Between 2006 – 2012, much of our gaming research focused on World of Warcraft. During that time, one side project we worked on involved an analysis of over 22,000 guild names in World of Warcraft. We found that a basic grammar was able to parse about 90% of the names. This allowed us to create a Guild Name Generator that used the grammar to create new guild names based on the weighted lexicon. While the lexicon was based on World of Warcraft guild names, we’ve found that the generator produces names that are appropriate for a wide variety of games and game genres.

Description of Guild Name Grammar

The grammar we identified consists of 4 patterns. We will use the following syntax to denote these patterns:

< > denotes parts of speech
[ ] denotes optional elements

  1. Singletons
    – [The] <Noun> / <Adjective>
    – e.g., Chaos, Brutality, The Wicked, The Legion
  2. Simple Noun Phrase
    – [The] <Adjective> <Noun>
    – e.g., Eternal Angels, The Swinging Swords
  3. Complex Noun Phrase
    – [The] <Two Word Adjective> <Noun>
    – e.g., Pretty Pink Gnomes, The Blood Knuckle Pirates
  4. “Of” / “In” Construction
    – [The] <Group Term> of [the] [<Adjective>] <Noun>
    – e.g., Brotherhood of Light, The Army of Dark Night, Gathering of Bloody Blade Fools, Brothers in Arms

This grammar correctly parses about 90% of the unique guild names we gathered. The remaining guild names that fall outside of this grammar tend to be:

  1. Prepositional Phrases
    – The Darkness Within
    – Mad When Wet
  2. Single Letter Names
    – O T C
    – D T A
  3. Uses Pronouns / Verb Phrases
    – I OWN YOU
    – We Eat Allies
  4. Contains Foreign Words
    – La Fleur de Lys

Cases 1 and 2 are excluded by the parser. Currently, case 3 names are excluded if they use a pronoun and case 4 names are erroneously parsed within the weighted lexicon.