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Filed under: RP

Taking the roleplay out of WoW

I like messing around with roleplay every now and again, especially during the waning months of an expansion. When there's little else to do, roleplay helps keep me entertained, and has the added side vantage of giving me a space where I can indulge in trying to answer lore questions that invariably make their way into lore columns. But beyond that, there's just something kind of fun about taking an hour or two off every now and again and just letting my brain be creative without the pressure of stress.

But one of the big problems with roleplay in WoW is the actual process of any kind of meaningful roleplay itself. Major, sweeping campaigns that are common with tabletop roleplaying systems just aren't possible in WoW -- trying to get everyone on an entire roleplay server to agree to a set list of rules for combat is an exercise in futility. Because of this, there's always been a limited scope to roleplay, a wall that simply couldn't be broken within the confines of an MMO. NPCs can't be controlled, players can't really influence major events in fear of somehow running into contradictions with canon lore. You can either dance around the limits, or you can ignore them entirely.

Or, as I recently discovered, you can simply leave it all behind. How do you make the limits in WoW work for your roleplay guild? By taking your roleplay out of WoW entirely.

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Filed under: RP, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying), Mists of Pandaria

The challenge of roleplay in the face of Warlords

Roleplayers have to dance around a lot of lore in order to make their stories plausible and believable. While not everyone is concerned with being 100% dedicated to known canon material in their roleplay, the announcement of Warlords of Draenor brings up a lot of concerns and questions for those that are. The somewhat unorthodox method of time-travel used in the expansion leaves many players wondering exactly how to handle the situation -- and on top of that, we've been told we'll be stranded on Draenor, presumably with no way to get back to good old familiar Azeroth at all.

So how do you reconcile what's about to happen to your character? Do you ignore the main storyline of an expansion that hasn't been released yet, or do you embrace the idea that your character may not be able to return at all? What kind of challenges are roleplayers going to see in Warlords of Draenor? More importantly, is this something your character should be addressing now?

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Filed under: Lore, RP, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

Drama Mamas: The case of the lingering ex

Drama Mamas Lisa Poisso and Robin Torres are experienced gamers and real-life mamas -- and just as we don't want our precious babies to be the ones kicking and wailing on the floor of the checkout lane next to the candy, neither do we want you to become known as That Guy on your realm.

How do you handle moving on from one intense relationship to another?
Dear Drama Mamas,


My first love, of nearly six months two nights ago told me, for the second time, that she had just wanted to be friends. And that a long-distance would never work out for her. A few days before the relationship ended for the first time, I could tell it was over. I just didn't want to admit it to myself.

She was the first person that showed me just how special ERP could be. The first girl to ever trust me enough to be "naughty". There were many partners of hers before me, though she had constantly assured me that what she had with tens of others had meant next to nothing to her. She broke off all relations with these guys and girls to show me she was committed to me and only me. She was very clingy, and it didn't bother me one bit. I enjoyed having her around most of the hours of every day we played together.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, RP, Drama Mamas

Savage trolls roleplay the revenge of the Zandalari

Savage troll guild roleplays the revenge of the Zandalari
Deep in the heart of steamy Stranglethorn Vale, within the golden city of Zul'Gurub, gathers a savage band of Zandalari trolls. Loyal to neither the Horde nor the Alliance, these players embrace a fierce roleplaying ethic that can be both fascinating and intimidating to newcomers. Yet Atal Zanza Aka is esteemed by other guilds on Argent Dawn (RP-EU) and has become a vital (if quantitatively small) ingredient in the roleplaying community.

We visited with guild leader Zazajin to explore this niche of WoW roleplaying and find out how this guild manages to thrive in as antagonistic role that sweeps it away from the well-traveled paths and populated city centers of Azeroth.

WoW Insider: It would appear that making a troll character for Atal Zanza Aka is full-throttle roleplaying not for the faint of heart, would you agree?

