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?

Add-On Spotlight: MySales

I have been reading The Gold Queen for quite a while now, and because of Alyzande’s Must-Have Add-ons post (which I recommend a lot), I staggered upon MySales, an add-on that tracks what you’ve sold, how many, and how much gold you’ve managed to make from it.

The MySales window.

Ta-da! In no particular order.

I love this add-on.

MySales allows you to look at the following statistics:

  • Sales
  • Buyers
  • Items

The Sales window shows the item name, how much money was made from the sale, who bought it, and when it sold. At the bottom of the window, your total number of sales and the amount of money you’ve made are displayed.

The Buyers window lists all the players that have purchased items from you and how much they’ve spent, as well as how many items they have bought from you.  The bottom of this window displays the number of buyers that you’ve had — and if a character has been deleted, the name is blank.

Lastly, the Items window lists each item you’ve ever sold, how many of each item you’ve sold, and how much money you’ve made from the item as well as how much you’ve earned per sale.  If the prices were different, I think that what it does is just divides the total by how many you’ve sold.

This add-ons options can be found by typing /ms, with /ms window bringing up the previously mentioned windows.  In the configuration window (/ms config), you can set “people of interest” so that certain player names stand out (if, for example, you’re monitoring that well-known glyph seller who keeps buying out all the cheap glyphs and flipping them).  The core configuration tab is made up of very basic options, and even allows you to only show certain types of buyer — guildmates, friends, and people of interest.

If you want to track what’s selling and what your profits are like from different items, I suggest this add-on.  It’s excellent for that, and it’s helping me figure out what I need to buy when I do my rounds — items that sell regularly are what I keep in stock, while items that aren’t selling, or that sell at lower prices, I don’t worry about so much.  I use this add-on alongside Accountant Classic, which I use because it shows non-auction data.  I can track incoming and outgoing gold that’s completely unrelated to my markets, like from quest rewards, loot, repairs, trading, merchants, etc.

Anyway, I highly recommend checking out MySales and giving it a try.  It’s a wonderful tool that should be part of every gold-making toolkit.

 

Dear Guild Leaders: Don’t Ignore Your Members’ Concerns

A new individual joined a roleplaying guild.  Existing members of said guild, who knew this roleplayer and had a history with them, expressed concern and offered proof of the individual’s ill fit with the guild to the leader.  Instead of taking and considering this information, the guild leader refused it, so the concerned individuals then said, “Alright, but we are not going to RP with this person, we are going to have to ignore them, but we will be polite.”

What did the guild leader do?

a. Change their tune and ask to see the information that made the concerned react this way.
b. Accept this, with the understanding that they would have to quietly deal with whatever fall-out would occur.
c. Chide the concerned individuals for causing drama and give them the boot.

If you answered anything but ‘c’, you are wrong.

This is not nearly the correct way to deal with this situation.

Once the potential problem member is accepted, you have two options:  You can take a look at the evidence, then wait and see what happens and if the person actually does show their ass … or you can take a look at the evidence and if it does worry you, you can tell them they are not a good fit and it’s time to go.  That is what the Harbingers wound up doing with the Ranger who gave a friend and, eventually, myself, some problems last year — the leadership took the evidence of their final blow-up in channel and decided it was time for them to go.  You absolutely do not ignore your members’ concerns because that is a douche move.

When anybody essentially says “I cannot deal with this person and will have to stay away from them”, the correct response is not the one that makes that person into the bad guy.  If one of your members, or several, have to ignore or stay away from another person within the guild, chances are there is an issue that needs to somehow be addressed.

There is no easy way to do this.  If you accept the need to ignore the problem individual and that individual then turns around and throws a fit upon finding out that they are being ignored, you will need to step in.  You will need to be firm.  You will need to express the importance of keeping such personal issues between those involved and keeping the drama away from everyone else, and you will need to state, quite plainly, that they are to leave those people alone.

Or, you can avoid the problem entirely by admitting that a mistake was made in admitting the individual into the guild, that you have found that they are not a good fit, and then send them packing.  Can this create other problems?  Of course.  If the problem player has a reputation in the outside world, however, the chances of this coming back to bite you are extremely low.

Punishing people for trying to protect themselves from shit hitting the fan, however, is not cool.

I definitely will not be involving myself with the guild in question when I am able to get back onto my account because I simply cannot support a leader that can’t see the danger in what they are doing.

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.

World of Warcraft Roleplay Guide: Trolls!

