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Old 04-22-2006, 09:59 AM   #1
Brody
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I've known players on OtherSpace who've had the same character - and no alts - since about the time the game opened in 1998. Although they've gone through some fallow times when it comes to activity with their character, they've stuck with it, allowing the character to evolve with all the changes and crises that come along.

I've known others who don't last more than a few weeks, either because the passion they originally felt for the character concept faded or because their actions led to pretty unpleasant consequences.

So, how long should someone stick with a character? And what are the signs that it's time to let a character bow out gracefully/heroically/permanently instead of letting it drift away into inactivity? How long have your characters lasted in persistent RP worlds?
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Old 04-22-2006, 12:16 PM   #2
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If the game has no permadeath or aging, the obvious answer seems to be that one shouldn't play if one isn't enjoying it.

That said, as MUDS are collaborative efforts, the ideal situation would be to take a break rather than delete a character, if that character is important for other characters' roles or for current world events.

"If every day were holiday, to sport would be as tedious as to work." A break does wonders to restore perspective on what is work and what is play.
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Old 04-22-2006, 12:56 PM   #3
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I've played 1 mort for lamost 7 years now on Adventures Unlimited, haven't really complished that much onn those years though (well he was mayor once, and has lead 2 clans...) but he's the only one that feels like a primary character to me... then agian he's also the closest to to the real me... other than the fact I'mnto a 105 year old man.. that can go around killing peopel w/o recourse...
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Old 05-09-2006, 09:10 AM   #4
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Anyone else on this topic?
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Old 05-09-2006, 03:00 PM   #5
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Carrion Fields has both age death and con death for our characters.  Both can happen sooner if you do some things really wrong, but for the most part characters seem to be around for 600-1000 hours tops of play time.  More frequently, however, people delete their characters closer to 400 or so hours it seems, when the character feels used up or they loose interest and move on.

The problem with your question, is that it depends ENTIRELY on the "pace" of the game.  Having a character since 1998 would seem absolutely absurd on CF.  Likewise, having a character for 1000 hours would probably still leave you a rookie on your MUD, if people are playing their characters over a ten-year period.  

Politics and quests happen on a time scale that is independent to each game.  Ours feels very nicely balanced out to me, and it's rare that a character dies of old age where the player wasn't beginning to feel like it was time to move on anyway.
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Old 05-09-2006, 04:31 PM   #6
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My personal preference? It should die when it gets killed, or when it gets old. Whichever comes first. I used to enjoy the "resurrection" type of game, but that was when I played on a pay-to-play and invested time -and- money into my character. I felt that the more I paid (with a monthly fee) the more I invested, and the less I was willing to see my character cease to exist. Eventually I got burned out on the entire "RP enforced, but toss all sense of realism in the trash" idea, and quit the game entirely. I went to another game where you could reroll to a new character, keeping a percentage of your original character's training points.

That seemed like a much more reasonable thing and I felt less pressure to keep a character I might not enjoy anymore.

THEN I went to a free RPI where death was permanent. I abhored the notion because it wasn't what I was used to. No one likes change, if it means leaving your comfort zone. My first character's death was so traumatic I actually cried while staring at my computer monitor.

Since then, I've become spoiled. If my character can't truly die, if I can do something to keep my character existing after death, then I'm not interested in the game. I can't imagine playing a game that doesn't have permanent death anymore. There's no rush, no thrill, if you go out hunting bad monsters, only to die, rezz, and an hour later be back out hunting again. That seems pointless.
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Old 05-09-2006, 07:22 PM   #7
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A character should die when it is good for the story.

If that means a conscious decision to 'make it happen' or simply playing along when it occurs during a risky venture in a game with permadeath, so be it.

Deleting a character out of boredom or lack of time is nearly always a bad idea, as interest and time tends to come back eventually. However, denying the character their excellent final chapter purely out of fear of losing an 'investment' usually means the character will fade away rather than go out with a bang.

---Brett
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Old 05-09-2006, 09:58 PM   #8
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When your character's name shows up in lost historical scrolls, it's time to call it quits.
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Old 05-10-2006, 12:21 PM   #9
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I am currently one of the oldest subscribred players on Age of the Throne with over 7100 hours logged since the conversion to pay to play in spring 1999. Its not time to end my chracter yet. I have so much more to do and places to go (my own fault, I shouldn't have spent so much time socializing but eh whatever). Another reason why I don't want to start over is the sheer amount of effort involved in starting a character from scratch to reach where I am. I think the honest answer to this is "when the character just feels old instead of like a life long friend" is when it should be retired. When it becomes old and boring to log that character in, it might be time for a break or a death. Of course when everyone calls you a chrochety old man it might be a clue too...hmm....
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Old 05-11-2006, 03:01 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Brody @ April 22 2006,10:59)
I've known players on OtherSpace who've had the same character - and no alts - since about the time the game opened in 1998. Although they've gone through some fallow times when it comes to activity with their character, they've stuck with it, allowing the character to evolve with all the changes and crises that come along.

