COMMUNITY - FORUMS - GENERAL DISCUSSION
[Sticky] Let's talk about the Naming Process
+46

Hello everyone,

I trust you are all having a great time participating or observing Domain & Settlement Selection as Counts and Countesses begin to make their picks this week.

Today I wanted to discuss a topic that is near and dear to my heart and something I spend a lot of time on lately: name reviews.

As you know, when we first released surname reservations back in February of last year, there were a lot of questions initially about what was allowed and what wasn't. We had a list of public rules that were to be followed, as well as an auto filter that would automatically disallow many terms we deemed unworthy of inclusion. Additionally, we reserved a set of internal rules that we utilized as we reviewed each surname request We still have an escalation path if a particular surname required input from others in the studio. This four-point process is efficient, straightforward, and consistent. The surname Service Level Agreement (SLA) is 48 hours during weekdays, and 72 hours on holidays or weekends. We have been utilizing it for over a year and a half, and the process works really well.

With Domain and Settlement Selection upon us, we knew we'd need a similar system to manage domain name submissions. Our goal with Domain names is similar to our goal with Surnames: to allow a great deal of personal expression and creativity by our players, while still maintaining quality and immersion in the game world.

The Domain Name approval process is very similar, where we follow the rules listed in the official announcement and move through an auto-filter that disallows specific terms from even being submitted, such as vulgar words and reserved names.

The process

After you submit a new domain or settlement name we:

  1. Review the public rules to ensure you followed them.
  2. We review our set of internal rules that are meant to ensure the immersion factor we mentioned earlier. If the name is easy enough to decide on based on the research we perform, we approve or decline it.
  3. If it isn't as cut and dry, the domain name gets sent to the Council of Names for a final vote.
  4. Whatever the outcome, that decision is then relayed to the player via a Private Message, who can rejoice in their approval or try again with something different.

Every submission goes through the same process, and there are many steps involved in researching the submissions; some you may think of and others you may not. These domain names are important to you, your community, your brand. We get it! They are important to us as well, and often in a different way. Precisely because this is so important in many different ways, we spend this extra effort to make sure the names are suitable.

What happens after?

One of two things happen after you submit. Either your names are all approved within the SLA period or you receive a decline.

You will be notified via PM on the CoE website regarding whether your name was accepted or declined.

  • For any name that is approved, you will be notified within 5 business days after you submit each name.
  • For any name that is declined, you will be notified within the same 5 Business Day SLA. Each declined surname re-submission starts a new SLA period of 5 business days.

The Naming Panel: If your name in the naming panel is grey, that means it is still being reviewed. There's also a message that says it's pending review.

I hope this gives you some extra insight into this process. All of this is done in an effort to help you secure the perfect name while avoiding any delay or inconvenience during your name approval.

While it may appear random at first glance, this is a pretty complex vetting process designed, first and foremost, to maintain quality and immersion. Although there's always an element of subjectiveness to any decision, the team has put in place many steps in the process to make every decision as objective and consistent as possible.

Immersion-breaking itself is extremely subjective. This is why our team has a series of steps we follow before getting the final question of whether something is immersion-breaking.

Considering names

When choosing your Domain names, after making sure your name adheres to our publicly posted policy (linked above), keep these thoughts in mind:

  • We have a rule for a maximum of 3 words per domain. Don't try to be clever and bypass it.
  • Knowing the approximate level of technology that exists in Elyria, keep it era-appropriate.
  • Just as with surnames where we wouldn't allow Haris Pilton in our game, we also won't approve Winterfell or King's Landing. Names that are approved, even if you recognize them from something else, have been deemed acceptable.
  • Try to avoid places and names from real life, fictional or not; if they were made famous elsewhere, chances are they won't be approved (No Bikini Bottom, Athens, Seattle, Degoba, or Atlantis).
  • Don't copycat or troll others - this should be self-explanatory.
  • Funny jokes, puns, or names that are silly may be funny or comedic to you and your community have no place in Elyria and will be declined (no Towny Mctownface).
  • Avoid names that are similarly spelled or pronounced like already disallowed or declined names (No VVinterfehl, Doobaye, Bedrohk, or Archamm).
  • Don't abbreviate.
  • Previously declined surnames will not be able to be submitted as a domain name.
  • Already approved surnames may be submitted as a domain name but there is no guarantee it will be approved.
  • Names based on real world people, including the studio, studio employees, or their aliases, is not allowed.

