5.4 Presents: The Timeless Isle

The zone map of the Timeless Isle.

Do you like loot?  I like loot.  I’d hope you like loot, too.  If you don’t like loot, maybe you like pets — big and small — or even mounts?  How about PvP?

The Timeless Isle is a new zone that’s opened up since 5.4 launched last week.  It’s not a daily quest hub — thank goodness — it’s more of a group monster-hunting zone, with rare elites peppered throughout that everyone gets to loot if they’re nearby.  Regular elites have chances to drop quest items, the island’s new currency, gear, and everything the rare elites can drop minus chances at mounts.  Some pets are dropped by the zone’s various critters, aside from the ones that spawn around the island.

This place is a gear pinata. In a little under a week of a few hours here-and-there running around and hunting down chests, rare elites, and pew-pewing the occasional elite mob, my priest, Phaedra, nearly has a full DPS and full healing set.  The gear is absolutely gorgeous to boot, so it’ll make wonderful RP gear, too — and I have some pieces sitting on another alt that’ll go to other characters if and when they hit 90.

Is the Isle a worthwhile place to visit?  Hell yes.  For Timeless Coins and a bunch of mob kills or chests, you can definitely gear all of your alts in less time than it would take through LFR.  The downside is that, if you’re relatively new to raiding as it is, you don’t get the experience of learning fights and raid mechanics that you would if you were to gear up via LFR — but you can still do that at the same time, of course, and most of the elites have their own tricks that you have to avoid.  Icy-Veins.com has a lovely Timeless Isle guide that I recommend checking out if you’re not entirely sure what to do or where to go, and WoWHead.com’s Timeless Isle guide is also a good read.

Don’t forget to look for Kukuru’s Grotto if you enjoy gambling… or you happen to be playing a goblin~

Phaedra stands on a pile of gold.

Lookit all that gold!

 

Siege of Orgrimmar: Are You Ready to Fight For Vol’jin’s Horde?

It’s coming.

I’m excited.

I’ve been a Horde player since I started playing World of Warcraft in 2008.  I’ve had a soft spot for the Trolls and Tauren since the start, with a complete inability to hate on them like, at all, no, really.  I adore them.  To hear an outsider acknowledge that these other races are nothing like their Warchief is pretty awesome.  On top of that, to finally be approaching the on event that can get my main character out of hiding and back into the saddle of his military unit is just oh hells yes.

This is assuming I can ever find time to actually run a guild, mind you.

What to Expect in Patch 5.4

Class Improvements — Everybody gets goodies.  Buffs, new glyphs, a little bit of something for everyone.  You can find the new information for classes in the patch notes.

Profession Changes — New Raid and PvP patterns will be added for Blacksmiths, Leatherworkers, and Tailors; each production profession gets a recipe to craft something for themselves, namely some kind of new material.  Cooks will get new recipes, too, including noodle carts.

Items — Altoholics, rejoice!  You’ll be able to apply profession-specific item enhancements to your BoA items, since these buffs will work on any item level.  Finally, my alts can get my Scribe’s shoulder enchants.

New Zone! — A mysterious new island will open up when 5.4 launches that is going to be really, really rewarding for explorers like myself.  I’m looking forward to trawling it for neat stuff, and it looks like there’s going to be a slight pirate theme.

More Pets & Mounts — Naturally.  I’m kind of lusting after Reins of Galakras, Reins of the Thundering Onyx Cloud Serpent, and Reins of the Ashhide Mushan Beast.  Guess who’s going to be putting on her PvP gloves and getting them dirty?  This gal.  Not only this, but we’ll be able to hoard collect 1,000 battle pets in 5.4.  I uh, think I have more critters to hunt.

Server Merges/Virtual Servers — More to the point:  The chance for those of us that are on dead servers to actually see other people and not have to abandon the servers we’ve loved for years in order to get interaction.  I’m not entirely sure how this is going to work other than that servers in the same groupings will have their populations combined and it will allow cross-server guild invites and other goodies.

