Written by | Posted October 24, 2014 – 12:01 pm Elevation

Squire Benjamin William Sullivan stood in the middle of Light’s Hope Chapel in his underpants.

Actually, it was white linen pants and a shift, but the effect was approximately the same. The little chapel was warm, on the edge of …

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WoW Lore and Rubber Bands
comment 33 Written by on March 20, 2010 – 12:07 pm

In which Anna makes an analogy to describe WoW Lore.

There’s a lot of information out there about WoW Lore. There’s lore on the Blizzard pages, lore on wowwiki.com (my favorite place to find lore info, btw), lore in books and in the tabletop RPG, lore in old games and in the current game, lore in quests and character dialogue and cutscenes and… well, it’s a wonder any of us can manage all that lore well enough to write our stories.

At its most rudimentary level, lore is the basic framework upon which we build our characters and communities.

The greater story of Azeroth is what gives Azeroth its shape. It’s what lets us all know Gnomes are short (ish) and Tauren are tall (ish) and Elves are old (ish) and so on. But a framework is just that – a starting place, a building block on which to give our characters shape.

The lore says the past has happened in such and such a way. The Orcs came to Azeroth through the Dark Portal, and Grom Hellscream sacrificed himself to rid them of the bloodlust and demonic dependence. But it doesn’t say how an individual Orc would respond to such an event. There is no official “all elves responded by doing such-and-such” explanation for what happened after the world tree. Simply put, the official story gives us all a place to start, and we build our characters from there.

At which point, the lore is like a rubber band.

Rubber bands are stretchy, they hold things together, and if you pull them too hard… they break *poing* and snap someone in the nose. The greater story into which we fit our own stories is the same way. It’s stretchy, it goes around things and holds them together (rather than comprising them, it simply encircles the outside, with lots of room left in the middle), but if you stretch it too far, it breaks *poing* and snaps someone in the nose.

Only maybe without the nose part.

Anyway.

That stretchiness is really the wonder of an RPG.

There are a great many instances in the lore where there isn’t a defined “right or wrong” answer. Roleplay happens in that enclosed space, the “creative inbetween” of the Lore, since we can’t all be Jaina or Arthas or Sylvanas (and if we were forced to all be the same, it’d be pretty boring). Roleplay builds on what’s already there. Our characters have the opportunity to grow – either in response to or in conflict with what happens.

The lore holds us together; it’s what lets one character walk up to another character and have enough common history to be able to understand each other and maybe even have a conversation. But inside that rubber band, there’s still lots of room for creativity and experimentation.

To use myself as an example (aided, of course, by Krizzlybear), there are Gnomes in Stormwind and harvest golems in Westfall. Would it be too far outside the realm of possibility to think that after the second war, when Gnomes helped with the Alliance for the first time, a Gnome and his wife moved to Westfall to help service and repair those harvest golems? What would happen if they had a daughter? (Meet Annie Mae!)

If there was ever something in the official Azeroth story which said no Gnomes ever lived anywhere outside of Dun Morogh, then my little exercise would be stretching the lore too far – it would, in essence, break the rubber band and ping me in the nose. (And it would probably feel like a ping in the nose to anyone who tried to interact with Annie Mae, if there was such a rule about Gnomes. Instead of interesting, her story would be jarring and make people step back – and possibly not really want to RP with her.)

Fortunately, there is grey area in the lore, and inside that grey area – inside the encircled space held together by the greater rubber band – is where the magic happens.

Azeroth is a world rich in history but sparse in details.

There are so many things we will never really know (or just haven’t been told yet), and that’s alright. When we write stories and characters, interact with other players’ characters, or even just sit in the pub and shoot the breeze about the most recent news out of Icecrown, we interact with that greater story, and help to fill in that grey area.

Sometimes our ideas might conflict with how other people see that grey area, and that’s alright too. When there isn’t a right or wrong answer, each community has to answer for itself. If conflict happens, both communities/individuals work out a common ground.

