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Posts with tag character

All the World's a Stage: Anonymosity

All the World's a Stage, and all the orcs and humans merely players. They have their stories and their characters; and one player in his time plays many roles.

Roleplaying is a journey of trust you take with strangers. You may now and then start out with a group of people you know in real life, but for the most part, the people you roleplay with have no idea who you really are, or why you are sitting here at the computer. You can tell them if you want to, but most people don't ask. Roleplayers tend to keep personal details private, and don't intrude on one another's space.

Besides, other roleplayers don't necessarily care that much about who you "really are" either. They're there to get to know your character, not you as a person, unless your character first makes a very good impression and they decide that they actually want to be friends as real people. Even though you respect each other as people who share the same interest, there's still a distance between you which either (or both) of you may wish to maintain.

And yet, the relationship you have is one of trust. It's not at all at the same level as a best friend of course, but you still have to trust one another in a very creative sense -- you rely on each other to create interesting things for your characters to share with one another. You're not just buying a shirt from a salesperson or holding the door for a passerby -- you're exchanging behavior and language in an unpredictable and totally interconnected way. Any little surprise a stranger brings to an interaction may completely alter the whole game session and stick in your mind as one of your most memorable gaming experiences. Roleplayers have to trust other roleplayers to help make those experiences positive, even without knowing anything at all about one another. Sometimes two characters can even become very close friends, even though the real people behind them do not.

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Filed under: WoW Social Conventions, Virtual selves, RP, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

Potential character model revisions in Cataclysm

WoW's fifth anniversary and the interviews surrounding it have ended up providing us with some previously-unknown tidbits of information -- which is a good thing, especially when it comes to stuff we've been wanting to hear about for a long time.

This particular tidbit comes from the Warcry network interview with J. Allen Brack and Samwise Didier about the game's anniversary, and it's about a subject near and dear to our constantly-complaining hearts: new character models. They might even be coming in Cataclysm.

Says Brack:
"Even though things would be better with new (character) models, we'd probably spark a lot of player outrage. So we've talked about giving players a choice between the classic models or the new ones, but it might not be something we want to take on at the same time as we remake Azeroth."
That's pretty big news.

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Filed under: News items, Expansions, Interviews, Cataclysm

Race change available

The expected race change feature is now active on the Account Management page, at least on the US realms. One of our writers has gone through with the change, and it appears to be working. The charge is $25, five dollars less than the faction change feature released a while ago, and includes a full customization -- gender, name, and appearance if you choose to do them. The race changes do not include the new class combinations yet -- we'll probably have to wait until Cataclysm at least before those become available. It's not live on the EU realms yet either, as of this writing.

There is also an extended FAQ, which we've posted after the break. This is something that we mostly never expected to happen, right up until Blizzard started saying that it would just a while ago. So at this point, once you roll a character, you're now able to (for an additional charge) change everything about it save for the actual class. It seems unlikely that Blizzard would ever let that happen (given that classes are the fundamental basis of a roleplaying game), but of course we've learned to never say never with them.

Update: We've now received official blue confirmation that it is intended to be active. Enjoy, everyone!

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Blizzard, Account Security

All the World's a Stage: We don't need no narration

All the World's a Stage, and all the orcs and humans merely players. They have their stories and their characters; and one player in his time plays many roles.

Throughout my career as a roleplaying columnist on WoW.com, I've been talking about roleplaying as a way to tell stories, but last week a comment by Zombie, as well as those made by a few others on the same topic, caused me to think about roleplay stories in a new way. Perhaps what we roleplayers do isn't actually storytelling so much as it is character development through interesting and somewhat disjointed anecdotes.

There's really no beginning, middle, or end to a roleplayed character in WoW. Instead, what you get is a mishmash of events and experiences, which you may then string together into a story in your mind if you like. But even if you don't, you can see that most of us don't really expect for a narrative to develop from a clear beginning, through various plot developments, and finally lead into an exciting climax. There is something else roleplayers want to get out of their experience, even if many of us have trouble articulating exactly what it is.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, RP, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

Paid character transfers time restrictions slashed


Eyonix has just announced that lockout time for paid character transfers has been reduced to 3 days from its previous 30. This means that you can now transfer your character to a new realm using the paid transfer service once every three days instead of once every thirty.

