Character refers to an interactive representation of a game persona. Characters may be controlled by players (player characters or PCs) or by the game (non-player characters or NPCs). In World of Warcraft, the term 'character' is mainly used to refer to a player character, also known as an avatar or toon.
The maximum number of characters per user account is 50. Players who have not purchased the Mists of Pandaria expansion are limited to 10 characters per realm, while those who have purchased the expansion are limited to 11, allowing players to create one character of each class, per realm. Connected Realms do not affect this limit, but by connecting multiple realms allow for a far larger number of characters per player on the combined virtual realm. Legion will be adding an extra player slot, limiting to 12 characters per realm to allow players to have the Demon hunter class.
New characters can be created from the character selection screen by clicking the Create A New Character button, which will open the character creation screen. When choosing a new server for the first time, the player is automatically taken to the character creation screen.
The character creation screen allows the player to choose a race, gender and class for their new character. Note that these choices are essentially permanent, and once the character is created cannot be changed in-game. A character's race and gender can be changed through paid services outside the game itself, namely the Race Change service and Appearance Change service, respectively, but it is not possible to change an existing character's class by any means.
Once the race, class and gender are chosen, the player can then customise several aspects of their character's appearance, including their face, hair, skin colour and race-specific options such as horns, tusks and tentacles. Each of these features can adjusted individually, or the player can try random combinations through the Randomize button. Note that while many of these features can later be changed by visiting a barber shop in-game, some, such as skin colour, cannot. All appearance options can however be changed later through the paid Appearance Change service.
Finally, the player must choose a name for their character. The Randomize button can be used to generate random names, in keeping with the race and gender chosen. Choice of name is permanent, unless the paid Name Change service is used.
Once the player is happy with all of their selections, the character itself is created, and immediately becomes available for play. New characters normally start at level 1, except for death knights, which start at level 55. The starting location, gear and inventory of each character is determined by its race and class.
- The random names generated by the Randomize button appear to be composed of basic elements which are randomly combined in various possible forms. While the list of possible names is quite extensive, it does appear to be limited, and if the feature is used repeatedly will eventually repeat suggestions. A new selection of suggestions can however be generated by quitting and relaunching the game client. This appears to generate a new random selection, and can be useful if none of the offered suggestions are to the player's liking.
Characters can be deleted from the character selection screen, with the player required to manually type "DELETE" in order confirm the action. Once deleted, the character will no longer be shown or be available for play.
Character deletion is permanent, and deleting a character will cause all gear and items to be lost. However, the Undelete Character feature can allow players to restore certain deleted characters.
Restoring deleted characters
- Undeleted characters will be restored with all items, gear, enchantments and gems intact.
- Players can use the undeletion service a maximum of once every 30 days.
- If the player wishes to restore a character whose name matches one of their current characters on the same realm, the current character must first be renamed, transferred or deleted before the deleted character can be restored.
Whether a character is available for undeletion depends on its level and the amount of time that has elapsed since it was deleted.
- Characters under level 10 and death knights at level 55 are not eligible to be undeleted
- Characters between level 10 and level 29 will be eligible for 90 days after deletion
- Characters between level 30 and 49 will be eligible for 120 days after deletion
- Deleted characters at level 50 and above (level 56 and above for death knights) will always be eligible for undeletion
The following text is from the Worldofwarcraft.com Changing Realms/Character Move page (part of "Account Management"):
- "Below you will see a listing of all characters associated with your account, across all realms. If one or more of your characters are eligible to move, this page will allow you to move those characters to a predetermined low population realm. Please note that only characters on high population realms are eligible for transfer. To see what realms are currently high population, check the Realm Status page. Also note that you will not be able to explicitly choose which realm you'd like to move to. Instead, the new realm is determined automatically and displayed in the "Destination Realm" column below. For answers to common questions, please check out our Character Move F.A.Q."
- 4. Character Migration.
- Blizzard may, in its sole and absolute discretion, offer certain users the opportunity to move characters from a heavily populated "Character Migration" server to a server designated by Blizzard as a "Target Server." If you are offered the opportunity to migrate a character, please note the following:
- A character that is a "guild master" cannot be migrated to a Target Server.
- You must have less than ten (10) characters on the Target Server in order to migrate a character to the Target Server.
- Character migrations can only occur when the account that you utilize to play World of Warcraft is not in use.
- You cannot migrate a character to a Target Server if the name of the character is already in use on the Target Server.
- If a character of the same name already exists on the Target Server, you will be given an opportunity to rename character as part of the Character Migration process. As always, the name must adhere to the naming conventions stated herein.
- In-game mail sent by or in transit to the character that you intend to migrate will not be migrated to a Target Server.
- All player auctions involving the character that you intend to migrate will be canceled and the item, deposit, and the high bid returned to the bidder upon character migration. The item you placed for sale, or your "high bid," will appear in that character's mail when it reaches the Target Server. Note that Blizzard will not be responsible for the loss of in-game funds or items due to the character migration of either a "buyer" or "seller" to an auction house transaction.
- A target character's friends list will not transfer to a Target Server.
- A target character's guild affiliation will not transfer to a Target Server.
- A target character's ignore list will not transfer to a Target Server.
Patches and hotfixes
- Patch 7.0.3 (2016-07-19): Limit of characters per realm increased to 12, from 11.
- Hotfix (2014-10-17): "Players are now able to undelete their characters."
- Patch 6.0.2 (2014-10-14): The character creation screen now features a randomize button for player names. Clicking the button will generate a random name based on the character's race and gender.
- Patch 5.0.4 (2012-08-28): Limit of characters per realm increased to 11, from 10.
- Patch 3.0.2 (2008-10-14): Limit of characters per realm increased to 10, from 9.