Greedy Goblin

Sunday, February 13, 2011

The naming rule

The rules say "Your name cannot contain kiddie-speak or real-world references. I'd like to differentiate between roleplaying names like "whisperwind" or "stabsalot" and moronic names like "rofldots", "iluvmegs", "icritudie", "árthásdk". The first group fits into a fantasy universe, the second fits to the short bus."

While we have some "rofldots" class idiots, and it's pretty clear that they won't get inv, we also have lot of annoyed applicants who don't understand why they did not get inv. So I'd like to explain the rule and give a guideline about names.

Safe names: Names that mean nothing in English or in other widely used language or in any slang that is relevant in gaming. So "Zed", "Morella", "Tugrah" and practically any character combination that has no meaning and can be told loud. If it's a common name, like "Marge" or "Frederik", it's not a problem.

Surely bad names:
  • contains kiddie speak (Josephlol, gnompwnzor)
  • a kidding version of a human name (Johnnie, Frankie, despite Joseph and Franklin are OK)
  • contains the name of a certain person (real, or pop-cultural), object or a real world concept (Hitler, Cocacola, Meganfox, Neo, Infinity, Árthás).
  • it's actually a message to the reader (icritudie, ikillu, icastpyros)
  • refers to the character class, role or ability, even in partially (prriest, heeler, folspammer, eviscerator, JohnDK)
  • names you can't tell loud (prwgrtl)
  • name that are "funny" when told loud (lukeiamyofada, derznospoon)
  • names that refers to sex, sexuality or sexiness (blondiecutie, gnomfukker)
Everything else is grey area and the decision is the inviters and mine. If you want to be safe, have a meaningless, boring name. As a general rule, the "cooler" your name is, the less likely you get inv.

Roleplayer names are a hard call. While they obviously fit into Azeroth, the slope is very slippery between Windrunner and Gnomesmasher.

Before you'd say these rules are too restrictive and arbitrary, I ran over my blogroll and listed the names they write under (or character names when there is no author name, in order of last updated post): Markco, Pewter, Spinks, Zahrah, Tobold, Rohan/Coriel, GreenArmadillo, Drotara, Zekta, Warcraftecon, Kaliope, Adam, Larísa, Gordon, Anaalius, Krizzlybear, Graylo. Out of these, only "Warcraftecon" would not be accepted. That means something I guess. It's not so hard to make an acceptable name.

Another day, another M&S wanting and inv:


Stokpile said...

Every time I see a name like "roflret" or "bubslol" I want to cry. Out of the billion names that reference pop culture I've only seen one that I thought was legitimately clever and I would label as "acceptable" which was an affliction lock back in TBC named benAfflock. The guy than ran it was even named Ben, or so they claimed at least.

My banker is named as stokpile simply because it makes me giggle, but my main has an actual name of Zurathustra after the book.

Anonymous said...

You could also utilize addon like NameScore ( and invite people who pass the addon test.

Anonymous said...

>contains the name of a certain person (real, or pop-cultural), object or a real world concept

This rule seems broken here: Vivio - the name of a character from Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS. It does not seem coincidental.

Wes said...

So I can't call myself "Striker" because a) it shares the name of a (fairly obscure) Mortal Kombat character, and b) it contains the warrior ability Strike. Seems silly to me.

Likewise for the rule on real-world concepts such as "Infinity"; that concept already exists in the Warcraft universe. Anyway, so by your definition "Eternal" would be bad, but "Aeterna" is OK because it's Latin (which fits with your "means nothing in any widely-used language" whitelist rule).

Gevlon said...

@Stokpile: No way banAfflock would ever make it to the guid.

@Anonymous: you CAN'T make a name that google don't throw up 100 hits. However 99.99% of the people never heard of that book. It's not like calling your character Hansolo.

@Wes: Striker is debatable, definitely not a safe name. And yes, "Eternal" would be bad, but "Aeterna" is acceptable, simply because 99.99% of the people don't speak Latin. Maybe Wes means "dicksucker" in some papua dialect, but I don't think it bothers you.

Rades said...

It's a good idea to have this clarification, since I imagine many names fall into that gray area.

The one rule I'm confused about is your kiddie versions of real names. I'm not sure why you think Johnnie, Frankie, or probably Gordie (Gordon), Mikey (Mike), etc. are unacceptable? Those aren't just slang or nicknames, they're real, genuine names. And they're certainly not low-intelligence like names with a "lol", nor are they insulting or bothersome. It seems an odd rule.