Zazajin: Our guild is indeed first and foremost a roleplaying guild. We formed as a breakaway from the Loa Atal Ai (a Darkspear-based trollish guild which serves the Horde but includes different troll tribes) during the occupation of the Echo Isles, and abandoned the Horde to serve the Zandalari and preserve trollish culture, which our characters felt was threatened under the Horde's regime and thus moved to Zul'Gurub to try to preserve that culture. We're made up of various troll tribes, much like the Zandalari themselves. We've members from the Amani (forest trolls), Drakkari (frost trolls), farraki (sand trolls), Gurubashi (jungle trolls), and Zandalari (those trolls that stand up straight, haha).

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Filed under: RP, Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

Massive cross-realm gathering successfully unites players from 11 realms

Massive crossrealm gathering successfully unites players from a halfdozen realms
It was a massive multiplayer success for this massively multiplayer game: On March 20, the Thundering Hammer Clan of Feathermoon (US-Horde) successfully brought together more than 120 players from multiple roleplay realms in what might have been WoW's first large-scale, player-run cross-realm event. In bringing together three full raid groups from half a dozen realms, the Kosh'harg roleplay gathering of Horde clans helped demonstrate how to pull off a major cross-realm event and explore the possibilities and limitations of CRZ (cross-realm zone) mechanics.

What can other players learn from the Kosh'harg about organizing a CRZ event? We went behind the scenes with Kosh'harg organizer Thorgrun (GM of the Thundering Hammer Clan).

WoW Insider: It sounds like the event was a smash success. Congratulations!

Thorgrun: The Kosh'harg was an amazing success. At the peak of the event we had three full raid groups and a number of ungrouped local attendees, bringing us up over 120 players from a dozen different realms who joined us in Nagrand for the festivities.

How much did you and other organizers know beforehand about realm and zone loads with regard to cross-realm mechanics?

We only knew what has been published and widely publicized, namely that the CRZ mechanic is designed to populate low-pop zones with players from associated realms and when population grows to a certain point to split those players off into separate zones. We also knew that players from any North American realm could be brought into any zone on a host realm just by being grouped with a majority of members from that realm – i.e., two Feathermoon players can host a third player from say, Farstriders, in their version of the zone, or alternatively a 5-man group of Feathermoon players could host an entire raid of CRZ players, provided no more than four of them were from the same realm in that particular raid. This is the mechanic that we used to "anchor" our event firmly on one server's seed of the Nagrand zone.

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Filed under: RP, Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

Players rave to underground goblin techno at Wyrmrest Accord's Club Trix

Hey baby, what are you doing this Friday night? Let's party at Club Trix in Gadgetzan (Wyrmrest Accord-RP-US). They've got a real DJ, a goblin named Trixxiz, and his crew spinning goblin-engineered techno on Radio Trix. There's a featured drink menu (Hordeside, at least), regular special events, and a chill crowd enjoying the goblin groove. Originally from Bilgewater in Azshara, Club Trix has moved through Dalaran and now runs out of Gadgetzan, where the underground vibe is hot and there's plenty of room outside for enterprising goblins to get their profit on.

WoW Insider interviewed DJ Trixxiz to find out more about the hottest new club on Azeroth's scene.

WoW Insider: Trixxiz, you're a DJ out in the real world, aren't you?

DJ Trixxiz: I am and have been a DJ since around 2004, I think. I had a few gigs over the years but not many, because within the already limited audience of electronic dance music, I was playing one of the lesser-popular genres of trance in an area dominated by house and techno. (I live halfway between Chicago and Detroit, the birthplaces of each, respectively.) However, the past couple years, trance has been exploding in popularity and I'm looking to break back into the scene this summer. Otherwise, I've mostly been an online presence throughout the years with shows on online radio stations, generally pulling in around 300 listeners, and several labels send me tracks to promote before they're released to the public.

