When creating a new character, it can be quite frustrating to come up with a pleasing or clever name, and even harder to find one that is not taken on your server.
Having a database of virtually all the character names on all servers (as Warcraft Realms does) provides an incredible opportunity to suggest names based on the idea that if a bunch of other people chose that name, then it's probably a pretty good one, as well as automatically avoiding ones that are known to be taken on the target realm.
So I would like to see a service offering that would allow me to specify my realm, and optionally further qualifications like gender, race, and class, and then the service would give me a list of names that are in use (matching the qualifiers specified if any) on, say, at least half of all realms but are not in use on mine.
Here then would be a fast way to get a list of say, 100 good names for a Gnome Rogue, just as a baby naming site would tell you the popularity of various names.
By selecting names that are already in use across many servers you ensure that the names are popular, and they also can't be personally unique to a single individual so any name that comes up should be "fair game" for anyone to use.
There are minor limitations, the biggest one probably being that you won't be certain that a name is available on the user's realm as the database might be incomplete or out of date, and if you don't include level 1-10 characters then you probably miss a lot of "parked" names. But still perhaps one could expect many or most of the offered names to be available.
If this service were available I would use it every time I created a new WoW toon, either to choose a name or just as a source of inspiration for naming ideas. I think something like this would be hugely popular in the player community, as lots of people hate coming up with names, or hate that all the clever ideas they think up aren't actually available.
What do you think?
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