Blizzard on Unique Char Names and Censored Game Versions

The Bliz CMs have been posting quite a bit in the new D3 forums, but it’s mostly been OT chit-chat stuff. I clicked through all of the links today though, and found two worth repeating.

A fan asked Bashiok about using spaces in a character name in Diablo III, and while Bashiok didn’t actually answer that question (The answer is no. No punctuation or other symbols, or spaces, are allowed in char names.) he did share some useful info about names in D3. They are not unique, but since your account is visible along with your character name, you will be able to tell the hordes of Merlins and Gandalfs and Conans and Rasputins apart.

We’re very likely following the StarCraft II character name system in Diablo III, but it’s something we’re still discussing.

We think the ability to name your character anything you want (barring restricted words, of course) even if someone else picked it is just a more positive experience for the user. You want your barbarian named Baba? Cool, have fun playing the game. The World of Warcraft experience of sitting there trying names for 30+ minutes until you find one that isn’t taken can be very frustrating, and ultimately you end up with a name you didn’t really want. Granted that’s for a well-aged game with a lot of characters created over the years, but it’s also a game that’s broken down into hundreds of separate servers. In Diablo III everyone in a region is in the same boat, so unique-naming difficulties could get pretty out of hand even in the first few months.

As I said it’s something we’re discussing and could have some different angles on those ideas, but that’s essentially where we see the benefits of a non-unique naming system.

Over on the European D3 forum, a fan asked about censored versions of Diablo III. It’s been widely-expected (even by Jay Wilson) that D3 will have to be censored in some countries, to avoid getting a mature rating. In Germany for instance, (and China) there are strict limits on the amount of gore, blood, etc that can be shown in video games. From this reply though… perhaps not?

Will the german version of Diablo 3 be censored? And if it is censored, will we be able to download the enEu Version from our Acc? With SC2 it was possible to buy the German version and later download the english version of the game.

The thing with the rating is that the German system is rather… draconic. And many Game Companies change the game until it is 16+ and not 18+. That means less blood and in most cases no gore (in the past it was common to change the blood color to green -_-). Is there any Information on this topic? Or will I atleast be able to download a uncensored version of the game… I’m old enough to not cry if I see some gore.

Xordiah: We are always aiming to give you the original feel for all language versions and as such we avoid compromising the game experience to reach a lower rating. For StarCraft II the uncut game actually was rated 12+ in Germany while the rest of Europe had a 16+ rating. For the demo version of Diablo III that we showed at Gamescom last week (which were not cut in any way either) we received a 16+ rating from the USK. That said, we don’t have any details on age ratings yet – so we will have to see closer to release what the final verdict of the rating commission will be.

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15 thoughts on “Blizzard on Unique Char Names and Censored Game Versions

  1. Yay for non-unique names! I always hated in WoW when I couldn’t use my preferred names for my characters. Although it did make me come up with new ones all time, some of which I like more than what I would’ve originally used. Still, I prefer by far the new system.

  2. As usual i feel the blue post didnt exactly hit the nail on the matter. It is being very vague on whether there will be an un-cut version of D3. I seem to remember on several occasion Australia was said to will have a censored version…….. Hope it dont happen.
    Though we all agree that what blizz “aim” and “hope” for today dont usually match up with the end result tomorrow.

  3. Can’t really confirm the German fan’s impression that Germany has a “draconic” rating policy. The game’s setting is always taken into consideration and given Diablo’s setting of Hell, Demons etc, I’m absolutely sure it’s not going to be 18+. The ages of green blood are long over and there’s a lot of really gorey stuff on the German market that’s 16+.

  4. Might just be me but I prefer the old way of naming characters.  I usually had no problem coming up with unique names.  Now if someone likes the name I use they can just use the same which kinda rubs me wrong.  Just for giggles, we should come up with a name for everyone to use on each character.  I can see  four Barbsmash’s in a game soon.

  5. The identifier system worked for SC2 (I would be Risingred.768 or something) but I think that would be kind of dumb for Diablo.
    Hopefully they revert to the original naming system for SC2, where I’d be “CharacterName.Risingred”, “Risingred” being my account name/identifier. I don’t want to be “CharacterName.768”.

  6. I do not share Red’s unhappiness with numeric identifiers. Numeric or whatever, the identifier is seen really rarely in the game – only when you look someone up, in all other occasions it is hidden or dimmed out…
    When you meet someone in the game, add them to friends, message them, inspect their profile, invite them to party, there’s no identifier in your face. On the other side, account name is your e-mail, and i think very few people would argue that an e-mail looks ugly and is inconvenient… Especially if it is “[email protected]“…

    • The identifier is fine in SC2 because you only have one username. Your account name.
      In Diablo III you’ll have up to ten different character names. I never said that your email should be anywhere near your account name. That would be hideously bad for numerous reasons.

      • Ah, okay. But this leads to a question – is it that important (to Blizzard) to recognize two of chars you meet belong to the same person? Privacy versus stalking, or something… I personally do not have a clue about this matter, as all my Diablo II time was spent offline with my underage pirate friends 🙂 I’d like to take an educated guess, but I can’t.

  7. Ya I actually like unique names. That’s the perk for buying the game early, no?

    /whisper AwesomeBarb Hey whats up? Finally made your character you said you were going to!
    Who the hell are you? I’m AwesomeBarb.12345 idiot.

    How is that going to be avoided when trading and you don’t want to ‘friend’ someone? Maybe they’ll work it out if that’s the final case…

    Edit: And I’d prefer to NOT give my email out to everyone I do business with. Another strategy to push everyone into the RMAH I guess?

  8. Dammit, no…

    First, forget about “/whisper”. Really, it won’t be there, it isn’t in SC2 and won’t be in D3… You can only message people in your contact list (it is not a usual “friends list”, as “friending” someone is not symmetric, no confirmation is needed) or in a game instance. You can add strangers to contact list by name.identifier. And if “you said you were going to”, then he’s probably your RL friend and you “friend” him by his email anyway.

    Considering trading, you can either trade over AH, which does not require knowing who buys/sells, or by meeting people in a game, which does not require you to “friend” people. It is worked out already.

    There’s zero need to give email to business partners. If he’s just a stranger you met on a forum, you have to either “friend” him (contact, not friend… you’ll have enough enemies on your contact list), or… no, no other way. Just sell on AH. But why not “friend” your long-term partner, and “defriend” your one-time partners immediately?

  9. I like this part “…and as such we avoid compromising the game experience to reach a lower rating.” except they are! Graphically trying to reach the lowest common denominator (and having a RMAH) is comprimising the experience, and a “lower rating” game to me!

  10. “They are not unique, but since your account is visible along with your character name, you will be able to tell the hordes of Merlins and Gandalfs and Conans and Rasputins apart.”

    I’m surprised you didn’t come up with Thelonious as an example.

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