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Posts with tag namingpolicy

Belfaire on community policing and GM subjectivity

As you may recall, a few days ago, I wrote a little Dear Blizzard letter on the subject of enforcing the RP and Naming Policy. Of course, Once one writes a letter to someone, it is a good idea to deliver it, and thus I delivered it, or at least the issues therein, over on the Customer Service Forum. I was lucky enough to have Belfaire, who you may remember from his post explaining Blizzard's stance on multi-boxing, answer some of my questions and concerns. I also got some pretty well thought out feedback from a couple other people browsing the forums, including some roleplayers who disagreed with some of my points, so I think the threads worth a read in itself, and I'll comment a bit more on what Belfaire said after the break, now that I've had time to digest it a bit.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Blizzard, RP

Dear Blizzard: Am I your police officer?

I think Xxleetdudexx assumed that RP stood for real pwnage. Dear Blizzard,

First of all, I really do have to thank you for changing the name of that guy called Longjohnson. Yeah, He sent us this pretty long rant about how it was unfair his name was changed, but honestly, it was a pretty clear violation of the naming policy against inappropriate references to bodily parts or functions (Sorry Jason, I'm only siding with you to a point here. Your character's name needed to be changed). That said, I'll give him this: It is pretty annoying that he was able to then proceed to the Armory and find 19 characters named Longjohnson and 60 characters named Bigjohnson. If a name is impermissible because of being profane or inappropriate on one server, it should count on them all, right? Every server has the same set of naming rules, except for RP servers, which have the extra "appropriate for an RP server" qualifier, so this shouldn't be a problem. Mike has actually observed that enforcement tends to be a bit lax in the past regarding both the naming policy and RP server policy, but I figured it was worth bringing up again.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Blizzard

Patchwork enforcement on the naming policy

Pepe has done an informal but (as he says) "real FREAKIN interesting" little study of supposedly inappropriate names via the Armory. Blizzard's naming policy, as you'll know if you've ever run afoul of it, is pretty stringent-- you're not allowed to create obscene names at all (obviously), names based on real-life or well-known sources (so no trademarks or references to celebrities or Blizzard employees-- Legolas is completely out), harassing words or phrases, or "partial or complete sentences."

Now, you can't really argue with most of that. The obscene stuff is a given, of course, though where Blizzard gets their criteria for obscene is anyone's guess-- one of my guildies had an undead warrior named "Skinflayer" that Blizz forced him to rename (he renamed it to Tenderheart, actually). And the copyright and famous names seems a little silly, but it's most likely just Blizzard covering their backside-- you never know what copyright holders will do when it comes to user-created content. But harassing phrases? No l33tsp33k? How can Blizzard possibly track this stuff?

The fact is, as Pepe points out very effectively, that they can't (except on Blizzard employees, strangely enough). Reported names, of course, will probably get a message that they must be changed, but there's no way that Blizzard actually examines the rolls name by name to figure out which are compliant with the ToS and which aren't. The problem, then, becomes who gets punished and who doesn't, and what whims that comes by. While I'm with Blizzard on the player bans, I'm not with them on this one-- either they need to stick to their naming policy or change it. As Pepe shows, just a few minutes of Armory browsing yields hundreds of "violations." I've included all of Pepe's links after the break-- be warned that some of the names are in fact obscene according to Blizzard's policy, and thus might be offensive to some of our readers.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Blizzard

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