And maybe later on, some people might have to change how they think about certain things, because a new expansion changed the official story, or expanded on a point that had previously not been dealt with. That’s alright too. Blizzard’s official story has never been static; they change their minds all the time. We must be flexible in response. Official lore changes can provide character growth and interesting interaction (I know that Aely will be very upset by some of the changes coming in Cataclysm, for example).

The lore is there for our use as roleplayers. It’s the building blocks that help us start our stories, and it’s the rubber band that holds them all together.

Just, you know, try not to ping each other in the nose, OK?

annas

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33 Responses to “WoW Lore and Rubber Bands”

  1. This is where I feel you are wrong. Lore is not meant to be stretched and pulled to fit your whims. It is concrete, and something you must bend your stories to. Ths s wht s vrydy frm yr crns. You must work within the confines of the lore, and a good writer always knows their boundries.

  2. Stretching lore is fine, to an extent. The important this is that when doing so, you acknowledge and respect its boundaries. Knowing where that exact breaking point is can be difficult, and it takes research and experience to get a good idea of how far is “too far”. Gnomes in Westfall is a reasonable extrapolation and seems well within the line; being a vampire half-dragon catgirl, on the other hand, runs screaming past that line. Sure, people make mistakes, but the hope is that they learn from them.

    If the lore were, indeed, concrete and completely inflexible then our characters wouldn’t exist at all. The only people in Azeroth would be Arthas, Jaina, Tirion, or other “official” lore characters defined by Blizzard. In addition to being a very empty and lonely world with gene pool of questionable diversity, it would mean that any characters we made to play would be copies of those. Since Blizzard in fact explicitly forbids such copycat characters, it stands to reason that creating our own characters with their own (within reason) stories is both necessary and officially condoned.

    By Verdus on Mar 20, 2010 | Reply
  3. I really like your rubber band analogy, Anna. It’s a definite boundary, but it’s a flexible one — if it were inflexible, we wouldn’t be roleplaying anymore, we would be playacting in a piece with predetermined parts and outcomes. On the other hand, it IS a limitation on what we can and cannot RP — if there were no limits, we would have no common ground for our characters, because we would be endlessly contradicting each other and the world around us. And that would get pointless pretty fast.

    Like you say, though, there’s so much undefined area to play in. One of the things I love about the Warcraft universe is how diverse it is without being too specific. There’s room for all manner of different types of characters, because it’s not a homogenous setting. Some character ideas may work better with a certain race or class, but as long as it fits inside the rubber band, there’s probably a way to pull it off.

    By Corise on Mar 20, 2010 | Reply
  4. Something I thought of, from looking at Verdus comment, is that there’s an issue of definition here as well. Annie’s backstory stretches the rubberband a little… but Annie herself does not. She’s a gnome warrior with a horse she bought in the Eastvale logging camp. She is exactly as you see her on the screen, and if you were to roleplay with her, until you got to know her pretty well, you’d never know anything about her past at all.

    Some of the more flagrant things – people saying that they’re something that’s not even physically possible in WoW (being a half-something, for example, isn’t possible on the character creation screen) – are more difficult. They’re also a lot easier to see, because the only way to know that someone isn’t actually just a normal old Elf/Troll/Whatever is through use of RSP flags and or having to OOCly whisper every single person you meet with ((I know she looks like an elf but she’s really half satyr)). So they immediately cause the nose-ping/rubberband break. The half-satyr thing also adds in an element from outside of WoW lore (there aren’t any in the lore at all), AND forces your character to have to “square with” the person in front of them before ever having the ability to know them. Their very existence is jarring, and so that makes it a lot more difficult to “fit” into the space within the Lore.

  5. This has always been a topic I’ve pondered a lot. Lore is a funny thing, and there are people on all edges of the spectrum when it comes to wanting to stick to it- in any fandom. Some want it to be set in stone, others want to dismiss it completely for the sake of their stories. I honestly don’t see any part of the spectrum as incorrect, but it’s important to find people who want to sit around the same area of the spectrum for in-depth writing projects.