This is especially useful for raiders and PvPers who move to a new realm to join a guild, and then find out that the guild doesn't work for them. There are also tens of thousands of horror stories about people moving between servers only to find that their new guilds disbands a few days later. This will be a significant boon to people who find themselves in that situation.

The cost of the paid character transfers remain at $25 for a one way ticket.

Filed under: News items

The Five Rs of Character Revitalization

http://toomanyannas.com/feature/five-r%E2%80%99s-of-character-revitalization/So I've talked recently about life as an RPer, and how we seem to interact with our characters just a bit differently. Sometimes, whether we like it or not, a certain character and their back story just grab hold and won't let go, and we find ourselves coming back again and again, just to see where the story leads.

Of course, sometimes the character goes just the opposite way, and no matter what you do, your stories fall flat and you don't feel enthusiastic about logging on. It may be because you can't stand the character's personality anymore, it may be because your normal group of friends has hit an RP rut or even taken a break for a while themselves, it may be a variety of other things. Recently, Anna of Too Many Annas wrote a pretty awesome article about how to refresh a flagging RP character using 5 Rs: Relax and Rest, Reintegrate, Refresh the Character, Retcon, and Reroll/Reskin.

What's sort of cool about this list is that you can even apply a lot of the principles to characters in general, even if you're a non-RPer. Anna's covered the RP angle pretty well, so I'll mostly focus on this other angle.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips, RP

Find in-game friends on Livejournal's WoW Friending meme

The WoW Livejournal communities are really some of the best citizens in the WoW community at large -- they always have interesting discussions and insights going on over there, and if you ever need a question answered or just want an opinion on something in-game, they're always ready with some insight. That's why I think this WoW Friending meme that spirdirslayer has going on is such a good idea -- basically, if you're over on Livejournal and are looking to meet a few players on your realm, you can head over to the page, find your server, and then enter your information along with a few survey questions and check out who else is playing with you in-game.

I almost wish Blizzard did more social networking stuff like this -- through the Armory, we can find out everything we need to know about each others' characters these days, but there's not much we can learn about the people behind those characters. Our own profiles here on WoW.com help with some of that as well, but it would be nice to have it all integrated in the game somehow: examine a character and find out that their player is living in the same town you are. Completely optional, of course -- not everyone wants to socialize to that extent. But for those interested, it seems like it would be a lot of fun.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves

All the World's a Stage: The surface layer


This installment of All the World's a Stage diverges from the series of roleplaying guides about how to roleplay your race, class, and professions, in order to have a closer look at different layers of social interaction in roleplaying, and see in which ways you can tailor your character for each one.

So there you are -- you've got the coolest, funniest, most heartbreaking character idea on your whole RP server. You login, create your new masterpiece, and start leveling up... But as time goes by, you realize you have a problem. No one seems interested in you! You may be having trouble meeting people who actually roleplay on a roleplaying server, or the roleplayers you run into may not realize how truly awesome your character is. Let's say you even join an RP guild and try to impress your guildmates with your witty "/guild" chatter, only to discover that they're seem mildly interested at best.

What's a roleplaying genius to do? It would be tempting to think that you are not such a great roleplayer as you think, or that your character idea isn't as fantastic as you had hoped, but the truth might lie in something far less depressing: You may have created a character with true depth, yet lacking established friends to explore that depth with, your character has no way of showing it. Making such friends is never easy if you are too deep for them -- they expect some sort of interesting surface-level interaction first. Likewise, if a character is all silly gimmicks designed to entertain strangers, without anything deeper for potential close friends to enjoy, he or she may seem like an attention grabber, entertaining in the short term, but mostly shallow in the end. Choosing the right kind of surface-layer character traits to suit your personality and social needs is essential if you want to have a good experience in roleplaying.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, WoW Social Conventions, Virtual selves, RP, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

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


This week, David returns (again) to All the World's a Stage as a newly married man, feeling particularly happy and joyful, and overflowing with enthusiasm for just about everything he loves in life.

