Written by | Posted August 4, 2015 – 12:22 pm The Stink Eye, Part II: You remind me of the babe

An old story, reposted here as I’m shaking the mothballs off Ankona and needed an easy way to show people a little bit about the (batshit) things she gets up to. Enjoy, and don’t be too creeped out! It really was a pretty thing, now that she got a good look at it. The polished […]

Ask Anna – Help for a “boring” character
comment 6 Written by on July 22, 2010 – 9:51 am

Siouxie writes:

Dear Anna,

I have decided to get back into role playing. It has been about two years since I last role played. I will admit I am a bit rusty, slower to respond then I was, but I have been having a blast. I decided to roll a blood elf hunter. I love the blood elf lore, and feel the most comfortable rping one. (I love rping trolls, but they always end up comedic relief.)

My problem is this: Siouxsie is a complete bore. I didn’t want to create a character that is some sort of super hero, super villain, the most beautiful, smartest, ect. I wanted a normal girl, with a normal background. I am afraid though I may have made her too plain.

She is about 5’8, 147 pounds. She is a little round, and a lithe hunter. She loves to change her hair color, just so she can gossip with the goblin hairdressers. Her hair is short and choppy. It looks more like it was cut with a dagger then shears. She has a dark golden complexion, fell green eyes and friendly gap tooth smile.

Her history is, well I think it is mostly normal… (but too long for me to post in its entirety). She spends a lot of her time just watching and listening.

Personality wise she is pretty kindhearted with her own race, naive, a little on the dumb side, though more for lack of education then anything else. She has a sarcastic sense of humor, prefers to be more in the crowd the the center of attention. She is not at all comfortable around the other horde races, she isn’t rude, but she isn’t friendly to them either. She also loves bubblegum, and has a weak spot for anything sweet. She is a hopeless romantic, but she has learned everything about romance from a few of her mothers old romance novels. She isn’t quick to anger, but she will hold a grudge until her last breath.

And that is Siouxsie. I have tried to involve her in some role play, but the most I have gotten with her is some DK wanting to marry her after they spoke for 5 minutes. And a bit of a romantic intrigue with another blood elf. It is very nice, and cute role play and has some nice story potential. I just want more, and want to really make her more dimensional. I guess I just do not know how to do it, I want to involve her with more rp without making her seem to over the top, mary sueish (if she isn’t already), or a demon girl who does odd things with her tail. Though I will admit when I watched that RP it did make me laugh.

Can you help me? Advice, criticism, eyerolls anything would be great! Thank you, and take care.

I’ve opted to post most of your letter, since I think it gives a pretty good idea of how much time and thought you’ve put into developing Siouxie.

Here’s the thing. She doesn’t sound boring at all to me. She sounds like a character with some little quirks and flaws, and a healthy start towards a defined personality. It’s entirely possible to have a “normal” character that’s successful in RP – but it does take a bit of work, and it usually takes having other people around to help her develop a voice.

Her background is not the same as her personality and how she interacts with other people.

However – if the only RP you’ve found with her is someone wanting to marry her after 5 minutes and someone else wanting to be in a romance with her, you’re probably not seeing much of her personality! I think you need to give her a chance, and get her into situations that aren’t either awkward (“Why no, I don’t want to marry you, I’ve never seen you before and don’t even know your last name”) or floofy and sweet and sappy romantic (which is fun RP, but not exactly character illuminating).

As such, I think this is both a question of character and of finding solid RP experiences.

In all likelihood, you’ll run into lots of superficial stuff, which is totally fine – even the Riders have a good bit of “superficial” RP time each week, because everyone always being tied up in OMG DRAMA is exhausting.

As you’re just getting started, you’ll have a lot more “run ins” and a lot less consistent RP with the same people. Use those quick RP run ins to figure out who you might want to have extended RP with, of the not-romantic variety, again – romances are TONS of fun, but friendships, enemies, working relationships, and guilds/organizations are all much better ways to discover character development and personality, unless you’re willing to throw a lot of horrible obstacles into the romance, which can also be exhausting.  Also, if the only thing connecting two characters is a romance, when the romance fizzles or waxes and wanes and loses the high of “new RP”, things will go south pretty fast.

Consistent RP partners and friends will help Siouxie develop her own voice and her own mannerisms beyond what you’ve created, which is essentially her backstory.

Backstories are great, but they’re not what make characters interesting or fun. The interesting and fun part comes out of the interactions you have with others.

