Server Consolidation to be Character/Guild Name Reserving “Free for All”? UPDATED!

Written by Feldon on . Posted in EQ2, Game Updates & Maintenance

inigo_montoyaxxx

Everything in yesterday’s EverQuest II Producer’s Letter by Holly “Windstalker” Longdale was a home run, with one exception:

Note that I wrote, “server consolidation” [rather than server mergers]. That’s not evasive language, but our approach. We think our best path is to consolidate some lower population servers into a new server and build a brand new server community from those players.

When asked what this means for existing character and guild names, Ry “Roshen” Schueller doubled down with this comment:

This won’t be an issue, because low population servers are being merged into a NEW server.

No names will be taken on the new server, and player names will be available on a first come basis. It should be pretty easy to grab a name on the new server before a ‘non-active player.’

Not surprisingly, this news has lit off a firestorm of concern from players who have built up eleven years of history. If indeed the new server is a “free for all” for guild and character names, then this will be a radical departure from what has been done with past server merges. We can only hope that there are some crossed wires here or that we don’t have the whole picture. Until we receive some kind of update, I’m going to hold out hope that this is what has occurred, because as-announced, this plan seems destined to create hurt feelings and precious few good experiences.

12:15pm PDT Update:

Windstalker has just responded with a clarification that, while not clearing up the naming policy, does ensure that characters will not lose any of their stuff…

On the server consolidation, don’t worry. We haven’t written the process and we are investigating server populations. Part of this work will include determining if duplicate names of guilds and characters are going to exist and how many. We will continue our plans based on all the information we can gather that will make it as smooth and as simple as possible to move your characters and ALL YOUR STUFF.

Don’t worry…we aren’t going to ham-hand this…(I’ve always wanted to use that word…).

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Comments (50)

  • Moose

    |

    Will be interesting to see how this pans out!

    Reply

    • Zzzz'z

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      I was not looking forward to trying to rename my bus load of toons. Plus…I disliked the implication that names were 1st come 1st served which meant all of us working class folks could risk being stiffed on names. I really hope the mergers can address character names, guild names and guild levels, and all our housing stuff without a hitch. With that said, I’m super excited and hope the mergers can breathe some life into dead servers and LFG. With the TL server launch dead is now even deader!!

      Reply

      • Bloodstormz

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        i think the “First come First served ” might be related to creation date.

        Reply

  • Weeeeeee

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    Just imagine what might happen with all those people out there who will intentionally steal a name from someone that they don’t like cause they wronged them in some way or form on their old server.

    Hell I’ve had seen it happen in server merges before as a joke, where someone will make a new toon with a name just so a soon to be transferring person would be forced to change…

    Reply

    • GriffonLady

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      Exactly. They already have a method of allowing multiple people with the same name on the same server at once (battlegrounds) Why not just implement that on the new server?

      Reply

  • Archangel

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    “It should be pretty easy to grab a name on the new server before a ‘non-active player.’
    Ry “My Names Are Reserved” Schueller

    “all of us working class folks could risk being stiffed on names”
    Zzzz’z

    Whereas legions of copycat name players can lock in someone else’s older name by being first. By being online during working hours. Like the dot-Com cybersquatting, I see a cottage industry of plat-farmers grabbing names, and selling them back for the right price.

    By example, say all servers were being merged. Here’s the first-come-first-served for “Roshen”, provided by EQ2Wire:

    Roshen – Monk (9) – Freeport
    Roshen – Necromancer (4) – Crushbone
    Roshen – Shadowknight (1) – Deathtoll <— remember hypothetical

    Ok, bad example. No one wants to be "Roshen". How about:

    Feldon – Berserker (2) – Everfrost
    Feldon – Ranger (3) – Stormhold
    Feldon – Bruiser (57) – Guk
    Feldon – Ranger (100) – Butcherblock
    Feldon – Ranger (1) – Antonica Bayle

    Suppose these are not all incarnations of The Feldon. Who gets the name "Feldon"? The answer is Anyone.

    "No names will be taken on the new server"
    Ry “Never Stands In Line” Schueller

    Any of The Feldon's "enemies", oh like Thomas "I took the Malshandir name without permission" Freyer, blocked EQ2wire commenters, that Reddit guy, could become "Feldon". ANYONE.

    The clock is ticking on server merges. Let's see if someone with authority and common sense really thinks this through.

    /*

    "Got a problem? Odds against you? Need help?
    Call The Equalizer"

    Reply

    • Feldon

      |

      Feldon – Berserker (2) – Everfrost
      Feldon – Ranger (3) – Stormhold
      Feldon – Bruiser (57) – Guk
      Feldon – Ranger (100) – Butcherblock
      Feldon – Ranger (1) – Antonica Bayle

      Suppose these are not all incarnations of The Feldon. Who gets the name “Feldon”? The answer is Anyone.