I'm not looking to join the PuG anytime soon but I'm personally satisfied (though not surprised) that every one of my character names would pass these rules.

Griddlebone said...

I still don't see a distinction between "stabsahlot" (not even spelt correctly) and "folspammer" especially since this stabs person is a rogue. Bad Pallys spam fol, dagger-wielding Rogues do stab, a lot. It seems entirely arbitrary to point out any difference between the two because, quite frankly, not even including the fact that they had to add an "h" to make it work, it's a stupid, "kiddie" name.

Other select cases I think this rule has blatantly been ignored:
"Fubuar" is pretty much fubar with an extra vowel.
"Messiiah" is just stupid.
"Umrtvovacz" can't feasibly pronounce that.
"Sheppárd" commander Sheppard from Mass Effect.

Etc etc. The list goes on.

Boukev said...

So I see a lot of people who take one name and change the first or last letter depending on the class involved. This make is easier to find my characters for cross-character mailing and it has the added benefit that everybody in-guild knows who I am. Now that last part might be a social argument but as a raidleader and raid organizer to be easily recognized is a plus. My names would be:
Boukew, Boukem, Boukev, Bouked etcetera.

Would this be deemed inacceptable like Johndk, Johndr, Johnp?

Zaxin said...

The "kiddie" name rule seems strange.

Agree with the rest, and one of the reasons I rarely play on non-rp servers (Especially PvP servers) is because if I see too many "XxXMadSkillzXxX" I fear my cerebral fluid may start leaking out of my nose.

I do not understand why people would name their characters in such stupid ways. Even when I play single player games I use names that are RPish, or at least sound like names.

With regard to "You cant make up a name that google wouldnt have 100 hits".. the name I most commonly use in WoW, and most other forums/games, the only hits you will get on google for it will be me, my forum posts, and my character names. It is a made up name, but it sounds like it might actually be a real name (And no, it is not the one I use for posting replies here)

Anonymous said...

I agree that I don't see an issue with "Frankie". But I do not like Stabsalot, because it's a pun on Lancelot (a famous person), plus it has a meaning. Two strikes, you're out.

My characters would all easily pass the test, as they are proper names with absolutely no meaning. You know what's a very easy test? Imagine educated parents choosing a name. "Striker" and "Burgerking" fail, for obvious reasons.

BenAfflock is funny, but no-go.

Anonymous said...

How exactly is stabsalot different from critsalot or strikesalot? I don't see the roleplaying element here.

What's your stance on race-based puns? Ie. a regular family names like "Burgers" for a Tauren?

Bloodshrike said...

Damn, and I was proud of naming my goblin engineer paladin Clockwrknyt, referring to what they do and what they are.

I suppose Panzergishi would pass the test, even though Panzer is german for tank, and Gishi is Japanese for engineer.

Integrate said...

Why is the character name even important? Yes, it's likely an idiot has a terrible name, but it's easy enough to construe if someone actually is an idiot very quickly. Why would you pass on a priest named Priest if they were competent and intelligent?

It seems like an incredibly poor filtering mechanism given how easy the quality you are filtering for (M&S) is to determine. See your moron post as an example.

Anonymous said...

Just something ironic - Tikvenik actually means 'dumbass' in english.

Alrenous said...

"Out of the billion names that reference pop culture I've only seen one that I thought was legitimately clever and I would label as "acceptable" which was an affliction lock back in TBC named benAfflock."

And no matter how clever it is, it will get old if you see that every week during the raid.

Jokes are not funny when repeated. A joke name is repeated every single time they post in chat or show up in a combat log.

I have a similar problem with joke shirts. No matter how funny it is the first time...

Also, one more vote for dropping "No kiddie names."

"I do not understand why people would name their characters in such stupid ways. [XxXMadSkillzXxX]"

If they want to advertise how retarded they are, I have no problem letting them.

I kind of want to start a trade chat raid now, so when they whisper me I can respond with "Ha ha, nice name. Not a chance."

But then I'd have to join trade chat.

Unknown said...

The name of the character is an *excellent* filtering mechanism. I'm an officer in one of those 'hardcore' guilds, we have an unwritten rule that stupid names do not even get a look when applying. Experience has shown this to be worthwhile.

Anonymous said...

According to your own rules, "stabsalot" (stabs a lot <-- rogue, pun on Lancelot <-- real person) and "GreenArmadillo" (has meaning and there are no green armadillos in wow) shouldn't be accepted into the guild.

