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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » How do you relate to your characters in an MMORPG?

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41 posts found
  makkaal

Novice Member

Joined: 2/26/12
Posts: 49

4/05/12 7:19:10 PM#21
Originally posted by Jaedor

...

I never forget I'm looking through a window (monitor) into a world of pixels. ... 

One of the things I noticed early on about MMOs is that they are great mirrors. We get to be anonymous and can play out fantasies of every kind, yet our personal habits and biases show through all the time. Not so easy to take the person out of the avatar and vice versa. Fun stuff to contemplate. :)

Exactly my point. Immersion in this case isn't broken by mere technological boundaries, such as a monitor - if you're excited by the events a character in a book experiences you wouldn't say "I'm forgetting where I am", you're still imagining the story, the looks, the voices. You're sharing the protagonist's emotions, you're immersed

It's the same with games. But when I say my character isn't myself but more, it's what you said in your last paragraph - I experience a different "me". Very nice way of putting it, Jaedor.

Let me point out that, in fact, I couldn't care less about these first world problems. I'm just having fun.

  Axehilt

Novice Member

Joined: 5/09/09
Posts: 7213

4/05/12 7:26:24 PM#22

I guess I view the parts of the game for what they really are.  My actions and chat are really me, but the character clearly isn't me.  So I voted "puppet master".

  User Deleted
4/05/12 7:27:09 PM#23
Originally posted by melangel
Originally posted by Boatsmate

I always wonder which type the players  who are very interested in ,"Can you be evil?" in games are. Are these the people who rudley shove their car in front of yours at a parking place ? Or is it really mild-mannered people acting out a fantasy of being the opposite of their real personalities?

I don't want to dominate this whole thread here but I think you bring up a very good question. I asked myself this recently in regards to the idea of playing World of Darkness MMO. Since I know how I am when I play, I didn't think I could possibly play a character that was so violent and so alien to my nature. But then I realised it was a matter of perspective really though my son was the one who helped me realise that. I told him I liked the game but didn't feel I could just randomly kill people for no reason. He said, listen to what you just said keeping in mind you play games and tell me how silly that sounds. So I thought about it and realised he's right. I'm a gamer and  am quite happily to kill xyz mob to get a piece of cloth to sew a hat. I'm not really sure how noble a reason that is if I think about it. Not very if I'm honest. So I read up about it and began to see that doing the same act but for the sake of survival is something else entirely. So now I can have some empathy for the situation and empathy isn't an emotion that is alien to me in real life. Small connection to self, but connection none the less.  You ask, Can you be evil? I couldn't be an evil vampire . It's not about other people's perception of my character, it's about my perception of my character.  Some people just PLAY that way. No matter what game that's just how some people are. I say ARE because I see it either as an extension of who they are or a part of themselves they supress. Maybe it makes them feel good to be bad I dunno.

I know what you mean as when i played the PNP WOD game i played several of the clans, and the clan i synced with the best was the fiends, and they are largely one of the most alien clans in the vampire culture. Though i also came to understand that good and evil are very perspectively based, and so as you said it is not how you are viewed by the world, but by how you view yourself that matters. I have always thought that many people are only preceved as being evil, and in truth are acting in a noble as well as good fashion based on their own perception of what they are doing. I would ask not if you can be evil, but if you can fathom that to some you will be seen as evil instead. Saddly i could not vote as i play as well as function as those, based on the many levels of the way i play in games, from guild actions, to group play, and even in role playing they all are different ways of me relating to the game as well as character.

  User Deleted
4/05/12 7:36:40 PM#24
Originally posted by Asuran24

I know what you mean as when i played the PNP WOD game i played several of the clans, and the clan i synced with the best was the fiends, and they are largely one of the most alien clans in the vampire culture. Though i also came to understand that good and evil are very perspectively based, and so as you said it is not how you are viewed by the world, but by how you view yourself that matters. I have always thought that many people are only preceved as being evil, and in truth are acting in a noble as well as good fashion based on their own perception of what they are doing. I would ask not if you can be evil, but if you can fathom that to some you will be seen as evil instead. Saddly i could not vote as i play as well as function as those, based on the many levels of the way i play in games, from guild actions, to group play, and even in role playing they all are different ways of me relating to the game as well as character.

 I can't just answer that off the top of my head. I'll have to think about it.  BUT I think it's a super question. Definately food for thought!

