When Warlords of Draenor launches in November, new players will become indistinguishable from old. Not only will fresh subscribers sport level 90 characters, but some of them will take the names of old, lapsed accounts too.
Perhaps you’ll become RaiderOfTheLostOrc? Maybe claim the identity of a FrodoSam1066? Hell, it might even be worth checking the availability of LeeeeroyJenkins, give or take a couple of vowels.
An imminent pre-expansion patch will open up “sidelined” character names to be claimed in character creation or via the paid Character Name Change service.
Any characters unused since November 13, 2008 will lose their monikers. Players wanting to preserve the names of half-decade-old characters will need to log them in, one by one, before patch 6.0.2 goes live.
“While it is possible no one will claim your recently released name and you might be able to snag it again, it is probably not worth the risk if you want to keep your names intact long-term,” suggest Blizzard.
The idea is that new players will have a ready pool of names to pick from, and won’t wind up frustrated before they’ve even set foot in Draenor. Not that Blizzard are expecting to reach pre-2010 heights – in fact, they don’t necessarily expect World of Warcraft subscriptions to grow again.
Will you be logging in come November 13?