I’ve been roleplaying as a Troll in World of Warcraft for years, and in that time, things have changed a fair bit, both in terms of characterization and the politics surrounding Troll tribes.  This guide is made up of a combination of personal experience and information from sites like WoWpedia.  Not everybody likes the way I play my Trolls, so you’re more than welcome to ignore everything I say here if you choose — this is simply a resource and a way for me to help folks that may be clueless, but want to try playing a Troll anyway.  It’s a very basic jumping-off point.

If you have suggestions on sections to include, information to add, that sort of thing, please comment and let me know.

To navigate this guide and get to the section you want, hit CTRL + F (Command + F on a Mac) and type the name of the section you want to get to — or read the whole thing!

Troll Bouquet Guide to Troll Roleplay

1.  Troll Types and Tribes
2.  Troll Character Classes
3.  Trolls and the Other Races
4.  Trolls in the Horde
5.  Trolls and their Loa
6.  Conclusion

 

Troll Types and Tribes

In World of Warcraft, there are a variety of Troll types that inhabit every conceivable location of Azeroth.  There are jungle trolls, forest trolls, sand trolls, dark trolls, and ice trolls; of these, two jungle troll tribes and one forest troll tribes are part of or allied to the Horde — Darkspear and Shatterspear for jungle trolls, Revantusk for forest trolls.

Jungle troll tribes are the Darkspear, Bloodscalp, Skullsplitter, Gurubashi, and Shatterspear.  Forest troll tribes are Amani, Revantusk, Vilebranch, Mossflayer, Witherbark, and Smolderthorn.  Ice troll tribes are the Drakkari, Frostmane, and Winterax. The Sandfury are the only sand troll tribe, while the ShadowTooth are the only mentioned dark troll tribe.

The Hakkari and Atal’ai are priest sects of worshippers of Hakkar, not separate tribes of Jungle troll.

Troll Character Classes

As of World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, trolls can play any class except for Paladin.  Blizzard is worried that the awesomeness of Troll paladins would cause the game to implode, so they have not been implemented (yet)*.

As warriors, they are protectors and berserkers; vicious, plate-clad defenders of their tribes and/or the Horde, or even their families or whatever other cause they may champion.  As warlocks, they are feared hexxers, demonologists, destructive casters that sow fear and confusion in their foes.  As mages, they are masters of frost, fire, and the arcane — tricksters with their illusions and dangerous with their grasp of devastating magics.  Their shamans bargain with the elements and demonstrate their connections to the spirits of Azeroth with impressive displays of combat prowess: from lightning-throwing Elementalists to chain-clad melee warriors whose fists crackle with electricity, to the smirking, totem-tossing healer whose spells mend wounds with a splash of cool water.  Their priests, too, are masters of the hex and of healing; their rituals are unknown to orcs, tauren, the forsaken, and the elves, and even if they knew, they’d never be allowed to witness, for these are rituals that are ancient and sacred to the trolls.  The druids, fairly new among the trolls of the Horde, but not in practice, lash out with tooth and claw, or with the burning light of the sun and moon; they are friends of the natural world, though their presence in the Cenarion Circle is somewhat contested.  Then, you have troll rogues: sneaky, stabbity, doing the work that nobody else really wants to do.  Trolls have some of the most cunning rogues of the Horde.  Lastly, but certainly not least in my eyes, the Death Knights of troll-kind are looked upon with revulsion by troll and non-troll alike — a combination of hatred of the unnatural nature of the undead, and the lingering fear that even those in the arms of Samedi are not safe from the terror of being wrenched from the grave.

In short:  Trolls have a lot to choose from with regard to their character classes, and a lot of options for concepts based upon those classes.

Trolls and the Other Races

Troll relationships with the other races of Azeroth are fairly complex.  The Trolls’ ability to hate is pretty much legendary, and any wrongs are remembered for generations.

The Darkspear have no love for the other Jungle Troll tribes and can be considered hostile to all other Tribes that are not Horde-loyal, so it can be expected that any non-Darkspear that try to join the Horde will not be treated well by their Darkspear cousins.  Any enemy of their allies is an enemy to themselves, so the vast majority of Trolls will not be fond of any members of the Alliance, and some may still hold the intense hatred from their ancestors’ dealings with the Kaldorei (the Night Elves’ defeat of the Trolls’ Twin Empires caused the splintering of said Empires into the various tribes known today).  Hatred of the other Alliance races can depend upon the individual Troll and his or her run-ins with the enemy.

