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Posts with tag character-name

Gamasutra examines character names in World of Warcraft

Gamasutra examines character names in World of Warcraft
What does your character name say about you? Gaming website Gamasutra asked that question while performing a massive investigation on player names in World of Warcraft, and came up with some interesting answers. Obviously a game like World of Warcraft is going to have a ton of unique character names, simply due to the limits on names per server -- but WoW boasts a whopping 3.8 million unique names, which actually makes the game far more diverse than real-world names.

As can only be expected, there was a much larger variety in names on RP servers -- while on average, 58% of names were unique, on RP servers that number jumps to a staggering 83%. But what is unexpected is the correlation between class, race, and name ultimately chosen to represent the character you play. Other information painstakingly investigated included represented regions, name origins, common threads between popular names, and an all-too-interesting look at the differences between negative, positive, and neutral names.

It's a fascinating glimpse into one of those things that players tend to take for granted. While you may think you're creating a name that's completely unique and carefully chosen, there's a strong likelihood that somewhere out there in the far-flung reaches of the global playerbase, there's at least one person who's had the exact same idea as yourself. Take a look at the full article for more interesting tidbits about the curiosity of character naming on Gamasutra's site.



Filed under: News items

Breakfast Topic: Your cleverest character names


What's in a name? Only your character's identity from here onward! Without a doubt, finding the perfect name for a character is the toughest part of character creation. More than once I've created a character, carefully customized the face and looks just how I liked them, and was then stymied by the blinking cursor in the name box. (And, occasionally, I've timed out while trying to think of a perfect name that's untaken after my first choice wasn't available, meaning I had to go back and start again with customization.)

But my trouble figuring out names just means I've all the more respect for those characters with particularly clever names -- those of you who not only managed to think up a clever name but also claim it before anyone else did. So, dish, fellow Azerothians: what's your cleverest character name?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: OK, fine, hit me with your best pandaren pun name

Breakfast Topic Okay, fine, hit me with your best pandaren pun name
In vanilla WoW, it was gnomes: Gnomebase, Noplacelikegnome, Etphognome ... You know the drill -- wherever an obnoxious pun could be made, it was made. Repeatedly and endlessly. It wasn't so bad in The Burning Crusade, but Cataclysm brought the worgen and another cavalcade of pun names: Worgenfreeman, Captnworgen and so on and so on. Now we've got the pandaren coming in Mists, and I've heard hints of terrible puns here and there as suggestions for horrible names that will have everyone in a 30-foot radius groaning.

So let's have it. Give me your best pandaren pun names. Go on, let it all out -- I know you've been aching to share all the absolutely terrible puns you've been thinking up. Here's your chance to unleash all those pent-up puns you've been dying to inflict on people. I'm only saying this once though, so you better get it all out while you can. And when I'm done reading the comments and laughing, I never want to hear another pandaren pun again.

Well, maybe one or two more. Just for giggles.

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: Will your pandaren fit into your character naming convention?

Many veteran gamers (be they of the tabletop or computer variety) have long held their characters' names as sacred. Naming your character in a roleplaying game is a very important and special thing and should not be taken lightly. Even if you are to make a name to troll a thousand trolls, at least put the time, effort, and passion into your awful name to show your dedication and understanding of this sacred thing.

I've written about my naming conventions before, using the prefix Gen- or Genz- for most of my characters because of my own affinity for my middle name. Every character but two fit this mold and use some sort of variation on the theme. Thankfully, my pandaren monk easily fits into the Asian-themed culture.

The pandaren monk that I made at BlizzCon was named Genzji, and I liked it, so I'm happy to use the name come live. Will your pandaren characters fit within a predetermined and established naming convention? Or will you take this opportunity to break the character-naming mold?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

WoW Rookie: How to pick a good name when all the good ones are taken

New around here? WoW Rookie points WoW's newest players to the resources they need to get acclimated.

Especially on old servers, it can feel like all the good names are already claimed. Creating a new character with a strong, iconic name is one heck of a challenge, especially if you want to avoid joke and parody names like McDoomChicken. You can give up your dreams of finding real-world names like Stephen or Michael; the only way you'll grab a straightforward name is to grab it on a brand new server (and we're fairly unlikely to see a brand new server any time soon).

With Mists of Pandaria careening toward us with all the excitement of a monk rolling along in a fuzzy ball, now's the time to get your unique snowflake name reserved. Rest assured that every variation of Jack Black you can create has already been taken. Let's talk about how you can create a unique, interesting name without resorting to all the special font characters WoW will allow.