Rocks Fall, Garrosh Dies

Most of all, though, I’m looking forward to killing Garrosh — as are many others.  I think this calls for a more RP-related post on the subject, don’t you?

Coming Back and Keeping it Fun

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Creeperella gets her groove thang on at the Shrine of Two Moons.

I went and took a break from WoW for a while, opting to hop among my free games and SW:TOR (which doesn’t run very well on my computer) and found that there was something missing — namely the familiarity, the setting I enjoyed, and the friends I had made.  This isn’t to say that WoW is perfect or that I’m going to be here forever, but that I never actually intended to permanently leave and that it was nice to get out into something else.

The problem that I find that I have with any game is this whole “keeping it fun” thing.  The good thing about games of WoW’s nature is that they tend to have a lot of other, little things for you to do beyond the main game — like pursuing achievements, gathering pretty gear sets, experimenting with different alts, or trying occasional challenges.  Roleplay, too, is near and dear to my heart.  Previous to taking a break from World of Warcraft, though, I had found it really difficult to step into RP — although I don’t find it an easy thing to do, I’ve been doing it more often and I’ve been enjoying myself.  That part, the feeling that I get after a round of roleplay, after having some fun?  That’s what keeps me going back to it.

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Ta-Kei and Mei-Tan.

When it comes to keeping WoW fun, I find that it comes down to the people that I’m surrounding myself with.  If not for the people I’ve met through the game, I wouldn’t enjoy it nearly so much — even if I’m not playing with them, they’re still about.  I still chat with them.  Some of my most meaningful relationships are because of “that damn game” — I wouldn’t have met my boy if it wasn’t for World of Warcraft, even, and I wouldn’t keep coming back if it wasn’t for adventures.

Most recently, him and I have been occasionally playing a TankMonk/HealyShaman pair and a TankMonk/TankMonk pair (with me healing in both occasions, shock and horror).  It’s been fun.  Being on Skype at the same time means that communication is faster and easier (though I feel I know him well enough to have an idea of what sort of crap he’s going to pull), plus, if people are being bad we can vent about it and plan our rebellion.

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Alanada shows Creeperella some of the sights of Pandaria.

Along with that, Telystra and I have been running dungeons on our 70s druids, with her healing and me tanking.  Have I mentioned lately how much I love druid tanking?  No?  I love druid tanking.  To say that she puts up with a lot from me as a tank is an understatement, though she also knows her shit and is pretty damned good at making up for my “oh whoops that other group joined in LOLOL OKAY FACEROLL TIME” shenanigans.  Once I latch onto something it doesn’t go away — that’s pretty amazing for me.

Between that, roleplay with people I know and people I don’t, plus pursuing achievements and alts — while taking occasional breaks with other games — I think I’ve been managing to keep it fresh for myself.

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Pet-hunting has helped, too.

 

Mists of Pandaria: Much Love (and Some Tears)

The day that many of us were waiting for finally arrived not too long ago — Mists of Pandaria was released with a relatively pain-free launch, something that’s rather new for Blizzard. It was rather nice to not have to deal with a throng of angry posts on dear_gnome asking about why we can’t log in (you know, the question that, after nearly ten years, you would think people would tire of asking after an expansion launch or major content patch).

This expansion introduced the Pandaren as a playable race, brought Chen Stormstout back into the picture, gave us access to the new Monk class, and even opened up a new continent for the 85-90 run.  Pet Battles have given us yet another distraction — in-game Pokémon! — along with farms to tend and more fishing to do than ever before.

It has also introduced a few moments of misty eyes for this lady, I tell you what.

First off, as a wee Pandaren wandering the aptly-named Wandering Isle (which is a giant turtle named Shen-zin Su), I found myself sniffling during the chat with the massive creature whose very life the Panda-people rely upon.  Damn it, Mat, you are not supposed to want to cry over a virtual turtle, no matter how cool he is.

