More creative and consistent names

Aside

Update: As this was published I noticed that the patch 4.3 name rules have changed too:

North American realms (excluding Brazilian, Latin American, and Oceanic realms) no longer permit letters with accents in character or guild names. Existing character and guild names with special characters will be unaffected by this change.

How many times have you seen these type of names?

Ãrthás, Ægigbird, ìcemage, lololas, undeaddeath, or ikillsunow. Iamatank (who is dps), pvpggodd, or any darn name which uses a keyboard crushing special character. It is a short step to bigtool7 as a character name, and most of the examples above are from actual toons.

Moons ago I wrote a small blogpost about naming a Death Knight, as at the time the Wrath expansion was announced but not released, and players were creating and reserving names left and right. It was done as a PSA type post so that (I hoped) the wow population would have less silly and unpronounceable names.

How’d that go? I saw no direct affect; but then didn’t really expect to see a major shift. I was more just standing on my soapbox yelling at the world (now we have twitter for that, and bloggers have multiple avenues to shout about the things that frustrate them)…and shitty names still frustrate me.

The characters like “Bloodelfdk” are still happily jumping around in WoW, and it seems that players are keen to use every special keyboard character they can when re-using names. I guess that won’t change much either.

It would be interesting to see an MMO which prohibited these type of names more, and if that rule had a significant affect on the player base. Would a restriction such as that hinder the growth of the game?

Take the SW-ToR game coming in December – can I create a character called DarthVedar? Hanssolo? Chewiebacka? Aaanakin?

These names are just as silly as Arthaaas and all the rest based on the Warcraft lore, and as ToR is based on story arcs and events, it seems something they might wish to consider – especially if the NPCs will be using the character names in some way:

Npc: The elderly noble rises from his ornate throne and says “We hail PrincisLayher, you efforts to force back the Imperial troops were a boon to my people. What would you ask of me as reward?”

Player: “dude epix, lol”

Npc: …{shakes head}

It breaks the story, and makes me a little sick just thinking of it.

OK what to do:

  1. Valid Random Names – The random name generator in the character creation screen should not show you names that are in use. It frustrates me that a name is shown, might actually be useful, but is not available. As an armchair programmer this does not seem to be a huge issue, the list could be updated on batch, and then re-checked every day to ensure the error rate would be low.
  2. Prohibit special characters – I know this affects some legit European names, but then you’re not playing yourself in Second Life, you’re playing Warcraft. Names like Redhand are far more lore worthy than Phîlll. And yup, it would wreck a huge amount of current character names, but hey – I hate those names so on this point I’m going to be inconsiderate of those players.
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Being a guild officer

Over the years I’ve been an officer in a few guilds along the wow ride, and for better or worse it seems to keep happening. Probably it happens for the better in terms of slightly nudging the attitude of the fellow officers and guildies, and maybe for the worse in terms of my attention time and stress levels.

If you ever want to speak to a bunch of wow players who are sick of whinging and loot drama, just buy an officer a cold-brew; you’ll hear plenty. And god help you if you’re one of the loot-mongers and the officer has already had three drinks.

So in the spirit of sharing for everyone’s benefit, and also keeping myself sane, here is a few things about being an officer.

A good officer will:

  • Be outwardly calm
  • Seldom (if ever) speak openly against policy. May raise concerns internally amongst other officers and leadership.
  • Operate within the boundaries of their perview. ie. Stick to the areas where others know they’re working.
  • Always consider the style of the organisation, especially where it is dissimilar to what they are used to.
  • Help reenforce and also continue to influence/enhance the style of the organisation. This means not trying to engineer change overnight, but maybe chance a policy for the better over a season.
  • Officers will seek to learn from and communicate with each other.
  • Officers will depend on each other, trust others, and delegate.
  • Officers will follow the rules far more than every other member, including the leader.
  • Step aside if they cannot follow the rules in the spirit they are intended.

Officers need:

  • Boundaries of authority and action.
  • Known points of escalation
  • Power to move and act independandly of the leader
  • A frequent point of communication with the leadership
  • Can do things for the leadership which even the leadership cannot.
    • Eg, can hold to the principals when the leaders might be compromised by a friendship or personal involvement.

An officer will not:

  • Call out a non-raid issue for discussion during a raid without a bloody good reason.
  • Be a loot whore, greedy, or generally favour themselves over others.
  • Disregard the spirit of a rule to enforce it strictly and without compassion.

Ok, that all said – why am I raising this?

Because I see many folks who are officers & leaders in name only. The kind of idiots who lead by reverse-example. Or just such poor selfish mongrels that they should be prohibited from controlling anything, but instead they get promoted for being the loudest.

So what also needs to be added to the list above, is that the leadership (be it one person or many) need to select officers carefully, and never just because the person is a mate, or a good raider, or loud. You’re just setting yourself up for a drama ride of your own creation.

Thankfully this is few and far between, and all I have to do is follow my own advice.

Happy killing.

Goals and Preparation – sound advice that should resonate

One of the regular feeds I read is not on Warcraft, it’s about business – and today Peter Bregman on Harvard Business‘s Blog wrote a short great piece on Preparing for the next Downturn. It’s personable, reflective, succinct, and enjoyable.

OK, it is also miles off what I usually blog about, but if you’re connected to a business you might get something out of it. Continue reading

A good Trasporter Accident

This time the transporter extracted all the evil thoughts from my pally, and only his good side remained. Goodness makes you slightly yellow and transparent (consider that for a moment). A larger version taken at Toshley Station is here.

I think I preferred the Evil version more.

Now that I’ve had two, my goal is to see if I can “collect” all the affects.