What's In A Name?

My Hangar in Ishomilken
One of the most inconsequential and over-looked aspects of ships in Eve Online is the ship name. They literally have no meaning, no lasting consequence or impact on pretty much anything at all. They can be changed on a whim, under orders from the FC, to confuse or encourage the enemy, or for random fits of creativity. They don't make the kill-mail. And they rarely have meaning, except to those who name them, and they have no real value except to communicate a brief bit of information on the d-scan. Which is often ignored in favor of ship type.

When I first started playing Eve I named my few ships according to ever changing ideas that would pop into my head. After science-fiction authors. Movie titles. Rock songs. Pink Floyd albums. Video game characters. Scientists. Moons in our solar system. Old girlfriends. You name it and I probably did it for at least a few weeks at one point or another. Along the way I started to develop a sense of superstition about certain names as my hangar started to grow and I started flying more and more ships. I might try a new name out only to have that ship explode shortly after undocking... well that name must be bad luck. Time to move on. The first time I flew a Daredevil I named it "Murdock" and every single one since then has been named the same. The one time I changed it, the one time, I lost it landing on a Gate to a smartbomber. 

Yesterday I asked Tweetfleet about ship names. The responses I got were very similar to my own experiences. Everyone seems to have their own ideas about how they name their ships. Some have conventions they adhere to regularly, some are just random "on the spot" decisions, and others have complex and detailed ideas about how they name their ships. It is, as I expected, a wide spectrum. Which is good as far as I'm concerned. It proves to me at least, that Eve players continue to love their spaceships. A fact which shouldn't be news to anyone.

Years ago I proposed an idea that would attach information about a ship builder to the actual ship. An idea I called the "Maker's Mark" back then. And it got me wondering about ship names and if there is anything that could be changed about them. They are one of the few places in Eve where every player gets to be creative, a place to stamp your own personality, in a game often lacking. Is it ok for ship names to be so transitory in nature? 

An obvious way to preserve the ship name would be for it to live on in the kill-mail. Right now it does not obviously. But it certainly could. Although I'm sure, like most things, the amount of time needed to make that change could be grossly inappropriate and wasteful of precious Dev time.

Another idea would be to preserve the ship name along with the saved fit. There is already a place in each fit to "name" the fit, why not have that name transfer to a new ship when you fit it? Imagine how much time this would save during mass-fitting for Corps and Alliances? It would certainly make organizing much easier. The ship name could be changed again at any point, but the idea has merit I think. I know, for me personally, it would help. I often fit up a new ship under time constraints, when time is of the essence. And even I have undocked in ships named "Rixx's Federation Navy Comet" before.

Or maybe I should stop meddling. I dunno. Maybe things are just fine the way they are now? What are your thoughts?





8 comments:

  1. I Like the naming of ships, it is an area where you can throw in your own little bit of creativity (or lack thereof), I generally named mine after music tracks that were my favourites/listening to at the time, even if no one else knew. Now living in a WH and sharing a hanger with other ships ive gotten boring and they are all named the same… the initials of my main toon.

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  2. I've been promoting the idea of optionally auto-renaming ships during fitting for quite a while, in the Little Things thread, my blog, to the CSM. CCP Guard once mentioned it, so I know they're aware of it as a concept, but I guess it must be harder than it seems, because it still hasn't happened.

    I hope they aren't waiting until they do a big overhaul of fitting, to allow multi-fitting, fitting from hangars etc, because this really does seem like a small feature that would be easy to implement and, as you said, save a step during a fitting session.

    I usually name my ships after the hull they're in - boring I know :)

    Thanks for raising the subject, Rixx! I hope CCP will at least respond and say "No, because...".

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    1. Ideas in the Eve community often spring from a large pool of history and audience participation, its why I am always hesitant to claim one as "original" generally - because who can be sure? I've always been of the opinion that it only matters that we keep the conversation going forward and hopefully try to help Eve be the best game it can be. This seems like a no-brainer to be honest, so I'm hopeful that it can be implemented to one degree or another. As you say, maybe around the time they finally work on fitting services.

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  3. Ship names on killmails would be so amazing that I almost don't want it - it'd be a reminder that at one point they were not on the killmail, and I would be sad about that.

    Right now I'm naming ships after whatever snippet of song is playing when I fit it. This results in them being largely nonsensical to anyone but me.

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    1. Pretty much every T1 Frigate I fit these days is named after the first thing I think of, since they won't be alive long anyway, why take time to name them properly?

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  4. Ships names have always been very important to me... I was raised on the Bay, have been in boats since I was pre-natal... I leaned to sail under my father and first soloed (a sunfish) when I was 7. There is a mystique and a lot of superstition surrounding the Naming of Ships in nautical history and hat came with me to EVE.

    The majority of mine are either something that struck me about the hull or variations on the meaning of a given ships class name then translated into Latin... I also use a LOT of Sindarin (LOFR elvish) names.

    As I live in Anoikis and any ship stored in a POS becomes the "property" of the Corp that owns the POS, I use, as many in WSpace do, various symbols in addition to the ships names to keep straight what's mine and what's not.

    The thing I'd like to see is the ships name as a graphic on the hull like kill marks. Plus why in the hell can't we name our PODs and have the name stick?? =]

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  5. I like to use Emperor's (insert name). Such as Emperors Eyes, Emperors Wraith, etc. Unless they are a capital ship then they get the name of an Emperor. The only exception to these rules are my Bhaalgorns. They get named after a deadly sin (Wrath, Envy, Gluttony, etc)

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  6. It's variable. Some of my ships have Latin names of the creatures they're named after, i.e. Crotalus Viridis for my Rattlesnake(with the second name indicating a general region of the US I'm from, but not all names include this), Gila is similarly named. Someone once mentioned that they thought the Incursus looked like a truncated jousting horse with armor on, so I named my Enyo and Ishkur after jousting horses (Percheron and Friesian). My Logi ship is "Bandaid Dispenser", the Tristan "My Little Drone Boat"(if I had any talent I'd have translated that name into a parody about the Tristan to the tune of "My Little Deuce Coupe"), and so on. It varies with the kind of mood I'm in at the time. Blackbird = "Nevermore"(don't own a Raven and probably never will, thus the Blackbird gets the name). I could go on, but they'd only make sense to me. A hull name would be great, a personalized SKIN, for the proper amount of Aurum, of course. I'd buy those SKINs. A hull name with our own graphic (properly approved, of course)? Heck, "I'd buy that for a dollar" ;)

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