What’s In A Name?
I can’t play characters that don’t have good names. I don’t know why but it’s just wrong somehow. To me, the name of my avatar embodies his personality, his spirit, his role. Call it roleplaying on a low level nature. I don’t walk around spouting “hail, kind sir” or what-not but I absolutely have to a name that suits my character. Very occasionally comedic, often always serious, the name has to be right because without one, I simply won’t make the character or, worse yet, find myself deleting them after a few hours of play.
So many times I’ve had an itch to try a new class but have put it off for weeks because I just couldn’t come up with a name that felt right. Other times I’ve sat staring at the character creation screen for what felt likes hours on end just trying to come up with a name I liked and wasn’t taken. It’s not as easy as one might think. Thinking up with a suitable name that fits the race, class and my imaginary background for my proposed character can be rather tricky.
Sure, I’ve got a pool of names that I keep coming back to, old favourites that fit most of my character like a stinky old glove. Mantooth for big Ogres or Orcs, Kilgour for big Trolls or Bahmi, Crushinator for when I really can’t think of anything else and the name checker lets it through. Yeah, it’s not like my names are particularly original or witty but they’re mine and they seem suitable and somehow feel right. Often I try to steep them in the familarity of my chosen race – Bruticus for a Roman inspired Aquilonian Conquerer in Age of Conan, Hongjun for a Khitai Dark Templar. I even made a Worgen in Cataclysm when it came out called Grimfang which seemed quite fitting.
I don’t think I could ever go with standard fantasy expectation of just making up random names. Cantarus, Kallibimo, Mogawogadin. There, that’s three new names of the top of the my head – feel free to use them, I certainly won’t, I just can’t abide them. My names have to have some sort of connection to the lore or background of my character or a link to the real world or at least some sort of other familiarity. Random ‘names’ just don’t sound right to my ears.
Then there’s people like my brother who stick random alphabetic characters onto the end of names or even uses his own initials which is utterly absurd. He’s just plain weird though.
So what’s in a name? Everything. Without a good name, I have nothing.