Posted by: Sean | November 23, 2008

God, we’re back at the Naming Policy.

Daniel Whitcomb wrote a post at WoW Insider today about reporting names being against policy. Now, I’m a big advocate about this. Names count; they’re our signal to the tone of the realm. If you wander around seeing a huge number of tauren named, “Beefsteak” or “Speaksmoo” then you know you’re not in a place to role-play, and role-players leave. By contrast, if the same tauren village is full of “Saskiwa” or “Hota”, that means something else, while one with lots of “Runninghoof” or “Stronghorn” types around means something else again. Names count. As role-players, we’re asked by Blizzard to report names that violate the naming policy and the role-play policy, and we should.

But what good does it do us if the GM promptly turns around, says, “Meh,” and leaves the name as is? And we can never, “for privacy” reasons, know.

It’s not good enough. Furthermore, the policy itself isn’t good enough. It’s too vague, leaves too many colour calls up in the air. We need a better one!

Below is my proposal for a new naming policy. Blizzard, it is yours gratis if you choose to accept it. (My lawyer advises me that my first plan of charging you for it was ill-considered.)

Highly Inappropriate

Violating the following categories will be punished via a Blizzard Employee coming around to your house and giving you an extreme wedgie.

  • Anything to do with cows on a Tauren; ‘horn’ or ‘hoof’ references excepted. “Swishytail” remains an offence.
  • Any name that declares how freaking awesome you are in it, something like, “Awesome” will be subject to a wedgie. Yes, Sean, we know you have a character named “Somewhatawesome”, that’s still enough to trip this. You’ll be wedgied toward the end of this article.
  • Any name that can be correctly deduced by just looking at your race/class combination. “Sneakycorpse“, the undead rogue, will be wedgied. “Littletank” the gnome warrior will likewise be wedgied. “Bullbearcattree” the tauren druid will be looked strangely at, and wedgied twice.
  • Names that are stolen from other parts of Blizzard’s lore. Sylanas? WEDGIED. Cairne? WEDGIED. Vancleef? WEDGIED. VanBuren? PRESIDENTED.
  • Names that are stolen from well-known fantasy sources will be wedgied. Those with a slightly ALTERED name will be wedgied twice, since this proves you knew you weren’t meant to do this. Legolaas? DOUBLE WEDGIED. Gandaalf? DOUBLE WEDGIED. Harrypooter? WEDGIED. AVADA KEDAVRA.

Somewhat inappropriate

Violating the following categories will be punished via being forced to do lines on the board.

  • Names that are stolen from from obscure fantasy sources. Tanis and Jaraxle will be made to write, “Playing old school Dungeons and Dragons doesn’t make me any better than the LotR dorks” two-hundred times on the board. Erekose and Severian write, “Naming my character after obscure fantasy sources just makes me pretentious,” four hundred times, and they’d better do a good job on the italics. Dourden will be made to write, “I thought Sean wouldn’t be clever enough to also search the last name too,” three thousand times.
  • Names stolen from mythology. Cassiopeia, Zeus, Thor, Isis, Sekmet, and Tezcatlipoca will all be made to write, “I will not smite Sean” five hundred times on the board and then invited to go back to whichever dimension they came from.

Slightly inappropriate.

  • Poopy. You both know why.

Look, we all know why these names come up again and again: A crippling lack of originality. Guys, naming is not hard. It’s just a matter of having a hint of style; looking at similar names and working out the pat – ÅRGH! WEDGIE!


  1. And if all else fails, Blizzard even put in a ‘randomize’ button for you (us) lazy jerks. There’s no excuse.

  2. Why do you think “Saskiwa” or “Hota” as tauren names create a different feel from “Runninghoof” or “Stronghorn”? What’s the difference? Neither hurt my immersion the way bad cow puns do.

  3. I don’t think the point is so much that either of them are immersion-breaking, but they say very different things about the kind of players they are.

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