Character ADD

  • My name is Jared and I've got Character ADD. I don't know what it is, but lately I can't seem to stick to one character. Its not that I stop liking the ideas, but I'm always coming up with new ideas and think 'Wow, this idea would be really fun to try!' and so I make a new character and totally forget about the old one. I've only really had four or five long lasting characters in all the years I've played here (by long lasting I mean a few months or more).

    Most times I feel like a complete ass especially if my character got involved in plots and then I just don't feel like playing him anymore, but I honestly can't bring myself to stick it out with a character when I've having more fun with my new idea. I'm hoping one of these days I'll find another character I can stick with, but so far it hasn't been working out.

    Anyone else have this problem? I'm kind of curious now.

  • Yes, and I call it NCS (New Character Syndrome)…

    I am a long time sufferer, and if anyone has any remedies... I'd be VERY happy to hear about them.

  • Me too. Sometimes. Okay, a lot of the time.

    I think that it's important to set out interesting goals for the character - and be really passionate about seeing those achieved. Otherwise, there's nothing really to make you want to stick around.

    Also, getting involved with factions and characters kinda makes me feel guilty about leaving… >.>

  • Sometimes it is purely discipline. Playing one character to the exclusion of all else. I have found that the characters I have played that have made an impact on others have been played over many months almost exclusively. Other players can attach to them and begin to understand them. Those that have been created on the spur oof the concept and then drifted off, have been lack-lusture and boring. I think a character's concept is far more developed by others than by the player himself. Without interaction over time, the heady brew does not ferment and mature.

    New concepts, while interesting, if they are not played out or played consistently become worthless both to the player and to others including the DMs. If you do end up getting involved in factions and other characters and then abandon them for a new concept after a relatively short time, you are unliekly to be looked on favourably in future. Why should another player start investing real time and effort getting to know your character and build a meaningful connection if you are very likely to up and off with a new idea next week.

    Have a go at playing a character exclusively for a month or more, and see what happens. You may well find you have built up a gang of mates with whom that character now wants to spend time and achieve goals.

  • Oh yes. I'm a horrible case of this syndrome. Not even a week into a new concept before creating new ones in my mind and on paper. However, my last three characters have lasted for months until they either die, have all their mates retire or otherwise. How I do this despite wanting so badly to play my new and exciting plans (apart from half of them being impossible apps ofc…)?
    Goals, plans and plots. I'm horrible at making these pre-creation, but once I get going I'm swamped with more than I can ever achieve. This means that the plots, progress and work to get there gives so much fun for me that I forget about all my other awesome ideas while playing and spend more time thinking of my next move rather than my next char.

    A great error I've done many times: forgetting goals before I start. No matter how well defined, fleshed out and interesting the character is; without something to drive them they all hit the wall in the end.

  • I had similar problems, though it wasn't so much that I wanted to try out a different character, but rather that I got frustrated or bored with the one I was playing. So I kept dropping chars and making others.

    The solution I found was making a joint concept with someone I knew well. It really helps to get over the difficult starting phase, when you're just a random adventurer to everyone else. And I bet it would also curb the urge to drop the concept for another one you just thought of.

  • Being involved with other characters - beyond haphazard quest and coincidental RP that vanishes as soon as you break party - helps me out with sticking to a concept.

    Best thing to do is just not make the new character, because once you do then it's usually only a matter of time before you're spending more time with him than your main.

  • Im generally good at avoiding character add, though I do fall victem to it from time to time. That being said, there are very few characters that I didn't contemplate dropping within the first few weeks multiple times, inlcuding many of my more famous ones. It basically comes down to realizing that things take time and patience to get started, and there is always going to be a few bumps in the road that you will have to adapt to. Sometimes, no matter how good a concept looks on paper, its going to fail no matter what, but the more you push through the early dreary period on your characters the easier it becomes to decipher when its just a slow start and when its a doomed concept. My general rule of thumb is that if I find myself wanting to play coa, but end up logging on only to pace about the server before logging out to go play another game and it happens for like a week straight, the concept is never going to work. I try not to look at these as failures, but rather learning experiences, since often its nothing that i did or didn't do that made the concept fail, but rather a poor environment on the server for the concept. A perfect example of this is my most recent character, Able Flemdouis. Two years ago, the concept would have been golden, but coa is not the best environment for merchants right now who don't play 20 hours + a week because everyone has an excess of loot for sale. The place where the current CoA environment does thrive however is lots of dms willing to do stuff to help players push their plots a long, so making characters with clear goals and figuring out how to translate them into ig action is a good way to ensure your character will live a full (even if short) life.

    PS I like how you started your post like you were standing in front of a AA/NA meeting, nice touch 🙂

  • I think becoming more willing to tollerate the downs of a character helps me stick with characters longer. Although I have fell victim to this syndrome a few times now. Not that a new idea was so much better, but because a concept stopped being fun. It's hard to be invested in your character and their goals when playing them feels more like an obligation than a good time.

