GnM is an online blog that chronicles my experiences through whatever it is that is catching my attention at the moment. Expect shifts between PC gaming news and commentary, to absolute nerding out about the new MG Exia Gundam kit. My brain is full of random esoteric crap, and I'll be spewing it out here. Thanks for hanging in there with me.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

What’s In A Name? Apparently Quite A Lot

Along with Syp, I’m going to take these 10 questions from GirlIrl and put out my own take on this. 
1.  What is your current main character’s name (or names, if you play multiple games)?  Explain how you chose the name.
Right now, I’m playing my slayer, Khazgar, who I consider to be my current main. I wanted to have a typical “dwarfy” name, that sounded right lore-wise. The name is an homage to a character from the novel Oathbreaker, Azgar Grobkul. I added Khaz, which is my favorite dwarf name prefix. I actually went into a whole spiel about this very subject, which you can find here if you are interested. But basically, I wanted a guttural-sounding name, that kept the dwarf flavor while still rolling off the tongue.
2.  What was the name of your very first character in an MMO?  Explain how you chose that name.
My “first” character was a Dwarf Hunter in WoW named Sudoh. The name is another reference to a character in a work of literature, this time Sudo from Masamune Shirow’s manga Appleseed. However, he got deleted before he hit 30 because he was actually on a friends account who was letting me try out the game. I purchased my own account, and I started a new character to duo with my girlfriend, who is now my fiance. I started a Human Warrior named Zenbei who was the leveling partner of her Warlock. I consider him my first “real” character. Zenbei comes from Zenbe Harada, an obscure character from the manga Lone Wolf and Cub. He was in only one chapter, which was about him killing the corrupt leadership of a starving village, preventing a peasant revolt. After which he took full responsibility for his actions, sparing the village the wrath of the government. I loved the tragic story of this noble character, so I took the name in the hopes that my character would achieve similar heroics.
3.  Have you kept a specific name through various games, or do you tend to change your naming habits based on the individual game?
I used to try and keep the same name, but now since I try to think of my characters as real people, I try to come up with names that a real person in that setting might have. My Empire characters have Germanic-sounding names, like Ulbrecht or Richter. My undead rogue was named Geheimnis, which means “secret” in German. And of course, I try to incorporate the Dwarf language Khazalid when I name my Dwarfs. My Orc was named Kurok, which sounds nice and orc-y. And so on. I try to match the name to the race and class whenever possible. My Tauren Druid was named Wildhorne, for example. He was feral.
4.  Do you ever reserve names, planning to use them for characters that you might play later?  If so, what are they and why do you hold on them? 
I have done this, but it’s rare. I normally don’t have trouble getting the names I want, except on the most popular servers. I’m also pretty good at modifying names to still work for me, even if the original is taken. 
5.  Of the three common archetypes in MMOs — tank, healer, DPS — which is your current main character?
Khazgar is melee dps, but my first 40 in WAR was a tank.
6.  What archetype was your very first character in an MMO?  Why did you choose it?
My first toon was a Hunter in WoW, mainly because it was recommended to me as an easy class to learn, and the Dwarf hunter in the intro movie was damn cool. Once I learned more about the game, I rerolled as a Warrior, because I realized I wanted to smash faces in. And I wanted to be the knight-in-shining-armor for my girlfriend, who I was duo-ing with.
7.  Are you usually attracted to one archetype over another, or do you play them equally?  Why?
I almost always choose a melee class, a tank is usually my first choice. Then maybe a melee dps class. I’ve always loved the visceral feel of melee combat. I enjoy a ranged class from time to time, but I never play casters. I like wearing armor and a slinging a two-hander, or stealthy leathers and backstabbing daggers. If I do play a ranged class, it’s usually a class that uses guns or bows, anything so long as it’s not a spell-slinging career. I don’t like healers much either, but I would like to level a Warrior Priest someday in WAR, if only because they are still melee combat based. Right now my Slayer is getting all my playtime, and while he doesn’t wear much armor, I still love him. He hits like a truck and is a raging berserker. Besides, Slayers got me into Warhammer in the first place, no way I’m not playing one. I do have a Shadow Warrior in T3, but I’m still wavering as to whether or not I like him. 
8.  What is your favorite feature from an MMO you no longer play?
I’m a relative MMO newbie, so I don’t have much prior experience aside from WoW. I did really like how in certain questlines, you were treated to a pretty awesome ingame event. Two examples would be in the Draenei starting zones, you capture a Blood Elf officer who taunts the Draenei present after being sent away by Velen. Upon hearing this, a Draenei officer charges the Blood Elf and kills him outright, /spitting on the corpse afterward. When I saw that, I was blown away, it really brought home the feeling that you were involved in something major. Later on in the same area, after you complete the last quest in the area, Velen, the racial leader, appears along with everyone you had helped up to that point in an impromptu reward ceremony for you. It’s a great little event, and again, it really makes you feel like you are part of something. I really wish WAR would do more things like that.
9.  Is there an MMO that you would play if it was free?  Which and why?
Honestly, no. I simply do not have the time to devote to more than one MMO, and aside from WAR, no other MMO, free or not is as compelling to me right now. Maybe when the Bioware SW MMO comes out, ask me again.
10.  How do you measure the success of a character in an MMO (total kills, titles accumulated, wealth, rare items collected, level reached, etc.)?
I consider any character I get to max level a success, but I also take into account how much enjoyment I’ve derived from playing that character along the way. Gold and gear is a factor, as well as stuff like trophies and unlocks. However, a big part of considering the character a success is whether or not I feel that I can play him effectively and whether I feel like I’m making a difference at endgame.

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