To begin with, we're all aware of how horrible the experience with character name reservation went. Honestly, if I have to give my own personal opinion, it's the worst experience I've had in the past couple of years unless we include the Aion Classic tragedy. That one was on another level.
I'm not going to go into details about how it was handled, I'm sure you're all already pissed off enough regarding it, requested your refunds, or whatever else. I'm not going to mention how the uncertainty in the situations was a pretty big "Screw you" to the people as well - "Yeah, maybe there will be a wipe, maybe there won't be a wipe, let's see how it goes, let's keep dwelling on it for a while longer despite the bigger amount of our players not being able to log in", all good - All in the past.
The big issue wasn't the fact Gameforge yet again wasn't able to start something off without server issues, it was the fact they didn't think about it in advance. And to go into a little bit of a further elaboration here - Giving the possibility to pick 6 character names instead of 1, maximum 2? I mean let's be real, it was a horrible decision in the first place.
But what's done is done, moving on.
In order to undo the bitter taste you've left in your players' mouths, consider introducing an auto-deletion of names after a specific interval of time.
What does this mean?
Simple, after an x amount of time has passed without the character being active, the character would either be renamed to a generic name (GenName1234) or the character would be deleted - Either scenario, resulting in freeing up the name.
I personally think it would be a better idea to resort to the generic names, making sure there are no potential issues related to "my character was deleted because I forgot to log on it for 2 months".
There would obviously be conditions here as well:
- The character has been inactive for an x amount of time. (30 to 60 days, perhaps)
- The character is below a specific level. (Lv10, perhaps)
- Whatever else Gameforge's heart desires.
We've all been scarred by Gameforge in the past, SOLO's team seems to be one of the better ones in the company, at least in my experience. I understand that you can not turn the wheels of time and fix the mistake, but at least do try to make things right for the numerous amount of people that got screwed over by your amazing idea to give 6 character name slots.