June 22, 2009 – 10:18 am
So – I’m tired of just having the two healers at 80.
Unfortunately, I’m also strongly against purchasing characters and paying for power leveling (it’s against the TOS, it’s unsafe, don’t do it).
Which means I either need to get over it… or I need to level. In Northrend. But! I want an 80 priest, and now’s the time to do it, since with the Midsummer Fire Festival going, I can get a 10% XP buff that stacks with the 10% XP shoulders (woo!) plus all of the experience from the various fire quests.
I’ll be using Pookie’s guide to hitting the various fires (Alliance guide, Horde Players can find an excellent rundown on WoWwiki), if only because at level 73, I get around 12K experience for each Alliance fire, and nearly 25K for each Horde fire. Which is quite a lot, especially considering how slowly Northrend feels like it’s going, and how rested experience buffs are going to be at a premium for a bit.
So wish me luck, and we’ll see how long this goes. Maybe with a bit of momentum, this’ll go along better.
Oh also – I need a bit of advice. I’m leveling with a combination of group stuff (with my husband’s rogue) and on my own. Leveling with the rogue and priest, when I’m specced shadow, is a pain in the butt, since I’m dropping in and out of shadowform. But on my own, shadow was much better than discipline, at least in terms of speed, the last time I was working on it. What spec do you folks suggest?
June 19, 2009 – 6:21 am
Every Friday here at Too Many Annas, you’ll find a little RP prompting – either in the form of 5 questions to answer about your character or in the form of a ficlet prompt (500 words) to write about them. These aren’t meant to be hard, just things to think about for your character – you can answer in a comment or use them as a blog post of your own!
This week, our questions will focus on “opposites” – kinda. I’d like to add the additional challenge of the first two questions being answered in one sentence or less. These first two (and the last one) are less about explaining and more about just naming without qualifications.
- What is your character’s most notable flaw? (and no, “overly self critical,” at least in the way that people use it in interviews, doesn’t count)
- What is your character’s most notable strength?
- What is their crowning moment of awesome? (stolen directly from WTT:RP and Blogatelle)
- What is their most bitter moment of failure?
- And, in light of yesterday’s post, what’s one quality, trait, fear, or habit about your character that just doesn’t really fit or make sense with the rest of them?
June 18, 2009 – 8:33 am
So I was reading a post yesterday from Blogatelle (if you don’t read that blog, you should) about the Halo Effect and how people often fall into the stereotype that “pretty” is equal to good, and that “ugly” is bad. It certainly happens in real society, where folks that don’t fit in the accepted “norm” of appearance are often ostracized or treated as lesser beings based on looks alone.
But Sean brought that stereotype into WoW – citing the preference for Humans, Night Elves, Blood Elves and to some extent Draenei, and how that may be related to this “halo” effect. Particularly in the case of Blood Elves, it’s relatively common to see a Blood Elf that either has no addiction to magic or has broken it totally – removing or negating one of the less ‘heroic’ aspects of the race in favor of them fitting into a more acceptable “good” role that we’d expect by their looks.
And I think he has a point – but I think, at least with WoW, there’s something else going on here as well. At least with Elves (both kinds) and Humans.
These races are the ones that look the most like what a Westernized “ideal” human should look like (or in some cases, just are “humanoid” more than not).
Particularly at the beginning of Warcraft’s development, the much higher Alliance levels probably had a lot to do with people choosing a race that they felt they could easily identify with, given the little lore they knew. How much of that is compounded by the “orcs are ugly and therefore evil” I can’t say – though the somewhat shady history of the Orc race doesn’t help with clearing their (now) good name. You could certainly make the argument that Sean and I are talking about the same thing – viewing races that look “like us” as good, and that look like what we’d commonly have seen as “ugly” or “monsters” as evil or bad.
Fortunately, though – at least in my experience – as WoW has grown, and the lore has grown, so has the population of Warcraft players. Which doesn’t mean there are no more picture-perfect, no faults, utterly gorgeous, flowers grow from their sh*t Mary Sues running around – just that there ARE people playing realistic, balanced characters from each race.
To some extent, it’s hard to escape from stereotypes and Archetypes - they are common because they have meaning, because they’re relatable, and we all can understand them. But (and maybe I’ve just been incredibly lucky) I’ve found the “real” characters a lot more often lately.
So how do you turn a potential “cookie cutter” character into something with more depth?
The same way that real people have depth and layers to their personality. Everyone tries to put their best foot forward in some situations – but nobody can be perfect all the time. Neither is anyone a perfect copy of what their society/family/upbringing suggests that they should be.
So as you create your characters, think about putting a twist on an Archetype – maybe your character is the Logical Guru… but they can’t shake that lingering illogical fear of spiders. Obviously they can still have some of the things that make them a Logical Guru – but either a mental illness or a damaging encounter makes them incapable of being logical about arachnids. It doesn’t negate what they are – it just makes them more than just a cardboard cutout with predictable answers to everything.
