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Focused Feedback: Name Release Policy - Phase 1: Warning Mode


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13 hours ago, Number Six said:

Also, account activity is not something that's possible for the system to access due to the game's distributed architecture.

 

Account data lives on a separate system from the individual shards. It would take a much more substantial rewrite of the character list code to for it to be able to query that efficiently.

 

I was really hoping that this was possible to flag accounts.  

 

With that being said, please consider having level 50 characters get flagged for inactivity after two years.  If you haven't logged on to a character for two years, odds are you either are not playing anymore or have no interest in that character.  I'm all for people leaving and coming back, but you shouldn't be able to control a name your not using for more than two years.

 

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13 hours ago, El D said:

 

That's unfortunate, but makes sense. 😕

 

Would a 'check in' option on the Character Select screen be doable instead? That'd still require folks to check in individually for each character, without the rigamarole of logging in and back out ad nauseum - possibly over multiple servers.

Seconded. I think this is a great solution.

 

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2 hours ago, ForeverLaxx said:

Wasn't this done on Live, with Cryptic/Paragon at the helm, with no appreciable effect? I get the idea that people want names freed because of "campers," but when the game had 1000x the population, running the name recovery script freed up so few "desirable" names that it wasn't ran a second time.

 

Sure, we have 1000 slots per server compared to the original... I want to say 20. I honestly forget. But how many people are actually sitting on 4k character names each and how does that compare to 300,000 OG Game Players all sitting on 20 names?


Let's put it this way.

There are over TWO MILLION characters in our database. Only a fraction of those have been played in the last week. I don't want to get much more specific (such as going into numbers of accounts and such), because Cipher will stab me. But yes, under-leveled, unplayed characters are a huge deal, and I can guarantee a LOT of names are going to get freed up!

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4 hours ago, ForeverLaxx said:

Wasn't this done on Live, with Cryptic/Paragon at the helm, with no appreciable effect? I get the idea that people want names freed because of "campers," but when the game had 1000x the population, running the name recovery script freed up so few "desirable" names that it wasn't ran a second time.

 

Sure, we have 1000 slots per server compared to the original... I want to say 20. I honestly forget. But how many people are actually sitting on 4k character names each and how does that compare to 300,000 OG Game Players all sitting on 20 names?

 

It feels like name camping is far more of a thing than it was on Live. On Everlasting at least, dunno about other servers. Its getting more and more difficult to find a good name, or one where you don't have to put a . at the end. It just makes me think how alienating that may be to new people playing for the first time, that every name they find is taken. Sometimes I'll /getglobalname and some people have every variation of a specific name and I'm just unable to believe they actively play every version of that, or sometimes they'll have all the names of a specific concept and its like nah, no way you have that many characters with that specific concept you're just sitting on names. I'm sure we've all seen it before, someone logging in with a good name in Atlas Park level 1, just the generic look, then logging back out. To "save it for later" and it never gets used. Plus it would just be nice to have the names that were claimed by people in week 1 and 2 who only logged in out of curiosity and to see what all the fuss is about. It may not be a lot of names but it'll be nice to see them available and used by active players.

 

I think now that its clarified that after the warning appears, your character won't be insta-renamed, only until someone else chooses that name, it gives a lot more freedom in terms of a person logging in. I also agree with the suggestion of 50s being wiped, but putting in a crazy date like 3 years or something. After 3 years its very clear they're not playing anymore.

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1 hour ago, GM Impervium said:

But yes, under-leveled, unplayed characters are a huge deal, and I can guarantee a LOT of names are going to get freed up!

Unless we foil your sinister plan!

 

For example, in my case, I recreated 3 characters that I had back on live so that I wouldn't lose the names.  That was 70 days ago.  I can tell you that without logging in because I have a spreadsheet where I keep track of this.  And my spreadsheet specifically has a column to warn me when I'm approaching the name release deadlines that I implemented when the policy was first discussed.  YOU'RE NOT GETTING MY NAMES, COPPER!  😛

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I'm hopeful, when finally fully implemented, the name policy will be retroactive to homecoming launch.

 

I like this overall.

 

However, I think a couple changes might serve the community well.

