A Pikko By Any Other Name

Ever since the announcement of the server merges, my emotions have been on a seemingly neverending roller coaster. At first, I thought it was great that I'd be seeing a lot more people walking around beside me than I usually do. I was ecstatic that my destination world held a wonderful friend, Susperia, on it. However, it didn't take long for me to realize that I could soon lose something I'd had since November 2003. Something that has become more a part of my personality than the name I was given at birth: the name Pikko.

Discuss this on the ZAM forums.

When I tried to secure a mule on my destination world, Lakshmi, I found that the name Pikko was unavailable. I searched online and I searched PlayOnline and could find nothing about this person. The people I know on Lakshmi had never heard of the Pikko on their world. I suppose who that person is and what they did with their character doesn't matter, because the bottom line is, they have the name and I don't.

I didn't want to, but eventually decided to plead my case with Square Enix. In the end, they wanted to remain fair by not making an exception, a decision which, by itself, is commendable. What is not commendable, however, is the decision they made to have thousands of characters on source worlds give up what arguably defines them the most in Vana'diel without any say in the matter. I got to have my say, but what about everyone else? These server merges may have been needed, but not like this. This merging policy does a great many people injustice. It sounds hasty. It sounds thoughtless. It sounds cruel.

There are those of you out there arguing that it's "just a name". Presumably, you aren't in the same situation as me and other source world players. Or, perhaps you never liked your original name or were looking for a new identity anyway. I am not one such individual. Many of you who have played this game for years have known me for almost as long in the Allakhazam Final Fantasy XI community. You may have visited my gardening site. If so, you've probably grown food, cuttings, rocks, ores, nuggets, leaves, and rubbish based on my data. You know who I am and know that who I am doesn't change when PlayOnline prompts me to choose something else. I know this as well, but it doesn't change the fact that I feel robbed, heartbroken, and displaced.

The name Pikko has become the linchpin for my entire online persona. Through Pikko, I've grown so much as a person by the opportunities I've had to interact with people on a regular basis that I don't think I'd be who I am today without my character. My blog is written by "Pikko". My cookbook has an introduction signed by "Pikko". My publisher wanted to put "by Pikko" on the cover instead of my own name. My own mother calls me Pikko now. I could go on and on. Point is, the name means a lot to me and for that reason, so does the original character. I'm sure a lot of people out there can say the same for their own.

I can keep the name by transferring to another server, but I'd be choosing to leave behind all the friends I've made on Garuda and the ones that wait for me on Lakshmi. I have no doubt that I'd be fine anywhere that I went, but what really rankles my nerves is that I even have to. Why was I not given the chance to line myself up with the Lakshmi Pikko in contention for the right to the name? Why is it that ALL source world people with a taken name or linkshell have to give all their names up? This isn't right and I'm sure Square Enix knows it.

What's to stop destination players from griefing source world players by creating characters and linkshells specifically to force name changes? Excluding me, Garuda is no stranger to famous forum personas. Square Enix hasn't indicated that any policy is in place to prevent such actions. If such policies have yet to be made, why weren't they in place at the time of the announcement? More thought seems to have been put into the decision to do the merge itself than into the community fallout.

And what will the extent of the fallout be? With the age of these servers, it's likely that most common names were taken long ago. I've tried to come up with another name that I could live with and so far everything I've truly wanted has come back unavailable. I have no doubt that many players will find themselves with the same problem come March 23.

It could be that I'm a rare exception and only a handful of players will be upset by this forced change, but I suspect that's not the case. It's tragically wrong to make 8 source worlds give up everything while the destination worlds give up nothing but some walking space around them.

Final Fantasy XI isn't the first game to endure server merges. EverQuest and EverQuest II have both gone through a couple of merges, opting to award the name to the character either most recently active or with the most playing time. Just how hard is it for Square Enix to do the same? Does it just not matter to them? Do they just not care?

That being said, I don't want to make this editorial about solutions for Square Enix's problem. More, I want people to understand what is going on with such a careless policy and what it will mean for adventurers in the coming days.

For the past week, I've wrestled with my emotions, going from crushing disappointment to raging anger at Square Enix. Last week, I began to consider the real possibility that I would be retiring Pikko before Garuda went down forever. There would be a lot I'd regret. My favorite expansion, Wings of the Goddess, does not conclude until after the server merge (nearly three years after release, I might add). My Lu Shangs count would disappear, one that is 100% caught by my hands. I wouldn't get to play with my friends in Vana'diel the way I have enjoyed in the past.