    I’ll give an example here, from some of my early days of RP.

    Back when I was new to online roleplay, I was very into Harry Potter. This was about between books 3 and 4, if I recall correctly. Right during the big ‘Potter Boom.’ I used to play an online game which people uploaded their own maps from, and ran roleplay communities. As expected, there was a wealth of people running around with Hogwarts maps, and names of canon characters. Every map tried to advertise as ‘closer to the books than map X’ and it became almost an internal e-peen contest to see who could be the closest to ‘Potter Lore.’ (I’m sure anyone who was ever familiar with Potter Fandom understands just how crazy it gets.)

    Eventually, someone who’d secured the name ‘Remus’ (and roleplayed as the canon character) managed to make a passworded map, heavily patrolled and with rules at least ten pages long. ‘Hardcore’ roleplayers flocked to him, lording over the smaller maps at being the most ‘correct’ form of roleplay. I received a special invite to this community, having known Remus for some time.

    Remus ran a tight show, and the RP was great. I remember a few storylines I enjoyed, anything from prank antics across houses to socialization and magic. Of course, while I think fondly back to it, it’s been a fair 7-8ish years. Presented with logs I would likely not think so fondly!

    Eventually it came to a point where people’s stories were beginning to evolve past the scope of what established lore there was in four books. Player lore started to evolve. In some places it was simple things like student clubs or rumors or teacher-student friendships with canon characters. In others it was as wild as creating a new overarching villain. They all technically went against established lore, and instead of using human judgment, Remus decided to simply place a blanket ban on anything ‘not listed in the books.’ The community, eventually tired of sitting around knowing their RP was heavily limited, moved on to other things.

    I’m a strong believer in the idea that good roleplay doesn’t come from a rulebook or lore, but from creativity unhindered by confines. Not everyone is going to share the same view of what they enjoy, which is why you are best finding like-minded people to RP with.

    WoW lore also had the advantage (or in some cases disadvantages) of being fluid and having a lot of conflicting info. What do you take as truth? The RPG books? The website? In game quests? Richard A Haks books? The comic? There is such a wealth of info, and it’s changing constantly. Ret-cons are not completely uncommon.

    By Bell on Mar 20, 2010 | Reply
  6. Oh, and in regards to stretching the lore — Verdus says it quite well, I think. The breaking point is not always obvious. Does the lore support, for example, RPing a dragon in humanoid form? Probably; we see plenty of dragons who’ve done exactly that in WoW. Is it possible that, say, Malygos has/had consorts we don’t know about? Almost certainly; we know very little about his mates aside from Sindragosa (dead), Saragosa (dead, if you’ve done that questline), and Keristrasza (both unwilling AND dead, if you’ve done that instance). Does that mean it’s a good idea to RP a human mage, Sapphyra, who is in fact Sapphyragosa, Malygos’s consort in humanoid form? Eh… that’s stretching the rubber band a little too far, I think.

    Now, if it was played well and not treated as an overpowered plot device or a “look at me, I’m a dragon, aren’t I cool” one-trick pony (and that’s a big “if”), a lesser blue dragon (say, a random unimportant drake) in humanoid form could potentially be an interesting character, in my opinion. Or a human mage who decided to side with Malygos in order to keep her magical powers (though both of these characters would be rather tricky to play as anything but antagonists in most storylines, I would imagine). But again, you’d need to be very careful not to overstep any boundaries with your RP. You’d need to do a lot of research about the Blue Dragonflight and the Nexus War to see whether your character concept actually works without breaking the lore.

    By Corise on Mar 20, 2010 | Reply
  7. D y vn knw th lr bhnd gnms? D y popl rd? There wouldn’t be any gnomes in Westfall because they are too busy trying to reclaim Gnomeregan. The Gnomes didn’t even send troops in the Second War because of it. The only Reason Gnomes are in Stormwind at all is to get parts and supplies to help in the reclamation of Gnomeregan.