Even though I've got these other radio shows that pull in way more listeners, Club Trix is by far my favorite. With most internet radio shows -- even local radio antenna FM shows which I've also done in the past -- the amount of community feedback and interaction is very minimal. It airs, you hope that someone enjoyed it, and that's that.

With Club Trix, there's this whole level of interaction with the listeners happening in real time through the IRC chat and the game, and they make it all come alive -- which makes it probably the most rewarding radio show on the internet save for a few run by the giants in the industry who can make that happen without the aid of roleplay environment.

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Filed under: RP, Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

Feathermoon Horde players organize massive cross-realm RP event

Feathermoon Horde players organize massive crossrealm RP event
Horde players from multiple roleplay realms will gather on Feathermoon (US-RP) next week for what may be the game's first major cross-realm, multi-realm roleplay event. On Wednesday, March 20, Feathermoon's Thundering Hammer Clan and the realm's Horde roleplaying community will present the Kosh'harg, a gathering of the clans of the Horde.

WoW players have historically not been happy with the implementation of cross-realm zones, with some players going so far as to transfer realms to escape them completely. The Kosh'harg will attempt to blaze a positive new path for CRZ play, bringing together players from different RP realms to participate in what could be an event of some magnitude.

Activities for the tribal-themed spring equinox event include a ceremonial processional of the clans, a great feast, a bracketed 1v1 PvP tournament, and a Spirit Walk storytelling competition. "It is part spiritual pilgrimage, part tournament, and part raucous feast," writes THC's Thorgrun, "and if you are a Horde player who respects Horde culture and lore, we want to see you there!"

Organizers have assembled an array of prizes, with consideration for items that cannot be traded across realms. The Kosh'harg is open to both individual players and groups or guilds, but sign-ups are strongly encouraged. Keep reading for more details about how to sign up to attend or volunteer.

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Filed under: News items, RP

The complete guide to roleplay in WoW

The complete guide to roleplay in WoW
All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players. In World of Warcraft, that player is you! Each week, Anne Stickney brings you All the World's a Stage with helpful hints, tips and tricks on the art of roleplay in WoW.

This column began way back in September of 2007. Over the course of the last six-ish years or so we've dived into the depths of character development, roleplay interaction, places to roleplay, problems that can arise in roleplay, the basics of character roleplay -- in fact, we've just about covered it all. Multiple times, from multiple sources, in fact. And although the art of roleplay lives on, there's only so many times you can word the same advice.

That said, this is the final edition of All the World's a Stage. Before you panic, we've decided to put together a final gift for you; a mass compilation of six-ish years worth of columns, resources and advice covering everything from the very basic of the basics to the most complex situations your mind could dream up. Whether you're a new roleplayer looking for the best place to start out, an experienced roleplayer looking for more insight into just what makes your character tick, or a guild leader looking for a mass list of resources for your guild or organization, we've totally got you covered.

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Filed under: RP, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

Breakfast Topic: Where are the best special-occasion roleplaying spots in Pandaria?

Breakfast Topic Where are the best specialoccasion roleplaying spots in Pandaria
OK, roleplayers, let's share some secret spots. Mists makes it pretty easy to find beautiful locations for special occasions. Pandaria is just so darn gorgeous! Still, sometimes a roleplaying occasion calls for something in particular: a wedding gazebo, a serene spot for a memorial, a plaza for a fireworks celebration ...

A couple of years ago, Dawn Moore offered up some wonderful roleplaying locales for the Cataclysm era. Then just last week, Anne Stickney gave us some ideas for everyday roleplaying hubs in Pandaria. You have to admit that idea about commandeering one of the deserted ships from Kun-Lai Summit/Jade Forest is sheer genius!

But what about just the right spot for a one-off occasion? Those are the sort of settings that are the trickiest to track down. Where would you go for a wedding ceremony in Pandaria? What about something small like a birthday party, or something large like a community fireworks celebration? (Yeah, I'm thinking the potential for this next Lunar Festival has a reach much, much longer than Moonglade.) How about a sober yet uplifting setting for a memorial service? Have you stumbled across any locations in Pandaria that seem to be crying out to be filled by some sort of quirky special event -- someplace eerie or creepy, silly, formal and judicial...?

