Written by | Posted November 13, 2014 – 12:30 pm A Girl and her Dog

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 took the long way around Old Town, south through Tanner Circle and down Bulwarks, across […]

Lots of Howling in the Fjord
comment 2 Written by on June 6, 2010 – 3:42 pm

wolfies

Howling Fjord is one of my favorite zones in the game, and probably my favorite zone in Northrend. This quest chain is just one of those reasons.

Angie and Shan’re had fun running around as wolf-buddies, and from an RP standpoint? Totally awesome.

angoleth

Character Soundtracks – Update
comment 7 Written by on June 4, 2010 – 9:34 am

A previous Friday Five had us thinking about songs that reminded us of or signified our characters. I wanted to update that a bit, since there are a few new Aely songs running around, plus one or two for Annie Mae.

For Aely:

  1. Miranda Lambert’s The House That Built Me – brought home particularly by the ending of this War in the Frozen North, and her desire to see her home again
  2. Mumford & Sons After the Storm – Another Yva find. Yva is awesome!
  3. Eva Cassidy singing Fields of Gold – Sadly, this one is no longer available online
  4. Warren Zevon Keep Me in Your Heart for Awhile - for Aely and Jolstraer
  5. There are a number of songs for Aely and Arrens, but the one that’s most appropriate right now, since Aely’s at the front full time and only back in Stormwind rarely, is David Cook’s Light On. There are other, happier songs too.

For Angoleth (who isn’t really this sad, but these two songs just fit somehow):

  1. Imogen Heap’s Speeding Cars
  2. Ella Fitzgerald singing ‘Round Midnight – I don’t know the lover that she lost, that’s part of Angoleth’s story that she’s not told me about, but there’s something about this song, its disjointedness, and Angie’s tendency to just wander around at night that makes it work.

For Annie Mae:

  1. Kristy Lee Cook’s Cowgirls
  2. Toby Keith Beer for my Horses

Oh come on, you can’t expect Annie to be anything OTHER than up-tempo country music!

What are the songs you associate with your characters? Obviously for Aely I’ve got a whole soundtrack, but others are just a song or two for when I get into their head (or they get into mine). Do you listen to the songs when you’re playing the character, or is it just an association?

annas

Back to my Roots (Plus a bit of help!)
comment 19 Written by on June 3, 2010 – 8:52 am

I got to log in last night for the first time in about 3 weeks. I popped on Aely, checked the mail, and made sure I was ready for the raid tonight. Puttered around on my other characters, did a quick AH scan with my banker… and realized I had no idea what to do. There weren’t many people about for RP – most everyone was out playing alts or doing other things – and I could barely remember that the Abyss Crystals I’d mailed myself were for an enchant on Aely’s new Valius, Gavel of the Lightbringer (SQUEEEE!), let alone why I’d mailed my banker a pile of light leather.

So I did what I’ve always done when faced with such a situation. I went back to the beginning, to the character I started out with.

Angoleth got dusted off, I did some bag rearranging (I’d mailed my banker the light leather because I didn’t have the pattern for something Angoleth was going to make for Annata, my rogue. Go figure.), and I set out to get some XP on the hunter I’ve played since vanilla but who always seems to be my third or fourth string alt to make it through the new expansion.

As an aside – when I started Burning Crusade and when I started Wrath of the Lich King, the first character to go exploring on both continents was Angoleth, and yet, in both expansions, she’ll be the last of my level capped characters to hit 80, and in both cases I leveled a new character from scratch before she made it (Aely in BC, Annie Mae in WotLK).

Anyhow, I stopped by the stable master to figure out who I’d be dragging with me out to Howling Fjord to go do some Kalu’ak quests. I was faced with the following:

  • Russ, a brown bear
  • Talia, a black owl
  • Ishura, a red windserpent
  • Arsaelan, a white lion
  • And one empty stable slot

I’ve never really decided what would go in the last slot – whether I’d pick up a Spirit Beast (I’m particularly fond of both Arcturis and Skoll) or whether I’d grab a wolf to round out the pet list.

As I was thinking about it, I remembered – waaaaay back in the bad old days, when I was level 45 or so, I decided I wanted to tame a wolf pet. Angoleth’s last name means “wolfwalker” and part of her backstory involves an old wolf pet that she’d had at Hyjal. When I finally found the one I wanted, a rare wolf from Ashenvale, I tamed him and then spent weeks getting him caught up to my level. I was a noob, and didn’t know there were similarly skinned wolves in Ferelas at level 40 or so, so I tamed one that was level 21, back before ANY of the pet leveling changes had happened.

Leveling him took FOREVER, but that wolf eventually became my favorite pet. I raided Molten Core with him, and he made it partway through Outland.

Sadly, with only three stable slots at the time, he was released (I took him back to Ashenvale to let him go, I’m weird) for me to pick up Ishura and see if I couldn’t improve my DPS, since windserpents had a patch or two that they were the “flavor of the month” as DPS pets and wolves were cunning pets and couldn’t compete.

Back to last night, I figured why not try a wolf pet again.

I’d not had good luck leveling with the bear (unbelievably slow, I was always out of mana) or with the cat (really squishy, always losing aggro), so I figured it couldn’t hurt to tame a wolf in Northrend and see what happened.

