          If you have met someone outside the game that you want to play with, you’ll either need their Battle Tag with number or their e-mail address to add them as a RealID friend. 

          • Thanks for clearing that up, I wouldn’t want to mislead people. The only people I added in the beta were people I actually know so I just used emails. Its good to know it wont be a hassle to add people.

        • IIRC the only time you need the numbers is when you add someone to your friends list from outside the game; IRL friends, people from the forums, … The rest is all done in game by right clicking on portraits / recently played / chat / lobby / … No numbers are needed, no battle tag, no character name, just clicking. So this shouldn’t tip the scales either way.

          Also you are dealing with accounts not individual characters on friends / ignore lists so no need to add each alt individually. In WoW people had to deal with 25-40 men raids and numerous alts. Surely we can easily manage 4 men groups and half as many classes. Not to mention real ID made the task trivial and identifying an unknown character is as easy as moving your mouse over the portrait.

          I just don’t see the reason for using battle tags. Both solutions let us display the same name on all characters if we so wish, but only one lets us display individual names. After the negative feedback they got in the beta and the threadnought on the forums I don’t understand why they keep insisting we should give it a try. We already have. Not like it’s a complex feature that has to be seen to be appreciated.

          • I gave some “negative feedback” on this issue during the beta, but only because it was inconsistent. My problem was that in some areas they displayed the character name, but in others they used the Battle Tag. So, for example, you’d see a person’s Battle Tag under their portrait, but when you hovered over banners to teleport to someone you’d see them listed by character name, and it was fairly confusing. They fixed that, so I’m happy.

      • The numerical section of the Battle Tag does not display in-game. I’m not sure if Flux’s “RalphSmith#8731” example is intentionally trying to mislead people into thinking that it will, a hyperbolic falsehood to try to show that the Battle Tag system isn’t as bad as some people are making it out to be, or if he just threw that in not realizing that people who haven’t yet seen the system in action will see what he wrote and believe that’s how it will look in-game.

    8. I like the idea someone else mentioned at one point: display the character name and display their Battle tag in parentheses after/below.  

      • On your friends list it shows the battle tag, with “Playing as [CharacterName].”

        Personally I think having huge parenthetical names in-game would create too much clutter in the chat window.

    9. They obviously knew this issue was going to be a shit storm because they recently gave everyone 1 free B-Tag name change.

    10. “Kromtarg the Barbarian! Esslivia the Wizard! Not “RalphSmith#8731? the Demon Hunter.”
      Yeah, because everyone knows that you can’t name your characters xXxLeggolasz35xXx anymore. 🙂

    11. I think the poll might have been more telling if option #3 – giving players the option to do what they want – wasn’t there. It’s a big grey area between the two preferences, and we won’t really know which system any of the people who voted for that option actually prefer. Not to mention that it would take extra development time to implement, and that the option as-written seems a bit strange (why would you need both “display as” and “view as” options? One would override the other anyway).

      Just my two cents’ worth; I know you get a lot of flack for these polls already, and I don’t just mean to troll. 

      • I think another great poll would have been:

        So seriously, do you actually roleplay in Diablo? Hah!
        1) No, of course not. Diablo is basically an action game where you choose a pre-defined character.
        2) Yes. I write up several pages of character history for my Barbarian and Demon Hunter and when I go on Skype to play with friends I do different voices for each of them and everything because they’re totally different characters.

        • Sorry to burst your bubble, but aRPGs really aren’t role-playing games. They’re just action games with stats. It’s not any different from choosing weapons in a FPS.
          You want role-play? You need choices. At least some measure of them.
          And no, tactics and strategy don’t count as choices. It counts as tactics and strategy.

    12. i would like both to display in game. character names should be the default but upon mouse over the character or something, the battle tag should be shown.

    13. Format should be:

      (Character Name)

    14. Can we re-do the voting categories?

      I think there should be a category for showing both at once such as in D2 char/account names.