    Might as well have half dragon/vampires roaming around, same thing to me, as a gnome having babies in westfall.

    t mks m sd tht y ppl bstrdz t lr Blzzrd ld t fr y. gd wrtr wld bld pn tht, nd nt dstry t, nd mk mckry f t lk y ppl d.

  8. As a reminder (and something I’ve been admittedly too lenient on in past threads). Direct personal attacks and name calling will get comments disemvoweled or deleted. Address the issue in question without attacking the person(s) involved, if you would please.

  9. @Rivs: Actually, the gnomes have been quite active in society outside of Gnomeregan. A push to retake the city has largely been waiting in the wings because of the amount of resources required- hence why only a small group was able to infiltrate the lost city and ‘assassinate’ Thermaplugg. Because of this, they’ve been forced to integrate themselves into Alliance culture far and wide, especially with the Dwarves thanks to the Bronzebeards lending them a portion of their city.

    Also, they lost Gnomeregan only a few years ago. The second war was more than two decades ago.

    References:
    http://www.wowwiki.com/Gnome
    http://www.wowwiki.com/Gelbin_Mekkatorque
    http://www.blizzplanet.com/blog/comments/warcraft_timeline/

  10. None of those sites are blizzard owned, I pull my data of Blizzard, Read the section on Gnomes. It details their history.

    Have they integrated? really looks like they have their own section in Ironforge, and there’s only a few in SW, Shoni and their crew.? They are collecting resources for Gnomeregan, I could give you an example of using lore as your foundation, instead of you bending it like a rubber band.

    Lk sd gd wrtr wll wrk n th cnfs f th lr, nt bnd t. f y dsgr wth tht sttmnt, thn y mst nt b gd ngh wrtr.

  11. By the way they are not personal attacks, RP’ers seem to bend the lore to their need, I had enough, and that’s the issue at hand.

  12. @Rivs – if the only lore you will allow is the lore on Blizzard’s homepage, then you have a very different definition of lore than is used anywhere else I’ve seen, as that includes throwing out the lore that’s in the Warcraft games themselves. Most roleplayers (myself included) include the lore at WoWWiki as well. This is your prerogative to not include, but as you have publicly stated that you are neither a roleplayer nor do you have much interest or respect for those that do, my only conclusion is that you are ignoring anything that doesn’t fit with your self-proclaimed “war” on roleplayers.

    I wish you the best of luck at removing all non-lore-based RP from the game, but I think you’ll find quickly that the GMs will be less than inclined to do much about roleplayers who “break the lore.”

    For reference:

    Calling the people who read my blog “cronies” constitutes a personal attack (name-calling). Directly attacking people with statements like “Don’t you people read” also constitutes a personal attack, as do thinly veiled insults about “not being a good enough writer”. I strongly suggest you refrain from these types of comments.

  13. “The Gnomes didn’t even send troops in the Second War because of it.”

    Just a suggestion, but… if you’re going to complain about other people supposedly getting lore “wrong,” you might want to make sure you’re getting the basic elements of lore right yourself, first. The Second War was the one from Warcraft 2, it happened two decades before World of Warcraft, and the gnomes were actively involved in that one… remember the gnomish flying machine and submarine units? You’re thinking of the Third War, the one from Warcraft 3, which took place about five years before WoW. (Official Blizz source: http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/info/story/timeline.html)

