Becoming a Person – Roleplay in MMOs

I’ve been anxiously awaiting the first open beta weekend for Guild Wars 2. I’m not embarrassed to admit that I’m like a little kid waiting for Christmas or their birthday; that “first love” period is part of what I love about gaming. I’ve decided to roll a Necromancer as main, as I’d played that class in GW1 and very much enjoyed it. She’s beginning to come together in my head as her own person, which is a necessary step for me in order to play a character on a longterm basis. Kitsune, my hunter in Warcraft, was a person to me as soon as I created her. My Sith Inquisitor Ravven was another – I know who she is, how she speaks, what she thinks.

My Necromancer probably be another Ravven – I tend to always play versions of the same names. Human, as their city is amazing and the elite skill Hounds of Balthazar would be awesome – concept art to the right. (‘ll do a Charr ranger as well, and then Asura and Sylvari, professions undecided, at a later point.)

As in the first Guild Wars, it is almost impossible to build anything other than a very pretty, very young character, so the physical choices are going to need a lot of time. Hey, it’s my favourite part of character creation! Give me face sliders and tons of hairstyles, and I can spend hours on it. But I’m thinking medium build, short, with pale eyes and either black or red long hair. Normally I quite like dark-skinned characters, but for this one I’m thinking pale. Something that would be ethereal if she didn’t like playing with dead things so much. I love white hair, but it needs dark skin to set it off unless you’re going for an albino look.

As you know, during the character creation process there are a number of questions to answer which will provide the foundation for the character’s personal storyline. This is what I am thinking about choosing for Ravven.

1. I was raised:

  • Commoner (“by common folk”) – I was raised among the common folk of Divinity’s Reach. We’re the working class, the cogs that keep the city running. I help out at tavern owned by my friends, Andrew and his daughter Petra.
  • Nobility (“among the nobility”) – I grew up among the nobles, including my friend Lord Faren, who can trace their ancestry back to ancient kings. I received an excellent education, am well versed in courtly graces, and understand the responsibility that comes with privilege.
  • Street Rat (“in the streets”) – I grew up poor, on the streets, living hand to mouth. Every day was a challenge, but like I tell my ol’ buddy Quinn, “If it doesn’t kill you, it makes you stronger.” I’ve worked hard to change my luck, but I’ve still got a long way to go.

I was thinking Street Rat for her. I like the idea of her coming from nowhere and using her unique talents to make her way in the world. My only consideration is that your home instance reflects this choice, and although a slum would fit in the beginning, she will rise above her humble beginnings.

2. One of my biggest regrets is that:

  • Unknown Parents (“I’ve never searched for my true parents”) – When I was an infant, I was abandoned at an orphanage. A kind couple adopted me and became my family. However, I’ve always wondered about my real parents.
  • Dead Sister (“I never recovered my sister’s body”) – My sister was a Seraph. Centaurs killed her while she was out on patrol. They never recovered her body, and it has always bothered me.
  • Missed Opportunity (“I passed up an opportunity to perform in the circus”) – When I was young, I had the opportunity to perform in the circus, but I turned it down. To this day, I’m sorry I didn’t leap at the chance.

This is a no-brainer, even though the choice may bite me later on. The first two are cliche roleplaying backgrounds, and the third? Well, really – who wouldn’t want to join the circus? Not only was it my prime ambition as a child, if I had the chance to run away with the circus now, I’d jump at it.

3. Everyone said I was blessed by _ when I was young.

“Grenth is the god of darkness, ice and death. His acolytes know that the veil between the worlds is thin. Death does not frighten me. Even the darkest nights give me comfort because Grenth watches over me.” Not going to list the other choices, because she’s a frickin’ necromancer.

4. A necromancer’s closest companion is death. In acknowledgement of this, I mark my face with the symbol of a _.

  • Trickster Demon – Trickster demons from the Mists find ways to enter our world to tear it apart. I, too, am a destructive force, and all shall fear me.
  • Skull – I respect the traditions of necromancers that have gone before me. I mark my face with the symbol of a skull to remind me that even the greatest die eventually.
  • Ghostly Wraith – A wraith is a creature of energy, and its cunning helps it elude its enemies. What you cannot see… can kill you.

I wish I knew what the implication of each choice would be. Hopefully some stat changes, and not just a butt-ugly tattoo that you can’t see until you’ve made the choice. But I’m thinking Ghostly Wraith, as she is cunning and subtle.

Many of my characters tend to be a certain type – say what you will about me personally, loner characters just resonate with me. One of my favourite World of Darkness characters was based on the baby “cleaner” Matilda from Leon/The Professional, all grown up. Kitsune was scarred from incarceration and torture during a war, and afterwards lived by herself in the woods of Azshara with her animal companion. Ravven the Inquisitor was amusing and sarcastic, but no one ever gets inside to see the real person. I suppose they’re all reflections of myself in some way.

I am so very much looking forward to this. :)


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