You don't have to be a roleplayer to contribute to our list of ideas. What nooks and crannies have you discovered during your travels in Pandaria that seem to be perfect for a special occasion?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, RP

Roleplay 101: Refine your RP with Pox

Back in 2011, WoW Insider's Michael Gray featured two roleplay workshops with long-standing Horde roleplay guild Pox on Shadow Council (US-H). Pox leader Shryn'Dael organized several workshops, introducing roleplay novices to the fine art of WoW roleplay.

Pox has existed since back in 2007 on Shadow Council, and been a bastion of RP knowledge since they first began running their roleplaying workshops. The last series was fantastically well-attended, aimed as it was at the newer roleplayer, the shyer roleplayer, and the curious, and dealing with topics such as emoting, character backstory, popular role-playing addons, and IC/OOC conflict. As a novice roleplayer, these sound fantastically useful for avoiding roleplay gaffes!

The first workshop of this series deals with emoting. Emoting goes far beyond /smile, /flirt and /bashful, and Pox will walk roleplayers through how it's done, as well as pitfalls to avoid. This workshop will be held on Monday, November 5 at 7 p.m. MST (GMT-7), at the Bonfire in Thunder Bluff, Shadow Council (US-H). If you don't have a character on Shadow Council, you are encouraged to make one, and Pox even offer to arrange pick-ups if they are contacted before the event.

If you're a roleplaying novice, wanting to learn more, or a practiced roleplayer looking to refine your skill, these workshops are a great place to start. Head over there this Monday, 6pm PST, 7 pm MST or 9pm EST.

Filed under: RP, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

Drama Mamas: When roleplayed love is in the air

Drama Mamas Lisa Poisso and Robin Torres are experienced gamers and real-life mamas -- and just as we don't want our precious babies to be the ones kicking and wailing on the floor of the checkout lane next to the candy, neither do we want you to become known as That Guy on your realm.

I think it is long past time for another results edition of Drama Mamas. Some letter writers have already sent me the outcome of our advice, which is always wonderful. But we could still use some more. If you have written the Drama Mamas and we have answered you in print, please send us an email at We will compile the responses in a future column, once we get enough of them.

On to the drama ... This week, we have another RP romance conundrum.
Dear Drama Mamas --

I've recently started roleplaying on Wyrmrest Accord, and I really love it! It's a fun way to meet new people and really get into your character, even if I only do it somewhat-casually. However, I have an issue that I need some help with. When I first joined my roleplaying guild it was fine and dandy, but one person in particular gave me more attention than anyone else. I was fine with it, as we were in character and my character was single and all, so I flirted a bit and over time our characters started a (somewhat) romantic relationship.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, RP, Drama Mamas

The Broken Doll roleplaying storyline chills hundreds on Moon Guard

From Hollywood celebrities to the guy next door, millions of people have made World of Warcraft a part of their lives. How do you play WoW? We're giving each approach its own 15 Minutes of Fame.

Your days are numbered.

It takes you a moment to realize that's all that's in the letter you just opened in your in-game mailbox -- that, and the Hangman's Noose ("It's shiny with blood!") attached at the bottom. You flick open the guild roster, but nobody's online yet. You run the sender's name through the Armory, only to come up with ... nothing. You're not involved in any active roleplaying storylines, and you can't think of anyone you've roleplayed with recently who seems threatening in the least ...

Fine, then. You take it to the forums. You're met with the usual banter for a page or so -- but then another player reports that a friend received a similar note. Then another shows up. And another. Before you know it, the entire realm, Alliance and Horde alike, is roiling with intrigue. Hundreds of players are sucked in. Who are the letters from? What is the threat striking again and again at seemingly unlinked players? What is behind the unfolding string of horror unfolding before you?

