Friday, June 13, 2008

Twins - to love and to hate

How do you feel when you unknowingly walk into the bank to sort things out and just as you're about to join the queue for the banker, you're suddenly staring into the neck of yourself?

When it comes to me, I never get used to it. No matter how much I love the pink pigtails of Larísa, I don't really like to see them on other characters. Especially not if they combine it with a face and piercings similar to mine. I get the feeling of meeting an intruder or a copy cat, even though I realize that they're perfectly entitled to chose the same appearance that I have. As a matter of fact, those players actually have got pretty much the same taste as I do, so logically I should consider them potential friends.

Where do those hostile feelings come from? I guess it's pretty much the same as girls can feel going to a party or school examination: you definitely don't want anyone else to wear exactly the same dress as yours. You want to pretend you're unique, even if you and everybody else is perfectly well aware of that you've bought the dress at the same bargain store as 90 percent of us visit, since we can't afford anything more exclusive.

In WoW the possibilities of variation are smaller than in RL. Mathematically there are quite a few combinations that are possible, but in practice, many of them still look pretty much the same. And some of them are quite unattractive to most players. (For example: how many female dwarves do you really see around? I think there's a reason for it. I don't say they're all unattractive - actually I managed to compose one myself which I think look pretty decent. But it takes some work.)

It isn't strange that some looks are more common than other, I think. That's probably one of the explanations for why some of us are so crazy about vanity pets or why we're collecting mounts - the more unusual the better. There's absolutely no practical need for those things, they won't make any difference at all in our performance in a raid or BG. But they make us feel exclusive; they help us to show individuality and stand out in the crowd. To avoid looking just like anyone else.

Until now I've mostly felt dislike when I've met twins. But the other day I experienced just the opposite. Lately I've been thinking about picking up an old project of mine, to actually start levelling my little rogue alt, Arisal, who's currently stuck on level 23, since I've been so busy keeping gearing up Larísa. Now Larísa's pretty much in top shape and even got an epic mount - and it should be possible to spare some time for an alt. So I brought Arisal out from the closet and asked a guildie to come and see me, just so I could show her to him. (Arisal had been created on another server months ago and hadn't yet been introduced on Stormrage.) "She looks so sweet, and still she's a bit more cruel than Larísa, as a rogue should be. You'll just love her", I said.

We met, and for once sake this quite talkative guildie went all silent. "Oh", he said. "Wait". And then he relogged and brought out an equally old and unplayed alt of his, a warlock at - believe it or not - level 23. We agreed to meet in the mage quarters. I saw his point getting closer on the minimap and then suddenly I stopped, just staring. It was like if I had ran into a mirror, and it was even more evident once I took of my rogue head, covering half of my face. Right in front of me was another Arisal, just dressed in a warlock cloth dress. Everything was exactly the same, except for the eye colour (my eyes were green and his blue) and a slight difference in the shape of the mouth.

But this time I actually didn't feel threatened or disappointed that we looked the same. It was rather pretty fun to suddenly get an unexpected twin sister. We looked just amazing, side by side, and I could just imagine what a sight we would make further on, taking down elites or running instances together. Actually I tried to talk him into levelling this char just because of the awesome appearance we would have.

I guess it's inevitable that you'll find a twin in the game sooner or later. Will you love it or hate it? It all depends on the circumstances.

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