When it comes to the Darkspear and their interaction with the races of the Horde, things get a bit simpler.  They do not trust the undead, which are abominations in the eyes of their Loa Bwonsamdi (Samedi), and are extremely manipulative; the trolls believe that the undead will cause a hell of a lot of trouble.  They have a fair bit of respect for the Tauren and some may still have respect for the Orcs, but that respect is or has waned due to the treatment of Trolls by Garrosh and his ilk (if you haven’t noticed, the Darkspear are relegated to “slums” and the Echo Isles/Sen’jin).  Their opinions of the Blood Elves are not entirely certain — some like them, some hate them, all for varying reasons that range from their abuse of fel to their general attitudes toward everything (Blood Elves are jerks).  Goblins, too, aren’t entirely clear — but since they’re helping to pollute Orgrimmar and have upped the number of explosions that rock the city on a daily basis, I cannot imagine the Darkspear liking those little buggers very much.

Trolls in the Horde

The only tribes that are officially members of the Horde are the Darkspear, Shatterspear, and Revantusk.  The Shatterspear have been nearly wiped out in their fight against the Night Elves, while the Revantusk hold their Hinterlands home against the Wildhammer and other Forest Trolls of the area.  The Darkspear are in a rather unpleasant place right now among the Horde, since Garrosh is not fond of them or their leader — but they’ve never been stronger.  They have their Echo Isles back, and they’re training their whelps in all forms of combat in preparation for their becoming part of the Horde war machine.

The average non-Troll generally is not able to tell the difference between the Darkspear/Shatterspear and other Jungle Trolls, or the Revantusk and other Forest Trolls. Sand Trolls, Zandalari, Ice Trolls and Dark Trolls stand out for varying reasons including size, skin colour, and differing temperament from the rest of their kind (Ice Trolls are generally more vicious, especially the Drakkari, which is why they live so far from other tribes to begin with).

I know that the question you really want answered is, “Can a non-Darkspear, non-Shatterspear, or non-Revantusk join the Horde?”

The answer that most people will give you is “No”.  Instead, I tend to say, “It depends”.

A non-Usual-Horde-Troll could get away with it if they pretended to be one of their Horde Troll cousins, or if they were in Horde lands as part of a neutral organization.  A Drakkari Troll advertising what he is to the general populace is going to (or should) get killed.  An Amani Troll stating that no, no, he’s definitely Revantusk (even though the idea makes him physically ill) is less likely to be killed on sight (unless some Sin’dorei or another Revantusk calls his bluff).

Goblin cartels use other races as servants, cheap labour, slaves, and for whatever other jobs they don’t want to do themselves.  For a non-Horde Troll to be involved with a Goblin organization or other neutral party is not impossible, especially if they have skills that would be useful to that party and if their beliefs are in line with the beliefs of that group.  When creating a non-Darkspear, non-Shatterspear, or non-Revantusk Troll to be played within the Horde, consider whether or not that particular tribe would stand out from the rest of the Trolls (Zandalari are now considered hostile, Sandfury are hostile, Dark Trolls are considered hostile but have never been seen in WoW, and Ice/Frost Trolls are also hostile — all are relatively obvious in comparison to the others as not Horde).  A Bloodscalp or Skullsplitter is more likely to pass for Darkspear than a Sandfury.

Trolls and Their Loa

Most Trolls practice voodoo and follow the Loa, powerful spirits — not Gods — that are based upon the Loa/Lwa of Haitian Vodoun.  They are not easy to please and demand offerings, sacrifice, and ritual in exchange for their favours.  They often work in rather mysterious ways and occasionally not the way that’s expected.

Known Loa are detailed here on WoWpedia.  The Loa are thought to be jealous, preferring their followers to only stick to one Loa at a time, though this is not always the case and each Troll’s situation may be different.  The closeness of a Troll to their Loa is also something to be dealt with on a case-by-case basis, as not all Trolls will be particularly attached, while some will be viciously so.  This is an area that is flexible: perhaps your Troll feels the Loa are ignoring him because of things that have happened in his life, or perhaps she feels exceptionally blessed and wants to share that with everyone.

Conclusion

Trolls in World of Warcraft are a very detailed, very interesting race, without need of adding extra sparkle to make them “special”.  There are enough ways of roleplaying them that are supported by existing lore that anyone that really wants to play a Troll (and have an interesting character) can do so without having to resort to making them half-Tauren, or without giving them colour-changing eyes and other ridiculous frills.

For more information, check out the entire history of the Trolls on WoWpedia — we are dealing with a race that is tens of thousands of years old, and has had plenty of time to grow and develop.

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?

Hybrids in World of Warcraft: A Roleplay Guide to Half-Somethings

[TW: Veiled reference to sexual assault.]

 

 

This article is a slightly edited version of a previous guide that was located on the old Troll Bouquet server. The general idea is the same, the language may have changed.

