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Posts with tag RP

Breakfast Topic: Where are the chairs?

Sometimes you receive a letter from a reader that makes you say, "Chairs? Hunh. I mean ... Hunh. Dude's got a point. Chairs."

Here's the letter, in all its (ahem) upstanding passion:

What do we want? CHAIRS!
When do we want them? NOW!
What will we eat if we don't get them? BRAINS!

Take a walk through the classic capital cities of Warcraft, specifically the Horde cities. While you take this tour I have a challenge for you – count the number of chairs that you can find. This number might startle you. The specific cities of Thunderbluff, Orgimmar, and the Undercity are largely if not completely vacant of such fixtures save for two thrones.

This also largely applies to the nearby cities and housing for those races. Visit the Cross Roads, visit Tarren Mill, and other smaller factional holdings and you will notice a trend of a lack of chairs. To its credit, Brill has -1- chair. In fact there is an overall lack of much in the way of viable living space for the classic races of the Horde.

So what gives? More so why is this important and how might it be reflected in the coming content? Among the Horde players there is a growing concern that this lack of basic fixtures will be missing from the Horde's Garrisons if current content is any means to speculate. Since the garrisons will be Orcish in style, will the lack of basic fixtures also be reflected in the Garrison?

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Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Who are you pretending to be?

I know that a lot of WoW players don't care about lore or role playing, and I've always kind of felt that was a shame. Some of the most fun I've had in World of Warcraft was in playing a role (and no, I don't mean tanking) -- I've talked before about the old days when I actually led a Naxx raid in character as an overly concerned tauren worried about all the small people. Nothing irritates an orc warlock as much as hugs, let me tell you.

I mention this because, thanks to a coworker's twitter, I discovered Daily Character Development, and it got me thinking about my character. Quite frankly, as silly as it might be to concern myself with the fictional life experiences of a mass of pixels, I also find it brings an extra something to the game. Raids come and go. Gear gets replaced. But I find that even dedicating a little time to who you're raiding on, and who that gear is going to, makes it a little bit more fun for me.

Of course, I'm coming at this from the perspective of someone who's played tabletop pen and paper RPG's for years and years. But as just one example, when I was playing an orc, I sat back and thought about how that orc would view Garrosh Hellscream and realized that from the perspective of a young orc who's basically grown up on Azeroth, Hellscream was basically the perfect orc. That at least some orcs could totally get behind his agenda. It made the whole Horde civil war aspect of the thing incredibly interesting to me, after I rerolled Alliance again I imagined my orc ended up on the wrong side... and probably dead at the hands of the combined forces besieging the city.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore

Updates on US Connected Realms

Updates on US Connected Realms
By now, several US realms have been successfully connected with Blizzard's new Connected Realms feature. In case you've been out of the loop, Blizzard released an update in regards to the new feature, which seamlessly connects two realms so that they'll behave as one. That means players on realms that are connected can join the same guilds, use one Auction House, and run raids and dungeons with each other -- a pretty big bonus for realms that have been suffering from lower populations. The list of successfully connected realms is as follows:
  • Auchindoun and Laughing Skull
  • Black Dragonflight and Skullcrusher
  • Aegwynn and Gurubashi
  • Balnazzar and Warsong
  • Burning Blade and Onyxia
  • Chromaggus and Garithos
  • Dalvengyr and Dark Iron
  • Dethecus and Detheroc
  • Dunemaul, Maiev, Boulderfist and Bloodscalp
  • Hakkar and Aegwynn
  • Rivendare and Firetree
It's a sizeable list -- but if your realm wasn't on the list, not to worry. Blizzard is revving up for more realm connections, and soon. Two new batches of realm connections are on the way, and the first batch of connections will be taking place on Monday, October 28.

