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Oct 26, 2005

Comments

1.

Wow, what a completely needless interference in the things that's at the heart of these places, identity.

What I'm shocked at is how often game companies think that one guy out of 4 million who's doing something that's not actually interfering with the system they've set up is somehow a threat. As Rob points out, there is no "Commander" title, and certainly no "Cmdr" title. Plus which, players are not so stupid that they would mistake CmdrTaco for any kind of title, especially since the official titles are not run into the names like that.

It doesn't really make the product attractive, does it?

Blizzard: "Our game is so fragile that this Cmdr thing might somehow endanger the system and thus needs to be got rid of immediately."

Players: "Okay, then, we'll go somewhere that can handle things like that."

Obviously, that's an exaggeration. But really...

2.

It's more like a GM got a directive from is superviser to get rid of player names that would contain reference to "ranking". And this little GM who don't want to lost is job at Blizzard, do it - eyes wide shut...

The problem is that Blizzard didn't ban this name at day one. If from day one, all names starting with Cmdr, Lt, Sgt, etc... would have been ban, that would have been OK. But, in this situation, the name was OK since April, but now, it's not a good name anymore????

If Blizzard (or other game company) change their policy, they should apply changes only from the moment they want to apply it unless the changes could REALLY affect gameplay.

It's my 2 cents...

3.

They ought to maintain a list of new names and have a GM add checking through it to their duties. How hard can it be, to have a function that retrieves all player names based on how recent they were created? Using that mechanism, and assuming GM reliability, you could catch all violations of naming policy within two months, tops, and that's being extremely generous. I'd say a week.

4.

This policy has always been "controversial" in the sense of "causing forum drama," but I'm not sure it goes very far beyond that.

I suspect it has a lot more to do with "business efficiency" rather than "protecting the system." With 4 million players (and gosh knows how many characters), how many hours of labor do you really want to devote to handling name change issues on a case-by-case basis.

From various forum posts, a few things have come out:

1. Blizzard doesn't seek out "bad names." They only respond to names that have been reported.

2. The way they 'respond' is to look at their list of hard-and-fast rules. If your name violates it, it is changed. Period. No case-by-case analysis. No balancing "how much" the name violates the policy. It is a binary decision.

This leads to a few predictable results:

1. Name Griefing. Mad at someone? Report them for a name violation. I suspect CmdrTaco ticked someone off and they got revenge.

2. Predictable Forum complaints: They all include the same claims: That their name was held for a long time; that other names they've seen are worse; and that their name wasn't that bad.

These are, of course, natural consequences of the system. The name was held for a long time because no one reported it until just recently. There are worse names because no one has reported them yet. And the "mine's not so bad" argument is common because the people with absurdly inappropriate names don't come to the forums to complain (actually, some do, but they get ridiculed).

I honestly wouldn't expect this policy to get much of a look. It is just not worthwhile to evaluate all these names, and the wrongs done to the occasional CmdrTaco don't generate much more than flames.

In fact, the playerbase on the official forums doesn't seem all that sympathetic:

http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.aspx?fn=wow-general&t=5471961&p=1&tmp=1#post5471961

Mostly just flaming slashdot and Taco for not knowing the naming policy.

5.

Mark Wallace > As Rob points out, there is no "Commander" title, and certainly no "Cmdr" title.

I haven't played WoW since beta ended, but it would seem that Azgalor is a PvP server, and therefore would have a commander rank. Is this not the case?

6.

Hello [My Name],

Account Name: [My Account]
Realm(s): Nathrezim
Old Character/Pet/Guild Name: Psyæ

Offense:
Pure Gibberish
This category includes names which:
o Consist of a string of letters which do not produce a pronounceable name (i.e. Asdfasdf, Jjxccm, Hvlldrm)
o Consist of one or more ASCII characters that would make it difficult for others to attempt to communicate with a player

The name selected for this character, pet or guild has been deemed as inappropriate for the World of Warcraft by the In-Game Support staff of
Blizzard Entertainment. Upon your next log-in, you will be prompted to select a new character name. Unfortunately we will be unable to offer
name changes for pets. If this notification is in regards to a guild name, the guild has been disbanded and will need to be reformed under a
different name.

We realize that you have likely grown attached to this name and certainly know that a name change is a dramatic event. Despite this, we feel that the change is important as the naming policies have been created to try and make for a better world environment for everyone. For further information, please view the World of Warcraft Naming Policy and Terms of Use Agreement: (http://www.blizzard.com/support/wowgm/?id=agm01722p)
and (http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/termsofuse.shtml).