 

First, if the name of a character matches the Global Handle of the account, the name is never flagged regardless of its level. This would let everyone have one name without worry, forever; and won't have to deal with someone else playing the character that matches their own global handle on their preferred server.

 

Second. For when this goes live create an account bound token, which is granted once per week and for which only two can be had at any time which allows a player to take a flagged name. If they choose a name which is currently flagged, and which would cause the existing flagged character to lose the name, they will be asked if they wish to spend one of these tokens to do so.  This will limit how fast any one player might take over names that are flagged claimable, and prevent one player from suddenly trying all the combinations of a freshly available name they discovered to just become a new name-camper on.

 

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2 hours ago, Ironblade said:

Unless we foil your sinister plan!

 

For example, in my case, I recreated 3 characters that I had back on live so that I wouldn't lose the names.  That was 70 days ago.  I can tell you that without logging in because I have a spreadsheet where I keep track of this.  And my spreadsheet specifically has a column to warn me when I'm approaching the name release deadlines that I implemented when the policy was first discussed.  YOU'RE NOT GETTING MY NAMES, COPPER!  😛

99% certain you're not the target audience. 😄   (I really need to finish some spreadsheet stuff to track login stuff, though for me, it's dayjob related)

 

Level 50s should be subjected as well.   I'd go with 18 months

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5 hours ago, GM Impervium said:


Let's put it this way.

There are over TWO MILLION characters in our database. Only a fraction of those have been played in the last week. I don't want to get much more specific (such as going into numbers of accounts and such), because Cipher will stab me. But yes, under-leveled, unplayed characters are a huge deal, and I can guarantee a LOT of names are going to get freed up!

 

image.png.3e39a6408d26f62beb7b770f3e755373.png

 

I'm so worried about losing this name, I should log in post haste!  🤪

 

@GM Impervium Regarding testing the flagging, do characters transferred over carry their 'days since lat logged in' with them?

I have queued some for transferring of various levels and login dates and some have showed up but they don't appear to be flagged.

 

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2 hours ago, Andreah said:

I'm hopeful, when finally fully implemented, the name policy will be retroactive to homecoming launch.

 

I like this overall.

 

However, I think a couple changes might serve the community well.

 

First, if the name of a character matches the Global Handle of the account, the name is never flagged regardless of its level. This would let everyone have one name without worry, forever; and won't have to deal with someone else playing the character that matches their own global handle on their preferred server.

 

Second. For when this goes live create an account bound token, which is granted once per week and for which only two can be had at any time which allows a player to take a flagged name. If they choose a name which is currently flagged, and which would cause the existing flagged character to lose the name, they will be asked if they wish to spend one of these tokens to do so.  This will limit how fast any one player might take over names that are flagged claimable, and prevent one player from suddenly trying all the combinations of a freshly available name they discovered to just become a new name-camper on.

 


This issue is self-correcting, I think.

Let's say patch day comes, and I manage to create like, 100 new characters and grab 100 old names. A, that would take FOREVER (especially with other people potentially doing the same thing), and B, I'd have to remember to log them all in once a month (playing them above level 5 would mean I only have to do it every 2 months, but, that would involve spending a non-0 amount of time taking them in-game to get leveled up, during which time, other names I might want to sit on will get taken). Someone would have to be super dedicated to sit on a large quantity of names, or keep them for long periods of time. The time limits make it even harder to continue sitting on desired names.

@Oubliette_Red, yes, transferred characters maintain their "time offline". I just tested this myself to confirm 😃
 

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19 hours ago, Fate said:

While I am happy to see the name release system being implemented, I don't think doing it by character is a good way to go about doing it. If doing it by account activity isn't feasible, would it be possible to get a button on the character select UI that would set all of your characters to active? Having to manually log in each character is a lot of extra time spent not playing for anyone with a lot of alts, and managing it when you have hundreds of characters is going to get tricky as it could be easy to over look the symbol when scrolling through many pages of characters. If the server allows 1,000 characters it should be reasonable to have 1,000 characters, especially since this is a super hero game, so having a specific name can be a big part of a character's identity.

 

This.

The anniversary badge takes me a few days to go through.

 

If this is going to be implemented, then to me (frankly) we need to have the character select screen get is *long overdue* revamp with additional information and filtering - to include "danger of losing name."

