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How do you go about naming your characters?

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#31 Ruefully


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Posted 19 June 2012 - 05:16 AM

View PostKakirokiko, on 11 April 2012 - 09:25 AM, said:

I'm sorry if this is a little too general of a question but... how do you usually come up with names for your characters? One of the biggest issues I've always had with naming in MMOs (and RPGs in general actually) is that starting out, you usually don't know that much about the game lore and culture to make interesting names. What usually happens then is I end up making names that seem out of place for the world.

I'm mainly wondering because I would really like to make a Sylvari as my first character and there hasn't really been too much I can reference.

Thanks ^^

I haven't ever seen a time where an RPer made fun of n RP character's name, unless it was something like....a Tauren with a name relating to cows or Sponge (an ordinary household item etc). In WoW I ran into people all the time with Japanese like names but it never bothered me as long as they didn't go too crazy with it.

I do usually try to look up lore for it but if I don't I can just guess by using how I feel about the races. Right off the bat, not knowing anything about any lore, one could guess that asura have quirky names, charr have harsh sounding names, Norn have Scandanavian/Viking names, humans have human names, and Sylvari could have anything. (But maybe plant names?)

The naming conventions are slightly deeper than that but you don't need anymore than guess work, most of the time.

My orc from WoW had a Latin, vowel heavy name before I ever knew about naming conventions, WoW lore, or had any experience in mmo RP at all. Even with that kind of fail, I never felt like she didn't fit in.

#32 The Skorr

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 02:46 AM

Professional station has almost next to no bearing on my chosen names made up or not.  It’s a simple matter of examining common naming routines within the scope of a given race in a game and flying with whatever I deem as ‘sounding right’.  If I find I am at a loss for inspiration, I go ahead and draw on names that would fit the scene from either other games or classic and not so classic mythology.

I’m not a hardcore RP’er when I game (PvP is really my main foray heh); that is better reserved for my more static works of prose; but I do appreciate if my dubbing blends well into the grand scheme of things; I have a stringent dislike for joke names if they’re not made within good tastes.

#33 Esorono Osuiger

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 02:52 AM

I just string letters around until I come up with something nice, like Esorono, Uacher, Oralon, and so on.

#34 Zorik


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Posted 22 June 2012 - 04:37 PM

I usually take and look at the race I'm making a name for. I always try to look up existing names for the race and their language and naming customs. After that I go to work finding a few existing names I think are cool, pull them apart and try to understand what I like about them. After that I just keep mixing and matching letters until I get something that sticks and that works for the race.

Of course if that fails I grab some slips of paper and a hat. :P

#35 wtfpeople


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Posted 22 June 2012 - 07:13 PM

I usually allude to a character elsewhere or do a play on words related to the character itself. For the beta, I used variations of the name "Place Holder" for all my characters. I dont ever use "mainstream" famous characters, like "Gandolf" or "Super Sayan Goku" or anything haha, but I might use a name like "Lucca Toriyama" which is a reference to the character Lucca in Chrono Trigger and the surname is the last name of the official artist Akira Toriyama. That character might be an Asura female ENG or something.
Going pink Asuras, or going home. (Even the male ones)

#36 Ibari


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Posted 23 June 2012 - 09:00 AM

Lucca is perfectly valid for Asura standars. They don't usually have surnames, but I'm sure you already knew that.

#37 Zoehceel


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Posted 25 June 2012 - 09:53 PM

This is my name recipe!

Take two words that you want your name to mean. I picked life leech.

Now find those words in two different languages. Try to find short words. I picked zoe (Greek) for life, and leech (English) for leech. =p

Spell one of these words backwards, and stick them together. This got me Zoehceel.

This probably will not help. Its got nothing to do with lore, and most of my names (that I love) are not very good. I need to make names that are easier to pronounce.

I hope this helps! Good luck.

#38 Vampireiv


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Posted 25 June 2012 - 11:01 PM

This may not help and its kind of like Zoehceels way but.

Pick a name you like and then find it in another language until you find something that you like. And you can find some names that may be close to something that sounds right for lore and dont be afraid to think out side the box.

My name came from a friend joking around and it stuck.

