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RoleplaySep 5, 2015 4:00 pm CT

Role Play: Starting over with a roleplay character

Just because you roll a certain class and make a raiding main, it doesn’t mean you’re obligated to stick with that main. In a similar vein, just because you create a character, it doesn’t mean you’re obligated to stick with that roleplay character from now until the end of time, either. Sometimes all of your character’s storylines revolve around a partner who decides to quit the game, sometimes you just write yourself into a corner you can’t seem to get out of, or sometimes it’s just a situation where roleplaying that character isn’t really making you happy anymore.

In any case, if you’re not having fun, it might just be time to hang up the hat and move on. You’re paying to play the game, after all, and it makes absolutely no sense to throw down your hard-earned cash on something that’s making you miserable both in-game and out. Luckily, when it comes to swapping out one roleplay character for another, you’ve got plenty of options — you just want to make sure you approach them the right way.


Calling it quits

Sometimes it’s hard to say goodbye, especially if it’s a character you’ve put plenty of time and energy into developing, and if that character still has storylines that they’re involved in. So before you make that decision, you might want to take a good look at what, exactly, is making playing that character a trying experience. Is it the character itself, is it a situation that character has gotten into, or is it someone that character is associated with?

In the case of a storyline or a situational problem, sometimes all you need to do is sit down with the people involved and work it out. If you’re unhappy, they might just be unhappy too, and willing to either drop the storyline, or come up with a quick resolution so everyone involved can move on. If it’s a relationship they’ve gotten involved with, the same applies, but it’s trickier — people get attached to the people they roleplay with, and a character in a relationship automatically has a prominent role in their partner’s roleplay.

Either way, you want to make it clear to the people you’re roleplaying with that you aren’t unhappy with them, you’re unhappy with how your character is turning out, and you’d like to change that. Whether this means leaving your character behind, killing them off, breaking up with an established relationship partner, or just slipping off into retirement is entirely up to you. The important thing is that if you’re going to do this, you want to let people know, and figure out how to you want to resolve any in-character storylines or situations before moving on.


Keeping a main

Just because you’ve decided to make a new roleplay character, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have to start from scratch. Blizzard has a lot of options for players who want to shake things up and try something new. If you don’t want to spend any real-life cash, you can always hit up the Barber Shop. You can change your character’s hair style, hair color, and accessories like piercings, facial markings, facial hair or horns. As of Warlords of Draenor, you can also change your character’s face — which means you can pretty much create a character that looks nothing like the one you’re leaving behind.

The only drawback to that is that you’ll still have the same nameplate floating above your head. With profile addons, it’s easy enough to simply stick a new name in your roleplaying profile and explain to people that this is, in fact a new character. Or if you don’t mind throwing down $10, you can use Blizzard’s Name Change service to change that pesky name floating over your head, too.

Alternatively, if you’re fine with the idea of throwing cash out there for a revamp, Blizzard has a Race Change service for $25, or you can hop the faction lines and get yourself a Faction Change for $30. Both of these services come with a free name change along with the race and faction swap, so you can pick whatever name you like. There’s also an Appearance Change service for $15, but almost everything the Appearance Change offers is something you can do in the Barber Shop, so this option isn’t exactly necessary — it comes with a free Name Change too, however.


Creating a new character

The last part of making a new roleplay character is one that you should already be familiar with — create a character, give them a background, come up with a good story for them, and let them loose in the world. And if you’ve kept up the conversation with your roleplaying buddies, you should still have a good group of people to roleplay with when you bring that new character into play. However, before you put the final touches on that new character, you might want to take one last look at the character you’re leaving behind.

Why? Because ideally, you want to pick out the mistakes you made and the situations that made that character not-so-fun to play, and avoid making those same decisions the second time around. If your character got into a bad situation in a storyline, maybe look at what got them in that situation to begin with — was it the personality of the character that drove those decisions, or was it the group of people that character was involved with?

Similarly, if the character was in a relationship that just didn’t hit the right notes with you, maybe avoiding relationships with this character would be a good idea, or create some kind of established, off-screen relationship that already exists, just to lock them into that no-relationship territory. If your character had a poor reputation, look at what made them gain that reputation in the first place, and switch it up — create a character with a better attitude.


Drastic measures

And while you’re looking at that character and what went wrong, you might also want to ask yourself if it was a matter of the character not turning out quite right, or if it was the people you were playing with that made it go poorly. If it’s the latter, then maybe more drastic measures are necessary, and you might want to look for some new people to roleplay with. After all, you’re not obligated to roleplay with anyone — you get to pick and choose who you’re roleplaying with.

Even if this is the case, you want to make sure that you finish your existing character’s story, and tie up any loose ends before you go. Not just because it’s the polite thing to do for the people that have shared your character’s storyline, but also for yourself. Having that closure, and a good “the end” to tack onto a character’s story is far more satisfying than just leaving their fate up to chance, and helps soothe any regrets that might pop up later. If you resolve everything that needs to be resolved, you’ll have less trouble moving on.

And of course, if you really want to, you can always pay for a server change, or re-roll from level 1. Sometimes you meet some really cool people during that leveling experience, after all — and it gives you time to really get a feel for how your new roleplay character thinks, what makes them tick. No matter what route you take, remember: There’s nothing wrong with starting over. It’s perfectly fine and it’s even kind of satisfying to have that ending, whether happy or sad, and move on to a new once upon a time.

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