 

8 hours ago, ForeverLaxx said:

Wasn't this done on Live, with Cryptic/Paragon at the helm, with no appreciable effect? I get the idea that people want names freed because of "campers," but when the game had 1000x the population, running the name recovery script freed up so few "desirable" names that it wasn't ran a second time.

 

Sure, we have 1000 slots per server compared to the original... I want to say 20. I honestly forget. But how many people are actually sitting on 4k character names each and how does that compare to 300,000 OG Game Players all sitting on 20 names?

 

Yes, it was. First time was everything under level - I want to say 35. The second time, due to so few names being "reclaimed," it was under level 6 or some such. And it was never run again. But then again, it also didn't target active accounts.  (Though... while I *sort of* get the "we can't really do that" explanation, I'm not sure how hard it would be to go "Oh, Character Superdude was logged on today. Superdude's global is @Nosehairman. Skip all characters with global @Nosehairman." Not a programmer, not privy to the internals of this, I'm just curious as to why that's not the check, then.)

 

(And the original... I'm trying to think of when it was run. If it was pre-COV, it would be 8 slots per server. If you had COV+COH, you had 12 slots, and eventually that grew to 36 per server.)

 

Honestly, I think this is only going to result in three things:

 

1. Annoying active players when they lose one of their character names (say, on another server they don't play on much and so wouldn't be checking) if/when the actual release itself goes live,

 

2. A call to include 50s when the "Name campers are holding all the good names!" crowd still doesn't get the name they want, (tied with "and they knew about PLing because they removed AE from Atlas/Mercy,") and   ---EDIT - in fact, that's starting already... *points up a few posts.* ---

 

3. Just an increase in PLing to make characters immune... whether you plan on playing for years or you just stuck your nose in. Hell, I prefer playing the content at level *while* I level, and *I'm* considering PLing all of my characters now.

Edited by Greycat

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

 

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27 minutes ago, Oubliette_Red said:

 

image.png.3e39a6408d26f62beb7b770f3e755373.png

 

I'm so worried about losing this name, I should log in post haste!  🤪

 

@GM Impervium Regarding testing the flagging, do characters transferred over carry their 'days since lat logged in' with them?

I have queued some for transferring of various levels and login dates and some have showed up but they don't appear to be flagged.

 

Adds calendar alert to grab that name in 472 days. Let's see that's October 28, 2023.

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8 minutes ago, Greycat said:

Hell, I prefer playing the content at level *while* I level, and *I'm* considering PLing all of my characters now.

I am the same. I also reroll quite a bit and get distracted easily so I have quite a few lowbie characters who are using names I've actually had for ages. I would be furious if I lost any of them!

 

So, as this policy stands I'm going to have to cycle through my 80 or so non lv50 characters, some of them fairly often. Or I can pl, but to me that ruins the character and when I actually want to play it for real I'm going to have to reroll it again anyway. I get the intent and benefit of the policy but this is a massive waste of my time, and frankly it's going to be a bit stressful.

 

There has to be a better way of doing this.

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2 hours ago, Parabola said:

I am the same. I also reroll quite a bit and get distracted easily so I have quite a few lowbie characters who are using names I've actually had for ages. I would be furious if I lost any of them!

 

So, as this policy stands I'm going to have to cycle through my 80 or so non lv50 characters, some of them fairly often. Or I can pl, but to me that ruins the character and when I actually want to play it for real I'm going to have to reroll it again anyway. I get the intent and benefit of the policy but this is a massive waste of my time, and frankly it's going to be a bit stressful.

 

There has to be a better way of doing this.

Pfft. 80.

 

:)

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13 hours ago, Faultline said:

Also, not directly aimed at you,

 

I always assume that as long as it isn't a personal attack.

 

13 hours ago, Faultline said:

the name is not automatically taken away at the end of the timer, it's only made available for new characters to use.

 

I understood that as well, but some people are hunting for names and may be trying that name everyday once this goes into effect because they feel that that name is their name. The ones most likely to do this will most probably  immediately power-level that character to 50 so that they never lose it.

 

13 hours ago, Faultline said:

Some of the feedback in various channels sounds like people expect to come back after a month and find all their character names wiped out.

 

I'm sure that some are worried about this.