      Also, I think the battletag vs character name preference should be decoupled when talking about in-game vs chat. I think the in-game portraits should show character name only with a mouse-over that shows battletag. However, the chat interface should show either <char name>(battletag) or JUST battletag.

       captcha: end of story

      • I meant #3 as a “show one or the other or both” sort of option, since that’s pretty clearly the optimal compromise solution, but I could have worded that more clearly.

        The problem is vote options have to be very short and to the point, and if one option said “both” then there would be a ton of comments saying, “I want the option to display both some of the time, but don’t want both clogging up the friends list or chat channels.” Which is a valid point, but one that can’t really be parsed out with 5 versions of what “both” means in a 6 word vote option.

    15. The thing that irritated me the most during the beta was the in-game chat showing character names, while the avatar showed the battletag. To find out who the f* I was talking to I had to first look at the banners and hope that all were different classes, then I had to look at a banner to see what class that charname was and then compare with avatar/battletag. If I was in combat though I had no clue to whom I was speaking. Or did I miss something essential here?

    16. I don’t care but now that you put up the option it sounds like a good idea to display the character name when you play the game..inventory, screen, character screen and all that and while chatting you show the id name so your friends reqognize you.
      I dunno, just an idea, doesn’t seem like a such a big deal to me.

    17. Not a good poll, bro!

      I don’t really like Battle Tags right now but I understand them, and I think in time they may prove the better option once we get used to them. I know a lot of times in the past the unique character names caused me problems because I couldn’t find the person I was looking for even though I knew they were on-line, or times where I wanted to block players or wanted to report them but I couldn’t because they would just log in with a new lvl 1 characters and continue harassing people. Your poll is about selecting one or the other, either black or white, and I’m saying right now there is a lot of in-between,  and I’m not at all convinced one way or the other on Battle Tags effectiveness at this point. It’s just too soon to know!

      At any rate, I’ll reserve my opinion on Battle Tags for now. Once I’ve had the chance to use them in-game for some time I’ll be able to figure out for myself which one is the better option. Personally, I think you should try this poll again in maybe June or July.


    18. Can we ignore this stupid issue and get back to the real issue at hand, “The Chosen” sigil and Feat of Strength, y’know, like Blizzard intended. 

    19. This is a cynical, but entirely justified, change.

      This is not an RPG. Noone cares about “character identity” or anything else other than the power of the loot you can amass with the character. Perhaps you’ll enjoy the storyline the first time you play the first out of 4 mandatory difficulty levels, but next time you just try and find a way to rush and completely ignore the story in favour of loot grinding. If the best builds are dumb or silly in some way (cfr Culwen’s Point sorcs in early D2, Shaco) then even more immersion goes out the window.

      In the end, your character is just a collection of X dps, Y health and Z magic find. You can even switch out your skills on the fly.

      While people may not like this decision /right now/, character names will be completely irrelevant after the first time you pretend to care about the story, and then the convenience of having them all under one account name beats the very minimal benefit of attaching a name to your frenzy barb, sorry I mean just “barb” with the same items as everyone else.

      I voted “it doesn’t matter”.

    20. Oh theres one thing I just relized that makes a mockery of Blizzards goals with this system..
      They said it lets you identify a player right? But since there can bean  infinite number of people with the same tag with a hidden number to show the difference surely it will end up being more confusing than not having the tag.
      So lets say there 4 guys with the tag Flux and 5 with the tag Rockman etc how do you tell who who? The problem gets worse if you make friends with Flux#123 and Flux#245 (its a possibility that it will happen).

      • It’s not infinite. Every Battletag ends with a 4 digit number 0000-9999 that is randomly assigned. So, you can only have 10,000 people with the same name. 😉

    21. I personally would prefer to have character names only in-game and the ability to mouse over character portraits and banners to see their battletag name (not number) and battletag names in public chat and when chatting with people on your friends list out-of-game.

    22. Don’t matter, just give me the game on Tuesday so I can be on my loot finding adventure.

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