* * * IMPORTANT * * *

For any concerns on this matter, please E-Mail
WoWGMFeedback-US@blizzard.com (mailto:WoWGMFeedback-US@blizzard.com)
and we will be happy to assist you.

We understand that while you may not have been aware of the naming policy when creating this character, but repeated attempts to create
inappropriate names may result in disciplinary action. We thank you in advance for respecting our position.

If you feel that you may have any additional character names on your account that violate our Naming Policy, please submit an In-Game Petition with the name(s) in question. Doing so may prevent further actions on your account. Should you have any other character names on your account that violate our Naming Policy and they are reported, the names will be changed and your account may incur further penalties. We will allow you a 7-day grace period to notify us of any potential naming violations on your account. Please take this opportunity to inform us of any further naming violations on your account so they can be resolved without further penalties to your account, by submitting an In-Game Petition on one of your characters that does not violate our Naming Policy.

[His Name]
Game Master
Blizzard Entertainment
<http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/>

Customer satisfaction is a top priority here at Blizzard Entertainment, and we would like your feedback on the level of service you have
received. Please feel free to provide such feedback at the following web address: xxx

***********************************************

To: WoWGMFeedback-US@blizzard.com
Sent: 7/30/2005 11:06:46 AM
Subject: name change issue

To Whom it May Concern:

Due to a recent bug that put my character, Psyæ, into limbo, a GM apparently thought it fit to force a name change, citing "Pure Gibberish" as the excuse. The following is an excerpt from the email I received:
**
Offense:
Pure Gibberish
This category includes names which:
o Consist of a string of letters which do not produce a pronounceable name (i.e. Asdfasdf, Jjxccm, Hvlldrm)
o Consist of one or more ASCII characters that would make it difficult for others to attempt to communicate with a player
**

However, the WoW official Naming Policy defines Pure Gibberish as:

Pure Gibberish

This category includes names which:

* Consist of a string of letters which do not produce a pronounceable name (i.e. Asdfasdf, Jjxccm, Hvlldrm)

There is absolutely nothing in the naming policy even remotely referring to "Consist of one or more ASCII characters that would make it difficult for others to attempt to communicate with a player."

The name Psyæ does not contain a string of letters at all, and the name is pronounceable. Therefore, it is not in violation of your naming policy. Hopefully this is not a blatant attempt by a GM to establish some individual policy, overruling Blizzard's policy. I will, then, merely assume this is a mistake on the GM's part.

In order to continue playing, I have changed my character's name, but I respectfully request that I be allowed to change my name back to its former form. When whoever has the authority to make this decision makes it, I would like to be notified as soon as possible, via email. I would also like sent to me via email the steps I would need to take to appeal the decision, should that be necessary.

I currently own three WoW accounts for myself and family, and have been playing WoW since the Stress Test (pre-open beta), and would very much like to continue to play this excellent game. Please don't let this issue cause me to reconsider. Blizzard iterates that customer satisfaction is a top priority, so I would assume that forcing a name-change based on a non-existent policy does not follow that notion.

Thank you kindly for your consideration, and I expect to hear from you soon.

Best regards,

[My Name]

***************************************************

Greetings [My Name],

Thank you for taking the time to contact us. We appreciate and understand your point of view, yet the character name "Psyæ" contains ASCII (American Standard Code for Information Interchange) characters which fall outside of the acceptable range of the 52 standard letters of the alphabet (A-Z and a-z). This character name falls into the Inappropriate category of the Naming Policy as the name is considered otherwise objectionable due to the fact that the ASCII characters in question hinder proper communication. Sometimes our Game Masters also classify these names under the Gibberish policy because although it is pronounceable, the letters can be considered gibberish since they are not in our standard alphabet. We apologize for the confusion and we assure you we are working to make this situation more clear in our policies.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused and thank you for your time and understanding in this matter.

Please feel free to contact us with further questions or concerns you may have.


Regards,
[His Name]
Senior Game Master
Blizzard Entertainment
http://www.worldofwarcraft.com

Customer satisfaction is a top priority here at Blizzard Entertainment, and we would like your feedback on the level of service you have
received. Please feel free to provide such feedback at the following web address: xxx

7.

