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


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Imagine if Google or Twitter started instituting a similar policy if you didn't send enough emails or tweets? Who cares if there is more than one toon with the same name in game anyway? Are there people triggered if they see another "Captain Spout" or "Fire Hawk" or "Raven" in game? I mean seriously ... this is such an inane thing to be concerned about. If the devs are using it as a primary key or other unique identifier in the database, that's an architectural/design problem that can be fixed quite easily with an additional ID column. If it's not used as an identifier, drop all this insanity about names and do something productive.

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On 7/12/2022 at 4:30 PM, 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.

Does this mean the number of inactive accounts is unknown as well? If not, can you release how many inactive accounts there are? 

Ask me about my City Of Heroes patch problem https://levelzeroems.com/search?q=City of Heroes

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12 minutes ago, Stoked said:

Imagine if Google or Twitter started instituting a similar policy if you didn't send enough emails or tweets? Who cares if there is more than one toon with the same name in game anyway? Are there people triggered if they see another "Captain Spout" or "Fire Hawk" or "Raven" in game? I mean seriously ... this is such an inane thing to be concerned about. If the devs are using it as a primary key or other unique identifier in the database, that's an architectural/design problem that can be fixed quite easily with an additional ID column. If it's not used as an identifier, drop all this insanity about names and do something productive.

COH doesn't work like CO. Once a name is taken, it cannot be used by anyone else (I think its per Shard, I might be wrong)

Productive is subjective.

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21 minutes ago, Stoked said:

Who cares if there is more than one toon with the same name in game anyway?

 

 

24 minutes ago, Stoked said:

Are there people triggered if they see another "Captain Spout" or "Fire Hawk" or "Raven" in game? I mean seriously ...

 

Yes. There are.

 

Not me really, but to some it is VERY important.

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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12 minutes ago, Shadeknight said:

(I think its per Shard, I might be wrong)

 

It is per Shard.

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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On 7/12/2022 at 4:54 PM, AlwaysAPrice said:

I appreciate the intent behind this feature, having some method to free up camped names is necessary with the effectively unlimited character creation we have by necessity of being unable to base one's roster size on subscription/slot purchase so that name collecting has an actual expense as it did on Live pre-F2P, but it really ought to just be account login based. If you're playing anything regularly you get to keep your stuff, nice and simple. Activity levels have dropped drastically from when this started, just hitting inactive accounts will probably free up a ton of names. Otherwise people with limited playtime get stuck spending some potentially significant portion of that limited playtime cycling through a roster of they already don't have time to play up to high levels, sitting through loading screen after loading screen just to be sure in case their next playtime doesn't come around for a while.

Could it be possible to give a 0 sec logout timer when choosing "Quit to Character Selection"? That would help A LOT. The loading screen is fast (for me, anyway). The countdown is often 19 seconds. Three characters is nearly a minute spent staring a timer. Getting rid of that countdown would definitely be a help. Not even sure why it's there, to be honest. 

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On 7/12/2022 at 7:30 PM, 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.

Oh, well that makes sense.  :(    Is there a way to flag all characters on a shard when the account is logged in? I'm thinking like the mechanic that gives "known names" in Notes, btw. 

Edited by DawL
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4 minutes ago, DawL said:

Could it be possible to give a 0 sec logout timer when choosing "Quit to Character Selection"? That would help A LOT. The loading screen is fast (for me, anyway). The countdown is often 19 seconds. Three characters is nearly a minute spent staring a timer. Getting rid of that countdown would definitely be a help. Not even sure why it's there, to be honest. 

While I understand the frustration, this would be abused to cheese game mechanics like master runs and cheating death in general.

 

 

Edit: Also, the timer is zero if you are in a rest area I believe (like Pocket D for example).

Edited by Marbing

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3 hours ago, Stoked said:

... Are there people triggered if they see another "Captain Spout" or "Fire Hawk" or "Raven" in game? I mean seriously ... this is such an inane thing to be concerned about. ....

So I used to play with a guy on live, that said he kept one of his characters on every server, only for the fact that he didn't want someone making a copy, pretending to be him, and potentially doing bad things to make him look bad. Being somewhat socially naive at the time, I'd never thought of this. Years later and wiser, I've seen this happen in other online communities. This is a HUGE PROBLEM on Facebook because duplicate names are okay on that platform, allowing bad actors and scammers to spoof your real friends. I could see a bad actor in CoH wanting to "get back" at someone and using a duplicated character to misbehave, so that the original player is blamed and loses friends. I know someone FB who had someone spoof their account (very easy to do) and then make hateful comments on a post using that duplicate profile. Because this person ran a business also, it caused a lot of problems for their business - which was very likely the intent of the person who spoofed them.

Now, granted we have the "get global name" feature in CoH, but how many people might not bother to check that when they see someone being rude or disruptive? Or how many people would just assume that character - as well as the real player behind the original one - was guilty? Just something to think about, more so that just being "triggered" by someone having the same name on a totally different character. 

