A Brief Guide To Naming Your Character

April 26, 2012 at 11:44 pm | Posted in Guild Wars 2, mmorpg | 13 Comments
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Obviously a lot of people will simply choose a name that reflects themselves when they create a character. Some people will use the same name, or a variation on it, that they use in every video game. Many will simply continue on character names from the original Guild Wars. Guild Wars 2 allows us to choose a one-word name where the original required two. This presents a lot of variety.

Which is why I wanted to post this older thread from the newly redesigned Guild Wars 2 Guru forums. It’s a guide on how to name your characters based on the lore of Guild Wars 2. There are plenty of details there, from Arenanet devs no less, but I’ll try to stress the important parts.

Asura and sylvari aren’t in this weekend’s beta but I’ve included them for future reference.

    Charr

    The most important thing to know about charr names is that the surname is divided into two parts. The first part is the name of your warband. So if you belong to the Swift warband, your surname could be Swiftblade or Swiftknife. The second part of your surname is some attribute of your personality or abilities, like being good with a blade or knife.

    Each part of your name is often an intimidating verb or adjective. The charr are a bloodthirsty race and it is reflected in their names. Pyre Fierceshot and Cowl Fiercetongue are members of the same warband. However, first names can often also be garbled nonsense like Bonwor, Garfazz, Kalla, or Gaheron. These typically include hard sounding consonants and ragged letter combinations.

    Human

    Human names tend to be more orientated towards reality. Names shouldn’t be too difficult to come up with here. They follow real world tendencies and many names would not sound out of place in day to day life. Logan Thackeray for instance.

    Names can get a bit unorthodox of course, but that is to be expected in the fantasy genre. In fact I would think the bulk of names would be more ancient in origin, having hardly any use in modern times.

    In the original Guild Wars names followed cultural patterns, as in Cantha an expansion themed after asia, most names were steadfastly asian. Humans in Guild Wars 2 mostly hail from Kryta and therefore mostly European names are called for.

    Norn

    Norn are heavily themed after Norse mythology, and vikings. Their names reflect this. The vikings often named themselves after their gods or ancestors. Two real world examples might be Thorvald Eiriksson who was the son of Erik The Red. Olrun Olafdottir is the daughter of Olaf Olafson in the original Guild Wars.

    But titles and more classical fantasy names are important to norn too. Magni The Bison, Kobach the Ferocious are good examples of titles while Gunnar Poundfist, Hagwin Ironskull, and Gellir Frostshield reflect more familiar fantasy names.

    Asura

    Jeff Grubb says that asura names sound like sound effects from Mad magazine, but I think they’re more like sound effects from the 1960s Batman or sci-fi cartoons. Zapp, Bamm, Krash. They have a lot of double consonants, and double vowels.

    Male names tend to end in consonants. Blimm, Gadd, Mamp. Female names tend to end in vowels, Oola, Zojja, Florggi.

    Few asura names have more then one or two syllables.

    Sylvari

    Sylvari only seem to have one name, heavily influenced by the Irish and Welsh.

    Killeen, Caithe, and Faolain are all female names. Killeen is a township in Ireland, Faolain derives from the gaelic word for wolf, it would be pronounced something like Fee lahn.

    Sareb, Malomedies and Caderyn are male names. Caderyn is a traditional Welsh name that might be pronounced K-uh-dairn.

    Following these examples I would not be surprised if names also drew from plant life or even other celtic cultures like Scotland.

And that is all I have to really say about naming conventions. Obviously we’ll have plenty of inspiration from our own lives and previous gaming history, not to mention the actual game and characters we’ll meet as we play through Guild Wars 2. Names don’t have to follow these patterns but I hope this helps anyone who wishes to.

Big thanks to BBQman.

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13 Comments

  1. The reason Asura names are so short, is so they can be warned of explosions faster. “LOGAN THACKERY, DU-… Oops, too late.”

    • It’s almost like the theory of evolution.

      • Ozzie! Australians like short names too more than one plural and you need an Australian shorterned version of your name, in that right Ba?

        • oh to be able to edit… or get the right word in the first place (unlikely!)…

      • The Evolutionary Etymology of Mini-nyms? YES!

  2. My question about the Charr surnames, is can you choose your warband prefix in character creation? If not, is it just something that is randomized ingame based on which Legion you choose? Or is it never mentioned at all by NPCs?

    • Nah, warband prefixes don’t seem to have anything to do with character creation until you’re actually typing in your own name. Various videos from betas/demos have shown that. I assume they use the same tricks other rpgs use, calling you “hero” or “soldier” or “buddy” etc.

  3. Hope I can nab my asura name since it’s a single name. It’s perfect because it’s a variation of my real name adjusted to suit their culture. Need to figure out a title I can live with in the event someone gets it first since it wasn’t as original as I thought (tried it when I played Aion the other week, taken.)

    Safe on charr and norn because they are more than one word and the odds of someone crafting the same name are less than slim to none, and I have them saved anyway. At least I’m assuming so. I think names are saved by account so long as one has unlocked the HOM rather than having to take each individual character to the HOM. My mains are another matter. Human, so I can use a surname if I have to, which are saved for sure, but I’d prefer not to. Someone even asked me what a “insert last name” here was, as if it was anything other than a surname.

    My first order of business at head start is securing my names. Kind of paranoid about trying to use any that aren’t saved for sure during beta.

    • I know the feeling — my main reason for wanting to prepurchase and get the 3-day headstart was to have a better shot as saving names!

      Just a TAD paranoid, that’s me. =P

      • I’m so paranoid, I’m afraid to use any planned names – even the safe ones – in beta in case someone gets inspired, or what if there’s some troll who’s going to try to snag people’s names? Nuts, I know. I’m always surprised to see people share them on forums. In my defense some people are like that with baby names, and it’s not like they can’t still use it if someone beats them to the punch.

    • Thanks to the more involving lore, I’ll probably pick more race related names for my alts, more than in other games, which means they’ll be more original and less likely to be taken.

  4. I had a spare character slot in GW1 that I used just to reserve a name for GW2 🙂

  5. […] Hunter’s Insight — A Brief Guide To Naming Your Character. “Obviously a lot of people will simply choose a name that reflects themselves when they […]


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