thoughts about age and quests

this is a bit of ramble I’m afraid 😉

I was questing away on my nord sorceror last night and I came across a quest that really made me think,  I was in kind of a reflective mood anyway. Anyway, I’ve been playing Eydis (my sorc) as Dimzad has been away and I don’t want my main (nightblade) to get out of sync with him.  While creating her, I decided to change it up and make her old.  I had a sudden realisation that on paper I am all for insisting upon options and fair representation, railing about the age disparities found in our media and the like, yet I continually create young female characters.  Fair enough, some games don’t give you that option but here I was faced with a character creator which gave me a multitude of options and what was I about to do?  create a young and attractive character yet again.  So on an impulse, I gave my Nord grey hair and pushed the age slider about 3/4 to the right.  I think she’s ended up being around the late 50s, though it is hard to gauge given the faux medieval setting.

Eydis the Wanderer
Eydis the Wanderer

It was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, I absolutely love her.  Although I don’t ever properly RP my characters, I do imbue them with likes and dislikes, imagine their motivations and where they fall in the D&D moral alignment grid (my personal default is chaotic good leaning towards chaotic neutral – this classification of morality has stuck with me for a long time now, I’m not sure where I first came across it- it was a single player pc RPG I think).

So I’d been imagining Eydis as an experienced and learned sorceror who has seen her fair share of battles and skirmishes.  As she was older and has presumably seen much needless death, I imagined that she would seek a peaceful resolution where she could but wouldn’t shy from doing what she needed to do.  So… I was kinda mulling this over while I was out questing and I was running through a save the village from a baddy type scenario.  It turned out that the leader of the baddies had been driven mad from grief over the loss of her two sons in war and was turning villagers into daedric slave things.  She was a priestess of Kyne, and from what I can gather Kyne is all about death and glory in battle.  So I felt rather sympathetic towards this woman and I imagined Eydis would too.  As it turned out, one of her sons had actually survived and I was given the option of either going straight to kill her or to go and talk to her son.  I chose to talk to her son.

Screenshot_20140604_211855

After telling me what a failure he was and how much he hated being in the army, he then said the above….  Seriously?  I was absolutely going off on one in my head  and I figured Eydis would have had a lot to say to that too.  So I went back to stop her and sighed when I realised the only option I had was to fight and kill her.  However, he turned up towards the end of the fight, prayed to Kyne and promised to return to the war in exchange for Kyne restoring his mother.  So a happy ending after all.

Screenshot_20140604_212303

well… not really if you think about it.  I’ve ended up sending a guy back to a war he’d really rather not be in and his mum will be back preaching the glory of war and sending more off to the war effort all the while worrying about her son.  I guess at least this way, they have a chance of surviving and finding peace at some point.

Obviously they are just npcs and so I’m not losing any sleep over it 😉 but I do like the fact that whilst playing ESO I can mull over complicated ethical situations and unforeseen consequences 🙂

 

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14 Comments

  1. Nice story and sounds like it will be a more interesting character. I really need to branch out more with my own characters as well, I always have a certain archetype I stick too when it’s a humanoid model

  2. Great tale! I miss reading blogs like this – or at least, many blogs like this that i used to read have disappeared. You’re my last hope! 😀

    You say you usually make young characters and when I thought on it I always make middle-aged characters. Rarely have a I made an older character, so this insight got me thinking on it alot. Still, I wonder why I like middle aged characters, characters with a little bit of wear on their skin from years of just living. I was doing this when I wasnt even middle aged yet. Maybe I wanted to be middle aged. If I wrote a letter to my past self today I’d probably say “its everything you thought it would be” lol.

  3. thank you both for your comments 🙂 and thank you Doone – made my day 🙂

    It’s quite interesting when you start thinking about why and how we create our characters – are we creating versions of ourselves?, idealised versions? (but idealised by whom?), a character to suit the story? I’m sure there are many more reasons and influences beyond that but they strike me as the most obvious. And of course, that’s if you give it any thought at all – Dimzad created his high elf sorc purely for the racial buffs, then put all sliders to the left to make him look as un-elf like as possible 😀 (he normally plays a dwarf).

  4. Hi mate, I meant to reply to this at the time of posting but you know… stuff :/

    Seriously though this is one of the best posts I’ve ever read. Ever. I say that because it covers the two themes I hold dear in MMOs/games that I always feel cheated on – age and consequences.

    I’m 43 and have more wrinkles than an elephants kneecap so I simply don’t want to play a drop dead handsome 25 year old high school jock. I want to play as a man and given the worlds these games exist in I want to play as a man who’s been knocked about and damaged by the world.

    And I also want to play as a man who seems the complexities in a given situation and tried to work things out. when I want mindless god-like wish fulfillment I’ll play an amazing FPS like Left 4 Dead 2, but in an MMO I want to live another life, a life of meaning, compromise and consequences.

    As much as I love #GW2 I am being badly let down in both areas.

    1. re: commenting – completely understand and I am a terribly slack commenter myself – I had to use brute mental force to make myself find time and congratulate you on 1,000 posts before it got embarrassing 😉

      and wow – thank you for your lovely comment. I wasn’t very confident about the writing quality and ended up just publishing it before I backed away and deleted it… so thank you, all of you 🙂

      It is very refreshing actually to be given non-combat options to solve situations, it really does make you feel part of the world when your opinion is listened to and then acted upon. Quests that make you think??? who’da thunk it? 😛

  5. I did create an old Champion TP grinder char once and really enjoyed the old chap, like yourself…I impart a little internal story while playing my chars (not unlike my younger son who can spend hours in his own world playing with his cars) and found that I was very sad to see the old guy go…maybe one day I will bring him back from retirement. (His last day: http://tsuhelm.wordpress.com/2012/09/06/fredem-gone/)

    1. thanks for commenting 🙂

      Maybe this is why I find it so hard to let go of alts – after you have played for a bit (crafted, grinded, stored – whatever their purpose) before you know it, you’ve started giving them a personality…

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