Character Name Reclamation Coming to WoW
With the WoD pre-patch 6.0.2, Blizzard 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. Players will be finally able to create characters without a bunch of random letters.
How do I preserve my names?
You will have to log into World o Warcraft and enter the game using each character whose name you wish to retain before 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 i you want to keep your names intact long-term.
Blizzard's goal with this 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 to preserve your unused characters' names for your journey into Draenor.