A reserve means that no one can swipe the character from you while you're writing up your application! As long as you've got the reserve, you have no fear of someone else sneaking in and snagging the character you want before you get the chance to have your fair say.
Can I apply for a character without a reserve?
Of course you can, we just won't wait for you to apply if someone else gets their app in first. Sorry.
So why should I bother reserving?
Reserving means that your application will be seen. No matter how many applications we get, or how much longer you take to finish your application than the other possible applications (As long as it's within the reserve period!) we will consider your application first. You'll only lose the character if your application would have been rejected anyway, not because you took longer to write it.
So, wait, does that mean I can or I can't apply for a reserved character?
You can apply for a reserved character, but you'll have to wait until the reserve period expires or the reserved application is considered. That can mean up to two weeks of waiting before your application is even considered!
Okay, you've convinced me. So I can reserve for two weeks?
No. You can reserve for one week, at the end of which, you can request one more week.
...The difference being what?
To request an extension, you'll have to ask before your reserve expires. Your reserve expires on Midnight, PST seven days after your request (That's 12am morning of the eighth day). While there will usually be a grace period of a few days to request an extension, if you have competing apps waiting for your application, they will be processed at the soonest convenient time...so you may lose out on the chance to renew it if you miss the deadline!
Okay, one last question. If I can apply for a character that's reserved, does that mean I can reserve a character that's already applied for if it's not reserved?
No. That wouldn't be fair to the person who got there first. Now, the applications are screened, but we can assure you that we process apps in two-or-three days, so the chances of the character you'd like to pick up being already applied for but unprocessed is unlikely.
However, because it is screened, we will give such a show of interest a two day grace period from the point the inquiry is made to get their contesting application in. Which is, of course, another reason reserving before you apply is a good idea!
Got it! So I want to reserve, what do I do?
Fill out this form right here:
Reserves are now OPEN!