Okay, fine, with the sniffles aside I continued the zone to completion and then the decision on whether to go Horde or Alliance snuck up on me.  Naturally I went Horde, because this is all on Thorium Brotherhood (I haven’t even bothered with Wyrmrest Accord) and I’m slowly re-building the mass of 85s I had there.  I thought, “Oh wow, this’ gonna be cool — but how exactly are they going to work this bit?  Teleportation?  SUDDENLY!HORDE?”

Nope, the cinematic showed my character flying off in a balloon in yet another tear-jerking farewell to that massive turtle — oh cripes I’m doing it again — and it faded to black, then caught back up to my character standing in front of Orgrimmar.  The Pandaren introduction to the Horde really demonstrates the rather dangerous atmosphere that this faction has at the moment, but Garrosh’s dickheadedness will be covered in another post. ;)

I haven’t had the time to delve too deeply into Pandaria itself.  My warrior is still in The Jade Forest, as is my rogue, but I’m enjoying the quests when I do get a chance to prod at them.  Pandaria is fun, it’s gorgeous, and I look forward to playing there when I get a chance.  I haven’t played Guild Wars 2 in a few weeks (then again, it’ll wait because it’s not subscription-based).  I’m looking forward to progressing in the story and eventually doing the whole thing on my Alliance paladin, too, if I manage to keep him on that faction.

Also?  I really, really like the Pandaren.

Pandaren are essentially fuzzy, balanced Dwarves.  They love good food, good brew, and helping others; they are just generally good people and are such a refreshing change from how things generally are in World of Warcraft.  The women use a body type that is similar to mine and I am quite happy to play that.  Their emotes are adorable… and I already have a handful of the little fuzzballs: my 85 rogue, a hunter, and a mage.

Krensythe Manashaper is now Lin-Si Wyrmclaw, purveyor of magical artifacts and knowledge. Sssssh.

I will be rolling a Pandaren Shaman eventually.  :P

Don’t get me started on Pet Battles.  That may wind up being a post of its own.

In summary, though:  so far, so good.  Mists of Pandaria is shaping up to be a decent expansion, better than what I was expecting, and I’m quite happy to have the chance to prod at it.

How Online Games Help Me Cope

Most that know me through World of Warcraft are aware that I have Depression — even one or two of my non-WoW readers are aware, as they have heard me talk about it.  Most know that I am not afraid to make mention of this illness since I feel very strongly that we should talk about these things.  If we remain silent, our illnesses will continue to be considered taboo topics and people will keep thinking stuff that isn’t actually true about them.

Depression is a mental illness that is characterized by long-term feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness, a loss of interest in hobbies, excessive sleeping (or trouble getting any sleep), issues concentrating, and other related problems.  It can be treated with medication and/or therapy, and recovery time varies depending upon the individual.  PubMed Heath has an article about depression for those that would like to do some light reading (yes, I use adf.ly — I don’t have a lot of money coming in, so clicks help).

This has everything to do with the post.

I started into online gaming with Diablo 2, though I never formed any long-term friendships there (even though I joined a clan or two, I was too shy to really reach out), and before that, I was in online text-based roleplay.  None of the people I knew during my IRC days are still in contact with me, so I can’t say that’s really had a huge impact on the me of today — it taught me how not to roleplay, and it taught me that people are really bizarre, but that’s about it.  It wasn’t until Runescape that I met my first set of long-term online friends, and they set the stage for what would happen in World of Warcraft.

When I started playing World of Warcraft, I was in my second year of a college program that I wasn’t very impressed with, and I mainly started playing because a friend got me into the game.  I thought I would have the opportunity to play with him, but that did not actually happen.  I rolled my first official toon, a Troll rogue, and struggled with leveling her until I started reading up on and understanding the class.  I found a guild or two, but nobody really grabbed my attention.

