Comments Off on Old Breeds and Old Ways
June 23, 2010 – 12:16 pm
Bricu posted last weekend about how to deal with RP lulls. In that post, he mentioned a bit of RP that we were working on in Google Wave (that moved to GTalk yesterday when the servers were down).
This story happened a little while ago, and is (in a lot of ways) a setup for things to come, both in game and things that you’ll see here. The Riders and other Feathermoon RP groups collectively decided to wait until 3.3.5 released to consider Arthas officially dead, and those stories are just now beginning. Some of them, you’ll be seeing here. Some will be Arrens/Aely fic, some more general, but I’m looking forward to writing all the stuff rattling around.
Hopefully you guys enjoy this little look into how the Northron Riders are preparing to deal with Arthas’ death.
Naiara Bittertongue, by Loreli of AOD Studios
Three weeks ago, in Stormwind. Two redheaded paladins and one little girl.
“The missus an’ I were a bit worried that our wee one wouldn’t be able ta play with a dog, ’cause she’s spent so much time with the cats. Then she went off an’ started callin’ Blue a kitty, an’ reachin’ out fer ‘im. I think our fears are misplaced.” Bricu said. He was leaning forward at the waist, holding his fingers out so Naiara could walk in front of him, but still grab on to something if she lost her balance–which she did frequently. She was still a little wobbly on her feet.
“So yir thinkin’ oan a dog?” Aely watched the little girl amusedly. “If ye take care with it, ‘s quite possible t’ get one that’d put up wi’ a wee one, an’ what she could grow up proper with.”
“Aye.” Bricu said.
Naiara looked up at her father, then at Aely. “Ki-yee!”
“Aye love, a kitty. A dog Kitty. Can yeh say Doggie?”
“Kiyee.” Naiara said somberly.
“So aye, a dog. So in case someone else tries ta take her…”
“Fir protection too, then.” Aely looked over at Roger, laying peacefully by the door.
“Well, I canna offer ye any ay’ Rog’s pups, but I’m pretty sure Lady – th’ mum ay all those pups I found last year – I’m pretty sure Lady’s a wolfhound. ‘s an old breed, out ay th’ really old North, ‘fore e’en Lordaeron wis a proper kingdom. Lotta old stories have ’em as characters. They’re raised in Eastvale too now, pretty popular fir shepherding an’ farmdogs, ’cause they can take out a wolf if need be.” Roger perked up one ear, as if to acknowledge his name. “Real loyal too, an’ gentle. Like Blue.”
“Strewth, a Northern breed raised by Southrons. Tell me, have these folks been doin’ it fer long, or is it another necessitiy pushed by our Bloody Prince?”
Aely shrugged. “Long time, yeh, ‘least as far as I ken. Old kingly gift ay sorts, beautiful an’ loyal dogs. Th’ ones I’ve seen down here, like Lady, ‘re jus’ as fine as any I saw back North. Rog’s half worg, by th’ look ay things, but he’s likely ay th’ same air similar stock.”
“It’s the half worg I’d be worried ’bout. I Don’t want ta get Naiara a pup that’d turn on her in a year or two. That’d be ba….”
“BAWKS!” Naiara shouted.
“Aye, love. Ballacks. So, Aely, when can yeh take me ta this farm in Eastvale?
“Whene’er ye like, really – I’m na oan leave much, but I’ve got ’till Sunday ay this week. If ye’ve a date in mind, I c’n send word tha’ wir comin’.’s Threnny up wi’ a puppy?”
Bricu nodded, helping Naiara to balance as she stood up on tentative legs. “She’s more open ta the idea, since Thenia decided that she knew better than me an’ Threnny. I think ta really make it clear, I’ll need ta find the sweetest, most loyal pup–but one that’s got a back bone. IF yeh can help me with the breeders, then, an’ take me there on Sunday, that’d be brilliant. It’d also give yeh time ta answer a question I have.”
“Well, an’ a proper bred one ‘ll be all those things if ye train it proper. Sunday’d be brilliant. So wha’s th’ question?” Aely opened her arms, inviting Naiara to wander over.