What happened? I spent 4 hours leveling Angoleth, got about 3/4 of the way to level 72, and had more fun huntering than I’ve had in awhile. Mr. Wolf does nearly as much DPS as Angoleth in mana-conservation mode, but it didn’t feel slow, and I felt like I got a good rhythm going where stuff just died. I even got to do a little showing off, trapping and pulling things so that we could just plow through stuff and get all the Kalu’ak quests in Howling Fjord done in one night.

Here’s where you come in.

Obviously, I’m sticking with a wolf pet. Right now I have a black worg from Howling Fjord, but I’ve always been fond of the shaggy grey coyote-wolves from Azeroth. I’m torn between the two – I don’t really like how the black worg always has his mouth open, and how he always looks like he’s mostly starving… but he’s also level 71 and I don’t have to do any work to get him up to Angie’s level.

Should I keep the black worg, go find a grey wolf, or pick another wolf? (I’m not fond of the UBRS style worgs. I am also aware that the prairie wolves in Mulgore keep their yip yip bark! after you tame them, but Anaje has that wolf as her main pet, so I’d rather not have a duplicate.)

And the second question…

What do I name him? (This wolf is very much a Him. I asked. If I pick up a different wolf, it might be a Her though, so both male and female names are OK.)

Since I’m going to be playing Angie a bit, at least for now, I’d rather not run around with “Wolf”. It feels lazy.

Let me know of your ideas, and also if you have any characters that you always seem to “settle back into” even after periods away from the game.

angoleth

Update (click to embiggen):

angolethwolf

Ask Anna: Lore Characters in Backstory?
comment 11 Written by on June 2, 2010 – 8:48 am

I’m back! My computer is still running a little on the gimpy side – I’m short some bad RAM and will be hopefully replacing it soon, but the new power supply made all the other problems go away, so YAY. I’m quite sure I can play WoW again too, but raiding might be a little much – we’ll see.

Anslym, from Totem Tossing, sent me an email (during the whole computer fiasco) with a couple of really excellent Ask Anna questions. I’ll be tackling them this week, since I think the answers are useful for other people as well.

He writes:

Dear Anna,

In my What-up weekly post I was mentioning about writing some stories involving my characters.  A reader suggested that I visit your site and take a look around.  Once I read a few of your posts and some of your character back stories . . . I was hooked!  I thought I would ask you a few questions.

First, can I involve major lore characters?  An example would be if Tyrande Whisperwind could send me on a misson?

{redacted for later posts}

Excellent question, and one that comes up frequently. The major lore figures are big and important in the greater WoW storyline, so it’s only natural to want to include them in our own stories.

However, this is fraught with some roleplaying red flags, because it can be used as a reason to not develop your character, or to “force” your character’s importance on other players. In short, you can do it but you have to be really super careful about it.

If you just need your character to go on a mission for the Elvish army, create a “dummy” NPC  as your character’s commanding officer – He/She can have a bit of personality and maybe a few quirks, but you won’t have to add any more depth. It’s a fun way to create a little snippet character without having to develop him/her. That way, you still have the “Elven Army” story and key back story element without implying that your character is SO important and SO special that Tyrande herself would send your character on a SPECIAL MISSION.

Basically, it can be done, but it’s VERY hard to do it well without coming off like you’re trying to make your character sound special and important by “name dropping” in their backstory – and you can have the same effect with a non-lore NPC in most cases.

Another thing you could do to avoid this (and this relates to the creation of a stand-in NPC) is to relate your character to an event, rather than to a person. There were lots and lots and LOTS of elves that served in the War of the Shifting Sands and then again at Mount Hyjal.

Fitting your elven character into those stories is relatively easy, and easy for other people to believe. Then, with your stand-in NPC, you create a little bit of the structure of the elven army, without having to say your character was special enough to go on a secret mission personally ordered by the leader of the army. (You can kind of think of it this way: if your character was around and Tyrande had enough of a relationship to trust him/her with a secret mission, your character would probably get mentioned in the lore itself!)

Finally, if you still really want to have a major lore character interaction in your character’s backstory, make it an impersonal one.

The lore characters are Important People – think of them like celebrities or high ranking executives/officers/politicians. They can be really important to a lot of people that they barely know. While your character might really admire and respect a faction leader, their personal relationships are already pretty well set up in the established lore. So keep things impersonal, like the relationship you might have with a celebrity, or someone many ranks higher than you at work – they might (at most) know your character’s name, if you’ve done something spectacularly noteworthy in the past, but they’re not likely to be your character’s best friend or someone they’d trust explicitly, etc.

I hope that gives you some guidance on the subject!

If you guys have any other suggestions, feel free to leave them in comments. I’ll get to the rest of your questions at another date; if I tried to answer them all at once, this would be a pretty confusing (and novel-length) post.

Good luck, and happy writing!

annas

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 …

Elevation

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 …

Deconstruction

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 …

Patrol

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 …

Riders in Lordaeron – Memory

November 7, 2013 – 1:33 pm

(Written by Jolly, Tarquin, and Annalea)

The highlands of Lordaeron were not for the faint of heart; be it the putrescence of the Scourge’s long-lingering remnant, or the rock-strewn hills and valleys that made farmers out of only the most …

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