Roleplayers in any medium like to be unique. Some take it upon themselves to create a character that is a hybrid of two races in their particular game – a half-elf, for example – and, although this isn’t a bad thing, it is often done so terribly that many roleplayers won’t even give such a character the time of day, let alone screen time. World of Warcraft provides several opportunities to play such a character without actually breaking the game’s lore, while providing interesting story possibilities and without making too much of a “special snowflake”.

I’m going to get one thing out of the way first: Unless the race is mentioned in this article, it either a) cannot happen or b) the two races have not been exposed to each other long enough to produce offspring that would currently be adults. I do not encourage people to play children in WoW (this is another post), and I also think most people would prefer not to play an infant. I mean, to each their own, but that would be really boring.

There may be exceptions that appear unlikely on the surface, but these should not be attempted by somebody that’s new to the game and unfamiliar with the lore. 

What Hybrids are Available in World of Warcraft?

General Racial Information: This post on the Wyrmrest Accord forums has some great information on the (Horde) races of Azeroth. Bookmark it, read it, love it.

Half-Orc Half-Draenei

A half-orc born on Draenor could be the product of a union between an orc and draenei. The likelihood of this being a wanted union would be somewhere between slim and none, so it would be worthwhile to keep this in mind when pondering the character’s backstory. These characters would look more like their Orcish parent, since Orc genetics seem to take over everything, though they would not age nearly as quickly and they could be larger than other Orcs – perhaps not quite as thick.

What to research: The Draenei settlement of Draenor and orcish/draenei relations of the time.

Example: Garona Halforcen is half-Draenei, half-Orc. Raku, my Orc hunter on Thorium Brotherhood, was also half-Draenei. The potential half-Orc half-Draenei could have been born on Draenor as a result of Gul’dan’s projects, artificially aged and brought through the portal – or the result of an Orcish attack on a Draenei settlement. There are several options.

Half-Orc Half-Human

A half-orc born on Azeroth could be the result of relations between an orc and a human. Again, this would be a less-than-ideal partnership as humans and orcs have never not been at war. Your half-orc, in this case, could be from the Hillsbrad camps – before the Forsaken wiped out Hillsbrad’s human population, there would have been around 450 half-orcs living there – or from as far back as the First War, when the Orcs came through the Dark Portal.

What to research: Half-orcs, the First War, the Second War, the internment camps.

Example: Drann from the WoW RPG. There are not a lot of other examples in the WoW universe, unfortunately.

Half-Elf Half-Human

Half-elves are offspring of humans and elves, usually Quel’dorei (High Elves), and live longer than their human parent but not as long as the elven side of the family. Their appearance varies only slightly: they will either appear as humans of slight build or High Elves of thicker build than their fellows. If a half-elf joined Kael’thas and stayed with the elves in Silvermoon after things went to hell there, that half-elf would have green eyes and be Sin’dorei. The vast majority of half-elves are Alliance-aligned, however, so the chance of this is very small and they would have to do their best to hide the fact that they have human blood.

What to research: Half-elves, humans, high elves, blood elves. You really need to understand the difference between a high elf and a blood elf (it’s political, cultural and related to their magical addictions).

Example: Alodi, from the comics, and Arator the Redeemer in Hellfire Peninsula.

Half-Ogre Half Human

Since Ogres crossed over into Azeroth via the Dark Portal over twenty years ago, half-human ogres may actually exist. They would have rounder ears than humans, pinker skin, and their tusks would not be as large as their ogre parent. Their eyes would also be larger than their human parent’s.

A half-ogre would most likely result from the ogres’ attacks on human settlements, as no human would willingly choose to bed one, and the resulting offspring would have to be 24-28 years of age or younger.

What to research: Half-human half-ogre, ogres, humans.

Examples: There are no half-ogre half-human characters in World of Warcraft or the RPG.

Half-Ogre Half-Orc

Ogres and orcs are natives of Draenor – and don’t like each other one bit. As a result, there are many half-ogre half-orcs roaming about, as evidenced by the Mok’Nathal in Outland.

At one time, the orcs purposely bred half-ogres in order to combine the power of an ogre with the intelligence of an orc, unfortunately, half-ogres are far more stubborn than either of their parent races . The half-ogre population dwindled as many orcs lacked any interest in breeding with the ogres, and who could really blame them?

Half-ogres possess features that are a fair mix of their orc and ogre parents; they’re approximately as big as tauren, if not bigger, and are broad-shouldered individuals with thick skulls, big lower jaws (with large tusks), and small black eyes. Half-ogres are often mistaken for smaller ogres.

