Server consolidations and name conflicts

Bringing this topic to light again. When TBC merged servers, Blizzard had one simple rule in place: in case of a same-name conflict, the character on the destination server got to keep the name.

If you’re on one of the servers destined to be closed this means you’re likely going to lose your name. Let’s say you’ve spent 100 days of playtime on your main with that identity, and you lose your name to a character someone created back in 2019 and played for 20 minutes.

That could very well happen and it sucks.

Personal anecdote:
I lost the name of my main in the first round of server consolidations. For months I would send a mail to the character holding the name, asking if I could purchase it (never received a reply). I went to the server discord and asked around, but no one there could help. Then one day, towards the end of Phase 3, the name was freed up, and I paid Blizzard money in order to restore my character to their original identity.

Addendum: A friend of mine also lost the name of her character. This name was taken by a character on our faction. I added that character to my friendlist and throughout Wrath I never saw them log in a single time.

Obvious solution:
Star Wars: The Old Republic had a simple rule when they first started consolidating servers in 2012. In case of a same name conflict, the character with the most played time got to keep the name.

I think Blizzard should implement a similar rule.

It doesn’t matter how you put it, someone always risk getting hurt…

In case of consolidations - only do them when necessary - the character from the dying realm should loose the name if and only if the character on the realm they’re transferred to is actively being played regardless of time played.

In case of name collision between multiple inactive characters, just flag them all for rename, allowing others to gain their name during the process.

If you aren’t playing the character, then the name probably doesn’t mean that much to you.
If you are playing a character it really doesn’t matter if you’ve played +1000h or just +100h, the name may mean the same to you as it does to the no-lifer.

Yes, but I think the solution SWTOR did was very fair. Because at the start of the game, when you selected your server, you could not have known what the population would look like half a year later.

And how do we measure “actively” playing? Logged in within the last month? Last 6 months? Last year? I can imagine a scenario where someone who hasn’t played since the launch of Wrath logs in during prepatch, gets bored and stops playing. That person would then be considered “active”.

Yes, they should have done this a long time ago. When I first contacted customer support about this, they told me that they have an automatic system in place that enables names from inactive characters after they’ve been inactive for two consecutive expansions.

Turns out, they were wrong. Not long thereafter their customer support page was updated with this piece of information:

Blizzard Customer Support will not release names at all for WoW Classic or Wrath of the Lich King Classic

… however, now that I searched for the article again, that piece of information is no longer there. So maybe they’ll actually free up some names. Confirmation on that would be great.

I think it does matter. I have way more attachment to my main that I’ve sank many, many days of playtime into than I do with one of my alts.

I feel the same way about my mains and alts. Although I don’t wan’t to loose most my alt’s names, it wouldn’t hurt that much and some I don’t care about at all.

I’m more concerned by the overall playtime a player is capable of playing.

Someone might have played on their main for 100’s of hours as that is all they can do while someone else might have played 1000’s of hours.

Both may like the game and their mains equally. One just doesn’t have as much time to play.
I would go crazy if I lost my name because someone no-lifed the game and had more playtime than I had.

How they’d do an activity based system I don’t known. They have statistics.
I have multiple low level characters that I rarely play, that could easily be marked for rename.
I have 80’s I rarely play that could be marked for rename, as I rarely play these characters.

They could take a players total time - all character playtime added up - and then add a percentage of total playtime to each character.

Lets say you have four characters, 40%, 40%, 15% and 5% of total playtime.
I wouldn’t want to loose the name of either the 40% played of total playtime.
In my case I’d consider both my mains.
The 15% and 5% wouldn’t matter as much.

I just don’t think it’s possible to make a system that would make all happy.
There’s no easily solution when realms gets merged.

That is definitely one injustice of the system in SWTOR, and there will of course be cases where one will feel robbed. I’d still argue that it’s better than the alternative, as me and my friends who were forced off our server in TBC lost our names to inactive characters.

They could do something like this, but I think they would prefer a simpler solution, if any at all. I worry they’ll just merge the servers and leave the players to “deal with it”. Sore topic for me due to the effort I went through to restore my character’s identity and the fact that I had to pay for it, only to have it be lost to me again by things that are way out of my control.

True. There really isn’t a one-fits-all solution to this issue, only varying strategies with mitigating effects. Other games have workarounds for these issues, for example by allowing for surnames, or by giving you a name + an ID.

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Isn’t it possible to have the same name when you have the server name at the end? Why not use that, even if a server does not exist anymore it could still be displayed allowing everyone to keep their names. If people found it annoying to look at there could alway be an option to hide it being displayed above character and only display it in tooltips for instance, to avoid mistaken identities.

If it’s not possible, they could always make it so it is, it would work the same as having a number at the end like many account systems do, even their own.

This way you could also remember what server you came from originally and reminisce about old times there… :slight_smile:

Long story short, use server names as a suffix when merging servers so everyone gets to keep their names, and guild names for that matter.

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