As i mentioned in one of my first posts ever, I have a very special account.
On my account, there are only 9 character slots for the realm of Hellscream.
Where normal players have a tenth slot, I have a mage. We will get to that mage, and why it Blocks my tenth character slot, in a second.
First some history. Once upon a time, not too long ago, a friend of mine got me to try out this game he had gotten bored with (after two whole long weeks), it was called WoW. It was one of those moneysink multiplayer gankfests where you had to play for BOTH the actual game, AND a monthly fee.
What is this, a magazine subscription?
Anyway, I was playing a table-top game with some friends at that time, and wanted some ideas of how a dwarf with two axes could look and work. And, well, I got it for free.
I logged on. And never looked back.
There was of course a problem with this game. I had just moved in with my wife-to-be. And I am a very competitive person. And I was behind everyone else on my randomly chosen server. The people I got in guild with (shout out to all the lovely danes in Mean drunks, a guild that sadly has all but ebbed out.) always seemed to be miles ahead of me, so hours upon hours was poured into this game to catch up. My warrior soon got retired for a paladin. He had a name I will not mention here. Suffice to say that I wanted to name him Foo - so I could say "foo is fighting" or "his foes are named foo fighters", and Blizz would not allow that. So I got.. creative.
It was a horrible name, and on top of that i made him very hastily.
The process was thusly: "cool hair, cool bear (red ofc both) and cool looking face, okay that about does it" Then I clicked skin color "Ohh I can be black, cool".
So yes, he was redhaired with a big full read beard, and very very black. It was horrible. And that name. But I cared not, i was happily autoattacking everything i met. That was untill I joined my first dungeon. I got invited because they where lacking a healer. I was not informed of this, so I melee'ed. And got yelled at. In caps. Left, logged out, read my manual, and logged back in as a dwarf priest named Dreamweaver. A name I was very proud of for a whole year, untill someone called me property of Macromedia, and I googled my damned name... Sigh.
So I was spending much time on my computer, and any normal person living with an obsessed crazed person, would probably have left and found her own place again. Sad part is, im not married to a normal person. One day, I got a little tap on my shoulder "what are you doing" "playing wow" "can I try?" "now?" "yea" "no"
(then my brain started working) "no, i mean... ehh sure you can, but not on my frikking toon. make your own".
And so the mage was born.
Narratively speaking, it would have been much easier to just have given the mage a name from the start, but there is a point to calling her, "the mage". You see, Mrs DWredux is a shy person, and she doesn't like me mentioning her too much here.
And she has never ever had anything to do with fantasy - before she met me. So her character creation process was thusly: "I dont like fighting" "then you can be a warlock or a hunter or a mage" "warlocks sound evil, and i dont like guns" "mage it is". And she spend two hours clicking human female mages, untill she had created one that looked JUST. LIKE. HER. and she named it....
She gave the mage her own name. Inventive.
But who am I to judge, my toon was named after a web-design programme.
Anyways she levelled the toon, and got very much into the game. So much so, that I got her her own copy of the game. It was not an act of charity, mind you, no, it was an act of selfishness. Her character got to a higher level than mine, and her playing meant that I could not play!
We couldn't have that.
So she got her own copy and the prot paladin Emmerdale was born. (after 3 months of playing, and her making a ton of British friends, we found out that *that* was a name of a television show... she got many a weird friend /w "oooh i love that name" - it scared her a lot).
Spending hours, and days of played time on a toon (and later months), looking at it's back. sharing adventure, having laughs and meeting friends. Can scar you. In a good way. I could never delete my priest. Even at a time when I hated priests and how they worked. He and I, have been through too much. And seen to many wonderfull things, to just let it slip out into that void called "delete". There is no love, like your first love. And he was my first WoW love.
The same for my wifes mage.
She stopped playing the game over a year ago, almost straight after Wrath hit. The game just didn't have that same lure to her anymore. And the luvely people in mean drunks, we used to play with, ahd all stopped. Some of us to join 'teh hardcore' raids. Others to have kids and silly stuff.
But her very first toon. That one lingered on. And so I was left with nine slots on my homerealm to toy with. Not that I was holding that against her. I got it. I asked her once if I could delete it, and she looked at me, as if I had proposed to defile Bambi or something. That was a no.
The problem for me, is that I am a compulsive alter. I see or read something about a new class, think 'nifty' and roll it. Or go back to leveling it. That has cost me many a lost hour on some forsaken toon in the middle of nowhere.
Then I would delete it, for another class. For years I have had a constant rerolling of the following: shaman, mage, warlock and warrior.
Eventually I got my shammie beyond that invincible line of "he is high enough" level, that I do not want to delete that toon.
So then there is the matter of 3 classes for 2 slots. The old musical chairs of rerolling. litterally over 200 levels have been poured into these classes. Then I started my Project Dreamreaper (that i started up again, in secret and got to the low fifties, where she is rotting atm). And there where two characters left for that one last spot.
Well, that was when I broke down. I begged Mrs DWredux, and payed 20 euroes. And now that mage is enjoying her retirement in an unnamed roleplaying server. Saved from the evils of this world. Most likely never to be played again. And I have my ten toons set up. The name for my mage has been placehold for Cataclysm and a wolfmage. And I have a warrior alt that i am having a blast with (again).
So what is the point? Well I think, the fact that we can get so attached to an inanimate object, might be silly to most people. Im sure there are some green folks out there, that would call it non-cost beneficial, and lol'ing at me for not spending all my waking hours thinking of ways to scam my fellow players out of their gold, and their enjoyment of the game. Instead I chose to spend 20 euros to realm-transfer a toon that I do not play. Hell, a toon that I am not *allowed* to play and a toon that noone would EVER find out, if I had just deleted.
But I didn't delete it. I spend a truckload of real money on it instead. But why?
For the memories. If it had not been for that mage, I would most likely have been not married. Not that the games addiction would have killed us off, but rather, for the fact that, had she not taken the time to understand why I game. Why I enjoy many games, she would have never understood a huge part of who I am, and that would have killed us.
Instead that mage, means that she smiles politly when I throw my keyboard across the room and yell because I DC'ed when we had that one boss at 5% on our first kill.
Hell, she even -sometimes- lets me use the tv to play dragon's age on my xbox on nights when theres new episodes of Greys anatomy.... sometimes.
That mage holds so many fond memories for me -and her. About great adventures we shared. And will share.
She might have stopped with WoW, but there is still LEGO indiana jones II out there.