 

I'm not one of them, but that means to be made clear :: Warning: Your character is now tagged for possible renaming. Login prevent others from taking this character's name or something like that will fit in the warning message area on the character list. 

 

The Renaming thing has been a contentious thing all along. The percentage of the player base that is for causing the renaming of other player's characters so that they can take them is very small from what I can tell.

I would think that this would be better targeted at inactive accounts and would "unlock" the names of all characters including level 50's. I, however, know that this has already proceeded too far in development and that going that route might not have been possible at any rate.

 

The Renaming Policy won't affect me.

I basically go through all my character list pages on all servers usually at least once per week, so really this is going to have no impact on me other than needing to log into a character when I see the warning.  I'm just trying to look out for other players.

Do I actually play all my characters (more than simply logging in or doing some marketing standing in the same spot) every year? No. Honestly, I don't think that I do, but I do try to cycle through my characters, because that's what give the game longevity to me.

 

I'm at 128 characters at this point.

 

 

 

Edited by UltraAlt
adding # of current characters

If someone posts a reply quoting me and I don't reply, they are most probably on ignore.

Some of them even know that I have them on ignore.

But that won't stop some of them from bullying and harassing people, because some of them love to do it.

It's who they are. There is a group of them that have banded together to do it. They think that it is acceptable.

Ignore is a tool to improve your gaming experience. Don't feel bad about using it.

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I saw the exclamation in red when I logged into Beta yesterday and I think it's very noticeable as a player on log in and it would be something good to implement.

 

Suggestion - Closer to the time of implementing it as a non warning but impending action-  send out an email to your player base accounts, letting them know, so at least they're informed and may save complaints later on.  If that is possible.

 

 

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On 7/12/2022 at 4:14 PM, El D said:

Perhaps there could be some kind of 'check in' option to satisfy the tag from the Character Select screen?

 

If it isn't worth the time to log into the character, can you really justify wanting to keep the name?

I mean how often would you need to do it?

Do you have a level sub 5 parked with a name that you want to keep that you are going to have to keep logging in every 30 days to keep?

 

I'm going to have a good handful that I'm going to log in every 90 days to keep the name, but, I feel like, it is worth logging them in order to keep the name ... if I really feel that it is important to me.

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If someone posts a reply quoting me and I don't reply, they are most probably on ignore.

Some of them even know that I have them on ignore.

But that won't stop some of them from bullying and harassing people, because some of them love to do it.

It's who they are. There is a group of them that have banded together to do it. They think that it is acceptable.

Ignore is a tool to improve your gaming experience. Don't feel bad about using it.

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I can say that frustration in finding good names, and expressing disappointment about good names being taken by people who never respond to inquiries about them and who are never seen with them logged in is a very common occurrence in the roleplay supergroups I've been in and in the role-player and themed-character communities I frequent.

 

I think with warning and generous time frames for this process it should be fine. Even if few names actually end up being released, at least people will know the names they desire are not entirely abandoned.

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2 hours ago, Zappalina said:

I saw the exclamation in red when I logged into Beta yesterday and I think it's very noticeable as a player on log in and it would be something good to implement.

 

Suggestion - Closer to the time of implementing it as a non warning but impending action-  send out an email to your player base accounts, letting them know, so at least they're informed and may save complaints later on.  If that is possible.

 

 

I don't know if email is an option.  Isn't email tied to account, and that would have the same problems as account-base inactivation?

 

Maybe if there were some sort of warning on the first page of the character select that said you had one or more characters on that server that were in possible danger of losing their names?  I have well over 10 pages of characters on my main server and 5+ on two others and I don't cycle through the lists all that often. But, it's rare that I don't log in to each of the three servers in a months time, so at least I would know to check.

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11 hours ago, Andreah said:

I'm hopeful, when finally fully implemented, the name policy will be retroactive to homecoming launch.

 

I like this overall.

 

However, I think a couple changes might serve the community well.

 

First, if the name of a character matches the Global Handle of the account, the name is never flagged regardless of its level. This would let everyone have one name without worry, forever; and won't have to deal with someone else playing the character that matches their own global handle on their preferred server.

