RPDs; Role-Playing Diseases.

Maybe there are many – but I’m gonna talk about one here: Alt-itis. Alt-aholism. A crippling addiction to indecision; an inability to quit new characters; perhaps even some terribly indicative statement about one’s attitude to commitment.

I’ll take the time to stand up in front of the group and say “My name is Fiyenyaa, and I’m an altaholic”. The first step is admittance (or is that coming to terms with death?).

So here’s the problem; in almost any class-based game (and things that fall near to that area), I seem to be unable to stay with a particular class, character type or role. This is especially significant in MMOs, probably because of the insane time you’ll sink into those characters, but it’s certainly true of RPGs and even some games with less fixed class dynamics such as class-based shooters and the like. As much as I’d like to tell you that it’s simply a factor of wanting to try all the permutations of play-styles or getting the best possibly character – that’s not it either. There are games with very good character creators, and I find myself unhappy with the character I’ve made aesthetically; often this can be the impetus for my electronic schizophrenia.

Why then? What’s the deal with it? Is it common? Well perhaps you’d be better off asking a brain-doctor, because I have no flipping clue. Perhaps it taps into some kind of semi-perfectionist part of my personality (whether the character doesn’t look right, or whether it has just the wrong allocation of skillpoints), and that drives me to create another character so I can get it right this time. Maybe it’s a wish to see all the content of a game (if I’ve played as a warrior, surely I want to see how different a rogue or a mage is – maybe it’s more fun, and I’m missing out). It can be a desire to see how characters interact differently with your avatar (something I anticipate with different genders or different racial options, as well as classes), although that’s often a disappointing one I must say.

Having said all this, I’m not sure it’s necessarily a bad thing. I still enjoy these games; I just often end up playing the first few hours several times.


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