The Daily Grind: What is the best written MMO character?

    
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In the past couple of Lord of the Rings Online expansions, I’ve noticed that the writing team has kind of created a breakout character that’s become really endearing to myself and others. What’s funny is that the character is a goblin named Viznak who fancies himself a new king in Mordor while playing a rather funny sidekick to the good guys. Sure, he’s a bit of a Gollum stand-in, but I’ve greatly enjoyed his presence and felt my interest in the game perk up when he makes an appearance.

A well-written character in a video game can be like that, of course. Our worlds are full of forgettable cardboard cutout characters, but every so often there’s an NPC that we connect with or find fascinating. These engrossing characters may be the headlining stars of the narrative or throwaway quest givers, but their common thread is that some writer put a lot of obvious effort into making this NPC more real.

What is the best written MMO character that you’ve encountered in-game? Please be more specific than “the entire cast of The Secret World,” too.

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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Fred Douglas

I really like Narmaleth/Amarthiel in Shadows of Angmar LOTRO. A cheesy redemption arc, but I enjoyed it a lot.

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Tenthyr Adi

Emet-Selch.

hurbster
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hurbster

Got to be Rigurt.

kjempff
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kjempff

I can’t really choose, so I am just going throw in something no one else picked.
Thrall – Well the story is technically from wc3, but I still kinda like much of the backstory and lore from wc3.

Mordyjuice
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Mordyjuice

Might as well be saying what’s the greatest TV Show of all time (and you can’t say LOST).

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Zero_1_Zerum

I genuinely enjoyed meeting Cadwell in ESO. A strange, funny, and mysterious guy, wearing a pot for a helmet. He made me lol, but also gave me the feeling that there was more to him than met the eye. They did a decent job writing him.

Mordyjuice
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Mordyjuice

ESO has a few break out characters like Uncle Sheo, Razum Dur, Rigurt the Brash, Darien Gautier, Cadwell.

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Fenrir Wolf

Hello!

Gosh, this is a difficult one because—and I have to be brutally honest, here—writing isn’t exactly a strong suit of MMOs. It’s almost always its weakest area. If I find a character memorable it’s usually because they’re so poorly written and voice-acted that their existence becomes a meme.

We must shut down ALL the bacon, it’s emitting a delicious odour that drives the Qularr CRAZY.

I suppose of all of the titles, ESO above the majority had its moments but I couldn’t really single out certain characters as being especially good. The Thieves Guild in general likely has the highest quantity of decent writing present, so perhaps I’ll award Silver-Claws this quite dubious honour then?

I did find him so endearing.

It’s not like it was written by Obsidian or BioWare though so it’s a half-hearted choice at best. I suppose if we were to go really quite a ways back and look at more instanced-y MMOs then I might cite Uru as having a gathering of colourful characters. Douglas Harper was a believable sociopath and misanthrope, Yeesha was delightfully batshit insane.

I really wish MMOs would prioritise writers more, though. I’d be far more invested in them if they did but I feel like the era of the storied MMO has already passed.

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Hikari Kenzaki

Okay… someone led with Caithe and then someone else followed with Traeharne… I’m sure at least one of you is trolling.

If we’re going GW2, I think I’d have to give that award to Jory.

But really, my favorite writing in any game comes down a three way tie between Edgar, Nassir and Ricky Pagan in TSW.

Much NSFW language below, but in this case, well you can take Edgar’s advice :)

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blah blazh

I quite like Caithe and think she is very well written.

It’s been so long since I played TSW that I just don’t remember much from the game. I know it had the best missions in the genre but no character really stood out for me.

Mr. E.™
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Mr. E.™

The Secret World has some of the best writing in all of MMORPG-dom. Yeah, we can nit-pick about some of the gameplay, but the writing is top-notch across the board.

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Jon Hall

Lillian Voss from WoW is one that sticks with me. She deserves her own game, or book. Would be happy with a fanfic even lol.