The Name Game
Let me preface this article by stating for the record that I am in no way, shape or form a role player. I certainly do not begrduge any player “RP’ing” but for me personally, I can barely keep from “lawling” every time someone addresses me with some Old English accent or uses the word “wench” more than once per year, yet alone actually talking in that style!
That said, I do have one steadfast requirement (or OCD according to my friends and family) with all my games, particularly MMOs. The naming of my characters. I must have my names or I am bugged to the point where I literally cannot play the game. This was most recently evident when I resisted the temptation to try Aion for the first month, then broke down, bought the game and upon creating characters found any and all names I wanted (I have a list of over 250 that I like) gone! Needless to say I never took a character past level 4 and now have a $50 game that collects dust.
But it goes farther than just the name, I actually have to be able to associate the name the character and his class/role. A healer class named “Crusher” would drive me nuts! As an example of this I will give you three of my alt character names and you try and guess what class/role that they play.
If you guessed, Shaman Elemental, A Warrior and A Priest then you know exactly what I am talking about (to be fair if you said arcane mage, protection pally and any healer class you were in the ball park). Now contrary to this, I have a real life friend who sadly does not play so much anymore (come back Jer!) who is the exact opposite of me. Good old Jerry would name his character after the first thing that came to his mind when creating his in game avatar. Examples of these names include “chair” “redcup” “shoe” and “west” to name a few. And yes this drove me mad, but at least he few problems finding his names.
In fact this naming obession I have is so important to me that it actually decided what server I would play Warcraft on. I vividly remember rushing home with my son in the cold and snow at midnight on the day of launch (November 2004) just to reserve my already prepared name list. I did so on the first servers that caught my eye (having no knowledge at all of the lore beforehand I just picked the names that sounded cool like Burning Legion) and have never looked back (and could not even if I wanted to).
So is this an OCD? Yeah probably, but this my in game representation and I am not walking around with a character named “ipwnnoobz”.