July 23, 2009 – 11:35 am
One of the ways that RP gets “expanded” is through the use of personal NPCs; characters that you create with a bit of story and personality, whose sole function is to work in or with your major characters inside of a plot or story. Villains are often of this variety, as are assorted family members/friends from the days before your character was an adventuring sort.
Occasionally, if you have the need for in-game interaction, you or a friend can roll up a level 1 alt to “play” that character, but in most cases they don’t get leveled. They’re there for a function – either to advance a plot or complicate things or just be an innocent bystander for the bad guys to murder. (Most recently Bertrand was one such NPC)
I’ve got quite a few NPCs in various places that get used for different things:
- Mrs Elizabeth (Lizzy) Cross, the wife of Bryan Cross, and co-proprietor of The Silver Shield. Mrs Cross is a big, buxom woman that can swing a blacksmith’s hammer as well as a frying pan. Aely and Phileas rent the walk-down apartment under their shop, and she’s taken quite a liking to the two Northerners. She also has adopted “Lady”, the mother of the puppies that Aely was trying to get rid of a few months back.
- Randolf Crebain, one very bored, very grumpy Argent Crusade member who has been “temporarily stationed” in Stormwind for the last 9 months. He’s losing some of his hair, has an unruly beard, and is utterly fastidious about the two messengers in his employ, holding frequent inspections. He’s basically a glorified errand boy, and he knows it.
- Amber Brightraven, an elf who rents a room in the Cantrips and Crows in Dalaran’s underbelly. She doesn’t look like a whore, but it’s hard to tell with the folks she’s constantly bringing in and out. She’s too clean and too blonde to really fit in at the Cantrips, but doesn’t seem to ever leave. Always accompanied by a powerful looking, wolfish dog. They say she spends a lot of time betting on the Arena matches.
The Riders also have a full component of Underbelly and Pig and Whistle NPCs that get used in various guild events, particularly the Langston family.
Do you have any NPCs? How do they interact with your character or other characters in your guild/RP group? Do you have shared NPCs that anyone has dibs on?
July 21, 2009 – 1:02 pm
Back when she was still actively blogging, the lovely Bre introduced me to a concept that I like quite a lot.
“That elusive piece of loot, that one single object that if you finally, finally receive, will make all your in-game dreams come true. That item that turns you from a nice, loving individual to a raving lunatic. That item that when won will wipe frustrations and disappointments to nothing. All those runs, and countless wipes will disappear the moment that illustrious item makes its way into your bags.”
For me, it’s rarely been a single item (though Hakkar’s main hand axe was definitely one). In fact, it’s not even been a single instance. For me, the loot unicorn which taunts me, peeks at me through the trees and then disappears whenever I try to get a better look?
I ran Karazhan for close to a year, got myself a PVP shield (since you BUY those, they don’t DROP), and was happily hurtling towards Mount Hyjal before I saw the Triptych Shield of the Ancients drop from the Chess event. I figured I’d just gotten supremely unlucky, until my Paladin had similar (though not quite as extended) trouble getting that shield to drop.
Enter Game Reboot Lich King
I level the Paladin to 80 and start running Naxx, scraping together enough Badges of Heroism to buy the spellpower shield. And until yesterday, the only other shield I have ever seen drop with spellpower on it would’ve been a downgrade (and thus got passed to our lovely Resto Shaman). Months of Naxx, and TRI did not get a single Voice of Reason drop. And now three months of running Ulduar 10, and though some affiliated raids have been passing out Pulsing Spellshields like candy, my 10 man has never seen it drop.
Until very recently, even my Shaman was healing with a spellhit offhand fob instead of a spellpower shield (though I finally got her enough badges to wear the same one, in her Naxx10/25 mishmash as my full Ulduar paladin was wearing).
And then yesterday I get invited to tag along to the tail end of a short-handed Naxx 25 run, just to clear out the last four bosses. I figure, why not – chances are chances, right?
And I love it. Cement skulls, glowy eyeballs, creepy teeth and all.
July 20, 2009 – 2:39 pm
In an attempt to clarify my previously stated position on the possibility of Goblins and Worgen as potential new playable races in WoW (apparently some of you are surprised that I’d make a blanket statement without elaboration) I am posting here my opinion on this particular subject. So without further ado, a full on Anna-rant.
Let’s start with the obvious here, ok?
Worgen are a mutual enemy of both factions.
Goblins are a neutral ally to both factions.
Blizzard is now having to face the faction problem. How do you solve the faction problem? Well there’s the potential for two “new” factions – since allying them together is totally out of left field (since when to Goblins ally with anyone?) and makes no sense. But two new factions means new factions to balance (and Goblins already ARE a faction).
Nor does it make sense that either the Horde or the Alliance will magically start loving Worgen (see: Duskwood/Silverpine) or that Goblins will magically decide to start loving the Horde to the exclusion of the Alliance or vice versa (see: Gold Grubbing McGreedyPants). In fact, we can gain reputation with THEM – which, at the current time serves only to make THEM more money, since we do more stuff for them.
The closest to “makes sense” in either race is having Goblins be able to choose Horde OR Alliance, based on some arbitrary decision that they only want half of the gold (what goblin only wants half of the gold?) – and doing so would require twice the quest coding for Goblins alone, as well as allowing one/both races to be either faction, something Blizzard has actively shunned.
Having Goblins act as cross-faction allies – while admittedly a neat concept – doesn’t fit at all with any of the history of Blizzard’s decisions regarding cross faction communication. They’re actively promoting the difference between Horde and Alliance (T9, Isle of Conquest), not building bridges.
All of which still leaves out WTF to do with these Worgen guys that want to eat your children and/or turn them into more Worgen.
Basically, I don’t see that it can work without creating an entirely new lore base and retconning a bunch of already existing history with these two races. And given past experiences, I am extremely dubious that they will do even a remotely good job. The Draenei thing was pretty awful, and I /like/ Draenei – their saving grace is that they just flat didn’t exist in game before Burning Crusade, and so were quite the blank slate to work with, lore wise. DK’s are hard enough to deal with, ICly, and they too (even though they’re a class, not a race) had no actual in game presence.
I honestly don’t see that either race provides anything even remotely interesting as a PC that they don’t already provide as an NPC, unless it’s to cater to people that want to be Wolf-men and Gobbos.
It doesn’t add any great depth to the lore. It doesn’t add any great explanation of some long unexplained race (Furbolg anyone? Now that’s a race that at least has some options for lore background with it). It adds Goblins and Worgen into the game for some arbitrary reason. I know that some people are SOO EXCITED OMFG at a chance to play Gobbos and Wolf-men. That does not make either Goblins OR Worgen make sense as a playable race.
And all that aside – I know that for Burning Crusade, the addition of the new Hallow’s End masks were signifiers for the new race – but what’s to say they don’t just have SCARY THING masks for dressing up this year?
I will be actively moderating posts in light that this is obviously a sensitive issue. Keep it civil – you’re free to argue, as always.
*Artwork by the amazing Katharsis