Role playing games are some of the most rewarding, immersive, and enjoyable experiences available to us. The freedom of developing our own character in the way that we chose offers an unbounded feeling of power, choice, and possibility. Do we decide to be borne by Heroic proportions, created through dark intentions, or named after insipid remarks? The choice is ours, and the prevalence of choice is becoming more noticeable with each year and iteration of game evolution.


Beyond the extension of merely making up our own personal storylines, the power of choice and role-play extends to the very being of our character - the stats. Surely, we can say that a role-playing game asks for you to partake in a given role, but this may also extend further and deeper, becoming more complex as varied roles rise, and our character's strengths and weaknesses are evoked.


I normally have a tendency when either planning or living my character's role in a game world - The tendency to stay ranged, while still committing large amounts of damage is my preferred style of choice. This means that I often opt in for some kind of Archer role -class, if you will- that gives me that opportune play-style while simultaneously providing increased chances of survival in the often-harsh worlds of video games.



My strongest example at the moment would be drawn from my current obsession of choice, Guild Wars 2. In it, I am of the exotic Sylvari race, a noble-yet-young society that prides itself on its unity with nature. I found the sleek, angular appearance of the race to be more appealing than the brawn expressed by the Norn, the regularity in the humans, and the bizarre Asura. On top of that, I chose the Ranger profession, born of mid-day. Essentially, I deal with ranged-encounters, allowing for my knowledge of survival skills, traps, and my trusty life-long pet to aid me along the way.


However, my play-style isn't simply limited to that. If you're anything like me, you enjoy experimenting and playing around with the brims of your class - seeing to the fullest extent what you can do; discovering your full potential.



As a result, the implanted "Traits" system in Guild Wars 2 has allowed me to amplify the skills of my Ranger, so that he deals more damage output, and always stays on the mark. This way, I am sure to survive the harsh wilderness of Tyria, as if increased training in vitality and health weren't enough.


My second large example would be in reference to the upcoming Borderlands 2. In it, there are four (soon to be five_ pre-distinct classes that players can choose from. GI has even put up a questionnaire for the website's members, asking which class they're most interested. At first, I was set on Zer0, the Assassin, just like everyone else. Admittedly, he looks way awesome.


However, as Gearbox teased their upcoming smash-release with the launch of their Skill Tree Planner, I've since decided that Zer0 wasn't for me. Sure, he can stay at a distance, but he also heavily relies on melee-ranged combat; something I'm very uncomfortable in playing. As a result, after extensively toying around with several possible builds of each available class, I've since decided to set my heart on the likes of Maya: The Siren.



Upon closer examination, her role seems perfect to suit how I want to support the group and as an individual.


I'm not worried about the crowd-control aspect, as my eyes tended to wander nearer to the right side of the Skill Trees. Cataclysm has my name written all over it, emphasizing ranged attack via Maya's Phaselock ability. As time goes on, I'll possess the ability to add every single condition-based effect on my enemies available, be it electricity, slag, poison, or fire.


No matter what happens, I will always be able to stay ranged, and if the unfortunate event happens for me to get up close, literal firewalls will protect me from death. Stack on the support of the Harmony skill tree - thus using my Phaselock ability to heal myself constantly, as well as others - and I think I'm set.


What do you guys think, are you similar in concept to my version of play, or do you differ greatly? Everybody is different, sometimes surprisingly so. Sound off what you plan to do upon the released of Borderlands 2, or even just what you do in any game that gives you the ability of choice.



~ GoldvsSilver