MMO Character Naming

What’s in a name? When it comes to most MMOs, quite a bit. People often race to new servers and new games to reserve their favorite names. Whether it’s something common and frequently sought after, or something clever, or just that same alias we’ve been using online since we were fourteen, a name in an MMORPG is a pretty meaningful thing. Some people like to pick names that fit in with the setting of the game, and seamlessly mesh with the lore. Some people like to just rip off the name of their favorite fictional character and slap it on their avatar. In a game like Lord of the Rings Online, this is the difference between someone who makes a name for their elf ranger from a list of racial suggestions, rather than someone who just names them “Legolas” or even “LegolaselfXX”.

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Character Creation Screen in Rohan Online – Every MMO Has One.

Of course, I’m someone who belongs to the former category, as a frequent roleplayer, and someone who likes feeling immersed in the game world. I’ll spend quite some time mulling over the right name, considering how it fits the character thematically, how it reads, and how it sounds. Like every other aspect of character creation, name selection is something I take a great deal of time doing. I know I’m not the only person who does this, but sometimes I wonder about the people who just seem to go for completely ridiculous or unimaginative names. A dark elf named Drizzt or Zaknafein (R.A. Salvatore was a high school favorite of many), for example. An archer type character simply named “archer”, as another example. Is there some kind of disease going around that’s causing people’s imaginations to atrophy and die?

Some people might automatically assume that I’m opposed to immersion breaking names, but that’s not really true. I appreciate cleverness, and a clever name, even if it’s completely out of character and weird, always earns my respect. It’s for this reason I happen to enjoy occasionally visiting the superhero games, Champions Online and City of Heroes/Villains, to scope out some of the more clever character names and concepts. A good superhero name is such a rare and precious commodity, especially when it’s clever enough to make me giggle.

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My Character in Champions Online

What are some of your favorite naming techniques for your characters? Does the game’s setting and your race/class selection factor into it? How so, if it does? Is there a particular alias you always use when making a character, or a particular theme you always like to follow? In my case, since I was a complete weeaboo when I was in junior high, I always went by “Omika” when I made online aliases. I think the original character was some kind of really sad, embarrassing Mary Sue that just whined for attention (and probably got it) from all the boy characters. The origins of the alias are completely ridiculous to me now, but the name stuck, and it appears pretty frequently with me online. If you have a similarly persistent tag that’s stuck with you, share!

By, B. Olivia

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