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Filed under: Realm Status, Blizzard, News items

Next wave of Connected Realms announced

Next set of Connected Realms announced
Following Monday's successful connections, the next wave of realms to be added to the Connected Realms feature have just been announced. While Community Manager Nethaera had the names of the realms available for players, as of yet there still isn't a fixed date for the realm connections to take place. However, given the faster turnaround that we've been experiencing, players may see these connections happen sooner than one would think.

As a part of our ongoing Connected Realms implementation, we will be connecting additional realms as listed below. We don't have a specific date yet on when these connections will occur, but we'll provide another update once we do. Please be aware that as a part of the connection process realm times may change to match each other.

Next Realm Connections:

Dethecus and Detheroc
Auchindoun and Laughing Skull
Hakkar and Aegwynn
Rivendare and Firetree
Dunemaul and Bloodscalp/ Maiev/Boulderfist

We're currently evaluating further realm connections and will provide updates as they're available. For more information on Connected Realms, please read the preview blog post here.

It looks like the Maiev/Bloodscalp/Boulderfist triad can expect another addition to their happy little family with Dunemaul. In addition, Hakkar will join Aegwynn, which was connected to Gurubashi last week. If you're a player on one of the realms slated for connection, you might want to keep an eye on the official thread for future updates.

Filed under: Realm Status, Blizzard, News items

What do you do when you're away from WoW?

crying troll
Right now, thanks to an ongoing saga of computer failure, I'm currently on an enforced hiatus from World of Warcraft. Readers, this is not how I want things to be! I've barely touched patch 5.4, I'm missing Hallow's End and all its glorious experience boosts for my alts, and BlizzCon is just a couple of weeks away. The timing for mass electronic failure just could not have been worse.

Over the years that I've played WoW, my personal interest in the game has waxed and waned. I think this is probably pretty normal. We all go through phases where we want to play more than at other times. Maybe a person's interest is tied to the release of new content, or maybe it's tied to guild events, or maybe something else entirely. So it's not as if now is the first time I've been away from WoW for a while. What's unusual is that normally I'm away because I want to be, not because I've been forced to by circumstances beyond my control.

So, because I'm stuck not playing WoW when I wish I could be playing WoW, I'm immersing myself in the game in other ways. These include things like researching transmog gear, meticulously planning out new alts (including names, backstories, and leveling routes), wistfully reading my friends' accounts of guild raiding progress, and some text-based RP with friends. Thanks to these efforts, I'm managing just fine. I just hope my new monitor gets here quickly.

Have you ever been forced into an undesired WoW break thanks to forces beyond your control? What did you do, if anything, to keep yourself engaged with the game? Or did you take it as a sign and go dark for a while? Tell us all about it!

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Latest round of Connected Realms coming Monday

Latest round of Connected Realms coming Tuesday
The latest sizable batch of realms slated for the Connected Realms feature will be going under maintenance on Monday, October 21 from 5:00 a.m. PDT until approximately 11:00 a.m. PDT, according to the official thread on the feature. Community Manager Bashiok also added that once these realms return from maintenance, the realm connections should be complete. The realms scheduled for this round of connection are as follows.
  • Balnazzar and Warsong
  • Gurubashi and Aegwynn
  • Dalvengyr and Dark Iron
  • Garithos and Chromaggus
  • Onyxia and Burning Blade
  • Maiev and Bloodscalp/Boulderfist
If you happen to be calling any of these realms home, be prepared for a brief bout of maintenance come Monday. However, Tuesday's regular maintenance should simply be a set of rolling restarts for everyone, so realms that are in the process of being connected should be hit with double downtime. This seems to be a pretty quick turnaround -- will we be seeing more realm connection announcements next week? For more information and updates on the process, keep an eye on the official forum thread.

Filed under: Realm Status, Blizzard, News items

New wave of Connected Realms announced

New wave of Connected Realms announced
After the connection of the Skullcrusher and Black Dragonflight realms earlier this week, Blizzard has announced the next set of realms to be connected -- and this time, there's quite a list of them. Twelve realms total are slated to be connected, although a specific date for the connection has yet to be announced. However, Community Manager Bashiok provided the full list, noting that these are all US realms -- no EU realms have been slated for connection at this time.

