NCsoft addresses Blade & Soul gamemaster name reservation controversy

The Blade & Soul subreddit has been in an uproar the last few days over accusations that NCsoft EU GMs pre-claimed popular character names, rendering them off-limits for players who preordered in the hopes of securing their pet names during the name reservation event that began on Monday. NCsoft Director of Community and Social Omeed Dariani responded to a tweet about the issue:

Brand Manager Julianne Harty explained the reasoning in even more detail to forumgoers:

In regards to our CMs having multiple names: this is tricky waters, so please understand (I’m also jet lagged so not the most coherent). A GM character cannot switch servers currently, so GM characters are dedicated to 1 server. In normal circumstances, GMs and CMs just use the same name across all servers, but we don’t have that luxury. Those who are expected to have a GM-type role in the game was given the ability to reserve up to 7 names to be used as GM names. The general rule of thumb for GM names is to have either a personal moniker or a name that is easily recognizable and identifiable as someone special. Yes, I understand that they could also use “GM_Naruto” instead of “Naruto”, but this brings me to my last point:

Shady people sell popular names. To me, that’s more unfair than losing out on the lottery for the name that you want, because someone has come in and reserved a name specifically so that they can earn money on it. You want a definition of pay to win? THAT is it right there – a person paying $400 just to have Naruto and bypassing the lottery system. We have, in the past, reserved popular names in order to prevent this sort of shady stuff from happening. I can’t speak for Youmukon right now, since I’m on the road, but it’s highly possible that this is a scenario that is occurring and that the names will be released later on in a more fair manner that prevents this sort of account/name selling.
This is not uncommon; its just unfortunate that we have the character lookup so you can see a lot of the inner workings of the game being prepared for launch.

Please be assured, we’re not trying to screw you out of your money or rig the system or anything of the sort. There was always a chance that the name you wanted would not be available for various reasons. Many of the complaints that I’m reading are legit and valid; but we’re employees of NCSoft first, and gamers next, not the other way around. Our priority is the experience of the game for our players first and a lot of what we do is not meant to put ourselves as the first one to score a much-desired anime name, but keep an eye out for all the potential pitfalls that can, and have, arisen.

Source: Reddit, Twitter, Blade & Soul Dojo. With thanks to Porculasalvania.
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189 Comments on "NCsoft addresses Blade & Soul gamemaster name reservation controversy"

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CharlesElmore
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CharlesElmore

You losers are arguing over a name? Give me a MMORPG thats fun, and you can name my character for me…

GoJammit
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GoJammit

DianeMcGowan GoJammit Oh look! there is Gouuken…

GoJammit
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GoJammit

DianeMcGowan GoJammit Saw someone running around as DMCALUCARD. Ugh!

DianeMcGowan
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DianeMcGowan

GoJammit Nothing says “this is a stupid, unimaginative bore” to me like seeing someone running around with one of those overused names.

Sinner01
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Sinner01

Caerulei Actually, the Name Reservation stated “Create one character and secure your preferred character name before the head start period.”  

What in the world is the point of a Name Reservation date (Which costed extra to unlock), if staff could take your name before the date?!

They were dishonest because they implied that everyone had an equal chance at “securing their preferred names” on a certain date, which wasn’t the case. If my preferred name was “Fate” or “Saber” or even “Naruto” or the dozen to hundred other “popular” names they took, i’d have paid extra for a perk that was an utter farce. I would have had absolutely ZERO chance at “securing my preferred name”, whereas I could’ve have had a FAIR chance if they waited until the “name reservation date” to let EVERYONE have a chance at the names. If “devs play the game too” they should “play it” like we do, which also means securing their names at the same time we do.

Caerulei
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Caerulei

paragonlostinspace Caerulei  Oh ho ho sir.  The debate is not over.  Show me a law, regulation, or policy that requires GM names to take a back seat to paying player priority.  Nowhere are companies prohibited from giving their employees perks in a product they worked on.  This is an idea manufactured in the mind of moralistic, entitled adults that the customer is always right/first etc.  Companies only owe players what players pay for, nothing more, nothing less.  And players who paid for early name reservation still got to reserve a name.  Nowhere in the terms does it guarantee that a certain name will be available to anyone.  (Actually quite the opposite, each name can only be claimed once and names deemed offensive or innappropriate can be forbidden.  It’s NCsoft’s game, so NCsoft’s rules, if you don’t like the rules, play a different game, although you will find similar policies in most other companies.)

