The Most Popular Names In World Of Warcraft Are...Pretty Lame

The Most Popular Names In World Of Warcraft Are...Pretty Lame

Christian Thurau and Anders Drachen have written an academic paper. A very important one. It's all about the patterns and significance of the names people give to their World of Warcraft characters. Their findings? That there are patterns. And that the most popular names are pretty terrible.

Inspired by a theory that there was a reason Paladins were called stuff like "Healbot", or Blood Elves "Moonlight", they went through nearly 4 million unique player names across all the game's servers. They found:

  • There's more diversity amongst WoW names than there is amongst real human names
  • There was almost no overlap between races. Mages, Tauren and Warlocks all had their own kinds of names, with Mages having the most variety.
  • Some of the most popular names among races, each with around 200 instances, were Sephiroth (Blood Elves), Arthas (Human) Druid (Druids...come on) and Frostitute (Mage). OK, so that last one is pretty great.
  • Naming patterns emerged surrounding the aesthetics of races, with "pretty" races giving their characters very different types of names to the "bestial" races.

You can read the paper in detail below.

Naming Virtual Identities: Patterns and Inspirations for Character Names in World of Warcraft [Paper, via Gamasutra]


    I also remember seeing every other day some stupid elf named "legolas[insert number here]"

      If I remember correctly, you couldn't have numbers in your character names in WoW. I second what you're saying though.

        Oh really? Haha, its been at least 6 years since I quit so my memories a little fuzzy...

        Ohyeah, people got around that by making it Legolass, Legollas, Leggolas, Leggollass, etc, etc, then started adding x to the end, or using umlauts.

    FF14... Cloud Strife... Cloud Strife... Cloud Strife...

    Lovestospooge should be high up there after the southpark episode

    Heh, that reminds me I had a Human female Priest called Priestitute, a Worgen Druid called Hotwings, a Dwarf Shaman called Shamwoo, a Human Paladin called Palamedic and a Human Hunter called Medusa, I think she had a pet snake..

    I liked coming up with names for my characters..

    My favourite was always Oprahwindfury.

      My favourite was a guy whose name was 'parts' and whose title was 'private' from the old PVP days.

    Drizaldorath Minoltabar. Why? because fuck short names, that's why.
    (and it just shortens to Driz)

    Last edited 13/09/13 11:40 am

    I was pretty much done with WoW when the Blood Elves and Dranei made an appearance, so the two characters I made to have a quick look around the new content were Culicidae (blood sucking mosquito) and Tsetse (fly that causes sleeping sickness).

    I think my favourite was a druid called Convertibull... because druids change forms like a convertible does, and it was... well, a bull!

    WoW has changed I remember when Mages and Warlocks where classes not races.

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