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Regional FlagSeeking clarification on the Profanity FilterSource
Target Source
#1 -

I was banned on Christmas for an inappropriate character name, and have been spending my time on the forums as I wait for my ban to pass. However, having done so, my feelings of excitement and joy at being let back into the game have been replaced by apprehension and disquiet.

Basically, I’m looking for some clarification of certain issues and concerns that I now have.

I have seen numerous posts from people claiming to have been banned simply for using swear words in map chat. (The truthfulness of these posts is moot, it’s still making me worry.) I am now worried that once I return to the game I will have to watch my language for fear of being instantly banned. I understand that excessive swearing is inappropriate, but my understanding is that by putting a profanity filter in a game, people who turn it off are accepting that there will be a certain level of profanity in their chat. However, I have seen Gaile posting saying that the profanity filter is not a ‘license to swear’.
My genuine question then is this, if it isn’t a ‘license to swear’, what’s the point of having it in the game at all? I understand banning people for using abusive or racist language, but for swearing in conversation?
I am also worried as my brother and I are intending to play the game together, and we swear at each other quite often, in that brotherly way. Am I likely to be banned for swearing in a private message?

Also, why is there no filter at character creation stopping people from making offensive names? Obviously your mind is the filter for truly offensive names, but I created a character, typed in a name with the thought process of ‘it may be deemed offensive as it references drugs in a vague way, but if it’s unacceptable, the game will stop me’, wasn’t stopped and therefore assumed that the name was fine. I found out later that this wasn’t the case when I was banned for 72 hours. If it’s so easy for someone to accidently break the rules of conduct at character creation, why is the ban so harsh?

Overall I am thoroughly enjoying the game, but due to this flood of people posting claiming unfair suspensions (be they truthful or not) I am now going to be playing the game with a cloud over my head, scared of other players for fear of being reported, banned with what seems to be little investigation, and then run the risk of losing my account, as I already have one mark on my account.

To clarify:
1: How likely am I to be banned for casually swearing in conversation? (Not aimed at anyone, something along the lines of ‘Oh, I hate this situation’ ‘Aye, it is a bit blank.’) If I am able to be banned for casual swearing, what then is the point of the profanity filter?

2: It seems people are being banned almost instantly after being reported, whether or not they have actually broken the RoC. If this is actually happening, can you alleviate my fears that interaction with other players has now become a sort of roulette and I spend the entire time dreading interaction for fear of saying/doing something another player disagrees with and being reported/banned?

3: Why is there no offensive character name filter at character creation?

4: Why is the ban for first time offenses so harsh?

I am making this post with the hope of some sort of official response at least acknowledging that these are issues that you’re aware of, and better yet, what you’re doing, if anything, to combat these issues. Hopefully this will help alleviate my fears and apprehension at returning to the game.

Many thanks for such a fantastic game,

EDITED: To clarify the points I was trying to make.

ArenaNet Poster
Target Source
#18 -

According to the Support Team, you were contacted on the 28th to point out that names were blocked but you were not suspended. In addition, other players (thanks, guys!) have pointed you towards our statements about policies on names and offensive language.

As such, this was resolved days ago and I will close this thread.