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Posts with tag quirks

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.

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

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.

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

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)

Forum post of the day: Tick Tock


I knew I couldn't be the only quirky person in WoW. Talonhunter of EU-Tarren Mill's thread on the general forums helps me feel a little bit better. He asked what people's "ticks" are, citing "Every time I engage a mob, I strafe a few steps to either side," and "When I have done a brief dismount, to gather something or likewise, I always run a few steps before I get back on my mount again."

There are some things that seem odd, but actually appear to be common. Some examples include jumping when charging or when summoning a flying mount, obsession with repairing gear, and checking out what every linked item looks like. I have some of the habits mentioned in the thread, and a few others:

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Filed under: Virtual selves, Humor, Forums, Forum Post of the Day

All the World's a Stage: Character diamonds

All the World's a Stage is your source of roleplaying ideas n' stuff. The usual columnist is grateful to Alex and Matt for covering for him the last couple weeks while he got ready to defend his MA thesis.

Getting into character isn't all that easy. First of all, as Matt demonstrated last week, one must have the desire and the gumption to just do it. You can't sit back and say, "But I don't know how to do it right!"or "But what if people don't like my roleplaying?" or any other excuse like that. You have to put your fingers to the keyboard and just start playing your role. Whether people like it more or less depends upon a bunch of things, including your skills and knowledge about how to do it well, but first and foremost it depends on your willingness to go out and try things out -- then look back and learn from your experience. You won't stop having problems and making mistakes, but you will get better over time.

Today I'll share with you one idea I found that helped me a lot with a problem I was having: when I found myself having a bit of trouble "logging in" to a particular character's personality, I found the concept of the "Character Diamond" to be extremely valuable in pinning down exactly who this character is, how she would respond, and what it feels like to be inside her head. This concept was originally thought up by a screenwriting teacher named David S. Freeman, but it has gone through a bit of modification to suit the MMORPG world. So, with permission from the folks at Dramatis Personae who first taught me about it, I would like to sum it up for you here as a starter's guide and reference for making character diamonds of your own.

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

Breakfast Topic: Home is where your hearthstone is

Travelling in WoW can be helped or hindered by the casual application of a hearthstone. Hearthing can be a quick way to get out of an instance or cave, a shortcut across continents or even a handy thing to do before logging off.

Sometimes, though, it's annoying rather than useful. I've acted hastily and hearthed from Un'Goro Crater to Stormwind a couple of times -- the repeat journey isn't something to be casually undertaken. Fortunately, several classes -- as well as engineers -- have tricks to help with travel, from the Shaman's Astral Recall to the Druid's Teleport: Moonglade.

Where is your hearthstone set? Have you found an efficient way of getting around that relies on these travel tricks to work? My druid is parked in Stormwind, as Moonglade gives her access to Kalimdor, although the flight from Moonglade to Gadgetzan or Silithus is still a long one. On some of my lower characters, I've forgotten to set the hearthstone at all -- I managed to run a level 10 dwarf to Darkshore, but left the hearthstone near Anvilmar. Oops!

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: Explaining to newbies

As is my wont, I've been helping a couple of brand new WoW players get addicted lately, and it's been interesting. One comes from a heavy MMO background and is fairly happy to be left alone and get on with it; the other is a console FPS gamer who has needed a lot of hand-holding.

In helping the latter, I've had to answer some questions which might seem commonplace to any WoW veteran but can be confusing as heck to newbies. Why is the run from Darnassus to Ironforge so unfriendly? Why do animals routinely carry weapons, armour and food, whereas humanoids with no known economy carry cash and cloth? Why does the pattern of night and day follow real time, so players who only have time at night never see places in blazing sunlight? How come a cloth armour merchant can repair my pointy sword? Why, if Alliance and Horde are sworn enemies, is there even a mechanism whereby they can't attack each other?

Some have easier answers than others -- we're not on RP servers, so coming up with plausible explanations isn't too taxing. However, it's almost like introducing a child to a new world. Things which we take for granted can suddenly seem strange and quirky. Obviously, a lot of the less-logical gameplay choices make the game ultimately more fun, if less realistic; what are the weird questions you've been asked by newbies (apart from "gief gold pls")?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

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