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All the World's a Stage: Raiding and RP don't mix, or do they? -- A question of continuity.

All the World's a Stage is brought to you by David Bowers every Sunday evening, investigating the mysterious art of roleplaying in the World of Warcraft.

The Warcraft storyline is part of a great tradition of fantasy literature, and, as with any form of storytelling, the entire span of WoW lore involves a series of events and changes. Arthas wasn't always the Lich King, Illidan used to be able to wear shoes, and your character was once a little child, with no spells or epic weapons at all. All these things fit together in a single story universe, in which the progressive changes taking place in the story made the world what it is today.

But what is it today? Is Illidan now dead or alive? Is VanCleef dead or alive, for that matter? As a gaming environment, any boss you kill today has to be there for me to kill tomorrow. The WoW game world needs to remain basically unchangeable -- but over time this can stifle a roleplayer's sense of immersion in its narrative. To illustrate the impact this sort of immutability has on storytelling, let us take a page from a certain fantasy story you might have read, and see how it might work as a WoW raid instance.
Welcome to Mines of Moria! This raid instance will reset in 6 days, 10 hours and 41 minutes.

[Raidleader] [Gandalf]: Beware! There are older and fouler things than orcs in the deep places of the world. Follow my glowing staff!
[Raidleader] [Gandalf]: ... and um... get ready to pull that first group of orcs. Kill order is skull, x, circle... Gimli, can you offtank that cave troll?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Instances, Humor, Raiding, Lore, RP, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

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