    As for gnomes being solely concerned with re-taking Gnomeregan, I could point to numerous NPCs in the game who are clearly pursuing other interests. For example, Silas Darkmoon, founder of the Darkmoon Faire. Or Babs Fizzletorque, the gnome in Dustwallow Marsh who is interested in getting the Theramore lighthouse working again. Or Oglethorpe Obnoticus, who lives in Booty Bay and seems more interested in sending out mechanical chickens to places like Feralas and Tanaris. Or Clopper Wizbang, the gnome in the Explorer’s League out in the draenei lands… or the similarly-named Wizbang Cranktoggle, who’s out in Darkshore testing buzzboxes and finding new ways to make alcohol. Then there’s the entire settlement of Fizzcrank Airstrip… for all that the gnomes are preoccupied with their hometown, they sure did manage to send a pretty good contingent of troops up to Northrend! And there’s various gnomish homesteads/workshops throughout Azeroth… one in Stranglethorn Vale, another in Azshara, several researchers out in the Badlands… and all the Nethergarde Engineers out in the Blasted Lands… heck, I could go on, but considering that I’m pretty sure you’re just trying to pick a fight for no reason and are not likely to be swayed by evidence, I’d rather not look up more than I could think of just off-hand.

    By Corise on Mar 20, 2010 | Reply
  14. @Rivs — If you would take the time to look at sites like WoWWiki (/especially/ WoWWiki), you will see that their information for gnomes and their history comes from The Alliance Player’s Guide, the World of Warcraft Manual, and related materials: Blizzard-official publications. You seem to be extraordinarily close-minded about lore and the resources we are given to further our understanding of such, and your know-all attitude is not winning you any respect.

  15. Yet personal attacks against me are ok?

  16. As yet I’ve seen no personal attacks on you Rivs. I’ve seen people critiquing your lore, suggesting that you’re being close-minded about this, and suggesting that your attitude is combative and not winning people over to your side. So far, none of that is an attack on your person or character.

    Also, I’ll remind you that though you may not like it, I ultimately make the decisions about what comments stay or go on this blog. You have repeatedly insulted my commenters today, and complaining about being called on it is not particularly in your favor.

  17. You’ve been more than a gracious host, my apologies.

  18. @Rivs, Perhaps you’ve forgotten, but there are gnomes all over Azeroth and Outland. Many of them are doing things that have nothing whatsoever to do with Gnomeregan or the retaking thereof. You can see all of this for yourself in the WoW world, the most official source of World of Warcraft lore that there is. There’s a difference between being a purist and being willfully obtuse. I’d suggest that you ask yourself which one you’re being and why.

    By Verdus on Mar 20, 2010 | Reply
  19. I think if there are any particular “obligations” RPers/fan-writers in the Warcraft universe have, it’s one, to do your homework before you write about something (hello, wowwiki.com!), and to remember the tone of the setting, which is high fantasy with a healthy injection of pulp adventure and a pervasive streak of humor–much of it dark, all of it wonderful.

    There’s a temptation, I think, with a lot of RPers to be ultra-serious about their stuff, and drama has a pretty fine place in the mix (the novels, particularly those by Christie Golden, have lots of good examples of Warcraft at it’s ‘darkest’).

    Remember as well, though, that this is still a setting where adventurers can, if they so choose, ride into battle on blinged-out motorcycles, two-headed ogres argue with themselves and make fart jokes, crackpot goblins lie awake at night at the thought of being chased by mechanized yetis, demon lords let marital arguments distract them from the immediate task of laying waste to foolish mortals (thank you, Arcatraz!), the dreaded “setback” is a chronic malady that seems to affect only pompous elves (both alive and dead), a too-friendly troll in Shattrath wants to sell you some powerful magical trinkets, and somewhere deep within Icecrown Citadel, even as the evil Lich King broods atop his Frozen Throne, a happily-mad scientist cannot *wait* to tell everyone about the good news.

    Among other things.

  20. Anna, you mention there being (as an example) no half-satyr in lore, but it’s arguable that this could simply be one of the as-yet open spots that Blizzard has simply not found cause to weigh in on. It reminds me of the four years of gameplay when many of us frothed in the direction of Goldshire with the cry of “There are no vampires in Warcraft lore!”

