Posted in Everquest 2, FFXIV, Gaming, Guild Wars 2, MMORPGs, Sims 4, Starbound

The Art of MMO Character Creation

This is my original character, TsuYa Tai, often just called Tai.

wolf__s_champion_by_aywren

Please excuse the old art. I haven’t drawn any large up-to-date color pieces of him recently (bad me). The wings are optional, but the scythe, snark and grumpy attitude are not.

Tai is a character who created himself over a decade ago. I say “created himself” because he started out as a one-time walk-on character when I was first writing the Dreigiau fantasy series. That turned into a side character, then a head-strong main character, and now one of my most well-developed and most-played figments… including in MMO games.

I am a gal who often plays a guy character in MMOs, but there’s nothing funky going on there. I’m simply an author who really enjoys trying to recreate my characters in a variety of worlds and see how close I can match MMO character creation to the real thing.

A more recent piece of Tai from a Wayrift webcomic frame.
A more recent piece of Tai from a Wayrift webcomic frame.

I decided it would be interesting to explore all the different versions of Tai I’ve created over different MMOs and games. So, I logged in and screenshotted, or found existing screens, of him in all the games I could remember and still had installed. I know there’s a few I don’t have due to being no longer on my computer (Arche Age, Dragon’s Prophet) or not running anymore (Vanguard).

I tend to recreate a number of Tai’s characteristics if I can:

  • melee DPS (scythe classes if possible)
  • dark hair
  • shortest character height
  • wears blue (if possible)
  • sometimes a face scar (if possible)

The following more or less a comprehensive list of Tai’s character over the years of gaming.

Guild Wars 1

Tai’s first MMO iteration was in Guild Wars 1. I had a necromancer version of him at first, but when the Dervish class was released, it was almost perfect for him. Scythe, twirling battle animation, blue robes. Yeah, this did a good job in representing his character.

guildwars1tai

EverQuest 2

Taii in EQ2 (no three letter names allowed) was a Shadowknight. I really enjoyed the class, but didn’t level him very far. When the free heroic character option came around, I up-leveled him to 80. But I still haven’t played him much since then. I don’t know if there’s a scythe weapon, but I used a generic Specter’s Scythe as a cosmetic weapon override, and gave him black wings for a flying mount.

eq2tai

LOTRO

In LOTRO, Tai is a level 50-something Champion. I couldn’t give him a scythe, so dual wielding blades would have to do. I haven’t played him in a long time, but I was there before the class trees and through a lot of the Champion nerfs and turmoil.

LOTROtai

Neverwinter

In Neverwinter Online, Tai is a Great Weapon Fighter. Again, no scythe, but a huge blade makes up for it. I haven’t played this game in a while, but here he is with my much-loved Frost Mimic companion!

neverwintertai

Starbound

Not an MMO, but Tai has also appeared in Starbound!

Starboundtai

Sims

Tai has been in all my Sims games since Sims 2… I was just too lazy to launch and install all my files to get screens of him in the older games. So here’s a Sims 4 version of him, which you often see in my Sygnus Sims Sunday series!

Sims4Tai

Guild Wars 2

In GW2, Tai is a Warrior. No scythes in this game (yet… maybe one day?), so the glowing blue greatsword takes its place. Also, black wings cosmetics, though they don’t fly.

guildwars2tai

Final Fantasy XIV

Finally, the newest version of Tai in FFXIV. Here, his main class is Dragoon due to fun melee DPS and huge pole arm weapons. I think this is my favorite game version of Tai because it matches my vision of him more closely than any other game so far.

FFXIVtai

How Do You Create Game Characters?

Do you have a consistent character design or character name you use across different games (MMO or single player)? Or do you prefer to randomly roll characters to find something you like – maybe you enjoy variety more than consistency?

Do you ever base your characters off of your own original characters or characters from books/movies/games you enjoy? What’s your method?

Author:

I'm a technical writer by day, gaming gal by night. I have a wide array of gaming interests, though I most often blog about MMOs, RPGs, and Nintendo fanstuffs. Like what you just read? Check out my Webcomic and Fantasy Fiction projects! https://aywren.com/fantasy-fiction-webcomics/

19 thoughts on “The Art of MMO Character Creation

  1. This is astounding. The consistency is over 9,000.

    I’ve never had a single ‘identity’ I stuck with over many games, but this must really feel good. Encountering you across different MMOs must be quite the experience!

    I do sometimes repurpose concepts or names from my original or Storium characters. These tend to be utterly random, with very little linkage in between. There’s also TSW, which, if I ever played, I would totally have created my least original but most consistent character ever – myself.

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    1. Thank you!

      I actually did that exact same thing in TSW – I play a character that is myself! I guess the modern day setting just encouraged me to do that. 😀

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  2. Heh. You’re just missing Rift as a Mage calling, using the melee dps soul for it, which transforms any weapon you’re using into a scythe. Yes, a melee dps mage. With a scythe.

    There’s also an awesome wardrobe system, so you could make him look like anything, not my silly outfit I had on my mage in that shot.

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  3. I have a couple of characters I repeat, mostly as a default option to try out new MMOs that I don’t expect to be playing for long but mostly I make each one up on the fly at character creation. I don’t do back story (any more – not for many years), preferring to let their characters emerge through play.