Upon looking at all that I've achieved, it's been tough to actually finalize my decision, so I've decided to try and give my character another chance by finding a new name. My problem, as I've said, is that the ones I've wanted have all been taken. If the Lakshmi Pikko reads this, I hope that you'll consider giving up your character's name for me. It's been a part of me for over six years now; retaining it would mean so much to me.

If you have a name suggestion for me, I'd love to hear it. The ZAM team has been trying to suggest names for me, but to no avail. If nothing can be found, the original Pikko, the Mistress of Gardening from Allakhazam will go down with Garuda in two weeks time. As sad as it is to leave the game, I can't bring myself to walk around with a silly name like "Pikkox" or "Pikkopots" or "Peekoh". I just don't think I can do it. A Pikko by any other name just doesn't sound as sweet.

I hope that in the time between now and the server merges that Square Enix understands what a disservice they're doing to players with this so-called "merge" and changes things so that players can make a case for why they should have the name, whether it be through creation date or playtime or registration date. At this point, anything seems better than a blanket name-death sentence for every source world player.

Should nothing change, to anyone in the same boat as Pikko, I wish you the best of luck in finding a new name. I, for one, think you'll need it.

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Same boat
# Mar 19 2010 at 8:46 AM Rating: Decent
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The name 'Manning' means an awful lot to me, I use it on everything, forums, games, gamertags etc.

Has been my name of my main character on FFXI since it was released in the UK (2004) and is still my main character today.

I just found the server i'm going to already has a Manning, one that hasn't been active since 2007.

My take is that we, the people being forced to move are already being put out by doing so, having to also change our personas becasue of a mule or non-active character is a knife in the back.

People say names are free, but do we not pay for a character ID?

I completely agree with Pikko and feel for his loss of identity. Fortunately I do have a close alternative to my main persona (Which I happen to be using here), but still i'd rather not use it.

Suggestions for Pikko:

Picko
Pikco
Picco
Pikkoh

Edited, Mar 19th 2010 10:47am by LtManning
Pikko the Tarutaru
# Mar 18 2010 at 3:13 AM Rating: Decent
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Sadly, i have already hear of players going and making mules on Lak with names of people they don't like to force name changes. SE really needs to do something before March 23rd to stop this stupidity.
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Name changing problems?!
# Mar 17 2010 at 5:53 PM Rating: Decent
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From seeing everyones posts and such it just seems like people dont care about the game anymore for playing purpose they care more for it as a chat line/chat room. I do feel for people who have to change their name but be serious your gonna quit because of a name? I'll change my game name 10 times in a year to show you that your the same person and people would still know and appreciate you the same. I dont want people to think im trolling cause im not but these server merges were and are well needed on more then just the servers they are merging. SE could have just said you know what ***** FFXI were doing 14 now let 11 wither to nothing but they don't; not just for the money but for us the players who still play. If you think of loosing your name as I need to quit then maybe you do need to quit for the sake of your personal adjustments.
Pikko of garuda will always be the same person behind the keyboard use pikkko and lvl to 99 show SE your more then just a person who plays for just the chat and the name you stand behind. Sorry for your loses but life throw's lemons you make juice.
Don't worry Pikko
# Mar 17 2010 at 4:50 PM Rating: Decent
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I had to server transfer last year and my name was taken as well. I too had a bunch of friends either already on the new server, or made the move with me. My old name is shown in my sig here, along with the new, but it didn't really matter... Everyone I knew still called me 'Blood' and everyone I befriended called me 'Blood' because everyone else did lol.

Sure it sucked I couldn't keep my original name I had since the game was released, and I was a bit hurt like you are now. Just remember that it is just a game and the only real thing that matters is you and the people closest to you. You can rename yourself whatever you like, but I guarantee you that nobody will call you anything other than Pikko until this game finally closes it's doors and even after that happens, the friends you made along your journey and still stay in touch with 10-15 years from now will still call you Pikko.
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a new name? hmm...
# Mar 16 2010 at 7:04 PM Rating: Good
27 posts
I heard Lewalcindor is available.
It doesn't seem fair
# Mar 14 2010 at 5:02 AM Rating: Good
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Can you get Pikkopikko? Or how about Pikkodafirst?

