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MakoMako

Obtaining a Character Name from Inactive Player

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I've been trying to spot a particular player on Homecoming as they hold a character name I -really- want. I've tried simple /getglobalname frequently, and have yet to catch the individual online in almost a whole year. I've tried sending in-game Tells and E-mails and have received no response, I highly suspect they are no longer active here.

 

I am willing to pay the player in-game currency if desired, but if they are not even logging in is there any way I can obtain the name in question? Maybe through speaking with GM assistance? If the player tells me they are unwilling to give or sell the name to me, I'm happy to drop it. But if they're not even logging in, I'd like to pursue it.

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If the name is already taken, we do not intervene.  Names are first come, first served.  We're also not currently enforcing the inactive name policy discussed last summer. 

 

Your best shot is waiting and seeing if the player responds to you.  You can also try sending a Forum Private Message, which will send an email to the player's email address.  But it's at their discretion.

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That depends if they have any character info they've discussed on the boards.  If they didn't post about them, or write that info in their profile, there's no way to search which forum name has which characters.

Edited by GM_Tahquitz

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There's voluntary threads in the Excelsior and Torchbearer forums for name swapping.  It still requires the inactive player to read the boards.

 

 

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I remember when the game opened and added the first couple of extra servers.  There were queues that were thousands of players long that would take hours to get to the front of and usually when you finally got to the front of the queue you weren't able to connect.  Those numbers aren't an exaggeration. I understand that hardware has improved and that's part of the reason we aren't seeing that any more, but right now the server status shows a total of 2111 players on line on a Friday afternoon.  That's far, far less than we saw when the game opened and it sounds like you're saying that every one of those players that picked up and abandoned the game has all of there character names protected.  You have a written policy.

Quote

Name Release Policy

With 1000 character slots per shard, we expected you to make a lot of characters, but we’ve been blown away by quite how many… To date, you’ve made a total of 399,501 characters across 64,519 accounts. In fact, one of you has made a total of 277 characters!

 

Now, some of you have voiced concerns that many names are simply being sat on by level 1 characters that’ll never be played again. This is a fair concern, so we are implementing a system that will allow names of unused characters to be released back into circulation for use by new characters.

 

Characters will be flagged as ‘inactive’ when the following time thresholds are met:

 

  • Level 1-5 characters will be flagged as inactive if they have not been played in the last 30 days
  • Level 6-20 characters will be flagged as inactive if they have not been played in the last 90 days
  • Level 21-49 characters will be flagged as inactive if they have not been played in the last 365 days
  • Level 50 characters will never be flagged as inactive

 

 

When a character is flagged as inactive they are not immediately renamed. Instead, their name is simply no longer locked. This allows another player to create a character with that name, at which point the original character will be renamed.

 

You can remove the inactive flag on a character at any time simply by logging them in.

 

We will not be activating this policy for at least a two weeks (possibly longer), so if there are any names you don’t want to lose, please ensure you keep the above guidelines in mind!

 

This is a first pass on this policy, and we may modify it at a later date, however we will give at least 30 days notice for any changes related to releasing names.

How many of those 64 thousand accounts are inactive and abandoned? We haven't even reached the period where the level 21-49 characters would have gone inactive.  I think the concerns that many names are being sat upon by characters that will never played again is more valid now than it was then.

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I have thought about this for a long time, many years since the old coh servers when "captain oblivious" was taken. we need a name sharing function. in Champions they used Global@Toon. but.. I'm not a fan. maybe some other identifier?

maybe a special name resolution window based off the player search window? "/t captain oblivious, something"
[there are 4 characters with the name captain oblivious:
1: Global, Offline, Atlas Park, last online 4 years ago
2: Global, Online, Striga Isle, you have not teamed with this player
3: Global, Online, Mercy Isle, on your team
4: Global, Offline, Peregrine Island, You last teamed with this person on Friday the 27th of June 2021
which do you mean?]

OR

Heuristics:
"/t captain oblivious, where you at?"
game server:
is /t player in same zone? Y/N
is /t player closest to sending player? Y/N
has /t player been in contact or near sending player? Y/N
has /t player been on team/SG etc. with sending player? Y/N

pick best result, send message.

/\ /\ /\ thats for typed messages./\ /\ /\

for player name right click: (the discord method)
player right clicks on "captain oblivious" in menu or 3D environment: "send message"
/t Captain Oblivious#12345, your message

any better ideas? I know this would take more coding and implementation but hey might be worth it.

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Yeah trying the same thing with a name I had live and tried all above methods that can be implemented now and getting no response trying them 😞 what's weird is I can get the name on all servers 'cept Excelsior my home server.

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Posted (edited)
On 3/3/2020 at 2:11 PM, Slaine777 said:

The recent Homecoming Statistics post gives us some more information. There are over 127,000 inactive accounts. Over 877,000 characters have been created that haven't been played this year.

thats a lot.

 

still it wouldn't be an issue if there could be 99,999 of every possible name.

 

after thinking (oh no..) a bit more since my last post I think instead of telling players "that name is already taken" it should give an option to add a number after your player name (outside of the normal player name character limit) and having an ability to make that number invisible in normal gameplay.

 

the only time it'd show up is if you right-click the toon or their name.

