1-Oct-2009 Display Names: Who are you and what are you doing on my friends list?
politics updates review bugs
Now that I've lost your attention, allow me to talk about Display Names.
This is one of those updates that's kind of boring, but functional. It's a nuts-and-bolts kind of thing. Sure, it's not new content. Sure, there aren't even any patches this week. But let's face it: we can't get a new Living Rock Caverns every week. It just isn't feasible. I don't expect it, you shouldn't expect it. Hell, I think we get that stuff too frequently. A lot of it could benefit from more time in QA. So I don't mind.
Runescape has always had pretty bland usernames, with a short character limit, no case sensitivity, and every other name trailing along a string of several random-looking numbers at the beginning, middle, or end. Well, no more! I'm sure most of you have already experienced the sort of changes this update has wrought: players mildly dissatisfied with their current names have shucked them off, replacing them with sleeker, shinier, more exciting ones! It's like the U.S. government's cash-for-clunkers program, where people mildly dissatisfied with their merely-adequate vehicles can trade them in for sleeker, shinier, more fuel-efficient ones! With government subsidies! In this case, there's no subsidy, but the service is free, so it amounts to the same thing.
There's nothing wrong with wanting to change your username. We can't all have thought of names as awesome as "Troacctid" when first creating our accounts. In fact, for those unlucky souls with crappy names like "Pkerjoe2718" or "Pwnage8979323," it's pretty much the Runescape equivalent of giving homeless guys free apartments. Or at least a fresh set of clothes. So I like this update, even if it has little to no effect on my gameplay.
Actually, I confess: I changed my own username. Yes, even I, with an awesome name like Troacctid, found room for improvement. Specifically, I changed my name to all lowercase, the way it is on Tip.It. I like it better that way. Thanks, Display Names!
You know the most amazing part of this update? It's been done without any major bugs or data loss, despite all of the technical obstacles involved. That's impressive.
The bottom line: this update is all upside. While it's not a hugely significant change, and things are a little hectic the first week as everyone is changing names at once, there's really nothing to complain about, and I think it improves the game. This is far from a Top 10 update, but it effectively accomplishes what it was meant to accomplish.