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: 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!


Computer Update
comment Comments Off on Computer Update Written by on May 28, 2010 – 9:38 am

It starts!


Sometimes not so much.

I’ll have a new power supply here early next week, but I’m going to try logging into WoW tonight. Memtest and some other scans turned up negative, and the fact that it’s occasionally just clicking itself off suggests that it’s a power supply in its death throes (or the CMOS battery, possibly – which is also easy to replace).  And if it turns out NOT to be the power supply, I’m sure we’ll figure out what’s wrong.

After two full weeks out of game, I’m actually really looking forward to tooling around on Annata and doing some RP. I suppose that tells me a lot about what my priorities are in game right now – leveling and RP, or both together! Depending on what’s going on tonight (and if I can keep my computer turned on), perhaps I can let Annata meet some of the Riders.

Thanks to all of you for sticking with me through this – nothing like technical difficulties to throw a monkey wrench in things. I know it’s been really quiet around here lately, and I’m ready to get back into the swing of “normalcy”.



Magic Smoke, Go to the sky!
comment 5 Written by on May 25, 2010 – 9:01 pm

I got back from my whirlwind trip around Texas on Monday night, and before long I was happily logged in, enjoying some RP time and plotting blog posts for this week.

Unfortunately, it was not to last.

Sometime between last night when I logged out and this morning when I came in to check my email, the magic smoke escaped from my computer, and it will not turn on.

Well, that’s not technically true.

It turns on sometimes – but not always – long enough to start up the fans, but the monitor remains blank and it never loads the Motherboard/BIOS/Anything. We’re slowly trying to figure out what is wrong with it, and what part needs replacing (as of right now it’s likely either the Motherboard or the CPU… but it might be the power supply or RAM too). This has included the purchase of a multimeter, because we don’t have enough random spare parts to just plug random stuff in and see if it starts up. (SSH is not displeased with that purchase, as he’s dragged me over to look at multimeters every time we go to the electronics store. XD)

Anyhow, I’m out of game for awhile, most likely. We have to figure out what’s wrong, and then order a new part and wait for it to be delivered. My laptop SHOULD be functional tomorrow, so I’ll have online access, but that’s really kind of it, as Mr. Laptop does not possess the requisite mojo to run WoW. This, sadly, means fewer blog posts for a little while longer, but I’ll do my best to toss something up here when I can. SSH has my desktop in surgery right now, so here’s hoping we figure out (quickly) what’s wrong.

Grrr. It never rains but it pours, right?


Bonus points to anyone who gets the reference in the post title.

Ebb and Flow
comment 6 Written by on May 18, 2010 – 7:37 am

I recently “celebrated” five years playing this game. (Crazy, huh?) I’m not sure exactly what day I started playing, since I poked around on a trial account before I ended up with my own actual account. Still, the first “patch” I remember downloading was the one that introduced the honor system – which means I started playing before 8 April 2005.

Five years is a long time. Lots of “life” has happened during that time – good things and bad things.

I’ve gone through times when I was super excited about the game and times when my excitement has waned slightly. (Those times are often related to RP and new characters, surprise surprise.)

I’ve met a lot of really cool people – many of whom I now count as real friends and not just game acquaintances.

And really, I can’t say I’ve missed out on life or doing the things I want to do alongside playing WoW. I have lots of hobbies outside of game (that I’m doing a lot more of since I have been unemployed) and a mostly happy personal life too. In fact, I’d say that having WoW as a place to relax and not think about things was incredibly useful while I was finishing my degree – a degree which suffered no negative impact from my video games.

Now, before you all freak out on me – I’m not quitting or anything of the sort.

Just… ruminating on the nature of the game, the fact that I’m in a bit of an enthusiasm downswing (which always happens after the end of major RP arcs), and a bit of a “life” upswing (and a hobby upswing too). So I may not post much this week.  I know I won’t be playing much this week, due to having many things out of game to get done before I do some traveling this weekend (I was out of town last week/end too).

I’m definitely still excited about things in game. Aely and Arrens have stories to tell, Annata is starting to chatter at me, there’s leveling to be done and screenshots to take and all kinds of things I still want to do and enjoy doing. But as many have said before me, RL > WoW, so I’m going to use this busy time as a bit of a “reboot”.

Absence makes the heart grow fonder, and all that; I’m already looking forward to when I’ll have time to be back in game (likely Thursday evening for TRI’s raid) and time to go putter around with RP and my own goals (next week).

So I’m curious – how do you guys manage the natural ebb and flow that happens in a video game/MMO? What parts do you miss when you’re away for a time due to real life or other time intensive things?


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 …

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