by any other name..

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet
So Romeo would were he not Romeo call’d
Retain that dear perfection which he owes
Without that title”
-Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, 1594

I’ve been thinking about names a lot lately. Guild names. The advertisement that is always on.

With the combined efforts of three people working on the design, we have plenty of opinions and ideas for most every topic. However the simple act of naming the thing is eluding us. It really is quite pathetic.

There are aesthetics that we can boil down simply:

  • Short is generally better
  • Single words are preferable to phrases
  • Anything approaching “Knights of..” or “..of Stormwind” will be summarily rejected
  • Similarity to existing/past guilds on server is a negative
  • The less used, game-wide, the better
  • Serious-style guild, needs a serious name (or at least a non-silly name)

However, of the ideas that we’ve bounced around, the ones we’ve most liked violate a few of guidelines above. We haven’t yet hit on anything that we all ‘love’, so we may end up picking something that we can live with. The problem, I think, is that we are waiting for something to jump out at us, and to instantly work.

Looking at some of the top guilds on my server, most have what I consider to be good names. Intellectually, I’m reflecting my view of the guild back onto their name. The guild’s positive reputation affects my view of the name, and it is very hard to separate them. Would a name that seems quirky for a top guild seem stupid and annoying if other players wore it?

Is the guild ultimately defined by its actions, with it’s name Karmicly taking on whatever aura the guild puts out?

Do this mean that the name really doesn’t matter after all?

I don’t think so. Yes, a great name will not turn a group of lousy players into an team of all-stars, but names do speak to the culture. “Don’t Daze Me Bro” or “Nerfed to the Ground” are cute (once!), but they scream PvP Guild. “Knights of the Gates of the Holy Stormwind Alliance” (cool tabard & bank slots!) just ‘feels’ like a leveling guild full of kids.

Once you have established a reputation, the guild name seems to be little more than a tag above your head. However, while getting started and initially recruiting, I do think it is more than that.

I am curious how other folks go about picking names. When looking at guilds, does the name influence you? Ever joined (or not joined) because of the name?

Explore posts in the same categories: Guild, Raiding, WoW

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