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Regional Flag44 days no account activity & GM takes name? (Show MVP Posts)Source
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Caracara
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#1 - 2013/09/11 12:44:00 PM
EDIT: Very helpful Blizzard agent post at thread's end! Understand what happened now. Am on board with Blizzard's actions. Feel like a valued customer again :) THX (but still think the RL email idea floated by posters on page 3 and 4 of the thread is a really fair policy idea to implement)

This is me wondering about the policies regulating why and when a GM can flag your character for re-naming and give it to some else who has asked for it.

I played since 2006. I had maxed out toons in epics, I had twinked out toons at varying other levels, I had new toons. The last WOW account activity I can set a firm date to, because there is a battle net receipt for the purchase, was buying the digital version of the last expansion on my battle net account on 16/09/2012. That was probably the last activity on the account.

Due to personal problems (divorce, depression, court battles, no money, losing home, having to go back to school, etc.) I removed my recurring credit card payment authorization for game-time on the account. I only re-activated the account this past week now that things are better.

However, approximately 44 DAYS after adding the expansion (312 days ago), my twinked out warrior it the early 20's level (i.e. not some placeholder toon) had it's name taken away and given to someone else. Now, I understand Blizzard can do whatever it wants in this regard, but this seems too soon to be fair. If I put years into building up a dozen or more toons I take seriously, doesn't that deserve some consideration before you take a name? It had been only 44 days at that point.

Initially when I came back to the game to find the character flagged for a name change I thought they took the characters name because they were creating a NPC and chose that name and I was cool with that. But then yesterday I began replaying the toon and saw an in-game email from blizzard from 311 days ago (containing no apology, only saying they did not take this action lightly and only did so after serious consideration) saying it was being freed up to give to another player (who in fairness also looks like a serious player as their toon with my old name is now a level 90 and looks to be playing regularly).

Now you might argue, so what, get over it and just choose a different name, but I feel after just 44 days that is what the GM should have told whomever demanded they be given the name I got first.

I understand removing names from customers not currently paying you money and giving it to players who are currently paying you money is good capitalism, but seems like terrible customer service treatment of long-term serious players. Enticing long-time players back after inactivity with new game content is good business, but when they come back and feel they have been treated badly they may, as I did, feel very angry, and perhaps you lose them permanently.

The in-game email justifying taking the name said there were only a limited number of names available to players to use and they had to free this one up. Now, truthfully, there are nearly an unlimited amount of names available. And not just one's with extra letters and weird spellings if you have any imagination. It's simply that the name someone had decided they wanted and simply could not live without was not available. I re-named the character, so clearly there ARE enough names available. Otherwise, wouldn't I have been as unable as whomever took the name to name my toon?

I understand how many names are tied up in many millions of inactive starter accounts, inactive accounts of players who only played for a short time and never took up the game and never built serious characters, and placeholder toons who are level one and just holding a name for possible later play.

These types of accounts or placeholder toons seem fair for blizzard to remove the names from. There has been not investment in time or money by the player in these cases. If I lost a placeholder toon's name I'd shrug and say whatever because I never invested in that character. If I lost a starter account toon I'd say whatever, it was a free gift to begin with, I lost nothing.

However, the account it was on was a long-time account with maxed out toons. It was a fully licensed account with every expansion on it. The toon I lost the name for I had invested time in. It had been only 44 days since I bought the expansion. Wouldn't taking the time to ascertain the above details of my account have constituted actually taking it seriously?

Perhaps after many years of serious play, a lot of well-built up characters, and only 44 days of not paying you money, your policy should be to wait a little longer. Perhaps at least email my real life email account and ask if I am only temporarily gone before you take a name.You claimed you didn't do this lightly and only did so after serious consideration. But I don't see how you did that. Perhaps someone can explain.

Perhaps even if you don't want to devote (or waste) a GM's time making any true serious considerations and just take the name away, your in-game email should at least contain an APOLOGY. Mine did not.

It costs Blizzard no extra time or effort to add to their automated in-game "we're taking your name" email a simple I'm sorry. It makes you look less arrogant. It takes the sting out a little.

Why no apology at least?

Does anyone have an opinion?

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Support Forum Agent
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#52 - 2013/09/11 10:25:00 PM
09/11/2013 05:44 AMPosted by Caracara
The last WOW account activity I can set a firm date to, because there is a battle net receipt for the purchase, was buying the digital version of the last expansion on my battle net account on 16/09/2012. That was probably the last activity on the account.


The timing of events may be a little off. From what I can see you did add Mists of Pandaria to the account on 9/16/12, however, no game time was ever added so the account never considered "active". I know it is a minor distinction but it is important here.

Until recently, there hasn't been any activity on the account since May of 2012. At least the last amount of game time expired on May 21st or 2012.

While we have not released specific details on our name re-use policy, one of the main factors involves is activity. That is what the Game Master looked at when the name was originally requested for release. Which was July of this year.

I am sorry for any frustration this has caused.

The ability to claim names that are no longer in "use" is a popular request. While we understand that folks do return to play after months and sometimes years of absence, there is no way of telling which is which. We try to take into account those facts and impact players who may be just taking a break as little as possible while also trying to be as accommodating as we can to our active playerbase.

With that in mind we have over time set up specific criteria that our In-Game Support staff will follow. The criteria is fairly restrictive, but obviously, for some it may not be restrictive enough and unfortunately that is bound to happen in these situations.

Hopefully that provides some clarity on what happened.

If you would like to provide some suggestions on our current policy I'd encourage you to submit it through the in-game interface so it can be taken into consideration.

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