Moo Tang Clan: Idle thought - name policy vs NPC reactions

Monday, March 21, 2011

Idle thought - name policy vs NPC reactions

Instead of game moderators hitting the "you must rename your toon" button, maybe a flag could be set such that non-player characters would react negatively. At first with various emotes, and then some derogatory remarks, and eventually by adding on an additional 20% vendors fee to any goods they sell.


Rebecca said...

Some people would probably never take the hint, or consider it an acceptable penalty in return for keeping the name and getting whatever reactions they want from other players. Or maybe even see it as just hardmode.
Meanwhile, on the part of the moderators, they have to sit there whilst the person is still walking around, showing off whatever is objectionable, until the player gets the hint... or not.

This also assumes players can rename their character whenever, or the option becomes accessible when that flag is set. In the first case... actually, why don't more games do this? Aside from player-recognition issues on the part of other players, I guess.
In the second, unless the game still states 'please rename your character' and mentions where to find the option, you might get people going 'but how do I do that?' and e-mailing support...
...all whilst still having that objectionable name.

At least the 'rename your character NOW, before you can log in and play' option means the name is gone the next time the player goes online.

Garumoo said...

Good points. Perhaps this could instead automatically kick-in in response to player reports, before the game moderator gets to review the reports. The more player complaints, the harsher the NPCs treat the reported, until it escalates sufficiently that a game mod is called in, like the town sheriff, and lays down the law (force a name change, or ding the rep of or issue fines to everyone that mis-reported some innocent victim).

In addition to forced name changes an interesting mechanic might be locking the toon up in the stocks for a time (with a barrel of rotten apples to hand). The sentence would be player time - ie. you could log in, but you're limited to /say and /yell only (no other chat channels), and physically constrained into position. Of course players would AFK their sentence, but the ignominy remains and would even persist in the community consciousness even after their release.

Rebecca said...

I don't know. The appropriateness of that depends on whether the choice of something unacceptable as a name was accidental or purposeful.
I mean, an innocuous word in one language can mean something worse in another; see 'Mist' in German. Most insulting names are probably intentional, though.

The stocks seem like the logical endpoint of the reaction-that-gets-worse, though.

Catherine Meyers said...

I think Even though little impact might it have, it's a good idea, you can start small and then even though most players will not care of the penalty, just to keep their "Sacredvomit" name, some other will think about it first, that's a win situation imo.
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