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Posts with tag naming

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

Breakfast Topic: What's behind your character's name?

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

Strolling through Dalaran, you see all sorts of characters with all sorts of names -- everything from Knaush to Xxarthasxxlol. But have you ever stopped to wonder why a character is named the way he or she is? There might just be a significance that you miss.

For example, my priest, Flintte, was named after Flint Fireforge from the Dragonlance series; I wanted a recognizable dwarf name, and with my having no creativity, I named him after the dwarf (though of course, Flint was taken, and so I had to modify it). Once I started raiding, no one could correctly pronounce my name over Vent; they always called me "Flintee" or "Flinette." So when I decided to roll an alt shaman, I named him "Flintee" just to confuse my guildies. (It worked.) And then I named my warlock "Flinnte." And my DK "Flinete." And pretty soon, I had a roster of characters all with names differing by a letter or so.

Anyone who knows me on my server can instantly tell who I am, thanks to my naming scheme. What started out as an unoriginal allusion to a novel became something that defined all my characters. Except Bellboy, who also has a significant name. When I played in the pit orchestra in junior high school, I was dubbed "Bellboy" by the conductor, since I was the percussionist.

Even randomly selected names can have significance. I know someone who just used the name generator to name her character, and then she got curious and looked it up. Apparently, the name they gave was her first name in Gaelic (she also happened to be Irish), and so that started a Gaelic naming trend for her.

So what's in a name? Why did you name your characters the way you did? Tell us in the comments.

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

All the World's a Stage: A rose by any name

It could be considered a small, fine point, but I've always been a stickler about naming my characters. I've been known to sit around for days, repeatedly rerolling and renaming the same character until something clicks just right. I just can't bring myself to play a character if the name doesn't line up. For better or for worse, we only have a few basic customizable options for our character, so the name tag provides the first hints about our character to other players.

If the first impression about your character is delivered by the name you've chosen, it becomes the most customizable aspect of your character. If you use one of the many mods that let you use a surname, then you'll even have two names to choose from. But, for the purposes of this article, let's just stick to the single word that everyone sees.

Take a look behind the jump, and let's discuss some tips for naming your character.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

WoW Rookie: A character by any other name would be so weak

New around here? WoW Rookie points WoW's newest players to the resources they need to get acclimated. Send us a note to suggest a WoW Rookie topic.

Your character's name is literally the essence of your World of Warcraft experience. Think about it: from the way you think of your character (a roleplaying personality, a tool for gaming achievements, an expression of yourself) to the way others see you, your name plays a defining role.

While Blizzard indulges in the occasional sly riff on pop culture and even pays homage to the WoW community when naming NPCs (non-player characters) and items, you may find yourself dismayed by the results after attempting to do the same with your own characters. The way we see it, character names are like tattoos – and what seemed like a great idea at 1 a.m. on a Saturday night might not smell so fresh in the harsh light of day.

Naming characters can seem overwhelming to a new player, especially if you're creating a character on an established server where many popular name combinations have already been claimed. Let's cover the basics of finding an appealing name that won't wear thin or break any rules.

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Filed under: Tips, WoW Social Conventions, WoW Rookie

Felicia Day teaches Jimmy Fallon about World of Warcraft

I'm back and forth on Jimmy Fallon -- when NBC first announced that he was taking over the great Conan O'Brien's late night spot, I wasn't real impressed. But since then, you can't say he hasn't worked for it -- the show, which isn't even on the air yet, has been blogging and running all over the country to drum up some interest (including a little gig with the guys at sister site Engadget), and their latest stop takes then to the abode of our good friend Felicia Day to play World of Warcraft.

As you can see above, Fallon isn't much for Azeroth -- while Felicia is rocking a pretty hardcore Warlock, Jimmy still has a tough time getting past the character creation screen. But he did drum at least one laugh out of me (which is one more than he ever got from me on SNL), so well done. I very much agree with the commenters on the blog -- if he can keep the show technology and geek-focused like this (and maybe get at least one character up to level 30 -- all Felicia had to do was say "roll on a PvE server," right?), he might have a chance at filling Conan's shoes.

Thanks to everyone who sent this in!

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Guilds, Humor, Classes

Officers' Quarters: What's in a guild name?

Every Monday Scott Andrews contributes Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership.

Naming your guild is a funny thing. You want it to stand out in some way, but, at the same time, you don't want to give it such a weird or offensive name that people are embarrassed to walk around with it above their heads. It can be an agonizing decision. I remember back in the days before my officers and I founded our guild, we exchanged dozens of messages trying to find the perfect name. So I can sympathize with the author of this week's e-mail, who discovered that her carefully chosen name had also been chosen by another guild with some eerily similar characteristics.

Hello, Scott.

I don't know if I have a conundrum, a mystery, or a coincidence. I find it kinda funny more than anything else, but wonder if I should feel some concern or do something about it--

More than a month ago, I split off from a friendly, pretty well-knit social guild to form my own of same. I had decent ideas about the sort of people I wanted together, and still have aims of trying to build a Kara team (I follow the casual raiding articles religiously). We're still very small, but we're out there, and we have a pretty notable guild name. It was also the only guild of that name across all servers -- I checked the Armory at that time.

Just last night I happened to be trawling the armory, looking up some friends and their gear, and, of course, popped in my own guild name. Much to my surprise, I see a brand new guild (~10 members) on another Normal server with the same name, cross-factioned. Further, their guild tabard is nearly identical (save for a slightly different border; the colors and image are same), and their GL is the same class as I am, a Blood Elf to my Human.

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

Character naming guide from Waaagh!