P.S. Just as a side note, I have never joined an RP guild. I've thought about it but ones who have approached me in the past have had way too much structure for me. Which is why I don't like themeparks much also. I've played on RP servers and non RP servers and  I play the same way on either server.

  BartDaCat

Advanced Member

Joined: 7/07/04
Posts: 818

Gamer Forums, where "First World Problems" are our specialty!

4/05/12 7:46:26 PM#25

Now this is a fun thread.

I've never been much for getting into a particular game's rule set for "role playing", but given the two scenarios that the original poster presented, I'd say that I'm a combination of the two, given only those two choices to work from.

Considering the plethora of games that use the (to coin a term) "themepark" model, I tend to look at the templates (classes) I'm given, come up with a concept of what sort of character would be that particular class, and I breathe life into them. In other words, I seek out a personaility to enliven them with. This would probably be some unconscious extension of myself, if I saw myself as that particular class/role.

For example, when I created a warlock in World of Warcraft, I used the Warcraft lore as a reference, and made my warlock an Orc. I wanted him to be tainted by the demonic influences that had originally corrupted the Orcs on their home world, but still work within the confines of a Horde faction that was straying away from being a part of the Burning Legion.

I gave my warlock dark skin, a forked beard, and red, glowing eyes. Then I chose a name that was heavily influenced by pre-existing characters from Warcraft lore, primarily Ner'Zhul and Gul'Dan, the first Orcs swayed by Kil'Jaeden on Draenor.

 

 

 

 

 

Images of Ner'Zhul courtesy of WoW-Wiki.

As my warlock progressed in levels, I made sure to find ways to keep his countenance somewhat in the realm of "evil" and "corrupted".  If there was a mount that exuded a dark aura or looked particularly menacing, I'd aquire it and ride it.  I'd seek out weapons and off-hand items that fit his overall character, and try to use them for as long as I could without gimping my character, mainly for appearance.

When I played my warlock, I'd work my hardest to find the best rotations and class builds in order to make his name stand out in prominence on our server, because I wanted him to be known for his destructive prowess.  If I went up against another player's warlock and they bested me in PvP (or DPS if they were of the same faction), I'd be sure to be respectful, and contact them for advice on their build for new ideas.

In this way, I rose my character to notoriety, and if I joined pick-up groups on my server, they would invite me without question because they trusted that I knew how to play.

This is but one example of how I bring my characters to life in the MMOGs that I play.

I try to envision what sort of person that character would be, and ask myself: What would they look like?  What sort of name speaks to other players and tells them, "That name suits that class"?  What theme would their wardrobe follow to embody everything that the character is about?

I feel that if I'm going to invest a considerable amount of time into a character in a MMOG, then I'm going to find a way to enjoy my escapism to the fullest extent.  However, I don't necessarily follow the conventions of true "role play" by speaking as that character.  In this way, there is still a part of myself that people relate to, but everything that goes into creating my character for that particular game is derived from a template given to me by the game, and the source of my own imagination.

 

  makkaal

Novice Member

Joined: 2/26/12
Posts: 49

4/05/12 7:47:04 PM#26
Originally posted by Asuran24

I know what you mean as when i played the PNP WOD game i played several of the clans, and the clan i synced with the best was the fiends, and they are largely one of the most alien clans in the vampire culture.

Oh, sweet exoticism. Another major reason for roleplaying. Experience something you'll never know.

Though i also came to understand that good and evil are very perspectively based, and so as you said it is not how you are viewed by the world, but by how you view yourself that matters.

At least that's what you get with good fiction. Or good storytelling in general. Having a thought out motivation for your story's adversary is a huge quality enhancer for any plot, and a thought out motivation usually means "there's no black and white"/"nobody is truly evil".

I have always thought that many people are only preceved as being evil, and in truth are acting in a noble as well as good fashion based on their own perception of what they are doing. I would ask not if you can be evil, but if you can fathom that to some you will be seen as evil instead. [...]

When did this become a discussion about ethics? I love this! Such a pity it's so late over here.

Let me point out that, in fact, I couldn't care less about these first world problems. I'm just having fun.

  makkaal

Novice Member

Joined: 2/26/12
Posts: 49

4/05/12 7:50:10 PM#27
Originally posted by BartDaCat

*snip*

I LOVE THIS! Please play in my Pen&Paper group! No, you know what, come over to Europe this summer to LARP with my friends and me, we need people like you. ^_^

(Urgh, I just realized the American LARP is even nerdier than the European way of doing it. At least our weapons LOOK the part.)

