Get rid of the four digit tag numbers at the end of usernames



  • MarSprite

    @GinaBot you're ridiculous on so many levels. Sequential address assignment is how nearly everything in computing is done, random is the exception, not the norm.
    It's hilarious to have you tell me that that would take lot's of computational power, because computers were working sequential numbers when they were still programmed with punch cards.
    If you think about it for a moment, you'll realize it's as easy as 1, 2, 3 to compute an array on numbers all in your head.
    Computers are actually built specifically for this, computation. I can think of a half a dozen ways to do it off the top of my head, but first! I'm going to poke a hole in the way you think they have chosen to do it.

    How efficient do you think it would be to roll random numbers until you randomly got the outcome that wasn't selected if 9998 out of the 9999 discriminators were already taken? Not very. In fact, randomizers can and do spit out the same number in succession with what I find to be a somewhat disturbing frequency.
    So you could be looking at quite a few random digits, since each attempt would have a 1/9999 chance, or about .0001% chance if you want a decimal. Statistics are a funny thing, so that doesnt actually mean you're going to get a hit if you try 10000 times.
    And random numbers, they cost more than iterating.
    Certainly, it may seem efficient to you for a situation in which there are maybe 100 people or less with the same name, but while I don't know the numbers, surely some names are popular enough to pull an internet sized crowd.

    If I was designing it, and wanted it sequential(which I wouldnt) I'd probably run it with a sql server, since I am familiar and it's a strong tool. Each name would get an entry in the database, each name would have a count, a list of existing discriminators and their associated internal account ID(a number), a count of deleted discriminators, a list of deleted discriminators, all entries sorted sequentially.
    I'd have it first check if the number of discriminators in use was less than the max, and if not, deny. Then I'd try to pop the front of the list of deleted discriminators, and give them that number. If none, then assign the number of assigned discriminators plus 1 as their discriminator.
    Very minimal calculation. No wasted effort.

  • GinaBot

    Smart people are the exception, not the norm, so I guess dumb people should be running the show.
     Let's say a certain username has hit 5000 discriminators. Your method would have to go through the entire 5000 every single time via iteration. An RNG takes as much computation as that and can generate a value in less time for a production app like this which has millions of users.You were clearly not using SFMT. I've shipped software for 10 years, if you've done the same, I'd love to hear more about it. Thanks for the obvious comment, almost everything production-ready is based on SQL.

    You should try it out on a sandbox and see which one is inherently faster and then come back here with the results ;) I sure know which one I will choose.

  • MarSprite

    Why on earth would I go through the entire 5k every time? 5000+1 is 5001. I don't need to count up a list, I already have that number. I already knew there were 5000, and now I know there are 5001. Oh, new account? 5001+1 is 5002 for the new account. Going through each of the existing accounts would be incredibly stupid, which is why nowhere in my proposed methodology was it done.


  • ba

    simply because they free up....?

    headlines, people tend to change their names. which means that in order to check if theres any freed discriminators, you'll have to run pass at most 9999 iterations.

    ofc im not saying the check is hard, but im not sure why you thought that those 5k people would just stay with that name forever and you'll never have to check again. 

    or did you think that if mere 10k people changed to a certain name once, guess no one can change to this name now lmao, toss it into the fire and burn it 

  • BD


    Bruh if discord didn't add the codes it'd be completely impossible to add anyone, and youtube instagram twitter and other places aren't the same discord doesn't have a search for person feature only add friend, it's for gamers if you have a problem with discord maybe leave discord, if you were just a tiny bit smarter you'd realize that the numbers are necessary because otherwise it'd be impossible to find people unless they are in the same group why do you think so much games don't allow you to have the same name as someone exactly the same reason, easier to add people and you won't mix them up.

  • MarSprite

    You're trolling, right? The mechanism for reusing old names is right there in my hypothetical design. 

    "If I was designing it, and wanted it sequential(which I wouldn't)[...]I'd have it first check if the number of discriminators in use was less than the max, and if not, deny. Then I'd try to pop the front of the list of deleted discriminators, and give them that number. If none, then assign the number of assigned discriminators plus 1 as their discriminator. " I said.

  • Amy Teroczi

    I am older gent.  And, I had some tangle to register.  Discord staff assisted (thank you).

      I was to communicate with someone named tolteca.

    I have no clue what his random 4 digit number is.  Thus, I am at a dead end, and my membership to discord is a moot issue.


  • Amy Teroczi

    Siding with poochyena:  it seems common sense that if a standard of four digits is needed, the individual registering should choose that number to follow whatever username.  That person would realize it is to be remembered, and also forwarded to a friend to make a connection.  sheesh.

  • Sabin

    Amy Teroczi

    I empathize with your experience. It took me a while to remember that I will need to give my Discriminator along with my username to connect with people who don't share a server in common with me. But I would hastily add that allowing all users to select their own numbers means that you might as well make them actually part of the username, so I would be Sabin3704 instead of just Sabin (and #3704 only if you need to add me as a friend).