    And then Wrath hit. And now BigWigs gleefully announces to thousands of people every day that they themselves are suddenly vampires.

    It’s things like this that’ve broadly shifted my stance on apparent lore-breaking. As recruiting master for an RP guild, it’s a stance that becomes very important in my day-to-day operations, too. There are certain things that are right out, clearly; I start every interview with a Night elf by asking where they were born. If they say Teldrassil, I ask when. When they say four hundred years ago, they get the gentle explanation that Teldrassil is about eight, so they might want to review that and come back again another time.

    This is clear cut and plain and easy to deal with. But then there was the day my nelf interviewee hesitated and gave an evasive answer before explaining OOC that she was from the future. Did I boggle? A bit. But there -is- time travel in WoW, so it’s not so easy to just brush off.

    Ultimately, for me, it comes down to how well it’s played; the more sketchy the lore, the better the acting and writing should be. Is the character rich and interesting? Is their unique snowflake aspect waved about every time I see them? Is the character consistent? Does he act like a person? Is he used as a vehicle for disputing OOC grudges? And probably most importantly, do I like how the character interacts with mine and my guildmates? Those are the questions that I come to the table with nowadays. Because Lore errors can be fixed far easier than bad attitudes.

    By Shad on Mar 21, 2010 | Reply
  21. @Shad – You’re right, as usual. And though sometimes it’s very easy to tell that attitude right away, sometimes it’s not. I like your list of “qualifications” better than anything I’ve come up with, simply because it’s a list of “can I RP with this person, and will I enjoy doing so” more than it is “are they doin’ it rite” (to quote the lolcats again). <3

  22. It’s a mistake to think that lore is fixed. Not only are there plenty of examples of individual gnomes doing things other than trying to reclaim Gnomeregan, but even things which are well-established can change without notice (or with it, if the change is coming in an expansion).

    I have a level 40-something warlock, the only character without a healing spell that I have retained any interest in playing. She’s been a hoot. Her whole schtick has been that while she likes doing stuff, she hates being in “warlock school”, which is what she calls being still leveling. She complains about the homework, the trainers, and how much trouble she gets into for cutting class and going out and learning stuff on her own.

    A couple of us had a really great RP thing going. There’s this priest, see, who is really scared of Shadow, and he spends a fair amount of time moralizing at warlocks. He’s constantly trying to convince them to switch to being priests, on the theory that one they are shadow priests, he can then convert them to holy. Or something. Most of them ignore him pretty much (or bait him), but this one wondered if maybe the priesthood would be less onerous in terms of training. Anyway, after talking to him a lot, Calamitee went to Stormwind to see about transferring from warlock school to priest school. The idea was that she’d be turned down (because gnomes cant be priests), and I’d have a chance to bring her face-to-face with her demons (so to speak).

    And smack dab in the middle of some in-game RP around her preparation to go have a talk with the people who run the priest training in the Cathedral, someone logs on and says “Did you see what Blizz just now said at Blizzcon? In Cataclysm, gnomes will be able to be priests.”

    Gack. I don’t want her to be a priest (I have priests). I just wanted to use the lore as part of the process by which I worked out some of her issues. Blizzard lore evolves, and it can sometimes pull the rug out from under an on-going RP story.

  23. Lansiron, I like your comment about remembering the humorous side of Azeroth. That’s part of what I mean by WoW not being a homogenous setting — not only are there different flavors of the fantasy genre within the game, but there are also different flavors in tone. Sure, there’s plenty of humor, but there’s also plenty of darkness, too, to draw upon for inspiration. Which is why it’s equally possible to RP a Forsaken warlock who is ruthlessly intelligent, sociopathically evil, and enjoys inflicting pain and suffering on the innocent… or a gnome warlock who’s cute, perky but a bit dim, and a comedic klutz that summons demons because she flunked out of mage school. (Or vice versa, ‘cuz evil gnomes are creepy, and clumsy Forsaken are adorable.)