An unfortunate instance of Eredar’s forums trolling Thorium Brotherhood’s forums led me to roll on the server.  I started with a Troll priest named Mamalana, and I jumped into the roleplay scene as best I could.  I was welcomed with open arms.  That was the time when I met the people that would have the biggest impact on me and who hooked me up with the guild I’ve been in for the past six years: The Harbingers of War.

I fell in love with the server and the people.  There were lots of other women playing there, the roleplay was fun (and I desperately needed fun at a time in my life when I was terribly unsatisfied with what I was doing), and it sparked creativity in me that I thought was lost.  When server transfers opened up, I moved Talasha — my rogue — from Eredar to Thorium Brotherhood and she eventually became the first of my characters to join the Harbies.

No matter what anyone has said about me, no matter what I’ve said or done, no matter what has happened, these people have helped me to feel especially loved.  On top of that, upon entering the blogosphere and joining Twitter, I found another legion of amazing people that were all connected by their love of WoW and MMOs in general.  As someone that has a hard time making friends in a face-to-face capacity, the online world has been a boon.

Online gaming has saved my hide by giving me honest, genuine friendships that have survived my various internal issues (such as my temper and depressive episodes), and have proven to me that awesome people are out there, I just have to look.  If not for the people I have met through WoW, Twitter, and Livejournal as a result of my gaming habit, I would be in far worse shape than I am today — I thank you all for everything that you’ve done, even if you don’t think you have done anything.  You have.  You listen, you pick me up when I’m down, and you help me understand myself and just plain feel better about everything.

Every single one of you is awesome.  Thank you.

P.S.  My family helps me feel loved every day, but that extra that comes from my friends, fellow bloggers, Twitterati, guildies, etc., is just as strong and just as helpful.  I do not, ever, at any point, feel unloved by the people in my life — this little group of people that I have not met (well, for the most part: I met Kim in Toronto a couple years ago ;)   ) picks me up when others simply can’t, or don’t understand what I’m down about.

A Big YAY! to Blizzard — QQ, Neckbeards

Not too long ago, Apple Cider Mage reported a slimy and disturbing bit of dialogue by Ji Firepaw – a major Lore figure for Pandaren – toward female Pandaren.  It was gross, it was creepy, it brought back memories of pretty much any time some neckbeard found out I was a woman online.

As of yesterday, she reports that it has been changed to something far less creeptastic (yes I am slow on the uptake).

Mythrai expresses the joy that a lot of us are feeling, too.

I say, “Good on you, Blizzard!”  It’s these small changes that make us all feel like Blizzard actually listens to us.  That’s important, that’s something that all game companies should be doing — listening.  Is a segment of your audience feeling really uncomfortable with something (a segment that is not the majority because, chances are, they’re not going to see the issue)?  Listen.  Make changes.

Naturally, the neckbeards are not happy and are whining about the change and how it makes them feel, I don’t know, like Ji doesn’t represent them anymore, because I guess they were really proud to have a slimy horrible snippet of dialogue and they’re all sexist douchebags, too?  Who knows.  Anyway, they’re doing exactly what they said we were — you know, complaining about “nothing”.

Hey dudebros:  You aren’t the only ones that play this game.

Anyway, that’s that.  Now, maybe they’ll eventually make Boss Mida the Trade QUEEN and not screw that character up… or maybe the Warchief.

A gal can hope, yeah?

Troll Bouquet eBooks and Questions to the Audience

A lot of blogs produce eBooks to help bring in some extra money while sharing their knowledge in a highly portable, easily accessible format.

The idea of eBooks is one I find really interesting – I own a Kobo eReader, which I enjoy even though it isn’t fancy, and being able to save space in my tiny house is always a plus.  EBooks allow me to have a nice collection of knowledge and entertainment on a budget (or for free, since there are free eBooks about, and I’m definitely not against anything that saves me money in the long run).

