I've played City of Heroes for quite some time now, even though I've taken as much as a year long break at times. I am a 39 month vet out of the 60 months it has been operating. I have made countless characters and gotten more than my fair share of artwork. I started out on the Triumph server but when I made friends via the art community, I followed what seemed to be the majority of them to my current home on Virtue. There is much I still have not seen in this game, mostly due to my constantly creating new characters or recreating old ones. As such, my highest level character ever is on 36. Fortunately that aspect seems to be changing and I may actually get my first 50 this year. And in all that time, I have never experimented with one aspect of the game that engrosses a large number of players.
I never tackled the role playing aspect of the game. Sure, I suppose you could say I already did by controlling my own lovingly crafted characters through their heroic (or villainous) careers. But I never got into the part where you actually pretended to BE that character. I guess that I just felt funny about it since I pretty much exclusively play female characters and I thought it would be "weird". In any game I play (PS3 or PC), if given the choice, I will always opt for the female character. Usually they wind up being more balanced, or just plain faster than a large lumbering male character (in fighting games especially). But it really boils down to aesthetics, I just prefer to look at female characters rather than male.
But true role playing was as foreign to me as intimate relationships. I'd just never gone there. But recently I've been conversing, sometimes at length, with some old friends from the game. We've bounced ideas off of each other and I have found some inspiration for certain character aspects via these conversations. I had always had lots of ideas for my characters that I simply wasn't able to convey in a simple bio or piece of art. Lately I was getting closer and closer to really connecting with my creations. Then last night it happened.
While gallivanting around Paragon City last night, I encountered some of these friends. We started out simply chatting about various things, and then they injected the tiniest dose of role play in conversing with each other. I was soon included and the ball started rolling. I really felt connected to my character that night as I "spoke" with her "voice". And it was fun. I was able to convey so much more than just scribbling down a bio and origin, I really enjoyed it and it did not feel awkward in the least. So I have finally dipped my virgin toe into the waters of the role playing ocean and found out that the water is fine. I plan to continue to dabble with this new (to me anyway) aspect of the game as I find each character's "voice". I've always been a solo player at heart, but I really enjoyed last night without ever leaving the train station.
So, while I am a novice at this, I will be continuing to "experience" my characters in this fashion. I enjoyed it too much not to. I want to extend my heartfelt gratitude to those friends last night. Thank you both, it was great fun and I hope to do it again sometime soon.
Listening to: Billy Joel
Reading: The Shannara Books
Playing: City of Heroes
Eating: Low Sodium Diet