Several comments:
1. As Taco points out, toons in WoW are so interchangeable that one's reputation is effectively wiped clean upon a name change. This can create a problem, especially since it's possible for anyone who changes servers to also change their name (just make a level 1 character on the destination server with the same name, and the transferred character will be forced to rename). Right now that's a small scale issue since transfers are only open for population controls, but in the future Blizzard plans to implement pay for transfer service, which WILL be abused - if you're willing to pay $50 to buy a character from a reseller, you're probably willing to pay Blizz $20 to change the name of one you've already got and can't play anymore because you've made a bad name for yourself on your server.

2. Enforcement of the WoW name policy is a debacle, but to everyone who whines about how something was only a "little" violation and how you can't "escalate" your issue, I say - NO, NO, NO! The entire point of a policy is for it to be applied evenly. I don't *want* the guy someone petitioned because they dislike me to have ANY discretion on whether or not they are going to take action against me. This means that, unless they were trained improperly, there is no reason for anything to be escalated, as they'd darned well better be making the exact same decision that their supervisor would have made in their place. What they SHOULD do is review all names of characters on every server to remove anything that's a violation, as CoH does due to their lawsuit with Marvel. If your name is caught soon after you create the character, it'll seem less arbitrary than it does now, when as others have pointed out it's generally changed because someone had a grudge against you.

3. Psyae, no personal offense intended, but I have zero sympathy for your complaint. The ae character isn't on most keyboards used in the US. This means that I can't perform basic interface functions like mailing you something we agreed I'd send CoD, sending you a tell, inviting you to a party, or adding you to a friend/ignore list. Sure, I can do some of these things if I can physically find you and click select your character, but the burden is NOT on other players to find a workaround to accomodate your name just because you think the ae character looks cool.

8.

GreenArmadillo,

My point wasn't to gain sympathy. It was to show how Blizzard's policy is ambiguous and shoddily enforced. For instance, there are at least a dozen guilds on Nathrezim and multitudes of characters with ASCII symbols in their names that have not been forced to change at all (and I've seen it replicated on every server I've been on).

If the policy had actually stated that ASCII symbols could not be used, I would have had no problem with the situation. However, there was no mention of it, whatsoever, in the policy or anywhere on any of the Blizzard/WoW webpages.

Please refer to your #2 response above to see that we actually concur on the point. Although you say you don't mean "personal offense" to me, your last sentence certainly appeared that way. I agree, apply the policy evenly and thoroughly. However, don't apply impromptu policy. That creates inconsistency and angry people like me.

æ æ æ !

9.

Psyae - "If the policy had actually stated that ASCII symbols could not be used, I would have had no problem with the situation. However, there was no mention of it, whatsoever, in the policy or anywhere on any of the Blizzard/WoW webpages."

I have good news for you. You should have no problem with the situation. It is posted clearly on the Blizzard/WoW Webpages. Here is the link:

http://www.blizzard.com/support/wowgm/?id=agm01723p#inappropriate

Here is the exact text from their site:

Inappropriate: This category includes both clear and masked names which . . . consist of any alphanumeric character not normally found on a standard 101/102 key keyboard (O§iri§, Ÿelena, Jašon.

The ae character clearly does not appear on the standard 101/102 key keyboard. So your name clearly violates policy, as posted by Blizzard. Problem solved, right? :-)

Oh, and from the same page:

Does not apply to Guild or Pet Names unless used to impersonate an existing guild.

So that's why the guilds are there. As for the other character names? If it bothers you, report them. Blizzard has said many times that they don't seek out name changes, but only respond to them when a complaint is lodged. Those "other people" are just ones who haven't been reported yet.

There is nothing ambiguous about any of these rules, suggesting that people just don't bother to read the policies or hope they won't get caught.

This thread does illustrate nicely, however, why Blizzard would be foolish to entertain these debates in anything approaching a case-by-case basis. As you can see from the e-mails posted by Psyae and the links provided in this comment, even when players are given detailed e-mails, links to policies, etc., they still refuse to accept the fact that these sorts of things are against policy. How many employees would it take to engage in these kinds of debates times 4 million players? And to what purpose? Could blizzard *ever* convince Psyae that the change was warranted, no matter how many explanitory e-mails were sent?

10.

Dear Jimpy,

Thus why I used the words "had stated." At the time, that was NOT the policy. As you can even see in the email response I received, they admitted it wasn't: "Sometimes our Game Masters also classify these names under the Gibberish policy because although it is pronounceable, the letters can be considered gibberish since they are not in our standard alphabet. We apologize for the confusion and we assure you we are working to make this situation more clear in our policies." In addition, at the time of the incident, I closely examined every Blizzard policy page, AND took screenshots of them all.