Age of Conan just merged some servers and the policy was the character with the oldest creation date got to keep the name which seemed fair to me. One server name was kept but it was treated more like a new server that just had the name of one of the old ones. It seems in this case where I think theres a good chance where the person with the Pikko name on Lakshmi named their character after you, so the AOC policy would probably would more likely benefit you.

I do believe SE should look into this other character though, it deosn't sound like the characteris active, is the account its on even active? Moreover they should look at their policy, this current system seems to treat the transfering players as 2nd class citizens
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Certainly unfair, but as for what's in a name...
# Mar 14 2010 at 1:49 AM Rating: Decent
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Unless you "tarutaru-fy" your name, as some of the suggestions have been, I'd say Picco is a decent option b/c it can at least be pronounced the same.
2 cents
# Mar 12 2010 at 6:52 AM Rating: Good
27 posts
I came back to play after a 3 years ( having a baby can take alot out of you) And when I made the choice to come back, to finish the few things that I had left unfinished, I switched servers, started a new account, but was able to keep the same name. It meant the world to me to have that name back. So in many ways I feel for Pikko and wish I could do more then post a simple message of support for Pikko on a message board.

To those of you that have posted saying , just change the name, add another K, or simple deal with it, try to remember all the screen shots on Allakhazam that either have Pikko waving to the camera infront of some NM, or an item that has Pikko's name in the corner showing us the info we want to know. In soo many ways there really can only be one REAL Pikko, and to have SE just blow it off seems almost murder in someways.

So the name isn't free, but it seems like the name isn't even attached to an active player. How is it any bit fair to ask someone to change their name so a mule, or maybe a dormant account can keep the name.

Poor planning is right! But it seems to me that it wouldn't be so hard to have a SE look into Pikko's case a little deeper, and consider that maybe the honorable thing to do here is see who has had the name the longest in the case of a conflict!

<3 you Pikko and thank you for all the things you have done to help me find myself as aplayer in my time ingame!
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# Mar 11 2010 at 7:41 PM Rating: Good
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When I changed servers from odin I had to change my name too. I wasn't to heppy but I did make out, as the name I changed to was the name I wanted when I first started to play the game. But truth be told I think it's very wrong to force a person to change their name especilly when the character in question is a mule or a just reasently made character. what Square should do is susspend character making for current acounts. this would keep players from Hording a name on a server. also they should auto delete characters that have not been active for more then a year. I know I use all my mules all the time. As for the name change, no matter what you change it to, we here at Alla will know you as Pikko. There's just no way around this fact. But I did like Pikkochan, as it makes you seem like a sister to alot of people who depend on your expertise in the Garneding skills.


LOL. I just loged on and SE posted that they have susspended the making of characters on the merging worlds.

Edited, Mar 11th 2010 8:55pm by Gawane
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# Mar 11 2010 at 2:06 AM Rating: Decent
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I had this exact same fear when I first heard of the server merges, and before I knew the mechanics.

"Hang on" I said to myself. "This is going to be like a single character doing a World Transfer, except across an entire server population. Which means, if there are name conflicts, someone is going to lose their name."

Before I found out for sure that Sylph was a RECEIVING world, I was worried about losing my name.

'Hirilonde' is a word from Tolkein elvish. It's the name of an Elvish ship in the Silmarillion, and translates to mean 'Havenfinder'. A good name for a Paladin. My entire character has been built around that concept, around that name.

I now know more people who call me 'Hiri' than who call me by my real name. It's practically been my name for 6 years.

I hope you can find some solution, Pikko. But even if you can't, you'll always be Pikko, even if you suddenly have to misspell your name.
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# Mar 10 2010 at 11:35 PM Rating: Decent
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I fully understand Pikko's concern. There is a lot in some one's name, it's their identity, it's what makes them who they are, and forcing this out from under them is a extremely uncaring and horrible move on Square Enix's part.

Square Enix keeps doing a lot of questionable things lately. I've been one to stick up for them, when it comes up in gaming conversations. I try to tell people all the amazing things and benefits about FFXI even though they shoot them down pretty fast and some times with good reasons. I try to give Square Enix all the credit and have faith in them, but lately they just keep doing things that really make me question whether or not they truly care about the people who have been subscribers for so long.

