Wednesday, June 5, 2013

What's in a name?

I was reading something in the WoW subreddit(as I often do) and I ran across an interesting question: How do you come up with a name for your characters? This is such an interesting question because everyone has different reasons for why they use a certain name. Some choose names from other games, some just use the in game random name generator until they find a name they like, and some don't care about their character names and pick random things. Each person is different and while some names are completely unoriginal, they probably mean something to the person who rolled that character. As for me, I have a long and weird process I go through when I pick a name for characters.

I once made the joke that you can tell when in my life people met me by what they call me. If you call me by my real name we probably met in high school. If you know me as Jedi Optimus, we most likely met when I was in college and very active on several online message boards and I also played many online FPS games where that was the handle I used. Many a noob cursed that name in anger as I shot them ingame. If you know me as Jedem, we most likely met in 2005 when I first started playing WoW and I used that name for my very first character, a warrior. I eventually changed servers and classes but the first character I rolled on Ursin was a mage named Jedem. If you refer to me as Izak, you probably raided with me in BC when my pally sadly became my raiding main. Now Jed, well if that's what you know me as and you have never been in my guild, you probably met me in Wrath when I first started blogging. Of course if you have ever been in my guild regardless of when, you eventually know me as Jed.

When it comes to my characters I tend to take some time when it comes to thinking up their names. Some take me weeks to figure out what I want to name them and some take me minutes. For my mage, Jedem, I had started using it when I played Final Fantasy 11. When I made the move to WoW I liked the name so I brought it with me and named my first character Jedem. Now that character was a warrior and not a mage because I wanted to try my hand at an easy class to play since I had come from FF11 where everything was super difficult to play. Eventually I rolled a mage and decided I liked it enough that when I moved to my current server(Ursin) I rolled my first character: a mage named Jedem. Eventually as more people joined my guild, Jedem was shortened to Jed by new players and I've been stuck with the name since.

Now obviously my mage will have a lot of history behind his name, being my main in my heart.(not always in raids) Some names don't have as much meaning behind them until I've played them a while and the character earns the name. Now some of my character names aren't as serious or have a history behind them. Some are meant to be silly and playful. When I first created an alt of a certain class I would try to give it a slightly serious name but when I created a new alt of the same class, that would go out the window. Sometimes silly names make an appearance. My latest alt is my new human warlock that I named CptSerious after the nickname of the captain of the Chicago Blackhawks hockey team. He is my second warlock alt and so there are no rules for his name. When I made my horde panda monk I had already leveled an alliance panda monk to 90 so the horde one was named something light. I chose to go with SteveJabbs because it was a funny name and seemed to fit.

Sometimes I get on a streak of names that are somewhat related to each other. I named several of my alts after famous generals. I have a Winfield, Rhommel, Bonapartte, Stonewall, Wellesley, Moltke, and Cauthonn. If you recognize all of those names you get a gold star! History nerds unite! I have never named an alt anything stupid like XxArthasxX or DKLAWLS or anything stupid like that. Here's hoping that I never do! So that is a little peak into my mind when it comes to character names. Some are serious, some are funny, and some are slightly silly. In the end they are all me.

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