Caerulei
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Caerulei

Sinner01 Caerulei But they weren’t at all dishonest about it.  Customers can still reserve a name out of a near infinite pool of names.  If their particular name was taken, then so be it, that’s life, whether it was by a player or a dev is no consequence, because devs play the game too.

Gas Chamber Gerhan
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Gas Chamber Gerhan

Anyone else hear that?  It’s the worlds smallest violin playing for people bitching about trivial problems.

GoJammit
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GoJammit

How sad for the unoriginal hacks that want to name themselves popular existing characters that someone else thought up.

ThickPines
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ThickPines

Naruto is such a stupid name, I wouldn’t  give it to a pig.

Father Xmas
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Father Xmas

Honestly, I’m tired of all the anime clone character names in MMOs.  The whole lot should be marked reserved before launch and not available to anyone.  Someone just needs to farm ANN’s character list for all anime from the last ten years, remove actual Japaneses names and fence the rest off.  Problem solved.  You want an anime character name, be old school about it but most anime fans only watch what’s being simulcast in the last few years.

Sinner01
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Sinner01

Caerulei The point of my comparison is that they don’t deserve to take anything for doing their jobs, which is what you said. Whatever the percentage is, it doesn’t matter.

The fact remains, the fine print stated anybody who purchased a $70-$100 pack would have a chance at securing their “preferred” name. Nowhere did it state that they were taking “popular” names before the reservation date or that your “preferred” name could possibly be taken BEFORE the reservation date. That defeats the whole purpose of the date.

Had they not had the name reservation perk gated behind the $70 or $100 founder’s packs, there’d probably be much less noise over this. But they actually ADDED the perk at a cost to players, but weren’t honest about it.

Caerulei
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Caerulei

Greaterdivinity Caerulei GMs also have personal characters without the GM tag that they can claim, you know, so they can play the game unmolested.  It’s like this in every game company I’ve known of or worked in.

Caerulei
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Caerulei

Sinner01 Caerulei  Your comparison is nowhere close.  These employees picked up to 7 names each out of a pool of tens of millions of possible names.  They did not take half of the available names, they did not take 1%, they did not even take .0001% of the available names.  They took a paltry few dozen to at most a few hundred out of a pool of  tens of millions.  This issue is quite simply blown FAR out of proportion and stems from an over-inflated sense of importance and entitlement from the whiny side of the consumer-base.

unixtimed
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unixtimed

> I understand that they could also use “GM_Naruto” instead of “Naruto”, but this brings me to my last point:
No, here the whole thing ends. GM’s should have GM_ prefix and their name highlighted. Other than that looks like there are too many 12 yo weeaboos. in BnS.

Koshelkin
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Koshelkin

Greaterdivinity Caerulei I couldn’t pick a name in TSW because a GM took it. q.q

Koshelkin
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Koshelkin

#firstworldproblems

Sinner01
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Sinner01

Caerulei  “The game devs picked names they wanted, and they should get those names after months and/or years of building/localizing a game that customers can play. ”

You act as though these people were forced against their will to create a game for us. They were paid to work on this game and applied for the position willingly. It’s their job. That’s the same as saying McDonald’s employee’s deserve half your french fries or a sip of your Soda because they worked so hard on your meal.

StClair
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StClair

Greaterdivinity Veldan For what it’s worth, I agree – no one should get to use those names, neither GMs nor players.  Those names are crap.

StClair
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StClair

Bannex19 “45 idiots want to play Naruto”

Need to add a couple of zeroes to that number, mate.  Maybe more than a couple, as this is a game where they’re actually in theme (as compared to all the ones where they aren’t).

taltevus
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taltevus

Yeah I’m with the players on this one. Only some crap company like ncsoft would do something like this. Got suckered into the bullshit that is gw2.
I side with the players for the same reason I can’t reserve a table as an employee of a restaurant over the weekend getting employee discounts. I’d ask for a refund and say fuck it.
It’s a money thing, ncsoft can’t lie about it now. I hope that one employee or however many having those names is worth it.
I sure as hell would yank my 75$ in a heart beat. Rigged from the start. Fuck a bunch of that noise. Lol, another reason to never preorder. It’s never what you pay for.

theeknighthood
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theeknighthood

Well at least from the looks of it this game will have a player base best to avoid.

