Skip to Content

WoW Insider has the latest on the Mists of Pandaria!

Posts with tag mary-sue

Learn how to spot and defeat your inner Mary Sue with Pox RP workshops

We've talked about Pox RP workshops on WoW Insider before now. The goal of the workshop series is to help new roleplayers pick up the techniques and skills that empower you to really get into the role of your character. Silvermoon and one-hand jokes aside, roleplaying adds a lot of depth to WoW and can keep you with the game even if you feel like you're getting bored with the content.

The thing that makes Pox RP workshops great is that they bring together a surprisingly large chunk of community. I've heard the workshops get up to 100 attendees, and that's a lot of people to help you pick up the skills to be an elf. It's a great way to learn some nice RP tricks and meet new people to play with.

This weekend, on May 7, Pox will be covering the infamous Mary Sue. A Mary Sue is a character who essentially is an idealized projection of the author's self, serving as a sort of fictional wish fulfillment. Mary Sues run rampant in roleplay and are nearly universally hated. They're not great characters, and they tend to disrupt other people's fun.

The Pox roleplay workshop is at 6 p.m. Mountain time at the Thunder Bluff campfire on Shadow Council (US-H). If you've not attended one of these roleplay meetings, make sure you check it out now. This is the last workshop until August, since Pox will be taking the summer to relax.

Filed under: Events, RP

All the World's a Stage: The core layer


This week's edition of All the World's a Stage concludes a three-part series on the layers of social interaction in roleplaying. Next week we will continue looking at how to roleplay one's professions.

Good friends are stars in the sky of life, and especially as roleplayers, friends are absolutely essential to our hobby – our whole reason for playing WoW involves creative social interactions. Even if you never really know who a roleplaying partner is in real life, just roleplaying with him or her for a few minutes can create a memorable experience.

Previously, we discussed how to roleplay when you first meet someone, as well as what to do once you've gotten to know them a bit more. The key in each case is remembering that roleplaying is a social experience first, and a creative one second – your character must conform to the rules of good socialization before he or she can succeed creatively. Even though at first this seems more limiting, in the end it will be more liberating, because through sociable characters, you can collaboratively create stories and experiences in a way that no other form of storytelling can.

In fact, the closer you become to your group of friends, the more the possibilities bloom. The core concept characterizations you used to use to entertain strangers are still useful, but here they can take on a deeper meaning. You still listen to your friends and adapt your own character to theirs, but now they will listen to you, and adapt their characters to yours. The closer your friendships are, the more your exploration and creativity are truly mutual and cooperative, and the more you can try out new things that you've never done before.

Read more →

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

Breakfast Topic: How old is your character?

Bricu of WTT: [RP] put forth a pretty thought-provoking question the other day: How old are your characters? From one point of view, that's pretty simple. You do a quick /played, report back the number of days it returns, and there you go. But, especially for those of us who roleplay, it can sometimes go a bit deeper. Sometimes, we take our characters across games.

Of course, this doesn't mean importing characters completely wholesale, you understand. On the RP end, you're still going to want to convert them to be born and bred citizens of Azeroth (or Outland), and either way, you may not be able to convert them to the exact race or class they were. There's just no Human Rangers or Halfling Monks in WoW, more's the pity.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Breakfast Topics, Lore, RP

All the World's a Stage: The inside layer


This installment of All the World's a Stage continues the discussion about the layers of roleplaying, still taking a break from the series of roleplaying guides about how to roleplay your race, class, and professions. Last week, we looked at how to interact with strangers in roleplaying environments, on "the surface layer."

So there you are -- you've got a character who is gregarious and gets into roleplaying groups relatively easily. Your character's way of interacting with others makes it easy for other people to recognize you as a roleplayer, and even encourages them to come out and roleplay with you, even if they're not that much into roleplaying themselves. You've followed some good advice about finding roleplayers -- maybe even joined an RP guild -- and you're meeting characters you think are interesting, and you really hope they think your character is interesting too.

But then something goes wrong and you feel that special RP feeling start slipping away. The people in your guild stop talking to you as much -- sometimes the whole guild atmosphere seems to go quiet and dull, and no matter what you say, nothing seems to get the actual spirit of roleplaying flowing again. You start to think maybe your interesting character quirks aren't all that good after all. You keep trying to think of new ones, but no matter how funny your accent or entertaining your antics, people just aren't getting into it like they used to.

