Our characters in World of Warcraft are an extension of ourselves. You may not act or talk in the same manner as your orc hunter as you do in the office, but Dadbodtwo, tamer of Dogbod, and friend to Dadbodone and Dadbodthree exists only as much as you do.
Now that you are questioning whether you exist or not, consider that your name anchors you to who you are. When a friend or family member looks at you, either in person or in a photo or video, they can recognize your being and attach a label to you: your name.
Everything you have done or said is attached to this name. Strangers may refer to you as your appearance when trying identify you, but how many people continue to call you the guy staring at us from the corner instead of George after learning your name. Nicknames and titles included, your name is who you are.
The application of a name in World of Warcraft (and any multiplayer or spectated game) is exactly the same. When you hear names like Tigole, Kaivax, Sodapoppin, and Asmongold, inside your head you can visualize aspects of these individuals and attach words to them like designer, community, druid, and malnutrition. Each of these names express an extension of the physical person. People don’t forget what you represent!
Sounds a lot like roleplaying, doesn’t it?
You forgot World of Warcraft was an MMORPG? Who can blame you? For several years Blizzard has forced our characters to fit a specific mold of hero or champion and any freedom of story has been entirely removed. Everyone is
Saurfang’s Sylvanas’s loyalist, Magni’s Champion, the leader of their Order Hall, and wielder of the Ashbringer. If there was difficulty or complexity associated with these attachments then maybe they would be significant, but these are quest lines and story arcs that are designed for every player to participate in. The days of being an adventurer or any shred of un-named person within Azeroth is completely gone (expansion continuity notwithstanding).
Classic WoW returns the player back to being an anonymous nobody, the role of you the player is in your hands. An undead surprised to be alive(?), a dwarf ready protect his snowy homeland, or a tauren looking to test his skills in the wild, the creation of your character and the quests you undertake are not strictly linear.
You can experience the game and fulfill your story without ever stepping into a dungeon, raid, or battleground. No journal text pops up after server reset telling you where to go or suggesting how you play the game. There are not several thousand wielders of Ashbringer, endless mobs of ____, the Argent Champion (THE, SINGULAR), and an infinite family tree of Jenkins.
You are your character, and no one is telling you what to do, how to play, or to be.
If you want to be your realms source of enchants, you can make a name for yourself in trade chat.
If you want to play as a xenophobic human who never talks to dwarves and avoid dwarven questgivers, you can be that dwarf.
If you want to /dance for gold on mailboxes as a male tauren, you be the best beefy boi you can be.
And if you want to complete every quest in the game, raid seven nights per week, obtain rank 14, and forget when the sun on your skin feels like, you can be that guy.