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Turbine expects their customers to pay for Turbines mistakesFollow

#1 Aug 01 2012 at 4:09 AM Rating: Good
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What do I mean with this bold statement? Turbines Character Naming Policy for Lord of the Rings Online (LOTRO) (http://support.turbine.com/ics/support/KBAnswer.asp?questionID=37&) states, among other things, that no player character my share a name with an in-game NPC. This is fine at first glance. Problems arise however, when Turbine introduces new NPCs – they never check if those names are already used by player characters. A reoccurring theme therefore, is that people with well researched, lore appropriate names, who have been playing that character for months or years and made “a name for themselves” suddenly have their name requisitioned by turbine.

The immediate result of this is that the character in question is accused of a Naming Policy violation (which, btw, is automatically threatening with bans and other account action, even if I have never heard of a case like this actually resulting in a ban) and the “offending” player character gets renamed with a generic fantasy name from the random name generator. Results can be as nice, fitting and lore-appropriate as “Lakgorbor” as name for a hobbit. If you picture that name should belong to an orc-chief… well, Turbine disagrees. This renaming to a randomly generated name happens without talking to the player at all – even if the player is online, on that very character, in the moment of renaming.

Obviously these events are more likely to hit players with Tolkien styled names rather than the various “IgankOrcs” running around. And it’s those players who are well invested in their names, who find it difficult to “live” with a name from the random generator. However, adding insult to injury, Turbine does not even offer affected players a free character rename to an appropriate name. Instead customers who effectively have their names “stolen” by Turbine are referred to the LotRO store, where they can buy a rename for 995 Turbine points (close to 10 dollar/euro)

So effectively, Turbine expects their customers to pay for mistakes / oversight from Turbine.

This, in my opinion, is a very underhanded business practice
#2 Aug 01 2012 at 6:25 AM Rating: Decent
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The chances of you picking a name that Turbine will also introduce are so small that it's hardly an issue. And all MMOs I've ever played had this policy.

If you were to have a name that was stolen by an update, a gm would almost certainly grant you a new name free of charge. If your name was a little-known tolkein reference in the first place, maybe not.

If you expect Devs to stop and check if a name they want to give an NPC is taken, across all servers and languages, then you're a moron.

Your outrage is absurd.
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#3 Aug 01 2012 at 6:55 AM Rating: Excellent
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idiggory wrote:
The chances of you picking a name that Turbine will also introduce are so small that it's hardly an issue. And all MMOs I've ever played had this policy.

Well, depends on the name. I could see someone choosing a plant or flower (Aspen, Marigold) or other common-word style thing (Cliff, River, Ironfist, Blaze, Birdsong) and it getting used as an NPC name. Or someone basing their name off the Tolkien languages. I also disagree with "All MMOs have this policy" -- I know City of Heroes had PCs with grandfathered in NPC names and I believe Everquest did as well. They'd block new players from selecting the name but let the existing names stand.

I'll admit the chances are very small but, when it happens, it happens and the developers should have a better plan for it than "sucks to be you".
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#4 Aug 01 2012 at 7:21 AM Rating: Good
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It could be in the case of the op that the name was originally a violation of naming policy - they don't share what the offending name was.

My Wizzy in EQ was named Obsidian. At some point they introduced some 'obsidian' item. When i changed servers with that character I had to change the name, but prior to that no one bothered her.
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#5 Aug 01 2012 at 7:28 AM Rating: Excellent
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Elinda wrote:
It could be in the case of the op that the name was originally a violation of naming policy - they don't share what the offending name was.

That's true. I have no real stake in this or care what Turbine does since I don't play LotRO. I was just saying that not all MMOs have a "too bad, so sad" policy when it comes up.
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#6 Aug 01 2012 at 8:45 AM Rating: Excellent
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It seems awfully inefficient to be checking PC names against the banned list (NPC names + offensive names, etc.) every time you login or whatever. Wouldn't just checking at name creation be much simpler and use less resources? Wouldn't this also effectively grandfather in those PCs whose names would conflict with new NPCs? I don't see how purging PC names when instituting new NPCs would be a worthwhile procedure.

As far as this bit:
Quote:
Problems arise however, when Turbine introduces new NPCs – they never check if those names are already used by player characters. A reoccurring theme therefore, is that people with well researched, lore appropriate names, who have been playing that character for months or years and made “a name for themselves” suddenly have their name requisitioned by turbine.
I don't play LOTRO and am not going to go sifting through their forums to find examples of this going on, and the link provided was just the naming policy which does mention a process by which you can appeal a forced name change. If they are in fact renaming PCs en masse because they are implementing new NPCs that create name conflicts, that's pretty dumb when grandfathering in names should be easy enough to implement and would keep players happy.
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#7 Aug 01 2012 at 2:44 PM Rating: Excellent
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They really should at least allow a free name change. I cannot see any valid argument against that since the player is not breaking any rule until Turbine changes things by introducing the player's name as an NPC name.

I read the LotR trilogy in college in the '70s and fell head over heals in love with it. I read it again, and again, and again - I've lost count how many times (I do that with books I like, there is unquestionably something wrong with me - Shogun, seven times). So LotRO was a natural for me and I played it on and off since beta. But I walked away from it six months or so ago because of the pure mercenary attitude Turbine developed after it was purchased by WB, coupled with horrible (I'm being generous) customer service. It was not unusual to have a ticket simply closed without notice.

I fully understand that a game must be profitable to continue growing, and even to remain alive. I also understand the dichotomy between players investing time for something and other players investing money for the same thing because they don't have the time to spend. However, when certain things became available through the store only, that crossed the line for me. Turbine made promises to their loyal fans of LotRO at the outset of Free to Play that such would never happen.

Unfortunately for the OP, his only recourse is no recourse at all, but he can post his frustration and hope for some sympathy.
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#8 Aug 01 2012 at 7:36 PM Rating: Good
cynyck wrote:

I read the LotR trilogy in college in the '70s and fell head over heals in love with it. I read it again, and again, and again - I've lost count how many times (I do that with books I like, there is unquestionably something wrong with me - Shogun, seven times).


Me too with both those, the first three of the Wheel of Time, and many others. Nothing wrong with that. It's like watching a movie you enjoy every so often, or revisiting a cherished world.
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#9 Aug 06 2012 at 1:31 PM Rating: Decent
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Not all mmorpg do this. My iksar monk on Everquest named Lodizal disagrees. Honestly in a situation like this the player should be allowed to petition and get a free namechange. I know it can't take that much effort for any MMORPG to actually change somebodies name.
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#10 Aug 06 2012 at 5:51 PM Rating: Good
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fronglo wrote:
Not all mmorpg do this. My iksar monk on Everquest named Lodizal disagrees.

I was pretty surprised to find an NPC that shared my name wandering around Thunderbluff.
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