Friday, 3 December 2010

20 days of WoW - Day 5: Meaning behind my mains name

Right. Humm. There were complaints (mainly by my lovely wife) about my last post being boring. I accept that and agree .... but I didn't pick the questions!

So anyway, in a feeble attempt to make this one a little more interesting, there is going to be backstory and such ... and a TL;DR at the end. You can skip there now, if you really want to.

So names...

My very first character in any MMO was rolled in Ultima Online. As I may have rambled before, back then everything was better, the sky was bluer (not actually true - you couldn't see the sky) and the snow was colder (possibly true - we had snow and there was polar bears). The character selection process was not based on classes, but rather on a skill set. Any skills could be combined into whatever you wanted to play, really.

Yes, there were obvious choices pretty soon - powergaming is not something that was invented only recently. Back then, the flavour of the month was a halberd wielding mage wearing fullplate with either mining or lumberjacking. How come? Well.. the swing timers had not been normalized, so a halberd hit as often as a shortsword - just much, much harder. There was no penalty for casting in armour and magery was the only reliable ranged form of attack (and almost required for any form of travel, defence and healing anyway). The mining? Well... practising your skills increased the associated statistics - and mining (and lumberjacking) gave strength. Everyone needed strength, because strength was equal to hitpoint.

So anyway.. back to the naming part. This was in 1995. Over here in Germany, my friends and I had just had a phase of watching Disney movies that had only recently come out (the newer stuff, basically). I needed the name of a sorcerer.

Jafar was born - and the above image does show the proper graphics, but was taken much, much later. That black horse was something of a rarety for a long while - and it could breathe fire and beat up small dragons without much help.

I stuck with that name for a long time. The advantage of reusing a name over several games was that people would recognize aquaintances. The world felt a lot smaller then.

I would probably still have used that name in World of Warcraft, if it had not been taken. Well that, and I was in my "girl characters" phase anyway, so I picked a female nightelf rogue as my first character - and again named her the same as I had in previous games. As this is a thing of the past (and I hardly play her any more anyway) - and my wife tells me "the name you picked could only have been chosen by a guy" - I shan't go into details there. Suffice to say - I did not put much energy into choosing and instead went something along the lines of "I really like - she won't mind having an online alter-ego. Oh ... the name is taken. Can I add a single character to make it pass?".

Fast forward to 2005.

A friend and I were rolling warriors together. We had both leveled to 60 and were occasionally PUGing Upper Blackrock - but we needed something new to level in between. We wanted a name that "matched" (and not like creepy matching child/mother pictures). There also had been that Doom Comic out and flying about the games shop for a bit.

Near the end of that comic the hero and the girl (details are fuzzy, she might have kicked zombie ass, too - I can't remember) are trapped in an elevator and she says something like "Oh no... there is just you and me left, whatever can we do". The hero powers up his chainsaw and replies with a stunning "Oh no, it's you and me and Black and Decker" (give me a break - I was a student, I enjoyed action movies, this was about as good a conversation as I got!)

So ... our warriors obviously had to be called Black and Decker. Yeah, except someone apparently took Black before (not entirely surprising) so we were lost. We tried a few other names that came in stunning combinations and made the symbiotic teamwork of our future team instantly apparent. "Smith and Wesson" also failed due to the already taken problem, but we were young and intrepid (and German) - we could think of a few other weapons manufacturers!

Heckler and Koch were born that day.

He got lucky.

Our English was not quite up to realizing just what we had done there, really. It took ages until someone laughed about it long enough for us to realize.

Ah well.

Soo... I was known as Koch for a good long while. And it only changed with the introduction of titles and achievements near the end of Burning Crusade (that's when we got achievements, not when I changed the name).

I did change the name when I server transferred to Alonsus. Not by choice (again) - Koch was already taken on that server. I had, however, just recently got the "Salty" title - and found a cute post somewhere about the name "Salty Snacks" which I thought brilliant. So these days it's Snack. Which is also more ... err... acceptable than Salty Koch. Especially to English speakers.


  1. *grin*

    much better :P that one made me giggle :)

  2. I'm impressed with the horse btw...not many that know how to wrestle O.o

    Wrestling 80.5-92.5