Do Friend Codes Really Suck?

When people talk about the Wii’s online being poor, they mainly discuss two things, lag and friend codes.   Lag is frowned upon all platforms.   Who would really praise lag?   It is a valid argument to complain about lag.   However, the uses of codes are frowned upon.  There are major advantages of using friend codes over using names.    In real life, we do it all the time with things such as phone numbers, social security numbers (for non-USA residents, it is used from everything from applying to universities to applying for jobs), credit cards and so much more.   The real problem is how Nintendo utilizes friend codes.

There are two types of codes that are used for online features, A Wii console code and a friend code.   The Wii console code is used for sending data such as messages, pictures and a few other things. Friend codes are used specifically for games so people play together online.   In some cases, both codes are needed to exchange game data such as replays, pictures and stages and ect.   All codes need to be exchanged mutually and both must be registered before both people can interact with each other.  

One nice advantage is identity.   Players are being indexed by numbers.    This now allows more freedom for choosing names.   Some people may want to be referred by their real names, such as Alex, Vinny, Jeff, Brad or Ryan.   I have met about 10 people with same exact first and last name in my life time.   In the world of computers, identities must be unique for index purposes.   When names are used, it becomes harder to organize the index.  

Numbers are used universally.   Just about everywhere in the world, people use the Arabic standard for numbers.   In Japan, they would use their own characters (for names).   In Europe and in the American continents, we use alphabetical characters (some languages use accent marks which I have no clue on how to type on a computer).   The Middle East uses Arabic characters.   However, regardless of where someone is from, people are familiar with using numbers.   Some of the names used in online gaming can be get funky.   Let’s take a name such as LeetLoserKid.   Written like that it is a presentable name but when someone takes the chance to abuse the name iterator, it gets annoying as hell.   Good twists on the name LeetLoserKid can be 1EEtl0serkid, l33710serkid or a bunch of other twists.   Crap like that is piss ass annoying.   Is that capital O or a 0 (a zero)? Is that an l (L) or an I (i).   Try reading the following sentence.   1   |3337   ur   /-\ 55    l|\|     4()/\/\5.   Pretty damn ugly, is it not?   When indexed by numbers only, the identification only includes 10 units: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 0.    One could easily use 96 characters from their keyboard to make a name.   Numbers do simplify a lot of the broken issues with letters.

The problem is that there are too many friend codes.   There should be only one universal friend code for all one’s need.    People aren’t likely to memorize various random generated numbers and keep sending them out.   To play two games with the same person online requires exchanging two codes for two different games.   People should only need to be indexed by one sting of numbers.   Some features aren’t even accessible without exchanging the Wii console code.   Why can’t Nintendo just allow us to use our Wii console codes?

The other problem is the lack of options to custom tailor a user’s experience.   The initial design is for the purpose of privacy.   Some people aren’t worried about such things and people can be frustrated over how much work.   Considering how much faster things have come to be, why would one want to slow things down on the customer’s part.   Some people would rather have a pop-up that says “A person has registered you and blah blah, would you like to accept communications and online gaming with this person?”   Why can’t they allow it so the information is streamlined out to the user?   Some people don’t even know where to find their codes because the interfaces aren’t even standardized.

As net result, Nintendo could make their online gaming much better if they opened a few things to people.   While the use of codes does have its advantages, it is poorly executed.   What your thoughts on how friend code system?   Do you think the uses of numbers are completely unacceptable?   DO you think there needs to be an improvement on the interface?

15 Comments
16 Comments
Posted by Godwind

When people talk about the Wii’s online being poor, they mainly discuss two things, lag and friend codes.   Lag is frowned upon all platforms.   Who would really praise lag?   It is a valid argument to complain about lag.   However, the uses of codes are frowned upon.  There are major advantages of using friend codes over using names.    In real life, we do it all the time with things such as phone numbers, social security numbers (for non-USA residents, it is used from everything from applying to universities to applying for jobs), credit cards and so much more.   The real problem is how Nintendo utilizes friend codes.

There are two types of codes that are used for online features, A Wii console code and a friend code.   The Wii console code is used for sending data such as messages, pictures and a few other things. Friend codes are used specifically for games so people play together online.   In some cases, both codes are needed to exchange game data such as replays, pictures and stages and ect.   All codes need to be exchanged mutually and both must be registered before both people can interact with each other.  