Samizdat
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Samizdat

I love Youmukon. One of my favorite CMs in any game I’ve played. This is hilarious uproar over nothing; sorry you didn’t get to play as Naruto.

Robert80
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Robert80

Radfist paragonlostinspace  And the moment they do server announcement:  ‘No, we didn’t steal your name you egotistical fool.  Somebody else likes Snapple.  Get over it.’  Seriously, easily solved… and most of the playerbase will enjoy it.

Feydakin
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Feydakin

My takeaway from this is; I didn’t realize that Omeed went to work for NCSoft, huh…

Radfist
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Radfist

paragonlostinspace Then they would complain there is a GM who ‘stole’ their character name or is impersonating them (despite the generic popular name). 
Why the GMs would pick popular fictional names is beyond me though.

Radfist
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Radfist

Pick something less generic? Sheesh.

JoeCreoterra
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JoeCreoterra

dragonherderx JoeCreoterra SOLIDAge I’ve actually gotten the names I wanted weeks after launch of much larger titles so I’m not very concerned… the only thing I didn’t like was that I was about to purchase a founders pack strictly to reserve names, yet it was never mentioned they would be given away to GMs first. It’s fine with me it saved me $125 as I didn’t really want anything else in the pack.

RiddleMeThis
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RiddleMeThis

If you legitimately got upset that people who work on the game/ for ncsoft got to pick their names first…..stay super far away from me when headstart goes live.

Seriously. 
Far
Far
Away

CristalAion
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CristalAion

Greaterdivinity Dystopiq  and their job was to pick names for the gm characters. you were just unlucky to get an anime freak as a CM.

Caerulei
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Caerulei

ManastuUtakata Sinner01 Caerulei YES.  Having worked at game studios, I have received free preorder copies before they went out and was given the capability to reserve names I wanted before all of the players, I did not give a damn about whether a customer would want that name.  Because customers are not kings, they are my equals who happened to purchase a product I worked on.  I do not owe them ANYTHING beyond a released, functioning product.  There is a near infinite pool of names to pick from.  
A game dev is not your bar wench or personal servant, they only owe service to their employer, and to the playerbase within the boundaries the employer has defined.
Why should I be treated at a lower level to players in a game I helped make?  Why should I be limited in my choice of character names, when employees at EVERY OTHER launching online game get this same perk?
Stop being paranoid,  the customer is not important enough to a game dev for them to purposefully attempt to screw the customer out of a character name.  The game devs picked names they wanted, and they should get those names after months and/or years of building/localizing a game that customers can play.  The complaining redditors spent $100, GMs spent priceless time and passion, I think a character name is a paltry benefit, but it’s an expected benefit.

LeafyVegetable
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LeafyVegetable

Would be good if they never release them. I would hate to see people running around with names like Kirito Naruto etc. Though sadly I don’t think this will stop the K1r1t0s and A5una5

Damonvile
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Damonvile

Does anyone even know what names were taken and were they actually something you wanted or is this just window lookers being mad because it’s what people like to do with their boring lives ?

paragonlostinspace
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paragonlostinspace

Caerulei No, no you shouldn’t. GM’s names should always take a backseat to paying player priority. They “should” just have “Staff” or “GM” in front of their name regardless. End of debate. Names are always important to players. One of the reasons I’ll buy early access to a game “is” to establish the names I tend to use and have been using since I first started gaming with tabletop gaming almost forty years ago. (or the twenty five plus years ago online)

paragonlostinspace
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paragonlostinspace

For Pete’s sake. Put GM in front of your name and be done with it. Any player who can’t get the concept of “GM Snapple” versus “Snapple” should be weeded out of the gene pool. Seriously, names are always a priority for players, staff taking up names isn’t a good thing.