    Then your system is no better than Twitter or AOL at that point. You're better off just exchanging an ICQ number or Steam code, which nobody is expected to memorize but you could write it down if you give it out often. In my opinion, random discriminators are the best of both worlds: a name that identifies you and which you identify with, along with a short easy-to-remember code that makes sure you aren't confused with someone with the same name.

  • Amy Teroczi

    Discriminator?  Huh?  Sabin... really now.

        It's a fact that humans don't actually see an image in totality with the eyes.  The eyes pick out certain familiar aspects and the mind fills in the majority of what is perceived as manifest form [the stuff of illusion and magic].

        So, the concept of four numbers aesthetically compromising a username is nonsense.  The mind is conditioned to omit and add details every moment.  I would capture Sabin; you would capture Amy Teroczi.  (unless the numbers were otherwise pointedly significant).  Use the word discriminate in place of capture if it pleases you.  Bottom line is that we would not perceive the four digits unless it was by conscious choice.

  • Sabin

    Amy Teroczi

    Hi. Just to clarify, I used the word "discriminator" because that is what Discord calls those numbers. The function of the "discriminator" is to discriminate (tell the difference between) two otherwise-identical identifiers. It's not some word I invented just to make a point!

    Richard Feynman (famous physicist and Nobel Prize laureate) once told a story (it's available on YouTube if you care to look) about our perception of time. The task was to estimate when a minute had elapsed while performing other non-counting tasks. Richard found that he could do it fairly accurately as long as he wasn't talking during the interval. His friend (also given the task) claimed he could talk all the way through it and still be accurate, as long as he didn't have to read anything. After some discussion, they found that Richard would use an inner voice to count, while the friend visualized a ticker-tape clicking by.

    We all perceive and process information differently. While a numerically-enhanced username might be aesthetically pleasing to you, that is not true for me and, I would venture, not for a majority (or at least a significant plurality) of people. One common theme that I see reading back through this thread is that so many people seem to want to make the system worse for most people in order to please a few people.

    Then there is the issue of actually choosing your digits. You might very well know what digits you want appended to your name, but I do not. In fact, I have a great difficulty in doing so, and oftentimes this results in me not signing up for a site or service that won't let me have a clean name. Having a (pseudo)-random number assigned works better for me, because then it is CLEAR that it is not part of my identity though it serves to uniquely identify me. Hopefully, you can see the difference.

    For those who want to choose their own four-digit number, Discord offers this as part of their Nitro subscription.

  • vrcsix

    Totally agree with poochyena here. Discord isn't some new-fangled concept. It's basically proprietary IRC (a late 80's protocol), with one major exception: it isn't decentralized. With IRC, a server is an actual server. In Discord, it is not. It's just a concept that's there to mimic IRC. The comparison to Twitter etc. is therefore apt. And if Discord had to force discriminators on everyone, numbers were the worst possible way to do it. The human brain is not good at remembering or working with numbers. It is much better at dealing with words (association), colors (for the non-blind anyway), images, shapes, etc. This is just one of several questionable UX decisions made by Discord. But for better or worse, Discord has become the standard in many communities. You can't ignore it.

    Xbox has introduced this terrible system as well. Instead of just giving us longer gamer tags, they shortened them to add space for a forced set of numbers. There is no difference between vrcsix9364 and vrcsix#9364, except for the fact that I don't get to pick the numbers. Literally any four letter word is easier to remember than a random four-digit string. Heck, even a long string of random words like "Correct Horse Battery Staple" is easier to remember and convey than four digits. Numeric identifiers should be left for computers to deal with.

  • Dworv Alt Lol

    This thread is hilarious. Discriminators are a simple low-impact design decision that Discord made and will very likely keep forever. As much as it can be frustrating, it doesn't do any serious harm. The fact that there are people still arguing about this 2 years later is pointless because this thread is never going to change Discord's decision which has become a beloved feature for the community.

  • Arson

    This is a two-year-old thread and yet I am dying of cringe reading this. So, let me try what everyone else has tried. I don't know why I'm even commenting but...

    My username is Arson. I love how discord works because the name that I see when I look at the bottom left corner is Arson. NOT Arson_1234_73237 because a million people have already named themself Arson. When I named myself Arson, when I first downloaded Discord, I was delighted that I didn't have to use some other random thing. I was delighted that all I had to remember was "#1234." What you're saying makes no sense because if the discriminator system didn't exist, you would add numbers to the end of your username. HOW in the WORLD is "Poochyena1234" harder to memorize than "Poochyena#1234"!?!?

    There are so so many discord users. And to change all of those, change the entire username system for ONE PERSON who obviously doesn't understand how discord works in the slightest, would make ZERO sense.

    Do you see what I'm saying? It's nicer to have no numbers showing than to have them showing. You keep arguing that Twitter lets you choose a username. Discord does too. And if you get Nitro, you can change the tag too! 

    On Twitter, tweet usernames are displayed like this:


    That is actually SHOWN, believe it or not. @displayname1234 is a shown username. 

    Plus, as stated before by other commenters, Twitter is for short statements to the public. Discord is for messaging and video games. 