The problem here isn't actually you -- it's an assumption that many roleplayers, even experienced ones, sometimes have when they are in new roleplaying situations. We take the burden of creating a roleplaying atmosphere too heavily upon ourselves, when actually what we need to do is not create the atmosphere, but nurture it. Questions are the key here -- if your character has a genuine interest in other people then he or she will be able to draw out the spirit of roleplaying in them, get them talking about themselves, and start having interesting interactions together.

Read more →

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

All the World's a Stage: So you want to be an Alliance Rogue

This installment of All the World's a Stage is the twenty-fourth in a series of roleplaying guides in which we find out all the background information you need to roleplay a particular race or class well, without embarrassing yourself.

Many of the most famous rogues outside of the Warcraft setting have been nuanced and exciting characters. Bilbo Baggins, the Prince of Persia, and James Bond, could all be reimagined as rogues if they had existed in Azeroth instead of their own settings.

As an Alliance rogue, you have a certain amount of freedom to borrow from other settings, or from the real world, since the Alliance races tend to be more similar to heroes of other stories we've heard before. To a certain extent, Blizzard has already based its Alliance rogue guilds on stories from other settings, and left some aspects of these institutions rather vague. There is certainly enough room for roleplayers to fill in a bit of the blanks with their own creative inspiration. The only danger is that it could be easy to overdo it and descending into Mary-Sueism: one ought to feel free to reach for a bit of the flavor of James Bond, for instance, without ever believing your character is the single best secret agent Stormwind could ever have.

Read more →

Filed under: Alliance, Human, Night Elves, Dwarves, Gnomes, Rogue, Lore, Guides, RP, Classes, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

A walking tour around the Roleplaying realms


Someone named wowgossip on livejournal (though I think her character -- I'm assuming she's a woman, though that might be wrong -- is named Mary Sue, like the lead of so much bad fan fiction) is conducting a pretty exhaustive tour of roleplaying on the servers, both good and bad. As is clearly stated, this is not a review -- it's more of a "state of the game" of Warcraft roleplaying, so the good, the bad, and even the ugly are included. She's already stopped by Argent Dawn, Blackwater Raiders, Earthen Ring, and Moon Guard, and Sisters of Elune.

The sights range from the disgusting (you get offered to cyber by just being a lowbie and hanging around Elwynn, apparently), to the boring (there is some really, really bad vampire RP), to the fascinating (some of the character descriptions are very well written, and use some commonplace ingame gear to portray a character's backstory very well). There's no judging involved -- it's basically a (pretty) objective survey of what RP players are doing on RP servers lately. Even if you're not an RPer, it's an interesting read (though some of the images and situations are NSFW, depending on where you work).

There's more info in a Q&A on the journal, including a plan to possibly do some group RPing, but just the idea of surveying what's out there is cool. There is so much happening on the realms (in terms of RPing and grouping and PvPing), and even here at WoW insider we can only document so much of it. Definitely cool to get another look inside what players are coming up with (no matter how weird or boring or wild) on the realms.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Odds and ends

All the World's a Stage: 2008, year of the living roleplayer

So there I was, celebrating the New Year, when I realized just how long All the World's a Stage has been around. It's grown from an idea in the back of my head, to a pet project, into a full-fledged resource for roleplayers -- and it's still growing! Even after 68 weeks-worth of content, there's still so much to write about! It goes to show, if there's a topic you love, you should really write about it, because doing so makes you love it even more.

Now, looking back on this year of writing, it strikes me that some things have changed, while other things have stayed the same. Some articles seem just important and relevant to today's concerns as they were when they were written, and many feel like they could use a bit of updating.

Just about a year ago, for instance, All the World's a Stage took a look at "The past, present, and future of roleplaying," which addressed the popular conception at that time that "RP is dead." We don't hear that so much anymore, do we? It seems many of the roleplayers have gradually been shifting around since then, grouping up into small communities on their old servers, or else transferring to a very few realms with a good reputation for roleplaying. Recently, I just transferred over to a new server and was thrilled to see how many roleplayers were hanging around the streets of Dalaran. RP isn't dead at all -- it's just got itself together now instead of being scattered all over everywhere. Congealed, as it were.

Read more →

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

Rhonin and Vereesa in Dalaran


Love him or hate him, the latest beta patch has made it official: Rhonin has entered the World of Warcraft. Along with his wife Vereesa, of course. The Violet Citadel in Dalaran had its artificial wall preventing you from getting inside removed in the last Wrath beta patch, and they've begun populating it in this patch. Rhonin, Vereesa, and a couple members of what I assume is the Dalaran ruling Council (the Six).

