Tuesday, 1 July 2008

The choices we make

I am currently working my way through the archives over at Mana Battery Bitch, soaking up info that will help me as I level my shadowpriest. The other day I came across this post about how she'd come to choose the class/race combos of her characters.

It reminded me of an article I read somewhere with a very interesting theory on people's choices for their character's looks. Unfortunately, I cannot remember where I read it. However, as far as I remember the theory says that people broadly fall into one out of two camps on this issue.

Camp 1 are people who view the character merely as a means of playing the game. They might not care what it looks like or make choices based on what they want to look at while playing.

Camp 2 views the character as a representation of themselves in the gameworld. These people are likely to either want to create a character that they can feel a connection to or that they feel represents them well to others in game.

Personally I am very firmly in camp 2. The character needs to feel right or I will never get into playing it. My husband on the other hand is more of a camp 1 person. He has been known to use the randomize function and two of his main characters are female. I've tried playing a male character a few times, but it just feels off - like a piece of clothing that's the wrong fit. And every time I play together with one of my husband's female characters it still feels weird.

This is the same reason that I have stuck with humans and night elves over dwarves and gnomes - the fit is somehow not right. I've yet to try to play a draenai seriously, but I must admit that the few times I've dabbled on Azuremyst Isle the tail thing was a bit freaky. Also, the legs bending the wrong way. And the run - they look very odd when they run - particularly with the tail.

Did I mention the tail?

Naming is the other thing that is very important to me when creating a character. I'll never understand how someone can find the will to level "Ipwnyou" or "Fruitfudge" to level 70.

I slightly unintentionally ended up with a bit of a theme for my characters. A couple of my first experimental characters ended up with Swedish girls names, the kind that I imagine have been around since the Viking times almost (with some artistic license on the spelling side) and it worked well so I stuck with it. Hence Yrsa, Tufva, Alfva. With my druid I tried for something different and went for Moonclaw, but in the end it got changed to Ylfva. Moonclaw just wasn't me.

I am considering creating a warlock and I already know what it will look like. Both my human priests have the same face, but with different hair. Tufva is holy so she has white hair and Alfva is shadow so she has black hair. I'm thinking a warlock should have long, swishy blonde hair - just because you dabble in the dark arts doesn't mean you can't look good while doing it. I'm still working on finding a good name for her, so it might be awhile before she appears.


LarĂ­sa said...

I guess I'm mostly into that reflect-your-self-group of players.
Actually I wrote a blog post on the same theme a while ago, which may interest you.


Tufva said...

I just read your post and I completely agree - the character has to feel right or it won't work!

Thanks for giving me the link, I'll be adding you to my Google Reader. :-)

Ulv said...

"He has been known to use the randomize function and two of his main characters are female."

Hey, I just prefer the shape of the female form, if I'm going to spend hours playing the darn toon it may as well look hot too. *cough*