Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Where Did I Come From? Contemplating Character Creation

I never thought about it much, even when taking my first steps into Azeroth, about where I came from, ya know, how did I actually come into being? Given that I never thought about it much means that, for me at least, it's not really that important. But something happened recently that made me think about it and whether it's important or not.

I gave RIFT a go.

While watching the opening cinematics for both Guardians and Defiants I noticed that I am told about my creators, about where I come from, whereas in WoW, I just appear out of nowhere and am supposed to have feelings all of a sudden. It's interesting, to me at least, how the Guardians have been risen by their gods as Ascended (I think I'm getting this right, I didn't take notes and am going off poor memory), super heros brought back to life to defeat the evil Regulos and do some other heroic stuff and stuff.

The Defiant built machines, and with those machines created a race of "Ascended", in other words, magical Frankensteins with a defined purpose. In either case the story makes a HUGE point of telling you where you come from. It also tells you why you're here, but that's a separate subject.

WoW just kind of apparates you into Northshire and gives you a stick without telling you where you came from. I guess in the grand scheme of things it doesn't really matter. I mean, sooner or later you learn that you are not intended to be a hero anyway but a punching bag for elitist jerks who treat you like you're 3 years old...AND, LET'S NOT FORGET, TO GET MORE LOOT!!!!!!

All jesting aside, I don't know whether it's better to be created from "nowhere" or made by a machine. It seems like the Guardians in RIFT get the lucky draw, risen by the all powerful beings or whatnot, while Defiants or WoW players are either some rare cyborg meat suit or a nothingless creature brought from some alternate dimension by some dude in his mom's basement looking for some cheap weekend thrills.

No, I suppose none of it really matters. I was just thinking and all, you know how that goes. It's "just a game", who cares about story when you can pew pew all day long and get shiny purple shinies thingies. Aargh, I'm in a bad mood today, can you tell? I'm treating this issue as if it doesn't matter, which it doesn't, but in some weird way I'm supposed to think that it does? When it comes down to it, I appreciate that the creators of RIFT were thoughtful enough to tell me where I come from. I do enjoy WoW still, or I wouldn't play it, but now whenever I create a new toon I know I'm going to be thinking, somewhere in the back of my mind, that I drew the short straw when it came to character creation lore/background. /sigh.

I'll be alright, I'll get over this tragedy, and maybe, just maybe the reason I'm here (in Azeroth), will be compelling enough to make up for the fact that I have no idea where I come from.


Tesh said...

Well, WoW *does* have the little intro movies. There's something there, it's just not much.

...maybe that's better for role playing sandbox gaming, worse for theme parks?

Gronthe said...

@ Tesh: True. Still, it was interesting to see the different approaches.