Don’t rename things.

When John F. Kennedy was shot, every school in the United States tried to get renamed to “John F. Kennedy Whatever School.” This is not a good idea. Names are important. If you’re opening a new school, then name that one whatever you want. But don’t change the name of something institutional like a school.

As another example, the name of my college has changed. If I tell you I graduated from Florissant Valley Community College, you can’t find any evidence of that school anywhere. After I left, they changed the name to St. Louis Community College at Florissant Valley. I threw away my FVCC T-shirt in disgust.

ScreenHunter_03 Nov. 02 16.03When I named my very first World of Warcraft character, I sat at the computer for about thirty minutes trying to come up with something. I ended up with “Caitlinbree,” named for the character Caitlin Bree in Clerks. (Later I made a Dantehicks, Randalgraves, and Olafoleeson). I never liked that name.

I used to call her Bree in the way that you talk to a game while you’re playing it. When I got my first two-handed weapon for her, it was so damned slow that I yelled, “Swing, Bree!” and that’s where that nickname came from. As time wore on, we started to call her (and me, online) Cait which became insanely confusing when I joined a guild that had a Kate and a Katye.

So after all this frustration I’ve been having for years, Blizzard now provides a way to rename your character. Hey! I can rename Caitlinbree. My friends said not to do it, that was her, that was her name. What would I name her? I wondered.

Then yesterday I’m in one of the big cities and some guy makes a random broadcast on the general channel wanting help with a quest. I say sure, I have that one too. We get a third and we’re off. Half an hour later, we’ve finished the encounter and everybody is happy with loot. Then the third guy says, “Have you been playing for a while?” So I say yes, four years. Turns out he’s been out of the game for over two years, but returned to the same server, and he remembered Caitlinbree.

It’s time for me to take my own advice. You don’t rename a character you’ve been playing for four years. Caitlinbree she shall remain, now and forever. Don’t sue me, Kevin Smith.

One Response to Don’t rename things.

  1. Kindralas says:

    There’s something to the name you’re called online. The story of Jukio begins with me switching servers to play with some friends of a friend in the mornings in DAoC. I started with a caster named Kindralas, and a buffbot named Jukio, after Moshi Jukio, an old lady in L5R. Not a name I intended to have stick. Leveled with help for a while, and someone said we needed a healer more than a caster, so I started playing the buffbot. This spawned Jukios on three other servers in DAoC, and 6 or so Jukios in WoW (not all of them are me) as well as generating the two endearing nicknames of “Jukes” and “Jerkio.”

    That first character sticks with you too. Our main Priest, Rytos, we call Ren. Our main Death Knight, Azrael, we call Mason. Our main Enhance Shaman, Badboybill, we call Thal. Our Vent can be somewhat confusing to apps, since about half the guild is being called by names other than the toons they’re playing.

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