Doll-like possession

Possessed by dolls, the worst fate that could befall anyone.

Ok,  characters aren’t dolls, but they aren’t that far removed. We dress them up and play with them after all.

Warpy over at Blog Azeroth brought up the topic of personality, asking whether or not your characters have distinct and different characteristics of their own. The more I considered it, (helped along with some whispering in my ear by a bunch of very opinionated pixels) the more it resonated.

One of the reasons I’m still playing WoW four years down the line is because of its fantasy element. We are handed a ready made world ripe for experimation on a platter. You want to be a mad scientist but failed miserably at chemisty or perhaps your work requires you to be deadly serious all day but online you are a hyperactive pink haired gnome with a fondness for practical jokes. Whether or not we call roleplay servers home, we all indulge to a degree and so we should. WoW is escapism at its finest. Its not about running away from reality either, for me its about creativity and playing with boundaries. I (the girl sitting at the keyboard) doesn’t flirt, nor am I loud or given to making jokes. Nor would I be comfortable or happy doing those things, thats just not who I am, but my characters…. well they are a different story.

Whenever I create a new character I try and have a clear idea of who they are before I even hit the log in button. Everyone is different and whilst I certainly share some traits with them, they grow and evolve in ways I certainly didn’t invisage at the start.

Erinys for example is a lover not a fighter. Whilst she is more than capable of defending herself, the first smite never belongs to her. Quiet, reserved, her leisure time is spent curled up with a good book or trying to track down some obscure cooking recipe, that whilst sounding fascinating, the ingredient list implies its likely to taste revolting. She is basically a nerd, curiously interested in most things and a collector of all sorts of junk. Her copious baggage contains mysterious potions, enough clothing to dress half an orphanage and all kinds of random bits and bobs which may perhaps one day be necessary, but more than likely will not. However a practicial priest is prepared for everything. Surprisingly enough, she was actually created with the intent of being an evil shadowpriest who would melt faces and mess with people’s minds, but somewhere along the line she had other ideas. Respecced herself holy and has been succouring the weak and sick ever since. Even when I tried to go shadow, she took over at the most unsuitable moments, dropped shadowform and started healing the nearest warrior. So now she stays holy, its simpler that way, although I’m a little scared as to how she will react to dual specs..

Briarrose on the other hand is about as far removed from serious as you can get. Fun loving and bouncy, regardless of spec she spends most of her time outside instances in catform. Intimacy makes her purr and she is often found curled around guildmates and friends, rubbing her head against them. Shes talkative, hyperactive and fond of lying on the walls of Dalaran taking in the sun. Her hobbies include chasing pet rats and pouncing people passing by.

teasel02Teasel however is a bitch, a witch and a demonloving hellspawn. Driven by anger she storms through life burning everyone and everything to cross her path. Caprious and passionate, her closest friend is her Imp. After all her temper tantrums are nothing compared to the netherworld so hes more than happy to ignore the smell of burnt flesh and books thrown at this head.

Taking just these three characters as an example, Erinys never ever kills low levels. Briarrose may but only if they pull her tail or otherwise annoy her. Teasel considers anything attackable fair game. They all prefer different zones, different foods and if given the choice would wear radicially different outfits.

Going back to what I said earlier about everyone doing it to an extent. My boyfriend has no real interest in roleplaying per se, yet all his characters are completely different to both each other and to himself. He’s a software engineer, practical, fond of sci-fi, computers and windsurfing, yet all his characters, all of which are female have very distinct personalities and attitudes. Sure there are some common ground, he hates unfairness and all his constructs reflect that, but for the most part… they are separate beings. His druid is fun and flirty, his warrior an amazonlike bitch always ready with a sharp retort and his gnome, well, his gnome is a gnome fond of pockets, blowing things up and stabbing people in the back. He sees them for what they are, the chance to use your imagination and think outside the box.

As to why we don’t play on a roleplaying server, there are a couple of reasons. Creating a three dimensional character with a history and emotions is one thing, being that all the time is another. I don’t feel raiding suits roleplaying servers, surely the first time I killed Malygos was enough and the thought of being in-character all the time is taking too far for me. Even thought I have clear ideas about who my characters are, when I’m doing something serious like raiding, I am for the most part, me.

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