Racial Naming Conventions

Just curious to hear what people think of this topic, for good or ill. I'm a big fan of such things for they help me feel as though I'm fitting into a world.

There's a lot of power in a name, and can help establish a racial identity. For instance, all we know about the Py'rai is that they tend towards the more 'naturey' qualities of Elves, but if we were to discover that many of them have surnames depicting rather gruesome qualities (I.E., Boneclaw, Flesheater, or Heartpierce to come up with a few, rather cliche, names), I imagine most of us would be less inclined to imagine spritely pixies and lean towards feral, savage-like beings who dwell in the wilds.

Other naming conventions, be it something as simple as a suffix that denotes the order in which your were born, a social ranking, or even a taboo based on the color if your eyes, all make for interesting things that emphasize the society and way of thinking an individual race has.

On the other hand, they can be limiting for those of us who having a long-running name we use in games, or make someone who wants to engage in the world in-character but has a name they prefer outside of conventions feel somewhat ostracized.


  • I researched both parts of the py'rai name to see if I could get anything from that. Rai is actually a type of music that fuses Arabic and Algerian culture. Not sure if that's a hint at all, but I tried. I think the race name is random. However what you said still has weight to it. The different names of members of that race very well might give us sight into the race's culture.
  • my name will be Dwarfatarms i've been using it in all MMO's since I could sit at a computer .. I got it from looking up a warrior in the dictionary and it said man at arms and the game i was playing had Dwarves so I swapped the man for Dwarf and have been stuck with it ever since.
  • The only ones I feel like are partially obvious at the moment are the Vaelune (North Africa), Kaelar (Western Eurpoe), Empyrean (Roman empire), Ren'kai (Possibly east Asia?) and Nikua (Obviously Pacific islander, as evidenced in concept art). While there's no way to know the exact conventions of naming, it's as good a place as any to start thinking about the very basic sounds and influences we'll probably be seeing.
    Hopefully we'll be seeing some love and care put into not only the names, but languages as a whole. As a hopeless anthropology nerd, I love seeing fantasy worlds where the names of characters and cities follow certain conventions, rather than just adding some Y's to real world places and names.
  • To be honest, OP, I haven't come across a game where strict, racially appropriate names have been enforced, or the wider community even care that much, for... gosh... years. Even Lord of the Rings Online, which had some hardcore Tolkien fans in it, didn't really do anything over the top in that direction. My gut feeling is that, on the whole, most people will call themselves whatever they like.
  • I'm personally hoping we'll get some fun naming conventions for each species to give the game world more richness and depth. I don't see why it wouldn't be the case, though! That said, even with solid naming conventions, you'll always have people that will prefer to do their own thing, which is fine. I think most people don't worry too much about it unless the name is really gross or offensive. Even so, can't wait to see what's what. :)
  • The only game that came close to this was Lord of the Rings Online. It had the mechanic in the game to choose.

    It will e fun to see what the Dev’s come up with.

  • I'm willing to bet there's going to be at least one "PWNU" or somesuch. *sigh*
  • Dwarven steel is the strongest steel.
  • [quote quote=18901]Dwarven steel is the strongest steel.


    Brother! I thought we lost ye in the battle. God damn orcs.
  • We have to wait to see the first NPCs of the Game to guess what Names converts what feel and meaning

    For example let's take WoW
    Illidan Stormrage, the Last Name Stormrage suggest a brutish/savage yet somewhat nature/element focus and that maybe your first impression of the character/its race. But the Character itself is a egomanic Mage..

    Arthas Menethil, the last name Menethil doesnt seem to be a compound word, like Stormrage was, yet it somewhat feels ethereal, noble, elvish in a sense and that would be the first trait you would imagine there

    personally i think compound word names are suboptimal yet are easier to implement in a game then truly original names. Afterall our real last names evolved of centuries from words long forgotten today. Unless your name is Smith
  • Menethil was a place wasn't it?, so they were named after that?
  • That moment people with name reservation rights take your name and ask for a "donation" to give it back. lol
  • ...is the moment you show proof to intrepid that they were knowingly running a scam for money so they get banned from the game for life and you get the name anyway?
  • Well the name we choose for our characters could also be their adventuring name as opposed to their true name. So naming conventions aside, there is quite a bit of flexibility for character names. 
  • Probably going to be a Nikua called Kratz. If that's taken I'll go Niknak.
  • ArchivedUserArchivedUser Guest
    edited June 2017
    Kratz said:
    Probably going to be a Nikua called Kratz. If that's taken I'll go Niknak.
    Nik nak paddy Kratz, give @nagash a bone?
  • Think you should be the Bard lol.
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