Part 1 – Getting started -It’s the simplest things that take the longest.
So you’ve decided on your race and class. If you’re new to the game then the chances are you’ve decided on a Night Elf Hunter and you have visions of playing the role of Legolas. Now it’s time to give your elf a name (I dare say the name ‘Legolas’ has already been taken).
Choosing a name for your character is a trivial affair for some. For others, like myself, it involves much deliberation, searching for inspiration and subsequent frustration. I’ve been known to spend hours staring at the character creation screen, completely unable to come up with anything. Part of the problem for me is that I always want to have some kind of heroic or meaningful name, while also being original. Being original is difficult. It’s highly likely that the name you come up with in a stroke of genius, is probably already in use. As Zoso said, "the only thing worse than being Gandalf the Wizard is being G4nda1f the Wizard".
Invariably, my final choice always turns out to be lame on retrospect, but it doesn’t stop me trying.
For my elf druid, a feral fighter and the scourge of Azeroth’s evil, I picked the name of a character from a fairly obscure Wilbur Smith book. An Arabic name. ‘Al-Salil’, The Drawn Sword. In my head this name would cause intrigue for those ignorant to it’s meaning and instil terror into the hearts of those who knew. Sadly, World Of Warcraft doesn’t allow the use of special characters in names, so Alsalil was rather unfortunately shortened to ‘Alsa’ by the people who knew me. Alsa Lil conjures the image of a little old lady, tottering off to the market to do a spot of shopping, rather than the fearsome feline killer I’d aimed for.
For my female human mage, a delicate creature of grace and beauty, I decided on a Latin name: "Rara avis", the Rare Bird. I was actually quite happy with this one, until I ran into someone who spoke a little Latin. It didn’t sound quite as cool when she whispered me to tell me that she liked my name: "odd bird". It could have been worse though. A guild mate of mine was informed that the random name he’d picked for his character was actually Dutch slang for a male reproductive organ. Well, at least now he knows why random people snigger at him when he’s stood in Ironforge…
Ultimately it’s probably not worth spending too much time on. The only advice I would offer is to not pick something that draws too much attention from the opposite faction. All too often I’ve seen the jungle of STVietnam littered with the corpses of level 30ish gnome rogues by the name of "Noobslayer" and "Hordekilla", etc. They’re usually the ones getting one-shot killed by bored level 70’s on a dull Sunday afternoon. In my eyes, it’s the equivalent of wandering around in a dark alley in a bad part of town in the middle of the night… Wearing a pair of Bermuda shorts and waving your wallet about, while asking for directions to the nearest tourist office in your most upper class voice. No good can come of it.
So now we're finally ready to begin...