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$39.99 Name Change


connormacbride
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I've been in SL since day 1 and I miss the good old variety of Avatar names, so when the option to change name showed up I got excided.

But for $39.99 I most say the the variety and qualities of the last names available are what so ever lame .

C'mon Linden Lab if you gonna charge us $39.99 for a Avatar name change then give us some better names to choose from.

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  • 2 weeks later...

LL's policies regarding names continue to baffle me. I never understood why they got rid of last names, a big mistake IMHO. I didn't understand why, when they brought them back, they didn't re use some of the old last names, particularly ones in use by few or no current accounts. I really didn't understand why, when the brought last names back, they didn't offer the option to change one's last name to the same one as another account, with their consent, since a lot of people like to RP as family members ane would like to have the same last names. IMHO, they are the group who would be most likely to be willing to pay that much for a name change. Finally, it seems to me that the price is likely higher than to optimal price for generating the most, and that a lower price would attract enough more people to result in higher total income. 

But, what do I know?

 

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6 minutes ago, Jennifer Boyle said:

LL's policies regarding names continue to baffle me. I never understood why they got rid of last names, a big mistake IMHO. I didn't understand why, when they brought them back, they didn't re use some of the old last names, particularly ones in use by few or no current accounts. I really didn't understand why, when the brought last names back, they didn't offer the option to change one's last name to the same one as another account, with their consent, since a lot of people like to RP as family members ane would like to have the same last names. IMHO, they are the group who would be most likely to be willing to pay that much for a name change. Finally, it seems to me that the price is likely higher than to optimal price for generating the most, and that a lower price would attract enough more people to result in higher total income. 

But, what do I know?

 

If they uncoupled the premium account requirement I would consider but I don't see any value in having to pay for a premium account just to change a name.

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2 hours ago, Kytteh Wytchwood said:

name generator, like we had in the early years

You must be talking about something that was pre-2007.

When I came in Feb 2007, we picked last names from a list.  Though I seem to remember the list being longer, but maybe not -- and if you came in via different portals, you got different lists.

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14 minutes ago, Gage Wirefly said:

If they uncoupled the premium account requirement I would consider but I don't see any value in having to pay for a premium account just to change a name.

^^ This.  I think that they would actually get a lot more people changing names, and thus pull in more money overall, if the Premium requirement was dropped.

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1. The loss of the last name (apparently as said back then) had something to do with Facebook integration which was the Flavor Of The Month for LL -- for at least a few months.  That of course was never the great thing they envisioned. The populous yelled and screamed and it was VERY OBVIOUS that the citizens didn't want a loss of last names. 

2. Any "generator" would have had to been before 2006 so very VERY long ago.  And if it just "told" you what name you would be called then I don't see much advantage there. We at least got to pick our first names and our last from a list.  And yes, depending on the portal you came in from the list was different. 

3. To me, it has always seemed like the last name return wasn't something The Lab WANTED to do -- or even a money generating thing -- but something they felt that they needed to do. And yes, agree that the price point was set "too high" to be the best for the revenue stream. Just my opinion.  Once they got the mechanics (finally) worked out, they COULD have let new folks have last names again. They didn't do that.  And as noted they could have made it so anyone could change their name. Again, not their choice.   So in my mind this feature return was never really a priority -- just a somewhat later crew gluing back some things that were broken long long ago with bad decisions.

 

"I" never cared so it made no difference to me personally. Lani (my building alt) got in maybe seven  nine years ago through one of the last open educational portal (posted by Gogo on her blog :D and then closed soon after).  I do feel sorry for folks that have horrible names mostly due to frustration. More folks would have likely signed up if it was easier.  

 

Just looked it up. Lani was born 11/04/2011 and that was the "end" of the last names for good (or very very close to that date). 

 

All that being said some folks are thrilled to be able to change last names -- even for alts and paying to make them premium for a month to do so.  Boggles the mind (or mine anyway) LOL.

 

 

 

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7 hours ago, LittleMe Jewell said:

^^ This.  I think that they would actually get a lot more people changing names, and thus pull in more money overall, if the Premium requirement was dropped.

Would they, though? I see zero value in premium myself, but signed up for a month exactly for this. Sign, change the name, then cancel it before the month ends or even right away. 40 or 50$, doesn't make a big difference if someone can and wants to change their name. And if 10$ difference does matter to that someone, then perhaps spending 40$ on a name change is not a good idea to begin with.

It's a mix of marketing and offering a little discount for already existing premium users. Otherwise they'd just slap 50$ price tag and called it a day. Which is way too high, like already mentioned before. Usual price in online services and games is around 10$, and sometimes completely free for the first change.

6 hours ago, Chic Aeon said:

Boggles the mind (or mine anyway) LOL.

It's a vanity thing, just like the rest of things you can buy or get in SL pretty much. You don't need land, mesh body parts, cool skins or clothes, AO or anything else really, default avatar works just fine. You don't need planes, cars, ships, as you can just fly for free instead. Yet "character customisation" and desire to have pretty pixels is what makes wheels turning and money going.

And you'd be surprised just how much value some people put into names. When I was quitting one mmorpg I used to play for ages and was "cashing out" by selling gold on the black market, I also sold a few short names that I had for my characters there. It was really long ago, but I think most expensive was "Rain" and it went for 500$.

Edited by steeljane42
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10 hours ago, LittleMe Jewell said:

When I came in Feb 2007, we picked last names from a list.  Though I seem to remember the list being longer, but maybe not -- and if you came in via different portals, you got different lists.

I joined a bit later that year and, as far as I recall, I had to select one of a small selection of names.  Can't remember the details of how it worked though, it was a long time ago.....