    There are definitely archetypes that persist. I have a lot of short, snarky characters and even more short, childlike, naive or just plain dim characters. I also have quite a few down-to-earth, lower-middle-class (or what passes for it in fantasy settings) human or near-human characters. Those do tend to look pretty similar no matter whether they are male or female and I would be lying if I didn’t say a lot of them look like some version of my imagined image of myself.

    I don’t like re-using names much although I do have some duplicates. Mostly I make up names using a variety of sources, most especially the novels of certain favorite authors. I can say with some conviction that my taste in literature does not seem to match that of most MMO players. In more than fifteen years I have never once seen a single sign of recognition from anyone on any name I have ever picked, even when I have literally just used the name of the main character from a series.

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    1. Interesting! I don’t often make up backstories for my MMO characters as I rarely do much in the way of RP. I think GW2 characters were the most I’ve RPed, and that was through Tumblr blogs rather than in game.

      But, then GW2 cosmetics and races always nudged me to roll all kinds of different looking alts. So much of that game looks so good! I really love the Charr and grew to love Asura as well. 🙂

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  4. Very interesting idea prompt!

    I don’t think I had an actual character that I reverted to in the majority of my RPGs, although I did usually make a female magic-user (wizard, cleric, somethingomancer, warlock, etc) in most of them. That changed when I started MMOs, and particularly when I started the writing fanfic about my WoW druid, Dahakha.

    Nowadays I have three basic characters: Menashi is my female magic-user (except in TSW, it seems, as I have yet to move into Elementalism or Chaos, and only a little into Blood). She is either human or elf, or whatever race is close to human (Aurin, FFXIV cat-girl, Norn, mayyyyybe Sylvari). I tend to think of her as a bit of a femme fatale, super-confident and sassy, sometimes arrogant. Dahakha is always going to be based on my Tauren Druid, so massive, more physical, more beastly if possible, more nature-aligned. Finally, I have always had a soft spot for Dwarves, especially heavily armoured, axe-and-shield-bearing dwarves. I like to call mine Naels. Because he’s tough as.

    I recently discovered a fourth icon that I want to use, thanks to tumblr. I encountered the name Anabiel, who apparently is the angel one calls upon to banish stupidity. I soooooo want to have a character (hopefully with some angelic theme) called Anabiel.

    All this time I thought Tai was your second choice, and Zuri was the character you had a long history with!

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    1. I think we all need an Anabiel… 🙂

      Zuri was my first-rolled character in FFXIV, but she was really one of my rare random-made characters. I used the lore-appropriate random name generator for her name, and just designed a blue moon kitty because I always wanted a Mithra in FFXI, but never rolled one. Her original hair style also reminded me a lot of my favorite Mithra hair style in FFXI, so I went with that.

      Zuri honestly has no back story and no connection to any other RP/character/story/game at all.

      When my best friend, Syn, started playing FFXIV, she rolled her Zeb character (which is Tai’s best friend in our role play sessions), so I naturally rolled a Tai to duo with her character. Syn’s been playing FFXIV a whole lot more recently, so Tai’s became more of a main while Zuri’s been kinda left on the sideline as my crafter/gatherer. I’ll catch her up eventually… if I can ever make up my mind what class I want to play.

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  5. I have this one character, Kai, who somehow ended up being the buttmonkey for all of my weird race/class experiments… it started when I wanted to experiment with a melee dps playstyle and decided that he would make a good fit. I already had a few human characters and felt like a change, so on a whim I picked some out-there looking species that I probably wouldn’t have played otherwise. Somehow this became tradition, and now I have a long history of non-human Kais running around in fantasy landscapes, from Birdkai to Spritekai to Treekai to Catkai, in his most recent incarnation in FFXIV. Sometimes I feel sorry for the guy, but I can’t help it. He’s just so much fun to play–and it’s almost become a game at this point. How close to the original can I make him look while being an entirely different species?
    (Not to mention his full name, Kimura Kaito, provides a lot of pun-portunity. Kimeowra Cat-to, anybody?)

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    1. Hahah! Kimeowra Cat-to! That’s great. 🙂

      Sounds like it’s good to have that consistent non-standard character, then. It’s always fun to be able to experiment!

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    1. What about in single player RPGs where you can create your own character? Do you always roll a completely new character, or do you base it off of one of your own?

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      1. I usually try to create a new one that fits into the world, or that fits a playstyle I think sounds interesting. Honestly, naming my FFXIV character is almost the only time I can think of I’ve based a character off of a previous character. Well, except for once or twice where I felt like I didn’t really get to develop a character idea well before and wanted to see it through to ‘completion’.

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  6. There’s currently a scythe available for Neverwinter Great Weapon Fighters – you can get it at the Summer Festival.

    Unfortunately, there’s less than 24 hours left in this year’s Summer Festival, and it costs a great deal if event currency.

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    1. That’s neat to know! It is too bad I had no idea until now, though I honestly haven’t played Neverwinter in a long time. I think the last time I put effort in this game was to get that little mimic during one of the winter festivals.

      Still cool they’re offering different weapon types!

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      1. If you did have any interest, they extended the festival by another week. It would be easy to get enough for it in that time.

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