ManastuUtakata
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ManastuUtakata

Sinner01 Caerulei ManastuUtakata 
Yet, as a person who purchased the most expensive pack (hey, I couldn’t resist the 7 Lyn spots per server deal), this is seven names I can’t use or reserve out a box seemingly infinite names. Therefor, I can’t see how this is ripping me off. I am still allowed to reserve names for one. As  I am also sure GM’s where allowed dibs on reserved names under the game’s agreements. Nothing legally was broken in the deal, as far as I am aware. 
That said, I am pretty sure this Akli Amichi could of handle this all better than to inflame the critics. Then again, perhaps he is working under the man formerly known as Bashiok. /shrug

ManastuUtakata
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ManastuUtakata

schlag sweetleaf 
Edit/Update: It went *Poof!* What did you do, schlag? :(

LostAnju
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LostAnju

making I’m thinking too lowly of people, but i find it hard to believe that if any of these ragers was actually employed there and was told they get first dibs on names, they wouldn’t just go “oh that’s a neat job perk” and think nothing of it

BryanCo
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BryanCo

kgptzac  @the picture at the top of the article: Her boobs are (each) bigger than her head and her neck is so thin it might snap if she turns too fast.  And each eye is twice as wide as her mouth.  Who is that supposed to appeal to?
PS That was rhetorical.

Sinner01
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Sinner01

Caerulei ManastuUtakata To be fair, the most expensive founder’s packs included name reservation as a perk. So for anyone that purchased those, they were entitled to “a chance to reserve their preferred name”.. Not only that, it wasn’t stipulated beforehand in fine text that NCsoft staff would have first dibs at any names they deemed “too popular”. The founders page should’ve said “Have a chance at securing your preferred name, as long as it isn’t too popular! We’ll be taking most of those just in case you’re going to sell them! God forbid that possibility!” 

You’re right, it isn’t the end of the world… But Youmukon handled it very poorly. (Even Julianne Harty couldn’t speak for his actions.) https://twitter.com/Youmukon/status/686672065638862848

He didn’t ONCE say he took them because they were popular. In fact, he said he took them because he LIKED them and because he “thought of them on the spot”. And then says he doesn’t care what we think. 

It’s more about the names for most people, it’s about how some of the staff is treating paying customers.

Silverlock
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Silverlock

kgptzac Yeah I can’t imagine why they’d drop a story line about dealing with a woman with to much self confidence ◔_◔.

Silverlock
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Silverlock

@collagen123 I’ve seen people blow up because a beta started early or it ran for an extra day or two.

ManastuUtakata
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ManastuUtakata

/reddit Blowing up gnats into Milo Yiannopoulos proportions one issue at a time… /bleah

Caerulei
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Caerulei

ManastuUtakata Caerulei Nah, I get why it is being reported on, I’m just losing faith in how entitled folks are nowadays.  Seriously, these whiny redditors need to grow up and pick a different name.

Greaterdivinity
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Greaterdivinity

ManastuUtakata It is. But not to worry, that’s just the minor seizure you’re having causing the desk to shake.

Greaterdivinity
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Greaterdivinity

kgptzac I’m “assuming” because from my decade+ as a MMO gamer I can’t think of another time when this was an issue as a player, and 5+ years working on various MMO’s sporadically. Also, Mike Foster is here backing this up in terms of official employee accounts not being able to pick popular names without unique identifiers (Blizzard/Riot). So I’m not basing this off of pure assumptions, but rather my personal practical experience as well.
Agreed on the last bit about the CM’s though. From what little I’ve seen of them (I’ve not followed the game and its community closely) they don’t seem to be very good at their jobs : /

ManastuUtakata
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ManastuUtakata

schlag sweetleaf 
I feels like my whole monitor is shaking when I stare at this, :(

ManastuUtakata
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ManastuUtakata

deekay_zero 
Yeah I paid for it…but I find it a real non issue. As I pretty sure I can come up millions of different names with millions of different combinations, even if seven have already been taken. It’s the arithmetic in this deal makes it all just a tempest in a teapot.

kgptzac
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kgptzac

Greaterdivinity kgptzac You are assuming this is a unique situation.  You are assuming that in other games that GMs can’t pick popular names–be it on GM account or personal account–before the players.  You are assuming other publishers care about their players picking unoriginal names so they forbid their employees from choosing unoriginal names.

I just feel with all these assumptions, it’s silly to have a debate around it.  I do hope the ncsoft employee who dicked around on twitter and adding fuel to the flame get replaced though.  I don’t want a person like that to be the community manager of a game I’d be playing (however briefly it may be now consider all the bad press).

BryanCo
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BryanCo

wjowski  For Reddit, being in an uproar is equivalent to a blue level terrorism advisory.

wpDiscuz