In order to give players a wider pool of naming options when the World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor expansion launches this fall, Blizzard will free up character names that have been dormant for the past six years, according to a post on Battle.net.
Characters that have not logged into World of Warcraft since Nov. 13, 2008 will have their names liberated and returned to the public pool. These names will become available for new players and anyone using World of Warcraft's paid Character Name Change service.
In order to preserve character names, player must log in with each character they want to save prior to the launch of patch 6.0.2. — the update preparing for the Warlords of the Draenor release on Nov. 13.
Warlords of Draenor, World of Warcraft's fifth expansion, will take players into the homelands of the game's orc and draenei races. The expansion features new zones, battlegrounds, dungeons, raids and bosses as well as cosmetic updates to a handful of races and a new garrison-building feature.