naming

The Daily Grind: Should MMOs have enforced naming standards?

For some players, “enter a name for your character” might as well read “insert the best joke you can within the character limit.” As a younger soul, this bothered me, because I’m pretty sure no one in Tyria would name their children “Valkilmer Sucks” or “Chowder Head,” but I would still have to see that in Guild Wars. I wanted strict naming enforcement, darn it!

Now that I’m older, I think younger me is a well-intentioned nincompoop. I have characters with names who do not adhere to strict naming conventions, and while those characters each have elaborate lore explanations for why they’ve got odd names, it doesn’t change the fact I would need to rename at least a couple of my Final Fantasy XIV characters. And that’s ignoring that some of my favorite names on that game include characters like “Carfullof Whiteboys,” “Viewing Catscene,” and my personal favorite, “Combyo Beard.”

Of course, some companies don’t care too much about providing name standards in the first place, so while “Samlikesham” doesn’t look like a traditional Night Elf name I can’t really say it isn’t. What do you think, readers? Should MMOs have enforced naming standards?

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Perfect Ten: Great tips for naming your next MMO character

Has this ever happened to you? You decide to roll (or reroll) a new character in an MMORPG, and after you get done choosing just the right hair coif and length of beard stubble, you find your mind freezing at what to call this perfect creation. Parents generally get nine months to come up with a name for their baby, but you have just minutes before you start feeling foolish.

Even worse is when you have a name — but it’s taken. After sending out a string of strongly worded curses at the player (probably a nine-year-old kid who thinks as you do), you are forced to come up with a replacement. Because heaven forbid that a virtual world have two characters with the same name. That’s why we have so much conflict here on earth, with all of the Jens and Ryans romping around.

Fortunately for you, I am here to help. With a decade and a half of MMO gaming experience behind me and a zombie uprising’s worth of alts, I have a few tips to share on how to name your next character. If you act today and get a new character name out, I’ll even throw in a vowel, free of charge!

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