name

The Daily Grind: Should MMOs have enforced naming standards?

For some players, “enter a name for your character” might as well read “insert the best joke you can within the character limit.” As a younger soul, this bothered me, because I’m pretty sure no one in Tyria would name their children “Valkilmer Sucks” or “Chowder Head,” but I would still have to see that in Guild Wars. I wanted strict naming enforcement, darn it!

Now that I’m older, I think younger me is a well-intentioned nincompoop. I have characters with names who do not adhere to strict naming conventions, and while those characters each have elaborate lore explanations for why they’ve got odd names, it doesn’t change the fact I would need to rename at least a couple of my Final Fantasy XIV characters. And that’s ignoring that some of my favorite names on that game include characters like “Carfullof Whiteboys,” “Viewing Catscene,” and my personal favorite, “Combyo Beard.”

Of course, some companies don’t care too much about providing name standards in the first place, so while “Samlikesham” doesn’t look like a traditional Night Elf name I can’t really say it isn’t. What do you think, readers? Should MMOs have enforced naming standards?

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TERA offers players the chance to reserve a Paragon name

The Paragon class is on its way to TERA, which is a good thing; it’s another class to play. But how do you know there will be any names left when the class finally goes live? You could come up with a name that other people are unlikely to use, either due to originality or being an unpronounceable mess that looks like dolphin sounds, or you could take part in the game’s name reservation even running all through March.

All you need to do to reserve a name is to log in to the game, start creating a new character, and then follow the prompts from there. An extra character slot will be added to the game when the Paragon launches, but if you already have the maximum number of characters on a server, you will have to delete one to reserve your name. The name is also coming with a built-in expiration, as it remains reserved on the server for one month after the Paragon goes live. Still, at least this way you won’t be resorting to the dolphin sound approach.

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Revelation Online starts open beta on March 6

Are you unwilling to pay for beta access but also desperately curious about playing Revelation Online? You won’t have to wait much longer. The game’s open beta begins on March 6th, starting in English only with French and German localizations to come afterwards. Early access, however, will start on February 27th, so if you do own an appropriate founder’s pack you’ll be able to get in on the action this month. Pretty shortly, even.

Players will also be able to access the name reservation feature starting today for owners of the deluxe founder’s pack. Players who own a lower tier will be able to reserve their names starting on February 16th, so you’ll have to let people who spent a little more get first dibs on xX_Naruto_Xx. There’s also a new video showing off the Occultist in action, which… isn’t really related to anything else, but it’s still there for those who want it.

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Revelation Online’s third closed beta is over, the next steps are in the works

The third closed beta for Revelation Online has come to a close, and that means it’s time for players to start speculating about the game’s next test phase. There’s no firm announcements on what comes next, but you can tell the game is approaching its more open stages, as name reservations are opening up on February 14th for players. There is, of course, the possibility that something will go wrong and the feature will have to be postponed, but the plan is in place.

As for more elaborate testing plans, the developers will be sharing more finalized future plans for the game with a new schedule sometime next week. Considering when name reservation is happening, it seems unlikely that you’ll have to wait long before open testing, but nothing is certain just yet. Still, it’s another closed beta down and another step closer to everyone getting to play.

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Perfect Ten: Great tips for naming your next MMO character

Has this ever happened to you? You decide to roll (or reroll) a new character in an MMORPG, and after you get done choosing just the right hair coif and length of beard stubble, you find your mind freezing at what to call this perfect creation. Parents generally get nine months to come up with a name for their baby, but you have just minutes before you start feeling foolish.

Even worse is when you have a name — but it’s taken. After sending out a string of strongly worded curses at the player (probably a nine-year-old kid who thinks as you do), you are forced to come up with a replacement. Because heaven forbid that a virtual world have two characters with the same name. That’s why we have so much conflict here on earth, with all of the Jens and Ryans romping around.

Fortunately for you, I am here to help. With a decade and a half of MMO gaming experience behind me and a zombie uprising’s worth of alts, I have a few tips to share on how to name your next character. If you act today and get a new character name out, I’ll even throw in a vowel, free of charge!

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The official guide to Blade & Soul’s January 19 launch

Are you ready for Blade & Soul‘s launch on January 19th? Are you really ready? I mean, you might have played a lot of the game’s beta, but there’s more stuff coming to the game in the days leading up to launch. There’s even a guide to everything players can expect, starting with the full list of launch servers available in both North America and Europe. Plan ahead and coordinate with your friends before you start playing.

Name reservation for certain founder packs will open up on January 11th, with the game allowing players to log in and create characters while not being available for play. There will also be more skin tone, hairstyle, and hair color options available to provide a wider breadth of customization for everyone. Head start begins at 1 p.m. EST (10 a.m. PST) on January 15th, so be sure to check the guide and be ready if you’re hotly anticipating the launch.

Source: Official Site; thanks to Mikey Moo for the tip!

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The Daily Grind: Have you ever been scammed in an MMO?

One quirk of some early MMORPGs was that character names weren’t always unique. It was possible to roll multiple characters with precisely the same name and appearance, and whatever unique identification system the game did have was completely hidden from the players.

Hijinks ensued, as you might imagine, when unsavory types rolled characters to trick their fellow players. I was fooled once myself way back in the early days of Ultima Online, when an outcast former guildie rolled up a perfect clone of our recruiting officer and managed to bluff his way into our castle and safehouses until we figured out the scam.

Modern MMOs usually prohibit reuse of character names, or at the least they’ll append some other unique signifier to help players avoid mistaken identity. But there are plenty of scams in MMOs still, particularly in lowbie areas, where naive newbies and trusting kids (like I was back then!) swarm. Maybe the most widespread is the lottery scam, so virulent that some games, like World of Warcraft, outlaw player-run lotteries entirely.

Have you ever been scammed in an MMO? What’s the worst scam you’ve ever seen, and in which game did it take place?

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TERA is releasing inactive character names

Names in MMOs are important. You want people to know who you are at a glance, after all. TERA has a lot of character names already taken, of course, since it’s been running for some time. So the powers that be are going to free up some names that have just been sitting there, unused, for a long enough period of time — i.e., a year.

All characters that have been inactive since June 22nd, 2014, will have their names changed to placeholders and the names thrown back in the active pool. If you’ve been taking a break and desperately want to make sure that your old character “Boner-Lord” doesn’t lose her name, take heart; the release is happening on June 25th, 2015. Log in once and your name is secure. Otherwise, you just might lose your name.

Source: Official announcement; thanks to Azzura for the tip!

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