I was over on the ArenaNet blog checking out the new article written by Jeff Grubb and I realized that it has been a very long time since I have connected with a character in an MMO. They had a lot of interesting things to say but I will be going over what I found to be the most interesting.
Jeff: And I think we find that middle ground with your initial character creation in Guild Wars 2. We give you choices beyond just race and profession, and we make those choices meaningful for your experience in the game. If you’re an Ash Legion charr, your experience will have a different feel than if you’re Iron Legion. If you’re an asura from the College of Synergetics, you get different life experiences than if you’re from the College of Dynamics.
This is one of the most important parts of connecting to your character in my opinion. I remember when I made my Druid in World of Warcraft I felt that connection. Not because of the character selection but because they gave us a story with class quests (something they later reduced to “do them if you feel like it” quests).
Fast forward to March 2011 and the release of Rift. I remember creating my Rogue and falling in love with the game play, dynamic events, and soul system, but also remember not really getting any direction or feel for the story or a purpose for being where I was and doing what I was doing.
All in all they have tried to create an environment for us that makes us feel like we are important and that we have a purpose in the world beyond that of just “playing the game”.