The Daily Grind: What are the ages of your MMO characters?

    
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Back in August, MMO blog Gnomecore asked an intriguing question about the age of our MMO toons. He wasn’t asking about how long you’ve had characters or have played them, but how old the character is in years if he or she was alive.

It’s an interesting question that I haven’t really thought about for my characters. The default for many RPG characters is early 20s — a good age that puts them as an adult in the prime of their life (and without the unsightly wrinkles/balding/belly pooches that come with time). Of course, you can make an effort to age up/down characters if the game allows it, which some MMOs do.

What do you think the ages of your MMO characters are? Are they immortals who have lived for hundreds of years or teenagers fresh out of the academy or something in between?

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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Hikari Kenzaki

Oh dear… what a can of worms…

I usually put quite a bit of thought into my RP characters birthdays and when they were born, especially in real world settings like City of Heroes and Secret World

My characters also age as the years go by.
So, Hikari from Secret World is currently 30, nearly 31. Interestingly enough, she is exactly 12 years and 12 hours younger than myself :) But that was mostly because I wanted her to be born at dawn during an Equinox (and I was born at dusk :) )
Same with her twin brother, he was born at the start of the dawn cycle, she at the end of the dawn cycle.
The date also coincides with a real world solar eclipse and sets their astrological signs and such. It’s all important to an internal plot that ran for 5 years in TSW.

CoH Spectra-Lass started out as an alt. We had a Justice League/Avengers-inspired team, so we of course had a teen/recruit subgroup. She started out as 15 and grew up until she was 18 when the game closed. She was visited by 30 and 45 year old versions of herself. One, very evil and one a grizzled veteran from an alternate future, missing an arm. :) When I rebooted her in TSW, I reset her to 17 instead of the 25 she would have been by CoH reckoning.

Desi (in SWL) is 24, she started at 19.

Coristasia (from CoH) would be 31 now. Roughly 8 or 9 Mizarian years… I can’t remember the exact conversion off the top of my head.

Various versions of Hikari and Talyia in other games are given a little less thought. Presumably Talyia is in her early 20s and Hikari around 30. Though the BDO Hikari is an elf and likely much older, but she has no memories (as the story of BDO demands)

T’Shonra in STO is based off one of the Vulcans that appears in Star Trek First Contact. She would have been relatively young when she met Cochran as a first officer on a small scout ship. So, I guessed at 55, slightly younger than T’Pol when she was assigned to Enterprise. In my alternate head canon, T’Shonra became obsessed with Earth culture and stayed on earth, eventually joining Starfleet. As the Captain of a NX ship derived from the Enterprise and Columbia, she served in the Romulan war until she was sucked into the 25th century by Daniels in 2162 (nearly 100 years after first contact). She’s aged a year or so since then, putting her at nearly 160, which is why she looks rather old, even for a Vulcan.

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Hikari Kenzaki

And now the pictures aren’t even in reverse order… entirely random… *sigh*
In order of appearance,
Talikari (Hikari and Talyia) (BDO)
T’Shonra (STO)
Desi (SWL)
Coristasia (CoH)
Spectra-Lass/Liz (CoH)
Hikari (and Talyia) in (TSW)

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rafael12104

Well done! I do the same type of thing with my toons. I have backstories for each in the games that I care about and that includes age.

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imayb1

I noticed that when my daughter was younger and she made characters, they looked childish. She would work the options like a pro to get what she wanted. Then, as a pre-teen, her characters also reflected that age. Now that she’s in her 20’s, she makes them look 20-ish. You can actually look at her character rosters and see aprox. how old she was when they were made.

I tend to gravitate toward more ‘ageless’ races or go with the default 20-ish game offerings. I have a few characters I think of as more mature than default, but their physical being doesn’t necessarily reflect that. Games tend to offer 1-2 options for over-the-top old and craggy, but it’s really tough to get something like light laugh-lines and crow’s feet without going too far. The body is always the default, too. You usually can’t get imperfect skin or skin with mild aging or a little sagging or paunch.

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mysecretid

Hmmm. Interesting question.

I readily confess, most of my MMORPG characters are proxies for myself — or at least, aspects of my personality.

Age-wise, though, I think my characters are more reflections of the age I feel represents me (i.e. that I unconsciously identify myself as) in my head, rather than my chronological age.

My female characters? (given that I am male) are probably imaginative manifestations of female people I have known whom I ended up liking, respecting, and/or admiring as human beings.

Not direct one-to-one correlations with any individuals, but with “qualities and personalities inspired by” a certain range of real-life people.

But back to the age question — barring game characters who are old or ancient by default (e.g. most fantasy elves) my oldest game-character is probably QoloS, a Federation Klingon who serves as a Tactical captain in Star Trek Online.

QoloS started out as my idea for something of a “Worf Apology” — i.e. a Federation Klingon who actually was a genuine “tough guy warrior”, rather than someone who simply bellowed on a lot about how tough and Klingon he was, but tended to get his arse kicked on the regular when it counted (the Star Trek writers have already admitted to their mistake here — they thought it would make the threats in the episodes seem more dangerous if they defeated Worf; instead, it simply made Worf look incapable in his job).

