The Daily Grind: Have you ever tried to start fresh in a familiar MMO?

    
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The first rule of this club is you aren't wanted.

I have, on three occasions, tried to start Final Fantasy XI completely fresh. Ironically, this time it’s working out very well; the past two attempts didn’t work at all and ultimately led to me spending an extended time on the phone with Square-Enix customer support, unlocking my original account with the aid of a years-old expansion code. But it got me thinking about how I rarely head back to familiar games to start fresh.

That’s not to say I don’t head back to old games frequently, but in most of those games I stumble a bit and pick up where I left off. Coming back to my favorite characters is part of my motivation in the first place. Starting up Star Trek Online again meant jumping back on board with the captain I had at launch, or making alts that still get full support from my leveled mains.

So today, I’m wondering if that’s normal or an outlier. If you’ve returned to familiar MMOs, have you ever tried to start fresh? No help from old friends or max-level characters, just you playing with only knowledge as a bonus over any other new player?

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!

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Leontes

Yes – especially when returning somewhere I’ve been before, e.g. STO…

Hmmm, I have half a mind starting over in EVE online. Knowing what it is – could someone give me an honest opinion if it’s worth starting over in EVE right now?

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IronSalamander8 .

Yes I have and more than once. I did it in WoW at least twice, EQ1, and EQ2. I do it more often with non-MMOs like I restart a new Minecraft world over and over.

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Zen Dadaist

I’ve done it from time to time; although unless there is a physical inability to support the character (such as rolling on a server in a region in which I have no other characters etc) I do end up eventually supporting the characters when they get to the tedious grindy bits that my advanced knowledge can’t circumvent quite enough :p

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Briar Grey

I did this with TSW – I did a whole new Illuminati from scratch and just slowly worked on doing everything in an area (except multi-player required quests or ones meant to bring you back to the area after you are much more skilled). I got into Transylvania before getting drawn into LOTRO and WOW again with my husband, but I was thoroughly enjoying myself. Though it made me sad with how Funcom screwed it.

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Matthew Yetter

I’ve done this just about every time I go back to LotRO, simply because of all of the changes to the classes over time and the fact that the last time I returned I found my server to be a morgue. Switching to a new server forced a total restart. Of course, I still had the perk of being able to spend Destiny points to boost my XP gains a little so I guess it wasn’t TOTALLY fresh.

I also did it with WoW a few times, starting fresh on a different server or with the opposite faction. The first couple of times was without heirlooms as well, which meant a true fresh start.

Mewmew
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Mewmew

I start fresh all the time, mostly because I rotate games a lot and it will be so long until I get back to them that I sort of forget what I’m doing. Going back to a game with 6 bars full of icons, stats and skills all over the place, hundreds of bank and inventory items and not really remembering how to play that well, I make a new character to get back into it and remember what I was doing. Then often times I’ll just keep playing that new character instead. Then do that same thing again next time I rotate off and back to the game.

I do it too often and am trying to get out of the habit and return to my old mains more now. It’s difficult though depending on how long it’s been.

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ghostlight

For me it’s been more like, when have I not done this? I’ve never, never kept my original character in any mmo I’ve tried. I’ve always re-rolled at least within a few levels, if for no other reason than not being happy with the character’s look or name.

Also, I find it easier to start fresh ‘tabula rasa’ if I’ve been away from an mmo for a while. I go in with the mindset that I will do it right this time and avoid the mistakes I made in the past, the irony of course being that I often end up making some of the same old mistakes, especially when it comes to social stuff like being more circumspect in the guilds I join.

As a mater of fact I’m currently considering doing this with Secret World Legends, which I’ve been away from now for about half a year, though I dread doing some of the quests again.

This topic reminds me of a great Doctor Who quote, something like “You don’t get a second throw of the dice.” ;-)

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Stormwaltz

I tried to restart GW2 once. At release I had a human thief, but her time was short — I ended up blocked by an enforced-solo personal quest I couldn’t beat after twelve tries and multiple attempts at leveling, skill adjustment, and equipment upgrades. I quit for a couple years, then came back and made a norn ranger. I only made it through a few zones before I logged out one day and never went back. She’s still on a mountaintop somewhere. I don’t know why GW2 never hooked me the second time, but man, it sure didn’t.

I restarted in Neverwinter twice. At release, I made a halfling rogue and got nearly to the (original) end-game content. Then I quit. I came back and made a wood elf cleric, got halfway through, and quit again (I didn’t like cleric gameplay all that much). The third time I returned, I made a dwarf guardian, got into the endgame content… and you know how this ends. I like Neverwinter. It’s a blast for a 2-3 months, but it doesn’t have any of the “somethings” that make a game a long haul investment for me. I fully expect I’ll go back again someday, make a fourth character, and run through it all again.

As I’ve said before, I quit LotRO after the trait redesign of 2013 destroyed my Lore-master. When I finally returned in 2016 I couldn’t bear to relearn her (she was no longer the character I’d played for six years) so I made a Champion.

I played him in half-hearted fashion up to about level 50, in Trollshaws. At that point I was desperately bored. This was largely a result of the proliferation of XP bonuses and free gifts, like too much butter slathered over too little bread. I let the XP bonuses roll in and wore nothing but the plentiful “hobbit gift” Mathom Armor, which was always statistically best. I ended up overlevelled for everything. (I think the Champion playstyle might not have agreed either, but it’s hard to say. It seemed like every encounter was nothing more than repeating “1-2-1-2-1-2-4,” with variation only coming if I happened to need a heal… which was almost never, because I was overlevelled.)

I quit LotRO again for about a year, but recently returned and made a hobbit guardian. So far it’s going okay. I’ve spurned all the free presents in favor of quest equipment. Due to the XP firehose, I still found myself reaching level 14 less than halfway through the Shire, so I bought the “XP turn off” item from the game store, and I’ve been running with that for a few weeks now. It’s almost become the relaxing, immersive game I remember from five years ago. I hope the magic holds this time.

At any rate, since my LM got kneecapped halfway through Rohan, I expect it will be many years yet before I actually see Gondor or Mordor. :)

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nobleeinherjar

When I came back to FFXI after being disappointed with FFXIV 1.0, I started fresh. I think I could have accessed my old account, but I just didn’t want to deal with it. So I bought a new game with a fresh code and started on a new server.

It turned out to be for the best, easily. I met two people who have now been close friends for years, and being able to explore Vana’diel with them and my best friend in real-life, experiencing all of the stories and helping each other with all of FFXI’s milestones, was wonderful.

I also had a very successful restart in EQ2, which I played for a long time with another close friend/my main RP/MMO partner. I enjoyed EQ2 for a good few years until the big spell effects downgrade. Wow, how many years ago was that? Anyway, the game really lost something special to me after that and I drifted away.

My fresh start in UO, however, didn’t go very well. Mostly because as much as I used to love that game, and there are still many things about it I enjoy, overall it just doesn’t do it for me anymore.

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Oleg Chebeneev

WoW many times. Also AoC, LoTRO, EQ2, TSW after reboot, probably a dozen other MMOs