I’ve been slowly working on a Roleplay 101 eBook between classes and school projects, which draws upon the things I’ve learned over twelve years of online roleplay (alas, no real chance to do any LARP or tabletop), personal opinion, and stories I’ve been told.  The guide started as a WoW-based thing, got extremely long (just with the headings!), and then I thought, “why not do a ‘basics’ one, and then a more advanced WoW-based guide?”  That’s the idea I’m going with.  I have no idea if there will be much interest in that sort of thing but I am generally hopeful.

Books! from www.sxc.hu

eBooks: All this knowledge in one tiny pdf file.

I do plan on writing other eBooks as time goes on. I’m a bit wary of putting my original fiction out into the world, but I may eventually do that (Pikestaff has and you should check it out) in the hopes that I can actually deal with the criticism when it inevitably comes about, but for the time being I will stick to instructional stuff. I’ll most likely leave gold guides to more capable individuals like the Gold Queen (if you aren’t following her, you should be), though it may not hurt too much to stick a foot in the ocean, so to speak.

If Engineers keep whining that they can’t make money from their profession, anyway (HAVE YOU SEEN PET PRICES!?).

Do you have eBooks available on your site?  Let me know – I’d be happy to link to your pages from here and spread the love, especially if you have some roleplay guides going.  The WoW blogosphere is blessed with a great variety of roleplayers with varying writing styles and approaches, and I’m all for spreading the love.

So, yes, that’s what I’m working on behind the scenes here, when I’m not drowning in coursework or being mauled by the cat.

My questions to my readers are:

  1. What are things that you would want a new roleplayer to know? General things.
  2. What are things you’d want a new WoW roleplayer to know?
  3. What are your favourite resources for writers?

Bullying: It’s a Thing, Even in WoW

Lodur over at Way of the Totem posted about (Trigger Warning for mention of suicide and other related things) his experiences with bullying and an instance run this evening brought the topic to mind again.

I’m a fat chick.  I was bullied as a kid because of my weight and because of my interest in “boy’s toys” (hint: toys are toys they are not meant for one gender at a time), so the subject of bullying is one that hits close to home.  Any one of us that doesn’t fit societal “norms” is bullied every day by the media and the idea that what we are isn’t “normal”, but that’s another topic for another day.

Over the past decade or so, online bullying has stepped into the spotlight, and rightfully so – anonymity of the internet makes it so much easier for people to say nasty shit and not suffer the consequences.  The concentration tends to be on getting the victim to “buck up”, to not be so “weak”, and it’s rarely on the bully to … fix their shit and stop being a dick.

As a result, it is considered acceptable to be a jerk on the internet and that just isn’t right.  It’s a set of behaviours that the gaming community seems to support by virtue of not stepping up and saying “that is not okay”, or by turning the complaint around to hurt the victim of the behaviour.  When a woman says “I did not like the behaviour of this major gamer toward me”, the proper response is to call him out on his shit, not to tell the woman, “Well, you came into this hobby knowing what to expect so you should just deal”.

Several weeks ago, I wound up in a Wailing Caverns with a bunch of people including a low-level druid.  The druid decided to go bear form, and I was annoyed at first because he wasn’t the tank, so I expressed my annoyance and received no response.  It wasn’t until he got lost by running off to kill raptors on his own that I realized he was new to the game and my attitude changed entirely – I ran off after him and got him to follow me to where the rest of the party was, and I started giving him advice alongside the tank.  He seemed to warm up to us, and the guy that wanted to call him names was shot down relatively quickly.  The run was pleasant, despite the silly stuff that was happening, and I learned a valuable lesson.

A lot of us are far too quick to jump on somebody for being “bad” at this game, when we’ve had years to get used to how it works, years to understand its mechanics and the resources available to get better.  A lot of people immediately jump to insulting someone’s intelligence, their home life, their sexuality, and everything under the sun over their performance in a video game.  This is not acceptable.  I do not care if you are in a high-end raiding guild that’s pushing progression content, it does not give you license to be an asshole to your fellow humans.