#39 Korra


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Posted 25 June 2012 - 11:06 PM

Normally i take what i'm really passionated about and try to adapt it to the character lore or find some ancient language to name it.

For example my norn ranger was named "Ullr Reignlief" Ullr was a god or a demigod who was a profesional archer and Reignlief is the name of one valkirye that means daughter of the gods, if i remember well.

I never tend to copy already existent names but when a name is too cool i just can't resist it (aka korra <3)
and that's pretty much it.

#40 Graywolf4409


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Posted 25 June 2012 - 11:12 PM

I play Charr, and in WoW i played Tauren.

I usually sit at my computer, making a few gutteral noises. Until i hear one that sounds like it would be cool to use.

Though my first name was Jebsley, managed to make it work =P

#41 Desild


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Posted 25 June 2012 - 11:13 PM

A second generation of heroes demands a naming convenion fit for a second generation character.

So I'll just use the names I used back in WoW to name my characters. Should save me some time.

Edited by Desild, 25 June 2012 - 11:20 PM.

#42 Mournblade


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Posted 25 June 2012 - 11:57 PM

I just try to come up with a name that I imagine my character would like to be called. I may borrow from Celtic, Norse, Tolkien'ish, or whatever. Many of my characters end up being related, so they'll share a surname.

I have one traditional character though, and use that name for every game I play.

#43 Binjovi


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Posted 30 June 2012 - 10:42 AM

I'm not a huge Roleplayer, but I do like lore-fitting names, and try to make interesting, unique, and lore-friendly names where I can. I use some of the techniques that others have already described, but one method that I like to use that I haven't really seen yet is fitting together other names, letters, and sets of letters that you simply like the sound and/or look of.

For instance, when creating a CAST (android) character for Phantasy Star Universe, I decided I liked the look of "gn." This is a set of letters you see more often at the beginning of the word than in the middle or end (gnome, gnarled, gnat, etc.), so I knew I wanted to try and squeeze it in somewhere in the middle—I wanted the name to look harsh and complex, but be soft and easy to say (tough on the outside, soft on the inside; much like the character it was intended for). At the time, I was watching Gundam 00 and really liked one of the character's names: Feldt (Here, as well, the character had a lot in common with the one I wanted to create). So I grabbed the "Fel" and stuck it before the "gn" giving me "Felgn." Looked nice, sounded how I wanted it to, but there was still something missing for me. It still didn't look as complicated as I wanted, so I decided to add a silent "E" for good measure. Now I use the name Felgne quite often.

You can also use this method when starting with a character/mythological creature that you really like, then removing some bits, and adding in others. Often when looking at mythical creatures you'll find they have many different variations to the name that can also help you find interesting new ways to say and/or spell something. Or start with your favorite letter (or even the first letter of your first or last name) and use that either as the first letter, or just somewhere in the middle. Changing phonetics can work really well too. With the example above, I could have just used the name Feln It would have sounded the same but looked quite a bit different. Just remember to keep iterating on your name as you make it, and jot down your ideas as you go. It's better to have a list to pick from and you can always use your other ideas for other characters later on.

What I like about this system is just how flexible it is, and the fact that you're almost always guaranteed to get a name you like both the look and sound of (and in a game where people are reading your name as much as they are saying it, the look is certainly important). And even if you begin with a well-known character (Drizzt, Legolas, Cloud, etc.), by the end, your name should have changed just enough to be your own.

As far as using this technique to produce lore-friendly names, it often tends to work out fairly well; especially if you have an idea of how lore names generally sound and look already, and are striving to make one. If you're a little fuzzy on what exactly the naming conventions are, just take a look at some of the NPC names, pick out looks and sounds that you like from those, then try and jumble them around until you hit a name you like.

Fun Fact: Some time after naming my character Felgne, I did a Google search just to see if it meant something already. Felgne wasn't a very popular search, but it seems to have something to do with hubcaps/car rims. Seeing as the character was a robot, the coincidence was quite funny to me. Remember to check Google when you think you have something good. It might just be offensive to someone. =P

#44 Darkiron


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Posted 06 July 2012 - 06:03 PM

I read the Naming Conventions for the races on the Wiki and then started researching on the interwebs. I keep a text document on my desktop with my Proposed Character Sex/Race/Name and Profession. I usually do a little thinking about what I intend their backstory to be and then try and have the names fit somehow.

