As you all have noticed over the last week, Bioware launched new Asia Pacific servers. This was bitter sweet for me; I wish the servers had been made live in the Asia Pacific area at the time of launch. Needless to say, Bioware made their decision before launch and stuck to it. After the first launch in the US and Europe, I busted my butt to ensure that I got my legacy name. I happened to miss out on one of my naming preferences due to the staggering launch technique they used and what annoyed me even more was that the name that I wanted was nabbed by a player that hasn't even logged in yet! It's a level 1 that has sat for the last two and a half months doing nothing.
A lot of payers opted to reserve all eight names they could get and obviously the first players in had the pick of the crop. With the Asia Pacific launch, the servers came online and it was another free for all. I saved my three names that I wanted. One of them I used straight away and the other two I will be using when the transfers come around.
It was funny to see the variety of names that appeared on the new avatars in the first hours of the Asia Pacific launch. We had Yoda, Mace Windu, The Emporer battling it out in chat with some of Australia's current politicians! It seems though, that all these names were short lived as most of them were forced to name change by Bioware. One odd request that affected one of our guild members was the forced name change of an avatar he had named Grave. The player received a notice when he tried to login and he was forced to rename his character. I am a bit concerned that Bioware employees may have gone a bit heavy-handed with the naming rules. It also might have been a case of the GM responsible not truly understanding the meaning of the name, or perhaps it means something totally different in other countries that we're not aware of.
The second issue with naming is legacy names. Now a legacy name is even more important than your character's main name as it's something you use for all your characters. You don't get your legacy name until you have finished Act 1 so for me, the last week was a desperate race to the end of Act 1 to ensure I saved my name that I've had both on Beta and on the US server I started on.
The name I chose was Sunrider. Nomi Sunrider was a Jedi Knight even before the timeline of SWTOR. I've had a picture of her above my desk for about twenty years. It's artwork from a comic book, which really touched me and I've always used the Sunrider name in Star Wars gaming from when I was first given the opportunity in Star Wars Galaxies.
A friend and I helped each other through Act 1 over the weekend but he missed out on his legacy name of choice even though he had been using it on the other server. Short of taking medical stimulants to stay awake, I don't think we could have done it any faster!
How important is it to you to have the right name for your character/s? I've spoken to other players in game who specifically rolled on a server due to the fact that the name they wanted was available. With the implementation of a surname I don't see why Bioware can't have five Johns on the same server, all with different legacy names. This might make it more realistic and flexible for players who want to use the first name of their choice.