      Only the Butcherblock and Antonia Bayle versions are me. Yes, anyone could get Feldon.

      Reply

      • madrat

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        I have the same problem with several of mine.
        Docman my defiler level 100 on Guk, and that name is on every server but none are 100.
        Garabaldi my warlock same level 100 5 other servers same name none of those level 100
        Gotcheese my 100 coercer two other servers and none of those level 100
        Lyta my 100 trouby same thing on ever single server none of those 100
        Ratbeast my 100 beastlord on 4 other servers same thing all them nowhere near close
        Sneakrat my 100 sin, the other one level 10 lol
        Then I got my baby toon korbindallas oh well there is another 100.

        So who gets to keep their name, and most of those toons going back to 2006 and 2007.

        Then my guild well technically speaking missing guild leader but yes The Elders well who gets to keep that guild name?

        Reply

      • GriffonLady

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        >.> That’s why I made a “Griffonlady” on every server. I didn’t think anyone would take it, but I did it anyway. XD
        Actually, someone on Freeport server did take the name before i could… or I made an acount, made the character, then forgot about it. o.0 … Sadly, with my memory… that’s the more likely scenario. XD

        Reply

      • Archangel

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        “I am Spartacus.”

        Of course in theory other people could grab names, and delete them when the real person needs the name.

        Although I’m tempted to use “Thereal”NAME naming convention.

        “In the end, there can be only one.” Recap:

        “No names will be taken on the new server, and player names will be available on a first come basis. It should be pretty easy to grab a name on the new server before a ‘non-active player.”
        Ry ‘Why is everyone stealing my character names?’ Schueller

        “On the server consolidation, don’t worry. We haven’t written the process and we are investigating server populations. Part of this work will include determining if duplicate names of guilds and characters are going to exist and how many.”
        Holly Longdale

        The two statements are not mutually exclusive; they can both be correct. So here we are, a day or so later, and there is no clarification on names. Must not be a big deal to Daybreak Games, OR they’re actually coming up with a cunning plan which will be revealed on Monday (being generous here).

        But this isn’t about names. We will all deal with game names and continue with our lives. It’s really about how a company treats it’s customers. If we get Windstalker’d, that’s a company giving a damn; or looking like it does. If we get Roshen’d, DBG will lose much gamer trust.

        That’s not hyperbole. Remember these?

        ‘Free for life.’ / ‘Guaranteed for life.’ / ‘Replaced for free.’
        ‘Your rates will never change.’
        ‘We protect and respect your privacy.’ / ‘Your data will never be sold.’
        ‘We care.’

        Remember how you feel about those companies, now?

        Daybreak Games, we’re not asking to be pampered. We’re asking to be treated as people, as valued customers. Not cash cows.

        Or

        /*

        “If God didn’t want them sheared, he would not have made them sheep.”
        Calvera, The Magnificent Seven (1960)

        Reply

      • Cyliena

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        Only the Butcherblock and Antonia Bayle versions are me. Yes, anyone could get Feldon.

        Similar problem here.. there’s six of Cyliena, but only three are me (Everfrost, Test, Stormhold). While it it’ll suck for anyone to lose their beloved character name, it’s compounded when you’re also a well-known community figure, because then you can run into impersonation problems.

        I really, really hope they rethink this whole thing.

        Reply

    • GriffonLady

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      The irony is, They know EXACTLY what it’s like to deal with a .com squatter. Remember when SOE forgot to pay the bill and someone else got their domain name?

      Reply

  • Caela

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    Hmmm, before Windstalker’s reply I wasn’t really worried about stuff or my name. But now I’m real worried about name.

    I’ve had my name since November 2004 – and unless you can show me someone who has had it longer, I expect to keep it, even if I don’t log in within the first 10 minutes.

    Reply

    • Pipsissiwa

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      Agree – I’ve had mine since launch too. And I am this name everywhere. Pips is my online presence. I expect to keep it.

      Reply

  • Noctew

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    I see what you did there, Feldonxxx! 😉

    Reply

  • rimalzp

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    I’m not sure Windstalker’s reply is very comforting, since she didn’t even acknowledge Roshen’s (bizarre, imo) post. Did she even see it?

    Reply

  • fyang

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    I don’t care about name. I just care about population.

    Reply

    • GriffonLady

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      Did you know that the population drops when people quit the game? 0.0 And people quit the game in the last 2 mergers because they lost their names?
      Just because you don’t care, don’t assume others don’t.

      Reply

  • Caam

    |

    From Windstalker’s post:

    “Part of this work will include determining if duplicate names of guilds and characters are going to exist and how many.”

