I’ve been in my guild’s Vent quite a bit lately. It’s a little unusual for me because I usually can’t talk as much as I’d like (darn family wanting to hear the TV :-]). Recently though, circumstances have changed and I’m able to listen and chat a lot more often.

One of the big topics of conversation lately has been the Naming Policies in place on non-RP servers. You see, one of our members recently had a forced name change done on one of his characters.

The character’s name was Nymphonia.

Now, on the surface it looks like a play on the word “Nympho” which has direct sexual connontations. Another player on the realm apparantly agreed and filed a complaint claiming that it was violation of the company naming policy. Blizzard agreed.

Is the name dirty though?

My guildie doesn’t think so. You see, before coming to WoW, he was a Dungeons and Dragons fan. Nymphonia, in the table top game, refers to a wood nymph. Nothing more, nothing less. And it sounds kind of neat too, for a female character. So, drawing on those two things, he named his freshly rolled druid after the DnD creature.

When he contacted Blizzard and informed them of all this, he was told that there was nothing they could do. That the name was an evident violation of their naming standards. Despite the “evident” nature of his violation, they failed to cite any specific justification when presented with the facts of the situation.

He replied once more but has yet to hear back.

This situation calls into question the validity of Blizzard’s policies in this regard. I understand there purpose, I really do. The last thing I’d want is to see vulgarity running rampant everywhere. On the other hand, Blizzard is content to allow stupidity to run free of any reigns (I’m looking at you “HunterLawlz”!).

Now, there’s a clear difference between a stupid name and a sexual name; however, if there is no follow up, no discourse, no -ANYTHING- then how functional is the system really?

Blizzard relies on players to police player names instead of doing their own reviews. What this equates to is a “he said, she said” situation, except that penalties are handed out after only hearing one side. Such a system is neither fair nor balanced and only equates to poor customer service.

It calls into question individual sensibilities which are never going to equal an equitable system. Should I report “Fangbanger” because he reminds me of fingerbang (South Park, FTW)? After all, I can’t stop my mind from conceptualizing dirty dirty things, can I? That would be rediculous. Just as rediculous as reporting Nymphonia for having an “o” at the end of “nymph”. Where’s the Blizzard designer who put Succubi in the game? I think he needs to be fired because we all know the, erm… lengths they would go to to steal men’s souls. We have children playing Warlocks Blizzard! Come on!

As I said, I believe these policies have a purpose. Like so many things, however, they’re not always fair. When people deserve to lose their character names, then fine. They should have thought before they created that character. When someone legitimately gets screwed though, and no one seems to listen, that’s hardly “working as intended”.

Let’s hope.