In light of the proposed removal of discriminators to usernames and the addition of only usernames, I hope to raise some concerns about the topic.
Firstly, I still have my mid-tier nitro subscription. I really enjoy this subscription and its perks, one of which being the customized discriminator. If discriminators are removed, I will cancel my nitro subscription entirely because all of its perks are gradually being removed.
To me, discriminators are part of the identity of Discord. Users in game chats and online forums can easily post their Discord tags without saying "this is for Discord" -- it's recognizable. That is part of the appeal for me. I HATE how on social media nowadays, everyone has 10 different social media usernames and has to explicitly say "@loverboy123 is my instagram and @lover_boy is my twitter and @loverboyy is my snapchat". It's a burden, and I'd be really peeved to add Discord to my menagerie of ever-growing usernames list.
Secondly, the discriminators are... on-point with the appeal of gaming chats. Battle.net and other gaming apps use discriminators, and it's kind of an identity point for gaming apps. You know, which Discord is. Or USED to be.
I also quite enjoy how having a discriminator, at least for me, has become a huge identity point for myself and my discord account. I change my username occasionally. Even if I change my username and icon, my friends and people who are familiar with me can recognize me by my consistent discriminator, which doesn't change because I am PAYING for this feature by SUBSCRIBING TO NITRO.
Similarly, the news post on evolving usernames mentions that this change will be optimal for users who frequently change their usernames. I cannot help but disagree. If I change my display name, I will ALSO want to change my base username. I am an indecisive person, and having me choose one "base username" will be really upsetting for me because I will constantly be changing both my username and display name. I argue that this does NOT benefit users who change their names frequently -- instead, it only now gives users TWO names that they will be compelled to change.
I propose that Discord keep discriminators, but makes usernames no longer case sensitive. This was mentioned in the news post, but was quickly argued that it wouldn't be feasible because it would force a third of its userbase to change their usernames. How then, is forcing EVERYONE to change their usernames, a better option? In my opinion, if I had the username ilovecats#0001 first, ILoveCats#0001 should be asked to change their username if non- case-sensitive usernames are implemented, no? This is essentially what Discord is proposing to do now, given that older users are being asked to pick their usernames before newer users. With my proposed suggestion, however, there will be much less upset.
I understand that each user having one unique username as opposed to a username with a discriminator is supposed to be a "fair" change. However, as a user, I would be much more upset to learn that the username @/king is taken, as opposed to king#0000 through king#9999.
And, frankly, the discriminator usernames look much more appealing in the server profiles than the mock-upped versions of the new usernames do. You have so quickly been adding more and more additions to the user profiles pop-ups, and adding more elements to them in the form of a display name AND a subtitled username is only making the profiles much more clustered with information. Take this up with your UI/UX graphic design team.
You also mention in your blog post that sharing discord names verbally is a huge point of concern. How, exactly, will having a unique username solve this problem? saying "I'm I Love Cats on Discord" could mean "ilovecats", or "I_love_cats", or "Ilove_cats", or "i_love_cat_s". This does not solve the problem you mentioned. No matter what the system is for usernames on Discord, bad verbal communication will ALWAYS happen. This point is moot.
I also raise the problem of username-selling and the history of VIOLENCE committed against users online who have "valuable" usernames. Users have and WILL sell accounts for hundreds of dollars because they simply have a "nice" username -- inevitably, this will also open to real life manipulation and scam opportunities. I can assure you that this WILL happen with Discord too - it happens on tumblr, reddit, instagram, twitter, twitch... Discord will not be immune to this. This may also create "hierarchies" of implied importance between users in servers, where some users are treated a certain way because of their usernames, as does on other social media platforms.
At the end of the day, I am PAYING for a custom discriminator. That is a PERK of my nitro subscription. I PAY for it because I ENJOY it. Please consider this.
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