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Posts with tag Roleplaying

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

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)

Shifting Perspectives: Spring cleaning

Shifting Perspectives The sound and the furry
Every week (sort of), WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. This Tuesday, the bookmarks folder gets the root cellar treatment.

I've been away from the game since the holidays due to what I will politely refer to as technical difficulties. (I have a variety of impolite terms for it too, but this is a family blog.) During that time, I've watched the game from the sidelines and have grown bored enough to do some maintenance on stuff that usually gets ignored until I'm rooting through it in a hurry. Add-ons were updated, dead blog links were sent to their folder, interesting ones were added, and then I turned to my collection of bookmarks in order to prune there as well.

I have a pretty sizable cache of druid or druid-related links that's grown over the years, and a lot of them are still pretty interesting. In the absence of the ability to talk about what's actually happening in the game with any fluency, I thought it might make a decent stopgap Shifting. This is a selection that's kept me absorbed for many an hour on a snowy weekend, and it ranges from comparisons between druid and warrior tanks in the classic game to where you fall on a healer's priority list when you're a jackass.

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Filed under: Druid, Analysis / Opinion, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

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

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

Breakfast Topic: Can you role-play by yourself?

Breakfast Topic Can you roleplay by yourself
I make no bones about the fact that I'm far from an experienced roleplayer. This isn't one of those Breakfast Topics where I'm expressing an opinion and asking if WoW Insider readers agree with it or not. This is one of the ones where I genuinely don't know the answer to a question, or even if there is an answer to a question, and asking you all!

As per the title, the question is can you role-play by yourself? It seems to the novice roleplayer that a good part of RP is done solo, in general at least. Maybe I'm wrong but it seems logical that you would devise your character and your back-story by yourself. Perhaps your character's story is shaped by others, but the seed, the core of the story is created by the player alone.

Once this back-story, or the seed thereof, is established, it seems to me, again as a novice, that roleplaying is essentially a group activity. It seems hard to create a meaningful character without at least some kind of interaction. My thoughts are drawn to a female troll who is always behind the bar in Silvermoon City on one of the most famous EU RP realms. Were she to never have any customers, would she still carry on working behind the bar? Does her roleplay rely on the presence of others?

And does yours? Have I completely missed the point here? It's highly possible. Or maybe it's just that roleplaying is more fun with others, most of the time at least. What do you think? Could you, hypothetically, roleplay in a satisfactory way without ever interacting with another player?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Officers' Quarters: 4 radical ways to help your guild stand out in Mists

Fireworks over Pandaria
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.

Today we stand at the precipice of a new era. In less than 24 hours, Mists of Pandaria will usher in what could be called the Fifth Age of WoW. The long wait through 2012 has been hard on guilds, but that time is now over.

If your guild has made it this far, you should be proud of that, but this is not a time to rest. This is a time to ensure that your guild will thrive. In this new era, the best method to recruit players will not change: finding ways to set your guild apart from the dozens of others on your server. Here are four ways to do just that -- but be warned! These are not for the faint of heart.

1. Offer tutorial runs of the new dungeons. Blizzard's new guild mentoring program is a great idea, but just because your guild wasn't selected doesn't mean you can't be a force for good on your server. This strategy requires patient guild members who have run the dungeons in beta or who get a lot of practice in the early weeks of the expansion.

Start an initiative on your server in which, one night a week, you offer to run players through dungeons while teaching them the boss mechanics. Players will very much appreciate the chance to learn the runs in a low-stress and constructive environment rather than the merciless meat-grinder boot camp of the dungeon finder.

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

Drama Mamas: Roleplaying the system

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.

We fear change. Sometimes change is good, though. Change caused a bit of a problem in this week's letter.
Dear Robin & Lisa,

I'm in a middling-sized roleplaying guild on Argent Dawn (EU). We hold casual RP just about every evening and when we roleplay any combat, it's usually done in the form of an emote battle, with a simple rolling mechanic (/roll 1-100) used only when it's really, really needed.

Then, out of nowhere, our GM and deputy posted up a new set of roleplaying rules on the guild forums. These D&D-esque rules asked that each player pick a series of passive bonuses and active abilities to attach to their roleplaying character(s). Later on, we found out that the idea for and most of the work on this new set of rules had come not from our two leaders, but from a brand new guildie, and that he had worked this out with our leaders on Skype long before anyone else was notified.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Drama Mamas

Treating With the Enemy: RP guild greases cross-faction trade and parley

Making a delivery
Most seasoned WoW players eventually figure out ways to confidently move money and items across faction lines. On top of that, the proliferation of voice communications like Ventrilo, realm-wide forums, and the ability to make characters on both factions of even a PvP realm (it hasn't always been possible!) all make it easy enough to chat up players on the other side of the divide. It's sort of the reverse of what happened to Darkshore in the Cataclysm -- whereas picking your way across that ravaged zone today is perilous to hoof and limb, it's relatively easy to treat with the enemy across faction lines.

All those developments go out the window, however, if you're a roleplayer whose need for immersion and in-character realism trumps game mechanics. But speaking of trumps, lucky players on Cenarion Circle (US) and Thorium Brotherhood (US) hold a trump card when it comes to inter-faction relations: the services of the Anywhere Anytime Messenger Service, a set of guilds that provides delivery, translation and mediation services to Horde and Alliance characters seeking to breach the great faction divide. Our chat with the players behind the organization's CEO and branch manager positions is one of those interviews that'll make you want to create another character to join in this fun, social way to play (and the simple but charming guild jingle from the group's gnomish leader will earworm its way to your heart!).

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Filed under: Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

Breakfast Topic: How do you roleplay in WoW?

