Friday, January 22, 2010

Armory RSS Feeds are a good idea

The changes to the Armory, and the included RSS feeds that track almost everything you do in game, aren’t exactly ‘new’. They’ve been covered to death around the blogsphere, and the overwhelming majority of posts I’ve seen on the subject seem to think it’s an invasion of privacy. Or at the very least a very bad idea.

One topic that I haven’t seen mentioned yet is the number one reason WHY this could be a good idea.

Account Security – or more precisely – Account Recovery

Now the RSS feed, in and of itself, will do nothing to help protect your account. I’m of the opinion that playing without an authenticator these days is like playing Russian roulette. Sure, you may come up empty for a long time, but eventually you’re going to hit the triple cherry and cash in for the big prize.

What the RSS feed could do however, is alert you to any activity on your account. Anyone with a smart phone (should have an authenticator already) can setup a reader to get this feed. As long as nothing’s going on with your account, you won’t be bothered. As soon as things start happening though, you’ll at least be warned.

Now I don’t know if the RSS feed provides this level of detail yet. I honestly haven’t looked that closely at it. If it only tracks achievements, boss’s killed, etc – then it’s not worth having. If it tracked every time you logged in though (and that’s really all you’d need), you could easily tell when someone had accessed your account.

Obviously this knowledge isn’t going to prevent them from stripping your account and leaving you naked in the Barrens (why do they do that I wonder), but at the very least you can start the process of changing your password, notifying account administration, and possibly letting your guild know. It’s certainly better than logging on before a raid, only to find out that you’re down to 3 copper and 4 golden fish sticks (really – get rid of the BC food).

So make it available already

Well it looks like something as simple as “logged in” or “Logged out” isn’t available right now. Maybe it could become an opt-in feature some time in the future.

Or maybe everyone will just get an authenticator.

One more reason

One last reason I like the RSS feed – it gives all those addons and sites we love to mine and collect data from that much more information they can use. Information is power my friends – even if it is used for evil.


  1. Sadly my favorite reason for it is for server firsts. When we kill new bosses we immediately armory other guilds to see if they have killed the boss before us.

    Other than that, it shows everyone in the world how much of a loot whore i am :-)

  2. The armory already tracked when someone last logged, though only down to the day. I sometimes use it when I want to see if a non-guildie has been online recently.

    I kinda wish it didn't track all loot received though. It showed me with some heroic loot I won off a greed roll and it's not like I'm really going to equip that. >_>

  3. What it chooses to track and not track are really weird. I'm grateful it didn't catalog every step I took while working on the Northrend Gourmet achievement. The world really didn't need to know I cooked fourteen different dishes.


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