It is apparent that, indeed, they DID chance the policy since that time. Good for them, I'm certainly glad they followed through. Perhaps you failed to notice that the date of the incident was in late July, a nearly three month gap. That's plenty of time for Blizzard to have updated its policy numerous times.

However, I very much dislike the tone in here, and the apparent desire to flame me based on your misinformation, misunderstanding, or misreading. I am very careful about my own actions, and about the issues of whether I violate any agreement I have made, and I hold myself accountable when I am in the wrong. That is not the case here, and I would appreciate a bit more respect, or at least objectivity before you assault me with your childish insults.

Best regards,

Psyae

11.

Peter, I consider myself pwned :)

12.

Why did he change his name to "Violated"? If he wanted his in-game friends to recognize him, why not go from "CmdrTaco" to "Cooltaco" or something close to his original name?

I sympathize with him, but he made the situation worse by his insistence on choosing a name completely different.

13.

They ought to maintain a list of new names and have a GM add checking through it to their duties. How hard can it be, to have a function that retrieves all player names based on how recent they were created? Using that mechanism, and assuming GM reliability, you could catch all violations of naming policy within two months, tops, and that's being extremely generous. I'd say a week.

Four million accounts, lets say 4 characters per account - that's a lot of names to check. The $15/month game fee doesn't support the level of manpower needed to do things like this, police gold farmers, etc. The way rules are enforced and rulesbreakers brought in line will always be spotty.

14.

My guild has a simple naming policy: character names must be names, and they must meet the Blizzard policy. You'd be amazed (or perhaps you wouldn't) at how hard this is to live with, even for a guild not actively recruiting. Telling someone that no, their level 56 friend can't join because they're called "Milkduds" is never easy.

15.

I don't think it makes sense to talk about "the" magic circle, by now. If there's one thing that issues like this demonstrate, it's that there isn't any kind of meaningful consensus reality in virtual worlds, or at least not public-access ones without filtering of their user base. Look at the way Malda keeps referring to CmdrTaco as his nickname, rather than as his character's name, for instance. It could be that I'm a hardline roleplayer, I don't know, but I can't understand the mindset of people who can think this way (or who can use the term "toon" with a straight face, for that matter), and I can't have much of any interaction with them in games beyond the lowest-common-denominator kind.

It wouldn't be hard to write a function that checked character names against a list of prefixes or for real-world names mushed together - for that matter, checking for InterCapping would do a good job of filtering out a large proportion of the dubious names. Reject everything that's both InterCapped and matches against the badwords list, pull up a random proportion of the other ones to match them against said list as well, and automatically review all the other characters on any account that's sent up a flag. That'll catch problems at character generation at almost no cost, and you can use an in-game object at a chokepoint (admin building doorframe, for instance) to check and flag existing characters. There's no earthly reason to try and catch all of them, and making any dent in the population of stupid names is good, especially as early as possible.

One option I'd like to see is explicit support for maintaining your own personal (or guild-wide) magic circle by changing the way said stupid names are displayed to (and handled by) you. Another way to do it would be to set a filter level below which names would just show up as something picked from a generic list, unless you specified otherwise. You'd have to mess around with temporary aliases and transient identities for things like trading or short-range direct communications.

16.

This whole thing is, IMO, so stupid.

Like Sam said, how hard is it to write a routine to check names at chracter creation stage such that at least the basic non-standard keyboard keys are excluded right off the bat.

Now, different countries have different set of standard keyboard ASCII codes, but still wouldn't be hard to do.

As for forcing, no one likes to be forced. Most people are reasonable if given the chance. Most people also like to fight the system if given the chance too.

What do we call this now? Name Nurfing?

17.

It might be easy enough to write a progrem to check for names with weird characters in them, but I think automated name policing gets harder after that. There is some kind of automated check at character creation too, but I have no idea what the criteria used is.

18.

Mark:
Yes, obviously, if there are actually still 4 million active accounts, and each has the maximum permissible 50 characters, that would be a lot of names to check. That said, I doubt there are that many accounts still open today, and most accounts are going to be nowhere near the character limit. Then, as you point out, you can automate the process of removing ASCII characters (which, to be fair, should have been hard-coded into the character generator to begin with - I know they filter for Blizzard callsigns and presumably some other stuff). You're still left with a large task. But an undoable one?

