BattleTag

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The BattleTag is a player-created name that serves as your Battle.net title. It is used in all Blizzard games, as well as on their forums and community websites. Players create a name of up to 12 characters, and this becomes their official title on Battle.net. Your BattleTag is what other players see on your Diablo III characters, and what appears on their Friends List.


BattleTags Introduced[edit]

The BattleTag was introduced in December 2011.[1]

A BattleTag is a unified, player-chosen nickname that will identify you across all of Battle.net -- in Blizzard Entertainment games, on our official websites, and in our community forums. Similar to the Real ID system, BattleTags will ultimately give players on Battle.net a new way to manage public profiles, find and chat with friends they've met while playing, form groups, and stay connected across multiple Blizzard games.

The BattleTag system is an evolution from the Real ID system Blizzard attempted to introduce in early 2011, until massive fan outcry over the privacy issues forced Blizzard to rework it.


Changing Your BattleTag[edit]

In response to fan requests, Blizzard enabled a BattleTag name change in April 2012. They said it was one time only per account, and urged fans to choose wisely.[2]

Another one-time amnesty was rolled out a month later, as fans found how important BattleTags were in game (they show the vast majority of the time when online, with specific character names seldom displayed) and petitioned for another change opportunity. They got it, with an announcement on May 17th just two days after Diablo III's release. [3]

During the Diablo III Open Beta Weekend in April, a number of players opted to use their one free BattleTag nickname change in order to try to participate in the beta test. We recognize that in their excitement to try to get into the game, some players did not fully realize how BattleTags would integrate with Diablo III or that the number of free changes was limited, and they ended up choosing nicknames that they weren’t happy with.

To help address these concerns, we've done a one-time refresh of the free BattleTag name change feature on all Battle.net accounts, so that everyone once again has one free BattleTag name change to use at their discretion.

This means that if you already used your original free change, you will now have another opportunity to change your BattleTag nickname. If you did not use your free BattleTag name change or have not yet created a BattleTag, you will still only be able to change your BattleTag once for free.


Player Opinion[edit]

While most players liked the functions and convenience of one BattleTag, there were many complaints about the lack of character customization or identity. BattleTags display always in-game, so whether your friend is playing his Wizard, Barbarian, Monk, etc, all you ever see is the same BattleTag.

After numerous complaints about this during the Beta test, Bashiok offered a ray of hope by saying that the system was under review and the final game should offer more options for character name display.[4]

You’ve been heard! There’s a clean up pass coming for BattleTag in the near-ish future that should resolve most of the issues with a BattleTag being displayed instead of a character name, or a character name not being displayed at all. I think it may also line up with some fixes for BattleTags here on the forums. BattleTag is still intended to be your big overarching account-wide identifier that will follow you from Blizzard game to Blizzard game, but individual character identity is still obviously very important.

That turned out not to be the case, as a month later Blizzard announced no changes to the system.[5]

While you’ll be able to see your own character name (and while there will be situations when other players can see your character’s name, too), your BattleTag nickname will be your primary form of identification. It’s what players will see both in Public Games and most prominently in the friends list.

Lylirra, can we get some clarification on where character names show up vs. Battletag?

Sure thing! When Diablo III launches, your character name will be visible to you in a variety of locations including the character selection screen and game menu. For other players, your character’s name will only appear within your player profile, as hover text the friends list, and when your character participates in quest dialog. In every other context, your BattleTag will be shown.


Fan Preference[edit]

After the above news, leading fansite Diablo.IncGamers.com ran a poll to get to the bottom of fan opinion. The results showed a clear preference for character names over BattleTags:[6]

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



Adding Friends[edit]

The BattleTag FAQ answers this question neatly enough.

To add a friend via their BattleTag manually in the Diablo III beta client, simply type their BattleTag and code (e.g. DemonStomper#1537) into the Add a Friend field in the Add Friend interface. This will send the player a BattleTag friend request; if the other player accepts your request, your BattleTags will appear on each other’s friends lists.


BattleTag Name Limitations[edit]

Since the BattleTag system debuted during the Diablo 3 Beta, D3 beta testers were among the first people to use the system. Most fans liked the design and concept, but quite a few ran into problems[7] when trying to create their BattleTag, due to the strict naming policy. It's very easy to hit upon a name that's not allowed, and as there is no explanation offered, players just have to keep trying different names until they find one that's permitted.

Blizzard's support page can be seen here; it lists the dozens of categories of names that are not permitted, which include many vague umbrella terms, including the following:

  • Have any racial/ethnic connotations.
  • Are inappropriate references to human anatomy or bodily functions.
  • Insultingly refer to other characters, players, Blizzard employees, or groups of people, be they in the game or external.
  • The names of any customer support representative or employee of Blizzard Entertainment (Both real names and aliases.)
  • Are mildly inappropriate references to human anatomy or bodily functions.
  • Are references to illegal drugs or activities.
  • Have neutral or positive racial/ethnic/national connotations.
  • Are otherwise considered inappropriate for the game world.
  • Are trademarked/licensed by a company or an individual.

Blizzard obviously had to stake out a vast area of forbidden names, to give them wiggle room in the future. That said, the banned terms are so extensive and vague that potentially anything could be disallowed. After all, no one could possibly know the real names and aliases of every single Blizzard employee, much less every obscene slang word in every language on Earth, or every trademarked company name.

Fans can only hope that Blizzard employs some discretion in assembling their banned name list, and that there's some built in mechanism to automatically switch friends over to a new name, should one in use be deemed inappropriate.