Thursday, May 21, 2009

In Search of AR-PEE?

WoW can be a strange beast sometimes. I have pushed what I can be bothered to do with Sunraven as far as it goes on our PvE server. I've got titles, I've levelled fishing, I'm got decent equipment and I am casually raiding Ulduar. There's not a whole helluva lot more to do apart from raiding and no incentive to farm, as I have more money than God. Even the Argent Tournament doesn't seem so much of a temptation, now that I have 50 pets, my Gruntling and a cool banner.

'A Cool Banner' is a very strange phrase. I've found that one of the things that I have been doing is gathering more and more roleplay-style bits of fluff for Sunraven, for no purpose other that something to do. So she has a nice wardrobe of dresses, the now-defunct Ruby Shades and some other tat. Its all fun, but with no real purpose apart from tarting around Org in a dress. Like I said, a strange beast.

However, it is a lot of fun and I decided that I would take this urge to play the game in a slightly different way and use it to try one final experiment on the dread WoW RP servers! I've been here before. I played a dwarf warrior on a RPPVP server for a while which was kind of fun, but got swamped by other things. I have tried twice again to start a Night Elf Druid, but they have failed miserably because I lost my temper with the RP-Nazis in the starting areas. This would be my last throw of the MMO-RP-G dice.

Now in the spirit of managing expectations, I'll outline what I am looking for in this 'RP'. What I want is a crucible to experience the game world through a different pair of eyes. A different focus. So rather than considering what I do with everything focusing on what my mechanical output is and whether I am doing the game 'properly', I want to do it 'realistically' from an RP P.O.V.

So what does that mean? Well, my character is Vudunn, a male troll shaman. As a one liner background for him, he was raised by goblins in Ratchett and is seeking the true Troll home, guided by the spirits. He's an engineer - from his goblin background - and has a tiny little pyromaniacal streak, giving him the nickname 'Da Boom! Boom!' Nothing earth shattering there.

So in-game, I have tried to interact with and 'do' as many of the troll or goblin areas as I can, whilst avoiding as much of bloody Silverpine and Tarren Mill as I can. Its not totally possible - just mostly possible. I have a plan, about my ongoing quest through Zul Farrak, Sunken Temple, Zul Gurub, Zul Aman and into Northrend. Its all there, to be done.

I'm part of a guild, the Shadowbranch Tribe - an ad hoc tribe of trolls who have no home and wander Azeroth, searching for their home. Hey, thats cool, that fits with my backstory. Score one for the writing team! They are a canny bunch of people and they take their 'RP' seriously. So seriously that in-guild chat is carried out in the faux-Jamacian patois of the game. Which can be fun, but can also be very tiring when you aren't in the mood.

As with Sunraven, items become very important - because they form more who you appear to be, rather than what you are capable of doing. My engineers goggles are far more in keeping with my character than an early leather helm, so they have stayed. I have some kit that I wear 'off quest' which are my Shaman robes - I even have a cool troll shaman off-hand staff frill. Part of the game is looking for and gathering stuff like this and its a part that I really enjoy. I'm looking forward to trying to get my voodoo mask and robes at later levels!

However, I have yet to encounter the famed WoW 'RP'. It happens, apparently, in Silvermoon City. It happens in Dalaran and Stormwind. It doesn't happen in Orgrimmar, as far as I can see. It may happen tomorrow night, as I will be attending my first ever in-game, in-character troll wedding!

I have fireworks. Boom!Boom!


Fandomlife said...

....oh never mind. Groan. Grr. Ack.

Vodkashok said...


I don't know what to make of that! I turned up to the wedding a little early and we all clarted around for a while and then some Blood Elves turned up. A lot of them. Unguilded. Strange? The groom and one of them started a conversation and as it transpired it was some sort of warning to stay away from a child. Very bizarre.

They left, the bride arrived and there was a thankfully short ceremony. OK, this is fine. I can handle this. Nipped over to the Echo Isles for the 'honeymoon party' where we gave gifts, drank Brewfest Keg, danced and did fireworks.

And then the Groom died.

He was in a state between life and death (Hunter/Feign Death used) because he had been cursed. Nothing we could do could raise him from his stupor.

We now have to discover what the hell happened.

Thats when I had to go, but I have been thinking about the experience. The nearest I can come to it, is LARPing. It created the same sort of feelings for me as my previous LARPing experiences. Whether that is a good or bad thing is another matter. However, it also underlined one of the things I learned from LARPing.

If you are passive and reactive, you get very little out of it. If you are active and ready to try, you can drive something.

You'll note, I have refered in the article to 'RP' and never 'game'? Thats on purpose. This isn't roleplaying like I would do around a table. This is more like improv or theatre or ... well, LARP as I have said.

Very weird. More later