I'm not sure how it's done in Japan, but I've studied marketing here in America. One of the biggest fundamentals of marketing is to please your oldest customers first and foremost, because believe it or not they have a large effect on future business and endeavors. These people usually have a voice within their community, and usually quite a large one. When you displease them, they are heard by other communities and they are heard by the press. This makes bad press for you which in turn is bad business and a habit one should not take to.

Square Enix is doing a lot of good things lately, they are on a good track, but they keep doing a lot of questionable things as well that is really walking on eggshells. It seems like a lot of their decisions lately isn't taking into account how it will effect some of the older community members of the game...

I really think it shows laziness on their part as well, simply "making some one change their name" who's destination world they are going to. Not only that but I think these worlds should have been renamed completely, as to make people feel like they weren't being "deported" to some where against their will, but that two worlds were merging for the better to become one powerful world.

There are many options they could have done with the name changing though and it upsets me to see people in the community have to go through this sort of thing. I myself am not even on one of the world merger servers and don't have to worry, but when they start doing this to the community then well...

Edited, Mar 10th 2010 9:37pm by EndlessJourney
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Add a k.
# Mar 10 2010 at 3:16 PM Rating: Default
Just change your name to Pikkko. Next topic.
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Add a k.
# Mar 11 2010 at 11:51 AM Rating: Default
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Yep I agree just Use Pikkko ..

To bad what is happening but it cant be helped..

I completely undersand how you feel and why you do not want to change And it is sad it is happening.

These servers have to be merged though. Titan is not being merged yet but I wish it kind of was. I put something up in the auction house this weekend that normally sells in no time and it took all day. Last night I was playing and windy was a ghost town. When the beta comes out I can not even imagine how much membership is going to drop. Bright side is probalby in not too long we all might be playing a new MMO final fantasy. Will be sad to leave this game and I have not been playing as long as most.





Edited, Mar 11th 2010 2:11pm by Nashred
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Did I take anyone's name??
# Mar 10 2010 at 2:24 PM Rating: Decent
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I have Rigothic, Missyk, Mamamia and Sazlorn

Did I take anyone's name unknowingly? Rigo is my only main char and I'd be happy to switch the other names out
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# Mar 10 2010 at 2:00 PM Rating: Good
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I think the big issue here that has people upset isnt the name change. Sure, a name is a big part of who their character is... But I think most posts Ive seen in this thread suggest a maturity level enough to know that SOMEONE is gonna lose out in this deal.

The sting sets in when you, an established and active character, has to change your name because some guy created a mule that has only ever been logged into twice and forgotten about. Or someone who quit the game in 2005 but never deleted their characters on the off chance that one day they might come back. Or worse, as some have suggested, have JUST created a mule for the sole purpose of forcing incoming players to change their name.

It sucks having to change a name for some people. But its easier to swallow that pill when you can tell yourself that your old name is going to a person that cares. Sure, maybe not as much as you care... but at least it means SOMETHING to them.

As it stands, this just seems short-sighted and lazy on SE part. As many have stated, there are several solutions to this, and a great deal of history from other company server merges that SE could take a lesson from. Im hoping that SE will recognize this in the upcoming weeks... but Im not really holding my breath on that.
Don't be sad, Pikko!
# Mar 10 2010 at 1:40 PM Rating: Default
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Pikko,
Don't be sad! If u do want to keep ur name u could always come to the Pandimodium Server(soon to be megered w/ Asura XPP). I know there's a lot of ppl on those merging servers that would be proud to have u come there.
But, if the unthinkable should happen, & ur forced to change ur name, I have a few suggestions:

AkariNoNiwa(Light of Garden)
JooNoNiwa(Queen of Garden)
AijinNoNiwa(Mistress of Garden)
NiwaTomodachi(Garden Friend)
Okkip(Pikko spelled backwards ^.~)
Kipko(mixing up letters here)
Ipkko
Pokki
Kikop
Kopik
PikkoofGaruda

I know i have a few more, but can't get them off my tongue :P
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Don't be sad, Pikko!
# Mar 10 2010 at 3:46 PM Rating: Good
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Esperanti wrote:

PikkoofGaruda


problem solved. now everyone knows you were the pikko of garuda.
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# Mar 10 2010 at 10:40 PM Rating: Decent
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now that you mention it, PikkoofGaruda would be perfect ^.^

Who else agrees?
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Pikkochu
# Mar 10 2010 at 10:55 AM Rating: Good
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Pikkochu!