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2 minutes ago, DawL said:

So I used to play with a guy on live, that said he kept one of his characters on every server, only for the fact that he didn't want someone making a copy, pretending to be him, and potentially doing bad things to make him look bad. Being somewhat socially naive at the time, I'd never thought of this. Years later and wiser, I've seen this happen in other online communities. This is a HUGE PROBLEM on Facebook because duplicate names are okay on that platform, allowing bad actors and scammers to spoof your real friends. I could see a bad actor in CoH wanting to "get back" at someone and using a duplicated character to misbehave, so that the original player is blamed and loses friends. I know someone FB who had someone spoof their account (very easy to do) and then make hateful comments on a post using that duplicate profile. Because this person ran a business also, it caused a lot of problems for their business - which was very likely the intent of the person who spoofed them.

Now, granted we have the "get global name" feature in CoH, but how many people might not bother to check that when they see someone being rude or disruptive? Or how many people would just assume that character - as well as the real player behind the original one - was guilty? Just something to think about, more so that just being "triggered" by someone having the same name on a totally different character. 

 

City of Heroes is not Facebook (thank God), so the analogy does not work.

 

Duplicate naming exists in other games I play like STO and I personally have never seen this problem.  As you pointed out, the get global name command exists and most people will just ignore said person and see the global name getting added to their ignore list in the chat window.  As far as someone spoofing the character of another person, I really do not see the issue here.  Only speaking for myself here, but everyone I team with regularly already know me in real life and/or my global handles, so if someone were to be spoofing me my friends would know it was not really me.  Add to that, the other account would be the one getting reported and moderated, not mine. 

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This may get cumbersome to keep track of having to scroll through several pages of characters on the character select screen.  Since it seems technically "impossible" to link account activity here, would it be possible to have a button on the character select to flag all characters as active?  This would save the effort of logging in and out of multiple characters.

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40 minutes ago, Marbing said:

Edit: Also, the timer is zero if you are in a rest area I believe (like Pocket D for example).

How about if the logout timer also defaulted to zero if you were within active range of a zone supergroup portal?

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47 minutes ago, Marbing said:

Edit: Also, the timer is zero if you are in a rest area I believe (like Pocket D for example).

Hmm. I wondered why sometimes it was different. That makes sense.

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29 minutes ago, ShardWarrior said:

 

City of Heroes is not Facebook (thank God), so the analogy does not work.

  --- I understand that, not an analogy, but an example of how spoofing someone can cause unwanted issues. Any online venue where people can hide behind a keyboard is subject to spoofing.

 

Duplicate naming exists in other games I play like STO and I personally have never seen this problem.  As you pointed out, the get global name command exists and most people will just ignore said person and see the global name getting added to their ignore list in the chat window.  As far as someone spoofing the character of another person, I really do not see the issue here.  Only speaking for myself here, but everyone I team with regularly already know me in real life and/or my global handles, so if someone were to be spoofing me my friends would know it was not really me.  Add to that, the other account would be the one getting reported and moderated, not mine. 

--- I don't play any other games, so I am unfamiliar with this. I just know I would be worried about someone pretending to be me in order to make me look bad. Not all things that make someone look bad are issues that can be reported or moderated. 

 

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19 minutes ago, DawL said:

I just know I would be worried about someone pretending to be me in order to make me look bad. Not all things that make someone look bad are issues that can be reported or moderated. 

 

Look bad to whom?  Again, friends who know you already know your global handle and would easily see it was not you.  Your global handle cannot be used by another player. 

Edited by ShardWarrior
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1 hour ago, Marbing said:

Also, the timer is zero if you are in a rest area I believe (like Pocket D for example).

I know where I'm parking all my name camping characters then (joke).

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On 7/12/2022 at 7:30 PM, 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.

 

Why not just have it update all characters as active on all shards upon login?  There has to be some tie between account and characters on a shard.

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On 7/12/2022 at 2:04 PM, TheZag said:

I feel this is warranted.  1000 slots encouraged a fair amount of name camping.  Use it or lose it.

 

Of course you arent losing anything if nobody else wants it,  it just loses its reserved status until you log it in.  And level 50 names arent ever lost.

 

This times about 1000.  First nobody loses anything if no one tries to take your name.  If you have an unpopular or funky name that no one thinks of trying, you won't lose it.  AND! That only applies if you aren't actively playing the character.  People camping names (purposely or not) are kinda being unfair to the rest of the folks still here.  I have 50+ characters and many I don't play often.  Time to think seriously about if I really need to keep them all. 

 

And finally IT'S NOT ACTIVE YET.  All we're getting is warnings.  Plenty of time to let folks think about the new system once everybody sees it on live.  I think we should wait until the live population does see it, there's really no changes here at all except the message.

