Your Character Name Is Stupid And Other Lessons From The Guild Wars 2 Headstart

Guild Wars 2 went live this weekend for the kajillionty people that managed to wrangle their way into the early start. I am among these people, and I've learned some important things about the game, its players, and my own technological shortcomings over the past 48 hours.

Let's review!

My Desktop PC Sucks

During the Guild Wars 2 beta events I complained that the game was suffering from low frames-per-second. As it turns out, it wasn't the game; it was my three-year-old gaming PC. Even with the injection of a Nvidia GeForce GTX 690, the most powerful video card on the market, the system really doesn't want to make this game sing. Maybe it's the early Intel Core i7 processor. Maybe it's the fact that the overclocking option in the BIOS that used to make things lovely now make my Maingear system not book up.

The fact of the matter is I need a new desktop. This runs 10 times better on my gaming laptop, and I cannot allow that to stand. I'll just have to sell one of my children.

There Are Already Too Many People Playing Guild Wars 2

This morning marks the first time since early Saturday morning that I haven't logged in to a message telling me that I was in the overflow version of whatever region I was in, and was in a queue to enter the region proper.

Overflow regions in Guild Wars 2 are essentially instanced copies of the main areas, only with slightly limited functionality — certain data, like World Vs. World PVP status, is not available in overflow zones. Why? I don't know, they might-as-well have just called them instances and run with that.

What's really annoying about overflow zones is that you'll get a pop up telling you you're ready to enter the proper zone, you'll port in, hop into a personal story instanced mission, hop out, and you're back in overflow. Hooray!

I expect that will be the normal operating procedure during peak hours for the duration. Oh well.

No, the Trading Post Isn't Up Yet

Stop asking. It'll be ready when it's ready.

ArenaNet is Banning the Hell Out of Stupid Character Names

Over at Guild Wars 2 Guru (since the official forums are down) there's a massive thread regarding people being banned for 72 hours because their names violate the game's official naming policy. Folks like Durk Terrorist (his real first name is Durk!) and Lonely Milf have effectively lost their early start privileges due to ArenaNet's no-warning policy. People are concerned about their freedoms. Folks are reaching out to websites like Kotaku, requesting we point out this injustice.

I really wish I could give succor in this trying time, but a) the name Succor would probably get me banned and b) the rules were laid out by ArenaNet prior to the game launching.

Here's what constitutes a non-permitted name, from the official naming policy. Names that:

  • Have offensive racial, ethnic, or national connotations.
  • Include hate speech or bigoted slurs
  • Reference sexual acts or real life violence.
  • Are pornographic.
  • Make inappropriate references to human anatomy or bodily functions.
  • Reference illegal drugs or activities.
  • Reference religious or historical figures.
  • Reference real-life people.
  • Reference names of copyrighted or trademarked characters, materials, or products.
  • Use misspellings or alternative spellings of names that violate any of the above rules.

I know it's tough coming up with something even vaguely original or thematically sound. I personally went through 75 per cent of a Celtic baby names database without finding one boy label that wasn't already taken, but violence and profanity are not the answer.

And, as a role-player, I'd rather not have to fight side-by-side with Titz McGee. That's just me.

Guild Wars 2 Players are Giant Geeks

An entire hour's worth of chat yesterday was dedicated to figuring out why the plant-based Sylvari required a breathing apparatus while swimming underwater. There was talk of free-floating carbon dioxide and photosynthesis. Some postulated that the race was simply flesh and blood with plant-based skin and hair.

It was glorious. I wanted to hug all of them.

Dat Asura

The Asura are the cutest things possible.

Despite issues with angry banned people, my computer's own hardware failings and general overcrowding, I had no problem logging into Guild Wars 2 and getting my game on at any given time. I've run into a couple of bugged questions, but nothing earth-shattering.

As far as massively multiplayer online games go, Guild Wars 2 is off to a grand start. Unless your name was Boobles Nipplington.


    Not sure to buy this i love wow but the hype of this has got me interessted

      I wouldn't bother. Your name would get you banned.

        How so its not dirty i use this name for everything never been banned before

          You must be young, then -
          To be fair, though - everything is dirty if you wiggle eyebrows. You might get away with Diggler as a surname, but depends on the mod at the time.