Okay, so technically Waaagh! is a Warhammer Online blog, but we'll forgive Syp this time, if only because S/he writes a pretty good article about choosing your character's name. The first part of it is, to me at least, good common sense. Don't choose a name you'll regret or a name that looks overly bad to other people. Naming after real life celebrities can get a bit tired. Naming your character "something naughty" is probably just going to make most people think you haven't cleared puberty yet. And yeah, it might be funny to call your character Rickroll NOW, but when Rickrolling is the next "All Your Base", everyone on the internet is going to point and laugh at you for being old and busted.

The second part has some excellent ways to comb for new names, some of which many veterans already know, but it's a good compilation, and gave me a few ideas for my next name search. I can confirm to anyone who doubts it that Syp's Rule of Three really is true. I have known only 1 or 2 people who have been able to avoid having their name reduced to a 3 or 4 letter nickname that is used almost constantly in place of the whole thing. You can't avoid it, so sometimes it's not that bad to go with the flow and plan your name around it. Same thing with the similar names across characters thing. It works pretty well, if you like the idea, but woe to you if you accidentally take someone's naming scheme and join their guild or group of friends!

If you're having trouble thinking of a new name, or plan to roll a character at some point in the future, give the article a read. It's pretty keen.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends

Guildwatch: That's rediculous

Yes, we know the headline is spelled wrong -- that's the joke. (So feel free to make fun of anyone who points out the misspelling in the comments; they're fair game.) In the meantime, the more "rediculous" the guild names, the better for us. Why would you want to name your guild Sentinels of Azeroth when you could name it something like Dont Be That Guy?

In the meantime, click the link below to see all the drama, downed, and recruiting news we got from across the realms this week. And don't forget to send your tips (especially drama -- let us know if you see anything either on your realm's forums or on your guild's forums) to Because not sending your tips to Guildwatch is pretty rediculous, if you ask us.

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Filed under: Guilds, Raiding, Guildwatch

Don't name the baby Thrall

WoW is a phenomenon that extends beyond the virtual world and into our everyday lives. An excellent example of this is Bunnypasta's recent forum post. She asked players for suggestions of WoW-related names for her as-yet unborn bundle of joy.

This isn't the first time I have heard of something like this. In fact, one of my former guildies recently had a child, and gave the little girl the middle name of his best-friend's character. Now I'm not sure that carrying around the name of a rogue will influence her personality, come to think of it.

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Filed under: WoW Social Conventions, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Forums

Where did you get your WoW name?

Ippy on LJ has been thinking names of late. He asked for people to tell him how they came up with the names for their characters. Coming up with a character name is always a challenge for me. It's not that I don't have ideas, it's just that for the most part, when I start a new alt, they are a blank slate on that character selection screen, and I find it hard to pigeon-hole someone I barely know with a name that might only allow them to play a certain way or take certain talents.

As it turns out, there are all kinds of places that players get their names, from mythology to foreign languages to household pets. I currently tend to use two different types of naming conventions. I have those boring character names I have been toting from game to game with me over the years, and I have the "I should so name a druid Roflmeow" inspiration moments. Yes, I can be silly too on occasion.

In any case, I extend this question to you, the reader. Where do you glean your inspiration for naming your characters? Or are you the brave type to choose names from the randomizer and have done with?

Filed under: WoW Social Conventions, Virtual selves

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

What's in a name?

Last night over guild chat the subject of naming our characters arose. Someone asked exactly how we chose our character names. It's a pretty personal question, at least it is for me. Being a writer pretty much all my life, my player character names are mostly names from my writing. There are also those characters that have been created out of jokes, or as representations of their jobs like Donations. I've built character names out of thin air as well, mostly because I love character creation beyond all other things. Most of my characters' names are fantasy in nature since being a fantasy writer I tend to be a stickler on that sort of thing. But some of my characters have looser based names. My priest is named Mandie, for obvious reasons. My paladin I've called Vashlyra, which is a combination of my dogs' names. I once even had a gnome rogue named Runnt.

Perhaps that is part of why I love creating new characters so much. I get to give them a name, and infuse them with personality and back story. Every new character is a chance to rewrite the story, and each name is so important to me. But I am just one player in millions. I know my guild mates choose names differently. We have one player whose characters are all named variations of the same word. We have another who picks all his names from the random name generator. And yes, we are a guild populated mostly by alts, if you must know, so there are plenty of characters to name.

On the other hand, I have seen many, many names that I cannot stand. I have actually found a correlation between horrible players and those who named their characters by picking a cool word they like and tacking on the letter X at the end (CipherX, you know who you are.) On our server I have run into Linksys, Pallyman and my personal favorite Ooitsahamster. I have even seen some I cannot believe haven't been reported. Now while I am more of a name snob, I can see why people choose to have fun with their character's names. What I cannot see is playing a character with a ridiculous name until 70.

How do you choose your character names? Is it something tied to characters you have always played, or do you close your eyes and hit 'random?' What makes you connect with a name, or do you have no connection to it at all?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves

Breakfast Topic: What's in a name?

Players on each realm are required to have unique character names -- which can be an annoyance if you didn't create on the day the realm opened. Whenever a new realm is launched, common and popular names are quickly used up, and at some point naming becomes an annoyance. (Even more of an annoyance when people attempt to take a name they want by inserting special characters -- I've yet to figure out how to invite some of them to groups.) For my part, my most often played characters are "Lizzy" (uncreative, I know, but I created soon after the realm launched and grabbed it), "Blush" (which seemed to me the perfect name for an undead rogue), "Raawr" (a druid, and the only spelling I could find that worked), and "Coraline" (a book character whose name never seems to be taken).

So what's your character name -- and how did you pick it? Do you have some uncommon standbys that are usually free? Do you abuse the random name generator until you find something you like? Do you just hit random keys on your keyboard?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Features

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