There has been some concern with Guild Wars players lately about losing the names they have been using when Guild Wars 2 is released. ArenaNet just put those fears to rest with the following statement by the Guild Wars Team on their site.
Ever since we announced the Guild Wars 2 Pre-Purchase program and Headstart Access, we’ve had a lot of questions about how name reservation will work for existing Guild Wars players. Here’s how it will work:
Character names in the Guild Wars universe work differently than they do in most other MMOs. Whereas in most MMOs character names are unique only within their world/server, in Guild Wars and Guild Wars 2, character names are unique across the entire game. In Guild Wars 2, when a player acquires a name like Wizardex, he or she is acquiring it across all worlds. Clearly this places more importance on grabbing the name early.
Today no one actually has the name Wizardex, because all character names from the original Guild Wars were two words or more. All one-word names will be up for grabs at the start of the Guild Wars 2 Headstart Access period. But there are currently 20 million two-word names in use by existing Guild Wars players. We need a policy that allows dedicated players to hold on to their established names, while freeing up the bulk of names for the rush of Guild Wars 2 players who will come into the game at launch.
Thus our policy will simply be as follows: to preserve your character name from Guild Wars into Guild Wars 2, you must be an active Guild Wars player (more on that below), and you must create a Guild Wars 2 character with the same name as your Guild Wars character during the Headstart Access period or on launch day.
After launch day (and after we work through support tickets filed on launch day), we’ll free up the millions of unclaimed names for new Guild Wars 2 players to use.
To implement this name reservation system, we need to build a list of the character names of active Guild Wars players that we’ll reserve through launch day. We actually need to build that list a few weeks prior to the launch of Guild Wars 2.
So we’ll use the following very generous definition of active: Guild Wars players will be considered active–thus having their Guild Wars names reserved and available to claim during Headstart Access and on launch day–if they have logged into the game at least once between January 1, 2012 and the day we build the name reservation list.
We’ll warn the community before we build the list, but that’s irrelevant, because there’s no reason for anyone to wait. If you want to reserve character names from Guild Wars into Guild Wars 2, log in to the original game now so we know you’re active!
So if you want to keep the name you used before, or go to a single word name, you better be playing Guild Wars before the new on launches.