Last night, I ran into an individual who felt that “retard” was a totally cool thing to call somebody that didn’t seem to understand the game.  Another low-level druid was not doing very well when it came to dealing damage (people actually pay attention to damage meters in Stockades, really?) and seemed to be utterly clueless about what they were doing.  The shaman in the group decided it was a great idea to be an asshole to this person and call them a “retard”, I reported them, and both times a vote -kick was initiated I turned it down (I’m assuming the healer did, too, as I think he was of a similar mindset to me).  At the end of the run, I told the druid where he could find guides on balance druidry and wished him better luck with other runs.

There’s a real person on the other side of that computer monitor.  You don’t know what their life is like, you don’t know if they’re using the game to escape from a shitty home life or anything about them, really, and assuming the worst – getting on the offensive right from the get-go – isn’t awesome at all, it’s just plain shitty.

Bullying is a problem, online and off, and it will continue to be a problem as long as we, as a community and as a species, continue to support the bully’s right to say whatever they want to without consequences … and as long as we continue to just let the victims flap in the wind.

WtmN: Mama Bear and the Dissatisfied Spouse Player

[ Unlike the last bout, this one doesn’t really have a firm timeline - it happened so long ago that only bits and pieces are still fresh in my mind, so I’ve put it back together as best I can. People that remember the whole thing better than I do are more than welcome to comment without naming names! ]

Once upon a time, there was a young Troll rogue who fell in love with a young Troll shaman. It was a whirlwind romance full of danger that lead to a really quick marriage and immediately resulted in a child. Between the marriage and the birth of the child, there was all sorts of stuff happening – even a case or two of amnesia! – and the rogue had to walk the path of a mage when one of the bouts of danger left him physically unfit for hand-to-hand combat.

One day, the rogue-turned-mage and his mate drifted apart, and he took his father and together they had many happy adventures.

The story is not quite so simple as that, of course, as none of my stories ever are. I knew a player, back in my early days on Thorium Brotherhood (before I understood the patterns of behaviour that I understand today) who was highly respected in the community on Alliance side. She lead a guild (several over the course of years), had lots of roleplay going on, all of that, but seemed to have a hard time getting started on Horde-side.

I supported her as best as I could. She would complain to me on a regular basis that nobody read her stories, or seemed to like her roleplay, and I would tell her that wasn’t true and I would try to pick her up after these bouts of self-pity. I greatly respected her and thought she was a really good writer and roleplayer! I felt extremely lucky to be considered somebody she wanted to roleplay with!

She liked my rogue, a young Troll who had borrowed the name Torrington after an accident left him without the memory of his real name. As time went on he would gradually recall bits and pieces of his background. He was a nervous fellow who was terrible with women and not very good at sneaking.

The other player had a shaman who was young, inexperienced, “pretty”, and terrible with men. It was love between these characters fairly early on and I enjoyed playing their awkward meetings and misunderstandings, and I even had fun with some of the plots that this player came up with. Some were a tad odd, that was for sure! I was too inexperienced to really care at the time, so I just went along with it.

In the back of my mind I kept noting that every plot was about her characters, that was where the spotlight had to go, and this didn’t strike me as obvious until a plot where her Night Elf rogue’s Troll form (used for safely visiting her Troll lover) was taken over by Hakkar, or something, and targeted the rogue’s girlfriend. I do not recall the details, but I did have Torrington suffer some consequences for what was going on, too.

I think it was around this time, or not long after it, that the Night Elf went back to Alliance-side, for the most part. Her Moonglade home – where she and the Troll were staying – was attacked (blown up for reasons I forget) and the Troll was terribly injured as a result. Now, great roleplay could have stemmed from this as the Troll’s crew (he was a pirate), along with his daughter (one of my characters), went in for the kill for revenge against whoever planted the bomb; instead, the Night Elf’s sister (played by the problem player) whisked the now-amnesiac Night Elf away and shoo’d the Horde folk who had an injured friend and father – a man who might not have awakened from unconsciousness – away saying that the whole thing was going to be dealt with by her.