 

----

 

As an aside, what is your new name if you do get your name taken?  I think the character should be renamed with lots of X's added to their name.  xXXCaptain HotdogXXx would be a totally great name for your character.  Because, you know, reasons.

 

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On 7/12/2022 at 4:52 PM, Doc_Scorpion said:

There's no yellow warning mentioned in the patch notes, and all of my characters on Brainstorm were either clear (no warning) or orange.  So I had no way of knowing that the yellow warning existed...  hence my suggestion.

 

As a further aside, one of my characters on Brainstorm was over the time limit, and clearly showed the triangular warning icon.  It's a pretty good setup.

 

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12 minutes ago, gameboy1234 said:

As an aside, what is your new name if you do get your name taken?  I think the character should be renamed with lots of X's added to their name.  xXXCaptain HotdogXXx would be a totally great name for your character.  Because, you know, reasons.

 

I suppose the inverse of this is that if a name you wanted was already taken, you could add the Xs to yours instead.

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On 7/13/2022 at 9:47 AM, Andreah said:

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 is actually a great idea.  "Only grab one taken name per week" would be a reasonable limit, and would help stop folks from just becoming a new name camper.  I'd like to see this implemented before the full system goes live (doesn't have to be done now for just the messages to go live).

 

Edited by gameboy1234
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Unfortunately, this seems like a problem that should never have been. I place great importance on my toon name, build, look etc. It all has to work for me or it doesn't get created. So, I am one of the players that is annoyed by this change. I have a lot of alts that I play sporadically and let them gather dust for long periods at a time. Now, If I don't log these toons in, I risk losing the name. That is just a silly.

 

HC Devs have done so much good and I am eternally grateful to you all for bringing back the beautiful game. However, this is a problem the HC team could've prevented simply by NOT giving away 1000 slots per server. That's insane. It should've been more like 100 and you get an additional 5 for every 3 months you play the game or are active etc. Or something like that. 

 

I don't sit on too many names. I can't be bothered but there are MANY that I've met who will sit on a TON of names. One guy thought the name policy was actually in effect and complained about the 30+ mins he spent on logging in toons that are just holding names. He had hundreds of them.

 

I now also see similar issues with AE where the HC team allowed for all types of rewards that were not given on Live. There was a reason for that.

 

It seems like we're trying to shove the genie back in the bottle.... 

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On 7/13/2022 at 10:39 AM, lemming said:

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

 

Actually, I'd go for this too.  It seems like people would have to not be logging in at all to get tripped up by this.  And remember, you don't lose your name automatically at 18 months, you have to not log that character in for 18 months AND someone has to try for the name.

 

Seems fair to me.  If I didn't log-in to check my characters for 18 months, I've probably left permanently.

 

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On 7/13/2022 at 7:51 PM, UltraAlt said:

 

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?

 


Yes. I have one character who will always be level 1, regardless of what his combat level is, because it’s a fun/weird experiment. He also doesn’t talk, because he can’t. He’s fiendishly hard to play (try getting on a team without talking!), so I rarely take him out of the toy box. Currently it’s been 78 days.

 

I have another that will always remain level 2, as another experiment. I have a third that has stopped leveling at 10. These are hardcore toons that I don’t play much, but they’re fun to trot out every now and again.

 

I also have holiday-specific characters who only come out once a year, so they level very slowly. I have a number of Halloween and Christmas characters who are… let me check… 6, 8,  8, 13, 15, 20, 21, 23, and 47, plus a couple 1s and 2s I’ve made in anticipation of this year’s events. 
 

I have a few characters that I’ve made in anticipation of additions to the game that I hope to see, like a snake-themed toon in case we ever get snakes as MM pets. I’ve never played him and I’m admittedly camping that name, but when we get snake pets I will rock’n’roll with him. Right now he’s been offline for 190 days, which is probably when I made him.
 

I get the need for this change, but I kind of hate it.

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On 7/14/2022 at 12:51 AM, UltraAlt said:

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?

A few. Some are ideas that are waiting for me to find the time, others are concepts that require at's/sets that I consider to be underperforming and are awaiting buffs. As I said before some of those are names that I have previously played to a much higher level but then decided 'this really should have been something else' and rerolled (sometimes many times over).

 

I'm very likely to spend a bit time powerlevelling these characters so I don't have to log into them as often (ironically by dusting off my alt account fire farmer that I otherwise never use). But for me the journey is the game. 1 to 50. I often lose interest at 50 and almost certainly do if I ever fully incarnate. So any character powerlevelled to get around this policy is always going to be rerolled back to 1 when the time comes to play them for real.

 

The thing I particularly don't like about the implementation of this policy is that it will change how I play. I know I am going to feel pressured into sticking with characters to get them to the higher level thresholds whether I really want to play that character or not. I like dipping in and out of characters, some I'll play for a concentrated period of time, others don't hold my attention. That doesn't mean I don't like the concept or don't care about the name. This just feels bad to me.

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