What’s in a Name?

Is the name reservation fiasco over now? Everyone get their name? or at least a name? I admit I got a bit stressed out over it, but looking back even after just a few days it seems pretty silly. I know people can get attached to their chosen MMO monikers, but I feel like as a broad group we know there’s always a chance we’ll have to settle for something different. When I started playing WoW I was insanely lucky enough to get the name Grace on my original server. No Gracie, or Graciee, or funky characters that nobody knew how to type. Just Grace. And when the time came that I ended up transferring that character to a different server to join a new guild, nobody was shocked that I had to settle for something slightly different. I am guessing that MMO players who always get exactly the name they want, every time, are fortunate and few. Or choose really unusual names. The rest of us adapt, we move on, we learn to live with our fallback options.

Not insane enough to let go of this name though

Not insane enough to let go of this name though

Now this isn’t excusing the poor roll-out of the name reservation system. It was a mess, the WildStar folks knew it, and they scrambled to fix things as best they could. The whole process caused unnecessary strife, and arguably made them look worse than if they had just let people grab their names at headstart with no special treatment. I watched my Twitter feed explode as people tried and failed to get their names over the course of the entire afternoon and into the evening. The only reason I wasn’t joining in was that I got extremely lucky and locked in my name quickly before things started breaking down again. This chaos should have been prevented completely, but in watching years of MMO and other game launches, we can’t say we’re surprised can we?

All this does make me a little bit more nervous about launch. I hope that it goes much more smoothly than this. I trust that the folks behind the scenes are working their butts off right now and that this incident motivates them to get everything right when it really counts. All we can do now is wait and see what happens.

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2 thoughts on “What’s in a Name?

  1. I think the big question of the name reservation system for me was “Why bother?” It’s a nicety but not a major selling point. It wasn’t a compelling enough perk to sway someone on the fence to go ahead with a pre-order. In the end, it shook players confidence in the system and as you say it wasn’t necessary. If anything, it could have been a field in your pre-order and it would email you if it wasn’t available

  2. I pretty much agree. I actually edited out a bit from this post where I suggested what you say here, that they should have made the reservation part of the pre-order process to remove the “mad dash” that ended so badly. I feel bad that this left such a bad taste right as the positive buzz about the game seemed to be peaking.

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