Bricu let Naiara walk a few wobly steps ahead. “Yeh want ta host the Bloody Prince’s wake?”
Aely watched the little girl, quiet for a moment.
“Wake, eh? How’d ye figure it’d work? Mos’ folk are’na like t’ think oan him wi’ any kind ay… kindness.”
“The tenor o’what they want ta say doesn’t matter. What matters is that it’s said, that dues are paid. The Bloody Prince will get what he has comin’, but we have ta make sure that we do what’s right. So we can heal proper.” Bricu shrugged.
“So, muir fir us t’ lay th’ bastard t’ rest, an’ less fir any sort ay kinship.”
“No lass, more like layin’ what he did ta us ta rest. Still. We’re killin’ our Bloody Prince. That has a price.”
Aely scowled. Naiara plopped down on the floor, looking back and forth between the two Lordaerii accents. “Aye – fir wha’s left ay Arthas Menethil. I’m na proper sure how much’s left, an’ how much’s jus’ th’ Lich King these days.”
“Does that matter? We’re doin’ the world a service, but he is still, and will always be, the Prince of Lordaeron.”
Bricu made a small, very old gesture. Aely ignored it.
“Does matter, ‘least when ye think oan it wis him wha’ killed his King.” She sighed. “I’m na sayin’ we ought na do it, jus’… well, I dinna ken wha’ muir we owe ‘im than th’ death he’s got comin’. We owe it t’ us, an’ t’ our home t’ lay him t’ rest proper, sure.”
“We don’t owe him, not like that. We have responsibilities. Traditions ta put right.” Bricu looked at the other paladin, rather pointedly. “Yeh hear o’the Erik?”
“Aye – ‘s th’ price paid fir committin’ crimes. Like… th’ cost t’ ye fir doin’ sommat against th’ law.”
“Exactly. Ol’Lordaeron traditions. Somethin’ we can use ta help others heal. My idea is simple Aely: We get the Northfolk. Everyone brings their story an’ their Erik. We tell our tale an’ pay the price for our deeds. I’ve got a crown I’ve made… figure it’ll fetch a hefty sum fer a fund ta rebuild the North.”
“Aye. ‘s a lot ay good can come ay that.”
“Aye..an’ let’s face it, when the bloody prince falls, it doesn’t do a …” Bricu grabbed for Naiara as she attempted to stand up under the little table, grabbing onto the dangling tablecloth to steady herself. “Doesn’t do much fer healin’ the hurt. It just cauterizes the wound.”
Aely nodded. “Aye – Revenge dinna actually solve anythin’, other’n th’ actual removal ay th’ problem. Th’ healin after – tha’s th’ hard part.”
“Northmen’ve been fightin’ the Bloody Prince in one way, or another, since he killed our King. Our hurt is the oldest in this war.”
“Aye, ’tis. So ye’ve a plan fir this?” Aely asked.
“Aye. I know who I’ll invite.”
“Those we go wi’? Th’ old North runs strong in the Black an’ Red.”
“Andrick, Chryste, Tarquin, Norvallen” Bricu frowned. “Feliche. Feliche thinks like us.”
“Aye. An’ Caltrains.”
“Arvoss. Edour. Balthasar.”
“Aye, Balthasar. Darrows”
Aely furrowed her eyebrows a moment. “Fuck it all, Taborwynn.”
Naiara bowed her head, “Bawks.”
“S’why it should be at the farm.”
Aely blinked, silent for a moment. “Yeh, aye.”
“Fact is lass….how many o’us have drifted since we lost our home? Turnin’ ta the old ways might give us a what we need,” Bricu said.
“Aye, an’ if naught else, it’ll be muir closed ‘n just a “well, tha’s o’er”. An’ much’s some proper folk dinna like t’ hear it, th’ old ways worked fir a long bloody time.”
Naiara pulled herself up to standing, little fingers clamped tightly to the edge of Aely’s boot cuff. “Figured oan a time yet then?”
Bricu nodded. “Two weeks after the bloody prince is dead.”