          As for if you should get it or not; being an ex wow, go for it; no sub fee, and one of wow's biggest issues it's the combat system - GW is far more exciting in that direction.

            Boogie nights is one of my fav movies of all time it was name in guild wars 1 never had a problem

              Reference names of copyrighted or trademarked characters, materials, or products.
              Are pornographic.

              Those two are gonna stop you from using the name of a fictional pornstar from a movie.

    It took me ages to find a character name I liked that wasn't already taken or reserved. The most annoying thing though was the game would periodically kick me back to the character select screen meaning I had to keep recreating the same character over and over again. Finally got a name I'm happy with. It's going to be hell when I try and make any alts though. It's the same problem WoW suffers, but you can understand it with WoW because the games been out for years. GW2 hasn't even been released yet and so many names are already taken.

      Maybe if they introduce last names?

        You CAN have last names.

          It's how I get to create all my names and not worry about it being taken (lest someone claims to be part of my virtual family line >: | )

      From what I've heard they kept the original Guild Wars name database (you can import your old character or something). I also heard that the names were game wide not just server wide. Seems like an incredibly bad way of doing it even with their last name system.
      It really seems dumb that in 2012 you still need to use a unique character name as your primary form of in-game identification. Just give me a semi-random bloodline or something. At the very least Steve the Orc and Steve the Human are unique enough.

        It's due to the ability to be a guest on alternative servers (and the overflow)

          And WvW

    @Dirk - If you've got the cash to purchase the digital download basic edition, or can find a boxed copy cheap, it's worth it. There's no subscription fee.. so other than time commitments, it'll happily work in with WoW playing.

    On the name banning thing: I saw some really stupid names that broke at least half of those naming rules at once. I didn't bother reporting them like some people were doing.. I just thought "If you want to show the world how much of an idiot you are, be my guest".

    If you are having difficulty choosing a name, don't forget that you can use multiple words. (Same as guild wars 1). So you can have a etc.. eg Dirk the Diggler works fine etc.
    I think you get nineteen alpha-numeric characters and some symbols to work with.

    I think it's fantastic that they're banning stupid names. I don't generally cry about my immersion being destroyed by Sexybabe the blood elf, but it does bother me a bit.

    I never played GW1 and had no interest in GW2 until randomly grabbing it on Saturday for pretty much no reason, but I'm really glad I did. It's giving me that new MMO tingle I haven't really felt since WoW's closed beta.

    Meh, it's different. Not sure I love it or dislike it....Thank god it runs swimmingly on my new laptop. :P. I will continue to try it and hopefully like it more. And yes, overflow is the most annoying thing in the land!

    Also, the female Asura animations remind me too much of Tiny Kong from DK64

    I think banning is a bit harsh... delete the character without warning, sure, but banning? A little over the top, imo.
    Also, considering the way it runs on my PC, I'm glad I upgraded it in June. Pity it won't run across all three monitors, tho...

      A 72 hour ban. More of a suspension really.

      But how about NOT making stupid names?

        Oh, well that's alright then. Looks like they let you rename the character after the 3-day ban expires, too, which seems pretty lenient to me. I agree, it's better not to make stupid names (RPing is hard when you see someone named "Gob Shiite" wander past - which was, never the less, hilarious), but the thick grey line between white and black makes things difficult - noone is offended by everything, but everything is offensive to someone.

    So glad they are cracking down on names. those that aren't just plain offensive have 12 year old humour which really ruins the community. Its funny how those stupid names are also the people who spam chat and who in general are pains in the arse.

    Obviously there are some people who feel they have been unfairly treated, and I also understand that there are people who shouldn't have been banned for their name... Also, bare in mind its guru which has the worst community now with all the hype kiddies.

    Is it better than SWTOR?

      No MMO is ever better then another, plain and simple. However, Guild Wars 2 offers unique gameplay and mechanics that other MMO's either don't have, or try to implement but haven't been successful. The greatest thing about GW2 is that the team has actually taken the time to add in additional little bits and pieces, and to really make everything click together.

      Also your mail is delivered by pigeons. Friggin' pigeons man.

    "Reference religious or historical figures.
    Reference real-life people.
    Reference names of copyrighted or trademarked characters, materials, or products."

    Seriously? Those are bannable offenses? What a load of crap. The rest are understandable, but those 3..