Another way to bring out her personality is to throw trouble at her on your own, if you’re of the fic-writing persuasion (not all RPers are).

The best way I know of to find out how a character reacts to difficult situations is to just put them in one and see what happens. It can take a bit of “heartless” sort of writing – putting horrible things in your character’s path can be hard, especially if you know it’s going to cause them some heartache or pain – but it’s definitely worth it in the end. You also have to be strong and not let them take the “easy way out” (summoning in a Magic Dragon to take all the trouble away doesn’t count as problem solving!).

Don’t give up on Siouxie yet. She’s got a strong foundation to become a character that you love. Remember that RP happens WITH you, not TO you, and seek out some more consistent opportunities, whether that’s in guilds, through your server’s “open RP gatherings” (like pub nights and such), or just through running into random people and figuring out who you do and don’t want to keep RPing with. You might get frustrated, and you might not find the best opportunities right off the bat, but you can find a good group for her, or just a few other unaffiliated people that can help her find her voice.

As always, if any of you (my readers) have other comments or suggestions for Siouxie, please leave them in comments – whether those are character specific suggestions or ways to find quality RP environments. I’m not particularly well versed in Blood Elf lore or RP, so my Horde readers will likely have better suggestions on that front!

Good luck, and may the Loot-Fu be with you!


Note: I’m posting this because I think Siouxie has a common problem – lots of backstory but not a lot of interaction. Only she can actually “un-boring” the character, and her backstory isn’t really the way to do it. As such, these are hints that I think can help a lot of roleplayers. If you’ve got lore-specific or character specific questions, I can try to answer them, but this space isn’t generally for “PLZ FIX MY CHARACTER” advice (otherwise I’d totally bore all my readers!).

Aftermath – Icecrown
comment Comments Off on Aftermath – Icecrown Written by on July 20, 2010 – 8:42 am

This is part 1 of Aftermath, the “what happens next” story of Aely, a Lordaeron Paladin, after the fall of the Lich King. You can see the introduction and other parts of the story here.


The landscape didn’t change much, really. He had fallen; they had won. But the snowy desolation of Icecrown was still snowy and desolate, unchanged from the events that occurred inside.

Light-forsaken. The land where even sunlight would not shine.

The Light’s work had been done regardless; the Crusade marched onward, past the ever menacing gates of Icecrown, until the sound of Fordring’s voice echoed in the very halls of the Lich King. It echoed past the chambers of plague and blood, past the reanimated dead and willful, fanatic living, past the screams of Bolvar Fordragon and the screeching of frostwyrm and Val’kyr, until it reached the very halls of the Frozen Throne. And they had been victorious at the end.

The Lich King fell, but with such a terrible price as to be almost immesurable.

Aely walked, rather resolutely, past the gathering throng of people waiting outside and back to her tent on the Crusade grounds, ignoring the ever-increasing shouts and whoops of victory.

Not far behind, Arrens tried to trace her path, pushing his way through mobs of celebrating men and women and families searching for their loved ones in the crowd. He had seen Aely storm from the keep doors and tried to get her attention, but the loud, unruly crowd had kept her from seeing him.

Once he reached the bottom, however, she was gone.

He raced towards where he had last seen her and found an injured soldier sitting on the frozen ground surrounding the tents. Hurriedly, Arrens asked, “Excuse me. I’m looking for Aely Larsdottir. Do you know where her tent’s located?” The soldier never bothered to look up and instead flicked his thumb behind him in the direction of several dozen tents.

Arrens raced passed him, asking anyone and everyone where Aely’s tent was. At last, a bloodied, grizzled-looking Dwarf had an answer.

“Ye be lookin’ fer Dame Larsdottir, she’s like ta be o’er ‘n tha’ tent, lad,” he said, pointing towards a tent on the edge of the Crusader’s medic camp.

Thanking him profusely, Arrens got there just in time to hear the clattering of metal on metal. Fearing the worst, he yanked the flap of the tent open, only to have her sword come clattering to a stop at his feet, surrounded by a pile of hastily discarded armor. Her hands were badly scratched and bloody, and she’d picked up a nasty gash on her forehead but was otherwise whole. Relieved, he pulled her gently in against his chest. He whispered softly as he ran his hands over her hair, pushing it out of her face. “It’s over my love. It’s over.”

She leaned against him. “I ken. I saw. ‘s just… na real yet.”


