by Max Barry

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Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: The Ancient Nation Name Release Program

by Max Barry
Wed, 21 Sep 2011

Since we began, over 2.97 million nations have been created. Wow. That's really close to three million. I just noticed that. We should have a prize for the three millionth nation.

Anyway, the point is, when you create a new nation, it's not easy to think of a unique name. You have to come up with something that hasn't been used any of the 2.97 million times someone did this before you. So new nations today tend to have names like somebody randomly mashed their forehead against the keyboard.

The solution has long been obvious: allow the names of long-dead nations to be re-used! And we've been planning this. But it was tricky, because the way the game is coded means—but you don't care about that. What you care about is that soon you'll be able to re-use old names!

Which names? Find out in The Boneyard! Here you can plug in a name and see if/when it will become available.

In a nutshell:

  1. A name will only become available for re-use if the previous owner is long-gone (ceased to exist five or more years ago), didn't hang around very long anyway (population of less than 250 million), and didn't do anything noteworthy (found an existing region, author a World Assembly resolution, get banned, etc).
  2. When a name is re-used, the previous owner will be permanently designated as "ancient" and will not be able to be resurrected. (Normally, you can bring back an old deleted nation just by entering the password.)

For details and discussion, please see this forum thread. This is also the place for your questions and comments, should you have any. Like: "What took this so long to get coded?" Although the answer to that is: "Shut up."