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Time and Aging Characters

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So in December of this year, Tiergan'll be turning 29. He started off being 27 at the game's launch. It also means that events like the Calamity happened over 5 years ago and the Fall of Ala Mhigo happened over 20.


Do any of the rest of you age up your characters as time moves on and view past events as happening further and further back in the past? Or do you sort of stick your characters and various events in a 'time lock'? They never get older. The calamity is always 5 years ago, etc.

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Warren "started" in 1.0 in his late twenties. There wasn't a real sense of how much time passed between launch and the era ending, and then there were five years, plus the time since ARR started. I don't think there's a hard timetable for this stuff, so I just fluff it all and round it to "more than 7, less than 10" years and call Warren mid-thirties.


He's not even sure how old he is.

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I'm kinda with Warren -- I put Zhi at 19, but she doesn't know how old she is. I kinda get around hard numbers otherwise by having her grow emotionally (slowly) as rp progresses. After that, after a long enough time passes, she will eventually start to show signs of what happens when you're no longer in your early twenties and treating your body like shit.


And when that happens, I'll probably change her wiki to read something like 'appears to be in her early 20s' or whatever . . .which will eventually be misleading because her physical appearance will age much faster than actual age. Unless someone gets her to clean up her act. Heh.


I don't like to do specifics in MMOs because you're beholden to the Powers That Be and their decisions about what the current in-game year is.

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That's a pretty thought-provoking question for me...


First off, I've always allowed my characters to age and change over time, whether in RP or just in my original writing projects. The fire of youth can be fun to play around with for a time, but I also like to experience the change in my character, that moment when they realize they're "getting too old for this shit".


What provokes my thoughts so on the matter, however, is the fact that, for my current main Yune, she was recently made in the game from scratch, so in my mind, it was easy to say that it's been five years since the Calamity, yada yada. Which basically means that she could be working within a completely different time table than other characters she may get involved with. I suppose I'll cross that bridge if I ever find myself upon it, but... It is an interesting thought, nevertheless.


Actually... *goes off to tweak profiles*

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I didn't start playing the game until ARR, but when I made Cris he was 38. I kinda love that you can pick a birth date for your characters. Makes keeping track so much easier. He turned 39 in january and I guess I'll just age him as normal!

I suppose the calamity happened 5 years ago as of ARR, so it's nearly six years ago now? How the devs handle time in the story is a little unclear. I also never did set a date for when Cris supposedly left Ishgard. I like to keep that vague. "Oh, three or four summers ago now."

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Yes, I do include Xydane as part of the natural aging process.


It's also the reason why I post any RP event/scene in a timeline chronological order so it's to see what he has been doing this year, that week, etc.

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I've been aging Aysun as I play her. At launch in 1.0, she was 17. She's now 20 (25 by her birth year, due to the silly time warp). The time the game was down she should have had a nameday but I skipped it because.. that would have been weird. So she's had 3 years of playtime, therefore 3 years of aging.


Time passing is always a little weird in MMOs because it technically doesn't happen for NPCs until there is a patch or something to progress things, but yet there are events such as Heavensturn (New Year) and such that suggests the passage of time. As a RPer, I find it easier to just allow the passage of time with these events like normal. Every day IRL is a day for Aysun. Simple! :) Just requires a little fudging with the game storyline if that comes up. Luckily, the people I RP with play in the same manner (or it doesn't come up), so that's what is important. In her timeline, the Calamity was six years ago now, because the group I am with observed the date the game went down as an anniversary of the event.

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I like progress and growth on a character, and I shape them by their IC experiences since I started playing them. So for me the Time and Age represents a dilemma/fudge where the in game time is set but my character may age faster due to events we RP.


So I generally have a feel/guess as to how long seems to have passed for them, compare it against the game time and compromise.


Nebbula started in her late teens, a brash and bright girl.. and is now early twenties, married with children. Which probably represents 5years of ageing/growth. The thing is there are events/RP that happened IC behind that it is not just a number picked out of the air.


I think so long as you can represent the ageing and that people recognise the IC background then it should be fine.

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I age my character from year to year, but day-to-day RP is so fluid that I can't really do anything more exact than that. Some scenes that would happen over the course of a day can take a week or more to finish because RL is like that, so I just have to go with the flow. xD

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I too would age my character. It makes sense to, especially if your character is rather young. It explains how they may develop over the years emotionally, how their tastes would change over time.


You also really have no fear of them dying of old age since the game will probably be shut down long before they can gain 30+ years. Unless of course you started the character at an advanced age to begin with.

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The game clerly shows that time is passing with the rebuilding of Mor Dhona and the quest lines every patch, so I think it's relatively safe to age Armi? She's 23 right now, she'll turn 24 in September. Generally, I tend to hand wave it, but it seems safe here so I may not.


If that bites me in the ass and they say "Well only 2 months have passed" it's a simple enough retcon.


They did do that in 1.0 though, eventually coming out and saying all the events on 1.0 happened in one years time...

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To me the passage of time is important to a character's growth, so I plan to age Bumo every August. (Being roughly equivalent to the Fourth Umbral Moon, his birthday)


For the most part, I don't track the day-to-day, or even month-to-month passage of time, but I have been using the holiday events to mark the changing of seasons; spring began at Hatching Tide, the Moonfire Faire was in the summer, All Saints' Wake occurs in the swing of Autumn, etc.

