Tuesday, March 21, 2006

What's in a name? How I named my (currently held) alts.

Kinless, semi-retired, Night Elf Hunter, Argent Dawn (RP): I actually picked this name for him because seeing a hunter was supposed to be a solitary sort, and it was my first WoW character, and I knew noone on the server, and it had this melancholic tone about it. Kinless, without kin. Blizzard's name police actually changed it on me. To something random looking starting with an A. They invited me to respond, and so I did. I cited the use of epithet's throughout history as my precedent. Longshanks for Edward I of England. Longsword for William, Duke of Normandy (the Conqueror's greatgrandfather). So they restored the name. A little later he got an invite to a guild called, ironically, The Kindred. It was fitting but in his retirement he's since become Kinless again.

Darkhand, semi-retired, Night Elf Rogue, Frostmane (PvP): This was a rogue. He's a Night Elf. Darkhand. What else could it have been? I'd pulled him out of his retirement once to go solo the Deadmines. As I was riding there I got a whisper. "I hate you." "Huh?" "You stole my name." "No, I've had this for six months now." "Jerk. That was my name." /ignore (some dwarf thing).

Bohemond, semi-retired, Human Paladin, Frostmane (PvP): Crusader name for a Paladin. I was actually whispered in-game saying it was a good name. Bohemond was a legendary giant. Mark, son of Robert Guiscard, Duke of Apulia, and of the Hauteville dynasty of Normans, later become known as Bohemond.

Darkhoof, active, Tauren Shaman, Smolderthorn (PvP): I left Darkhand on Frostmane and created a Horde character on Smolderthorn. Darkhand became Darkhoof so my friends would recognize me. In keeping with the name he's got a black coat of fur and black horns. I gave him the pleasant face, blue eyes, and he does not wear the nose ring of the subjugated cow.

Oddity, active, Orc Warrior, Smolderthorn (PvP): An Orc. What kinds of names did they have? Thrall. Gazz. Zugzug. All so brutishly simple. But Orcs weren't always the brutes as we know them as today. They came from Draenor, another planet. Wait, he's an alien. A space alien from another planet.

This is Major Tom to Ground Control
I'm stepping through the door
And I'm floating in a most peculiar way
And the stars look very different today

Space Oddity - David Bowie.

So I gave him purple hair, he's got a Tuxedo in the bank, and I gave him the most reasonable Orc face I could. He's a bit of, if you'll allow me, an Oddity.

Darbanville, semi-active, Undead Priest, Smolderthorn (PvP):

My Lady D'Arbanville,
Why do you grieve me so?
But your heart seems so silent
Why do you breathe so low,
Why do you breathe so low?

I loved you my Lady,
Though in your grave you lie
I'll always be with you
This rose will never die,
This rose will never die.

My Lady D'Arbanville - Cat Stevens

Yes, I made an character to use the name I loved from the song. I even managed to get her a rose.

Morticai, active, Undead Warrior, Kirin Tor (RP): The undead was human once. They have all sorts of human names. Morticai uses Mort, for death, so Morticai just seems to be a natural name for a dead guy.

Mortiangelo, semi-active, Undead Priest, Kirin Tor (RP): In my backstory, he's Morticai's brother. Both took new names after succumbing to the plague. Originally they were Caius and Angelos (Emperors of Rome and Byzantium) since their father was a bit of a fantasy buff and there was this Empire once upon a time founded on the shores of a vast sea in the middle of the earth. (Get it?) Morti-angelo also sounds a little like Angel of Death.

Makeda, semi-active, Troll Hunter, Kirin Tor (RP): Makeda, the name of the Queen of Sheba who had relations with King Solomon of the bible. I wanted to make a Troll Hunter. The guys are just so gosh darn ugly. The women though have a nice exotic look to them. Orange eyed, orange haired, the least tusky of the race. Exotic like the Queen of Sheba. Makeda was made.

Greenclaw, active, Night Elf Druid, Kirin Tor (RP): The Druids are all about the Emerald Dream. Emerald = Green. Feral spec'd Druid for soloing goodness. Greenclaw. Too, most elves have a fanciful first name and then a very nature feature sounding last name. Whisperwind. Silvermoon. Etc. So Greenclaw is actually a better last name than first.

Freewind, active, Night Elf Warrior, Kirin Tor (RP): Again, in keeping with Elven naming I struggled to find something that involved a pale moonlike movement. Wind had to be in the name. We arrived at Freewind. It turns out there's also a song that kind of fits.

The howling wildwind blows, eternal freedom calls
Its soul is running free from care
Its spirit's wild and free flowing in the wind
The taste of freedom's in the air

Freewind Rider - Running Wild

He's darker skinned with white hair tied back in a pony tail. (Warrior chic.) His wife, Itarilde, a Druid, is pale with the same brilliant white hair. (Her name from Tolkien, meaning something along the lines of "Shining Bright.")

Procyona, active, Night Elf Hunter, Kirin Tor (RP): This is my hunter elf. She's a loner, as most hunters are.

Her name was inspired by my wife wanting to reserve Halcyon for her Blood Elf (when the day comes.) Halcyon is either a Kingfisher bird, or the state of being calm and restful (as in a nesting Kingfisher who's magic has calmed stormy waters.) I thought it was the name of a star.

So I thought of Procyon, which is the name of a star. And it meant, I looked it up after thinking of it, "before the dog." Procyona was the feminization of it.

PROCYON (Alpha Canis Minoris). The eastern anchor of the Winter Triangle, Procyon is the luminary of Canis Minor, the smaller dog, and at magnitude zero (0.34) is the sky's eighth brightest star. At a distance of only 11.4 light years, it is the 14th closest star system, which largely explains its brightness. The Greek name means "before the dog," as in northern latitudes the star rises before Sirius, the "Dog Star," and its constellation Canis Major, announcing their quick arrival.

Sounds like a great name for a hunter. Now I need to get out and tame Timber, the white wolf that prowls the lake outside of Iron Forge. (But first I need to reach level 10!)

Lastly, I reserved the name Kaelcyan for my Blood Elf character. It's close enough to Halcyona (since Halcyon had already been reserved), and the Kael- prefix is typical Blood Elf. Cyan is the color that's kind of blue.

SO, as you can see, I do put a little thought into the names I've chosen. Sometimes the name comes quick and it's the character that follows. But I've got a reason for each.

I so hate seeing names like "Idontheal" on an RP server. Or "Generalpain" or "WTFPwndjoo" on the PvP servers. Yeah, my wife and I have been playful with names. We made a troll couple on Runetotem once. Gumbo (me) and Jumbalaya (her).

All I ask of the World of Warcraft gaming community: Spend more than 10 seconds on the name. Please? Oh, pretty please? Do you not care? You're named Boiledbunny and you're level 60? Why did you bother? Did the Playstation break and you had a spare 6 days?

9 comments:

cottern said...

Wow, looks like you did not have a very good experience that day!!

Kinless said...

4 wipes in less than an hour in the Deadmines? Nope. Was not pleasant.

Alison Elizabeth said...

This post makes me happy. Nothing makes me sadder than when I see an absolutely gorgeous character with interesting gear, and I think, "What's her story," and then I see that her name is... wait for it... "Roadkill."

A night elf. Maybe with a gnome it would have been funny.

Kinless said...

My wife wanted a gnome warlock named Rinkydink. We settled on Minkypoo.

Sadly, Minky followed Weisenheimer to the university. At Gnomeregan.

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