How to switch your MUD character's faction guilt-free.
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Sometimes, MUD players can't help but get bored with their in-game faction; we're playing a MUD for enjoyment, after all. Perhaps out-of-character involvements get to be too much with the peer group, and you need a change of pace. Maybe another player-driven faction is interesting to you, and you want to give it a try? It is all well and good to have these thoughts, but actually going through with it can be daunting to consider.
Leaving behind friends, stepping out of that comfort zone; many people would rather start an alt than deal with the drama involved in taking an established character in another direction. But we invest a great deal of time, effort and sometimes money into our MUD characters. They have histories and families, and sending all that dormant to start over can feel like a waste. Many of us will just stick with what we know, becoming less and less participatory till our characters fade away altogether.
If, however, you choose to make the change taking your established character out of the comfort and into new territory, first take some time to think it through. Work out and roleplay your characters motivations and change in mindset. Would a long time serving Priest of Good turn Evil thief overnight? Highly unlikely, and while that maybe the easiest way to go, having it progress more naturally in a conversion of sorts can lead to meaningful interactions for your character and those around him. While those you leave behind may resent the eventual faction change, making it a gradual process that others participate in can take some of the sting out of it and leave them feeling better about your character than an overnight class change and switch would otherwise allow for. This of course can be slow and often frustrating, but at the end, the respect you earn along the way can set you up well for the future.
In leaving a player-group you have invested into, one that your character has earned trust and responsibility in, there are going to be hurt feelings from the players of others. In character, this can make for interesting, long term roleplay, but some may struggle with the in-character/out-of-character barrier. It can be personal, uncomfortable, sometimes hurtful and insulting, but they will get over it eventually. Whether you let this affect the way you play your character and the enjoyment you get from the game is entirely up to you, the player.
Author: Lianca of Achaea