I've known others who don't last more than a few weeks, either because the passion they originally felt for the character concept faded or because their actions led to pretty unpleasant consequences.

So, how long should someone stick with a character? And what are the signs that it's time to let a character bow out gracefully/heroically/permanently instead of letting it drift away into inactivity? How long have your characters lasted in persistent RP worlds?
Note, I only play RPIs now and don't see a reason H&S would even pertain to the question, so I'd have to say that the answer is dependant upon the character.

The longest character I ever had in a MUD lasted over three and one-half years. I ended up retiring them because they'd gone beyond what was reasonable for the character. In-character, they weren't happy where they were and had already amassed a larger fortune than they could spend. There was no reason they'd continue to remain where they were, regardless of the money. So, they returned home (home being a place in the game not playable). While I was enjoying the character, I felt it was just too unrealistic for them to remain where they were any longer.

So, I'd have to say that my response to "when should you retire a character" is this: when it makes sense to do so based on in-character reasons. Stay in character and you'll know when it's time to leave or retire.

Take care,

Jason
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Old 05-13-2006, 09:06 AM   #11
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Cool

Some people have touched on it, though I'd like to lend my weight to one idea in particular:
You probably should stop playing a character when it's no longer fun to do so. I mean, the concerns about "Does it make sense storywise" or such are all well and good, but if you aren't enjoying playing the thing, then it's sort of a moot point. Why would you want to carry it through if every moment of that is just grinding annoyance?
Muds are games, games are supposed to be fun, that's why we play them, right? There are probably a lot of reasons why it might no longer be fun to play a character. My view may be a bit skewed given how things are setup on my own home mud (haven't found anything else that really satisfies me), but some examples are: You really are stuck in a rut when it comes to storyline, i.e. there really is nothing that exciting open to someone of your particular talents, experiences, etc. When you've maxed out the code side of things (ok, this applies more to places like tsos where there's a strong duality between code and rp, probably not to everywhere), and just can't really progress anymore; this really shouldn't necessarily be a limiting factor, but I've seen it pop up.

People tend to get attached to their characters (you spend enough time playing them, so I'd hope you do anyway), so the thought of retiring them, killing them off, simply stopping play...well it shouldn't be a decision that one takes lightly. Sometimes it's probably best to let others know you're kind of in a jam and see if they can help give you new ideas or new avenues of story to try out.
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Old 06-14-2006, 07:39 PM   #12
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Bumped for more responses.
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Old 06-15-2006, 01:52 AM   #13
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I think its time to retire the character when they arent what you made them to be anymore (in a bad way) and there is no real way of coming back. The only character I have ever retired was also because of serious disagreements with staff, so that may be wise as well. It was VERY difficult to do, heh probably one of the hardest things I have ever done. Hmm..

When the game isnt and probably wont ever be the same for you again? That is more retiring from the game though.

If you log on the character, are bored, feel sick of the same ol thing that seems to be going on with them. Feel like you have accomplished all of your major goals. The same things arent attractive to you through your characters eyes anymore (if that makes sense). It is probably seriously time to consider retirement, or a long hiatus. Its usually not good for the player or anyone they interact with to just drag on.
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Old 06-16-2006, 01:39 PM   #14
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I also play on Adventures Unlimited, but unlike Markov I haven't had a set character for that long. My personal opinion is that a player knows when their character should die or be retired. I've been playing there since... oh my gosh, this is actually my six year anniversary today. How time flies ^.^ Anyway, six years. In that time I've had several main alts, and I knew exactly when was the proper time for each to die. Usually triggered by some sort of RP even.

I have two favorites, though. My first alt retired to her husband's home and went insane after he was killed in the yard in front of her and their two kids.

My fourth alt or so was a dwarven knight who stormed the Abyss to try and kill the God of the Demons, in a huge RP that had about 12-15 characters from both sides actively playing it out. She died holding the portal open so that the rest of the men she had led into the Abyss could retreat and escape.

So anyway. My answer is, when the RP is right and the player feels its time to retire or kill off that particular character. Usually my main characters end up with around 1000 hours before they die for one reason or another.

The one thing I am severely, severely opposed to is a character dying and then somehow (through magic, resurrection, blah blah blah) coming back. I feel that really hurts the RP around the character, and the people that played with that character, and sort of cheapens the whole point of having a character die.

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