I'm developing a website for a group of people who play a game online. (It's for a mmorpg guild). I'm creating it all myself rather than using an existing system mostly to learn website skills as I'm a c++ programmer.
It has some features that people will need to log in to use such as messages, chat and so on. I will certainly require the user to be logged in to get any access to those.
It also has some functionality that need to know the user asking for the information but there are no security implications at all as the information is entirely public anyway for example displaying stats for how the player is doing in game. Anyone could go look them up elsewhere so I only need to know who to display them for, not to authenticate.
My intention is to keep the user in a cookie or something so at all times the website will know who is asking for the information even if they are not logged on. (For privacy reasons I'll let people turn this ability on and off - defaulting it to off)
My question is, is this a bad user experience? Will it lead to confusion amongst users? That the website already seems to know who the user is and some of it works. But other parts need the user to log on first even though to a user it might seem it already knew who they were.
Basically after thinking about this for a while, I no longer have any idea if this would seem confusing or not any more to some random user.