Role Play: Breathing new life into an old character
We’ve all had it happen before – after playing the same character for so long, you start to get a little bored. It’s not that you hate your character; you’re just finding it hard to dredge up any interest in roleplay. Logging on for extended roleplay doesn’t sound fun, it just makes you tired. And when you’re roleplaying, you can seem to dredge up more than a sentence or two in reply. What do you do? How do you get back that spark that made roleplay so interesting in the first place?
Identify the problem
Before you do anything else, it’s worth doing a little soul-searching to try and figure out exactly why you’re bored. Is it because your character doesn’t have any interesting stories going on? Are your character’s usual partners in storytelling absent? Or is it because they’ve reached the end of whatever storyline you’d originally prepared for them?
Usually when roleplayers start a character – particularly beginning roleplayers – they have a pretty set place that they want that character to go. Maybe they’re looking for long-lost relatives, or trying to recover from a bout of amnesia. Or maybe they’re just on the search for that perfect relationship, someone they can settle down with and start a family. Perhaps that vengeance they were seeking for wrong deeds committed long ago has finally been satisfied.
When you have a plan and you execute that plan, it puts a big “the end” on that story. When that plan is the only plan you had in your arsenal, it leaves your character with nowhere to go – and leaves you feeling like there’s no reason to be roleplaying.
Try to weed out the different scenarios and pinpoint exactly what is stripping your character of all interest. By doing so, you can properly address the problem at its root and move on to a solution.
Introduce a new element
In some cases, all you’re really missing is an element of excitement – something for your character to do. Keep in mind that you don’t need to be playing the expansion storyline when you’re roleplaying. You can make up whatever you’d like. Take another look at your character. What are they up to in the world of Azeroth? What are they after?
If you’ve played out that original story your character was following, don’t think of it as the end of a story – think of it as the end of a chapter. Your character got what they wanted – what comes next? What makes them get out of bed in the morning? Is there something they really want, but don’t currently have?
If you’re playing with other people, you may want to discuss matters with them as well. If you can’t come up with any ideas for new adventures, maybe your friends have a few they’ve been considering. Sometimes all that’s needed to make things interesting again is a fresh set of eyes and a different perspective.
Change of scenery
If you love your character but you feel like you’re in a rut, sometimes more drastic measures are necessary. In cases where your guild or group isn’t quite giving you the roleplay you’re looking for, there’s nothing wrong with finding another guild or group to roleplay with. If you really like your guild or group of friends, consider bringing in some new members. Again, it’s a fresh perspective you’re looking for – new roleplayers can breathe new life and new angles on stories that might feel a little old.
If you find yourself without any roleplaying partners, or your guild has slowly eroded to nothing, you might want to consider an even bigger change of scenery. Changing servers offers an even bigger switch in perspective – particularly if you’re leaving a fairly low-population server to begin with. This is, however, a drastic solution – be sure you really want that change in scenery before you hop.
When in doubt, start over
For more drastic measures, start over. Roll a new alt, come up with a new backstory, and see where that story takes you. Consult your friends and see if they’d like to create some new characters as well. Or if they’d rather keep their established characters, see if they’d like a new relative, or an old friend they haven’t seen in years.
If you’re really attached to the character you’ve created, consider just rebooting that character as an alternative. Give them a different backstory, or change their general demeanor. Just because you’ve written your character a certain way doesn’t mean you’re not allowed to change them. It’s your character. You can make whatever changes you deem necessary.
If you do decide to start over, make sure you let your friends and roleplaying partners know what’s going on. Making major changes to a character means that their interactions with you are going to change as well. You may even want to re-name your character, and start them over as someone completely new – the same class and level, but a different name and a different background.
Sometimes, there isn’t really a particular reason for growing tired of a character or story – it’s just boring. There’s nothing wrong with admitting that, and starting over from scratch. Just make sure you’re keeping any roleplaying partners in crime filled in on your exploits, so you aren’t accidentally alienating any friends in your search for a new beginning.
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