    Yes, #1886 identifies me on discord, but there are also probably other people with the tag #1886. So combined, Arson#1886 makes my username. People with Nitro usually change their tags to make them something like username#6969. 

    There are dozens of people with the same username and because of the tagging system, discord allows us to share a username. I could make a server with a bunch of people with the same name, right now. Everyone would have different tags, sure, but the chat could look like

    name: hi other names

    name: hello

    name: yooo

    etc, etc. 

    god I don't know why i spent time replying to this but this entire thread is bs.

  • TLuna

    Dworv Alt Lol, I suppose no one here believes that Discord can get rid of discriminators any time now. It is just fun to chat with the subset of people who don't even get the concept of usernames and fiercely defend developers' genius.

  • Sabin

    @vrcsix Sorry to have to correct you on a few things. The human brain is just fine working with numbers, in most cases. Some people have trouble with numbers, either because of dyscalculia, poor education, or low IQ (not an exhaustive list). But most people are not so negatively impacted by being presented with numbers. Most people Gen-X and older remember having to memorize everyone's phone number; some people had trouble, so they would usually carry a little notebook with important phone numbers. For those in the minority who have trouble with numbers, I suggest writing it down somewhere that is easy to access.

    Ass for the brain excelling at making associations, that much is true. I am Sabin. My identity is associated with that name, and that name is associated with my identity (among those who know me... you might know a different Sabin). If I were forced to have a different username, it would suffer from dissociation: it wouldn't really be my identity and people would not relate to me as well.

    I am amused by the notion that we could have colors or shapes as part of a username instead of numbers. That would be both entertaining and doomed to failure. As for your xkcd reference, that was meant in the context of passwords, not for associative identity. If you are part of a community with 10, 100, or 1000+ people whose names are all a word salad, I fail how that would make anything easier!

  • Sabin

    One additional point that I believe I've mentioned in a previous comment is that the discriminator system is a great equalizer, and something that other social platforms might consider adopting. I don't use Twitter because I don't like the username that are available. I am repulsed by the very idea of having to use any of their suggestions as my public-facing identity.

    But about the equality... With discriminators, everybody gets one. It doesn't matter if you're username is unique or you are one of the many Vegetas out there. You get to use your name, and you get a discriminator.

    The only time you ever have to worry about other people's discriminators is when adding them as a friend or if you are unlucky enough to have two friends with the same name. Other than that, you need only worry about your own discriminator, and very rarely at that, but it's always easy to access from within Discord.

  • doppler

    I've stumbled on this thread looking for something else on Google, and I just had to say something. BIG KUDOS to poochyena for sticking with their solid arguments. Even though I disagree with their conclusion that the Discord tag system is bad, I have to commend them for sticking to their guns and not letting these essay-writing patronising comments get to them "Are you dumb sweety? just learn 4 digits?" ugh. 

    Yes, the discriminator tag is part of the username, it MUST be, otherwise it's not an actual unique username.

    I personally like it, it's simple, different and it looks much cleaner to have: potato#1212, potato#0420 than p0tatz12, pot3t145. But I completely understand and respect their opinion. I never tell people my discord username face-to-face, it's always online. So instead of memorising bla#1234 I just copy+paste it on whatever website we're already on (Also most people you find already on servers).

  • PhoeniXXTalon

    oh my god this thread is an absolute goldmine thank yall for the juice

  • oh lord, I was shocked to see such thread like this, I've never seen something like this! this thread has made my day. I stumbled upon this thread as if I stumbled upon a whole cave filled with fresh golds. million of thanks to everybody who participated in this thread. farewell.

  • AragonDrakon

    WOW, interesting read.

    In poochyena defense it is a semi-unique username/gamertag. I don't see how it would be fair to allow anyone else to use that specific username regardless if there is a number at the end. So anyone can have poochyena as their username/gamertag with say either #0444 or #0344, however, when viewing a chat their is no distinguishing feature of each user is their icon assuming one of us has changed it. I know I am not going to know every time a user changes their icon. So unless I click on each users name I will not know which is my friend in the chat room. This even presents a security risk. How? Lets say I know poochyena and know what server they join and I join that server too. As a person I may not realize or recall anyone can have the same username. So I see a poochyena and decide to have a private chat and maybe poochyena and I are really good friends and just so happen poochyena is not my actual friend yet a social engineer and through series of conversation I divulge a personal picture or statement only to realize later that it was not my friend.

    In discords, defense and other users struggling to come up with username/gamertags or just want to use their actual name well this is a great way to have different yet same username. There have been times I had a username and be like damn they already have it so I go with it and add numbers my self. For those who can come up with very unique names, kudos, its unlikely that another person will think of it unless they copy yours (for good reason or malicious reasons) or used some name gen that just so happens to have your two or three names in their DB and miraculous generates the same name. So there is no harm in having a number at the end as their will most likely not be someone with the same name as you on any server; your safe. Now, poochyena well good luck with it being unique. Having a username after a Pokemon well unless you joined Discord sometime when it first launched there would be no chance of you having a username just poochyena with most accounts unless it just launched. As by now there would be thousands who tried to claim that username.


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