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  • David Bowers
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All the World's a Stage: The guild hall {WoW}

Jul 5th 2009 10:29PM To some extent it depends on which problem you consider to be the bigger problem. Some people, such as yourself, really don't like that "disconnect" you're talking about, and that's very reasonable. What I'm saying is that no matter what, you're going to get that disconnect. Suppose in the middle of doing your dailies, something happens and you get killed by monsters, are you going to say "Ooops! I just died!" or "Aaaargh! Oh the pain! Make it stop! Someone call a ... a..... ahhhhhh " or what? No, you're going to pretend like the death (and the ghost run) never happened, and instead say you just got "badly hurt" or something, because in a game like WoW these things happen all the time -- it's no fun in the story if your character is dying all the time, and it doesn't add to the story to say that he does either.

That's the problem. Usually, your character's daily quests, farming for materials, or even running Naxxrammas again for the 15th time -- none of these are all that interesting when it comes to a roleplaying story. Adding a bit of static or disruption may be silly and fun, but it doesn't add to the story much, it just makes it difficult for people to understand what you're saying. Is that the story? That there was this group of people who tried to communicate with each other over radio while doing various different mundane activities and had to overcome problems like bad reception in order to do it?

No, it's much more interesting if we say separate the world and the guild chat into two different events. Whatever you find or do out in the world needn't have any relationship whatsoever with the guild chat. If you find a great sword, you can just tell your friends in the guild's OOC channel and let your character start showing it off in the guild hall the next time you log in. If you do this, you'll be able to have him actually wave it around a bit, show off the intricate runes on its surface, and hand it to others so that they can feel how well balanced it is. Over the radio, your friends would only be able to "hear" you bragging about it, without being able to see or touch it for themselves.

Essentially, the "disconnect" with the radio idea isn't so much a disconnect in time that you find with the guild hall, but a disconnect in shared experience. Your characters can't share experiences in a shared space with a radio, they can only report the different experiences they're having in different places -- and to me that's the bigger problem.

All the World's a Stage: The Art of Roleplaying {WoW}

May 3rd 2009 7:35PM Hi Tick,

You might also be interested to check out the 3 articles I wrote about finding roleplayers in WoW. I focused on finding the right realm, joining the right guild (or circle of friends) and on presenting your self in the right way so that other people can identify you as a good roleplaying partner right away.

Hope it helps :)


All the World's a Stage: So you want to be a Miner {WoW}

Mar 11th 2009 1:49AM I appreciate how well thought-out your ideas are. Perhaps sometime there will be an appropriate chance for us to discuss the ins and outs of human nature and its relationship to the economy of real world systems as well as virtual systems. If I have time, I will write an article about that. :)

I just want to add one thing, that my idea of a character asking other people to take the nodes is not practical advice on how to make money for your character in the fastest way possible. It's not intended to "work" in a self-interest-based economic sense. It's just something your character can do when there are other people around, when showing your character's distaste for his chosen profession to your friends is actually more valuable to you socially than getting the ore for yourself is economically.

Also, it gives you a chance to be generous, which may be more valuable spiritually than anything else, social or economic, could be. Generosity is a part of human nature too, remember :) I don't mean the extreme of giving away all your earthly possessions and starving to death on a street corner in a shriveled-up naked husk of a body. I just mean giving away something that would make others happy when that happiness and benefit to others is worth more than the actual possession of the item itself. Many WoW players have found more enjoyment from generously helping others in their guild or circle of friends than they have from actually gaining vast wealth and loot for themselves. That's especially true with roleplaying communities, I think, who tend to place more value on the softer sides of social interaction rather than comparing achievements, gear or whatnot.

All the World's a Stage: So you want to be a Miner {WoW}

Mar 9th 2009 7:17PM I see that you have a very strong attachment to capitalism, Deathomen, and I've pressed one of your buttons here. Some of the comments in my article have helped me to see that I looked at the real world mining industry with an unfairly negative attitude, based on some examples I know of where lots of negative things have actually happened. To generalize the sins of some mining companies onto all mines in general is unfair, and I must be careful in the future not to repeat the mistake.

However, this was not the intent of the article to criticize the mining industry, or even capitalism itself. Obviously any economic paradigm operating in the world today has its strengths and weaknesses, and the global economic and industrial brings both wonderful and horrible things to the world. There's both good and bad to see there.

The intent of the paragraphs you took issue with was to set up for a point: "Azeroth is not like this. Azeroth has a different system from the one you see in the real world, so if we want to make sense of it for our characters, we have to think of it in new ways." For some readers, that was clear, but for others it was not. Surely more accuracy on my part, as you noted, would have made that more clear for you and more people in general as well.

Also, as Andorion pointed out, there are many more factors which differentiate Azeroth and Earth, which I hadn't thought of when writing the article, and which can also provide a better understanding of how to roleplay a miner in WoW.

Thank you all for your comments.

All the World's a Stage: So you want to be a Miner {WoW}

Mar 9th 2009 7:05PM Yeah, you're right. My article does speak in negative terms, where actually the broad spectrum of mining is much more diverse than I have accounted for. I was personally horrified by depictions from films and documentaries like Blood Diamond, but that doesn't mean I should extend that attitude toward the industry as a whole.

In the future I must fact-check my articles better, without assuming I just know based on my own experiences.

All the World's a Stage: So you want to be a Miner {WoW}

Mar 9th 2009 12:46AM Oh. Well yeah that may be. I was thinking of most of those as caves. But there are several places where laborers are mining away, clearly not getting paid much. So it does happen in Azeroth too...

Still, adventurers can't get away with a scheme like that. Maybe we just don't have access to a massive workforce the same way that various governments or organizations do.

All the World's a Stage: So you want to be a Miner {WoW}

Mar 9th 2009 12:41AM What in the world? What politics? I think you're reading the politics in there yourself, dear reader.

All the World's a Stage: So you want to be a Miner {WoW}

Mar 9th 2009 12:08AM How very fantabulously appropriate!

Wouldn't it be neat if we could sometimes mine up interesting little items, like cursed stones of the old gods or something, which, when you clicked on them, turned you into a possessed raving lunatic that attacked your friends and then fled in utter madness -- for just about 30 seconds or so?

Without an item like that, any sort of "possession" thing tends to be nothing more than,

"Um. Hey guys, I'm possessed now."
"Really? That's too bad."
"I uh... challenge you to a duel! er... wait. Could you come outside the city so that I can roleplay turning into a raving mad lunatic possessed by a demon?"
"No, I'm busy drinking tea. Besides, Deathbob got possessed last week, and I only roleplay one possession per month. Why not just have a glass of milk and pretend it never happened?"

Very dissapointing.

All the World's a Stage: So you want to be a Miner {WoW}

Mar 8th 2009 8:40PM Thanks! I think it's fun to try and reason things like that out. Limitations that don't normally seem to make sense can be great for creativity!