The kiddie names boggle me though. What is your base for this? Imagine I created a female gnome priest with pink ponytails, named her Maddie, leveled her to 85, geared her for pre-raid, gemmed and enchanted my gear, and whispered someone in the guild with the following sentence: "Hello, may I join your guild? I've read the rules and agree with them, however, my character name was created before I knew about The PuG, I'm well aware that it's against the naming rules, but I'm geared, gemmed and enchanted and know my class."

Would I be declined just because my character would be named Maddie, which is the short version of Madinson?

Anonymous said...

While one could quibble at the gray areas, this makes a lot of sense. Was it you who did the post on risk/reward of team/guild? I.e. your policy probably excludes a few players you want but the benefits of excluding those you do not more than make up for it.

Note however that names like "theRogue" are very good names for minmax arena/PvP players who are *not* rogues. Probably has no impact but perhaps could buy you a few seconds when the opposing team calls out "cc the rogue". Otherwise the traditional names are for everyone in the arena team to have very similar names, say each name is the same 8 vowels, differing only in accent marks.

P.S. although I would allow DexterWorgen because I really liked the show.

Anonymous said...

I disagree with some of your classifications : I would allow any name someone (NPC) in the world of warcraft might give their child.

I don't see Mr. and Mrs. gnome call their child stabsalot. On the other hand I thinkg johnnie would be ok, since it makes sense a fantasy world would have someone with that name.

Anonymous said...

I understand wanting to filter based on names, but this should apply to *clearly* stupid names and have a pretty high tolerance.

A name like "rolfret" is a clear indicator of a person's attitude and a good way to filter, but names like "Striker" or "Eternal" are not. You cannot really make any meaningful consideration behind those names.

If I can offer a word of warning, between this and the "fail fine" rule you are starting to make things too complex and with too many unclear grey areas.

Anonymous said...

This is a minor concern and I know the PuG is a PvE oriented guild but I think you're missing out on some of the potential worth a name has when it comes to PvP.

Consider the orc rogue Angwe, or the City of Heroes player Twixt. These are perfectly acceptable names (Angwe sounds like a fantasy name, Twixt like some sort of super hero). They both became widely known because their means of griefing was so effective.

What if they had picked a more annoying name like "Ikillulol" or "ijijjijijijijij"? Naming their character like that wouldn't subtract from how effective they were, if anything it would make them more effective. Instead of just being "that rogue who kills people" he's "that annoying named guy who kills you". What's more frustrating for a player than being killed a "LOLkiddyLEETspeak" kind of guy?

This is all of course if you take things like World PvP seriously. Just something to consider.

Anonymous said...

Johnny, Frankie, Bill and Bob are not kiddie versions of names, they are short forms of names very commonly used in the US. and other English speaking countries.
Many famous people are known by the short form of their name, like Bill Clinton, Bob Dylan, and Johnny Cochran.
Some cultures use short forms of names, others don't. it has nothing to do with level of maturity.

Would a name like Beelzebul be ok? it's the ancient Hebrew name of the devil, known to most only wrongly spelled Beelzebub.
Baalzebub (Baal the destroyer) is also in a dead language, but contains the name Baal that exists in the Diablo games.

I completely understand and support the need for naming rules. But formalizing the rules seems difficult.

I would like to suggest an additional rule:
A name must only contain letters A-Z with no modifiers like â, ñ and õ. As writing makros to these names can be a pain in the ass.
Choosing a name containing such letters shows that they don't care that someone might have to type that name.
Names that can not be spelled should be treated equal to names that can not be pronounced.

Rohan said...

A name must only contain letters A-Z with no modifiers like â, ñ and õ. As writing makros to these names can be a pain in the ass.
Choosing a name containing such letters shows that they don't care that someone might have to type that name.
Names that can not be spelled should be treated equal to names that can not be pronounced.

Remember that Gevlon is an EU player, and as such, those characters can be "normal" for the players involved, and not an attempt to circumvent name uniqueness.

It would be a solid rule for a North American guild, though.

As for the rest, I don't really understand why "stabsalot" is an acceptable name. I also don't really see the logic behind banning diminutives.

Anonymous said...

For the most part I agree with the sentiment of your naming conventions, although I can't for the life of me figure out why you think "stabsalot" is ok.

Anonymous said...