      Diana Carcrash
      Obama Issatan
      Charles Xavier

      Can't see a problem with any of those?

        Guild wars 2 / princess Di in one sentence.. I don't even.. 20112 end of the world

      My Sylvari warrior called Salad Dinh could get me banned then?


        I think you'd be fine. Theres a difference between a person who has no legal power over anet and a person who does.

      The reason might be because, I dunno, they are somewhat illegal? I don't think JK Rowling would apprciate a Harry Potter Elementalist running around would she? It is her copyrighted character and thus she needs to protect it's integrity.

      All my Charr names are taken from various Khajiit NPCs.
      Hopefully I can sneak under the radar.

      That is standard in EVERY MMO naming policy. Blizzard also started like ArenaNet but let their game reach cesspool levels, I dont think ArenaNet want to do the same - thankfully. Look up Blizzards naing policy or WoW and you will see the exact same points listed, Blizzard can't be bothered policing their game though they just wat your $15 each month (and not release any content for the game 8-9 months at a time).

      I have to admit that going thorugh that list it seems that nearly any name imaginable that isn't just a random combination of letters is potentially a bannable offence. Reference real-life people. Does this mean I can't even give the character my own name?

        Well are you or anyone with your name planning on suing?

      Real life people and copyrights and trademarks I understand because of the potential libel/identity theft and copyright/trademark infringement lawsuits. They're basically just protecting themselves, just like most EULAs are written such that it's pretty much "If things go wrong, you can't blame us". I mean, look at all the trouble people on Twitter have had because of their names.

    Hey Mike,

    Before you go through the expense of upgrading your rig any further, try turning off hyper-threading in the bios. Has been known to cause issues in some games.

    Mike - that's strange that your desktop system isn't able to run the game well. I've been getting what I'd personally consider pretty good performance for the most part with a bit older system - Core 2 Duo processor and an Nvidia GeForce 560 Ti card.

    Aw man!

    I was band for Aussiemate, its been over 55 hours or so, now im not sure if i cbf going back

      Really? I can't see how that breaks their rules. Neither Aussie or Mate could be considered racist as far as i'm concerned.

      first point. National conitations. It sucks of course when you're talking about a country like Australia or Canada. But when you realise that the game will be released in other countries where patriotism/nationalism has real issues (i'm looking at you Sth Korea) there are issues. Just better in the long run to have a blanket ban

    Not hard to make unique and Lore-friendly names. The aversion to last names is weird to me? I love using a last name. Two chances to do something interesting.

    I love a creative pun or a double-meaning name, I have a few myself, but 90% of the so-called "fun names" are just screaming, "Hey I have the mind of a child..look how awesome I am. Please think I am cool."

    If you lack the imagination to think of a name, you sadden me.

    I think its great that the GMs are being reasonably firm on naming policies and in game chat. Kids need to learn somehow, and learn they will. Names went incredibly quickly but being able to use space(s) in your name certainly makes it a little easier. Your name is unique across ALL servers so that is why almost any one word name you could type is taken.

    I'm kind of curious about the part in the can be banned for list with "Are pornographic."

    How can an name be pornographic? are they referring to drawing a penis with simbols?

    Anyway, I found that all the names I wanted are already taken. I manged to get a couple that work but after reading that list there is a chance I could be band for one or both depending how generous the mod is. Does Gorzilla count as a reference to a trademarked character?

      See this is my point, does your name infringe, Gorzy?

      Mine technically can.. Because it's the name of a musician in a moderately successful band.

    my names are
    Captain King

    why was i banned?

    on a short note if you dont want to be banned dont talk in game

      GOD YES. There was a guy spamming the general chat with his guild, which is fine I guess. But everything is in spanish. So I said "No habla Espanol, Habla Engles!" Then people started yelling "RACIST" over and over and all said that they were going to report me. One even went to say "you have to be careful what you think! I want my game clean"

      Umm yeah sure buddy.

        yeah, i was banned for 48 hours for innapropriate language yet i havent even logged on in 2 days, and the worst thing i've said is "idiot"....... i haven't been suspended/banned in 10 years of playing MMO's, yet i get suspended after playing GW2 for 5 days............. this game is a joke, and i will not bee playing it anymore, and i won't be buying any more games because of hype, first of all the game itself isn't even that good(was way overhyped), and now all this banning bs.

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