I did a Breakfast Topic recently asking you all what your game was. This included a woefully inadequate poll, but it still gave me some interesting results to look at. There was the expected dominance of PvE endgame content, but that's not what I'm here to talk about today. I have just enough knowledge to be dangerous about most aspects of WoW; I could explain PvP and PvE to a non-player pretty easily. I could also make a relatively decent stab at achievement farming, professions and playing the Auction House.

But roleplaying ... now, that is a total mystery to me. I get that we're all playing roles to an extent -- bar a recent Halloween fancy dress outfit, I'm not an orc shaman any more than I really could survive being beaten up by a huge dragon. But that, as far as I know, isn't what roleplaying is really about. I could be totally wrong, of course!

I think it has to do with creating a story for a character and then enacting it, but I have so many questions! Do you raid? Can your character's storyline encompass all aspects of gameplay? I can see how there may be a good amount of PvP involved, but are instances more troublesome? Do you quest? If you don't include normal gameplay, what do you actually do? What are the constituent parts of a few normal days of roleplaying in WoW? I'm intrigued to hear your stories!

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Why enmity means success to these vile rogues

Lurking above
So let's talk about ganking and getting ganked -- vile, nasty, evil rogues. How WoW players rage against rogues! You'd think an entire collective of them would be utterly reviled by the player community -- but not this group, which is such a straight-up gang that many of its sap-and-drop victims actually become cross-faction buddies. Vile Thorn of Defias Brotherhood (EU-H), an all-rogue guild that recently packed up shop and moved from another slowly stagnating roleplay, is probably the amicable gank squad you'll ever come across (or that'll come across you -- you know what we mean ...).

With an ironclad one-kill rule and a hankering for cross-faction roleplay, Vile Thorn takes no prisoners when it comes to fostering realm-wide roleplaying and world PvP. Its roster shows no sign of tanks, healers or other DPS classes; this group is utterly dedicated to its dark duties. GM Arli reports a warm welcome from players on Defias Brotherhood, both in character and out, after the guild's weekend sprint in search of a wider roleplaying community. To gank, or not to gank -- why is death at the hands of the Vile Thorns so compelling that one guild of factional enemies even realm-transferred along with its nemesis?

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Filed under: Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

Breakfast Topic: Is that you?

As is often the case with Breakfast Topics, I write about what interests me, asking commenters questions that I genuinely want to know the answers to. So it should be no surprise that I read the comments pretty religiously, and often they will spark ideas that lead to more Breakfast Topics. You've only yourselves to blame for being such interesting folk.

On a recent BT about gender in WoW, two commenters got my attention. Dez and Nagaina, thanks for replying! The parts that caught my eye from their comments were as follows:

Dez wrote: I know some players consider their toons to be extensions of themselves (1st-person narrative), but personally I see them more as other people whose adventures I am following (3rd-person narrative).

Nagaina wrote: I'm principally a roleplayer. When I create a character, I'm usually doing so for storyline related reasons not representing myself in game related ones.

I personally consider my characters to be extensions of myself. When I refer to them, mentally I'm thinking, "I'm over here," "I'm getting my face chewed off by a murloc," or "I'm going to get myself a kickass new cloak." When I'm talking in game, I do much the same.

The idea of the character as a third person fascinates me. I suppose it might be reflected in games like The Sims where you control the life of a character in a different way or maybe in FPS games where you're controlling a character with a predefined story. Or perhaps it's something that is a big part of roleplaying, creating a story for a character that is (maybe by definition) not your own story. I freely admit to knowing barely anything about roleplaying, so of course there is the strong possibility that all that might be utter nonsense!

What do you think? Are your characters extensions of yourself? Are you representing yourself in game? Or, like Dez and Nagaina, are you following a third person? And why?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

5 creepy Kalimdor lairs for roleplaying villains

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.

One of the common themes in Warcraft is that if you're a villain, you've gotta have a hangout. Whether it's Illidan's retreat in The Black Temple, the Lich King's frozen Icecrown Citadel, or even places like The Deadmines where Vanessa VanCleef works on her diabolical schemes, every villain in Warcraft has some kind of lair to call home. Usually these lairs are either dungeons or instances that we as players must clear out in the name of good, but sometimes they can be as simple as the cave that the Gneech calls home.

If you're roleplaying a villain, no doubt you have plenty of evil schemes under your hat. But does your villain have a suitably villainous lair to call home? If you're roleplaying a villain who's trying to blend in to the scenery, perhaps you don't need a sanctuary to call your own. Maybe hiding in plain sight is working better for you. But if you're the leader of an evil organization or simply looking for someplace to roost while pondering how exactly you're going to conquer the rest of the world, perhaps one of these five Kalimdor locations will work for you.

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

Breakfast Topic: Have WoW and your tabletop gaming influenced each other?

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

A lot of us come from a pen-and-paper background when it comes to roleplaying games. Many of us have even tried our hands at running a game back in the day when gaming meant crowding around a table with books, dice, pencils and paper. We pretended to be someone else from another world, swinging swords and flinging fireballs using the world's most powerful graphics chip, the imagination.

Not everyone is a great storyteller, and many of us that took up that role may have ended up with less than spectacular results. Then, after having played computer roleplaying games like Final Fantasy, EverQuest, or even World of Warcraft, you may have been introduced to a style of storytelling that may or may not have been completely different from anything you've experienced in the past.

After partaking of this new experience, has your own personal storytelling in your pen-and-paper games changed much? Are there game mechanics that you've altered in your game because you think it works better the way World of Warcraft does it? What elements from World of Warcraft (or other games) have inspired your creative bug to tell your epic and not-so-epic stories? Do you find yourself more inspired by the storytelling in single-player or massively multiplayer types of roleplaying games?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

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