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Why no repeat names?

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My question for all of you is this. IN todays MMO's why is it if some one else has a first name you can not use it also? Seems to me like if you let them pick a first and last name, and use that as thier tag, then you could have more people with the same first name. Example: Lonewolf Darkmoon my name and someone else could do Lonewolf whatever.

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Game development companies lack the capacity to have such a brilliant idea as that? Well, now it's your job to make it happen.

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It's generally a convenience- a single token to identify a character (and therefore single client) by. This has been the way it's been done for years and years (going all the way back to telnet apps like talkers and MUDs. And it sucks, but it DOES prevent accidentally identifying the wrong chracter. It's the difference between an abbreviated token search and a full-token search.

Long names are often avoided to keep bandwidth (both network and DB query) down - a player's machine will never know another player's exact identity (client ID) and so must transmit the appropriate name each time a /tell is sent. Sometimes names can be limited to as few as 12 characters.

A full-token search requires that the target EXACTLY matches the search criteria - for character identification this must also be UNIQUE. As such if you're looking for 'Brian' there should be only one.

An abbreviated search will return the FIRST target that STARTS WITH the search critieria - if there are Brian and Briony, assuming the list is sorted alphabetically, the search will return Brian if 'Bri' or 'Bria' is seached for.

Abbreviated searching allows 'long names' and quick typing for players but can lead to confusion if a multiple match is not expected by the player. For example - if a player wants to /tell Briony something, and types '/tell Bri', they may well get the message 'Brian is not logged on' or the message might go to Brian instead. Eventually you end up with the situation where almost the entire name must be typed. Commonly used first names would result in an effectively longer average player name - costing bandwidth, player time in typing and generally being potentially frustrating.

So we have enforced-unique short player 'true names' as a direct means of identifying the character singly, with no chance (other than typo's) of confusion.

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It's also partially to prevent impersonation. If your name was Lonewolf Darkmoon, and someone has a character named Lonewolf Darkmoun to impersonate you, people would be less likely to suspect it than if it was just Lonewolf and Lonewo1f.

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