Who is The Broken Doll?

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Filed under: RP, Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

Breakfast Topic: Have you ever seen anyone RP a peon?

This Breakfast Topic has been brought to you by Seed, the AOL guest writer program that brings your words to WoW Insider's pages.

Let's face it -- most roleplayers are heroes, villians, peerless veterans, or other Mary Sues. We want to feel awesome from time to time, and games let us do that. But after awhile, it gets old. Every guild leader you meet seems to be the head of a secret organization, the leader of one of Thrall's elite group of warriors, or a famous mercenary group that, for some reason, only works for the Alliance.

But they're not all like that. I'm not on an RP realm, but I've had a guildie who has been lightly roleplaying a simple Undead priest hell-bent on making babies with a Dwarf warrior. They both keep things within the game's context -- they don't speak each other's language but (not so) secretly try to meet up and communicate. It ends rather badly when the guilds shows up to kill the enemy lover, but the two still press on, shouting in Common and Orcish and emoting strange gestures in order to better try to express their love.

I've had people from RP servers try to get me to rally to their cause in the random Dungeon Finder, but they get shot down fast most of the time, and ... well, the game already calls me a hero every other quest, so it's lost its shine. However, when my guildie cries about seeing her potential Dwarven lover with another woman, then later finding out it was his evil twin, I can't help but chuckle a bit and even do some very light roleplaying myself.

Have you ever met someone who RPed something unique? A seer who was always wrong? A farmer's guild? A hard-working peon?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, RP, Guest Posts

All the World's A Stage: Plot points for Dwarven roleplayers

All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players. In World of Warcraft, that player is you! Each week, Anne Stickney brings you All the World's a Stage with helpful hints, tips and tricks on the art of roleplay in WoW.

Two races were equally shaken up with the Shattering. The first are the Tauren, who lost their beloved leader Cairne Bloodhoof when he challenged Garrosh Hellscream to a duel that he subsequently lost. The second are the Dwarves of Ironforge, who also lost a leader -- though it wasn't because of duels, political tensions, or anything of the sort. Instead, the Dwarves lost Magni Bronzebeard when he attempted to try and save the world.

The crux of the problem with the Tauren was that their leader was killed in a duel due to interference from the Grimtotem tribe. With the Dwarves, the crux of the problem began after Magni's death. After all, Cairne had Baine to step up and take charge after his father's death; but Magni Bronzebeard ... well. He had a daughter and a grandson, but both were sided with the "enemy" -- the Dark Iron Dwarves. What does all this mean to Dwarven roleplayers? Plenty.

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Filed under: RP, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

15 Minutes of Fame: Come one, come all to the astounding Traveling Museum of Debris

From Hollywood celebrities to the guy next door, millions of people have made World of Warcraft a part of their lives. How do you play WoW? We're giving each approach its own 15 Minutes of Fame.

Back in October, we profiled triple-threat collector Drrum's coordinated armor, pet, and mount collections, meticulously assembled and screenshot in complementary in-game settings. Last week, we chatted with collector Moonjade of Twisting Nether (US-A), who focuses on items somehow linked to game lore. This week, we complete our trifecta of collectors with an interview with a player who's assembled an actual in-game museum -- yup, curator-led tours and all -- of unusual gray items and assorted oddities. Now, we get crazy emails all the time here at WoW Insider about all sorts of weird things that've been found in game ... but man, I've never even heard of some of this stuff!

Pestle, who's also GM of Infinite Asylum on The Scryers (US-A), manages the massive, multi-bank collection via Riplington E. Winchester III, the museum's intrepid gnomish curator character. The list of random items that she sent me is so long that there's literally no reader-friendly way to display it here (let alone the fact that it would take days to slap Wowhead links on all of it); we'll stream it for you in paragraph form just after the jump. For a visual idea of the scope of this massive collection, click through the gallery below before joining us to chat with its curator after the break.

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Filed under: RP, Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

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