When MMOs won’t let you start over

The other night I logged back into Warframe to give it another try, and when I did I bumped into an odd issue: I couldn’t start over.

I’m the type of MMO player that if I’m unfamiliar with a game or haven’t been in it for a while, I like to start from scratch. I want to go back through the early levels or tutorials, I want to bond with a freshly made avatar. And usually, that’s not an issue at all. Most MMOs want you to create a stable of characters as a way to keep you in and playing as much as possible, but this isn’t the case universally.

In this case, Digital Extremes made Warframe as a game where you’ll only really need one character, because you can collect all of the suits and swap between the classes as you go along. And since you don’t have any facial visuals or other significant choice to make at the start, rerolling isn’t seen as needed.

Except that people like myself and others would still appreciate that. I looked up how or if this was possible, and I got a touch annoyed at responses by others along the line of “Why would you want to? You don’t need to!” Even if that was the case, why not give us that option? The only way I can figure out how to make this happen is either to create a brand-new account or petition support. And for someone who’s basically asking the game to woo him, this is something that gives me an excuse to walk away.

I bumped into this in RuneScape a while back as well. There I see this as an even more serious issue, since you DO have the gender and visual choices, and when I came back to the game I didn’t necessarily want to be the goofy dude I created the last time around. Sandbox or no, would it really have been that difficult for this feature-rich MMO to let you, y’know, reroll?

Apparently not:

No support for these reasons:
1) Hackers
2) Regret
3) It’s just as easy to make a new account

This feels so weird and alien to me — and a good reminder that some of these MMOs live in a bubble apart from the wider genre at times. A feature that’s standard across the board (including in other sandboxes) is negated here for… reasons.

I experience a mixture of frustration and annoyance at this attitude from both the studio and the players who defend this omission. I’m a big boy, give me the option to reroll if I want to. You may not see a reason for it, but I may have very valid motivations for doing so. At the very least, it would have been more welcoming and less off-putting for this one player who is now not playing your game. Is that a good reason enough?

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8 thoughts on “When MMOs won’t let you start over

  1. bhagpuss February 7, 2019 / 9:58 am

    If the game literally only has one character slot then re-rolling and making a new account are functionally identical, aren’t they? Okay, there’s the extra few seconds to fill out the form fields but as online gamers we can all fill out account blanks in our sleep.

    For one-character games the alternative would be allowing character deletion and the downsides of that in customer service time must be obvious. I can totally understand why they don’t want to go down that route.

    That said, PvE games with a single character slot are weird to begin with. PvP games have a number of very sound reasons to limit players to one character but PvE? Why would you want to stop your customers from making extra characters, who would potentially then require extra purchases? I swear some developers really don’t seem to like money.

  2. Yeebo February 7, 2019 / 11:25 am

    I ran into that in another game fairly recently in a game where there are functionally nine classes. You can only have three or four characters per account, and there is absolutely no way to have more characters but to make a new account. However, the bar for starting new accounts is quite low, and the entire game is completely free so it’s hard to complain.

  3. Tyler F.M. Edwards February 7, 2019 / 1:15 pm

    I’m perplexed any time a developer limits player choices like this. Why not have the option?

  4. pkudude99 February 7, 2019 / 5:57 pm

    I once watched a streamer start up when he had previously played about 4 years ago for a couple of hours and didn’t like it back then. When he logged in this time, it took him through the initial mission and let him pick a frame — so far so good. But after he finished that initial tutorial mission and was now on his ship, it reverted him to a different frame — the one he’d chosen 4 years prior. He just went with it, but it still seemed odd.

    Still and all, in Warframe, there are no levels per see and you can quite literally do the 1st mission spot on earth any time you want. The controls aren’t any different at any time either, so the only reason to “re-roll/start over” is to pick a different frame. All of the starter frames are pretty easy to get later so if you don’t like the one you picked, you can get one of the others without having to sink too much time into the game, though you can get Rhino well before any of them and Rhino is kinda god-mode in the early game anyway. TBH, he’s pretty much god-mode at any time . . .

    So…. yeah, I can see why DE doesn’t give the option. there truly isn’t any need for it at all, and as Bhagpuss says — if you deleted a character in order to re-roll and thus lost any of its progress and wanted it back, that’d be quite a CS headache for them.

  5. Jeromai February 7, 2019 / 6:54 pm

    Warframe and early tutorials do not fit into the same sentence, 😉 -What- early tutorials?

    I recall starting the game and being completely effing lost for days, even after playing through the introductory sequence twice, once way back when in 2015-2016 or so on a test account lost to time, and recently last year on my current account.

    You get more out of just reading the codex instructions and even more just testing out keybinds while playing through any mission you can.

  6. Naithin February 8, 2019 / 3:17 am

    I hear you on this one, I prefer to reroll if it’s a game I’m not intimately familiar with, i.e., WoW.

    I ran into this very same issue with Warframe and only managed to get back into it by having a friend come along who WAS new, and jumping into the tutorials with them from the moment the game let me.

    Never tried Runescape though, and I keep wondering whether it’s a bit of history I’m letting slide me by. I’m almost certain I’d end up bouncing off it hard and fast, which is largely why I still haven’t. But still… Maybe one day! 😉

  7. tithian February 11, 2019 / 7:26 am

    Unless you’re halfway through the star chart, chances are you are still in the tutorial. All quests up to the Second Dream either explain how some things work (survival missions, for example), or straight up unlock new game modes (sanctuary Onslaught, Weekly Ayatan hunt, the Clem mission etc.)

    And you can do a soft reset any time. All missions and quests are infinitely replayable. If you want to start over with a weapon or warframe at Rank 0 and relearn the game, just Polarize them to reset them. Just do the initial missions again and Replay the quests you’ve completed.

    And then when you’ve completed Second Dream and The War Within, that’s when the ‘advanced’ game really starts with even more things start to get unlocked.

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