Location Naming Conventions

In most all MMORPGs, to create a zone name you need to merely combine a word from List A with a word from List B (or two from A and one from B, or one from A and two from B):


  • Bad
  • Ghost
  • Dark
  • Swamp
  • Red
  • Lost
  • Twilight
  • Shadow
  • Lava
  • Steam
  • Storm
  • Plague
  • Crystal
  • Blighted
  • Shiver
  • Thunder
  • Enchanted
  • Frost


  • Lands
  • Forest
  • Isle
  • Mountains
  • Vale
  • Wood
  • Wind
  • Moon
  • Pass
  • River
  • Wastes
  • Sands
  • Plains
  • Torment
  • Jungle
  • Peaks
  • Deep

Of course, there are plenty of exceptions, such as LOTRO pulling its names from Tolkein’s convoluted Dictionary of Made-Up Words, but there ya go!

8 thoughts on “Location Naming Conventions

  1. Jess Lebow created the world of Tyria for Guild Wars / ArenaNet and he used a similar list of naming conventions for inspiration.

    The city of Lion’s Arch had a lot of different names, but the name LA apparently evolved out of “Lakeborough” (it was supposed to be besides a lake – dunno where this lake near LA should be, there isn’t one), which he named at some point “Lagborough”, which apparently offended some guys at ArenaNet… xD

  2. Oh the names of zones in LOTRO drive ma batty! I have no idea what people are talking about half the time! “go to Dun Ered Highkbjon Broigh” or some such nonsense… And I have to either pretend I know where they are talking about or ask them to describe the zones as “the one with the fully destroyed castle” or “the one with the mostly destroyed castle but the watchtower is still in order.”

  3. In fantasy games I always try to mentally substitute “dark” with “nerd”. So if I’m ordered to go to the Dark Tunnels or fight Darkspawn or confront a/the Dark Lord, I can’t help but giggle a little inside.

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