Friday 8 October 2010

BA Shared Topic: What's in a Name?

Before I start today I just wanted to say hi!  Hi to all those people coming here for the first time from guild websites, other blogs (thanks for the links!!) or by searching for gem information. Make yourselves at home!  I am just about to go away for a week so don't be surprised if there's not much happening if the patch does happen to drop on Tuesday, but try not to trash the place while I'm gone, eh?

But now, to the subject at hand! This week's Blog Azeroth Shared Topic, as suggested by Llani from Pocket Heals:
How did you decide upon the name for your character(s)? Did you delve into Norse, Greek, or Roman mythology? Did you choose a name from one of your family members? Did you mash the "Random" name generator button in vain until you stumbled upon something you liked? Is your name a play on aspects of your class, using spells or other traits? Did you play around with syllables, vowels, and consonants until you found something that you loved? How long did it take you to come up with your name? Do all of your characters share the same 'theme' or naming convention?
Has your character name become your online persona, or maybe the other way around?
Choosing a name is one of the most difficult parts of starting a new character, in any game. I have been known to sit there for ages after choosing all the attributes in a new character, just trying to choose a name!

I'd been known to pick odd names in past games but when I started playing WoW I knew that the name was going to be important. As an MMO, I was going to be playing with other people and those other people would refer to me by my character name, so I knew I didn't want my name to be something like Furrypants.

It was only much later I started seeing names like "Imapalalulz" and "xxarthasxx" and so on.  I wonder if those people are slightly embarrassed later once they start being called by that name.  I was in an ICC pug recently with someone called "Imcoolmom". When someone asked him something on vent he said sheepishly, "Oh, call me <whatever his real name was>, please."

In general I've always tried to name my Wow characters by names that are close to real names, or names that might sound suitable for the race of the character.

My first Night Elf druid was called Aoifen. I wanted Aoife, but Aoifen did well enough. I didn't play her for all that long before I decided to try something new and started my Human Priest, Angelya.  As you can probably tell, she went on to become my main and my online persona within my EU guild, where I was usually called "Ang".  I decided to keep the name once I started blogging, even though I don't play my priest any more.

My other character's names have had varying difficulties to come up with - most races can fall back on a baby name website, but races such as Orcs and Trolls need some special fantasy consideration. It took me ages to come up with the name for my Orc huntress:  Shagroth.  I still wasn't happy with it, it sounded too LOTR to me, but the other names I came up with were already used.

Other names of various characters include Morshanna, Eleanor, Gladiys, Halvaar (my only male character - a huge Draenei Pally <3 ).

You can probably guess the origins of my current tribe: Leesah = Lisa, Aefa = Eva and Balindah = Belinda. A bit boring, to be honest! People do seem to have a bit of trouble with pronouncing Leesah for some reason. A few people have called me Lee-sha over vent.  It annoys me when people can't read names well enough to pronounce them - if you can't work it out, ask :)

Do you have any tips for naming your characters in WoW, or any other game? Resources, name generators, mythology websites, sources of inspiration, etc.
I usually use baby naming websites - just Google "baby names" and you will get a stack of them!  If you search for "fantasy names" there are plenty of those as well, so all you need to do is look at a bunch of names and write down the ones that appeal to you.  It's a lot like the process we're going through to short-list names for our real baby, to be honest.  But I won't be naming a daughter "Lisa", in case people think I'm naming her after my main!

Have you got a favourite naming website?  Or do you name your characters on a theme?
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