This isn't a complete list of the internal rules we follow, but it gives you more substance as to how to choose your names wisely.

Remember to take the time to double check your name submission carefully prior to submitting it to be reviewed. However, if you do make a mistake or change your mind afterward, you can always make use of the rename scrolls.

If you see an already approved name that you feel violates these rules, keep in mind what we said about subjectivity. Don't submit a support ticket about it.

Now that we've covered what you needed from us and clarified the specifics of how names are reviewed, we wanted to cover something we need from you.

Community Cooperation

As you know we have a small team, so your support, understanding, and cooperation during this busy time of names approval during D&SS is critical. The other regular work that our teams are responsible for hasn't stopped just because D&SS is here. We just have additional jobs to do which makes your extra attention a requirement for a stress free event.

During the next few weeks, please adhere to the following guidelines:

  • Do Not email support and ask why your domain name was declined or ask for an appeal. It wasn't a mistake - it was vetted like every other name according to the approval process.
  • Do Not PM Serpentius or any other SBS staff or tag them in Discord chat or in the forums asking why your domain name was declined or to request an appeal for the same reason as above.
  • Do Not argue in public or debate why your name should have been approved and why the studio was wrong. The name was declined. You are certainly capable of coming up with another name you'd like.
  • Do Not tell your previously written-lore story to Serpentius or via a support ticket to substantiate why we should have approved or why we should approve your domain name. Unfortunately, lore created around a specific name prior to its approval does not supersede our rules for approval.
  • Do Not ask for special favors, to change a name you accidentally submitted, to approve something without vetting, or any other circumvention of the process that you can think of. The rules are in place for everyone and to ensure fair treatment.
  • Do Not email support or PM Serpentius or other studio members to pre-screen your names to ensure you can get them to pass. The name approval process is in place to handle all name requests.
  • Do Not ask any studio members about the time frame for your name submission. There is an SLA, which is specified above. Please don't contact us unless the deadline is missed.
  • Do Not jump to hasty conclusions if only some of your names were approved. sometimes the approving is easy; sometimes it requires going through the Council of Names which may take more time.
  • Please understand that a lower priority or non-DSS related support ticket or inquiry may not be resolved right away.
  • Stay considerate! We're all excited for D&SS and working very hard to make this experience awesome for everyone. Help us help you make that so!

In Closing

Ultimately, we want this to be a fun and exciting experience for you, and we understand that the process of claiming can be stressful enough without having to worry about your domain names. A domain can have its name rejected as many times as it needs to get to the one that works for both the studio and you. There's no rush or need to get pre-approvals. If a name doesn't pass, simply try another one. Names can be resubmitted or changed up until Exposition begins, so there's plenty of time.

If you have any questions about this process, please ask them in this thread. We will do our best to respond to you as completely and quickly as possible. Again, please do not ask questions in this thread that would violate the Do Nots above!

Thank you all for helping to make Domain and Settlement Selection a success for everyone!

Until next time,

More to come...


"Stupid questions make more sense than stupid mistakes."

...
9/9/2019 7:32:46 PM #16
+0

Posted By Scheneighnay at 3:26 PM - Mon Sep 09 2019

Posted By Bhear at 2:22 PM - Mon Sep 09 2019

Do you know what really bothers me? When the Names don't make sense, Take the duchy Silverdust Valley in Valyria on NA-W for example... It's clearly a giant forest and not a valley.. bugs the crap out of me.

forests can be in valleys

Valley as defined - a low area of land between hills or mountains, typically with a river or stream flowing through it. There are valleys in the duchy of course but to name the whole duchy that.. bugs me.


