City of Heroes
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The Naming of a Hero

The name of your hero may not mean much to you, or it may mean something specific to your character, such as a nickname dependent on his or her powersets. Or, perhaps, it may be the key to your hero's very identity, tying in with the backstory and other creative elements of character creation. However you choose to approach the naming of your hero, the following article will provide you with ways to ease the process.

To find some good resources for creating names, click here to see a list of links to visit.

Step 1: Finding a Fitting Name

Naming my heroes is one reason that it takes me a long time to create a new hero. I like to think over the name, and try to select one that makes the most sense for the hero's personality. You might also benefit from this type of meditation over your hero's name. Sometimes, the right name can even arrive on the coattails of a dream--the name "Milara" came to me upon awakening the morning after I had begun developing an idea for a Controller, and somehow it just seemed to fit the personality.

If I'm really having a tough time with a name, I also like to visit baby-name websites, dictionary and "word of the day" websites, and even sites that list the names of ancient gods and goddesses for inspiration. For my Blaster, Victoira, I took the English name "Victoria" and flipped the "i" and "r" around to affect a more French spelling of the name. I used a similar process for my Scrapper, Catarinya--I took the Russian name "Catarina" and put a "y" before the last "a" to give a little bit more accent to the last syllable. But for my Tank, Austara, I took the word "austere" and merely changed both "e's" into "a's" to make an appropriate feminine name.

Contemplating your character's identity, as well as researching on the Internet, may help you come up with a good name for your new hero. But that's only the first step to naming!

Step 2: Making It Typable

This might seem weird, but you are not the only person who is going to need to know how to spell your character's name. People who want to send you Tells, as well as people who want to invite you to teams, supergroups, or send you emails will need to know how you spell it, and be able to type it in correctly. That is why I go by a small set of guidelines when I am creating a new hero's name:

Step 3: Check Availability

You may have just come up with the coolest name EVER--but you need to check to see whether someone else on your server grabbed it first. To check to see whether your hero's name is already taken, click the "Check Character Name" option at the very bottom left of the "Character Select" screen (after you've selected which server you want to play on). Type in the name, and then click "OK." The game will let you know whether that name is already taken or not on that server.

Word of advice: Do NOT wait until you have already designed your character, done the costuming, and written the backstory before you check the name, especially if you think the name might be taken! When I was creating my Defender, who later was named Lyssadia, I actually had the smaller name "Lyssa" in mind. However, that name was taken, as I unfortunately found out, and I had to go back in and retype my whole backstory again. I ended up trying nine other different permutations of names with the root of "Lyssa" before I finally had some sort of brainstorm and came up with the idea of adding "-dia" to the end of it. Now, I can't imagine my Defender being named anything else, which is kind of cool. It just took me ten tries to get there!

The Main Point

It's important to think up a name that you know fits your character, so it's definitely okay to be creative. Do remember that other players will need to be able to type your name in order to invite you to teams and supergroups, as well as to send you private Tells--make it easier on them by keeping the name a little shorter and easier to read. Also, keep in mind that creating an original and unique name might be difficult, so be prepared to do a little research, especially if you're having trouble finding a name that isn't taken.

Good Naming Resources (has names from many different cultures)
God/Goddess Names: Godchecker | Multicultural List | Aztec | Japanese
Interesting Words: The Phrontistery | A Word A Day |