Hey, little Kezeyah risked her life to get to Moonglade to see her dad, she should’ve had some opportunity to do something! Alas.

By then, Torrington had married his sweetheart and she became pregnant on their first night together. I had agreed to them having kids, but thought it odd that it was so quick – oh well! It’s roleplay! What does it matter?

The player had a child of her own, and because of this and knowing that she had a busy real-life schedule, I would frequently tell her that I was open to roleplay, she just had to let me know when she was free. I wasn’t going to bother her too much because her real life is far more important. Naturally, the roleplay started dwindling, and when it did occur it was a lot of cuddling between Torrington and his pregnant wife, with occasional bouts of him assuring her that she was a good (person/healer/mother/insert other role here) or trying to convince her to stay with the Harbingers of War (she left and re-joined the guild at least three times in the time I knew her).

During one of this player’s bouts of dissatisfaction with World of Warcraft – during which they left for a short time – I asked if, since she was leaving as far as I knew, my character and hers could go their separate ways. This was agreed to. When she came back, the character felt bad enough about leaving that he begged to have her back and the character agreed! This, however, put me back into the rut I was in with the character to begin with, due to the really stagnant relationship.

I was still very open to roleplay with this person, but again, she had real life responsibilities and since I did not know her schedule, it was up to her to let me know. I did not want to be one of those players that was a huge pain in the arse over getting roleplay.

I would find out that this wasn’t good enough in a very unusual way.

Someone prodded me one day and linked me to her OOC livejournal. They said, “You might want to see this,” and I looked. What did I see? Public, unlocked complaining about how I never played my character, how he was an alt, and how her roleplay was stagnating.

I posted, letting her know that I had no idea she felt this way, why didn’t she tell me? We could work something out! I had PM’d her over the community forum, even, and…

In the end, I decided to walk away.

I came to a realization in my communication with this player: She was bad news.

The blame and responsibility for the OOC issues were placed upon me, in her mind, from what her PM told me. Her roleplay attempted to put her character(s) in the spotlight at all times and that didn’t sit well with me. Amnesia was used as a plot device more often than I can count. On top of that, the relationship between my character and hers felt very much like wish fulfillment fantasy from her end.

She deleted her character’s livejournal account not long after I opted to walk away, and then set her sights on a friend of mine since I did not give much fodder for drama. I do not remember the entire story from his side, so if he’d like to do a guest post sometime, I’d welcome that!

I learned a set of valuable lessons from this player:

1. Communicate. Even if something seems like a small issue (my dissatisfaction with the relationship, her dissatisfaction with the amount of roleplay she was getting), if it bothers you, bring it up. It saves a lot of trouble.

2. Plots that make the action all about one person tend to be kind of boring unless the plot is well-orchestrated.

3. Amnesia does not work the way most roleplayers think it does, and if one must use it, use it sparingly.

4. Only get two characters involved in a relationship if you trust the other player.

To my knowledge, she still plays on Thorium Brotherhood as a hyperactive-and-overly-”adorable”-when-convenient-and-mature-when-that’s-convenient Tauren hunter that’s loved and adored by her guild (and doesn’t tend to interact outside it).

The Troll pirate and I still roleplay together on occasion, and we’re also very, very close.

The pirate crew is scattered about but still partially in contact, as far as I know, and the other friends I have that were involved with this Troll roleplayer have also – for the most part – run far, far away from her. Wherever she went, she left a lot of irritated roleplayers in her wake.

~Fin~

Born on Thorium Brotherhood, Refuse to Die There

I am the Warcaller of the Harbingers of War.

That is to say, Matojo is the Warcaller of the Harbingers of War and I am the person that people look to to make decisions about the guild and its future.

