What's up with character names (in BL2 at least)?

There are like 3 different names your character is referred to and none of that seems consistent?
At least in BL2. I am just wondering whether there is any logic to it that I have missed.

a) The name of the character representing its class (e.g. Axton, Maya, Salvador, Zer0 etc.)
This “class” name seems used most frequently through the game, although in most cases the game refers to the character as “Vault Hunter”.

b) In the piercing station / customization booth you can assign a personal name to your character. I suppose this is useful if you have many characters of the same class. But this name doesn’t seem to be used anywhere else other than in the piercing station or the character selection menu.

c) In the in-game map (and the party management menus), the gamertag is used instead.

I can see a bit why this is like that, e.g. you do want to have archetypical characters for each class to give context and story around them, so that’s why you have a).
Since a player can have multiple characters, you need a way to distinguish them. So essentially b) is more of a label like that.
For multiplayer it makes no sense for the map to show 3 Salvadors and 1 Maya or something, but the b) names are probably meaningless for the players who choose their session buddies based on gamertag. So that’s why we have c).

Still, I am wondering if that could not have been solved more elegantly…

Understand, but they do make sense.

The vast majority of players only play one or maybe two playthroughs (based on public achievement stats), and they are the most likely to not customize since they’ll never be confused as to who is who.

As you mentioned, organization. I have 83 characters on Xbox, for example, and if I couldn’t uniquely identify them I’d go nuts.

Gamertag is the can’t be hacked (for some value of “can’t”) identifier to protect players from being impersonated for whatever reason. Maybe you just don’t like playing with HandsomeJoe123 cuz he’s a loot ninja, so you can always see it’s really Joe, and Joe can’t impersonate someone else to sneak into your game.
My thoughts.
–RoA

2 Likes

Also if you have your game open, you can see if the siren joining your game is someone you know or not. (And - if you know them - which one of your friends is playing siren today) That’s helpful because you’re much more likely to know the names of your friends than what they named their characters - especially the ones like @RavenOfArisia who have so many to chose from!

Those are the names of the characters in the story. The class names are Commando, Siren, Gunzerker, Assassin etc., as can be seen when one starts a new character.

The game has dialogue options for different characters. The NPCs’ lines do not change, Moxxie flirts with everyone and Tannis gives every player a standing offer for her bed. Therefore they simply used ‘Vault Hunter’ as a catch-all form of address.

These are already answered but:

Your personal name, the one you can punch in yourself is to differentiate your own characters from each other. If you have, say three level 80 Axtons the name on the list is the only thing you could really use to easily tell them apart.

Gamertag is kind of obvious because the game can be played in multiplayer. If you 3 players on commando, using their gamerhandle is the easy way to tell them apart. Technically I guess the personal name could’ve been used here too but at least in my case I’d be running around with Zero’s with such cool names as “sniper, melee, co-op” etc. and also you’d see the handle of whoever joined your game anyway so I think it’s a better solution to use that.

The first one you mention is just the canonical name of the character. They don’t see much use in BL2 as everyone tends to get the same voicelines and therefore the catch-all call of “Vault Hunter” but they are used in some recordings and at least one case of an NPC yelling at Salvador in one of the DLCs. These names are also used in other BL games where these characters are used or mentioned.

1 Like