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Make Names Unexclusive


LordAndarus's Avatar


LordAndarus
10.30.2012 , 03:10 PM | #1
For several months I hadn't been playing this game for various personal reasons, and my subscription was cancelled due to a billing error or something. During that time, I had planned to resubscribe and start playing again around now, the former of which I did.

I checked here and learned about the server merge that had occured about two weeks prior, which immediately made me very worried about any sort of naming conflicts as names are something that I value greatly in a game like this, as you can probably tell.

While I was extremely relieved to discover that the developers had chosen to make legacy names no longer exclusive, an excellent decision on their part, I still frantically resubscribed, worried about the rest of my names.

To my despair, all seven of the characters I created on Sanctum of the Exalted on December 13, day one of early access, had lost their names. Including my beloved and creatively named Imperial Agent, "Andy".

Call me unhealthily obsessed, but I have memories of frantically preordering to insure I got in early access, more or less to make sure I could get the names I wanted, and of the week early access began, when I spent all of the time I had playing through chapter one with my aforementioned Imperial Agent, hoping to get my legacy name "Starborn", a quest I succeeded in. Pretty much every day I check if any of the holders of my old names decided to delete their characters on Ebon Hawk.

The developers have always said how this game would allow you to create characters that you could truly become attached and bonded to, and personally I find a character's name to be an integral part of this. With this server merge and the apparent titanic influx of players coming when the game becomes free to play, I think only so many players could bond with XxLukeCrapFartxX Skywalker. It seems that pretty much every name with less than five syllables is taken anyway with just the recent merge.

My suggestion is absolutely anything that would make names unexclusive (I don't know if that is a word, but bear with me). What seems to be the most widely proposed idea is to use some sort of @accountname system or something so people can identify you, as identification seems to be the most logical reason the keep names exclusive. It wouldn't even have to be displayed in the game world or in chat, you could just check the character's profile, and have it displayed somewhere there.

While not as ideal, each combination of name and legacy name could be made exclusive. For example, there could be John Smith, Bob Smith, and John Fisher, but only one John Smith.

Lastly, this would probably be the least favorable possibility, but immediately prior to the switch to free to play, every name could be wiped, giving current subscribers a shot at getting names they want before the predicted flood.

I'd also like to note that if the first two of these ideas were to be implemented, it would probably be a good idea to give every character that has had to have a name change at any point a free opportunity to change it back.

I'm very fond of this game, and hope for nothing more than it to succeed. If Bioware were to do something about this issue, it pretty much restore any lost faith from me.

Thanks for reading my ramble, and please respond if you agree so any devs that might see this know you exist.

TL;DR
The naming system should be changed so that names are no longer exclusive, just like the legacy names now are, because it is a good idea.

Sotof's Avatar


Sotof
10.30.2012 , 03:17 PM | #2
The complaint is entirely valid, don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Names are an integral part of a character. I felt my legacy got tainted by all the name changes I was forced to with the transfers so I quit until around now where I have rerolled on another server and my 8 original characters have been left to rot because I just can't get myself to play on them.

I would say the best fix, that would require the least work, would probably be a system like in SC2 where you have a name-tag and a number associated with it.

Uluain's Avatar


Uluain
10.30.2012 , 03:25 PM | #3
No. I like having a unique name.

Yes, I had to rename some characters. No, I didn't need to use apostrophes or funny diacritics to do so. I just sounded them out, and hunted for something close that wasn't taken.

Just like I have done in every other MMO I have ever played.

Vacarius's Avatar


Vacarius
10.30.2012 , 03:35 PM | #4
I think we all agree name changes are a pain. However, unexclusive names are not the way to go and would cause more harm than good. Names are more than just for yourself, they define your identity on the server.

Names influence who you group with, there are some people I would never join because I know they're trolls, loot ninjas, useless etc. There are also people I will happily stop what I'm doing to help because I know and respect them as players. Make names non-unique, and this stops.

