When last we met we had determined that our shiny new character was going to be a Gnome warlock. If you missed the first part of this article you can go back and check it out Here. Go ahead, I’ll wait.
Sweet, all we do now is plug in a name and go right? Well that all depends once again on where you are going with the character. Keep in mind there are only four things you cannot change about your character after you leave this screen. Those would be the characters race, sex, facial features, and hairstyle. Coming in the next expansion hairstyle changes will be available so there will be only three.
Before we can go about picking a name we need to know what sex the character will be. This will have an effect on your game. The way people approach you will be different depending on what you choose. Some people I know choose only their own real life sex for all their characters. I also know folks who mix and match, having some of both. I assume there those out there that play all characters of the opposite sex. I myself fall into the category of people who play both. I could do an entire post about just my thoughts on this particular topic, it however was covered quite well by Big Bear Butt Here.
We will leave it at deciding to go with a male character, now to find a name.
There are lots of things you need to consider when deciding on your name. Yes I know you can pay to change it later if you truly want to, but who wants to toss money out the window when you don’t have to?
The first thing to look at are the naming conventions in the EULA, if you violate them you will be changing it anyway. If you don’t want to take the time to read the EULA just consider this. If you think there is any possibility it may offend someone then don’t go there. You will just get reported and have to change it. If you are out to offend people, please do it elsewhere. Always keep in mind that there are real people sitting on the other side of the screen. There are also lots of potential friends walking around in the world of warcraft, try not to chase them off with a poorly chosen name.
The second thing to consider is peoples preconceptions. Like it or not with nothing else to go on your name sticks out. Lets say you are looking for looking for a tank for an instance and you do a quick /who to see if anyone is in your area. You see the following characters, A paladin named Sir Healsalot, A druid named Crittycat, and a warrior named Meatshield. Looking at those names I saw a holy paladin, A dps/feral druid, and A protection specced warrior. Beware typecasting yourself with your name.
Another thing to consider is how original your name is going to be. No I don’t think we can all be like special snowflakes with totally original names. That being said try to avoid taking a name that is already in use by someone else and just adding a letter or changing the spelling to get close to it. One of the dangers there is accidentally sending your mail to the other person, and your reputation for another. If for instance Nameless is an a$$hat and you name your character Namelesss people will associate you with the other person. Back to the whole preconceptions thing. (no offense to anyone named Nameless is implied)
A fourth thing to consider is what people will call you. Face it your name will be shortened when people type it out. For instance if you name your character Xalathion you will be Xal, possibly even just X depending on who is typing. If you use more than one word in your name you might just get yourself an acronym instead. Big Red Kitty being called BRK comes to mind right away.
So here we are trying to think of a somewhat unique name that won’t get shortened down to something we don’t like. Are we going with a theme? Perhaps you are an altaholic with nine other characters on the server and they all have names starting with Z. In chat you are Z no matter what character you are currently on, and it helps your guildies keep track of you. If that is the case it would make good sense to go with a name starting in Z.
Do you like mythology? there are some really interesting names to be had there, just beware taking the name of a figure from A religious text as it may be offensive to some. There are lots of names to be had though. How about reading fiction? Names of characters, particularly supporting characters from works of fiction work quite well also.
A third good resource is baby name lists. you can google up an easy dozen free lists of baby names in less time than it took me to type this sentence. A bonus here is that many of them come with a section telling the meaning of individual names.
After much poking around online I finally narrowed my search down to 5 names. The first two were already taken but i picked up my third choice and Bokwus the Gnome warlock was born. I picked out the name of a evil spirit that had a nasty habit of stealing souls for its own use from native american legend. I just thought it kind of fit with a warlock.
Bokwus – A fearsome spirit in the great northwestern American spruce forests. He is only seen in glimpses, but has been seen wearing totemic face paints. Hunters are very aware of his presence. He likes to push fishermen off the banks to drown, taking the victim’s soul to his home in the forest. What he does with them there, no one knows.
Just remember that whatever you decide you will be looking at that name for a long time, why not take a few minutes and find one you truly like. Now I see a big yellow exclamation point, time to get going. Lets see where this takes us.