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Response to name conflict resolution debate

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Hey guys, we've been reading the "debate" (I'm using the term loosely) on the forums here regarding the name conflict resolution and how some of you dislike how it's going to work. We understand where you're coming from, but I want to take this opportunity to explain a bit better why it's looking the way it is.

We expected very strong opinions on our announcement outlining how name conflicts will be resolved, and in spite of this we went ahead with it. Why would we do that? Well, while the answer isn't going to make you somersault out of join, hopefully it'll make sense and help you better understand our position...

So, resolving name conflicts in a fair way was one of, if not the most important factor involved in developing the tools needed for the server merges. We're playing the game ourselves and didn't want to find our own character names taken by an inactive level 5 character, and from scouring the forums for roughly two weeks it quickly dawned on us that you wouldn't be particularly thrilled over it either. We understand how important a fair ruling is, and it came as a blow to us when we realized the tools we were working with wouldn't be able to support a systematic comparative deduction process, i.e. a set of determining criteria. It had been our preferred solution, but instead we had to go back to the drawing board.

Rather than resetting everyone's names to a random string of characters, we opted for finding an alternative solution which wouldn't take everyone back to dark ages. The best solution we could find, one that had been used successfully by other games in the past, involved tagging a server name suffix onto the end of each character's name. By adding this suffix we would allow you to maintain the tradition accumulated in your name, even if you'd encounter a name conflict on the new server.

We're giving a free Name Change ticket each to all character which you can use to regain your old name, or to start fresh with something new. If your name is popular (say, Legolas) and other claimers exist, you're still able to retain your old name with only the server suffix added. It's a unique stamp that'll let people know it's still you.

Our number one priority is to make you as happy as possible, which is why we decided to merge servers and stabilize populations in the first place. While, yes, there are more sophisticated ways to ensure name retention, we really do believe that your move to the new server will work out fine. That's about it.