A Roleplayer’s Dilemma: Old Character, New Game

Here I go, still backing out of the idea of blogging about things other than games. This is happening mostly because 1. This idea was given to me by a friend. and 2. I don’t have any other ideas at the moment. My good friend Seph asked me a few days ago about my thoughts on taking an old character with you to a new game. This is really only a roleplayer issue. But it is one I face every time I start playing a new MMO. And of course there are several different ways to do it. So, before I get into my thoughts on the matter lets take a look at the different ways it can be done.


Character Moved To A New City

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This is exactly what it sounds like. You keep the exact character you had in a previous game, same personality, same history, same everything. This really only works in modern MMOs as fantasy settings tend to be wildly different from each other and be an entire world. There is often a problem matching up abilities however. Characters often have to learn new skills in this new town because their old ones aren’t available elsewhere. Imagine trying to take an Earth Controller from City of Heroes into The Secret World. You couldn’t. On the other hand though, if you have a beloved character it is good to know they live on even though you don’t play the game where you originally created them.


Same Idea, New Character


Maybe you made a really awesome catboy in The Elder Scrolls Online and you want to take him with you to Guild Wars 2. The Charr and Khajiit aren’t exactly the best fit. Yes, they’re both cats but that is about all they have in common. Still, you could make a Charr who is considered particularly odd. In this case, unlike the first one you can cross settings, genres, and all sorts of boundaries with relative ease. The difference between this method and the first is that your character has no history in the old place they’re from. They’re effectively a brand new person like any other you roll up. This is by far the most common way of bringing characters from one game to the next. It is also widely used by non-roleplayers. The people who are Amazonian Babes no matter what game they’re playing.


Same Name, Obeys Lore


This one is only very slightly different to the one above. But the general idea is that while the character may look the same and have the same name as the previous version they’re a better fit for the lore of the new MMO. This requires that small changes are made to the character to make them fit. Making a Bahmi from Rift into a Norn in Guild Wars 2 for example. Racially speaking they’re sort of close. The big difference is that instead of trying to force your idea into the established world you change your character slightly to make them fit in. A Bahmi turned Norn would be louder and more boastful for example.


Where Do I Fall?

That leaves us with the final question, what are my thoughts on it? Personally, I hate it. In all forms I hate it. As City of Heroes was my favorite MMO it will serve as an example. I once had a friend in CoH who went on to play Champions Online when it launched. He played it as the first type. His character had just moved to a new town. That effectively meant, once City of Heroes went free to play that he could (and did) bounce between the two games on the same characters. This wasn’t too bad. The two games were close enough to each other in a lot of ways that it could be excused. Even though these two were obviously in two different universes. But the whole time I played with this friend I couldn’t help but wonder why he moved his characters from one game to another when he was clearly happy playing them both.

But for me the real issue is with lore. Before I start playing an MMO I dive into wikis, I read up on everything I can so that when it comes time for me to make a character they have a deep connection to the lore of the game. I also never play an MMO I didn’t beta test. I make a character who may or may not make it to live and I get a chance to learn a little bit more about the world that way. So I wouldn’t be able to take my Eth from Rift and put her into ESO as a Redguard. They just wouldn’t work despite the fact that both would be from desert dwelling people and back from the dead.

In the end I suppose the answer is, as with so many views I have, that it is ok for other people to do it but I would never do it myself. Sadly that means that all of my City of Heroes characters are lost to me. I won’t ever play them anywhere else. While that does make me sad, it isn’t something I’m willing to change. Instead I will be happy with the knowledge that they continue on in Paragon City, fighting crime and living life as they always have.


This is day 9 of the Blaugust blogathon! If you don’t already know about it check it out out here.