Reduction in WOW Character Names

Posted by Daeity On Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Here's something interesting. In the 4.3 patch, Blizzard is actually restricting the naming policy again and changing it back to pre-2008 days in North America.

North American realms (excluding Brazilian, Latin American, and Oceanic realms) no longer permit letters with accents in character or guild names. Existing character and guild names with special characters will be unaffected by this change.
If you were around in the "Golden Days", World of Warcraft used to have very strict naming policies on all realms. No special characters, no famous names, no real world references, no partial or complete sentences, no "leet" or "dudespeak", no immersion breaking titles, etc. Everything had to be a true "fantasy name" (yes, even on normal realms) otherwise you would get a warning and a forced name change. Spam or Chuck, or example, would get reported.

I used to have the names "Bob", "Bruce", and "David" for example, and they were all taken away. I was forced to give them "fantasy names" instead. This was on a normal PVE server.

As the subscriber base grew, though, players started running out of names. So, in May 2005, it was relaxed allowing new naming conventions.

In April 2008, it was relaxed even further and they allowed special characters to accomodate the further growth of subscribers.

Officially though, Blizzard just said that the reason for the changes were because players wanted it. Just like the Real Money Auction House.. they "only did it because players asked for it". Character restrictions? Players wanted it. Removal of restrictions? Players wanted it. Reimplementation of those restrictions again? Players wanted it. D3 Online Only Requirement? Players wanted it. You know how it goes..

I just find it very interesting that they're putting these restrictions back in place. Having too many Character Names must not be a problem anymore if you see where I'm going. :)

Can't wait for the next Shareholders Meeting.. I wonder, too, if they'll be adjusting their definition of "Subscribers" again to accomodate the WOW Starter Edition.