As a part of our ongoing Connected Realms implementation, we will be connecting additional pairs of realms as listed below. We don't have a specific date yet on when these connections will occur, but we'll provide another update once we do. Please be aware that as a part of the connection process realm times may change to match each other.

Next Realm Connection Pairs:
  • Balnazzar and Warsong
  • Gurubashi and Aegwynn
  • Dalvengyr and Dark Iron
  • Garithos and Chromaggus
  • Onyxia and Burning Blade
  • Maiev and Bloodscalp/Boulderfist
We're currently evaluating further realm connections and will provide updates as they're available. For more information on Connected Realms, please read the preview blog post here.

Note that the Maiev realm will be connected with the Bloodscalp/Boulderfist connection that was the first to be made in this process. Although an exact date for the connection has not been set, given the connection that took place during this week's maintenance, we can hope that these connections will also take place during regularly scheduled downtime. Players on these realms should continue to check back with the official thread on the forums for more updates as they become available.

Filed under: Realm Status, Blizzard, News items

Black Dragonflight, Skullcrusher realms to be connected tomorrow

Black Dragonflight, Skullcrusher realms to be connected tomorrow
Black Dragonflight and Skullcrusher, the two latest realms to be announced as slated for the Connected Realms feature will be connected tomorrow, October 15, during standard maintenance. The two realms were next in line after the success of the Bloodscalp and Boulderfist realm connection. Given that the realm connection will take place during regular server maintenance, one would hope that this means that the wrinkles have been ironed out of implementation -- but just in case, Blizzard will be providing updates on any potential delays.

The rollout for Connected Realms has been considerably slower than most players were expecting. However, it's nice to see that Blizzard is taking its time with this one, making sure that everything is functioning correctly and all potential issues have been addressed. Of course the question on everyone's minds now is which realms will be slated for connection next, and when will it occur? Are you hoping for the connected realm feature on your server?

Filed under: Realm Status, Blizzard, News items

Black Dragonflight, Skullcrusher realms to be connected

Connected realms implementation continues
After the successful integration of the Bloodscalp and Boulderfist realms, Blizzard is continuing with the slow rollout of connected realms. Although no date has been finalized, CM Nethaera has announced that Black Dragonflight and Skullcrusher will be the next two realms to be connected.

As a part of our ongoing Connected Realms implementation, we will be working toward connecting our next pair of realms, Black Dragonflight and Skullcrusher – we'll provide another update once we've finalized the date. We will also update this thread with any additional information that becomes available. Please be aware that as a part of the process, realm times may change to align better with each other.

We are currently evaluating additional realm connections and plan to provide a more complete schedule at a future point in time.

For more information on Connected Realms, please read the preview blog post here.

CM Bashiok stepped in later in the thread to clarify some details on the connected realms process. While many are eager to see this new feature give a boost to realms with lower than optimal populations, the process is far more complicated than you'd think. Blizzard is taking its time with each connection in order to evaluate possible issues with the process -- and the choice of realms was specifically to help identify potential issues. In other words, at this point in the process it's not so much a matter of how much a realm would benefit from a connection, as it is how much that connection will help clarify any potential issues with the process itself. Check out the full forum thread for more information and updates on the process as it continues.

Filed under: Realm Status, Blizzard, News items

Nethaera fills in the blanks on Connected Realms

Nethaera fills in the blanks on Connected Realms
With patch 5.4 up and running, many players have been wondering about the status of the new Connected Realms feature. Questions have run the gamut from wanting to know the exact criteria of putting two realms together, to wanting a list of the realms that are scheduled to be connected. Most importantly, players have been wondering if the Connected Realms feature has actually been enabled, or if we have yet to see if the process has taken place.

