Character Name Policy
The character name policy is a tactic for recycling used player names from inactive accounts so that other players may use them. The policy only applies to accounts that are currently deactivated, not characters on active accounts that aren't logged in frequently. Additionally, accounts that are still being paid for, but simply have not been used for 90 days, are not affected.
Long before City of Heroes Freedom launched, the development team decided that running the scripts wasn't freeing up an appreciable number of character names, and has not run the script since the second wave.
The policy change affects all accounts that have been inactive for over 90 days. This only applied to accounts that were deactivated in some way, such as payment expiration or account suspensions.
Any character on such an account less than a certain level has its name set to "unreserved" status, which allows any new character on the server to be created with that name. In the event this happens, the original character under the name will be prompted to choose a new name upon login. In order to return a character's name to "reserved" status, the user must log the character in question into the game. As such, it is possible that a player can be actively using an account with characters whose names are still set to "unreserved" status.
When "unreserved" status is assigned to a name, the following changes are applied to the affected character:
- A new character name needs to be chosen (if existing name has been taken)
- The character's description and battle cry is cleared
- All mail received is deleted
- The character is removed from their Super Group, if any
- The character's Friends list is cleared, and the character is removed from others' Friends lists
- Mail other characters have received from an affected character reverts to having been sent from "Unknown"
On August 29, 2007, this policy was brought back. The re-enactment of this policy came in time for the Character Transfer and Character Rename features. This is a manual process run infrequently during a server maintenance period. Paragon Studios and NCsoft does not guarantee that the process will be announced before it takes effect, only that notice will be given if the policy is going to change.
For this version of the policy, only characters that are level 5 and under are eligible for unreserved status.
On October 27, 2005, the character name policy was changed in order to allow names used by inactive accounts to be used by new characters created on active accounts.
During this enactment, eligible characters were level 34 and under.
On May 4, 2006, the character name policy was changed again to lift the previous enactment, which once again meant all new characters needed a unique name upon creation. Any characters already affected will retain "unreserved" status until said character is logged in though.