MMO 101: What’s in a Name?

It’s Wednesday and that means here at the Cantina we’re serving up some MMO-101. We know that SWTOR will have its fair share of veterans, but there are probably going to be plenty of folks for whom this will be their first MMO.

Whether your just starting out, or have been at max level so long that you forgot what it’s like to start over this series will give you some basic things to consider when taking your first step into that much larger world. First up, what’s in a name.

  • Call me DarthBoba (or Darth anything)
  • Call me Lumpy (wait reserved star wars name).
  • Call me JediKillerz
  • Call me Roarbacca (wait, what do you mean we can’t be Wookies!?)
  • Call me wtbhealskids
  • Call me Ðãrthñööbz
  • Call me Bob
  • Call me xxLukexx
  • Call me Countsudoku (hmm, I actually like this one)
  • Call me Zxyrqptasdf

If you don’t want to spend those first few hours of gameplay staring at the character creations screen, start thinking about names for your toons now. Picking out a name is one of the most important things you can do when starting an MMO. It identifies you in-game, says a little bit about your personality, and can become your “alter-ego” should you venture out into blogging, podcasting and more. It’s a big decision.

My advice is to keep your name short and meaningful. You don’t have to go full out RP, but you don’t want to obliterate the fourth wall either. Avoid using special characters, and your real name, and please for the love of the Force make it a real word with consonants and vowels that people can pronounce. Remember folks are going to be typing your name when sending you tells, and inviting you to groups and to trade, and they’ll have to say your name when using voice chat.

So have you picked out your names yet, and what sorts are you thinking of? I won’t steal them I promise 😉

May the Force be with you!


One comment

  1. Although I’m not going to share my character names pre-release, I would like to chime in with my views of some issues revolving around the topic of ‘names’ in MMO games these days.

    Personally, I have a handful of names that I usually recycle through the mmos that I play. The name I choose usually depends on the backdrop of the game I’m currently playing, be it Sci-fi, Fantasy, etc. I like to recycle my names simply because I have in fact met up with friends from games past in completely crazy, and unexpected places.

    I’m primarily an RP (Role Playing) server player, and I am a proponent of strict player and guild naming policies. In my experience, it has been very noticeable when these policies have been effectively enforced by the devs. I’m very much hoping BioWare will have some kind of moderation, or at least some sort of “RP Terms of Service” agreement put in place on the RP servers.

    If you are new to the genre, and you are thinking on your first character name, here’s a simple fact that I think you should consider – Whatever you name your character, players will always find a way to shorten your name into one syllable. I’m sure even *Dark* will agree with me on this one! =)

    Have fun naming!

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