Community Manager Nethaera filled in some of those blanks in a series of updates posted on the official forums. The first two realms that have been scheduled for connection are Boulderfist and Bloodscalp. The system will be rolled out over time, much like what we saw with the Cross-Realm Zones feature -- players won't suddenly see all realms introduced to the Connected Realms feature all at once. Blizzard intends to keep realm types together as much as it possibly can -- for those on RP realms, this means if your realm is connected to another, it will likely be another RP realm.

Nethaera went on to note that faction balance, something that has caused many players to struggle on incredibly lopsided realms, may not be the ultimate reason for a connection. But perhaps most importantly -- as of Friday, no realms have been connected. Any server restarts or messages about Connected Realm restarts in game are absolutely not an indicator that your realm has been connected to another -- it's simply some of the work that needs to be done in order to enable the connecting process, should it need to be utilized. For now, it seems that players are still isolated on their own realms -- but there should be further updates to the thread if that changes. For more information on the implementation of this new feature, check out the thread on the official forums.

Filed under: Realm Status, Blizzard, News items

Drama Mamas: Conflicting personalities

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.

This week we have two letter writers having personality conflict problems with fellow guildies.
Hello Drama Mamas,

Long time reader, first time writer. I'll keep this as short and sweet as I can. My problem arises from two things 1. a misunderstanding between two guildmates and 2,) limited activity.

A guild mate and I, in an out of game chatroom, have had some misunderstandings. While I attempt to not bring said things up in game, believing that OoGD (Out of Game Drama) remains OoGD, I am worried that this person should we have to work together, or talk to one another would shun me and be very nasty to me. A point I brought up to one of the Officers and explained that I wasn't sure if I was good a fit in the guild do to the "limited activity." The Officer told the GM, and that was when that whole mess got started. He put most, if not all, of the blame on me even though I had screen shots to prove otherwise. I have tried to smooth things over, even apologizing, and tried to explain to the GM what was going on-with the screenshots-only to be rebuked and told off, presumably (though I don't know for certain as they are good friends) with the other person also told off.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Drama Mamas

Breakfast Topic: What's your headcanon?

Night elf reading
Headcanon is a concept you may not be familiar with if you're not an RPer or fanfic writer. Simply stated, it's a fan's personal interpretation of events or characters in whatever setting they're a fan of. Sometimes a person may use their headcanon as a way of coping with a story choice they dislike, and sometimes it may just be to fill gaps in the story line. For example, in WoW fandom, you might hear someone say, "In my headcanon, Jaina and Kalec are just good friends, because I hate them as a couple!" or, "I have this headcanon that Cairne and Magatha were actually fairly close at one point, and had a falling-out, and that's one of the reasons she hated him so much and he didn't throw her out of Thunder Bluff." The first is an example of a coping (or "corrective") headcanon, the second is an example of filling in unknown gaps.

One of the most fun things I do with my WoW friends is chat about our personal headcanons of the story and characters. What kind of relationships do these people have outside of what we see directly in official lore? Were they childhood friends, were they comrades in arms, were they lovers? Do these folks resent being forced into obligations they never wanted thanks to world events, or are they hungry to wield a power they wouldn't have otherwise achieved? How much does group X actually enjoy being allies (or enemies) with group Y? The "if only" game is endlessly fun!

Do you have any WoW headcanons? Did you, by any chance, already tell us about them back in October? Have they changed? For the most part, I only discuss my own headcanons with a handful of people, because I'm way too shy to do it in public! If you're not, though, please tell us in the comments!

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Lore

Officers' Quarters: Reworking a guild concept

Officers' Quarters Reworking a guild concept MONDAY
Every Monday, Scott Andrews contributes Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership. He is the author of The Guild Leader's Handbook.

Ideas for unique guild concepts are hard to come by. This week, a guild leader who thought she had a winning formula finds out that no one is interested. Let's look at what she came up with and how we can rework her ideas to entice more recruits.