Let me point out that, in fact, I couldn't care less about these first world problems. I'm just having fun.

  User Deleted
4/05/12 8:24:57 PM#28

Several of my favorite villians, and games are as fallows. Shining force 2 wiith Oddeye the blind arch-demon swordsmen that desired to be like the heros, but could not break free of his destiny as a high ranking member of the forces of darkness, and in his dying moments actually told the player how he hoped to come back as a mere human if that would allow him to be like the. Many of the plot, as well as characters in Xenogears were very perception based, and many times were never truly evil in any regard such as ID. In legend of Dragoon LLoyd was a great villian that soought only to bring back the glory of his people, and was manipulated by powers beyond him into doing thgns that were not of his desires.

  User Deleted
4/05/12 9:21:38 PM#29

YOu also have those players that see their character as some form of either the perfection f who they want to be, such as a largely submissive person creating a truly dominant character that commands respect as well as controls those around them. As well as players that want to see how they would maybe be in the darker more uncivilized past, crafting a more commoner or nobility persona in the world. I mean many talk about becoming some no-nname person in the world that is part of the backdrop of the world, but to some others they want to be thatn noblemen or such in the world of the past as best as they can. So you have players that do not see the character as an extention or a puppetm but as a way of lving out dreams or experince in a way times they may never be able to.

  Unlight

Novice Member

Joined: 12/10/08
Posts: 2586

4/05/12 9:27:30 PM#30

My characters are actors in a play I'm directing.  They are not me ... nor would I want them to be.

  MindTrigger

Advanced Member

Joined: 12/19/07
Posts: 2628

 
OP  4/05/12 9:40:55 PM#31

Thanks for all the posts.  This has turned out to be a very fruitful discussion for me.  

I purposely made my poll crude because I knew I would get some interesting answers, and I didn't want to try to guess what they would be.  From the perspective of putting myself into a category here, my view of games is very straight forward for me.  I project myself into the game world, and my character is basically "me" with varying degrees of flavor or spice thrown in.  I only play games where this is possible, so FPS games and MMO games are all I play.  Other games simply don't appeal to me.  I've always loved the concepts of virtual reality, the Star Trek holodeck, lucid dreaming and other projections of myself into an artificial construct.

I'll say this.  If a game experience is really good, I can easily lose track of where I am and how much time is passing.  It is as if the construct of reality around my monitor goes away along with everything else outside of my gaming experience.  Yes, I can snap out of it at will, but more importantly, I can let myself sink into it pretty damned deep.  

This does depend on the game though.  My biggest complaint about themepark games is that they simply rob me of this experience by not letting me forge my own adventure.  The structured and contrived nature of today's MMOs don't hold a candle to what is really possible here.  I see people make fun of Star Wars Galaxies all the time here, and while it was often buggy and broken, those who loved it didn't care.  It offered much more to the imagination than any game I've played since, and that means much more than a perfectly polished and scripted experience to me.

 

A sure sign that you are in an old, dying paradigm/mindset, is when you are scared of new ideas and new technology. Don't feel bad. The world is moving on without you, and you are welcome to yell "Get Off My Lawn!" all you want while it happens. You cannot, however, stop an idea whose time has come.

  waynejr2

Hard Core Member

Joined: 4/12/11
Posts: 3739

RIP City of Heroes!

4/06/12 12:36:07 AM#32
Originally posted by MindTrigger
Originally posted by waynejr2
Originally posted by MindTrigger

How do you relate to your characters in an MMORPG? I've found that people generally fall into two different categories, and there may even be more.  I'd like to know what you all think.

Here's the two camps people seem to fall into:

1) My character is a direct representation of me or an aspect of me.  In other words, I project myself directly into the character, and play as if I am the one who is interacting with the virtual world. 

2) I'm sort of a "puppet master" who is controlling a character who has little or nothing at all to do with my real life person other than my preferneces for the character's design.  In other words, I am not projecting myself into the character, but I am driving it.

