This feels awfully authoritative to me. Where are you getting the assertion that names of Zalanthas should be several syllables? Why do you feel we should be using names that have some basis in real life culture so you can ascertain meaning from them?
Good question! Well very few cultures appreciate short names. Short names relate to like American Cowboy culture, which is an almost quintessentially American thing. I think American game designers sometimes have a skewed perspective because America is so very different from the entire rest of the world in a few odd ways. It's odd when Arm is like America in those specific ways, because it makes the game feel weird. People are welcome to debate whether Allanak is more like Byzantium, or whether Tuluk is more like Cairo, or whether Red Storm is supposed to be like Timbuktu...I'd value people's thoughts on this. But the short name thing is just flat out wrong.
...however the game is mostly played by Americans. And sometimes shorthand is just plain handy. The popular phrase, "Tek's balls!" needs to roll off the tongue, it doesn't have the same ring as "Tektolones testicles!" But if you want to use shorthand, at least giving a nod to longer names is appreciated. Tektolnes is a longer game. Muk-Utep is...at least proper. Bill and Joe and Bob are just too short. It doesn't *feel* right. Quetzelquatl and Narolethotep are much more appropriate.
Should the game use a synthetic language rather than a real one? Possibly, I just doubt personally that the game has the resources to pull it off correctly. At best we could mimic Esperanto or something, but even Esperanto sounds a lot like Spanish. I'd just rather have Spanish at that point, if you see what I mean. I don't think Spanish would be universally acceptable, because a lot of people would be thinking Cheech Marin rather than the Conquistadors or the Inquisition. Spielberg did about the best of anyone at constructing fantasy languages for Star Wars, but he's also a creative genius who had linguists on staff. Arm doesn't have anything like that.
I tried playing with some of the synthetic language in the game, i.e. the SLK language, and it was a wash. I've avoided calling too much attention to this because I'm aware of the hard work that went into this, it just isn't working out though.
Are there times when shorter names and terser communications are appropriate? Sure. I'd imagine that in-game military commands and codes and nicknames would be shorter because of the nature of the communications. I have real life sailing experience, and sailing terminology (which comes from Old English) is terse because a lot of things need to happen at once.
...and sometimes Old Fashioned names are just plain short. If I recall, the Egyptian sun god is Ra. Simply Ra. Why is it so short when a King's name is Tutenkamen? It just simply is.
Names should tell a story. I want to understand the story.
I tried throwing a bit of French into my last character...which I wasn't happy with because I felt that for your average player won't be aware of the brutality associated with things like the French Legion, the gritty parts of French Colonialism, French piracy or colonial-era French prisons. French will likely be too floral for a modern audience. I'm glad that I tried but I don't think French is the way to go.
Lots of in-game references reference the Levant of antiquity, which might be the way to go, not that I think FW's suggestion of Norse names is bad at all. I just wanted to see what other people thought because I'm aware of the fact that some of the playerbase are soldiers returning from Arabic countries, and might not be all that happy with Arabic references. At one time we had a strong Turkish contingency of players, and they might not be happy with a casual treatment of Turkish. Other players opinions are important to me.
The unique name thing is bothersome but can be easily corrected. It's not that Bill and Joe and John are terrible, but it should probably be more Vilhelm and Yoseff and Yonas.
And what about players that have a different idea? Fine, if it passes staff approval it's okay with me. How about people who don't have the time or interest to learn a smattering of Arabic? That's fine too. This would be meant to improve game atmosphere for people who are interested in playing it, not to ruin the experience of people who weren't feeling it.