Written by | Posted September 8, 2015 – 9:51 pm Descent and Ascent

It didn’t take long to get from Thunder Bluff to the Echo Isles – Ankona took advantage of a wyvern so she could think and plan before getting to her destination. She had information to confirm with the spirits – was Gromnor dead? Was he really in the northern part of the Eastern Kingdoms, somewhere […]

filed under Feature, Hunter, Roleplay
Moving Forward or Retconning? An RP Conundrum
comment 16 Written by on September 22, 2009 – 11:47 am

So I have this hunter.  You may remember her.  Her name is Angoleth (though most call her Angie), and she has a really large bear named Russ.

She’s an old elf, as elves go, though not quite as old as some – I’d put her as being born a thousand years or so after The Sundering.  She served in the War of the Shifting Sands (the first one), as well as in several other major conflicts, as a sentinel.  And then there was Hyjal.  On the shores of that mountain, near the end of the battle (in the first wave of demons), she was blindsided by something large – probably a Felguard or Doomguard – and nearly died.  Her left ribs, shoulder, arm, and collarbone were all turned into mush, more or less.  And since then, well, she’s not been so good with ranged weapons as she was used to before.

The injury itself hasn’t ever truly healed either, leaving her wearing heavy padding and shoulder bracing on that side.  No wonder she has such a preference for crossbows.  It’s been at least marginally functional, but she can’t do all the fun tricks that other hunters do and has relied on her pet.

The end result of all this is that she has been a Beast Mastery (with occasional dabbles in Survival) hunter since she got a backstory a few months before Burning Crusade released.

angoleth ferelas

Unfortunately, I’ve not been so thrilled with Beast Mastery lately.  Which isn’t to say it’s not a great hunter spec, and I keep hearing people say how awesome it is for soloing, but I find it to be slow, mana heavy, and unwieldy.

But I don’t want to leave behind her story, nor do I have any interest in a Deus Ex Machina style retcon, whereby she magically meets a magical healer or engineer that magically makes it all better poof!  She’s had this wound and it’s residual effects for /years/.  If there was a quick and easy way to fix it, she’d know.  I /like/ that she’s extremely pet dependent, as it gives a little more depth to her RP – and allows me to work with TWO characters instead of just one all the time.  (Russ is really fun to RP)

I’m ok with developing a WAY to get this fixed, I’d just like it to involve more than her “discovering a magical tube of Ben Gay.”  (Thanks Linedan.)  I’d also prefer not to “just dual spec” her, since that feels like a cop out.  It might be what I end up doing, but it’s got some undesirable effects when you’re leveling.

I’ve been brainstorming some ideas to push her away from her comfort zone and get her to rely on her pets a little less – without giving up on her past.  So far I’ve had two suggestions (both of which I like a lot) that involve forcing her to get better as a hunter without making her “give up” on Russ.  Motivation and things are still in the works, but they revolve around the idea of making it hard/impossible to depend on Russ for awhile.

We’ll see what transpires, and I’m VERY open to your ideas.  Let me know if anything comes to mind!


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16 Responses to “Moving Forward or Retconning? An RP Conundrum”

  1. I suppose the first and most important question is this: is she actually as crippled as she thinks she is? Is the strength actually, mechanically not there, or is there simply too much pain when she tries? It’s an important distinction. If it’s the former case, then I’m afraid I don’t have any ideas at the moment, but it’s actually more likely to be the latter, whether Angie knows it or not.

    The best example that comes to mind is House. If you’re not familiar with the show/character, he’s crippled, having had a shockingly large chunk of muscle removed from his leg due to prior injury. He lives in constant pain and walks with the aid of a cane. The thing is, though, he can still walk without it for short distances. You see him do it sometimes on the show. But he can’t do it for long because the pain simply becomes too great.