One nice advantage is identity.   Players are being indexed by numbers.    This now allows more freedom for choosing names.   Some people may want to be referred by their real names, such as Alex, Vinny, Jeff, Brad or Ryan.   I have met about 10 people with same exact first and last name in my life time.   In the world of computers, identities must be unique for index purposes.   When names are used, it becomes harder to organize the index.  

Numbers are used universally.   Just about everywhere in the world, people use the Arabic standard for numbers.   In Japan, they would use their own characters (for names).   In Europe and in the American continents, we use alphabetical characters (some languages use accent marks which I have no clue on how to type on a computer).   The Middle East uses Arabic characters.   However, regardless of where someone is from, people are familiar with using numbers.   Some of the names used in online gaming can be get funky.   Let’s take a name such as LeetLoserKid.   Written like that it is a presentable name but when someone takes the chance to abuse the name iterator, it gets annoying as hell.   Good twists on the name LeetLoserKid can be 1EEtl0serkid, l33710serkid or a bunch of other twists.   Crap like that is piss ass annoying.   Is that capital O or a 0 (a zero)? Is that an l (L) or an I (i).   Try reading the following sentence.   1   |3337   ur   /-\ 55    l|\|     4()/\/\5.   Pretty damn ugly, is it not?   When indexed by numbers only, the identification only includes 10 units: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 0.    One could easily use 96 characters from their keyboard to make a name.   Numbers do simplify a lot of the broken issues with letters.

The problem is that there are too many friend codes.   There should be only one universal friend code for all one’s need.    People aren’t likely to memorize various random generated numbers and keep sending them out.   To play two games with the same person online requires exchanging two codes for two different games.   People should only need to be indexed by one sting of numbers.   Some features aren’t even accessible without exchanging the Wii console code.   Why can’t Nintendo just allow us to use our Wii console codes?

The other problem is the lack of options to custom tailor a user’s experience.   The initial design is for the purpose of privacy.   Some people aren’t worried about such things and people can be frustrated over how much work.   Considering how much faster things have come to be, why would one want to slow things down on the customer’s part.   Some people would rather have a pop-up that says “A person has registered you and blah blah, would you like to accept communications and online gaming with this person?”   Why can’t they allow it so the information is streamlined out to the user?   Some people don’t even know where to find their codes because the interfaces aren’t even standardized.

As net result, Nintendo could make their online gaming much better if they opened a few things to people.   While the use of codes does have its advantages, it is poorly executed.   What your thoughts on how friend code system?   Do you think the uses of numbers are completely unacceptable?   DO you think there needs to be an improvement on the interface?

Posted by TheGreatGuero

Yeah, you're right. The problem here is that not only do I have to exchange a code to add a friend and send messages to him, but I need to exchange additional codes for every single different game I play online. That's ugly. That's downright hideous. One universal code is all that is needed, man. I really can't understand why Nintendo wouldn't just opt for one code to cover everything. I mean, if you're already adding the person as a friend, I think it's safe to say that it must be a person you'd like to have the option to play games with. Instead, Nintendo makes a huge hassle out of this. As a result, I have very few Wii friends. It's too much of an inconvenience to bother exchanging those long numbered codes for each game I want to play online, so I simply don't even bother.

I'm not even going to say the use of codes instead of usernames has advantages, other than the fact that it prevents people from creating offensive names. Still, even this has it's flaws. I can still create a Mii, give him a bad name, and every time I message that friend, I can say all the offensive stuff I want. They're trying to keep things safe for kids, but in reality, they're just wasting their time and creating a boring, lifeless online experience. I can understand that they don't want their online system to be as open as Xbox Live because of all the idiots making waves there, but they really gotta find some sort of compromise here.

Posted by AgentJ

The pop-ups you refered to would be so nice, but how easy would it be for a creep to just request to be a friend with some kid? This is the kind of thing that Nintendo is afraid of. 

What you were saying about the idea of friend codes not being all that bad is true though. If Nintendo gave individual people their own numbers rather than individual consoles AND games, things would be much easier, and still very secure. However, I have pretty much lost faith in Nintendo doing online right. Not that that is an important factor to me. I dont even have a gold membership for my 360. 
While I would rather have a Gamertag, a singular friend code would be a step in the right direction for Nintendo.
Posted by theMcNasty

I've never felt a sense of "online community" with the Wii.  With the internet quickly becoming the #1 multiplayer venue, I feel Nintendo is missing a big opportunity here.