The relationship between rolelplaying and real life is a multifaceted one. If you have read this column before, you've probably seen some mention of roleplaying as a creative art form, but for some readers, it might be a bit difficult to imagine roleplaying as an art. After all, some might say, it's just a bunch of people sitting around, pretending their characters are real people, having real problems and real stories, all in spite of a game environment in which one's character can't actually affect the world in any way that matters. Problems of continuity, such as instanced dungeons in which many people can slay the same monster at the same time over and over again, make some people feel as though there's no story value to the game at all, and that anything roleplayers do is a waste of their time.

The trick for roleplayers is to think of roleplaying as something more like freeform play art, in which the main point of the art isn't so much the end product that results from one's efforts (as it would be in painting, novel-writing, or composing music), but rather the thoughts, feelings, and inspiration that come to mind when we actually engage in the process of the art itself. The closest parallel to another art form might be improv acting games, where the whole point is to make things up for you and the other actors to enjoy, rather than to deliver a performance for a separate audience; but if you've enjoyed something so simple as building a sand castle on the beach, then you probably have a good sense of what it feels like to roleplay. Fingerpainting, mandala-making or even just freeform music and dancing can all give a similar feeling like what you get in roleplaying: the sheer joy of creation.

Some roleplayers need no more justification for their art than that they enjoyed themselves. But others look at their own roleplaying careers and see certain things that they've taken away from their roleplaying experience over time. These things are usually not as solid as an actual painting or recorded song, but they still have a kind of solidity in the roleplayer's mind, as they positively impact his or her real life in several ways.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, WoW Social Conventions, Virtual selves, RP, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

All the World's a Stage: The Roleplaying Spectrum


Today David returns to All the World's a Stage, still taking a break from his series of roleplaying lore guides for World of Warcraft. Instead, he shares a few thoughts especially for people who may roleplay all the time without realizing it.

There are lots of people playing World of Warcraft out there, and if you gave a survey to each one of them, asking, "are you a roleplayer?" most of them would probably say "no." But if you actually listened to them, or engaged with them in conversation about it, you might learn a lot of things that surveys usually miss. Many people who say they are not roleplayers actually have an imagination of their character's backstory, personality, or even just individual style. They may not know how to act out the character, and they may not have friends they feel they can act out with, yet at the same time, they do have a sense of their character as their own little creative exploration.

The distinction between roleplayers and non-roleplayers is not as clear as people seem to think. In fact, there's a whole spectrum of different kinds of players between those who say they roleplay and those who say they don't -- and most people probably find themselves somewhere in the middle.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, RP, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

How to apply to a guild

Our friend Lassirra (who has just recently started writing Scattered Shots for us here at WoW Insider) has a great post over on her personal blog telling Hunters how to apply for a guild, but really, most of her advice would work for anyone trying to move on up to a better guild situation. I've long said that one of the key indicators of a guild worth getting into is that they require you to apply, so following these tips when actually filling out that application will very much help you find your spot in the game, whether it's raiding at the highest levels, teaming up with other PvP afficionados, or just getting yourself in the right casual circles.

The first few suggestions are just about following the rules: answer all of the questions, don't be weird, and don't put anything on the app (like major drama in your history or major spelling errors or offensive language) that would let the guild's officers give you a definite "no" right away. Second, know your character and your class. As Lassirra's twitter people say, the standards for most guilds' recruitment (even great guilds) are pretty low. As long as you're easy-going and you know how to play your class and have an interest in bettering your character, you're going to be pretty much instantly accepted into 90% of guilds out there. You don't have to throw together a big Flash presentation (though it might help).

And finally, don't worry about rejection. This may all sound like applying for a job, but it's not nearly that serious -- if one guild decides to pass on your app, go find another one you like and apply there. The extra time will be worth it: if all you've done in terms of being in a guild so far is join up with someone shouting in the Trade chat, you owe it to yourself to, as Lassirra says, put the time in to find a guild that's right for you.

