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When it comes to MMOs, and largely RPGs as well, I have dreadful biases against playing certain sorts of characters.  Although I try to challenge my own trends, typically the characters I create that don’t fall in a certain set of characteristics don’t make it through to maximum level.  Although there are occasional exceptions to all the rules.  So I thought it would be amusing to make a list of the top five qualities that make my character more doomed to fail.

 

Five types of character

     I probably won’t play to max level

          (with pictured exceptions)

 

1)  Height-challenged races.

Aronoke

I don’t like playing the short weird ones.  I am quite willing to play a short human character.  I played the short human male model in Star Wars: The Old Republic quite a bit.  But when it comes to other races I admit to having tried gnomes, dwarves, tarutaru, hobbits, and those cutsey animal things in TERA – popori, I think it was, with limited success.  (I wouldn’t even touch an Elin). My hobbit burglar got to level thirty-something, admittedly, but that was because I played him with a group of other hobbits that were made up to play together.  It wasn’t my choice.  An exception to this are the Asura in Guild Wars 2.  I like the Asura, maybe because although they are short, they have huge egos…. I like the way they move, which is always important – how they nearly fall on their faces every time they jump. I didn’t expect to like them, but I do.

 

 

 

2) Oversized characters.

The big square fat guys and the big muscly male types in SW:TOR were too big and square for me.  It also disturbs me that the female variants of these models could only be called voluptuous by asian teen-fashions standards.  Not that I want to play chunky female characters, but if there are chunky males, there should be chunky women too.  The Norn in Guild Wars 2 are too big, and so were the Tauren in World of Warcraft, the Galka in Final Fantasy XI, the Aman and Baraka in TERA.  Mostly the slow running-animation of large characters disturbs me. They feel like they’re going slow, even though they run the same speed as everyone else.

 

 

 

 

3. Female characters.

Okay, so that’s a pretty big chunk of the toon-population.  I’ve always been inclined towards playing male characters.  Perhaps on some deep subconscious level I want to collect a whole stable full of heroic toy-boys…or maybe I was warped by reading too many old-fashioned adventure novels while I was growing up, in which the girls had to stay dully at home because it was safer.  In the “earlier days” of MMO gaming, playing male characters was a good way to avoid getting hit on.

Admittedly my male characters have been hit on once or twice, which is always amusing.  Occasionally, in the ‘old days’, people were highly surprised if they found out you were not a guy.  No matter what gender character you played.  “OMG!  You’re really a gurl!!!!”  My earliest incidence of the “OMG!  You’re really a gurl”-phenomenon was in a chat room when I was fifteen (it was a pre-proper-internet chat room on an online service called Viatel).  I had an identity with a name  most people assumed to be male.  Then a guy I regularly chatted with admitted to me that he was gay (more of a big deal socially back then).  He felt he should tell me because we talked together a lot, he said, and he didn’t want me to be misled.  When I guiltily admitted I was fifteen-year old girl, he accused me of lying and never ‘spoke’ to me again.

But anyway, I tend to dislike the way female characters are animated.  They run funny, flinging their handses out to the sides, and lifting their feet too high behind them.  They often have arms like pipe-cleaners, despite wielding huge heavy weapons.  They are often underdressed.  I don’t mind this so much, but if the female characters are underdressed, then the male characters should be too.  If they are not, I find this annoying.

 

 

 

 

4. Pure ranged-dps classes.

I suppose I prefer my combat up-close and personal, although I am also a big fan of the “crowd control” mage type.  Classical “hunter” types often have crowd control as well, but true glass-cannon style dps is my least favourite class to play.  I much prefer a hybrid of dps with something else, such as the DPS-plus-off tank style of the champion in LoTRO, or the DPS-plus-healing-plus-CC of the Imperial Operative in SW:TOR.  The addition of a pet to this type of class (like the Hunter in WoW or the Ranger in Guild Wars 2) adds a little more interest, but not usually enough to drag me through the level grind. I am far more likely to play a pure tank or healer than a pure dps character.

 

 

 

 

5. Characters who don’t look cool.

Aesthetics goes a long way towards heightening the playability of a character.  Although I am not as inclined to play what I call “dress-up-dolly” with my characters anywhere near as much as some people I might mention, and I am largely inclined to throw away old gear rather than keep it for cosmetic purposes, the way my character looks and moves is still very important as to whether I will continue to play it or not.  As mentioned above, large, small and female characters often fall into the category of “awkwardly animated”, and then there are character models that are just plain ugly.  Those male humans in WoW with the huge arms…. immediate put-off.  The Charr in Guild Wars 2 are perhaps the most popular non-human race, but their cat-faces are too inexpressive for me to really warm to them.  And then there’s hair… I have remade characters on numerous occasions because I didn’t like the way their hair looked when I got in game.  Or because their skin-tone was slightly off.

 

So there you have it.  I’m sure most altaholics have “doomed-to-fail” categories just as I do.  Please feel free to comment!

2 Responses to What makes a MMO character fail?

  • Andrea says:

    I had no idea you didn’t like to play short characters. I like the Asura in GW2 – well, I made one which looks exactly like my cat – but I didn’t like their zone or the horrid little voice.

    The female humans aren’t too bad there, but I ended up choosing my character class based on whether her armor covered her stomach.

    I don’t like playing tanks. I get too stressed out about letting people get killed.

  • AM&A says:

    Ah, the trick with tanking is, it’s never the tank’s fault. If someone dies, it’s either because they pulled too much aggro, or because the healer was at fault.
    Of course, when I’m healing, it’s because the tank wasn’t keeping aggro properly, or the person was pulling too much aggro.
    In other words, it’s *always* the Hunter’s fault.