    Physical therapy is hard, and our instinctive pattern is to shy away from it. Healing requires that we push through the pain, and not everyone can do so on their own. At least, not without another reason. It sounds to me like Angie needs to be forced to do without her crutch, Russ, for a while. But she also needs to have a compelling enough reason to keep fighting without it, pain be damned, instead of coming up with another work-around. Russ could, in fact, be that very reason. If something were to happen to him, how hard would she fight to get him back? Or to get vengeance if Russ is gone for good?

    By Verdus on Sep 22, 2009 | Reply
  2. @Verdus – She’s absolutely not as injured as she thinks she is – she’s just gotten herself into a state where she’s “comfortable”, largely through relying on the bear. I’m afraid to have him “gone for good” because I’m not sure at that point if she’d fight or just give up? But if she had to work to get him back, she’d push pretty far.

  3. Healing and personal growth have something in common: At the time it occurs, it hurts. In order for her to properly heal, she has to work through the pain–like Verdus recommends. Her motivation can be centered around “What happened to Russ.” This can be an RP event or a Fic (like I suggested) but it does provide some method for the IC Spec shift.

  4. @Bricu – Yeah, I’m leaning towards writing it as a Fic as well, or at least introducing it that way and seeing if other people are interested in a little bit of in game stuffs. It’s definitely embryonic at this point, but I’m working on it!

  5. i want to start by saying i have enjoyed your blog for a while so thanks.

    2 ideas for this.

    Marksman – She has been requested by a friend to do some guest teaching on huntering in the real world/historical anecdotes about the shifting sands war, and she needs to brush up on her techniques.

    Survival – the shoulder wound was getting worse. After seeing a specialist she was informed that unless she uses the joint it will sieze up. Forced between a choice of giving up the shoulder or working it harder she decides to bite the bullet and work it harder.

    As for russ doing less damage now, well he is getting older and slowing down a bit. (not that you should give him up or anything just nature taking its course).

    This could also be an opportunity to get a new bow or gun to work the shoulder in a new way (perhaps provided by the healer), or to relearn old tecniques etc.

    All the best, i look forward to seeing what you choose.

    By Jorani on Sep 22, 2009 | Reply
  6. Putting aside the RP for a second, do you think that the leveling as BM would be easier if she had a different pet? Or does the game mechanic look to you like you need to take her to one of SV or MM?

  7. Hm, I would see it as a terrible encounter resulting in a severe injury (perhaps even death, if you want to go that way) to her pet and she must finish the fight on her own to perhaps realize she can get more use out of the shoulder than she ever realized. Then, even if she dismisses it as a freak incident born of the need to survive, she then she seeks aid for herself (surely ouching after such an encounter) and her pet, a skilled healer could reinforce the idea and advise her that she is not nearly as crippled as she believed, or even if she were, a very powerful and skilled healer could perhaps restore the damage (perhaps it were badly mended in the past, too) to the point where she can rebuild what she had believed lost. Lots of possiblities and places you can go with such a tale.

    By Kayeri on Sep 22, 2009 | Reply
  8. @Nahyomi – As best I can tell, the generally accepted way to go is BM with a Tenacity pet for soloing – which is to say, trick your pet out as a tank, and set yourself up as a 3 man team. Maybe my spec needs work, or I just have trash for gear (which, to be honest, i kinda do), but I’m finding myself constantly OOM, and still pulling aggro off the bear (set on growl, claw, and dash – I save swipe for multi target pulls). As far as easier solo work, it seems to depend on the hunter which people find easier – so I might have to tink around and experiment.

    The other, always completely possible option, is that I’m just a really terrible hunter. I never really feel like I relearned huntering in BC, and so I’m struggling with trying to re-re-learn again.

  9. Couple ideas occurred to me here, so I’ll just toss ’em at you…
    Russ IS a bear and winter is nearing…bears and winter…hibernation…that would be a way to put her without him for a while without giving him up entirely…and having to rely on a different pet might make her have to relearn old tricks or new weapons…those guns are awful easy to use, I hear…
    Speaking of guns, engineers make them, I understand…perhaps she is injured on the same side again and a recently befriended engineer offers to make her a brace she can wear while she recovers that assists that arm and shoulder, allowing her to use it, however clumsily at first, and eventually train it back to full, or nearly-full strength…
    Just a couple thoughts that you might be able to build on or might help inspire you.