An account name or identification number is also the wrong way to go. If the concern is imersion, do you seriously think being called Seikier-99321987 helps? And who expects people to remember that I'm Seikier-99321987 instead of Seikier-99321988?

Names are the key way to identify others, changing this will only lead to more problems.
Seikier - Operative Healer
Officer of Nightmare Council

Nichos_Ketra's Avatar


Nichos_Ketra
10.30.2012 , 05:27 PM | #5
Instead of assigning players a serial number, what about a user-made handle? Every time I see the issue with character first names brought up, nobody every seems to mention it when it works so well elsewhere. I hardly see people complaining about it over on CO or STO, and it allows for non-unique character names while still being able to identity who is who.

JamieKirby's Avatar


JamieKirby
10.30.2012 , 07:40 PM | #6
Well, i wish the random name generator that the game has built in didn't generate names that were already taken..

Sotof's Avatar


Sotof
10.31.2012 , 01:56 AM | #7
Quote: Originally Posted by Nichos_Ketra View Post
Instead of assigning players a serial number, what about a user-made handle? Every time I see the issue with character first names brought up, nobody every seems to mention it when it works so well elsewhere. I hardly see people complaining about it over on CO or STO, and it allows for non-unique character names while still being able to identity who is who.
User handle is a good idea.

Altyrell's Avatar


Altyrell
10.31.2012 , 05:59 AM | #8
Except In-Game Mail will be a problem. I mean it's bad enough that they've lifted the exclusivity of the Legacy Names, I would really hate if they allowed Players to create Characters with the same Name as well.

LordAndarus's Avatar


LordAndarus
10.31.2012 , 06:26 PM | #9
Quote: Originally Posted by Sotof View Post
The complaint is entirely valid, don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Names are an integral part of a character. I felt my legacy got tainted by all the name changes I was forced to with the transfers so I quit until around now where I have rerolled on another server and my 8 original characters have been left to rot because I just can't get myself to play on them.

I would say the best fix, that would require the least work, would probably be a system like in SC2 where you have a name-tag and a number associated with it.
Thanks, good to know I'm not the only one.

Quote: Originally Posted by Uluain View Post
No. I like having a unique name.

Yes, I had to rename some characters. No, I didn't need to use apostrophes or funny diacritics to do so. I just sounded them out, and hunted for something close that wasn't taken.

Just like I have done in every other MMO I have ever played.
What would you think about resetting names before the game goes free to play? It would take care of any inactive and abandoned accounts.

Quote: Originally Posted by Vacarius View Post
I think we all agree name changes are a pain. However, unexclusive names are not the way to go and would cause more harm than good. Names are more than just for yourself, they define your identity on the server.

Names influence who you group with, there are some people I would never join because I know they're trolls, loot ninjas, useless etc. There are also people I will happily stop what I'm doing to help because I know and respect them as players. Make names non-unique, and this stops.

An account name or identification number is also the wrong way to go. If the concern is imersion, do you seriously think being called Seikier-99321987 helps? And who expects people to remember that I'm Seikier-99321987 instead of Seikier-99321988?

Names are the key way to identify others, changing this will only lead to more problems.
If this were to be implemented, it would probably be seen as Seikier-Vacarius, not a random chain of numbers. If anything, wouldn't this actually help identify others? It would prevent people from making characters just to be jerks, and let you recognize friendly players on different characters.

Aital's Avatar


Aital
11.01.2012 , 07:12 AM | #10
I've always liked this idea. And it is completely doable. The game just have to remove any internal reference to names and go to character numbers and other unique identifiable. There's no reason for it not to. And first names being unique regardless of it being the only identifier at early lvs is unrealistic. The only hassle it would add is figuring if you are talking to the same Todd. Well friends lists solves that partly and besides that it simply adds a realistic element to the game. You don't know people that simply. As is they should not have viewable names.

I don't like name resets though. It shouldn't be necessary. They could easily switch internal references to an existing number on your character and leave the names. Then they could sell name changes give one free or let you keep it. It shouldn't be automatically done.