Seriously, that way you don't have to really give up the "Pikko" sig.
Aw :(
# Mar 10 2010 at 10:03 AM Rating: Good
That's really awful and I'm very sorry to hear that. I haven't played since November, myself, but I still sort of keep fondly in touch with FFXI. TO hear about something like that really is saddening. I agree that there's either an excellent chance that it's someone's gardening mule named after you or someone trying to irritate a person of a certain celebrity. Either way, this sort of behaviour is what makes me leery of picking up FF14, I don't know that I ever want to play another Square-Enix MMO. For what it's worth, I'm really truly sorry to hear that this is happening to you, and I do hope that SE does the right thing and amends their policy to stop favoring the target world and instead do something that just favors the more active/longer standing use of the name.
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Poor planning again SE
# Mar 10 2010 at 8:49 AM Rating: Decent
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Sorry to hear this Pikko, my friends is also being screwed over by SE infinite wisdoms -.-

But he found the guys who's mule has his name is trying to sell it to make matters worse. I'm sure SE could have come up with a better way to transfer than this. Why not give players priority over mules? If there is a lvl 75 transfer over and a level 1 mule has the name, the mule should lose it.
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# Mar 10 2010 at 7:02 AM Rating: Good
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Pikko, you are in a unique situation with your connections into SE to influence how they deal with this problem. Rather than focus on your personal situation, I'd hope that a solution could be found that would work for all that are in a similar position.

The first thing that should be done is to FREEZE names on target worlds that are in use on source worlds (along with a message that says why the name isn't available to keep people from freaking when they try to create a mule to protect their name). This stops griefing and protects names without forcing people to pay $1 a month to do it.

It may be too late for this already.

Second, rather than cook up some complex weighting system to determine who deserves their name more, use a social solution. Send a POL mail to each account on the target world that has a character name from the source world indicating that they have a name that is being used in the source world. Provide all destination world accounts a one time free name change. In the email, encourage the user to change the name of any inactive, casual or mule character as a courtesy to those that are transferring. If the character name is changed, send a POL to the source world account indicating that the name is now free.

Provide some sort of in game trinket to encourage people to change their name. Maybe a L1 neck piece with their old character name on it.

This, of course, requires development investment from SE.

I'm sure there is lots else that can be done with the right encouragement and the will by SE to actually care about their customers.



Edited, Mar 10th 2010 9:26am by Lokithor
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SE - please reconsider.
# Mar 09 2010 at 8:00 PM Rating: Decent
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That's very sad.

I like SamusKnight's suggestion of using a variation based on Japanese honorifics such as "Pikkochan" or "Pikkosan", which would be right at home in a Japanese based game such as FFXI. You probably are already familiar with these, but wiki link for inspiration here.

Ironically, you are probably a victim of your own fame and success. As previously mentioned, it is probably a gardening mule, long unused, that some player set up using your name, since the name "Pikko" is almost synonymous with "virtual gardening" in FFXI circles by now. Many other mules have probably been established on other servers along the same lines. Little comfort, I know, but you should take a certain amount of pride in the popularity and recognition you have given this name.

Personally, a more formal title like "QueenPikko", "EmpressPikko" or "PrincessPikko" (too many letters?) might be in order, based on the contributions you have made to the FFXI player base over the course of the game. I know most of what I know about gardening, I learned from your site. But I hope somehow they reconsider and let you retain "Pikko", since it is not only your name, but literally your "brand" for all the projects you are involved in (which, by the way, FFXI and Square Enix have benefited from indirectly, it can be argued).

C'mon SE. How bout making this one exception? I think its warranted, under the special circumstances involved. If a governor can exempt a criminal from receiving the death penalty on the eve of their execution, surely you can grant a pardon and save the life of Pikko The Taru (as we've all come to know her) as the date of the server merger approaches? What do you need? A petition of signatures? A candlelight vigil? Show some mercy for the poor little taru!