Both aspects are interesting.  I personally fall under #1, and I suspect the origins of that come from the fact that I played FPS shooters for years and years prior to getting into MMO games.  In fact, when I played my first MMO game, Star Wars Galaxies, I remember insisting that I played in First Person view because going into 3rd person view made me feel disconnected from what was essentially my avatar. I find that by projecting myself into my character, the game world can become much more interactive and interesting.   The 'puppet master' aspect doesn't appeal to me in the least. In years since I have learned to enjoy playing in both first and third person perspectives without compromising my immersion as self.

One funny side-effect of my view of gaming was that I used to not understand why any guy would roll a female character.  I didn't get it at all (sexual preference aside).  Once I started to understand that some people see themselves more like "drivers" of a character rather than the character themselves, it made more sense.  I suspect the differences in these two camps also drives other misunderstandings in MMO games between people, but who knows?

This can be a very complex subject.  I've been a fan of VR since graduating high school in 1990, and I'm also a technology pro.  Ray Kurweil brings up some interesting thoughts on this subject, and has a female avatar he uses in Second Life as a symbol of self-reinvention through technology. In that case, he falls into camp #1 above, but with additional complexities involved.  At any rate, I am curious to hear your opinions on this, and how you mentally and emotionally interact with your characters.

 

Added Poll.

 

You think you can dissect us with that blunt instrument?

Actually, I quite clearly invited you to express your thoughts on the matter as others here have.  I did say that I've noticed people fall into two camps, and I said there are probably others.  The only one I can really speak about is camp #1, which is how I feel about gaming.  In fact some of the posts here have already added quite a bit to my OP.  Care to engage? 

A player character to use an ancient term, is not an extension of me or at least not on purpose.  In pen and paper role playing games, the character tends to grow in relation to intereactions in the game.  Characters come and go and I don't suffer any emotional reaction to their perma-death.  That doesn't mean I can't have fun with them in their game world it's just that they don't hold any importance as it's just a game.  I also don't see the puppet idea as a correct viewpoint for me.  Organic, as much as I hate the term, is more appropriate.

  User Deleted
4/06/12 12:39:55 AM#33

When i play games, i play characters i would never really "be" in real life. I consider myself a highly ethical person so when i play games i tend to make characters that actually aren't fitting into this category.

I don't like butchering in RL but i played hunters and rogues with these abilities in game.

I don't steal but i've played rogues and enjoy pick pocketing.

When i played ADnD around the table with friends i would play clerics mostly because at the time i was truly naive and innocent so it seemed to fit, however when i started playing mmo's i discovered it was more fun to lose myself completely in a role i could never be in RL.

 

  StonesDK

Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/06/11
Posts: 1839

4/06/12 6:07:03 AM#34

I have never been able to relate to a single character I have ever played in a game

 

The way my brain automatically process playing a character is like having control over an "actor" in an openended movie. He may make the same moral choices I would make he may not. However he is not me and I do not see him as my alter ego

  Dissolution

Novice Member

Joined: 3/24/12
Posts: 210

Crowded elevators smell different to midgets.

4/06/12 8:48:50 AM#35

In real life, just like my characters:

* I regularly lash out at trolls, even if not the first targetted. I do not hesitate to sneak attack.
* If trash mobs come to my door attempting to deter me in my present quest (i.e. Jehovah Witnesses, Vacuum salesman) I will AOE their ass in a hot second
* I have a high resistence towards charm affects (i.e. telemarketers, vacuum salesman)
* I often pull agro from my wife when said mobs attack (i.e. telemarketers, jehovah witnesses and vacuum salesman)
* I like to collect mounts (Jeep and Harley guy)
* I like to pick locks and set traps (my neighbors hate this)
* I carry a torch with me in case someone turns lights off (who doesnt though, just saying)
* When i accomlish something substantial at work I scream "DING", and expect everyone to say "gratz" or something to that effect

Heck, the list goes on and on.

  MumboJumbo

Hard Core Member

Joined: 7/18/10
Posts: 3203

Veni, Vidi, Converti

4/06/12 9:43:42 AM#36
Originally posted by Alders

I ask myself, what would Jack Burton do?

It's all in the reflexes.

lol.

I find the combat most fun as a puppet master. Always laugh in movies when the bad guy relies on underhand secret tricks!

For story, a mix of char's biography and my own ideas.

