With time, player might have wanted to use a name for their character, but couldn’t take because someone else already used the same. For some of those cases, the name was taken by someone that hadn’t logged-in since a long time, hopefully this will be no more with the following changes.
If a character hasn’t logged in-game since November, 13th 2008, the name of that player will be freed, so it will be available for anyone that always wanted to use it.
With the upcoming Warlords of Draenor pre-patch (6.0.2), we will be releasing sidelined characters’ names back into the wild. Any characters that have not logged into the game since November 13, 2008 will have their names freed up, making them available to anyone creating a new character or using the paid Character Name Change service.
How Do I Preserve My Names?
You will need to log in to World of Warcraft and enter the game using each character whose name you wish to retain before patch 6.0.2 goes live. While it is possible no one will claim your recently released name and you might be able to snag it again, it is probably not worth the risk if you want to keep your names intact long-term.
Our goal with this great name liberation is to make sure new and returning players have a large and varied pool of names available to choose from—so log in now if you wish preserve your unused characters’ names for your journey intro Draenor.