Playing a character has various challenges, but one of the hardest of all is right at the start. You’ve picked your faction, decided on class and sex, you have even gone through the appearance options – now all you need is a name. For me, a virtual brick wall appears at this point and I always struggle to scale it. I want my character’s name to be indicative of both me as a player and the character. I want it to be moderately clever and inventive, not too clichéd and also something that 60 levels and hours and hours of questing later I won’t regret. I know it’s not quite the weighty decision it used to be due to now being able to pay for a name change, but doesn’t stop me from being desperate to get it right from the start.
I have spent hours looking at the screen thinking about what to call a character and then when the moment of inspiration for the final step in giving birth to my latest creation arrives – Bam!
Someone else has had the same thought (only sooner) and I’m back to the drawing board.
Rightly or wrongly, I judge a player almost immediately by their name. I therefore expect others are likely to judge me in the same manner. In short I don’t want a name that makes me look like a twat! Gevlon at Greedy Goblin spotted this. I was appalled by it, but not exactly surprised. What were these people thinking????
The reason that naming characters has been in my mind recently is not the birth of a new alt, but instead I server transferred my Death Knight to Nordrassil to team up with the rest of my characters. The DK used to be human and is now a Blood Elf, a little commitment to the Horde side methinks. I decided not to go for any variations on BelfDK – no doubt they would all have been taken anyway. So what to call her?
Ultimately I am a creature of habit. My characters’ names usually come from either long finished RPG games or from books I like. My first ever character was named Arleff, originally he was a warrior type in a 1st edition Earthdawn campaign. My long-standing shadowpriest called Tarsis was originally a Salubri Lore Keeper in a Dark Ages Vampire campaign. More recently I have simply blagged names from Joe Abercrombie novels. Blackdow is a particularly nasty piece of work from the North and he’s pretty useful in a fight. A real neutral-evil temperament and perfectly suited for my pvp hunter (currently languishing at lvl 70).
Up until now my RPGs have been pretty much male orientated and too often in books the female characters are a bit more feminine than I see some half-undead creature with a large 2H Sword that’s back to take revenge upon her old master who used her as a pawn sacrifice. Nope, not too many of them in books that I know of. Vitari is an Inquisitor’s muscle in some of Joe’s books and I reckoned she was more like my DK than anything else, you can get the briefest of introductions here, but for a proper perspective you really need to read the books. I think the name suits her and we’ll leave it at that. A friend of mine often names her characters after fruit or vegetables. This includes the soul-eating, demon-summoning, casting shadow spells from the very depths of hell warlock called Pomegranate – you can’t fault the originality!
I’d welcome any comments on the best (and worst) names seen across the realms.