Before the merge when we had 3 servers, some people somehow created identical character names on the different servers. This became a problem when the merge occurred, and the solution then was that those characters who had high levels were then given first priority to the names. Subsequently, the other lower leveled characters who have the same names then had numerals or symbols attached to the names. Thus, for instance, two characters have Sarah as a name, but one is level 25 and the other level 20; the level 25 retained the name Sarah while the level 20 had Sarah1 (or something quite like it) given to it.
My past does not define me, 'cause my past is not today--Sunset Shimmer