Creating Multiple Characters in MMORPGs
This can apply to a variety of games, but I am speaking mainly about World of Warcraft as it is the only MMORPG I ever got into.
A discussion I have had on multiple occasions with my friend Jeremiah, I have always been perplexed by his desire to constantly create new characters in World of Warcraft. I understand why those who reach the level cap do so, but he never has. He has never even come close, because instead of continuing with his character that he has barely achieved level 30 with, he abandons him and creates a whole new character to repeat the same repetitive process all over again. For a while, he would get a character to level 20 or 30, and then restart on the same faction. These characters wouldn't differ too greatly from each other, and he ended up going through a lot of the same quests over and over again. Now, World of Warcraft is a fun game and all, one that I sunk over 400 hours into over a few years before quitting months ago, but "kill 10 of random creature" gets repetitive and boring through normal playthrough, so I can't imagine the tediousness of doing the same exact quest multiple times.
I wouldn't care about all this if it didn't directly affect me. I don't remember how many years ago it was exactly (around two or three), but some of my friends and I decided to start World of Warcraft together. It was great when we would all actually play together, but as time passed, the reliability of everyone questing together began to fade, and I slowly started to surpass everyone in level. So what happens when one friend is a higher level than everyone else? That's right! You spend your time repeating all those quests you had already done with your friends who couldn't find time to play before. Of course, this act was purely self-serving, as I merely wanted to get my friends up to my level so I would have an easier time with MY quests. Playing with randoms in any form of gaming can be tricky, and the experience is always more fun and secure when playing with close friends (well, I would hope so). The problem was, my friends would always play just enough so as to only be able to help me with a quest or two before stopping play for a while. Then I would level past them again, and repeat the same quests with them... again. I reached level 60 in early 2009 (maybe 61, don't remember), and playing by myself was just not very fun anymore. If the time spent playing with my friends was done more with us doing new quests in new areas together, as opposed to quests I had already completed in areas I had left long ago, then I probably wouldn't have canceled my subscription. I would probably be level 80 right now!
So, this is where my issue with Jeremiah comes in. He joined us late. Like, really late. Burnell (my main questing partner) and I had already leveled quite a bit. I don't remember what we were at then, but we were months into the game. But hey, that's cool. It's Jeremiah's first character, so we should help him out whenever he needs it. And we did, and just when he started to get a little close to where we were, he started a new character.
"Um, what? You are going to continue your other character still, right? Oh good, okay. Oh wait, you're not? YOU DELETED HIM?!"
This occurred multiple times. I understand the need to try out different characters and classes to get a feel for what you want, but how far do you need to level before deciding to delete a character and start a new one over and over, especially after one of your higher level friends (who was under the impression that you were sticking with this character and would be helping them in the future) just spent a bunch of time helping you out with something immensely boring?
When I told him of my quitting World of Warcraft because I got tired of it and had no one to play with, he suggested I create a new character.
"No," I said.
"Why not?" he asked.
"Because I hate creating new characters in games like this. I have already invested over 400 hours into this character, and I am not going to throw that away to start a new character so I can go through the same bullshit again!"
In all likelihood, even if I were to create a new character, he would only stick with me for so long before abandoning his current character for something new.
He still doesn't get why I'm so against it. But, at least he has finally went with another faction in his latest character. It is the first time he has ever played Horde. Now THAT is something I might be able to get into some day. Playing the opposite side in a game is something I can understand, and is something I often do. While the basic quest structure may remain the same, everything else would feel so fresh and new.
Thankfully, his habit doesn't really work with Spec Ops on Modern Warfare 2. Only 31 more stars to go!