Mayor of the Town of Widow's Reach, Thane of Clan Hammerbull

9/9/2019 7:36:51 PM #17
+4

You have already been trolled by a duke who slipped Somalia spelled backwards past you(Ailamos), or is spelling country names backwards acceptable?

Then you let someone name their Duchy Aquitania, an imperial province of the Roman empire and a direct reference to the Gauls and Aquitani.

Are you really bad at enforcing your own rules? or is this process super subjective and you are going to let some people get away with stuff and others not?


9/9/2019 7:37:03 PM #18
+7

While I can appreciate the difficulty in approving names this rule: Try to avoid places and names from real life, fictional or not; if they were made famous elsewhere, chances are they won't be approved (No Bikini Bottom, Athens, Seattle, Degoba, or Atlantis)

is, for practical reasons, fairly impossible to meet. The real world is a very large place all on its own. Then toss in fictional locations, and most of the reasonable spelling possibilities are gone. So ultimately this rule is subjectively based on someones knowledge of pop culture and geography.

The result: even with a gaming background stretching over 15 years across multiple MMOs, a name well known in the gaming community across friends and foes alike is denied it's heritage. Even though this game and the organization seems made for each other.

Kinda makes me regret the newsletter I just mailed out to over 1,000 current and former guild members to drive interest in this game.


9/9/2019 7:41:31 PM #19
+1

Posted By Bhear at 12:22 PM - Mon Sep 09 2019

Do you know what really bothers me? When the Names don't make sense, Take the duchy Silverdust Valley in Valyria on NA-W for example... It's clearly a giant forest and not a valley.. bugs the crap out of me.

Forests can grow in a valley. Valleys almost always form as the result of a river flowing through. There are a ton of rivers in Silverdust Valley.

Your's is a bad example, bu I get what you mean--it's more evident in counties like Ballyacre Point with no point evident in the coastline, or Blackvine Shoal which isn't on a coast. At some point, random names are random. That's why it's up to us to bring the creative A-Game.


9/9/2019 7:42:35 PM #20
+5

Posted By whynot at 12:30 PM - Mon Sep 09 2019

Thank you for some clarity on this topic but why not just post the entire rules. Public rules/internal rules just complicate The process for us. The "do not" rules very clear but naming rules are still only half clear. If we know what all the rules are then we can save the studio and ourselves time when picking names.

Realistically, every time they post a rule we find a way to get around it or make an exception. If we don't know all the rules, then we can't try to wiggle around them.


9/9/2019 7:48:04 PM #21
+13

Posted By Ineluki at 12:36 PM - Mon Sep 09 2019

You have already been trolled by a duke who slipped Somalia spelled backwards past you(Ailamos), or is spelling country names backwards acceptable?

Ailamos sounds like a very Fantasy name though!


Reese "Legendary Neurotoxin" Holland - Game / VR Developer, Streamer, former LM/EQN and Revival Enthusiast.

I want to see online multiplayer games move forward. Here's eight docs and supporting material that I've written to encourage developers to go the extra step: http://reesehollandgames.com/feature-concept-documents/

9/9/2019 7:48:32 PM #22
-1

Posted By whynot at 05:30 AM - Tue Sep 10 2019

Thank you for some clarity on this topic but why not just post the entire rules. Public rules/internal rules just complicate The process for us. The "do not" rules very clear but naming rules are still only half clear. If we know what all the rules are then we can save the studio and ourselves time when picking names.

If they don't publish the internal rules, they can apply them when they want to and bend them when they want to without scrutiny...


9/9/2019 7:51:52 PM #23
-2

Posted By Azzerhoden Razeri at 12:37 PM - Mon Sep 09 2019

While I can appreciate the difficulty in approving names this rule: Try to avoid places and names from real life, fictional or not; if they were made famous elsewhere, chances are they won't be approved (No Bikini Bottom, Athens, Seattle, Degoba, or Atlantis)

is, for practical reasons, fairly impossible to meet. The real world is a very large place all on its own. Then toss in fictional locations, and most of the reasonable spelling possibilities are gone. So ultimately this rule is subjectively based on someones knowledge of pop culture and geography.

