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 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?
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.