 

Second. For when this goes live create an account bound token, which is granted once per week and for which only two can be had at any time which allows a player to take a flagged name. If they choose a name which is currently flagged, and which would cause the existing flagged character to lose the name, they will be asked if they wish to spend one of these tokens to do so.  This will limit how fast any one player might take over names that are flagged claimable, and prevent one player from suddenly trying all the combinations of a freshly available name they discovered to just become a new name-camper on.

 

Great suggestions, the first one should be very easy to implement, the second one may require a little more effort but it's still a good idea.

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On 7/12/2022 at 7:46 PM, 723wolf said:

Currently changing a characters name, even editing it and not actually making an edit, will reset the time logged out timer. Will this also reset this flag? It would make it a lot easier to go through all your alts if this clears the flag. 

 

Sniped.. two days isn't sniped, but I'd like to reiterate.

 

On Live:

Renaming a character with a used name results in an error and the timer is reset.

This is a very fast way to reset those timers.

 

On 7/12/2022 at 8:00 PM, GM Kal said:


I am not currently seeing the name flag change happen after testing this on Homecoming Brainstorm.
(Not counting actually going though with changing the name)

 

Correct, this does not happen on Beta.

Whatever the difference is could be missed or unexpected when going live. If it is known and on a list somewhere, swell.

 

Edited by Troo

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Thought I'm sure most will see as defeating the purpose, since it would leave plenty of names with accounts that are just inactive out of indifference/moving-on, but just putting it out there in defense of those who will lose names due to life circumstances beyond their control preventing them from being able to log in: Consider not making an account eligible to have its names released until they've logged in after Page 4 launches. (Twice, ideally, so the second time they can actually see any relevant warnings on their roster after becoming eligible, if account info can't be checked between login and roster display.)

Though personally, I'm starting to think a better approach would be to drop the windows altogether and just mass-flag names under a certain level on accounts that have been inactive for X amount of time once a year. Or once a day to trickle out releases rather than have everyone slamming creation to try for their favorites on the same day. Some kind of name release system is absolutely necessary, this one's just currently on course to be a nuisance for people who have cool names not because they're hoarding them but just because they had cool ideas they maybe don't want to play quite as often or level quite as fast as some rando who envies them thinks they should.

Testing feedback: tested a hunch but /altinvite does not reset an invited character's timer, presumably as intended.
Related and something else I did a limited test of: 10 days ago on Everlasting I was reorganizing an SG roster and promoted a character that had been offline for a few hundred days. When I did so, the character's "Last on" was updated to "Today". It only happened with that one character (that I noticed). So that was another thing I tested for myself on beta but I only tried it with my own characters. Someone else may want to test having someone else altinvite some characters with time offline to their SG and promote/demote them while that player is online, offline, and online hidden.

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11 hours ago, UltraAlt said:

If it isn't worth the time to log into the character, can you really justify wanting to keep the name?

I mean how often would you need to do it?

Do you have a level sub 5 parked with a name that you want to keep that you are going to have to keep logging in every 30 days to keep?


This.

 

If the names really matter to you, then you will make the effort to keep them.

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31 minutes ago, ScarySai said:

I think level 1-5 characters should have a significantly shorter period of time for their warnings.

I don't! I think yes for level 1 characters, but 2-5 should be longer, for the RPers that skip gameplay altogether, grab their level 2 for walk and then head straight to RP spots. Not an insignificant portion of the playerbase, especially players who could be called 'semi' active (since they may not have the time to invest in both gameplay and RP)

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On 7/12/2022 at 3:27 PM, Greycat said:

Should be by account, not character.  The game encourages alts and RP. Not all RP alts get leveled - they're there for a reason, and that's not "rush to 50 and get incarnated out."  Some do sit there waiting for specific times and aren't brought out to play frequently.

 

If the account's inactive, go nuts. For an active account, not fond of the idea of having to go through looking for "warnings." (And no, I don't care that "all you have to do is log them in." I've got roughly 200 characters. It's not a small time investment. I'd rather play a character than go through 20 pages looking for little triangles.)

 

Could not agree more.  This should be based on account inactivity, not character.  "Because it is more difficult to code" is not really an acceptable answer in my opinion.  This is a detriment/annoyance for role players and is just going to encourage people to rush to 50 to preserve a name. 

Edited by ShardWarrior
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