Posted by SmugDarkLoser
@AgentJ said:
"The pop-ups you refered to would be so nice, but how easy would it be for a creep to just request to be a friend with some kid? This is the kind of thing that Nintendo is afraid of. 
What you were saying about the idea of friend codes not being all that bad is true though. If Nintendo gave individual people their own numbers rather than individual consoles AND games, things would be much easier, and still very secure. However, I have pretty much lost faith in Nintendo doing online right. Not that that is an important factor to me. I dont even have a gold membership for my 360. 
While I would rather have a Gamertag, a singular friend code would be a step in the right direction for Nintendo.
"

As of right now, does it matter?  It's not like you can talk in any games with the exception of animal crossing
Posted by AgentJ
@theMcNasty said:
" I've never felt a sense of "online community" with the Wii.  With the internet quickly becoming the #1 multiplayer venue, I feel Nintendo is missing a big opportunity here. "
They are, and its a bummer, because there are a number of games on the console that would be even better with online.
@SmugDarkLoser said:
"
@AgentJ said:
"The pop-ups you refered to would be so nice, but how easy would it be for a creep to just request to be a friend with some kid? This is the kind of thing that Nintendo is afraid of. 
What you were saying about the idea of friend codes not being all that bad is true though. If Nintendo gave individual people their own numbers rather than individual consoles AND games, things would be much easier, and still very secure. However, I have pretty much lost faith in Nintendo doing online right. Not that that is an important factor to me. I dont even have a gold membership for my 360. 
While I would rather have a Gamertag, a singular friend code would be a step in the right direction for Nintendo.
"
As of right now, does it matter?  It's not like you can talk in any games with the exception of animal crossing "
True, but you can also talk to other users outside of games using the peripheral, and both The Conduit and The Grinder will utilize it when it comes out
Edited by Al3xand3r

Friend codes suck, but it's also lazy developers that make them suck more. Apparently, games can simply import the friend list directly from the Wii, so they DON'T have to have unique friend codes per game. Yet, only High Voltage's games attempt do this. What the hell? I was mad angry when I read that's possible, yet most developers (even Nintendo!) opt to have a separate list per game ONLY... How can a nobody third party independent studio do that stuff, yet the powerhouse publishers cannot? They're also doing other good features like in-game invites to add friends without code exchanges, though I'm not sure if that applies to ALL players or you can only do it to "friends of friends" or something, and I don't know if that adds them to the WIi list or the game specific list (if separate). Still, a vastly improved system compared to most Wii titles.

Posted by ArbitraryWater

A universal Friend Code would be a step in the right direction, but why not just go the whole way and have a Universal Profile like what Sony and Microsoft do?

Posted by Meowayne

A lesson in online play from mister never-online-in-WaW.  : D

Posted by Jayge_

Friend codes just suck. There really is no arguing about it. Random 16 digit (or however long they are) numbers are ridiculous. They need a custom name system.

Posted by AgentJ
@Jayge said:
" Friend codes just suck. There really is no arguing about it. Random 16 digit (or however long they are) numbers are ridiculous. They need a custom name system. "
Absolutely, yes. However, since Nintendo seems reluctant to, those who actually use the Wii would love to have a single number, rather than one for each game. 
Posted by TheGremp

Yes.

Posted by Godwind
@Meowayne said:
" A lesson in online play from mister never-online-in-WaW.  : D "
That is because I rarely played it while you were on.
Posted by DrRandle

My favorite thing about Friend Codes is not having to see stupid handles like Master Splif420. However, having to have separate console and game friend codes was rather unintuitive. If next generation they solidify profiles that you can have nicknames that display on friends lists, but are numbers otherwise, I think it'd be a fair compromise between Nintendo's safety concerns and run-of-the-mill gamers.

Posted by scarace360

yes they suck they suck soooooo bad that i wont even go online with my wii to go play with my friends. Nintendo has to grow up and say "fuck it friends list for everone " and if billy and mommy doesnt like it well fuck off and go back to the n64. Which was a awsome console long live it !!!

Posted by YoThatLimp

In the day and age of xbox live, wii friend codes and game codes leave a lot to be desired.