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World of Warcraft to reclaim old character names

One of the biggest issues with any long running MMO is choosing a name for your character. It's guaranteed that any clever, lore-appropriate sequence of letters has been long bagsied by an early adopter. And so comes the desperation. "Lord Perrigrin Fluffyface"? Taken. "Armpit Switchblade"? Taken. "Crispin McBurns"? Taken. "XxX_BongMeister420_XxX"? Taken. "Jeff Goldblum"? Taken. Finally out of ideas, you plant your face on the keyboard and roll it back and forth. Nope. Taken.

What to do? If you're a World of Warcraft player despairing at the lack of possibilities, the answer is simply to wait. With the upcoming patch 6.0.2, Blizzard will reclaim the names of any player who hasn't logged into the game since 13 November, 2008.

"Our goal with this great name liberation is to make sure new and returning players have a large and varied pool of names available to choose from," writes Blizzard, "so log in now if you wish to preserve your unused characters' names for your journey intro Draenor."

Use it or lose it is the message. If you haven't logged in for six years, you'll need to do so with each character before patch 6.0.2 goes live.

Phil Savage

Phil has been writing for PC Gamer for nearly a decade, starting out as a freelance writer covering everything from free games to MMOs. He eventually joined full-time as a news writer, before moving to the magazine to review immersive sims, RPGs and Hitman games. Now he leads PC Gamer's UK team, but still sometimes finds the time to write about his ongoing obsessions with Destiny 2, GTA Online and Apex Legends. When he's not levelling up battle passes, he's checking out the latest tactics game or dipping back into Guild Wars 2. He's largely responsible for the whole Tub Geralt thing, but still isn't sorry.