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A friend (RL friend that is) of mine created an account earlier this year.  She thought it would be fun to see what it was like to be a male in SL.  She didn't like being male in SL so she changed her avi to female and bought a female body, head and animation.  Then she went to change her avi's name (she had given it a very male sounding name) and found out the expenses involved.  She's now considering creating a new female avi and buying what she already has again - it's a bit cheaper and less bother.

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11 hours ago, LittleMe Jewell said:

^^ This.  I think that they would actually get a lot more people changing names, and thus pull in more money overall, if the Premium requirement was dropped.

People keep talking about name changes as if it was meant to be a popular feature or a revenue stream that a lot of people should be using, when LL has specifically said that they did not want everybody changing their names or changing them often.

The high price is almost certainly intentionally high to deter frequent changes. The premium requirement is almost certainly there to "get the foot in the door" for some people who wouldn't normally even consider premium.

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21 minutes ago, Wulfie Reanimator said:

People keep talking about name changes as if it was meant to be a popular feature or a revenue stream that a lot of people should be using, when LL has specifically said that they did not want everybody changing their names or changing them often.

The high price is almost certainly intentionally high to deter frequent changes. The premium requirement is almost certainly there to "get the foot in the door" for some people who wouldn't normally even consider premium.

I really don't buy your argument, reason being LL is a business. If they had , for example, 500 people a day changing their names they would happily take the money and do it. Take away the premium requirement, and say 1000 people a day were changing their name, they would GLADLY take the money and do it.  I'd also need a source where they 'specifically said' they didn't want everybody changing their names or changing them often.

The premium requirement is silly.

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42 minutes ago, Gage Wirefly said:

I really don't buy your argument, reason being LL is a business. If they had , for example, 500 people a day changing their names they would happily take the money and do it. Take away the premium requirement, and say 1000 people a day were changing their name, they would GLADLY take the money and do it.  I'd also need a source where they 'specifically said' they didn't want everybody changing their names or changing them often.

The premium requirement is silly.

The same could be said if the price was $19.99 instead, but it isn't.

Also note that simply changing your display name, which is free, has a 7 day cooldown.

My opinion of what I think LL is doing does not include my opinion of what is silly. I think paid last names in general are silly, and I wish they were significantly cheaper. There are many things I can get for $55+ instead of a different virtual name. If it was entirely up to me, new accounts would get last names like they used to. If it was entirely up to me and there were no technical hurdles, you'd get to pick a custom last name.

Edit: Found the quote from Oz Linden:

Quote

It was asked why was the Lab planning to charge residents to change their names. Oz answered, "It has a social cost within the world, and a complexity. Not something you want people to do too frequently. It creates trouble. One of the ways to slow down things we don't want to go too fast is charging people for it." As of now, there were no plans to have any other limits. Oz stated though if too many residents changed names too often, they could impose time limits such as no more than once a week.

I do find this "it's a company, everything they do must always be to maximize profit" really annoying. While yes, a company exists to make money, there are still people making the decisions and Linden Lab isn't exactly one we'd describe as entirely soulless. We interact directly and regularly with the people who make those decisions and the people who actually implement them.

Edited by Wulfie Reanimator
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11 hours ago, Chic Aeon said:

1. The loss of the last name (apparently as said back then) had something to do with Facebook integration which was the Flavor Of The Month for LL -- for at least a few months.  That of course was never the great thing they envisioned. The populous yelled and screamed and it was VERY OBVIOUS that the citizens didn't want a loss of last names. 

2. Any "generator" would have had to been before 2006 so very VERY long ago.  And if it just "told" you what name you would be called then I don't see much advantage there. We at least got to pick our first names and our last from a list.  And yes, depending on the portal you came in from the list was different. 

3. To me, it has always seemed like the last name return wasn't something The Lab WANTED to do -- or even a money generating thing -- but something they felt that they needed to do. And yes, agree that the price point was set "too high" to be the best for the revenue stream. Just my opinion.  Once they got the mechanics (finally) worked out, they COULD have let new folks have last names again. They didn't do that.  And as noted they could have made it so anyone could change their name. Again, not their choice.   So in my mind this feature return was never really a priority -- just a somewhat later crew gluing back some things that were broken long long ago with bad decisions.

 

"I" never cared so it made no difference to me personally. Lani (my building alt) got in maybe seven  nine years ago through one of the last open educational portal (posted by Gogo on her blog :D and then closed soon after).  I do feel sorry for folks that have horrible names mostly due to frustration. More folks would have likely signed up if it was easier.  

 

Just looked it up. Lani was born 11/04/2011 and that was the "end" of the last names for good (or very very close to that date). 

 

All that being said some folks are thrilled to be able to change last names -- even for alts and paying to make them premium for a month to do so.  Boggles the mind (or mine anyway) LOL.

 

 

 

Yes, I believe it was over in 2011. The last registration portal was the Virtual Library of Birmingham site, and had these names:

  • Ashland
  • Coy
  • Deluxe
  • Highwater
  • Hurricane
  • Kroll
  • Lastchance
  • Lyric
  • Oodles
  • Spot
  • Thistle

 

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5 hours ago, steeljane42 said:
12 hours ago, LittleMe Jewell said:

^^ This.  I think that they would actually get a lot more people changing names, and thus pull in more money overall, if the Premium requirement was dropped.

Would they, though? I see zero value in premium myself, but signed up for a month exactly for this. Sign, change the name, then cancel it before the month ends or even right away. 40 or 50$, doesn't make a big difference if someone can and wants to change their name. And if 10$ difference does matter to that someone, then perhaps spending 40$ on a name change is not a good idea to begin with.

Well, all in all, I think the $40 is priced a tad high also.  When we were originally discussing the name change here in the forums, before it became reality, the general consensus was that a price tag of around $25-30 seemed reasonable enough to prevent people from doing it on a whim.  That would put the price at roughly half what it is now.

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