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, **** 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