Isn't Krizzlybear also kiddiespeak referring to character's spec?

Vesoom said...

"What if they had picked a more annoying name like "Ikillulol" or "ijijjijijijijij"? Naming their character like that wouldn't subtract from how effective they were, if anything it would make them more effective"

I'm just playing devils advocate here, but maybe the fact that the infamous pvp'ers did not use dumb names like that means something?

Maybe the fact that they are serious players led them to choose names that aren't stupid?

Kelindria said...

So here are my own numbers from the "raiding core" of my progression guild. These are people who have to pass both a gear check, performance requirement and an additional application.

Of the 22 players that meet our requirement 6 of them would not pass the naming rule. Of the 405 overall memmbers 83 would not have passed the naming rule.

27.2% of our raiders have bad names

20.5% of our total players have bad names

It is worth noteing that 3 of the 6 have "Bane of the Fallen King"

While my data shows that apparently "Bad Names" are better raiders then normal names I believe this is just a sample size error. It is however noteable that in my sample group you would have excluded approximately 1/5 of our players based on their name and of the 83 players excluded 3 of them were "Bane of the Fallen King" quality raiders.

While you may be screening out people who would annoy you in gchat you are in my opinion also screening out strong raiders.

Squishalot said...

To all those bickering over names, I might also add that a druid named "Onemanzoo" had Gevlon's blessing in a previous blog.

It's fair to say that Gevlon's level of English, although better than many other EU players and non-native speakers, isn't sophisticated enough to pick up nuances in some names. This isn't good enough for the purposes of rule enforcement, but it makes the differences somewhat more understandable. Better that a native English speaker does the yes/no choice though.

Sten Düring said...

On the moron-of-the-day:

Given your rules /roll COULD be an acceptable distribution-method (albeit unlikely) as long as the raid was properly and publicly announced in advance.

If I understand your rules corrctly I could give loot to the one who I deem recites poetry best after each kill. I'll probably get zero patricipants to that raid, but...

Choky Heimlich said...

Really? Frankie and Johnnie? You think those are joke names? A couple generations before us, 50's-60's Those were classic in the United States. Perhaps you should watch a few episodes of Happy Days and see just how serious those type of names can be.

Anonymous said...

In fact, Anaalius have once written about countless time he have been suspended by GMs for his nickname, which has a little similarity with word "Anal".

Jess said...

I pugged a few times with a character named "Twilight" and swore up and down that he had the name before the books came out, I have to wonder if he would be banned now from joining.

I would encourage you to be polite in your rejections based on names, the reason behind the name might not be what you think. I have an alt named Solanas. I picked it because I have a cat named Solana and that was taken so I randomly added an s to it. I know there are some real world references to Solana but I suspect they are random and boring enough to pass muster (I think it means sun room in Spanish, there are a couple of places named Solana, a couple of companies, a Spanish politician, and I did see it as a character in one episode of Doctor Who, so really not much). I picked it because it sounded pretty, really nothing more.

Come to find out that Valerie Solanas shot Andy Warhol and was a bit of a nut job herself. Heck I would not blame a guild for rejecting me for that name now that I know. Then again, I guess technically characters named after my cat would be a violation, but I suspect that the idea is to avoid recognizable names, not crazy cat ladies like me using names few people have heard of.

You can keep your rules as you see fit. But someone who does not fit your rules does not always mean they are M&S or annoying or anything else. You can tell them “Your name is a problem, and here is why” in a polite and rational manner, rather than dismissing them as pure suck right off the bat. Heck had someone pointed out who Solanas was to me, I’d have laughed and been grateful for the heads up.

But the more I think about it the more I realize most of the people I play with would not pass muster on names. Ohh well.

Anonymous said...

I love this rule! I believe most, if not all, guilds would benefit greatly from it.

However, as I have pointed out once before, it seems a difficult rule to enforce.

I haven't looked at the roster of your guild, but in some of the screenshots I've noticed at least two names which leaves me a bit puzzled.

First there's Linq, which is clearly a "funny" or "clever" way of spelling the name of the very well known video game character. You list "Árthás" as a "surely bad name", when it is basically the same thing.

Second there's Sheppárd. Obviously a reference to the profession (spelled shepherd) which might be in the grey area, if it were not for the fact that the character in question is a worgen. The rule only states that names in reference to "class, role or ability" are disallowed, but surely this must apply to race as well, especially in this case, where it is meant as a joke.

Jerky 'The V' McAsshole said...