    By Corise on Mar 21, 2010 | Reply
  24. I think what everyone is also forgetting is that history is written by the winners. In other words biased individuals like you and me. Your character may not know all there is to know about something for whatever reason. My character was trapped in Andorhal and raised by a dwarf, and a dranei emissary to the wildhammer stronghold. She was found as a very young child, unable to speak at the time. But the experience still gives her nightmares that cause her to wake up screaming.

    Because of her upbringing she had very little interaction with humans, what she did have was very negative. So she doesn’t know why Varian Wyrnn has a reason to hate the Horde for instance, and that it is justified. She hates him. She hates Tirion for not doing more to protect her from the bullies, even though there was little he could do about it at the time. He was busy with official business and such. And after all Tirion had that stupid jousting idea, come on I am suprised more people don’t hate him for that alone.

    Sometimes I think people forget that their character may not know everything you do. No you can’t break the lore with stupid stuff, but I think it is possible to have some middle ground.

    Gnomes can disagree that Gnomeregan should be retaken. Intelligent beings are extremely complex. Maybe Annie Mae’s parents went to Westfall, because they wanted to get away from something. People often have their own issues they use to exit a country falling apart for some reason. Good writing and good RP by extension is telling compelling stories in a way that makes them palatable. And real life is sometimes messy and complex, good writing mirrors that messy gooey complexity at times.

    I don’t understand people who don’t understand this.

  25. @Arkaneena
    I guess the whole thing about “hatred” among Alliance characters towards their own leaders, coming from a limited perspective on the situation, is justified, though it’s difficult to do so given the way word spreads; nobody, unless they’re staying deliberately isolated, is in a vacuum, tensions are high, and people talk with each other when they’re closely banded together against incredibly dire threats, real or otherwise.

    Any human from Stormwind or it’s surrounding territories, and most from the more northern reaches, knows why Wrynn hates orcs–the current ‘generation’ (of which he is a part) was growing up as the city was being rebuilt from being completely demolished by the first orcish invasion, and those whose families hadn’t been personally affected by the atrocities committed by that demonically-inspired war machine would be very much the exception.

    Likewise, it was made *very* clear why the Argent Crusade staged the tournament: Sending a full army against the Lich King = suicidal. Just piles up more bodies to be added to the Scourge. There was a dire, dire need to narrow it down and select only the most competent members of the Alliance and Horde to make the assault, and the Tournament successfully did so.

    I suppose that it’s not too huge a stretch to think there are still people who staunchly condemn these things, though. Same way you have people divided over the way real-world politicians handle matters.

    By Lans on Mar 22, 2010 | Reply
  26. Just a helpful word of warning:

    *link removed*

    Rivs has officially ceased to be the sort of individual to whom you should be giving anything resembling full faith and credit.

    Anna here: I am aware of Rivs’ blog, but I’d prefer not to add any traffic to his site. Thank you very much for the notification though, and my apologies for editing your comment!

  27. @ Lans Exactly my point some people stubbornly cling to their belief even given evidence to the contrary. Consider my grandfather, a great man in my eyes, also a bigot. He didn’t hate any black person per se. But he hated black people. This is a contradiction, he should not be able to hold both places in my mind, but he does. Real people have these all the time. Life is full of these contradictions. People can also stay stubbornly willfully blind to certain things. People can grow and become better, but only when they let go of some of these things. Ark is going to do that soon, but for now, she is a stubborn bigot. And have you seen Wildhammer Stronghold? It is not exactly the bastion of incoming news there let me tell you.
    She claims to have noble motives, but in reality she is all about revenge. This makes her shallow and one dimensional. However that is where she is now, and I need to move her story onward so she isn’t so Rambo. That is part of her current story arc.
    I look at it this way. Part of the unspoken reason she hates humans is her parents were human and they left her. She needs to learn to forgive, them, herself, her adopted mom who ran off to NR and died becoming a scourge. Everyone left her, and she can’t really forgive them for that. Learning to forgive, and its power to heal will add more dimensions to her personality. It lets her move on. It is a story I had to learn once. (Though for other reasons, but I can relate to it, so I can write it.)
    But I know what I am doing and I am going somewhere with it. Elune save Ark from becoming a one dimensional Rambo, please. I am trying to write my way out of a, I guess you call them Mary Janes. I am kinda new to the whole RP thing, so I am learning as I go.