Edited, Mar 9th 2010 6:16pm by Baddaboomz
SE - please reconsider.
# Mar 09 2010 at 8:55 PM Rating: Decent
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Quote:
What's to stop destination players from griefing source world players by creating characters and linkshells specifically to force name changes?


They're actually doing that.
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I thought of it first:

http://ffxi.allakhazam.com/forum.html?forum=10&mid=130073657654872218#20
therealpikko
# Mar 09 2010 at 7:49 PM Rating: Default
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Name idea...?
# Mar 09 2010 at 7:28 PM Rating: Good
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Hey, Pikko? I don't know if it'd be a name you'd be interested in but I tried inserting "Pikkochan" as a character name for Lakshmi and it was available. Right now the name is taken by myself (Newly created character for testing purposes.) and if you want the name I'll keep the character active until merging day to reserve it for you. Soon as it's ready I'll delete the character so you can assume the name. Anyway if you are interested please let me know. I never actually read any of your work or blogs but if I can help I'd be happy to assist.

EDIT: Geh, wish I had looked at a post or two below before I suggested Pikkochan... Well, the name is still reserved anyway, if ya want it it's yours.

Edited, Mar 9th 2010 5:33pm by SamusKnight
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Name idea...?
# Mar 09 2010 at 9:01 PM Rating: Excellent
Mistress of Gardening
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Thank you very much for doing that, but I don't want you to spend money for me! I've reserved one of the names that I felt sounded nice and if I see another, I'll try to reserve that as well (deleted a mule today). Once again though, thank you for being so nice and doing that for me!
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Pikko is bigger than her name.
# Mar 09 2010 at 7:24 PM Rating: Decent
Oh ouch :(

I have been mulling over what to do if I find my name is taken, because ffxiah only shows characters who have used a jeuno- based AH it's hard to tell from searches I just don't feel certain since my name is an irl name.

I'll probly just be shortening it to Cair or Cairs in that case, since that is what people call me to avoid typing it all. Smiley: laugh

Pikkiko or Pikkoko would probably be my favorite suggestions for you, I think fully doubling in taru style would be too long and I don't like adding x or bookends because it says "I couldn't think of my own thing" to me.
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Cairstiona, Accidental RDM
Fairy Server ~~Mandau~~ 9/10/2009
Paragon of Red Mage Excellence * Paragon of Thief Excellence * Paragon of Paladin Excellence
Paragon of Bard Excellence * Paragon of White Mage Excellence
Paragon of Dragoon Excellence * Paragon of Black Mage Excellence
*This space for rent*
Alchemy 96.4 +3

/comfort
# Mar 09 2010 at 6:51 PM Rating: Default
Scholar
32 posts
Pikkochan ?
Pikkopotts ?
Pikopiko
Pikkochu
Pikkosan

I don't know what I'd do if I lost my name ; ;
SE hates us all
# Mar 09 2010 at 6:50 PM Rating: Good
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271 posts
I'd like to say I was shocked by SE's decision in regards to naming policies when mergers were announced, then again we've had seven years to get to know them very well. Many MMO's have server merges; in reality all will given time. Two MMO's I've played thus far have had mergers - EQ2 and AoC; the policy was simple and as fair as possible in EQ2. SoE ran a simple script which determined the creation date of the character, its total play time, its highest level, and its most recent login date - the character with the highest score after this script got to keep its name. Even AoC, with such an inexperienced and incompetent developer as Funcom behind it managed to go through two sever mergers with a similar naming policy as EQ2 had.

Yet here we have SE taking the easiest, and most lazy route possible - sadly, not at all surprising. Due to an issue with my name several years ago, I quit FFXI - my name was my character, once that was gone, so was I. Sure, there are many that couldn't care less - their characters name is simply a collection of letters above their head; for many more their name becomes an integral part of their adventure in the game world. I have a number of friends who still play, friends whom I thought would be there until the day the servers were finally shutdown and decommissioned who will be walking once the world mergers are complete because they'll be losing their names in the process.

It would almost be funny to hear which 'limitation' reason SE would give as an excuse for their handling of this issue. Surely it would have bankrupt the company for their DBA's to write that one extra script to do a proper merge, rather than treat these as large-scale server transfers. Now that I think about it, that's most likely the reason right there - why write a new system to merge when you can use the one already in place which gives no thought to character loyalty, seniority, or activity.

Well done SE, well done.
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