QoloS, by contrast, is a tough old bird, and very much a military man who runs a military vessel (which is a challenge for my inner roleplay, as I have never been in the military). And he and his starship are all about taking down threats to the vulnerable. Exploration is for other captains.

The characters most like myself are likely my STO main character, and my character from the original The Secret World game, who effectively was me within that game — with as much of a physical resemblance to myself as the limited character-creator in the TSW game could provide.

My youngest character is probably my Trooper alt in Star Wars: The Old Republic. Maybe it’s because the in-game story has him starting as a new special-forces recruit, but I always seem to play him as younger — a little more brash and forthright, and generally more prone to action when seeking solutions to problems.

Whoof. Long post. My apologies!

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rafael12104

Awesomesauce.

I don’t mind long posts when we are talking MMOs, btw.

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Bryan Correll

They’re 47.

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mysecretid

All of them, Bryan? :-) Heh

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Bryan Correll

It’s easier to remember that way.

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Pandalulz

I’ve never really thought much about it. Most of my characters look youngish, but I always just assume they’re at least past their dumb kid phases. Like, this is what I would have looked like in my early 30s if I hadn’t spent all my time sitting at a keyboard, eating junk food and instead ran around the countryside all day long, wearing 200 pounds of armor.

EDIT: and also a lady person most of the time…

butterpanda888
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butterpanda888

I have a ripped old man like ripped Master Roshi from DB that I sometimes play in Blade and Soul. I also tried to recreate Nelson Mandela for my Black Desert Online wizard. My main Champions online character, while looking young, is an ancient Greek immortal born from the ashes of Prometheus’s flame. And in Rift, my necromancer would probably be in his late 50s.

Then there’s my Wizard 101 character who, by default, is a youngster, I like to think 14.

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mysecretid

Nelson Mandela as inspiration for a mage. I love this, Panda. :-)

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NeoWolf

I don’t really use a single age bracket for my characters.

I guess most would fall in the early to mid twenties bracket by and large, but I also have a few teens across games provided the games customisations allow for it, and I also have a few wizened old geezers a la Gandalf.

I don’t play children or children looking characters though because from a Roleplayers perspective I just find it unlikely they would be put into such life threatening professions..its just a bit too much of a stretch.

As you can see from the attached images of a few of my characters they pretty much cover the age spectrum.

Afya Hashem.jpg
Ellowyn Graybriar.jpg
Freya Hridburdr.jpg
Emmigrey Loremaster.jpg
Eolahn Champion.jpg
Ah'ten.jpg
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Amara Wren.jpg
butterpanda888
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butterpanda888

Great looking characters. I especially like Eolahn Champion, Ah’ten, and Amara Wren.

Bree Royce
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Bree Royce

My favorite MMO toon of all time is 43. At the time that seemed impossibly far away. Still a ways away for me, but not by nearly as much now! After SWG, I played EQ2 for a while and tried playing a tween elf who wasn’t 1) an obnoxious brat or 2) a Whedon-esque prodigy. That was probably the most challenging to make realistic but also pleasant to RP.

Usually games don’t support anything but 20-somethings who know nothing and have seen nothing, which is irritating. I want history. Roleplaying with no scars and age lines to refer back to is not nearly as much fun.

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Utakata

My laugh lines have a history too. :(

butterpanda888
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butterpanda888

Scars are always fun, especially when they get creative and you want to add in some backstory. I’d like to see more Joker style smile scars (Without forced red lips and stuff), Zuko style burn scars, and maybe even some disturbing “my face was mangled and stitched back together” scars. Ooh and acid burns and acne scars.

The thing I like about this topic is it allows us and encourages us to delve into the backstory and personality of our characters so that they seem to be alive instead of a bunch of pixels on a screen and skills on a hot bar.

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Jack Pipsam

I don’t really think about it honestly, so I suppose however old they look. So really they mostly tend to look young adults or sometimes I like to make characters look like in their forties or fifties to spice it up.

As for anime games? Well, best not to go there :P

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rafael12104

Age? Ah, well, it does matter to me. If I get into a game, and I mean it becomes my home MMORPG, then each of my toons has a backstory and of course, age plays a role.

These back stories are for me only. Occasionally I may go full fanfic, but more often than not, it is my own way of personalizing a game and making it my own. However, the background I create for toons fits into the broader tale being told by the game itself.

Don’t worry, I won’t share my backstories with you. Lol! Not enough room here. But to give you some examples: In SWTOR I had restless 22-year-old Mirialan twins. BDO required a tired 120-year-old Wizard. B&S has two rebellious teenage Lyns, a precocious twenty-five-year-old Jin, and a jaded 32-year-old Yun.

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Utakata

…Lyn’s age well though. <3

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rafael12104

Indeed they do. And my take on it is that physically they age slowly, but mentally they mature quickly.