Read more →

Filed under: WoW Rookie

Breakfast Topic: Do character naming schemes help you or confuse you?


This Breakfast Topic has been brought to you by Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to WoW Insider's pages.

With the coming of Cataclysm, class mechanics changed, preferences changed -- and in many cases, main characters changed, leaving guildmates wondering, "What do I call him now?" Thankfully, some forward-thinking types already have naming schemes in place to ease the transition. Several members of my guild use the same three-letter prefix for every character name to eliminate confusion, while others use a full word preceded or followed by a class-specific descriptive term. We have an officer who uses some combination of the same few letters, making his characters easy to identify, and one tank even uses a food-related theme.

Of course, even this does not completely eliminate the confusion, except in cases where the same prefix is used. We still have folks being called by the names of characters they have not played in a year or more. For those without the forethought to create a theme, members are often left checking guild notes to discover who they are talking to. As one of those forethought-lacking players myself, I often wish I could go back in time and find a way to connect my character names and make things a little more obvious.

Do you know someone with a great naming scheme, or do you have one yourself? How did you choose? If you don't have a gimmick, how do you handling telling friends and guildies what to call you when decide to make a change?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

Widget shows character name statistics


If you've ever been fascinated by the MMORPG statistics provided at sites like the Daedalus Project, here's something right up your alley; the WoW Armory Character Distribution widget, programmed to comb both the U.S. and E.U. Armories and capture data on the popularity of character names across race, class, faction, and sex.

The project is still in the testing stage, and it's a bit finicky about how you enter character names. Make sure you're always hitting the submit button and not using your enter key, as otherwise the widget will keep searching for the last name you looked for instead of your new query. Its creator, Emilis, also wrote to warn that it uses live information from both armories and will occasionally be slow as a result. I imagine it might also be inaccurate if either Armory is having problems.

The widget is tremendously fun to play with and has yielded some rather interesting results even with the completely random names I keep trying. "John" and "Mary," as you might expect, are overwhelmingly Human toons, whereas the greater share of people playing a "Sergei" and "Yekaterina" are Draenei. 3 people with a "Brutus" are actually playing female characters, and 1 person with a "Laura" is playing a male character (Emilis notes that gender-bending names are surprisingly common, although from what I can tell so far this seems to be a lot more true of male names for female toons than the other way around). Most people with a "Killer" are playing a Hunter, Rogue, or Warrior. Characters named "Bank" are mostly Human Warriors, but "Banktoon(s)" are mostly Orcs. And, yes, most of the people playing a toon named Legolas are Night Elf Hunters. Are you really that surprised?

Thanks to Emilis for writing in!

Filed under: Horde, Alliance, Human, Night Elves, Orcs, Hunter, Rogue, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Draenei

Behind the name could be fungi

Character names in World of Warcraft are very personal, even if you started out trying to be nonchalant. For some players, their character names are the only handle they will ever be known by with their Azerothian friends. I for one am about 75% certain that I would answer to my main's nickname "IRL".

For many, this naming decision, which used to be permanent, and now is potentially too changeable, is a way to express one's interests outside of gaming. Although staying within the boundaries of Blizzard's naming policy requires some extra creativity, the effort is worth it in the end. Mythological figures is a very popular choice, and our very own Elizabeth Wachowski chooses medical terminology when naming her toons. Amanda Rivera has varying logic behind her character names, although by times she takes inspiration from her own works as a writer.

Names can work to bring characters with similar, even obscure, interests together in WoW. Any of you who have ever encountered a character and done a double take, realizing that their name is some obscure 18th Century poet or minor figure in Romanian history, will be able to identify with Jeremy Bruno of The Voltage Gate.

Jeremy has recently become quite interested in WoW characters named after an organism's genus name. He has begun to feature such characters, along with photographic representations of the actual organism and tidbits of interesting facts. As he points out, these organisms are important enough to people to name their characters, which they might have for years, after them; and he wants to help honor them. If you have such a toon, shoot him a message, because he's accepting reader submissions. We're all interested to see what types of animals, bacteria, plants, and fungi will turn up on our realms.

Do you have a theme or an interest that is reflected in the names of your characters? Have you ever stumbled across a character with such an obscure name that you were taken aback?

Filed under: Virtual selves, Odds and ends

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