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Absolutely. Merri started out being 26 at launch of 1.0, and he's 29 now. Technically 34, biologically 29, because of the five year timeskip at Carteneau. Things kind of got thrown up in the air when it was noted that the Seventh Umbral Era storyline took place over the course of a year, however I know myself and several of my friends fixed that by saying most of our RP happened in the years prior to the war with Garlemald and the coming of the Seventh Umbral Era. It's always fun to celebrate namesdays in-character, too. Couldn't imagine not keeping track of his age~

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I too go with the "one year IRL = one year in game" aging for my character, since time and the plot progress with each patch -- even if the devs don't say exactly how much time is passing with each one. I have L'yhta get a year older on RL day of her nameday, so she's aged a year since she began being played. I usually do one day IRL equals one day for my character unless timestops or timewarps for plot purposes come into play. I personally like the way the flow of time helps inform character growth and changes.

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I also go with 1 year IRL= 1 year in game. It's been almost a year since ARR launched? To me, only one year has passed then but I know others will disagree. It's just easiest to keep up with and the game is very vague about how much time passes. 


If I didn't age up my character it would be weird. RP chronicles our characters adventures and their lives. It would be unnatural for my character to be caught in a time bubble.

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Personally, as I don't necessarily / normally equate 1 RL day to 1 RP day, I can't bring myself to ever say 1 RL year = 1 RP year, though I appear to be in the minority in this!


I think I used to follow along that line though. But... as of the past several months, most scenes that I'm involved in take a least a couple of days if not a week to wrap up due to scheduling, sleep needs, and the needs of the scenes, etc. So... yeah, the 1-1 ratio hasn't been around for me in a while.


Luckily birth days and exact ages don't tend to come up often in RP that I'm involved in, so I've gotten into the bad habit of not assigning specific ages to characters. I usually say like this character is say... -mid thirties- or something. Though for sake of world plotlines/character history they are sometimes needed so that I can chart out a correct timeline for the character. For those that do have a specific age, its really just a feel-for-it sort of thing. (So scientific!)


Like, I remember writing (and then never posting) an interlude for a character in which I was like, o-hey. I think it happens to be her birthday as well. Whelp! Sucks to be her. It was never mentioned to anyone OOCly or ICly, though the interlude was headcanon/checkpoint for me to use for that character.


So... yeah. I go by feel and by an approximation of how much time has passed in that particular RP canon.

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I treat a RL day as a game day. As the character has been keeping a journal over the past several years it's interesting to go back and look at her changes over time.


I have disregarded them saying that 1.0 took place inside the span of a year (largely due to the fact that 1.0 encompassed two years worth of changes and personal growth and compressing that simply doesn't feel realistic).


Eva is 34 years old biologically (but would be 38 based on the time skip since she was at Carteneau Flats on D-Day [Dalamud Day]). She added a year to her age since she feels like she missed her nameday (disappeared in autumn, returned in summer).


RPing namedays is a lot of fun. Though for Eva it usually boils down to not telling anyone she's a year older and just lamenting about it in her journals and hoping that nobody finds out. xD


But yes, absolutely... this character has grown in age and evolved gradually and appropriately over the past several years since 1.0 launch, and it has been a lot of fun!!

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The character Erik started on a different account in 1.0, and was not really flushed as a character yet. As of the launch of 2.0 he was 33, as am I. On our birthday I will take him to 34. Personally, this is nothing anyone has to follow mind you, but for me the year was 0005 at the launch of 2.0, and at the one year anniversary, it will be 0006. Counting from there, Erik was born in 1544, escaped Ala Mhigo at the age of 13, came to Ul'dah at 16, and the rest is history.

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I don't tend to age any of my characters. Clover was 18 at launch, and she still is ^^;

She's not following the main story anyway.


K'mih is still the same as well, 16. And considering she's been in the same scene for a few months, I can't take 1 real life year as 1 year in game.

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I tend to go with the whole one IRL year = one RP year deal. However I don't really go by 1 IRL day = one RP day because things can get confusing with scheduling people and going backwards or forward in time on stuff like forum RP here. I use the main storyline's timeline as a guide line, but I'm not too concerned with matching up to it 100 percent because I never RP my characters in MMOs as going through the official story for the respective game. Like someone else mentioned earlier, stuff like Mor Dhona makes it evident that time is passing in the game and I like to acknowledge things like that.


Personally, I used when the Calamity happened to determine how old I wanted Miza to be in the present. I wanted her to be old enough to have that event cause consequences for her life direction. With her going into the Limsan Navy, I decided to make her 17ish when the Calamity went down making her 22 today.

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The nice thing about playing older characters is that if I want to, I can just kill them without incident.


. . . Not that I'm planning that, of course.





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I go with a strange mix of one year IRL = one year in RP in addition to aging 'by the patch'. Depending on the events in the next patch, I make a small estimate of how much time has passed and see if I have to make any adjustments to what I've already done.


I don't have a dedicated 'birth date' in IRL time for Berrod, but if I decided to I'd keep it on or as close to the little Astral/Umbral character thingie in game. Since I started playing in September 2013, after September 2014 I'll suddenly start saying that Berrod is 24 instead of 23. *shifty eyes*


I don't put too much thought into it really, since Berrod's age has rarely ever come up IC.


("He's that young? But he's HUGE!")

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