Long before ever writing the first word of any books, I was a gamer who, like many others, used the same character names from game to game as a way of carrying over any notoriety or friendships from one game to the next. It was easier to find old friends because character names were familiar. That familiarity came full circle with The Ascension Legacy series and the characters found there. To some readers, some of the names in the books may sound very familiar.
\I've been an avid, although not hardcore, MMO player since the launch of Everquest in the late 90's. I loved the idea of massive worlds, persistent characters, and endless variety in a game. I was hooked on RPGs a few years earlier thanks to Final Fantasy 7 (FF7) on the original Playstation and MMOs were just the next logical step forward to me.
I still remember it like yesterday, installing Everquest for the first time, logging in to enjoy a new experience, and creating my first character. It was an Erudite Cleric named Ammudien. I didn't understand the importance of stats at that point so I put all of my bonus points into strength making Ammudien a mule for toting everybody else's crap. My main stats used for spellcasting, an important part of a cleric, were low which meant I could cast fewer spells with less potency. All that strength I added gave my melee attacks some extra umph but clerics have a deficiency in melee which meant my melee attacks were less effective by default. All that extra strength just meant that when I did hit that I would hit a little harder than usual, hardly a valued asset considering how infrequently I hit my targets compared to my more melee-aligned allies.
After playing for a while and realizing that I had created Ammudien wrong but not willing to delete the toon, I retired Ammudien the Cleric and created a new character, a Dwarf Paladin named Riorik Skullbasher. Considering I had created Ammudien the Cleric like he was a fighter instead of a caster, using a more melee type character seemed like an ideal character for me. As a paladin, Riorik could get up close and personal during melee fights but still had healing spells and excellent spells for dealing with the undead. It seemed like a great fit in both worlds.
I loved playing my pally but watched my friends do some amazing things with other classes. Eventually, I got to a point where I wanted to create another character. This was one a Wood-Elf Ranger named Nordahs Tsonrevlis, which is something of an anagram for my friend's character my Ranger was modeled after, Shadron Silvernost. Shadron was a very well known and effective Ranger on our server and it made me aspire to make Nordahs equally effective though less well known. For as social as MMOs encourage players to be, I am just about as antisocial in MMOs as I am in real life.
Over the years and across multiple MMOs Riorik, Ammudien, and Nordahs have lived many different lives (World of Warcraft, Everquest II, Guild Wars 2, Anarchy Online, Eve Online, Earth & Beyond, Dark Age of Camelot, Star Wars Galaxies, Lord of the Rings Online, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Elder Scrolls Online, and more). Bjiki, Asbin, Wuffred, and many other names that appear through my books have lived in the digital world of MMOs for many years before being integrated into my written stories. Seeing how many of my stories were inspired by the games I played or are echos of my online adventures with my friends, it only seemed fitting to use the names of my characters that existed in those worlds too.
Sometimes character names get banned in MMOs because they are pop culture references or references of characters in history but I did things a bit backwards. I created my characters in the MMOs long before they existed anywhere else. Who knows, maybe one day The Ascension Legacy series will get so popular that the GMs will try to make me change my characters names. Hopefully, if I can prove to them that I'm the author behind those name, I will be allowed to keep them but if not it just means I will get to create new names for new stories in the future. :-)
Who knows, maybe someone out there reading this will recognize one of my character names from an MMO.
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Buy your copy of The Ascension Legacy - Book 1: The Shamed Ranger at
Barnes & Noble: https://bit.ly/3gMKxCc
Also available as eBook
Buy your copy of The Ascension Legacy - Book 2: A Legend Confirmed at
Barnes & Noble: https://bit.ly/3cL5meW
Also available as eBook