The result: even with a gaming background stretching over 15 years across multiple MMOs, a name well known in the gaming community across friends and foes alike is denied it's heritage. Even though this game and the organization seems made for each other.

Kinda makes me regret the newsletter I just mailed out to over 1,000 current and former guild members to drive interest in this game.

For those who are interested, [here is the newsletter] (https://mailchi.mp/357aa67cefdf/duchy-of-wessex-fall-2019-chroniclesofelyria) I sent. If anyone at SBS is interested I'll happily present the open rates and clicks through to your store.


9/9/2019 7:53:07 PM #24
-1

Interesting that in preview mode the link appears correct.


9/9/2019 7:53:23 PM #25
+3

Posted By mickdude2 at 3:28 PM - Mon Sep 09 2019

Posted By Serpentius at

  • Try to avoid places and names from real life, fictional or not; if they were made famous elsewhere, chances are they won't be approved (No Bikini Bottom, Athens, Seattle, Degoba, or Atlantis).
  • Avoid names that are similarly spelled or pronounced like already disallowed or declined names (No VVinterfehl, Doobaye, Bedrohk, or Archamm).

And yet here we are with the Kingdom of Valyria

Valyria was grandfathered in as it’s name was locked before the naming rules were created.


9/9/2019 8:22:26 PM #26
+0

Is it possible to submit a domain name for review prior to selection and claiming?

Presumably, having a submitted name under review after claiming, locks the domain to the claimant regardless... right?


9/9/2019 8:25:08 PM #27
+1

Posted By captrench at 1:22 PM - Mon Sep 09 2019

Is it possible to submit a domain name for review prior to selection and claiming?

Presumably, having a submitted name under review after claiming, locks the domain to the claimant regardless... right?

From the OP: Do Not email support or PM Serpentius or other studio members to pre-screen your names to ensure you can get them to pass. The name approval process is in place to handle all name requests.


9/9/2019 8:37:25 PM #28
+0

I can understand not allowing names that break immersion due to their pop culture fame but seriously if Elyria Ohio suddenly became World famous due to some extremely popular TV series I wouldn't expect the game to change its name to prevent the immersion issues.

Our community name (the Duchy of Wessex) was denied and I'm thinking most likely due to its popularity in modern pop culture, though our community predates these pop culture references by nearly a decade and has been a well known community in the sandbox gaming scene for at least half that time,

The reasons I believe its the pop culture fame as opposed to its existence in antiquity is because "the Duchy of Aquitaine, was literally in existence in 600 ce, a mere jaunt across the channel from the historical Wessex", to quote my duke, and we all can all see Aquitainia and Rothenberg have both been approved in Tyria.


9/9/2019 8:46:45 PM #29
+9

Posted By Ineluki at 12:36 PM - Mon Sep 09 2019

You have already been trolled by a duke who slipped Somalia spelled backwards past you(Ailamos), or is spelling country names backwards acceptable?

Then you let someone name their Duchy Aquitania, an imperial province of the Roman empire and a direct reference to the Gauls and Aquitani.

Are you really bad at enforcing your own rules? or is this process super subjective and you are going to let some people get away with stuff and others not?

We did not get trolled, but as the post stated already, naming approval is subjective. We don't expect everyone to agree with them.

Your subjectivity related to our enforcing of our rules is noted.


"Stupid questions make more sense than stupid mistakes."

9/9/2019 8:48:27 PM #30
+9

Posted By Ineluki at 12:48 PM - Mon Sep 09 2019

Posted By whynot at 05:30 AM - Tue Sep 10 2019

Thank you for some clarity on this topic but why not just post the entire rules. Public rules/internal rules just complicate The process for us. The "do not" rules very clear but naming rules are still only half clear. If we know what all the rules are then we can save the studio and ourselves time when picking names.

If they don't publish the internal rules, they can apply them when they want to and bend them when they want to without scrutiny...

We have provided as many of our guidelines as we are prepared to, your opinion and feedback is noted.


"Stupid questions make more sense than stupid mistakes."

...
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