Rhonin and the two Archmages in the Citadel all seem to be wearing recolors of the supposed Mage Tier 7 that cropped up awhile back, so we can all consider that a definite confirmation. It looks pretty cool, if a bit unusual (wow, a tunic and not a robe!), with the helm turned off. With the helm on, I really couldn't help but giggle. You can see Rhonin and Vereesa above, and we've also added higher resolution images to our Dalaran gallery. Oh, and forgive the poor lighting. They apparently haven't turned on the electricity in the Citadel yet.

All the World's a Stage: Background story

All the World's a Stage is a source for roleplaying ideas, commentary, and discussions. It is published every Sunday evening.

Your character is like an arrow. He was launched from the birthplace of your imagination with the aim of creating spontaneous stories with other creative people. Your character's personality is the particular direction he travels in, and his background story is the bow which set him on his way.

The bow-string tension that gives a good backstory its momentum is its lack of resolution. The desire to find resolution propels your character forward into the game, but it doesn't predict with certainty where your he or she will end up. Realizing this can free you of a great burden: your story doesn't have to make the New York Times Bestseller List. In fact, the whole idea here is to purposely leave your backstory unfinished, ready to be resolved through roleplaying. Too much emphasis on a dramatic background leaves you with not enough room for an interesting foreground, and little else to contribute other than the saga of your epic past.

Obviously, people aren't logging into WoW to read your miniature novel. They generally won't want to hear your backstory unless they specifically ask you about it (which they might!), but even then they'll care less for its narrative value and more for its ultimate impact on your character as a person. It's best to think of it less as a story in itself (e.g. "How I got to be this way"), and more as a prologue to the story you want to roleplay (e.g. "How do I get out of this mess?"). Its purpose is to set up challenges for your character to overcome with other people, and it should establish a direct line to your character's desires and aspirations.

Read more →

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

All the World's a Stage: Writing what you know

All the World's a Stage is a source for roleplaying ideas, commentary, and discussions. It is published every Sunday evening.

Many people don't realize it, but every time you put your fingers to the keyboard to spell out some words, that's the same writing skill that authors and poets take years and years to practice and master. Of course there's a big difference between a simple text message and an epic fantasy novel, but any form of writing shares many of the same the fundamental skills - skills which one must then adapt to suit the particular medium you are using to communicate.

As a roleplayer, in particular, one can benefit a great deal from many of the basic principles any writer uses when putting their ideas down on paper, especially principles of good communication within a storytelling medium.

Today, we'll explore a particular aspect of the writing craft as applied in roleplaying: Writing what you know vs. writing what seems cool.

Read more →

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

All the World's a Stage: There's something about Mary Sue

All the World's a Stage is a source for roleplaying ideas, commentary, and discussions. It is published every Sunday evening, (though it was delayed somewhat this time by technical difficulties).

Mary Sue is extremely unpopular with roleplayers. She comes along pretending to be the only daughter of Illidan and Tyrande's one-night stand, secretly spirited away and raised by furlbogs until she underwent a mysterious transformation that turned her into a human, seduced Arthas away from Jaina, and learned from him more than you will ever know about how to be a Death (i.e. Retribution) Paladin.

In fact, Mary Sue isn't just one person -- she is a demon-spirit possessing all those characters in roleplaying and fan-fiction, both male and female, who rely on clichés, melodrama, and/or supposed intimate relationships with one or more characters in the original story to such a degree that they actually try to upstage those characters, their fellow roleplayers, and indeed, the entirety of the original lore. Other roleplayers often see this sort of thing and get frustrated out of their minds.

And yet there's something about Mary Sue: she keeps reappearing all over the place, from seductive blood elf hunters who claim to be Thrall's secret lover, to angst-ridden human warlocks who insist that they are the half-demon offspring of Kil'Jaeden. What is it that continually attracts people to these ideas, couched in phrases like "tragic past" and "missing one eye" and "emits a deep sorrow that makes you want to cry?"

The answer is darker, more disturbing, than you can possibly imagine.

Read more →

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

Around Azeroth

Around Azeroth

Featured Galleries

It came from the Blog: Occupy Orgrimmar
Midsummer Flamefest 2013
Running of the Orphans 2013
World of Warcraft Tattoos
HearthStone Sample Cards
HearthStone Concept Art
Yaks
It came from the Blog: Lunar Lunacy 2013
Art of Blizzard Gallery Opening

 

Categories

Joystiq

Massively

Engadget