Another example might be a Knight who has a side business on the black market to support an addiction – he spends his days upholding the law, but a character flaw (either of chemistry or of personality) has him so addicted to something that he’s forced to break with his own convictions. Playing out these kinds of twists can be fun and engaging, and keeps you from finding your character predictably stale. Maybe your Knight is addicted to pain medication after a terrible injury and it’s causing him a crisis of faith and conviction? Maybe he’s just addicted to the feel-good-drugs – and has to constantly hide it. You can really let your creativity go wild.
People don’t always make sense. In fact, they frequently don’t make any sense at all.
Making a character real, making them have depth means going beyond looks and races to find a personality, a history, and a story to tell. It means finding what makes them tic, what makes them crazy, and what just doesn’t make any sense but somehow ends up in the mix anyway. Nobody is perfectly good, totally fearless, utterly undefeatable – and the same goes with being the incarnation of pure evil (with the exception of bad guys created expressly to BE perfectly evil). No race has the stranglehold on good (See: Fandral Staghelm – who is a jerk and has some good reasons for being a jerk… and is still very much an Elf) or on evil (see: the Forsaken that work for the Argent Dawn/Crusade) regardless of their appearance.
June 17, 2009 – 6:56 am
Another Ask Anna post, this one from Kiwago, who’s suffering from some of the same burnout that a lot of people in WoW seem to be butting heads against recently. It’s (as usual) not an easy question to answer, but I’ll give a stab at it, and I hope you guys will have some good suggestions as well.
I’m not an RPer, and this isn’t an RP question, but I figure you may have something to say about this. I’m a resto shaman and for some reason I’ve just gotten really bored. I’m stuck as far as progression goes unless I want to do Ulduar 25, and I really don’t want to do that because of the time and stress involved. My guild is a small 10 man guild, so we do 10 mans occasionally, but its gotten to the point where I don’t log in unless its raid night.
Just wondering if this has ever happened to you and what you did to combat this problem… also I don’t want to start an alt =P I hate being low level and I also hate questing =P
Alright. So this is a little difficult to answer thoroughly because of some of your qualifications. You don’t RP and don’t want to. You don’t raid 25′s and don’t want to. You don’t level alts and don’t want to.
Still, I think I can manage a few suggestions.
First, you might take a break. Sometimes what it takes to find some enjoyment of the game is to literally force yourself to step away for a week or two and Not. Log. In. Catch up on some TV series, read a book, rent a few movies, get the house/room/stuff in order, start a new project or craft. It’s hard, I know, but if you’re unwilling to change anything about your current style of play, you’re not likely to magically discover that you love the game again, and sometimes a little distance can do the trick and help you remember what you enjoy about playing.
Another thing you might try is picking up a dual spec to your Resto, and spending some time running groups as Elemental or Enhancement. Being that you’re unwilling to work on a second character (which is fine, leveling isn’t for everyone), maybe work a “second” character into your current 80. Enhancement might be the better place to start, from a “wow this is really different” standpoint, though Elemental might be a little easier to gear up right off the bat.
Or maybe even try a different style of gameplay altogether, like PVP. If DPS isn’t your game, consider using one of those alternate specs (or an alternate Resto spec) to focus on PVP for awhile. Whether that’s Wintergrasp, Arenas, BG’s, or World PVP (I don’t know if you play on a PVE or PVP server) – doesn’t matter. It’ll be something new, a different skill set to learn, and something to break up the “raid and farm” cycle that seems to be bogging you down.
Basically, for anyone finding themselves stagnant in the game, I suggest you try something new.
Albert Einstein is famous for saying “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results” – if what you’re doing is burning you out and making you bored… try doing something else!
Write something, try a new alt, focus on more creative paths (like RP) or doing something totally different (like PVP, or getting into a new raid situation), play a different game for awhile, get immersed in a novel. Sometimes just keeping things fresh can be enough to bring your interest back into the game. It’s definitely one of the ways I keep myself motivated – quirky RP characters like Annie Mae can really bring a lot of fun back to the game. But sometimes you need to step away and do something that’s not WoW to find your interest in WoW again.
I’ve been fighting a little bit of burnout myself lately, so I’ve spent less time being “goal oriented” in game – forcing myself to do things that I don’t want to do (like dailies or farming) – and more time doing fun or “frivolous” things, like nostalgia raids to BWL, silly achievements, and lots of RP time with various characters, and playing my alts – not with the intent of leveling them quickly, but of just having a darn good time.
So good luck to anyone suffering from boredom and burnout – I hope you can find your mojo and motivation again, and that maybe I’ve sparked a little new idea that might bring some fun back into the game. And, as always, may the Loot-Fu be with you!