 

OR, even better, bump inactivate characters to "Character Name"+# could even have the number be based off the amount of time they are active in a year on average in minutes or hours. would be very hard for people to match that. the higher the amount of activity, the lower the number, with the #1 entry not having a number at all.

 

only thing this cannot solve is account name discrepancies..

Edited by Joshex

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I'm having the same issue. Three of my favorite names from live have been taken by others, and they are not reachable via forums (not taking private messages), and are NEVER online. These folks are obviously just name squatters, not active players. Please do your ACTIVE player base a favor and enact the expiration policy. Don't favor a bunch of inactive people over your active player base.

 

We don't need any of the work-arounds suggested above, we just need you to enact the proposed releases of names.

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3 hours ago, chuckv3 said:

I'm having the same issue. Three of my favorite names from live have been taken by others, and they are not reachable via forums (not taking private messages), and are NEVER online. These folks are obviously just name squatters, not active players. Please do your ACTIVE player base a favor and enact the expiration policy. Don't favor a bunch of inactive people over your active player base.

 

We don't need any of the work-arounds suggested above, we just need you to enact the proposed releases of names.

It's not a case of simply turning it on unfortunately, everything has to be done manually at the moment. The tech to handle it automatically simply doesn't exist right now,

and many other higher-priority tasks that have taken priority over building that tech.

 

The policy was made public knowledge early on so players would be aware of these rules for when we get around to building (and enabling) the tech. Obviously as time goes on, those priority tasks are being knocked out and more and more names are becoming inactive, so it is rising up the list. We'll be getting to it soon.

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2 hours ago, chuckv3 said:

 These folks are obviously just name squatters, not active players.

You assume. You shouldn't do that.

 

Besides, even if the policy were enacted, if they're 50, you still wouldn't get "your" name. If they're 21-49 and have been on any time in the prior year, you wouldn't get "your" name. If they only log on once or twice a month, because that's all the time they have (job, sickness, new parent, etc) you wouldn't necessarily see them online and they may just ignore random tells (or be busy doing other things and not remember to respond.)

 

Yes, I've "lost" several names. Names I'd had on live and am attached to. Heck, have artwork of the characters from live. So, yes, I have a dog in this race, have come up with renames and modifications and the like. I'm still saying "Don't assume."

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Honestly, I'm not even concerned about swiping the name that aggressively. I'm sincerely willing to pay that player for the name because I want it -that- bad, so at the very least some way to connect their in game global to some sort of out-of-game E-mail would be appreciated. (Even if I can't actually see their E-mail address)

 

Alas, I'll deal with it! The fact that there's a name squatting policy to-be-enacted in the first place already makes this more promising than CoH was on live.

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2 hours ago, MakoMako said:

Honestly, I'm not even concerned about swiping the name that aggressively. I'm sincerely willing to pay that player for the name because I want it -that- bad, so at the very least some way to connect their in game global to some sort of out-of-game E-mail would be appreciated. (Even if I can't actually see their E-mail address)

 

Alas, I'll deal with it! The fact that there's a name squatting policy to-be-enacted in the first place already makes this more promising than CoH was on live.

There was a similar policy on live IIRC.  Unfortunately, whenever the devs actually ran the script it never freed up many names, so I wouldn't get your hopes up too much.


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Considering whatever policy that was on live has no affect here (and also literally the first I've heard of that almost a decade later), I think I'll put a higher faith in Devs actively acknowledging the issue, at least.

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Posted (edited)
8 minutes ago, MakoMako said:

Considering whatever policy that was on live has no affect here (and also literally the first I've heard of that almost a decade later), I think I'll put a higher faith in Devs actively acknowledging the issue, at least.

There was a script the devs ran twice. They didn't bother to do it again because so few names were freed up (at least that people wanted.)

 

Details here: https://paragonwiki.com/wiki/Character_Name_Policy

 

It was altered to "Characters under 5" the second time because that's where it had the most - but still very limited - impact. You might not care about it, but there are two things to remember - Live was around longer, with more people over its run than we've had so far, and the second time the script was run was to prepare for server transfers, where (presumably) there'd be more chance for "collisions" of names.

Edited by Greycat

Primarily on Everlasting. Squid afficionado. Former creator of Copypastas. General smartalec.

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I'm not sure if the Legacy devs stated how many names were freed up, but they say that after the last time they ran it, only a small percentage of the released names were ever claimed, something like 8%. Might have been at one of the HeroCons.


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I saw recently that somehow someone was able to use the CO method and put thier @ in front of the character name. it definitely exceeded the normal character limit for a name. is this some new feature in an attempt to tackle this problem?

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On 6/12/2020 at 2:18 PM, Joshex said:

I saw recently that somehow someone was able to use the CO method and put thier @ in front of the character name. it definitely exceeded the normal character limit for a name. is this some new feature in an attempt to tackle this problem?

Can you be a bit more specific, where/how did you see this @Joshex?


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4 hours ago, archaelia said:

Can you be a bit more specific, where/how did you see this @Joshex?

I saw it in torchbearer in chat, the name seemed highlighted and contained a really long player name with global @ toonname. again I'm not sure how they managed it but it exceeded the name character cap. I wish I had a specific user to quote so we could ask them. but I only saw it in a glance and was in a rush.

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I can say with high confidence you probably just saw someone that hotkeyed a character name to follow their global in the chat.

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