“Sounds good. Gives folk time t’ plan fir things.”
“So, Aely, I can say that then? Two weeks after he’s gone, the Wake will be at the Farm?” Naiara pulled herself up into her father’s lap, nestling sleepily against his chest.
“Aye. I’ll plan fir things – crash space fir folk wha’ needs it. Ye’ll let me ken if’s anythin’ I need t’ do beyond ‘at, yeh?”
Bricu paused, thinking for a moment. “Just one more thing. Need yeh ta come up with a proper prayer.”
“Aye, I c’n manage ‘at. I’ll… do some readin’, I s’pose. ‘s a differen’ sort ay last rite.”
“It’s somethin… somethin’ only yeh could manage. I’m not sure I could do it without cursin’.”
Aely grinned, rather without humor. “I’ll do m’level best t’ live up t’ that. Dinna promise oan na swearin’ though.”
“Good. That’s poetry from yeh. Common fu–earmuffin’–speech from one like me.”
“Dinna ken – ‘s all Lordaerii. Th’ poetry ay th’ North, yeh?”
Bricu nodded solemnly as the little girl on his lap murmured into sleep.
“Aye…Aye it is.”
June 22, 2010 – 9:23 am
If you’re not familiar with the concept, Real ID is Blizzard’s new cross-game, cross-server chat program. It allows you to add your friends (using their Battle.net email address) and then talk to them while you’re on another server, or not logged into WoW, or whenever. If you’ve not looked into it, both the main page and the FAQ are worth a read before you finish reading this post.
Real ID opens up a lot of out-of-game/non-game interactions for people you regularly enjoy your WoW time with. Unfortunately it also has some glaring privacy concerns that throw up some pretty big red flags, both from an RP standpoint and from a real life standpoint.
First – you and your Real ID friends will be identified by your real names. While this isn’t strikingly problematic, as many people who you play with on a regular basis may already know your real name, it does pose an issue for someone who chooses to use a pseudonym on the internet. (See: Me. My real name isn’t Anna, but I’ve got a pretty good reason not to randomly start going by another name – people know me as Anna already, and I have a lot of personal investment in the name (and this website)!)
Where this really gets sticky, though, is that you can see all of your friends’ Real ID friends (and vice versa).
f you want to be friends with someone in your guild, you have to be sure not only that you trust THEM with your real name and Battle.net email address, you have to be able to trust all of their friends with your information as well. In this way, it’s a lot like Facebook for Blizzard (a comparison that doesn’t actually win it any points in my book), and the lack of an opt-out (or opt-in) option on this feature is extremely off-putting.
EDIT: I wasn’t sure I wanted to tackle this, but I think it deserves mention (read more in the comments) – the addition of real names to Real ID opens up some really unpleasant opportunities for stalking and harassment. Yes, ideally you’ll be very careful about who gets your Real ID info, but not every stalking situation starts out that way, and internet threats become /very/ scary when someone can get access to your real name. Also, I’m not sure if blocking one person on your Real ID list will block YOUR name off of all your mutual friends lists to them (meaning it might be possible for you to block someone, only to have them track you down through a friend of a friend’s list).
The fact that this is done through your Battle.net email address is also worrisome in and of itself.
Blizzard (wisely) instructs people not to give out their account information (login/password). Well, we’re now in the era of Battle.net where your account login is your Battle.net email address. Yes, everyone should have an authenticator, but not everyone does, and passing around your Battle.net email address makes it one step easier for someone to compromise your account. Many people, including me, have email addresses specifically for Battle.net that they ONLY use for Blizzard logins. This way, when I get Blizzard phishing emails to my toomanyannas at gmail account, there is NO question whether they’re scams. I’m pretty wary of giving out that address to anyone, especially not people that I’ve only met in WoW, no matter how much I like them and enjoy gaming with them.
From a an account security standpoint, your Battle.net email is a MUCH bigger deal than even your real name.
