An even more lightweight post than usual today, starting with a quote from someone who’s not sure that they’re enjoying the game as much as I am:
An mmo is supposed to be a world where you create the character you want to be and the story mechanic and voice work actualy takes away from that. At first I did think it was a great idea but yeah my character is not my own.
In a nutshell, I could not be having a more different experience. I could tell you in detail why but before I do that, there’s someone you should meet: Rouf.
Rouf is my Scoundrel (although he very nearly wasn’t) but to understand him better, you might want to know a bit more about him. You don’t? Well I’m going to tell you anyway with this (image heavy) illustrated biography.
In The Beginning
Rouf started out life way back in SWG. What was great about the character creator in that game was it let you make all types of characters. Rouf was old, short, fat and had a bad combover which he regularly dyed to make himself look trendy. Then he took up dancing. Yes, that’s right, he became an Entertainer and spent his time in Mos Eisley cantina strutting his stuff and wearing a pair of bright Hawtpants.
Funnily enough he was the poorest dancer there – all the tips for healing seemed to go to the lithe, scantily clad, young Twi’leks. I can’t imagine why.
After a while, he got adopted by a group of Bohemian entertainers and made his home in the famous city of Aartan Ridge (Farstar Server) where he ran the local Speederbike shop and made a fortune from selling resources and power to crafters. Eventually he decided to go adventuring and learnt how to fly a spaceship. His dancing background meant he was able to master Teras Kasi quickly. Then he flew around the galaxy, getting drunk, thrown out of and banned from cantinas on every planet before going on to finding exotic and interesting new lifeforms and beating the absolute crap out of them in the hope that they’d drop Spinner Blades for some stupid project or other.
After leaving Tatooine, Rouf found himself in the wilderlands of Norrath in Everquest 2. He was a Barbarian with a silly beard and unfortunate facial tattoos. The shock of this experience sent him fleeing back to space into the universe of EVE Online where he got lost jumping through endless numbers of jumpgates and found himself addicted to cocktail of cryogenic filter fluid and lapsang souchong.
The Warcraft Years
In Azeroth, Rouf was a cow. Don’t ask.
There and back again
Rouf surfaced again in Middle Earth as an old, bearded and balding, beer-drinking Champion (and champion beer drinker). It was the first time Rouf had ever demonstrated any type of heroic aptitude and, while still stocky, started to keep himself more in trim with all the dual wielding schwing-schwing. The elves annoyed him though. So did those layabout rangers that were kicking around in Evendim – the ones who said
“Go and find some pieces of ancient pottery for me! Oh, you’ve found them? Oh, good. Lay them out on that rug. Yes, the one right by my feet – no, not that one, the one closer to me. Now then, champion of Bree-land, scourge of Goblins and slayer of Trolls, sort the broken pieces out by size and label them for me.”
“Sort them out yourself you lazy feck! I’m off to the bar.” He got a bit pissed off with passing love-letters between that Aragorn fella and his elven lover, Elrond, too.
This is where the fun begins
So finally, we’ve come full circle and Rouf has returned to a Galaxy far, far away. I’ll be honest with you too, this is the version of Rouf that I’m loving best. He’s got a real character now and has been given a voice and, while it might not have been the one I’d have given him myself, it’s now his voice. He’s got character too – as the Gree ambassador on Coruscant said to him “From your humanoid face patterns I observe that you embody deliberate facetiousness.” He’s drinking and BSOCKing his way around the galaxy (which no doubt explains his multiple divorces), flying ships and shooting guns but a touch of the heroic has stayed with him. And he’s manage to keep most of the weight off too.
So, far from not being my character, I’ve found that in SWTOR, with all the dialogue, cut-scenes and voice-overs, this Rouf is more like the Rouf in my head than any other version. Who knows – maybe I’ll return to writing bad fan-fic about him again.