I’m digging through the old forums trying to work my way back to an age before “check old threads”, so thank you, @ISD_Stall , for actually writing something up.
I’m seeing a lot of people say “consequences”, but isn’t that because people don’t want the history of the character lost/hidden, and isn’t that addressed if all names point to the same character? If I get a haircut, that doesn’t change who I podded last month or losing an expensive freighter. A name is just another aesthetic component - in most games, anyways; so it’s rather jarring seeing “character names” put on a pedestal and - in some of these old threads - viciously defended. Most of the ways that Eve is different are what drew me to it, but this one of the differences that makes me ask “why?” Then again, I distinctly remember the first name change I ever got in an MMO, when my character got married. Rename tokens are something I kind of assume are a thing.
I’m thinking that if we ever get to Eve 2, capsuleers should have a permanent “call sign” as their unique ID, separate from their name as a person; 12 characters max, no spaces or special characters allowed. Local and the overview (if they survive in any form) would only show the call sign, while chat would be something like “Kara Thrace (Starbuck)” unless you change chat settings to only show one or the other. The person name would be something that could be changed for a small fee, since it’s only in the bio and (optionally) in chat, while the call sign is the database unique ID. (… I just realized I’m almost describing Star Trek Online, except the role-play name can be changed freely at any time.)
@Cristl - I knew without looking anything up it wasn’t going to be in the $10 to $30 range. Out of my own interest (and in my own SP range), for 30m SP pulled from a ~35m character, it would be $270 if buying with USD in packs of 10 (x6 = 60 total) from https://secure.eveonline.com/SkillExtractors/ - And 30m extracted doesn’t equal 30m injected, although it doesn’t hit the highest penalties like I think 120m would.
That price isn’t worth changing a character’s name from its full form to its diminutive - 4 letters aren’t worth $270 (unless you’re the FCC, ha-ha) and it would mean starting a new killboard. But I would be willing to spend that if I was going to biomass a character with an irrevocably ruined reputation; but I doubt I’m ever going to do something important enough for that to happen. If I ever go down the roleplaying rabbit hole deep enough to get space-married, that might also be worth $270, and like, have to link the Doomheim’d character’s bio in the new one’s bio. Luckily I don’t have the time for that these days and that’s not why I play Eve, although the thought of a politically-motivated marriage played out at the resolution of a war or to represent a new alliance would be cool.
In any case, I had no idea this came up every two or three months on the old forums; I only saw one thread that was like “no, character history”. The posts from 2016 haven’t been very enlightening, other than that the Chinese server has a janky implementation of name change history, but there’s a lot more years to go.