Filed under: Tips, How-tos, Fan stuff, Guilds, Odds and ends

3D Armory offers a round of new improvements

We linked to 3D Armory a little while ago, and as Eliah says, it does what it says it'll do: provides a picture of your character as they are in the Armory in 3D. The site's founder recently emailed us about a few improvements, and as you can see over there, there's lots of new additions. All the different regions are now reachable, and while there was an issue with special characters in the realm name, it's been fixed, so you can get any character that's online into the 3D viewer. They've added character customization, so you can make sure that the model in the picture matches your model in game. Screenshots can now be taken, and even uploaded to Facebook through their Facebook app.

And there are some inter-character features as well: you can now comment on character profiles, which might be a good or a bad thing -- you could mark a good player or maybe label a ninja (though we're not sure what kind of moderation there is for that. And finally they've created something called the PuGchecker, which lets you quickly and easily enter character names and see what raid achievements those characters have earned (so if someone says they've been to OS before, you can make sure it's true). And they've even got an ingame macro you can use to run the script from directly in the game.

The rate of development over there is pretty impressive, and the site has definitely grown into much more than just your average Armory substitute. At some point you wonder just how many of the features are necessary (if you ever want to see your character in 3D, you can pretty much just log into the game), but they're definitely getting creative.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Add-Ons, Screenshots, Alts

A world without Varimathras

It was probably the least exciting thing to go down during the Wrathgate questline (Wrynn FTW, no?), and I've only played Alliance during Wrath, so I haven't really realized it until now: Varimathras is no longer in the game. He was always my favorite faction leader (even though he wasn't actually the Undead faction leader, so to speak) -- I loved his "You think you can match the might of a dreadlord?" taunt, his story (he always hinted that the Forsaken, a threat within the ranks of the Horde, might have a threat within their own ranks), and his demonic look. And now, after the Battle for the Undercity, he's gone.

Fortunately, this is World of Warcraft, and no one in Warcraft really ever stays completely dead -- just ask Kael'thas. But as a more pressing concern, players are currently wondering how they'll be able to do Varimathras' quests (for the Loremaster achievement) with him no longer hanging around the Undercity. New Blue poster Ancilorn says not to worry -- they'll come up with a way for those who can't see Varimathras to do the quests associated with him. Or, and probably more likely, they'll just take them out of the Loremaster requirements.

But a moment of silence, please, for one of my favorite lore figures, Varimathras. He was always on the winning side. Except for, you know, that one time right at the end.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Blizzard, Quests, Lore, NPCs

PTR character copy is back up! Everybody panic!

Okay, everybody. Stock up on tarps, bottled water, and canned beans, because the PTR character copy site is up and running again. We don't know if this means anything, or if this PTR is actually going up soon, or even if these copies will actually work, but it is our duty to make sure you get a steady news trickle of anything and everything related to the 3.1 PTR.

There are currently two realms to which you can copy - Broxigar (PVE) and Anasterian (PVP).

Go copy a character or two, then get in the fallout shelter, because things just might get exciting soon. Alternatively, these copies might go nowhere like the last set. Fingers crossed!

Filed under: Patches, News items

eHarmony advertises in Warsong Gulch


Quinionn on Magtheridon sent us this picture -- apparently dating website eHarmony has gotten in on the in-game advertising just in time for Valentine's Day. He had just joined a Warsong Gulch when this guy showed up spamming an ad.

There's a number of strange things going on here -- as far as we know, this isn't an official Blizzard move, but most of the people spamming ads in the game are shady gold-selling websites, not real corporations with bigger profiles. And the weirdest thing might be this: Eharmony on Arthas isn't a one-time character created to spam in Trade -- he's level 80 with 450 Jewelcrafting and Mining. There's actually a lot of characters with the same name around, with different levels and classes, even in different guilds (though this one is probably the funniest).

Very weird. At the very least, the spammer's aiming to lose his character, and at worst, if this is an organized action, Blizzard might actually have a case against eHarmony for spamming inside the game. Have you seen any other ads like this around the game?

Update: Mystery seems to be solved: it was just some guy messing around. Strange way to mess around, though. He's in our comments, and says he's getting a free name change after the GMs said what he was doing was not so cool.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Alts, Battlegrounds

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