Regional Chat is a double edged sword.

As we all know, Mythic added a regional chat channel to Warhammer Online a few days ago. Last night was my first experience paying any attention to it. I was on an unguilded alt so wasn’t watching my “Guild Chat” tab.

There’s good news and there’s bad news.

The bad news is pretty much what you’d expect. I didn’t actually see any Chuck Norris jokes, but there was plenty of pointless ‘spam’ chatter. Some idiot randomly saying “poopiekickkick!” for instance. Yes, thank you very much for sharing and reminding me that a quarter of the people playing these games are mentally about 5 years old, no matter what their chronological age.

And then there are names. Names are a big deal with me. I really don’t like names that deliberately break the ‘tone’ of the game. No, I don’t report names (at least not on a non-RP server) unless they’re deliberately offensive/obscene, but I do avoid people with names that I, (as judge, jury and executioner), deem “stupid”. In a bind and need help, but have the name Azzblaster? I’ll watch you die rather than help you. At least on my alts. If I’m on a guilded character, I have the reputation of the guild to think about and so suppress my vengeful side.

Thing is, I’m old and my eyes are bad, so generally I don’t notice names in the “3D World” unless someone is standing right next to me. When someone runs by me, chances are I won’t be able to make out their name before they’re gone. So before regional chat was put in, I only really noted names when I was grouped with someone. But now, my chat box is full of names like Jeffyweffy (a dwarf, no less) and Graphic. Actually Graphic isn’t so bad now but you know when he gets a last name it’s going to be Violence or Secs or something equally stupid.

On the positive side, at one point Destruction took control of Nordland/Norsca. (Weird, I thought everyone on Destruction/Averheim was Tier 4 already!) Almost immediately, over Regional Chat, someone asked if we were going to take control back, and a few others replied with (I paraphrase) “Hell yeah we are!” And that brightened my mood considerably. (Now if only taking control back were as simple as capturing Battlefield Objectives, but that’s a whole different post.)

If Regional Chat helps OpenRvR get a bit more attention from the players, then I guess I can clench my jaw when “MyDiaperIsFull” starts yelling “Change Me!” over the chat channel. /ignore is for more than just gold sellers, I guess.

What’s in a name?

Approximately 8 billion bloggers have written on this subject, but now its my turn.

So I was playing Warhammer last night, running a baby dwarf through the first PQs. If you’ve done the dwarf PQs you’ll know that the boss of the first one is pretty tough. There was a White Lion running around doing the quest with us. His name was Jyrk.

Now to me, that’s an odd choice for a name. And the player was berating an Iron Breaker (who was I think level 4) for not tanking the boss. Now yeah, an IB lives to tank, but this little guy was getting slaughtered by the boss when he tried to tank him. He died over and over again, and Jyrk was calling him stupid, or an idiot, or something along those lines. Jyrk seemed to be paired with a Rune Priest named Jynx, but she had to drop heals on the IB so fast that invariably she’d get aggro and when the IB went down, and then she’d be next to die.

Basically it was a difficult situation because we just didn’t have the ranks to cleanly take down that boss. But we were also low enough level that we’d just respawn with no ill-effects and run back into the battle (the spawn point is seconds from the PQ). So there was really NO reason to get upset, and certainly no reason for Jyrk to be berating this dude who was still figuring out how to play his class.

So maybe the name fit. Maybe Jyrk’s player really is a jerk. My experience would suggest he is. But maybe he’d had a really crappy day at work, or he has a sick family member, or he was heavily invested in the stock market. Maybe he was acting abnormally for whatever reason. He might normally be a very nice guy.

But his character’s name was Jyrk, so I can only assume that, yeah, the dude that plays this character is an ass, and I’ll make a point of avoiding him if we ever cross paths again.

So I’m going to be the 8 billion and oneth blogger to urge you to think about your character’s name, and what the name says to other people. For most players you’ll encounter, your name is the first bit of data they’re going to use when they start to form an opinion of you. Neutral names are fine, but if you’re going to use a descriptive name, assume people are going to believe it.