  • My suggestion is write your character down on a character sheet and some pencil and paper on back story and other such things. drawings, characteristics anything you want! Now once you have that follow these instructions!

    1. Insert Character Sheets in box or (USB drive on computer)
    2. Close box (take out USB)
    3. Wait till your character is perm killed (Or so boring it dull)
    4. Pull sheet or USB stick out
    5. create character Begin

    I find the longer you play a character the better you understand it and know it. If you jump from one character to the next to the next sure you get great ideas but your not helping yourself long term just short term. I rather have 1 very very good solid role played character (and powerful in power sense if i can) then 5,10,20,50 decent characters…

    People know you better if you only play one toon!
    You get to know your character better
    and in the long term it more fulfilling

  • I had rampant NCS (as we are calling it) for a long time back in v3. It was so bad that at the end of it, I had 4 different accounts for CoA

  • I'm terrible with character ADD myself.

    In the end I figured out my secret for avoiding it. The best method that I've figured out works for me is this;

    A. Make a character with a concept that I like. (Usually the reason for the ADD in the first place, I like the concept so much that I quit playing my previous character. This one's easy.)

    B. Make goals that are not only interesting but that the persuit of which will be able to occupy alot of my time without relying on DM supervision. (Take some time to think of how you'll be accomplishing these goals. Specific scenarios. If you can't think of four or five things to do to work toward your goals the odds are that you'll end up just questing alot and getting bored of the character even if your concept is bitchin')

    C. Discipline. Just try and will yourself to avoid quitting the character when your next idea pops into your head. Write it down somewhere so you don't forget it next time you need a concept, but just try and keep your eyes on the prize.

    D. Application. D is an optional thing. It works for me. When I play an application character I feel an obligation to the DM team and the faction that I'm in (if I'm in one) to keep playing the character.

  • Empty your accounts. Only allow 1 character in there. It's psychological.

  • @Camazotz:

    …D. Application. D is an optional thing. It works for me. When I play an application character I feel an obligation to the DM team and the faction that I'm in (if I'm in one) to keep playing the character.

    D. is optional, but really works for me.

  • Dicipline helps.

    Flexibility to adapt with a character to the changes or the environment around you can also be a way to keep a character running. Something tragic happens? The behavior of your char can change.

    Write down all those great ideas. If you really cant keep your current char, you havent lost your ideas. Offer them to people with no idea of what to play next too. If someone else is playing a concept you think cool, you might be more reluctant to play it yourself.

    Application as everyone said is a big help too. I mean, you apped for the char, concept, faction, whatever. It feels harder to give up a char like that because the DMs approved it, they took their time to review it and also they have hope you'll bring fun to the server with it. You eventually feel a responsibility to keep going until you have a good reason to stop other then ADD.

    Fix yourself some goals that'll keep you playing the char until you are satified with his story.

  • I basicly do what Ko-Ri-us does.
    At least my longer lasting characters start like that.
    I find a predesigned character that has set goals and traits gets boring fairly quickly and always feels less alive than one made simple and then allowed to grow in directions that can change due to in game actions.

    If you haven't tried this approch and are struggling to find somthing intresting do it ive had 4 characters made this way they lasted 13 mths 9 mths 6 mths and current one is ongoing.

  • For me the secret lies in the concept not in the goals.

    Goals will change over the course of the life of your character, will be influenced by IG mechanisms and - usually - will only be necessary if you need an application approved.

    First choose what you would like to RP, something you feel you won't be annoyed with. And this is not a "merchant" a "potion brewer" a "Sheriff"; not a "human" or an "elf".
    It's what you want to Roleplay, something like:

    • a man scared of death,
    • defender of traditions,
    • a very religious person, etc etc,
      something you feel like you could "become" when playing. Something that won't be scared of taking the wrong "mechanical path" that will be happy to reject the sword of uber doom +3 in exchange for an amulet of will +1.

    Something that will be completely detached from loot-faction-level and you would find interesting to play.

    Then choose class-race-stats and make a brief bio of what you created, that fits with the general concept.
    Start playing with a general idea of where you want to go (goals) but don't beeline for the goal, live your character first then see how goals will fit in to complete your character.
    RP will take you in places an situations you cannot expect when building up your character. Develop your original idea, make up friends and enemies (but not just for the sake of having or creating "opposition and conflict", do it if it happens!).

    So my key to avoid the add is: think about some concept you want to play and see how it works. Keep the concept online for at least one month, if you cannot create a personal link with your character, if you cannot start thinking like "her" when logging in but only in terms of questing-loot-plot, it might be time to create another concept.

    Give other players some time to familiarize with your character identity: let him/her be known not as the powerful fighter in full plate who won't be touched by orcs when doing quest "x" but the guy that is the last to retreat even if wearing a chainmail.

    Then, when you will merge with your character concept you'll find difficult even to think about new concepts!

    Or, at least, this works for me.

  • This is some great advice everyone, I think anyone having trouble sticking with their characters could probably take something out of this to help them. I know I plan to.

  • not me…

    ..some have said i stick with characters too long

  • You? Nah.