My hair’s only barely smoldering now, since Gallenite announced the new policy for resolving name conflicts on merging servers. Here’s the gist of it, in his words:
When comparing two characters with the same name:
- If neither character has logged in within the past 60 days, the character that has more played time keeps the name.
- If one character has logged in within the past 60 days and the other hasn’t, the one that has been online most recently keeps the name.
- If both characters have logged in within the past 60 days, the character that has more played time keeps the name.
When comparing two guilds with the same name:
- The guild that was created first keeps the name.
I feel better about this. I can’t determine it for sure, but it would seem as though yours truly will get to keep his name.
In the linked message, Gallenite notes that they ran several algorithms, and this seemed to work the best, even better than things involving create date and level.
Also, there will be an option to move servers for free after the merge, or to use the /rename command. Those using /rename will get the opportunity to claim some xp and tradeskill xp bonus potions.
Let’s amuse ourselves with wondering how play time might be superior to level or create date. This doesn’t favor people who have simply made a toon to claim a name for the future, which probably shouldn’t be favored over a toon that has actually been played.
Favoring play time over level also allows merchant characters to retain their identity. Not a terrible idea, and it doesn’t hurt SOE to be nice to those folks who maintain a second account just to have a seller. Though with vault selling, that’s less common these days.
On a related note, it appears that while names are changed, not all other places where those names might be recorded are updated. For example, there were some problems with residence permissions. After the move, the trustee lists did not track the changes of name that came with the move, so that the character on the destination server now had permission, rather than the character on the merging server. In consequence, permission had now been given to a stranger with the same name. There have been thefts.
I recommend anyone involved in a server merge to clear trustee access from their residence(s) and wait until the dust settles.