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?
May 14, 2010 – 10:56 am
Being part of an RP group includes “group timelines” – making decisions about basic “when and where” for the greater story that will affect your entire group. When those big events are tied to raids and bosses, things become more and more difficult, especially in an RP group like the one I’m part of on Feathermoon, where there are a number of people who participate in a variety of different raids (both 10 and 25 man) of various levels of progression.
Things can get VERY confusing when you start to try to figure out the end boss timeline for an RP group like the Wildfire Riders, since we don’t raid as a guild, but many members of WFR are part of other raids.
Saying “Whenever any member of the Wildfire Riders kills Arthas, Arthas has died” isn’t really fair to the in character raids that don’t really push for progression but are made up of mostly WFR guild members. Saying “Whenever everyone in the Riders has killed Arthas, Arthas has died” isn’t fair to /anyone/, since then he’d never die at all, due to a number of guildmates that don’t raid! Saying “Whenever someone on Feathermoon kills Arthas, Arthas has died” dismisses the work done by raiders in the group who stand a good shot at actually killing him. Saying “When TRI kills Arthas in the 25 man raid” ties guild storyline to a raid group that’s made up of mostly people who AREN’T in the Wildfire Riders (even if Tarquin is “The Boss” of both groups).
It’s kind of a mess! But, of course, at some point Arthas has to die. There are a lot of Lordaeron exiles that will want to celebrate his death.
The WFR officers, in conjunction with some of the other RP groups that we associate with (The Order of the Rose, Stormwind University, The Boomstick Gang), decided to use Blizzard as their go-to on the timeline decision.
Arthas will officially be dead (to us) when the next patch hits, with the early stages of changes that would happen from his death and the new raid instance launching. It’s the least personal decision – it doesn’t tie a major event to how successful a raid is (anyone’s raid), and it gives plenty of time for the lead up “planning” for what will happen after his fall.
So, even though I have a Kingslayer title, to Aely and Arrens and all the rest of my particular RP group, Arthas is still alive, and we’re in the final push to victory.
And I’m OK with that.
I’ve got a big story to write about it, and I’ve been so busy with other things that it’s sat on the back burner for the last two months almost!
How have your RP groups handled the “is he dead yet?” issue? Has it just been kind of assumed at some point, or do you have a plan for his death to occur at a specific time?
May 11, 2010 – 8:05 am
Happy Tuesday folks.
At least it’s not ravenous weasels.
May 10, 2010 – 10:00 am
We were talking last night in one of the general chatter channels about characters and how it is that we end up “sticking” with them. One of the newer members of our group mentioned that he wasn’t really sure what we meant – rolling a character was mostly (for him) about the race/class combination.
It’s different for me – as I’m sure you’ve noticed if you’ve been reading here very long.
Annata is not the first rogue I’ve rolled. She’s not even the first /human/ rogue I’ve rolled. But she’s the first one that I’ve managed to connect with on a character level. (The other four are long since deleted)
Awhile back, Shad, a fellow RPer from the general Riders Conglomerate, wrote a really excellent guest post for me on Character Cookies.
(You should go read it, I’ll wait!)
For me, rolling a new character always involves a “cookie” concept. It’s the “what would happen” question that always initiates a new character. What would happen to a hunter who really had always wanted to be a druid? What would happen to a Dwarven rogue who’d raised all her brothers after her mom died? What would happen to a Gnome who grew up in Westfall and loved horses?
The “cookie” question is what gets a character into the game – but it’s not what gives them staying power, at least for me. Very rarely can I play a character for more than 15-20 levels without having a decent RP concept for them. (Two notable exceptions: Aely, who didn’t get her personality until she was around level 75, and Annylais, who is level 70 and only just now got her RP concept.) I simply get bored or disinterested in who they are, and so I stall out, stop leveling, and never get them anywhere. A few months later, in a fit of new-character-startitis, they get deleted.
It’s a cycle that I’ve repeated many times. The Dwarven rogue who raised her brothers turned out to be a boring, moralizing busybody and was, ultimately, so mind bendingly uninteresting to RP that she never really made it past 25, and that’s after I’d spent quite a lot of gold on her Engineering skills. This is a sad failure on my part, as I’ve always wanted to play a Dwarf consistently. Right now my hope lies with Anrietta, an older Dwarven lady and hunter, but I’ve not had a lot of inspiration with her either. She’s unlikely to get deleted, as she functions outside of my own character RP story things (she’s also part of the TRI raid banking conglomerate), but I hardly play her.
Maybe someday, right?
Anyhow – I can’t put my finger on exactly what it is that makes a character “click” for me.
It’s obviously some combination of Race/Class, but it’s also personality and history and story, who they are and how they react, little quirks, and all the oddities that show up during RP. I found out the other day that Annata spends a small amount of gold every week on manicures, but would never paint her nails. Those little details are what keep me coming back to a character, and what eventually will save them from the scrap heap.
What is it for you? Do you roll with just a Race/Class combo, or even just a specific Class? Or do you, like me, need there to be “more” to the Character?