Empathy for the Unreal

halfhillWhen patch 5.4 hit and the Timeless Isle was available, all my characters who could headed out for the Isle. It consumed them. Those left behind were ignored. I started feeling a strange unease, I didn’t know what was wrong. One day I logged into my Jeweler who was sitting in Halfhill. Since I was there, she did some dailies for the Tillers.

I felt better. I then knew what had been wrong, I had abandoned the Tillers. I really like the Tillers … a lot. I loved Farmer Yoon’s story from the first day we met and I helped him with some stubborn rocks. I felt bad that I’d been too busy to visit. I visit every day now and I feel much happier.

Suspension of disbelief has never been a problem for me but I realized that I also felt empathy for these virtual characters, the ones I’ve created and the NPCs.

peculiaMeet Peculia. She was created on a free account to do nothing but reach level 10 and then wait there until I needed to make a raid group. That’s it. I felt guilt while leveling her. She was full of excitement as most characters are, excited to see the world although I knew she never would. This is how I get in trouble. I may have to level her to allay the guilt.

cimthoughfulHere’s a surprise, I didn’t think that Warlock had it in her. She’s feeling that maybe Tina would have been happier left where she was. I mean she only picked her to stay on her farm because she was the only BFF she had, no surprise there, to get rid of the annoying ? over that little shrine thingy. Now she wishes she’d waited and asked Jogu who probably would have been happier or at least too drunk to care.

purloinYes. My handsome Blood Elf, Purloin. How am I going to tell him I don’t see a future for him. He’s waiting for me to return. I can’t seem to level males … I want to but can’t. How will I tell him he’s about to be deleted to make room for a sassy female Goblin. What’s worse is that I actually remember every character I’ve ever deleted and that’s a bunch. They haunt me.

Okay, this is one of those posts I’m glad my husband doesn’t read. He already thinks I’m pretty squirelly but I can’t help it. I think some of us invest so much life into our characters that we can’t help but care about their virtual lives. I know I do, but … you know … in a totally I’m not crazy kind of way. Right? RIGHT?

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21 Responses to “Empathy for the Unreal”

  1. I don’t remember every minor alt I’ve ever deleted anymore, but yeah, I understand what you mean.

    Lol, I asked Tina to come to my farm once because she was the only BFF I had at the time… as soon as I could, I asked Old Hillpaw to come feed my chickens instead. Jogu is my favorite friend to have on the farm. I always feel like I’m really helping him out, to give him a pond of his own, “off the streets” as it were, and of course having him nearby for crop predictions is great, too.

    I wish there was a way to have NO friend on your farm once you’ve completed the “hire a farmhand” quest, though — a dialogue option that appears only when the friend is on your farm that politely suggests that they go back home. As it is, the only way to get one friend to go home is to ask a different one to come visit. I’ve gotten to the point of being able to just ignore that exclamation point over the Tillers Shrine with most of my alts.

  2. Maybe when Garrisons come out I can finally stop levelling my alts for professions. It also helps when you can share armour across your account.

    • Yes, I’m anxious to see what we’ll be able to do because some of my alts aren’t really fun to me and only get leveled for professions. I’m really looking forward to this expansion!

  3. This makes me think how cool it would be if I could delete some of the minor bad memories in my life‚Ķsometimes they are attached to real humans though, and that’s frowned upon. Maybe there’s catharsis in deletion of alts…

    • Oh, if only we had a memory pulldown where we could pick memory of events to delete. But like you say if the humans are still around it may just happen again. At least the memories warn us, lol.

      My problem is space, I have all profession on this server to help alts so I always want them here … which means someone’s got to go. :(

      • Your server is being combined soon though! Then you can make characters on the other server and it will be just like having them on your main one. ^.^

        And I feel the same way about my characters. My account has been full for a couple of years. Every time I want to make a new alt, I have to delete one somewhere. I still regret deleting the DK I had on Zangarmarsh to participate in the It Came From the Blog events. :\

  4. I love the Tillers so much. So so much. I spend a lot of time levelling pets around Halfhill and hang out on my farm sometimes, just ’cause.

  5. I’m glad I’m not the only one who feels guilty for neglecting or having to delete alts because my account is full. I always screenshot them before I delete them too, and even though I could make a few extra coin that way I can never bear to strip them down and sell their gear either. Just doesn’t seem right.
    But I don’t really feel bad for having Gina hang out on Tai’s farm. After all I figure she enjoys the peace and quiet now and again… and she still goes out to the market and is not on the farm on days when she’s got a daily for people, so it’s not like she’s stuck there. :)

    • Oh! I wish I had thought of taking a screen shot. And unless they’re wearing heirlooms I don’t strip them down either, they get to go out the way they last were. At least some of them live on in post here if I want to see them again.

      The farm is a nice hangout!

  6. Speaking as a person whose warlock destroyed his Grimoire of Supremacy to see if all the old daemons were still there, then re-applied it, I know exactly what you’re talking about.

    And if you think that’s bad, try writing. There’s a few dozen people all living in my head, and now and then I wonder how they are, and more words must be written. When you’re writing, you need to create these “disposable” characters. Greengrocers for the hero to buy an apple from. A little street urchin caught trying to pickpocket the hero, then let go. A barmaid you briefly flirt with, share a smile with, then go your separate ways.

    And sometimes, you really need a certain type of person in your story, and you remember them. Raven the rogue girl started life simply as a foil for Nix to demonstrate his awesome dodging skills. She’s not a major player in “Steamy and hot”, but she’s got a little personality, a little fun, sparkle in the eyes. And then I needed something Raven-shaped in another story, and the damn girl nearly took over as the main character!

    I like to think that even though if I log back in on a long-disused character, they’re exactly where I left them, they get on with their lives. I feel a bit strange if I’ve actually killed them off in-story, though. Griggin used to be Aquaregis, a Warlock who died in my very first story. He’s alive and well and living in Stormwind, making his hot water appliances.

    I wonder how the crew of “Aviana’s Wingbeat” are doing, though. They picked up a High-elf drowning off the coast of Darkshore who may or may not be Fiora Longears. *Puts another one on the to do list*.

  7. RE: Purloin about to be purloin(ed)….

    I figure that at least your husband knows there’s no other man in your life. ;-)

    • Well there is one other male but since he loves him too we’re all good luckily cause my dog is usually glued to my hip. But then 75lbs of our female dog is usually sitting on his lap so I guess we’re even, lol.

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