Occasionally a name can slip by the name filtering process though. There have been many stories about players having their name changed because it was later found to be inapporpriate. It’s usually not that big of a deal because the name is often caught rather early in the characters life and there is no permanent damage done. The name is changed to something a bit more suitable for the game and everyone moves on.
This brings me to the story of Xstacy. Xstacy is a level 59 Enchanter. Those of you that don’t play EverQuest might not know what it takes to make it to level 59. You either have to really love the game and be devoted to it, or you have to be clinically insane. Xstacy is devoted to the game and doesn’t appear to have any outward signs of insanity. Last week Xstacy logged on and got a message from a GM that her name was inappropriate and that it was going to be changed. Verant apparently found something wrong with it and after letting her live with the name for 59 levels decided to change it. Xstacy was crushed. After having a character name for 59 levels you kind of get used to it. Your friends, guildmates and people on the server kind of know you by your name. Seeing as there isn’t a whole lot of character customization the only way you can be recognized is by character name. Xstacy wrote a letter to Lead Game Master Valdelmar to find out what was going on. His response was:
I know you have had that name for a very long time but also I know that we have to uphold our polices to the letter. I feel sure that you know that I have a history of being a by the book and a fair GM when it comes to these sorts of things.
Recently, we came under fire for people having names that denoted or
glorified drug use. These names included Cannibus, Bongtoke, Crystal Meth and Ecstacy. Your name falls into that line of drugs used by the rave youth of today so it needed to be changed.
I even went to my boss to get her ruling on it and she said that it would not stay even with no last surname and me posing as a character witness for you as to the type of player you are. I know that you don’t use it in the drug related sense but it can still be taken as that way.
I am sorry but it had to be done to uphold our polices.
Lead Game Master Valdelmar
Sony Online Entertainment
The examples he gave were quite obviously in violation of the naming policy. Cannibus and Bongtoke probably don’t fit in too well with a fantasy setting. They have one meaning and really can’t be taken any other way. Ecstacy on the other hand is, you know, actually a word. It is a pretty common word that just happens to be also be the name of a drug. This isn’t something that the average person is going to be horribly upset or offended by.
I decided to take a look at the actual naming policy. It doesn’t show any rules prohibiting this sort of name. If Verant is going to do stuff to ‘uphold their policies’ then they might want to look over their policies themselves. Maybe they should just add a disclaimer that they can and will change player names whenever they feel like it.
I tried to contact a couple of people at Verant regarding this issue. They told me, in no uncertain terms, that they wouldn’t discuss this with anyone other then the owner of the account.
In the end what you have is Verant way overreacting to a simple name and screwing one of their veteran players in the process. Long live The Vision\’e2\’84\’a2.