Friday, 18 May 2012

How Rav came into being

It feels a bit early to write about my main characters for such a young blog as this, but I guess you'll all have to blame Ambermist from Tastes Like Battle Chicken for setting up the blogger challenge of this week: the Week 3 Challenge: What's My Main Again?. I already promised to write about the challenge of week 2 and failed miserably, so you see, I simply had no choice this week!

My name

I've always been writing stories and one that I wrote when I was still a kid was a fantasy story with a protagonist called Ravanel. It wasn't a very good story and I abandoned it after 30 pages or so, but I liked the name and remembered it. When I started playing my first MMO, LotRO, I didn't want to use my real name for my character and picked Ravanel. The lore-master class reminded me of my story's character, so it fit well. 

Rav or Rava?

If you've followed this blog even only a bit, you're probably already sick of lore-masters, as Ravanel pops up everywhere, both on screenshots and in so-called lore-master talk. After all these years, I still play her as my main character and I love the class to bits. I won't speak more of that here, though: I think my recent post Should you play a lore-master? covered that subject well enough. Ravanel was my only character in LotRO for over two years, and it didn't take long until I was known as "Rav" to my friends. My kinship started an alliance with another kin in the Moria days, and somehow people from that other kin started calling me "Rava" instead. I don't mind either way: it's even sort of handy to identify people sending tells from alts I don't recognize. A friend persuaded me to keep the name of my first alt similar to my main character and thus it was that several "Ravs" came into being: Ravalinde, Ravenwyn, Ravereth...

I'm attached enough to my characters to spend 60 minutes drawing the image to the right (depicting jedi sage Ravanel)

Part of me

I've read several interesting posts of other people following Ambermist's third challenge, and most of them seem to put something of themselves in their characters. I'm no exception. My characters called Ravanel always resemble myself the most: their appearance is much like me (as far as that's possible in MMOs) and their personality resembles what I like to do most:
  • For lore-master Ravanel (LotRO) that is being curious, exploring and wanting to learn everything: she is a scholar from the First Age who is curious about the past of her people and other cultures she encountered and saw evolve during her life. In real life, I'm an archaeology student who is just like this if anything covers the middle ages. My lore-master has the most developed lore of all my characters. You can even read an intentionally slick love story of Ravanel and Fingolwë written by my boyfriend.
  • For jedi sage Ravanel (SWTOR) it is also being a scholar, but she covers a different topic: the study of wild plants and learning about the nature around her ("Biochem") - one of my big passions in real life (I love wild plants!). Archaeology was no option for her, as that craft annoys the hell out of me in SWTOR. Archaeology means studying objects, remains, traces etc from people in the past in order to learn what life was like in those days. 'Archaeology' in SWTOR is studying crystals. Crystals are naturally formed and don't involve people in any way. It has nothing to do with archaeology at all! Failures like this can really annoy me in SWTOR. I try to look over it and think of the craft as Geology, because that's what it actually is.
  • Other characters ("alts", if you like to call them that) reflect other pieces of my personality. An example: I have a character called Haradwen in both MMOs I currently play, and they reflect my favorite sport: sword-fighting (yup, I practice medieval sword-fighting in real life). They are fierce characters with a temper: a champion in LotRO and a jedi sentinel in SWTOR.
I'm not so naive as to think that people will actually recognize these character traits in-game (which is probably a good thing), but it's fun for me to imagine that my toons all have their own character. I don't play on role-play servers, but my best in-game friends know the stories of my characters and how I like to play them. Creating my own stories for characters just add an extra layer to my gaming experience and is much fun!

How do you play your characters? Do they reflect yourself so much as well?


  1. I'm the same way. I know that Ambermist's (and Ambera Mist's, har har) characteristics don't show in the pixels as I imagine them, but it sits well with me knowing what she's like in the big picture of the story.

    SWTOR, especially, let me make Ambera's characteristics more real through conversations and choices--it's why I ended up at 50 barely being in Dark I!

    Great post, thank you!

    1. I guess it's typically something for bloggers to make up all these stories about our characters: I know that many people I play with don't do this at all. Perhaps blogging people just have a larger imagination! ^^

      I love the conversation options in SWTOR too! On the other hand, I often do get the feeling they're a bit too black-and-white. My jedi sentinel Haradwen is typically someone who means well in her heart, but does have a temper and feels hatred when facing injustice (not very encouraged traits by the jedi council). It's hard to develop this in a system where everything is just "good" or "evil".