  28. I also want to add that I am learning a great deal of how to do this properly from your site. I have my own blog which contains my toons story and other stuff about WoW. Thanks for being willing to teach. It seems that is a forgotten art these days. Everyone wants to complain about the bads, but no one wants to help them become good. And this includes the people who comment on the site. I am probably still doing it wrong, but I hope to get better at it.

  29. f yr n th rght ws s thr t fr frm m.

    By Rivs on Mar 22, 2010 | Reply
  30. Dng Phn, mnt wht s thr

    By Rivs on Mar 22, 2010 | Reply
  31. (FYI; same as “Lansiron” who posted above, I just have the name ‘Lans’ saved to this blog on the computer I’m posting from)

    @Arkaneena
    In some ways being ‘one dimensional’, or at least starting that way, isn’t such a bad thing. My main guy is Lansiron, the Rogue (who’s currently learning about being a Paladin), for whom I could probably write a whole damn novel about his various experiences, outlooks, and development as a character. However, I can sum him up in a few words: “Dirty-fighting halfbreed medieval Navy SEAL from Theramore”. (or if you prefer: “Lawful Good Male Half-Elf Fighter/Ranger/Rogue”) …come to think of it, he’s kinda the Rambo type anyway. So yeah!
    Also, some of the best characters (or at least, distinctively memorable) characters out there are stubborn bigots. We’ve got a night elf warrior, Illithias, who pretty much hates everyone who isn’t a night elf on principal, but is still a reliable person to have in along in a fight whatever you are–with characters like that you eventually get to equate “What do you want, pathetic human?” with “Hello!”
    Honorable mention should go to Garrosh Hellscream. Granted that the character is *hated* across the board, but it seems like they’ve been pretty deliberate about his character development–rather than a full-on villain, they’re placing a full-on antagonist among allies, and there’s no denying that his actions are moving the plot along.

    By Lans on Mar 22, 2010 | Reply
  32. @Arkaneena – I’m /so/ glad you’re finding both some of my commenters and some of the things that I’ve written useful. Nobody starts out “good” at most things, and I hope you’re having fun as you’re working through your character. She sounds like she’s got a lot of interesting personality quirks, and that always makes for fun writing :)

  33. This is a personal message, cause I know you will edit it. Instead of trying to sway me to your view, you censor. You know at first I was mucking around but the more I see your ugliness I know I’m doing a good thing. You are closed minded, and any view besides your own is disavowed. You put Cranky on blast, and I will now blast you. You and your ilk will not sway me for my course of action. Come feel free to post your thoughts on my blog, I won’t censor you cause I’m not as close minded as you, it is not my way or the highway. As for you and your Feathermoon community, I shall rip it apart. I’ve come to Feathermoon. I’ve come for you.

    *From Anna: Rivs. This is the last full comment that you will be posting on my blog. From now on, you will no longer be allowed to use vowels in this space. I don’t mind discussion, but you’ve expressed outright that you aren’t interested in discussion, only trolling/griefing. I am, however, under no obligation to put up with, accept, tolerate, or otherwise allow and approve comments that abuse or outright threaten me or my readers. Since you’ve expressed that this is not only your intention, but apparently so much your desire that you would pay to transfer a character to a new server to continue doing so, I am hereby revoking your ability to comment fully. Anyone that wishes to discuss this decision with me can please use the comment form page found at the top bar of the website, or may email me at toomanyannas at gmail dot com. Thanks.*

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