Actually, yes, you can make up a name that Google does not return any results on. As a writer I should know. People just don't care about doing so, they would rather name themselves "Huntardlol", than actually use their brain for more than 2 seconds.

Anonymous said...

Ermak is how one particular Mortal Kombat character is pronounced. Don't tell us that no one knows what Mortal Kombat is. Ridderosti means something with potatoes in it, again a IRL concept.

Anonymous said...

I'll have to agree with those saying the rules are too restrictive. Clearly you are right to auto-reject Árthãsdklõl and the likes, but some of the rules are just as stupid as the people you want to keep out, and you'll end up disallowing a lot of good players.

I'd like to use myself as an example. Back when I played WoW, I considered myself to be a very good player, I loved the mathematical aspect of the game, and spent a lot of time perfecting gear and rotations, plus I easily learned fight mechanics easily and rarely did huge mistakes. I was held back in a mediocre guild because I didn't want to commit to the attendance standards of hardcore guilds, so I would be perfect for the PuG. But I like giving my characters funny names and/or references to pop culture. My characters were called:

Spitfire(My main, a mage, named after the WW2 aircraft and the fact she spit fire.) Would be disallowed for being named after a real object.

Hairypothead (My first alt, a Shaman, I knew resto and and enhancement well.) Would probably be disallowed for referencing, pop culture, though not literally.

Smartass (My second alt, warlock) Doesn't break a direct rule, so I guess it would be fine, but still a "funny" name.

A lot of the good players on my guild and server also had somewhat silly names, so I know I'm not the only one. Would you really reject someone who's a solid player and has read and understands your rules, simply because he/she has a somewhat silly name?

If you were to filter M&S by character name, you should use a much less restrictive filter, and in my view, only rules 1, 4 and 6 should lead to an "autodecline", 7 and 8 (when referring to sexiness) would be ok moderate cases, while the others, if anything at all, could trigger a few extra questions before inviting.

Anonymous said...

I tend to name my characters pretty creatively, however my first toon (warlock) I named hateweaver. After looking at your rules, Gevlon, it seems like they are pretty concrete to an extent but open to opinion after a certain point. Trying to be unbiased, I attempted to judge Hateweaver as a name and couldn't really find a problem with it. What would you think if I sent you a tell asking for an invite to the PuG?

Gevlon said...

Hateweaver is RP name and would be accepted.

Squishalot said...

Gevlon, for your reference, here is a bunch of names from your guild that do not meet your criteria:

Rank 1 members:
Fubuar (kiddie speak, slight adaptation of FUBAR, acronym for 'f*cked up beyond all recognition)
Energybomb (contains real world concept, not RP)
Zangief (name of certain person from pop-culture, character from Street Fighter)
Linq (adaptation of name of certain person from pop-culture, character from Zelda)

Rank 2:
Messiiah (adaptaion of name of certain person from pop-culture, reference to Jesus / Christianity)
Stabsahlot (refers to the character class, role or ability, rogue)
Nonnstop (reference to real world concept, refers to character class, role or ability, rogue)
Archenemy (reference to real world concept)
Stonard (reference to in-game concept)
Junglelove (reference to character race, night elf)

Rank 3
Kegmaster (reference to character race, dwarf)

Consider that names can go from:

At what point is it roleplaying and at what point is it 'short bus'? In my opinion, if the name can be directly related to the character (e.g. Stabsalot, for a class which primarily use daggers) then I would suggest that it belongs in the 'short bus' category.

Rhii said...

@Anonymous who said:"Isn't Krizzlybear also kiddiespeak referring to character's spec?"

Krizzlybear is a frost mage. Reading ftw.

Of my toons I think the only one who would not pass is my priest Emmi (diminutive form of Emma), although she is only named that because her original name Emiri was taken when I server transferred her. The rest of the names I use or have previously used(including Rhii, Rhee, Zimzi, Klikzi, Myrhani, Ganneva, Yulyn, Zaskia, etc.) all should be fine.

I think these rules are perfectly sensible.

Carl said...

Can't go wrong with a Latin name...

Anonymous said...

Allowing e.g. "Stabsahlot" is rather odd, as a GM I'd take any 'obsure-ish' name from pop-culture like pulp-literature or 80's fantasy flicks above that anyday.


Not only because it's a rather primitive name, but also because to me it implies someone who rather acts before thinking than the other way round. And I'll take a patient person above an impatient one any day of the week.