I have recently transferred from Nazgrel to the RP server of Moon Guard. I did this with a certain goal in mind, to establish an all Goblin Trade Guild. I have hit a crucial snag however and can't seem to generate any interest in my Guild idea. One major selling point of my Trade Guild would be that we would hold a monthly [Bazaar] in which other Guilds would be encouraged to join in and sell their wares along with us. Using [Gryphonheart Items] we would create an item catalog and haggle over prices. I was hoping that this would help revitalize the role play community. Nothing I have tried has worked to recruit Any suggestions?

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

Breakfast Topic: Are you a non-roleplayer on a RP realm (or vice versa)?

Breakfast Topic Are you a nonroleplayer on a RP realm or vice versa
I wish I could open this Breakfast Topic by inquiring if you are a non-roleplayer lost in a sea of roleplayers, but I think we can probably all agree that roleplayers do not make up the primary population of any roleplaying realm. The common line of thinking seems to be that you can dodge a certain amount of trolls and jerkfaces among the player population at large by making your home on the more "mature" roleplaying realms. Having ended up with characters on several roleplaying realms, I find this axiom more true than not (although you'll find the inevitable riff-raff on every realm).

As Anne Stickney pointed out in a column examining the plight of roleplayers trying to protect their realms against an invasion of non-roleplayers, "The problem with roleplay realms in World of Warcraft is that roleplay isn't really enforced on these realms. Instead, they are designated as roleplay realms with the intent that those seeking roleplay will have a communal place to get together." She asks players to clarify their approaches by asking themselves the following questions:
  • What do you do if you're a roleplayer and you see someone who obviously isn't into roleplay at all? Do you try to engage them in roleplay? Do you report them? Or do you simply let them be?
  • If you're a non-roleplayer but want the atmosphere of a roleplaying realm, how should you conduct yourself once you're on that realm?
"The best way for players both roleplay and non to get along is to simply treat each other with mutual respect," Anne writes. "Most non-roleplayers aren't out to harm the server or grief roleplayers. Most roleplayers aren't out to get anyone that isn't openly engaging in RP. As long as both sides remain friendly and respectful, they can get along just fine and work to make the server a better place for everyone."

I'd totally agree with that -- but still, I'm curious if you've ever felt out of place on your home realm based on your roleplaying status. If you're a non-roleplayer on an RP realm, have you ever borne the brunt of criticism for contributing to the non-roleplaying population? Do you roleplay regularly on a standard realm, perhaps in a roleplaying guild?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: Would Blizzard-run dynamic events work in WoW?

Breakfast Topic Would live Blizzardrun dynamic events work in WoW
Once upon a time, I served as a guide in EverQuest. Guides were volunteers who went through a training program to become essentially non-staff customer service agents. We retrieved out-of-reach corpses, plucked players from the world geometry, smoothed ruffled feathers during spawn disputes, and a whole host of other GM-ish duties.

But perhaps the most fun thing the CS team did was run loosely scripted roleplaying events. I remember my first event with great fondness, a simple scenario in which we took over the orc NPCs inside the keep of a newbie dungeon zone called Crushbone. After provoking the amazed newbies into charging the keep, we slaughtered them by the dozens (to their delight) and eventually departed as mysteriously as we had appeared. The event remains a highlight of my gaming experience. I'll never forget the astonished shouts of players trying to rally others while explaining that yes, the orcs really had come alive!

With all of World of Warcraft's emphasis on story, I adore the idea of having some tucked-away corner of a zone spring to life under GM control. Of course, with so many realms and millions of players sprawling across the world, staffing such an endeavor on any sort of regular basis would require massive manpower. Could a volunteer crew manage a dynamic events team in today's World of Warcraft? Would you enjoy participating in dynamic events? Would you want the events to focus on nudging along the main story lines or filling in the backstory, or should they stick to bringing some previously unremarkable NPCs to life? If it were possible to bring the same story to every realm, how would you react if you were offline or otherwise unable to participate when it happened?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

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