Names I Miss

One thing I miss from City of Heroes is that absurd names made sense. Back in generic fantasy world, the characters theoretically have the names their parents gave them. You might be able to justify Goblinslaya as a self-given name/title, but people like Roflcopter or Moocow are wandering immersion-breakers, implying either that we accept Theme Park YAFMMORPG as a game rather than a world or that this one idiot does not while the rest of us are pretending to take the setting seriously. WoW seems more conducive to silly names than The Lord of the Rings Online™, but I maintain my persecution of names like Analfist or xXxShadowAssassinxXx.

Actually, I’d still hate those people in City of Heroes or Team Fortress 2. Seriously, “Analfist”? It’s not like I’m making up any of these names.

In City of Heroes, the names are intended to be self-given titles. Comic book characters get funky names; it is part of the genre. King Waffles is a perfectly cromulent hero name. Statyk Shok? Hey, I’ve seen worse alternate-spelling names in real comic books. People who use upper-case Is to look like lower-case Ls? Okay, they need to die.

: Zubon

13 thoughts on “Names I Miss”

  1. Ahh, naming my characters in CoH was almost my favourite part of the game.

    My favourite was Spelling Bee, mild mannered English professor by day, heroic Bee by night.

  2. You just hit on one of my pet peeves with fantasy games- the assumption that characters DO only have their birth name as the primary way they’re known.

    Before relatively modern times of documented identites, the names people used were often very fluid. A Man born with the birthname “Gregory” son of Michael, might be “Gregory Michaelson” but known as “Smith” based on his profession, “Wallace” (scottish for welshman) when he moved north, due to his place of origin, or even some sort of physical characteristic, like “red.” If he was a mercenary, privateer, soldier, or criminal, he might be called a name given to him by his squaddies based on a personality characteristic or an event… positive or negative.

    Heck, he’d probably have several of these aliases active at once, among certain social circles, and many circles will never have need nor use of his actual name-of-record.

    Now, few of these REALLY reach the level of ridiculousness you’re talking about, (sorry for the tangent rant) but it really bugs me how unimaginative people can be with the darkity-dark-brooding doom-and-gloom “high fantasy” names. A lot of “era-accurate” names in high fantasy MMO’s get lumped in with the really BAD names because of that lack of imagination.

    Is “MonkeyLips” appropriate for a troll in EQ2? ‘mates in his bandit-group had been calling him that due to a physical characteristic gone awry.

    The same debate challenged “Fluffy Bunnies” as a guild name. Some people pointed out that mercenary units of the dark ages were far more likely to have names like “Prancing Ponies” (named after the sign above the bar that they assembled in) than “Bucket of Blood.”

    1. I would like to note that I have a City of Villains character named “Fluffy Bunnies.” Because just one fluffy bunny would not be terrifying enough. Also for the death messages about people being killed by fluffy bunnies.

  3. I used to be really bothered by immersion breaking names. I still remember complaining about some Erudite named Snoopy and another named Shaft to a buddy of mine as I was running around in Qeynos. In DAoC there was an easy slash command to report names, something I used frequently.

    At some point these names stopped bothering me. Now I treat them like neon signs indicating who I do and don’t want to bother talking to or grouping with. It makes it much easier to tell what kind of group I’m in for when I see a chat message from Analfist looking for one more.

  4. I hate stupid names, but they don’t seem to be even monitored in WoW any more. I remember at release so many name changes, and guilds being disbanded.

    Now it just seems that anything flies. I guess with millions of subscribers they don’t have time to worry about changing someones name.

      1. Nah I agree with Brian. Though I think also everyone else just got sick of reporting them. On my server we have a worse problem. Seems everyone got sick of reporting serious offensive comments, so trade chat is rife with them. I’ve been doing what I can, but after you report and ignore someone you don’t see them do it again. So they go unreported again.

  5. YAFMMORPG – yet another fabulous mmorpg? :D

    One fundamental problem is that your character’s name can also be treated like a nickname, which is definitely not the case for your official name in real life. This is why you can get away with things like ShadowAssassin, xXxShadowAssassinxXx, or even xXxShAdOwAsSaSsInxXx (god, it hurts to type OR read that).

    The fact that you don’t actually have to TYPE out the recipient of your message is also a contributing factor – either you’re just broadcasting/spamming in general chat, or you’ve already designated the recipient in a private IM conversation.

    1. Maybe that guy really meant “an alf-ist” (aka a fan of the show/puppet) and we’re just showing how dirty our minds are :(

  6. I thought character creation was one of the best parts of the game! In WoW, I made Orcs named ‘Orkchop’ or ‘Makinbakin’, a Tauren named ‘Beefhunglo’ and an Undead named ‘Bluebonic’…who had a bluish skintone. In CoH I had a character from launch named ‘Enola Gay’, the Gay, radioactive grandchild of a Manhattan Project scientist. Totally fitting I thought, until NCSoft deleted the character because it had the word ‘Gay’ in it. Stupid NCSoft. In LOTRO I have a character named ‘Crooked’, so I could make his surname ‘Jack’.

    My names are creative because I totally get the whole immersion aspect and I applaud individuals who I find in-game doing the same thing. Like a Hobbit named ‘Pocahuntress’, while not entirely original, was very fitting for a Hunter. I just wish she could have had darker skin and black hair instead of the blonde pigtails which was kind of a misfire. Much better than an elf named ‘Drizzleit’.

  7. Atlas Park, where the absurb meets the sublime and then you piss off into the sewers to level.

    Even so, I love seeing clever names on characters. I do however pity Oynx Scorpion who (way back when it was harder to level) got to the mid 30s before anyone got around to pointing out the error.

  8. Every time I make a tauren I give them another name from the Big Mac song. They won’t let me have Allbeefpatty (or anything like it) but I’ve got Specialsauce & Lettucechees so far.

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