  10. RP wise yeah i was thinking hibernation or.. rather than Russ being injured, how about its time to raise a family for him 🙂 Maybe he meets a nice lady bear and they have cubs? You could even pop out a bear cub pet (I am sure there is one) as one of his cubs for a RP event in the future.

    This would take Russ away for awhile, yet not forever, but without the old horrible injury route for him. And maybe drive her to realise that things change and life moves on. Tim for her to to try something new (i.e. a reason for a new spec).

    By Annael on Sep 23, 2009 | Reply
  11. Well, I’m a terrible hunter. Everyone says it’s so easy to level a hunter, but mine spends more time running back from the graveyard than she does doing anything else, period, end of discussion. I simply cannot keep my hunter alive. I remember Angoleth helping Malka out in Searing Gorge back in the day, and I know that you are a far better hunter than I will ever be.

    That being said, you might look at reasons to try other kinds of pets. I’ve found that I don’t always play best the way “you’re supposed to play”. For instance, Nahyomi levels as shockdin because of her RP. Malka levels ret for the same reason. In theory, Malka will level faster since ret is a DPS specc and shockadin is a nothing specc. In practice, Nahyomi spends about 70% as much time on a level as Malka does, correcting for rested XP and BoA items. That’s all about what works for me as a player rather than what accepted wisdom says should work.

    So maybe let Russ have a long winter’s nap and try out a few other pets before deciding what to do.

  12. @Annael – Actually it looks like Russ is going to head off in search of Teh Laydeez – it is baby-bear-making time of year after all. He’ll head off with her blessing as well.

    And from there… well… you’ll see. *evil*

  13. @Nahyomi – That’s basically what I’m thinking. BM/Tenacity may be the “best”, but it’s obviously not working for me right now! As for Russ… well, he’s heading out with her blessing (and the blessing of another Bear he happens to know and trust).

    As for other pets, I’ve got a black storm-owl, a white lion, and a red windserpent to draw from. I’m hoping to save the last pet slot for Bjomolf, if I can ever find him, as an RP thing (spirit wolf GO!). And who knows, maybe that’ll end up tying in to what’s going on here. I leveled Anzefi from 75 to 80 in 5 days… I’m sure if I find my groove, I can blast through with Angoleth as well!

  14. Okay, I just have to say that the idea of sending Russ off to find a cute girl bear and have babies is adorable. A really clever way to deal with Angoleth needing to find her feet without him, without introducing Bear Angst (well, unless something happens to the cubs!). \o/

  15. This doesn’t help much with the RP part, but my hunters usually have more luck with ferocity pets. More damage= more aggro, plus they have that self-healing talent. My Belf’s black lion Alti has tanked high-yellow/orange elites with little trouble. I do love my tanky pets for AOE grinding/soloing instances/stuff like that, but usually I’ve got a ferocity pet with me.

  16. /agrees with Sarai, with the pet normalization Blizz did (which I don’t like btw, but that’s a totally different rant) there isn’t much difference between pet families anymore. The only thing tenacity pets have now is thunderstomp for aoe grinding, and I don’t know how much of that you need to do. So just decide which pet you like most, and you should be good to go.
    RP-wise, I’m not sure. When one of my hunters gets a new pet, I usually have their main pet have some sort of injury that keeps them out of action for a while.
    Just an side note, thought, I have noticed something odd with Tadrith’s pets. I keep recount up, just for kicks, and I’ve noticed his bear usually seems to do the most dps, with his dragonhawk barely edging out his wolf. My guess is that furious howl simply isn’t good for pet dps, since it does no actual damage itself, only buffing attack power, while the others’ specials actually hit for damage. So Treyvan’s 2 aoe attacks are probably what puts him on top.
    Sorry for the wall’o’text, didn’t mean to ramble on like that >.<

    By Kelesaria on Oct 11, 2009 | Reply

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