Tell that to Cryptic, who are not only reviewing names but also costumes for copyright violations over at CoH. Much smaller subscriber base, but the WoW's colossal financial sucess doesn't excuse a lower quality of service. It should not take anyone more than five seconds to triage review 99.99% of names, throwing out titles, leet speak, and famous celebrities, accepting most reasonable names (and really, you can get away with a LOT of things that one wouldn't imagine anyone ever calling a person in a fantasy setting), and kicking anything genuinely difficult to a "review later" pile. So, it would probably take a few GM's a few workdays to clear the North American backlog, and after that they'd only have to review the comparatively small number of new toons created once a day. Lots of work, perhaps, but no moreso than dealing with people complaining that their old name should have been permissible because other players had similar or worse violations of policy. (Yes, Blizzard is occasionally unhelpful in terms of drafting its policies clearly enough that people can follow them in good faith, but that's another discussion.)

Also, my comic book lore is a bit out of date, but wasn't the Violator a villian in the Spawn comic series? If so, Taco may not be out of the woods yet....

19.

Skimming through the posts on Slashdot, one post caught my attention and if true is a big issue, IMHO.

One character was forced to change his name because he was reported. Some time later he saw another character with the same name running around. If this is true, Blizzard have no 'blacklist' over names that was forced to change, it could become a sport to go name-hunting. Just report a name that you want and that could be violating the (strict) policy in any way and come up with a good reason. After the change, steal the name.

About the issue of wiping your history, you could also make a dubious name to start with, be a total jerk and ninjalooter and when you are tired of this and have a so bad reputation no guilds will let you in, make a friend report your name and start out fresh.

These cases are perhaps far-fetched, but it points out that with the current methods of enforcing the policy and the lack of good tools for handling blacklists etc. can be exploited.

20.

With the whole Psyæ thing, why did they not code to handle that?

Most other MMORPG put a simple string check to verify that only standard characters are being used. With characters that is a simple boolean check to see if they are all within the same allowed range. Or does WoW allow you to put special characters and numbers in your name?

21.

I know of at least one case where a real icelandic name used as an avatar name had been changed due to the 'gibberish' rule, and a friend of mine has passports with two different names, an anglicised one for the US passport, and another with his real name.

I can appreciate the customer service issue, but at the same time the concept that someone can't use their given name to play with because the support team is implicitly culturally imprinting the server rankles a bit.

22.

Another problem with the even-handedness about this policy is carrying it overseas. Would anyone like to suggest that the same policies are being enforced even remotely in China and Korea? Come to think of it, how would Blizzard even know a fantasy-appropriate name from a bad one over there? And are the GMs being fair? Are they enforcing their own naming agendas?

23.

It makes you wonder how they choose which names to change and which not to. If anyone has spent any time in the Barrens, the amount of 'non' role play and offensive names (with strategic spelling variations of course) is incredible. But sadly, Blizzard is keeping in stride with the history of naming policy in mmog's. (note that the acronym mmorpg is rarely used these days, which would make me question why keeping a role play naming policy is even important anymore if you are not on a designated RP server...)

In the first month of Everquest, my partner had a monk he called brotherjohn - the reasons were personal, as his military mates called him brother all the time... but he was forced to change his name due to the 'no title' rule. He was given the opportunity to select a new name. But the gm who had changed his name actually mispelled it. And when he requested to have the name spelled correctly he was promptly ignored. He spent 5.5 years with an 'almost' cool name.

As for the foreign names that break policy - I have seen - and laughed - at many =)
Ethnocentric ignorance I daresay.

24.

What a whiner -- CmdrTaco, that is. That name may be what he uses online but an MMORPG isn't just "online" it's at least nominally supposed to be about actual, you know, ROLE-PLAYING! His name was stupid from day one and he should be grateful it didn't get caught sooner.

I have zero sympathy for folks that pick stupid names (and CmdrTaco is 100% stupid for an RPG character except perhaps in City of Heroes) and then whine about it.

25.

The strategy of reacting to reported violations is not a good response to scalability issues. It ignores the proportional response principle of good community design. In this case, the trigger for admin action bears no relationship to the disruption of the community; on the contrary, it empowers bullies, censors and griefers to single out players for attention by the authorities. It creates a perception of unfairness and favoritism. Fair and consistent application of the "law" is essential to promoting a culture of rule-abiding.