Aftermath – Introduction
comment 5 Written by on July 19, 2010 – 9:22 am

Starting this week, I’ll be posting another extended story here on the blog. I’ve been calling it Aftermath. Though it’s not entirely a creative title, I think it fits, since this is the story of Aely after the fall of Icecrown. It’ll be digging into a lot of her past and how she’s planning to go forward now that a big part of her life and purpose is no longer there.

This is the “Well, now what?” story – what does a Paladin who’s spent her entire adult life fighting Arthas do when suddenly Arthas is gone. How does she go back to life, how does she deal with the destruction of her homeland and family, and what will she do with herself now? How will her life be different, and how will it be the same?

In a way, the post from a few weeks ago, titled Old Breeds and Old Ways, is something of a prologue.

I’ll be posting the actual “Part 1″ tomorrow.

Until then, have you guys written stuff to deal with your characters post-Icecrown? Have you had in-game RP events to that affect – possibly revelry, or even some introspection? Was Arthas’ death a big deal, or just something your character helped with because their friends cared, or was it something that happened far away, with other people, and barely touched your character?

Letting Group 2 Die*
comment 9 Written by on July 14, 2010 – 7:29 am

It’s been awhile since I tackled the Blog Azeroth “weekly post idea,” but I thought weighing in on this one would be a good idea, since it’s come up before and I’m not sure I’ve ever specifically made a post about it.

When should a healer let someone die?

I can think of two situations when I’ve knowingly let someone die.

1. I have a finite mana pool, and you are not my #1 priority.

My priority list is as follows: Me, Tank, Everyone else (in a 5 man) or Me, Assignment – usually Tanks, Everyone else (in a raid) – I can only heal one, or maybe two, people at a time. If the tank is taking heavy damage, and you stand in the fire, you’re going to die in that fire. If you do so repeatedly, you’ll probably annoy the piss out of me, but if I have mana and time, I will almost certainly try to heal you.


Because healing you takes less time and is less stressful than wiping, and I don’t get any vindication out of repair bills and an angry group. (Though I will definitely remind you not to stand in the fire, and possibly squawk loudly in chat/on vent.)

2. You are out of range/out of LOS.

If I can’t get to you, I can’t heal you. Sometimes that’s my fault. Sometimes it’s your fault. Sometimes it’s the nature of the stupid encounter and the fact that my 6 foot tall human paladin “can’t see” up 3 stairs. Sometimes it means the group ran off while I was drinking and pulled something. Either way, if someone is grey on my bars, and a few quick steps don’t get me into Holy Shock range… they’re probably going to die, and I don’t worry about it too much, especially in a raid situation where I have other healers to split up the raid with. (If someone is greyed out on my bars then, I don’t even pay attention to their health – they’re usually someone else’s job.)

Other than that, I can’t think of any other reasons to *intentionally* let someone die.

Why is that, you ask? And haven’t you joked about letting Tarquin die, or letting Izzy die, or letting the “hey ma, watch this”, aggro-pulling noob in the PUG die?


I joke about it because it’s a pressure release valve. And because, as a healer, my job is one that can be pretty stressful. Someone who seems to be intentionally making that job harder is going to get my hackles up – but I don’t let them die unless I absolutely can’t avoid it. My job in a group is to heal people. The tanks job is to tank things. The DPS’s job is to DPS things.

If someone in my group got mad at the tank and decided to sit in the corner and not DPS because he thought the tank was bad, I’d be peeved. Yes, sometimes people do dumb things – and yes, in PUGs that can be highly exaggerated. But in a 5 man group, all 5 people are responsible for the group’s success, and quite honestly, someone annoying me is very rarely worth my own repair bill and the time it takes to wipe. And then find 2 new DPS and wait 15 minutes for a new tank because people drop out of the group because we wiped on something dumb.

In a raiding situation, if someone – especially the same person – repeatedly does the same dumb thing and dies (usually bringing at least 5 of their neighbors with them), I can address it, or I’ll have their role leader address it. And yeah, sometimes the healing team will announce that anyone who stands in (X) thing isn’t going to get heals, as a way to get people to pay attention. But that seems to me very different – as well as announced beforehand – than letting someone die out of spite, particularly since usually standing in (X) will get people killed pretty quickly, and cause a raid wipe.

