He was strong of limb: the son of generations of seasoned warriors. Fair was his face: one of the last true heirs of the bloodline of Eorl the Young. His shield was strong, his blade swift. The word of his deeds spread far and wide. Foes fled at the very mention of his name: Bananahammock.
Let me preface the following by saying that I am the last person to be a stick in the mud about lore-friendly names. Not everyone has the time (or even the desire) to research proper elven names for a character they might delete a week later. And as far as I’m concerned, as long as it doesn’t read like a root canal, name your character whatever you desire. But please, don’t break the immersion of the game.
Questing in the lonely, ice-bound region of Forochel always instills in me a sense of awe: the aurora borealis every night, the herds of mammoths wandering in the wilds, the warm, crackling fires of the Lossoth, and a guy with the name of Rocketpants? I can’t help but laugh, but at the same time I’ve got to scratch my head. Assuming you like the game enough to stick with it until Forochel, why would you stay with a character that has such an absurd name? Doesn’t it somewhat break the experience, especially when doing the epic quest lines?
Friends tell me to chill out, and why worry? Those characters aren’t mine, so why should I care about what they’re named? I’m inclined to agree, most of the time. But when I see someone acting like a snarky good-for-nothing in Trade chat, it elicits much the same reaction from me. What you name your character and how you act through that avatar all contribute to LOTRO’s community. The joke-named characters are fairly amusing at first, but when you stumble into a knot of them in the Bree auction house, you start to forget that you’re playing LOTRO at all. The world and lore that Tolkien created has a very distinct feel to it, and standing next to someone with the word ‘vampire’ in their name fragments that a bit.
It’s all a matter of perspective, and the way I see it is that LOTRO could only stand to gain a boost in community interaction when players try to go as native to the game as possible. Even the high-level armor is both within reason and attractively designed; it does not break the feel of the game. Because, I don’t know about you, but I rather enjoy participating in immersive gameplay and not having to suffer from the cartoonish graphics of WoW and the free-for-all style of lore that seems to come with it. So why don’t we add to LOTRO’s immersion even more by naming our characters things that sound at least a little bit native to Middle Earth?
It would be a win-win for everyone, and the reputation you establish for yourself under your character’s name will not be attached to something that was a one-time laugh but might now serve as only a source of embarrassment.