#45 Shinga


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Posted 06 July 2012 - 08:40 PM

My character names in games always follow trends with each other.  A better way of putting it is I name my characters in "series", usually sticking with a single set of letters or a word and modifying it in several variations.  These trends came about due to my rampant altaholicism.  My guildies grew tired of all the characters I made and gave me an ultimatum: leave the guild or do something to let them easily know it's me on these toons.

Shinga here is from an old series of names I used about two years ago. I had all sorts of Shingas: Shinga ____, ____ Of Shinga, and Shinga The _____.  There was also Shingane, Shenga, Shingu, Shangi, Shingata, and Shing.  :P

The series I'm just now leaving (mostly on Warcraft) had a naming convention of having "Ast" at the beginning of their names.  There was Astur, Asteur, Astania, Astirea, and others.  I am now moving to a better, more unisex naming series since I won't be having mostly female characters in Guild Wars 2 (this is also the only game where I actually want to have more male characters than female).

Edited by Shinga, 06 July 2012 - 08:45 PM.

#46 Datenshi92


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Posted 19 July 2012 - 08:49 PM

I usually go with whatever sounds good in my head and tweak it a bit(if it needs) to fit the character. If possible, I like to give my character a first and last name.

Aeysir --> My fav. The S sounds like a Z.
Dalafah --> Last name
Yseramiir --> Again, an S that sounds like a Z.

Edited by Datenshi92, 19 July 2012 - 08:57 PM.

#47 el hefe

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Posted 19 July 2012 - 08:56 PM

im the kind of person that names dogs, cats etc.  by what they look like.  you have to stare at em for a while but eventually you find their name.  so i go thru character creation and usually stare at my character for at least 20 minutes (once for 2 hours) until the name kind of just comes to me.  i might be kind of ocd in that way.  but it works.

#48 Greensuitjacket


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Posted 06 August 2012 - 06:14 AM

So, is it bad that I reserved the name Kahn Ur for my Charr?
I really like the name, but, also get a giggle out of everyone calling me the leader of the Charr.

#49 Ibari


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Posted 10 August 2012 - 02:11 PM

Well, probably not bad, Greensuitjacket. But if any Charr sees you, they'll probably think your character has delusions of grandeur... heheh.

#50 Echou


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Posted 10 August 2012 - 02:41 PM

For a Blood Legion Charr the name must be ultra-gory, bloody and violent.

#51 Yui San

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Posted 13 August 2012 - 12:45 AM

I just use as a name whatever I like or find cool. In GW1 it used to be quite roleplayerish but it has changed over the years. Names for my chars can be names that I like (in all kind of languages) or sometimes even a song title or movie title.

#52 Altus_Arcus


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Posted 13 August 2012 - 10:20 AM

i like to reference fictional works that i enjoy or mythology i find interesting. i try to pick a reference that fits the overall character of the race it is representing, however minimally that may be.

Edited by Altus_Arcus, 13 August 2012 - 10:23 AM.

#53 Baron Von Stank

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Posted 13 August 2012 - 08:25 PM

I like to use references that most people won't get. This way, if I get complemented on my name, chances are that person is awesome.

#54 Xephyr


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Posted 13 August 2012 - 08:43 PM

This is how I'll name my charr :P http://dragonwatch.net/charrname/

#55 Zurvanmor


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Posted 21 August 2012 - 12:09 AM

I'm not much of a roleplayer but...

Here's the basic formula I used to come up with a name for my human noble:

First syllable of first name must make a good, potentially but not necessarily affectionate, nickname.
Rest of first name makes the name sound sophisticated.
Last name that sounds rather plain and firm.

Reason why I did things this way was to give people a variety of ways of addressing me. The casual nickname used amongst friends. The unique and somewhat formal flowery highborn first name. The formal dry last name that sounds like something a commanding officer would refer to one of his troops by, or vice versa, a name that makes you feel like the person's family actually was once common but that it rose to power based on legitimate merits.

Edited by Zurvanmor, 21 August 2012 - 12:17 AM.

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