View From the Road

A View From the Road: What to Avoid Naming Your Aion Character

John Funk | 28 Sep 2009 13:00
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Few things show off such an interesting side of humanity as the launch of a new MMOG. You wait an hour in a queue to hop on the server; once you're in the game you have to deal with zones so overpacked you can't swing a dead cat on a stick without smacking four low-level Warriors in the face. Then there's the general chat: Half the people are complaining about the crowded zones, the other half are complaining about the people complaining and telling them to go back to WoW.

But while these issues are common to the launch of any major MMOG, there's another unfortunate plague: When you finally get through the server queue, what do you name your character? This is not a decision to be made lightly; after all, you'll be spending fifty levels and beyond with your moniker of choice. What if you choose one and then later decide you like something better - it might be too late! Somebody might have stolen it already! Can you really bear the thought of not being the first "Drizzzt" or "Sasukey" on the server?

While Penny Arcade printed their own suggestions for naming your WoW character back in the day, I've been taking some dutiful notes over the past week of some of the more unfortunate names I've seen in my adventures in Atreia. So take note - if you're on this list, you're doing it wrong.

Let's set some terms here: We'll only be counting characters that could reasonably someday get to level 50 - so we'll be ignoring names used by obvious level-one gold-sellers hanging out in the first town. Sorry Gfhthf and zQAbV, you don't count.

Thou Shalt Not Make Sentence Fragments A Name: Now it's true that the Luke Nounverber construct is a perfectly serviceable trope for fantasy names, and indeed in real life as the epithets appended to the names of historic Scandinavian kings. But while Bloodaxe might be a fine fantasy name (if a little bit overwrought), Axeofblood is just clunky. But at least he's trying - Kickthebike and Adopturmom, see me after class.

Thou Shalt Not Overuse Hard Consonants to Disguise Other Names: Don't pretend you don't know what I'm talking about. These are the people who think "Why should I use a 'c' or an 's' when 'k'and 'z' are so much rawer? I'm keepin' it real!" Okay, you know what? In some cases I can let it slide - sure, Ejekt sounds more like the stage name of a famous Swedish DJ than the name of a fantasy adventurer, but they're at least making an effort.

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