What to research: Half-ogre half-orcs, ogres, orcs.

Examples: Rexxar, Leoroxx.

Playing a Hybrid: General Information

When playing a hybrid, one has to remember that many hybrid races did not come about because of happy sexy funtimes – they exist because terrible things happened. They’re often made up of races that, with the exception of humans and elves, absolutely hate each other. The only hybrid that has any possible respect? The mok’nathal, or half-ogre half-orc.

Most hybrids will not brag about their background, especially as a half-elf among the Horde or a half-orc half-draenei among … anywhere. They may try to outperform members of their parent races, they may have a stubborn streak a mile wide and they will definitely exhibit aspects of both parent races in personality and in appearance. Some may even make an effort to hide what they are with the clothing that they wear.

Before deciding to create a hybrid, do some research on the parent races and read the articles I’ve linked here. I’ve given a general idea of timelines in many cases, so try to stick to those as best you can and be open to the fact that not everybody will like your character – if your character is open about what they are, expect and embrace the drama that’s bound to develop.

If you have questions, feel free to post them, I’ll answer to the best of my ability!

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?

Why Roleplayers Never Forget

Roleplayers have a very long memory for drama.

We aren’t the only ones; I’m fairly certain everyone remembers events that stand out in their minds, good and bad, and that more people have a memory for drama than would care to admit.  My dramatic memory extends to the beginning of my time on Thorium Brotherhood – I may not be able to remember how our characters met, but I can remember all the ridiculous crap that has happened to me before and since.

Why is this the case?  Why do we so vividly remember this crap that made our blood boil back in the day?  Why is it that we can recall some of the most heinous crimes other roleplayers perpetuated against us, but other events are so damned hard to recall?

It’s because we’re storytellers.

Just like reporters on the local news, we’ve discovered that stories that showcase the worst of roleplay are far more interesting than those that make things out to be completely reasonable and wonderful.  We are, at our core, lovers of the train wreck and for each and every one we stand there in awe of the carnage that’s going on before us.

I know it’s hard to admit.  It’s hard to admit that you feel a slight thrill whenever you see something going on (in someone else’s roleplay or out of character life, that is) that’s so utterly ridiculous that it is almost a dark comedy.  It’s hard to admit that you secretly enjoy the call-outs of the people that think you’re the worst person to ever walk the server because you know they’re wrong and that the problem is them, not you.  It’s hard to admit that you love seeing those posts on dear_gnome that call out bad roleplay, or that talk about the silly things other people have done (raiding drama stories, anyone?) in-game.

We don’t forget these things because they remind us of why we’re careful, or why we don’t do certain plots anymore, or why we don’t roleplay with certain people.  They remind us why certain behaviours are troublesome, and they provide us with tales to regale the younger roleplayers with, or they serve as explainations for those roleplayers who just cannot understand why you’re cringing at the way that other person is behaving toward them.  You can say, come here, dear, and let me tell you of that one time when someone acted the exact same way and what it lead to.

Maybe, just maybe, your drama can save someone else from drama.

The above is why I collect, share, and remember tales of my own drama.  I figure that if I can help prevent just one person from going through the same sorts of drama that I’ve dealt with, then maybe the crap I’ve gone through wasn’t so bad after all.  This isn’t to say that my personal issues are because of internet drama – some of them are, but I know that my stories are far, far more tame than what some have gone through, and other peoples’ stories started like some of mine.  The difference between my tame stories and those of people who wound up with a hell of a lot more baggage?  There isn’t much.  Given an extra few days, I may have wound up in the same boat (or ship).

It isn’t that we’re jerks or that we like to look for reasons to suffer, it’s that we’re storytellers and we collect these tales as little reminders, or as entertainment.  In most cases, those events that were so horribly annoying at the time they played out aren’t quite so bad when we look back.

Events as the Night Elf getting angry at Matojo for declaring his love to her Troll lover over Booty Bay, all in jest, because it took attention away from her for fifteen minutes (that same Troll whose player has caused me many, many late nights because I just don’t want to sign off Skype, not yet, okay), or the stories I’ve already told here. Those stories, which were so bloody irritating when they took place, now sit in my personal history as “oh man do you remember when” moments that I can share with the friends who aren’t completely sick of hearing about them.  Of course, that example was most likely more troublesome for the Troll’s player – I honestly don’t know.  If he told me, I forgot, but asking him again just gives me an excuse to make him talk about something.  >_>

What about you?  Do you have stories, roleplay-related or otherwise, that you fall back on and frequently share because of reasons like the above?  Why are they so memorable for you?

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.