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Odinn

bnet Should The Battle.Net Friend Limit Be Increased?

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12252-should-the-battlenet-friend-limit-

 

The discussion around increasing the Battle.net friend limit (from its current cap of 100) is as old as the Battle.net launcher itself. There are a few main points that get tossed around whenever the conversation comes up, and I wanted to take a moment to address them.

 

So - should the Battle.net friend limit be increased? Can it be increased? I think so, but the objections raised are typically:

 

1. I don't need a bigger friends list.

 

This is the first and most common thing I hear when this gets raised in the community at large. As with many (most?) changes in the Blizzard world, this is an empty point - not every change affects every user. People who only play the single player StarCraft campaign aren't worried about updates to multiplayer balance, but those balance changes are the absolute life of the multiplayer and eSport scene.

 

If you only have 12 friends, an increase to the 100 friend limit doesn't affect you in any way. There is absolutely nothing to be worried about as a typical user. We'll come back to that, though.

 

2. Larger friends lists would cause server strain.

 

This possibility exists, but it also more or less directly contradicts the above argument. It also presupposes that increasing the size of the friends list - say, doubling it to 200 - would be the source of that strain, and not the already millions of people interacting with their smaller friends list. For sake of argument though, this could be a consideration, and is worth addressing.

 

3. The friend list limit exists for user interface reasons.

 

Nope, don't buy it. There isn't a single game client that actually shows all 100 friends simultaneously anyway, so that data's presentation has always involved scrolling. If Blizzard wanted to give people ways to categorize their friends into collapsible groups (the default system only allows you to flag 'Favourites' in Battle.net itself, and the in-game system only distinguishes between Battle.net friends and game-specific friends), that would be a great way to polish up the navigation of the friend list, but sheer number isn't the issue there.

 

4. A 100 friend cap prevents bots from spamming friend requests.

 

Maybe, but there are a lot of vastly more effective ways of preventing that (request frequency controls, etc.). This can also be addressed with a friend limit system, though.

 

app-screen.png

Doesn't look like Ghostcrawler had any friends...

 

Given all of the above - and many positions or contentions I'm sure remain unaddressed - I still believe there is a solution that would meet players' needs, while preventing unnecessary difficulty for Blizzard:

 

Allow verified accounts of a minimum age to increase the size of their friend list at the player's discretion.

 

To clarify:

 

- A 'verified' account could be any account that has a real money purchase history, credit card attached, or other metric of Blizzard's choosing. This generally ensures that only real accounts will receive this option, and not free-to-play, bot, or spam accounts.

 

- A minimum account age helps ensure that the system isn't abused by spammers, bots, etc., and new users are unlikely to need a substantially larger friend list than the current 100 user limit anyway. It would also allow Blizzard to phase this in at a controlled pace, if server strain or issues with in-game interface interactions were serious concerns.

 

- Allowing players to choose whether they want this enabled or not is a courtesy and solves the issue of players who may not want a larger friend list.

 

Blizzard could even choose to make this a one-time account upgrade, possibly with other features, that could even be purchasable if they were concerned about volume.

 

With caveats such as these, I don't see any reason - social, mechanical, abuse prevention, or otherwise - that a larger friends list couldn't be made available for those users who would be able to take advantage of it.

 

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Just add a checkbox that says, "Allow increased number of RealID friends."

 

What are your thoughts? Would you use an increased number of friend slots if you had the option? Do you see any reason not to allow it for people who would?

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I think they should give people the option. If you hit the limit maybe you could "apply" for more?

 

I remember reading something a while ago about the number of hunter pets you could keep in your stable.  I'm sure the response was it wasn't worth the effort or the resources to increase the capacity just for the odd one or two hunters that really LOVED collecting pets.

 

I'm not sure Blizzard would ever see a demand to actually get around to doing it though!

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I didn't realize a cap existed, but I currently have only a few friends in my list. I doubt I'll ever need an increased number of slots, so I don't expect this issue to ever affect me personally. Having said that, I can see why certain individuals would want more than 100 friends. As Peelyon mentioned, I think it comes down to whether or not the demand exists. If there is enough demand, I would expect Blizzard to make the change. Allowing players the option to increase the limit once the limit is met would be great customer service. Concerns about server strain or spamming can easily be addressed as Odinn explained, so I don't think those are real issues. The real issue to me is economics. If the demand exists, the supply will change to accommodate it.

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Yes, it should be raised higher; if not for any other reason than the fact that WoW, and really all games from Blizzard, rely heavily on player interaction and social aspects to coordinate mutual goals.

 

Personally, I wasn't aware that there was a limit of 100. I was under the impression that adding people's Battle.net name meant that there was no limit. So yeah... there really shouldn't be a limit IMO.

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