  Loktofeit

Elite Member

Joined: 1/13/10
Posts: 12401

Currently playing EVE, SMITE, ArcheAge, and Combat Arms

4/06/12 9:50:00 AM#37

Depends on the game. The more freedom of choice and social interaction, the more the character is like me. In a game like SWTOR, though, I put the character on the same level as Pac Man or the white blob you control at the bottom of the screen in Space Invaders - it's just the tool I'm using to complete my objectives.

"And wikipedia is as accurate as Britannica. Wikipedia is very reliable. You would be hard pressed to find a more reliable source for these kinds of things." -fivoroth

  Beatnik59

Advanced Member

Joined: 11/23/05
Posts: 2235

"Playing things I shouldn''t be playing since 1977."

4/06/12 4:58:04 PM#38

To me, the greatest privilege and greatest accomplishment I can have in an MMO is to create a memorable character; one that enhances everyone else's immersion and fun.  To do this, I have to break out of myself, because I'm not someone who is typically "memorable."  I also have to be able to act the part, and that's the best thing about character creation: you get to create a personality from the ground up, jump into Castronova's "magic circle," and test it out.

I had two main characters in Star Wars Galaxies.  One was a tall dancer who was a socialite and an Imperial.  The other one was almost exactly the opposite: a short green Rodian smuggler and a Rebel.  I kind of figured out who these characters were by simply playing them...the more I did it, the more developed they became.

This is why I miss chatting in spatial, and the down time we used to have in these games.  You only really figure out what you've got in a character when you can chat it up with another character.  That's when you invent the backstory, see how you might fit in with other characters, and build up stories.

I loved both, but neither character was "me" per se.  I felt they had their own lives, and it was up to me to ensure they lived their (virtual) lives to the fullest by directing them well.

The only other two games where I ever had a deep roleplay experience were EVE and City of Heroes. EVE was alright, but it isn't a very intuitive roleplaying platform. City of Heroes was very good, but only because I got in with a roleplay group on the Virtue server. ?

__________________________
"Its sad when people use religion to feel superior, its even worse to see people using a video game to do it."
--Arcken

"...when it comes to pimping EVE I have little restraints."
--Hellmar, CEO of CCP.

"It's like they took a gun, put it to their nugget sack and pulled the trigger over and over again, each time telling us how great it was that they were shooting themselves in the balls."
--Exar_Kun on SWG's NGE

  Classicstar

Advanced Member

Joined: 12/02/04
Posts: 2540

4/06/12 5:09:48 PM#39

I roleplay my character as lore say it dont reflect at all what im in realy life.

So i play strange fanatasy avatars of any kind a beast or a human a wolf or lizard a midget or giant or a female or male it dont matter to me.

Im fat, ugly, longhair beard, old and single white male in my dark smelly basement and disgusting so im always trying to be ADONIS ATHELETE AND CASANOVA ingame :D

MB:MSI Z97XPOWER AC
CPU:Intell Icore7 4790k
GPU:MSI 2x AMD 290X
MEMORY:Corsair PLAT.DDR3 1866MHZ 16GB
PSU:Corsair AX1200i
OS:Windows 8.1 64bit

  User Deleted
4/06/12 5:21:21 PM#40
Originally posted by Dissolution

In real life, just like my characters:

* I regularly lash out at trolls, even if not the first targetted. I do not hesitate to sneak attack.
* If trash mobs come to my door attempting to deter me in my present quest (i.e. Jehovah Witnesses, Vacuum salesman) I will AOE their ass in a hot second
* I have a high resistence towards charm affects (i.e. telemarketers, vacuum salesman)
* I often pull agro from my wife when said mobs attack (i.e. telemarketers, jehovah witnesses and vacuum salesman)
* I like to collect mounts (Jeep and Harley guy)
* I like to pick locks and set traps (my neighbors hate this)
* I carry a torch with me in case someone turns lights off (who doesnt though, just saying)
* When i accomlish something substantial at work I scream "DING", and expect everyone to say "gratz" or something to that effect

Heck, the list goes on and on.

LMAO

Ok I admit I do some of that in real life ie aoe trash mobs at my door and my high resistence towards charm effects. I pull agro from my husband (don't have a wife :P) who thinks I am too mean to these people. Truth is, if you are nice they will come back and I don't want that :P Currently planting up a row of rose bushes to stop people from climbing the fence into our garden and helping themselves to stuff  Hoping they get a thorn stuck in their backside.

Thanks for the reminder that life can be as much like games as games can be like life

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