Do people still name their stuff, assuming you are playing in 1.8 or later? You are basically wasting XP if you do since after 6 repairs or other operations in an anvil it becomes too expensive to repair anything (you could rename while repairing it the first time but why bother when you'll need to replace it in a few days, unless it is something you don't use often).
That said, at one time I ran around with an Efficiency V, Fortune III, Unbreaking III diamond pickaxe named "Super Pickaxe" (as this is the most OP pickaxe you make in Survival), mining everything with it while caving, even stone (when you get as much XP as I do the 37 level cost for a partial repair with 1 diamond is nothing; I repaired it well over 100 times, 2-3 times a day). Nowadays I just use a "Mining Pickaxe" with Efficiency V and Unbreaking III (the last time I played I mined 3,500 coal ore alone, so you can figure that Fortune is an extravagance that actually hinders me; I also found 44 diamond ore so I clearly don't need it for them either).
The person who taught me to play Minecraft "properly" brainwashed me into -never- using diamonds in crafting (Because using them is wasting them, iron works just as good)
Many of my (old) worlds have lots and lots of diamonds, yet still there I am running around using iron armor + tools. It's now a common joke that my horses have better armor than me >->'
So, the day I made my first diamond pick, I felt awful. Unclean. Corrupted. It just seemed... wrong.
In order to get over these strong feelings of shame, I decided it'd be for the best if I gave it a name that'd avoid referring to the fact I had used actual diamonds to create it. After thinking long and hard, it finally came to me. Tooth. The pick should be named Tooth.
Said and done. The pick is now named Tooth.
(And yes, I've gotten better since. These days I'm able to make diamond items without feeling like I've stolen candy from a baby xP)
hello all. old topic i know, but i found it via google search, so i thought i'd update and make my own little guide to contribute as well as update to the newest information.
first of all, on topic: i named mine Enabran. many people might choose a name that has no, or little meaning. or name it after a pet or a significant other, etc. or they may choose a name that is a bit too 'on the nose'. like a libertarian going by the alias "bob freeman". so... after careful consideration i thought "what is the diamond pickaxe MOST useful for?" and honestly, the only thing that a diamond axe can do uniquely is mine obsidian. a favorite show of mine is DS9. Enabran Tain, head of the Obsidian Order. there you have it.
now to answer the question of WHY bother to spend XP on renaming. every time you repair an item on the anvil, it has a 'previous use penalty'. so every time you repair it, the cost goes up. since there is an experience CAP on item repairs and enchantments, it doesn't take long to realize that all that time and resources spent making the axe in the first place will be nearly wasted when you can no longer repair it.
i too asked the question why bother to name an item. especially in the days before enchanting items cost lapis lasuli. everyone does youtube videos about how to build things with redstone or how to get this enchantment or do that thing. but not much is said on item repair. i think it's because everyone just takes the game at face value, and because of Mojang's love of nerfing things and making things unnecessarily difficult, we assume that they wouldn't leave us something beneficial. so we go "oh- what a nice little option - name my pickaxe at the cost of experience" and our bias forces us to refuse to believe that it's not worth much more than a vanity license plate.
but there is a reason to name your items. if you intend to make a powerful item, before you do anything else, you should give it a name first. because naming an item either totally negates rework penalty, or at least mitigates it some. even with the survival mode level cap, creating an item, naming it, enchanting it, and then using the anvil to place mending on it, creates a god level item that now lasts forever, supposing you don't lose it in the lava. you can continue to use the anvil then to place additional enchanted books onto the item until it reaches the too expensive level. but not a problem, because once you have mending then you should never have a reason to worry about repairing an item again. if you're fool enough to let it break instead of fixing it, then that's nobody's fault but yours. i personally spent a week farming villagers and weeding out non-librarians until i finally got one that sold mending. it's worth the effort to never have to keep going back and repairing or replacing a beloved item. and if you use host privileges, you can allow players to keep their items when they die, so you don't even have to worry about losing it to the lava. be warned though- it's considered a cheat and your leader boards will be disabled, letting everyone know that it's basically a creative world. i personally choose vanilla mode, even though i hate the rain and would enable host privileges just to get rid of it. but it's important to me to know that my world was 'pure'
but there is a reason to name your items. if you intend to make a powerful item, before you do anything else, you should give it a name first. because naming an item either totally negates rework penalty, or at least mitigates it some.
This was removed in 1.8, prior to which renaming an item was indeed the best thing you could do, enabling your items to last forever (as long as you never lost them), but now it does nothing at all, not even affecting the prior work penalty (prior to 1.9 it would increase the penalty like any other operation; even before 1.8 it would increase it to 2 if it was previously less, but it would never increase further).
leave it to mojang to nerf anything useful. this seriously pisses me off. they should change the function if they want to make it more difficult, instead of stripping the meaning. like, requiring a wither skull or something in order to give it a name, is a good price to pay, but proffers a good benefit. if i go to the trouble of making a killer sword and call it Excalibur then there should be some special benefit to it that gives meaning to the naming.