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It is much easier for me to simply list the few characters of mine that *have* reached the level cap.  Most of them are not at the level cap now, as games have a strange custom of raising level caps every few years.

In World of Warcraft I had one character at 60 and another nearly at 60 when they decided to raise the cap to 70; Sacacorchos made it there in the final weeks that we played the game.

Not many screenshots survive from Sacacorchos' eventful undead career.


In Age of Conan I again only got one to 80, which is still the level cap now. Poor Arthes the Bear Shaman is on level 79.


At one time I had four at the level cap in LOTRO: but they moved it twice, and all of them are currently scrambling to catch up.



Her last name is 'Addanion'.


Her last name is 'Ennorath', from the poem.


And finally there is Jord, in SWTOR.
Not Thor's mum.

It does seem that most of them are girls. This was never a habit of mine when I was young; I think it developed in RPGs and later MMOs in response to Am&a (almost) always playing boy characters. No commonalities in terms of character role in the game leap out at me. Generally, I would be happy – or at least, I say I would be happy – if all the mechanics were hidden and the character experienced the game purely as a story.

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.


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!


Stormi thinks everything humans do involves food.

Including cameras.

Her name is spelled with an “i” because although her cuteness factor is high, her brain is small.


Camera is food?

(This gross generalisation should not, of course, be applied to humans whose names are spelt thusly with an “i”)

How come giants always have to live in dismal lands of perpetual ice and snow?


Why can’t the “land of the giants” be a luxurious tropical paradise?

Just asking.

I don’t usually role play in MMOs, but if someone else is acting in character I am always happy to play along. I haven’t seen many people role-playing in Guild Wars 2, so was quite pleased when this exchange began.

Uh oh, I think.

UH-OH, I think.

In the meantime, the other member of his party, who I originally ran over to help res, has been killed again while he has run off to talk to me, and I go back to res him again…



Araxtiara, by the way, is a name taken from an RPG character who was a dweller in a city of the Undead. As you can see from her picture, she is in her pre-undead form. And she is just wearing the first level of crafted light armour gear, I didn’t go out of my way to dress her inappropriately. Her back story is here.



Too many good MMOs have come out in the past twelve months and I am feeling swamped.  Swamped, and grateful that Guild Wars 2 is free-to-play and has no attached subscription.  I splashed out and bought a lifetime subscription to Secret World, so that is now relatively “safe” from long-term ongoing costs, but then the next LoTRO expansion will be coming out very soon now, I haven’t finished with SWTOR, and…and…well, there just isn’t time for it all.  Especially since I haven’t been playing as much as usual, since I have gone into writing-binge mode, and either edit things all day or churn out 4000 or 5000 words.  By the time I’m done with that, my eyes have turned to paste, and it’s time to get off the computer.

Restraint?  What is this thing you speak of?

Helecho, my Sylvari thief