World of Warcraft is in the doldrums. Or, as many folks call it, the “Pre-expansion Period.” We’ve been told by the good folks at Blizzard not to expect any new content for Cataclysm. The Mists of Pandaria Beta is a happening place right now with cool new toys brought in weekly. I have seen the wonders of AoE Looting and the new “Fairy Wings” (my term) style of effect for Rezzie’s <a href://Avenging Wrath. I know that in MoP, Rosie will become a glorious white stag who looks a lot like Harry Potter’s Patronus, and will be able to carry Hubby or any other friend around on her back. My hunter, Kheylar, will make a fortune creating glyphs for everyone when the game debuts sometime in the next few months. Plus, she will have the added ability to release a “Murder of Crows” at her enemies as an AoE attack. As an additional damage boost for boss fights, Kheylar will be able to send out all five of her pet-friends at the boss in an attack called “Stampede.” Yes, MoP will be fun and different. It’s just not out yet. And we’re all bored to death with killing Deathwing now.
I have been reading the articles on WoW Insider about roleplaying written by the wonderful Anne Stickney. I always thought that roleplaying was something that only perverts and teenagers did on the Moon Guard Server. Well, what I have learned is that roleplaying is something that an entire community does together. You create a character, a back-story for that character, and then you interact with the world around you in character. If you, for example, are playing a priest, you might go around talking about the light and blessing people when you throw a heal. If you play a warrior, you might play him or her as an idealist, or someone who is mad at the world, or basically just somebody who wants to hit stuff.
One of the other basic requirements for roleplaying is to understand a little about the lore of WoW. Lore is the made up history, society norms, culture, jargon, etc. of a fantasy “world.” Think about Star Trek. Star Trek has its own universe made up of the aliens, Starfleet regulations, planets, and history of their reality. To understand Star Trek, you have to get at least a little bit of their terminology. While you watch Star Trek, you understand what Captain Kirk means when he says things like, “Beam Me Up” or “Warp Factor 1.” If Picard goes over to a little computer panel in the wall and says, “Tea—Earl Gray—Hot” you know that he’s talking to a device called a “Replicator” and the cup of tea will instantly materialize for him. I had to actually put the water on to boil, wait 5 minutes for the tea to steep, and then mix in the Splenda and pour it myself. Oh, to live in the 24th Century!
I have rolled toons on roleplaying servers in the past because I have always found the communities to be more mature and helpful for the most part. They have lower populations than regular servers, so they are peaceful out questing. I’ve even had a few roleplaying interactions with some folks in towns and thought it was fun. So, I wanted to go off and give it a real try.
I have created Nykka (pronounced with a long-e sound). She is a poor goblin rogue, going off to create her own fortune and adventure through the world. Like most goblins, she loves money. But, the Cataclysm has left her penniless and broken. Desperate and starving, she’ll do almost anything to rebuild her fortune. She’s learned how to hunt animals for their skins to create her own gear, how to pickpocket unsuspecting enemies, and how to use her wits to keep her safe.
She’s completely different from the type of toon I usually play in WoW. She’s not a caster, nor is she pious and good. She’s bad. She’s a thief—a petty criminal. I have gone to another realm with her so that I can enjoy the challenge of building her up without help. Hubby’s not going to be there to help quest or support her. I don’t have any other toons on the realm that will send her gold or make her useful bags, potions, or glyphs. Nykka is truly on her own, starting from nothing.
I am so excited to get her out of the goblin starting area where she can interact with others that I can’t see straight. I want to see how Nykka’s story plays out. Who knows? I might drop her the same way I’ve dropped every other rogue I’ve tried to level. I might get to town and find no roleplaying guilds are recruiting and that people do not want to play with a total stranger. But, I am excited about the journey—the first time I’ve been really excited and felt creative about something in a few weeks. That means something to me. It’s just a stupid video game, yes, but I like that stupid video game and the adventure it lets me go on.