HoW is the thing that brings me back to WoW over and over again. The people in that guild have helped keep me relatively sane over the past five years, and I guess it was inevitable that I’d wind up as the figurehead, so to speak, of the guild – if all those people disappeared entirely from my world I don’t know what I would do, it makes sense that I’m also now in a position where people think I’m in charge.

The guild is a strange beast in that the Warcaller isn’t, on an OOC level, actually the boss. Yeah, they make the final decisions on things and their word is the word of God, so to speak, but the entire guild is the sort of environment where everybody listens to one another and we’re all huge perverts. I’m not treated like a boss, I’m treated like a friend, and that’s pretty cool. It also helps that we haven’t had drama since we had to kick somebody out for being a terrible stalker and not understanding the IC/OOC divide, so none of us have really had to put on our Office Faces.

So, when members speak up on how Thorium Brotherhood no longer feels like a roleplay server, and that being on Wyrmrest Accord has really made them miss their TB characters – I’m listening, because I feel the same way.

Up until last year, I believed that the only reason people couldn’t find roleplay on Thorium Brotherhood and other old roleplay servers was because they weren’t looking hard enough, or they had developed such a horrible reputation that nobody wanted to roleplay with them. In some cases, this is still true – but there are, I realize, situations where the roleplay has gone so far underground that the environment is no longer a good one for public roleplay.

Things on TB were great until Cataclysm burn-out took place, and then a lot of people wandered off – even myself. I’m still toying with some free-to-play games, SW:TOR (though it doesn’t play nice with my system), and poking at WoW when the feeling hits me.

There does come a point in a server’s life where roleplayers are pushed out by those who do not understand the server classification system, by those who grief whatever roleplay they find (thinking it to be a terrible, terrible crime), and similar issues. It starts small, when people give up on reporting anti-RP behaviour because Blizzard’s reliance on communities to police themselves and report until their fingers hurt is not particularly effective. Then, gradually, that behaviour pushes people underground until they’re afraid to roleplay out in the open (because the griefing is that painful) or, in this expansion’s case, the roleplay trails off as people become tired of the game. When people were trying to tell us that the server was dead oh, at the launch of Cataclysm, they were incorrect. If someone told me that roleplay was, for the most part, dead now I would have to agree.

Bringing roleplay out into the open and cultivating an environment that’s friendly to roleplay and supportive of those that choose to engage in it is a lot of work. It requires patience, it requires time, it requires resources – things that most of us, right now, don’t have. If someone took it upon themselves, right now, to say, “I’m going to do my best to help cultivate a positive environment for roleplay on Thorium Brotherhood,” I would support them. I would be more supportive of someone new doing it because, chances are, they would not deny me the chance to offer said support – but if someone current was doing it I’d support them, too, if they’d let me. ;)

Right now, most of us just do not have the time, energy, spoons or fucks to give to do this. I spent several years attempting to contribute, even if I wasn’t in a very good mental place to contribute much, and I am not in a place where I can do it anymore.

I am not going to tell people not to roll on Thorium Brotherhood. There are still some good people there, and the server will gain new people as time goes on that are also decent. If you roll there for roleplay, be prepared to put a lot of work into the community and be prepared to do a lot of reporting and a lot of fighting for your space.

We do not have the energy to do that fighting anymore.

There’s the hope that Mists of Pandaria will bring some life back as roleplayers that left for other games will return to see the new content, but a lot of us aren’t holding our breath. I’m hoping. MoP is going to change a lot of stuff, after all!

It may not be enough.

I am looking for a new home for the Harbingers of War in the hopes that we can continue our stories in a more roleplay-friendly environment. This week, I will start poking at servers that have been recommended to me by dear_gnome on Livejournal, testing the waters and  getting information that I can then pass on to my harbies. I’m also working on amassing a small fortune so that any Harbingers that decide to re-roll instead of transferring will have some gold and bags waiting for them in the freshly-transferred guild.

With any luck, if we decide to move, we’ll be continuing our adventures and going back to doing what we do best – yelling drunkenly at passers-by.