This is another example of top-down management that could be handed over, intelligently, to collective control by the community, using grass-roots-driven means such as tagging and voting.

Not only is this the right thing to do, which I know counts for nothing in today's amoral corporatist universe, but it happens to be a cost-effective, highly scalable means of sustaining community, and it also creates good-will and trust by players toward the developers, which also mightily affects the bottom line.

There are solutions to things other than God-mode.

26.

Galiel > using grass-roots-driven means such as tagging and voting [...] a cost-effective, highly scalable means of sustaining community, and it also creates good-will and trust by players toward the developers
... and the experience in VWs like LambdaMOO, TSO, etc., show that such systems take very little effort to implement and couldn't possibly be abused. </sarcasm>

27.

I've got one problem with the case against Pysae. If they didn't want non-alphabetic characters in names, why was it possible to enter them into the name field? It is not as if this sort of contact impediment hasn't happened in games before, nor is the concept of sanity checking a new one in UI coding.

Additionally, while having a GM manually inspect names is time consuming, having certain combinations either blocked at input or selected out by review is codable, and shouldn't be too time intensive. Moreover, the list of unacceptable elements could be updated going forward, allowing for policing up the name base when new violations appear. And after new violations are found, the violator list should be small enough for a human being to sanity check before proceeding to remedial action. While there is some cost to this, it would probably cost less in CS time and negative publicity than the current method. Furthermore, the name list created would be transferable to other applications, and thus would be a value add of it's own.

28.

Most likely, they knew they'd have to support unicode in order to ship the game in China, but didn't think about the implications that unicode support would have in general.

29.

Thus far Peter Edelmann: the experience in VWs like LambdaMOO, TSO, etc., show that such systems take very little effort to implement and couldn't possibly be abused.

They're highly abusable when they are transparent to the users, and allow for coordinated collective action. But something of the sort that galiel suggests can easily be implemented by giving players a 'tag this other guy's name for review' button (when they can't see whether other people have already tagged him) which sends up a flag when its counter hits (say) 10, meaning that ten people saw that name and disliked it enough to comment on it. This is the basic version, obviously - two add-ons spring to mind.

i) Stop people ganging up on someone else by discarding multiple taggings within (say) fifteen minutes.

ii) Extend the system with different types of tag, allowing GMs to give different weight to different kinds of stupidness - and without the players knowing which factors are more relevant and gaming the system that way. (You could extend this carrot-wards as well as stick-wards, possibly giving out shiny things for people who have unusually appropriate or clever names, and ignoring any votes for "dude ur name si really kewl!".)

30.

For my part, this is just one of several examples of where some new concepts of "identity origination and management" might be create some new opportunities (and problems, of course). How much customer service effort goes into name policy enforcement and related issues. Another example: City of Heroes recently started doing automatic expiration of name changes for characters that haven't been played for a few months, to free up names. And then there are all the wonderfully creative permutations destroying any hope for spelling teachers for the next few generations :-): MainDude, MainDood, ManeDood, M4inD00d...

The concept of tying a system-wide unique name to each character and using that as the end-all-be-all identifier of identity seems to be one of those carryover concepts from MUDs that has not exactly scaled well from a few hundred characters to tens of thousands.

While I would agree it's a relatively minor issue, isn't it still prevalent enough that perhaps it's worthy of some attention? Isn't there a possible opportunity for creativity here? Is there a principle (beyond tradition) that makes this the best of all possible solutions?

Thanks in advance for your feedback.

31.

One overlooked aspect I noted is that the "CmdrTaco" moniker was (likely) created early on in the game, before the PvP Honour System was introduced onto the live system. Therefore, having a formal title in a player nick would not have contravened any active usage policy. I believe that Blizzard would be clearly wrong to retroactively change names based on new policy, especially in a place where nicknames are the primary means of identification in a primarily social game.

Then again, his extensive rant on Slashdot might have been a successful ploy to make sure that *everyone* knew what his new nickname was, and allow him to continue profiting from his fame. :-)

32.

With the whole Psyæ thing, why did they not code to handle that?

Most other MMORPG put a simple string check to verify that only standard characters are being used. With characters that is a simple boolean check to see if they are all within the same allowed range. Or does WoW allow you to put special characters and numbers in your name?

The reason special characters are allowed in the game client is because on European servers they ARE allowed. I am guessing that it was easier to allow them on the US client as well than have major differences between them.

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