The Daily Grind: How likely are you to abandon and reroll your MMORPG characters?

    
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With City of Heroes back in my MMO rotation thanks to the multiple rogue servers floating around right now, I’ve been back in full swing making characters. I absolutely love the thrill of coming up with a good character concept and costume, punctuated by a clever or punny character name, and busting into Paragon City ready to rock some Death From Below.

Except… a lot of those character concepts sound a lot more fun on paper than they do in practice, especially those that use late-blooming powersets or sets that just don’t work for my personal playstyle. For example, I’ve been working up a Zombies/Thermal Mastermind with a desert princess theme, but man, Masterminds are a slog, and I’ve started having serious second thoughts about the Thermal powerset’s efficacy for these particular pets. Is it fine? Yes, probably, but I’m very tempted to delete her and reroll her with a different secondary anyway, keeping the concept but swapping her powersets.

I’d probably never do this in another MMO, but City of Heroes is so alt-centric that I don’t have too many qualms about it. How likely are you to abandon and reroll your MMORPG characters?

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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Fenrir Wolf

I tend to get very attached to my characters as I like to write for them. I’m a chronic daydreamer. I’m not the sort to be gullible enough to take abuse for the most part, either, so I’ll often dump the game before the character. The only exception to that I can think of, where I stuck with and redid characters after balance patches for at least a little while, was Champions Online.

Frankly? I’m hoping for Champions to one day go the way of City of Heroes. That’s not to be mean, but rather because then I could play at my own pace without having to worry about some PvP balance changes absolutely destroying my fun concept character. I do have a lifetime subscription to Champions Online and the balance patches have slowed to a point where I’m almost, almost tempted. But I’m still scared I’ll be blindsided by one that’ll ruin both my and my partner’s day.

This is what I liked about gaming in the ’90s, you could choose which patches to install and when. That was lovely. A lot of even indie games these days are suffering due to forced patches. I mean, look at Stellaris. That’s why a surprising number of people are switching to GoG. If Epic really wanted to compete with Steam, making all patches optional would be an incredible way to go about it.

Since both my partner and I do have an anxiety disorder, I feel that patches really screw us up. We don’t play fast, we don’t hang around other people too much (there are too many sociopaths out there who lack any empathy whatsoever), and the thought of spending four months getting back to where we were only to have our characters completely annihilated once again is… untenable.

That’s why we both prefer multiplayer games.

Seriously, I feel that even if an MMO had instanced patch-level servers (or just servers where being imbalanced was acceptable), they’d make an absolute mint off of people like us two.

I feel a lot of MMOs cater only to those who’re over-achievers, and who’re excellent at either coercing, manipulating, and herding others to get what they want or willing to kiss up to such an abhorrent person to get what they want.

That’s hardly optimal for non-competitive types who don’t like manipulating or being manipulated. As such, we stay away from those environments. Similarly, the patch schedules and systems are also designed around that audience, too, as they can catch back up without any difficulty.

I feel that there’s a massive untapped demographic of players out there just waiting for an MMO that’s designed for them.

An MMO that doesn’t care about balance too much, competition, or player hierarchy (for the sake of showing off, feeling superior, and other equally tiresome behaviours). Champions and ESO both had a shot at that, but sadly they were so utterly and thoroughly convinced that the only market for their product was the aforementioned.

Here’s the thing, though? It’s not good marketing sense. If everyone is shooting for the same market, a lot of people are going to fail. What you want to look at is which markets aren’t being served, where you could spend a lot less and make a lot more.

So it’s not so much that I’ve abandoned my characters but more I’ve had them taken from me and been made unwelcome by game systems that were clearly designed for people very much not like me. I like the idea of an MMO, but more from the perspective of somewhere to roleplay and doop around without any unnecessary stress.

Free Realms did that, right up until it died thanks to SOE being entirely incompetent at monetising (which is almost Universally true for them).

If Free Realms had charged a flat 15 bucks sub fee, with items that had both reduced cost and unlimited charges, they would’ve started easily making more than they were spending on it. The problem was was that they were being greedy, which made them manipulative. And what do my kind of person just not like very much? Being manipulated.

I don’t know, but it’s a common thing amongst people with anxiety, ADHD, and autism, we really don’t like manipulating or being manipulated. So a lot of MMOs aren’t for us.

I like the idea of them. I do like roleplaying and I can be social. I just don’t want 99 per cent of my interactions being on either end of something distastefully manipulative. I’m not even sure that neurotypicals even parse it as manipulation in the way we do, they don’t even seem to recognise coercion and pushing people into things as anything bad. I mean, we do have physically different brains, we’re quite divergent, maybe it’s good for them?

Not so much for us, though.

My journey continues and I will keep looking for that MMO that won’t take my character from me. Right now, that might actually be City of Heroes. I don’t like it as much as Champions Online (sorry), but… at least it won’t be a flurry of endless patches, and if it is? At least here I could talk to the community and request a server that doesn’t patch, since they probably aren’t being driven by greed.

I hope.

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Crowe

If only you had 1000 character slots and didn’t have to re-roll due to limited space…

Specus
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Kickstarter Donor
Specus

I rarely re-roll. I’m much more likely to create an alt and never re-visit the old character again.

JonBuck
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JonBuck

With games that have a lot of different powers/classes, all the time, until I find something I like. Since you can do it all on one character in FF14, I do have everything. Altjobism? I chose to main Warrior because tanks rarely have to wait more than a few minutes for a queue.

Otherwise, I’m an altiholic deep down.

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Bryan Correll

Rarely, with one game as a big exception. I re-rolled CoH characters a lot because I’d find I didn’t much like the particular power set selection but I wanted to keep using the name.

PS I played a Necro/Thermal mastermind into the mid-30’s back in the day. The biggest problem I had was that the top tier pet (lich) is a controller-type and doesn’t get much benefit from Forge (thermal’s big damage buff.) I would have stuck with her if the game hadn’t been shut down. But I really like masterminds. Though they can feel like a slog leveling, especially in those levels just before getting a new pet or pet upgrade. But once you hit 32 it’s all gravy.

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starbuck1771

Not very likely. I tend to grow attached to them.

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McGuffn

Never unless it was created as a junk character.

Reader
styopa

Pretty nearly never.
Their (my) flaws are part of what makes them interesting.

Then again, I come from an era of RPGs where we actually DID roll our stats and then play the best character we could from those results…not this mamby-pamby “I want to be a paladin” and then get the stats that fit stuff.

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Bryan Correll

And those darn kids these days probably don’t even know why it’s called rolling.

Demon of Razgriz
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Demon of Razgriz

CoH made it easy to re-roll alts. As powers were added and changed, starting over was never hard or tedious. Plus, by level 10, you pretty much knew what you were going to get but the climb to 10 wasn’t tough: a few police/mayhem missions and you were there in a flash.

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Kickstarter Donor
Vunak

Only game I have ever had a problem rerolling in is BDO. Just about every other game I have found my main and class I truly enjoyed fairly quickly. I am not someone that rolls a ton of alts either.

But in BDO I just could not find a class I really enjoyed. I typically go for the traditional mage, but BDO doesn’t really have a traditional mage. Witch/Wizard was before awakening, but after awakening they changed significantly to a melee mage thing.