      I'm glad you liked my post, I'm looking forward to the summary of everyone who joined for this challenge!

  2. I'm glad to see you have personalities for your characters. And it is never too early in your blog to post about them (If it is, I did it wrong). I love to read and write vignettes, developing the characters we play. There certainly isn't much opportunity to do it in-game.

    1. That's cool! Do you publish those stories on your blog? (And if you do, sorry that I've missed them so far.)

      It's really an eye opener that so many blogging people create stories for their characters. I agree that it is much fun!

    2. I thought I had responded to this. My stories on the blog are tagged story. There aren't as many as I'd like unfortunately.

    3. In the meanwhile, I already searched through your blog and found the story of Dexy/Corso and Mako/Chico. It sort of ends with a cliffhanger, so you should definitely write more! :)

  3. Rav, do you have a twitter handle?

    1. Twitter handle? Not really sure what that is (in case I didn't mention it: I live under a rock), but I don't have a Twitter account. I don't think it would be something for me - I don't even have a mobile phone at the moment. Kind of you to ask, though. :)

    2. Yeah your handle would be your "username" on Twitter, if you had an account. Mine is @rowanblaze, for example.

      While I agree that associating Archaeology with crystal formations is odd, I do pick up "artifact fragments" from both the crystals and from tablet-looking nodes called "Archaelogical Finds," which are then used in Artifice and Synthweaving.

      Cheers. :)

    3. Hmm, you have a point there. I found myself gathering crystals most times on my sentinel, though, so I guess that's where my allergy came from.

  4. Love your posts. My LotRO main is nicknamed "Riv" :)) (Hard to guess from my Google name, not.)

    I play on roleplay server, but I don't really roleplay. Much. Have tried, it's not really something that would fill my fingers with adrenaline, even if able to do it time to time, so I stopped it. Also, my main is an elf, and to competently roleplay that in Tolkien world takes a bit more than, say, roleplaying a drunken and crude dwarf in some other game, maybe.

    Anyway, interesting about the character and person connections. I have thought about it. All my characters are females. When I log onto my boyfriend's accounts, where all the characters are males, I always feel such testosteron overflow and have hard time associating with persons on screen. Maybe I lack imagination, that I cannot play another person that is not my gender?

    Also, my main is runekeeper. That fits in the sense that I don't like to take myself too seriously (and runekeeper in Tolkien world is definitely something to not take very seriously ;) ). In my mind, she's a bit silly (can an elf be silly? I hope so :) ) Clumsy and laid back. Doesn't really fit into the doom and gloom company of elves I have sometimes seen around in Rivendell. She likes pickles.

    I also have a woman guardian that gets a lot of playtime. Now that's much easier to roleplay! She's very silly and drinks a lot.

    I also have a hobbit who has alcohol problems and who deals weed back in the bushes of the Green Dragon :))

    But now I digress. Just meant to say that I guess I also put some of myself into characters I make (well, minus alcohol problems and weed dealing, of course :))

    1. Well, thank you! Rav and Riv, hehe, I like that! ^^ I have the same as you, I just can't bear to play male characters! They just... don't feel like me. My boyfriend, on the contrary, doesn't have any problems playing female characters. What is that with men playing female characters anyway?

      I actually have an elf rune-keeper who's a total feastbeast, spending far too much time partying in Rivendell and looking in the mirror. Certainly a silly elf too, I'd say. Your weed-dealing hobbit made me laugh so much! I can totally see that happening. You will have to take back that "I lack imagination"-comment now! Good to hear that your characters don't resemble yourself too much in your case, though. ;-)

  5. Great post Rav! I really enjoyed reading your take on the reflection of self in an avatar. It really gave me a new perspective on the topic. I've realized that, for me anyways, it really depends on the game. In simulation games like Sims and YouTubers Life, I try to make the avatar as similar to myself as possible. But in games like Minecraft and Tera, I go crazy to make my avatar look however I want her to look, but my personality is still kind of shining through in actions I make my avatar take. I think the topic at whole is super intriguing! Thanks for the share!! I really enjoyed reading this!

    1. Aww, thank you, Jennifer! It's a bit different depending on games for me, as well. In MMOs I make them, well, as described in the article above. But in some single players games it doesn't make sense to make characters like me. For instance in Mass Effect (I don't know if you've played that), there your character is in the army. I enjoy just making up a character as well, though. :)


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