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?

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!
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We can talk about strict naming policies after we eliminate server-wide name uniqueness in favor of name@handle identifiers. After my fifth name idea gets “This name not available”-d, I’m likely to just spam the Random button until something vaguely acceptable to me gets me logged in.

Chosenxeno .

What’s so immersion breaking about a female Tauren named Bob?

Jesse Schulkers

Under one condition. Names are account bound not server bound. I.E. You use a special ID (Ex- Xiik#3491) as your account name. Then all character names can be whatever you want.

Khalith .

I’m all for strict naming standards on RP servers only. Although obviously racial or homophobic slurs needs to be against the rules on all servers.


wheeee! naming policy?…as long as dey allow me variations on Bunny me will be happy!

Kickstarter Donor

I would rejoice so god damn hard if MMOs enforced a naming policy, holy hell.

Just don’t go scorched earth on it like BDO did on trading. Yes certain names are a problem, but not all names. Yes certain trades are a problem, but not all trades.


remember when me got in trouble roleplayin a wabbit in BDO..LMAO!! ==(:*D

Cate Mehlos

Yes. Absolutely. Listen, people can say “Only on RP servers” all they want, but the genre is literally MMO”RP”G. Literally. I understand that not everyone wants to actively roleplay, but don’t ruin the experience for everyone around you because you are too lazy to find a name generator on the internet (there is a site for almost every race from every series and genre, I use it a lot), or use a built in one for games that have it. I spend a long time considering names for my characters, and if they’re taken, I find a different one. I will spend actual hours considering names. Laugh at me all you want, but no one begrudges me when my character walks past.

Melissa McDonald

I think so, yes. It’s just really hard to manage and monitor.


Yes Yes and one more time Yes, i am so sick of all the xxxDarkNinjaxxx, IpwnU, UrMum characters and i am also sick of all the Ganddalf, Aracorn and Legolasz. At least on RP Servers there should some enforcement on Names to fit the setting of the corresponding MMO´s lore.

Bob Satori

I am always on the side of player freedom and empowerment. So my solution would be to allow all things that the technology can muster, but also allow other players to assign masks for player characters they find immersion-breaking, ugly, or otherwise distracting. First, and most simply in the case of names, target the character and select “assign mask>name” from the popup menu, then type a new name into the box. Thereafter, you will see the mask and when typing the name it will default to sending the player’s original name (additional steps might be needed to handle name duplications, of course). Further, there would be a “assign mask>appearance” which pulls up the appearance editor to allow assignment of a locally stored alternative visage and/or costume.

Such a system could be elaborated upon in as many ways as players are allowed to modify their own presentation.

This approach serves anyone out there, from those annoyed by immersion breakers to those doing it for the lulz. And anyone who doesn’t see it as worth their time can ignore it and accept the virtual world unfliltered. A global toggle for the masks would do if anyone still wants to take screenshots or video of the world as it really is on occasion.