EDIT: As I’ve been made aware (thanks to several folks here and at Twitter) – while you have to give people your Battle.net email address to add them as a friend/vice versa, they don’t continue to see that from the RealID friends list. Whether or not it’s available at all, I don’t know (I’ll leave that to people with more experience – perhaps someone who’s using it can tell us?), but you still must give that Battle.net email address (your account login) to anyone who wants to add you as a friend. It’s just not then visible to everyone else – only your real name and character name are visible.
All that aside, what does Real ID have to do with RP?
From Blizzard’s Info Page:
When you agree to become Real ID friends with another player, both of you will automatically see all the other’s characters on your friends list. You’ll even see any characters your friend creates in future Blizzard games, carrying your social network forward and helping you stay connected with the people you enjoy playing with most.
My lack of desire to have everyone I’m friends with know all of my character names aside, there are some interesting RP interactions that can take place from this – namely cross-faction RP. (Thanks to Warcraft Sues for the idea, I’d not thought of it, and they posted a question about it this morning.)
I’m pretty good friends with the Panzercow – and most of his characters are hordies. On the staff of WTT:RP, Falconesse plays characters on both Alliance and Horde, and RPs extensively with both. In fact, many of the Noxilite crew have interactions with the Wildfire Riders (and associates) – both in and out of game. Some RP has even included communication between those groups, done in IRC or other media. Real ID may allow this kind of thing to happen more often, and I think (in some situations) it’s a good thing.
On the other hand, cross-faction/cross-server communication is not something Blizzard supports at all, but I’m not sure how they’d prevent it – I have both Alliance and Horde characters, and forcing me to choose only to talk to my Alliance or Horde friends would be complicated, as most of them have many alts as well.
Blizzard’s Real ID feature also will tell you “what your friends are up to” – whether they’re in a raid or sitting around in Dalaran, ostensibly “bored”. While I think that’s an interesting tidbit of information, roleplayers often “sit around” without being bored, so it won’t bypass the “Are you busy?” whispers/messages.
Unfortunately, this is the downfall of allowing all of your friends to see all of your characters as well. Everyone likes to escape sometimes, to log in and not be bothered by guild stuff or chatter. Ideally, you wouldn’t share your Real ID info with all of those people, but it’s still hard to get away from, even without announcing that you made a new level 1 alt. Spinksville had a good post on this aspect that’s worth a read as well.
Being a roleplayer adds another level of awkwardness to this kind of broadcast. Sometimes I really like to have “small group” RP – I want to snag one or two people, go somewhere that we won’t be bothered, and enjoy RP that’s personal or private or sensitive to the characters. Real ID broadcasting where that is increases the chance of someone showing up to join in the RP because they saw you were all out in Winterspring together. Right now, through channels/guilds/friends lists it’s still possible to see that information, certainly, and most people know to send a whisper first, but the possibility of “party crashing” is still there, and Real ID will make it even more obvious (since people will, at least in theory, be looking at their Real ID friends to see what’s up and what they might join in doing).
Is Real ID all bad then?
No, I don’t think so. It’s an interesting concept, and seeks to attach a social media type concept to WoW and other Blizzard games. It opens up the possibility of cross-faction and cross-server RP, which is decidedly cool (though possibly not something Blizzard will think is so awesome, so we’ll see on that count).
Due to the privacy concerns though, I won’t be using it (at this time). There are excellent non-Blizzard chat programs available (AIM, Google Chat, IRC, various messenger clients, etc.) that can be used to essentially the same effect, without automatically displaying a ton of information that you can’t choose not to display. It’s easy to use a pseudonym, control who does and doesn’t have access to your information, and you don’t have to worry about whether your friends might have some unsavory types lingering in their friends lists as well.
Since Real ID will not be tied to any one Blizzard game, it’ll be something you’ll have to run separately on your computer anyway, so choosing to use something like a guild IRC channel wouldn’t change the memory concerns either!
Anyhow, that’s my two cents (two dollars?) on the subject.
What do you guys think? Are there roleplay opportunities with RealID that I’ve missed? How do you plan to use Real ID (if you plan to use it at all)? Do you have a screening process for potential friends (for example: only people you know in real life)?