    It has been my understanding that part of the restructure is the ability for characters to share names. Whether or not this will end up being the case when the process is put in place is anyone’s guess. I don’t even know if name sharing would be acceptable to the community. I’m sure some folks would prefer it if there weren’t 15 “Feldon”s running around the world.

    If I were in their shoes, I would set up some kind of preregistration for the migration. It would be something like a “/beta”. If you want to try to reserve your character’s name, submit a request for it to be prioritized during the transfer. Anyone who requests their name will have rules applied, similar to previous merges, where the character with the best claim for a name gets that name and others get the “x” applied. At least this way there can be some sort of recognition that there will be some logic to the merge.

    In any case, I’m sure this will be a /popcorn kind of event and I look forward to all of the discussion and flames. 🙂

    Reply

  • Mysstie

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    My comment is still… hmmm.. Looked on EQ2U and there is another Mysstie on Unrest.

    Reply

  • Korvan

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    I don’t know why they just don’t use similar rules that they did with the server merges that they did years ago. Priority for a name should be a combination of character age and time played. If it’s a character that hasn’t been logged in for quite a while (more than a few years), then it should be excluded.

    Reply

  • Zapphod

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    Don’t worry…we aren’t going to ham-hand this…(I’ve always wanted to use that word…).

    I suspect that by the fact we are having this discussion they already have “ham-handed” this.

    Reply

  • Dragoneyes

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    Not sure how things look since my server Splitpaw is the only EU-EN out there since Runnyeye got merged with us years back.But even so I am at present rather annoyed(being polite here) with what has been said so far and loosing the whole guild level that my partner (who now has terminal cancer) and myself have put so much time and love into looks like it will be erased.
    Seems it’s not my week even my other MMO LOTRO are doing the server merges,but least the one I am on isn’t closing down,just feel bad for the ones who are ..

    Reply

    • Karsten

      |

      Past server merges copied guilds over intact. The only risk *should* be if your guild’s name is mirrored exactly on one of the other servers being consolidated, in which case the guild name might need to change; no progress should be lost. Not ideal, but not a crisis.

      Wait and see what they have to say once they do their research and identify how many hundreds or thousands of characters and dozens of guilds carry duplicate names… I think it’s too early to make any decisions based on the minimal information Daybreak has provided.

      PS. To those of you checking your characters’ names on EQ2U: keep in mind that not all characters show up there, if they’ve opted out of Census.

      Reply

  • Striinger

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    I was in the whine-a-lot group a while back over name/identity loss, but I changed to a new one and the sky did not fall. They just need to make surnames matter (and set at creation).
    I wonder of Chicken Little is taken. 🙂

    How many David’s and Sarah’s do YOU know?!

    Reply

    • Surgen

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      In fairness, IRL you can have as many Davids and Sarahs as you like, you don’t have to tell every David and Sarah that, sorry, you’re not allowed to be David anymore because someone got in there before you. Pick another name.

      “Surgen” has been my EQ identity, with plenty of RP backstory, since 2002. It carries significance for me in-game beyond just being a toon I use to kill mobs and do quests. Thankfully I’m on AB so not likely to be merged/consolidated but I do see why this would cause angst for some people.

      Reply

    • GriffonLady

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      People don’t quit life if someone gets their name. Life doesn’t close down if there aren’t enough people living.
      Not giving a crap about other people isn’t something to tout about.

      Reply

      • GriffonLady

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        Although, your choice of avatar pictures makes more sense every time I read a post you’ve written. 😆

        Reply

    • GriffonLady

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      Also, how difficult could it be to re-use the battlegrounds bit of code that allows multiple people with the same name via the server name tag? Or open the naming system to allow numbers, symbols, and punctuation?

      Reply

  • Arcos

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    I would hope that they might have enough common sense or worldly knowledge to understand the context or meaning of a name and why it was chosen. I’ve usually thought long and hard before naming a new character and there is usually a good reason why the name fits the character. For example one of my alts is called Nessun. This makes good sense when you note he’s a Dirge and his extended name is Nessun Dorma. Those Nessuns on other servers who are guardians or warlocks obviously just picked it as they liked the sound.

    Reply

  • Dellmon

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    I am surprised by Roshen’s comments, but not at all by the behavior. I think that organizationally Daybreak (and formerly Sony Online Ent) has had a track record of poor communication about specifics. To swoop in make a ill-thought out comment about something – and then to leaving it dangling out there – seems to be par for the course for them.

    I would like to think that again as a collective whole Daybreak would understand its customer base better. I think that for many players of games like these one of the things that they are most emotionally tied to is their character name. While change is always a scary venture, to even suggest (even if it is not the case, but the mere suggestion of) an active player might lose their name in the process is bound to illicit a momma bear like response.

    You would think that perhaps when an out-of-the-blue post comes from a Red Name that a follow-up might be in order to somewhat calm the masses. But instead it seems that silence is just allowing this very emotional topic to wildfire.

    Whatever merger or consolidation policy that they come up with – we will have to live with it. One can only hope that they put time and effort into considering the affects that it will have and let those drive their implementation. Yes, there will be contention and ties will have to have broken. But hopefully in the end a well thought out solution is the final result and not some two liner response with no follow up.

    Reply

    • Feldon

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      Seems like they announced something before all the ducks were in a row.

      Reply

      • Cyliena

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        As much as I love Ry, community shouldn’t be announcing technical things like that, imo.

        Reply

    • lili

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      Actually … people will not live with it … they will just leave. We lost so many people over the last 2 years over a bunch of really bad decisions from SOE/Daybreak that a name change based on first come first serve might be the last straw for a lot more people. Also remember, there aren’t just character names, but imagine if your guild name that you have been wearing on all your characters for as long es EQ2 exists is changed too, that will be hard to swallow … not to mention the work that will come with guild websites, URLs, databases etc. etc.

      Reply

  • Kallinia

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    Since they most likely can’t implement last name recognition, simple solution : allow dots (or some other character like – or _ ) to be part of the name so everyone can keep their name. I’d rather run around with a toon named Kallinia.Splitpaw than having to change my toon’s name to Somestupidnameihavenorelationto 🙂

    Reply

  • Jeeshman

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    No names will be taken on the new server, and player names will be available on a first come basis. It should be pretty easy to grab a name on the new server before a ‘non-active player.’

    How does this statement make sense if everyone moves to the new server at the same time? Does he mean “first to log in?” Grrrrr.

    Reply

    • Mermut

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      If it is implemented the way Roshen posted, yup. Worse, somebody could make a brand new character with ‘your’ name and force your character to be renamed.
      I seriously hope they do something closer to what they’ve done in the past which has been a combination of character age, play time and recent activity.

      Reply

  • Korvan

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    It sounds like some folks will be taking “sick days” on the day of the server migration (and it really does sound like a migration process, not an actual merge). To simplify things for myself, I just deleted all of my old characters. I’m playing on Stormhold and I never planned on going back to the standard servers anyway.

    Reply

  • Blakey

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    I think the way it should be done is give the character that has played the longest the original name and as in the past add an “x” to the next character with that name and so on.
    Also give everyone a free rename potion so if they don’t like their “x” they can change their name to something that they do want.
    It definately sounds like they are planning to merge 3 or even 4 servers into 1 though – could get messy!

    Reply

  • Amyuka

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    I really wish that the EQ2 team would quit spitting in all the veteran/paying customers’ faces every time they do something… At least act like you care about your game and its loyal playerbase because let’s face it: That’s all thats just about left now.

    Reply

    • Pipsissiwa

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      It would be nice to think that subscribers would get precedent over f2p names, but seems unlikely.

      Reply

  • Ghost X

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    What do you think will happen to the Nagafen server with the upcoming merger? With dozens on at one time after the new TL Servers, wondering about its future? Will it survive because it is the only current PVP server?

    Reply

    • Feldon

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      Deathtoll is the only current PvP server.

      Reply

  • Striinger

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    I’d be nice if they could free up some of the “dead” names on every server.
    There was talk of using an account.character convention (like several newer MMO) in the EQN chatter, but people lost their mind at the thought that someone could link their toon to their account alias.

    Reply

    • Dedith

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      Or maybe character#RNGnumber, where the character name is what is displayed unless you looks deeper (inspect, guild roster, etc) where you then see the character#number.

      Reply

  • Ohnix

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    And here I was thinking I was safe from having to rename my toon yet again – been through 2 prior mergers. And all that was based on my naïve thoughts that they actually kept the last naming rules in place …. amount of time played on the character. No Dice 🙁

    So now I get to see if I need to find someway to rename my 18 alts on butcherblock so that I can at least say the name has some meaning – otherwise its going to be something like {A..R}gumpedname.

    Why cannot the system key off of the account? After all THEY are different and unique.

    Reply

  • Ghost X

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    So you think Naggie’s days are numbered? Will it be rolled into the. Eq server leaving no current content pvp?

    Reply

  • Neiloch

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    Is it really so hard to set up priority through age and activity? Like if a duplicate name has been ‘active’ (played) in the past 30 days the older one gets priority.

    Reply

  • madrat

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    And I am supposed to feel better after that. They not wrote anything? What was wrong with the old server merge code? I am glad were getting server merges but please do it right.

    Reply

    • uncle

      |

      nothing is wrong with the old server merge code if they done the merger before the Data base mirgation

      Reply

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