Besides, when it comes right down to it, in the heat of a major boss attempt, I’ve got my two/three tank targets, and I STILL can’t keep from dropping Flash of Light on a not-tank that takes some damage from something. I don’t have the time – or the mental presence, usually – to separate out that THIS yellow square should get heals but THAT yellow square shouldn’t.

Health drops, I heal it.

It’s the green bars, people!



So yes. Healing is stressful and sometimes makes me want to pull my hair out. And yes, sometimes I’ve thought “man, it’d be so much easier to just let that person die”. But barring some pretty extreme circumstances, I’m not going to actually do so. I might release some pressure by joking about it, usually in the healer channel or one of my other chatter channels, but my job in a group is to heal people.

Even annoying people, or people who pull aggro or stand in fire.

Even, dare I say it, rogues, fury warriors, warlocks, and Cassamir. (Sorry Cass, it’s my job, you know.)

I feel guilty enough when someone I’m supposedly “responsible for” (in a healery sort of way) keels over. I don’t need to add to the guilt by having it be intentional.


As an aside to this, I think people often overestimate how often they’re “intentionally” allowed to die. I’ve been yelled at with “WHY DIDN’T YOU <expletives> HEAL ME?!!?!” before, and saying “you were out of LoS and I had no mana” doesn’t seem to make any difference, which is frustrating and kind of demoralizing.

In my experience in PUGs as DPS, when I’ve died, it’s almost always because I was doing something stupid, or because the shit hit the fan for the whole group. So, before we all go off railing on the healer or the tank for being vindictive and spiteful and terrible, let’s make sure that it’s actually not something WE can affect. As a DPS in a group, if I pull aggro, that is my fault, no matter how “bad” the tank is. If I stand in the fire (or pull aggro, or adds, or don’t drink a pot/eat a demoncookie) and die, that is my fault, no matter how “bad” the healer is.

Responsibility is a group thing, and we’re all in charge of ourselves, yeah?

*Group 2 is the melee DPS group in TRI most nights. When I began my career as a healer, I was the healer assigned to Group 2 because we only had one shaman, and totems were only group-wide (not raid-wide). As such, the Resto Shaman was stuck in a group with the rogues and fury warriors and ret pallies. I was their healer, and they were my /job/. Which didn’t mean that Group 2 NEVER died, but I still feel kinda protective over that group of aggro-gives-me-rage/aggro-means-I’m-winning crazies.

**It’s a sickness, I know. I do it when I’m DPSing on a class with heal buttons too.

The Stink Eye, Part II: You remind me of the babe

August 4, 2015 – 12:22 pm

An old story, reposted here as I’m shaking the mothballs off Ankona and needed an easy way to show people a little bit about the (batshit) things she gets up to. Enjoy, and don’t be too creeped out!

It really …

Very First Impressions

November 14, 2014 – 7:32 am

So I haven’t finished the intro quests yet (the server queues from the reduced server capacity due to the DDOS attacks meant I only got about an hour to play yesterday), but I’m finding that Draenor is pretty cool so …

A Girl and her Dog

November 13, 2014 – 12:30 pm

The morning of the all hands summon to the Blasted Lands, Aely went for a walk. The late fall air was clear and cool, and leaves crunched under their feet in the less-traveled parts of the streets. She and Roger …

Counting down to Warlords

November 11, 2014 – 3:09 pm

What a long strange trip it’s been. I’ll be the first to admit that, at the beginning, I wasn’t sure Pandaria was going to be for me. I’ve made clear my dislike of daily quests, and that seemed to be …


October 24, 2014 – 12:01 pm

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 …

Introducing the Newest Anna

June 29, 2014 – 4:39 pm

So I’m not really in a position where I should be creating alts. This, of course, does nothing to deter me from making alts when the inspiration strikes. I’ve been really enjoying my Alliance hunter, and she’s my raiding main …


November 19, 2013 – 4:46 pm

Bad things are happening in Stormwind – and beyond.

The Hand of Lothar, they call themselves.

Yva Darrows was their first target.

Tirith and Aely were their second and third.

They have since… expanded their reach and escalated their methods …


November 13, 2013 – 9:59 am

The cathedral bells stop ringing overnight, except for chiming the hours. Three bell strikes, and Angoleth padded softly around another corner of the Cathedral District, staying carefully in the shadows. Trained ears picked up Mogget’s soft breathing – nearly inaudible …

Want to subscribe?   

 Subscribe in a reader Or, subscribe via email: