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?