Wednesday, June 23, 2010

How much do you RP?

Perhaps my favorite thing about WoW is just how far the devs have gone to create this amazing world wrapped around this amazing lore and completely immerse us, as players, in it. And it's only gotten better with each expansion.

I may have mentioned this before in my blog, but I almost quit the game around the mid-40 range. What brought me me back was learning about the lore. Reading about Illidan and Kael'Thas and Vashj. I thought, "Man, this is freakin' awesome! I want to be a part of this!"

When it's that kind of immersion that attracts you to the game, it's not hard to slip into a little bit of RP. In fact, it's kind of hard not to. I don't go all out...I'd feel horribly awkward and out of place on an RP server. It's just not my element. But there are still certain levels of RP that I appreciate.

Names: I won't lie...I kinda wish the RP server naming rules existed across all realms. Nothing breaks the immersion factor for me quite so much as running across characters named Istabthings, Pwnsu, or Buttjustice. (Although I will admit that the last leads to some much appreciated levity in raids when you have to say things in vent like "Infection on Butt," or "Butt's got worms.")

I appreciate good names that look like they're a good fit for the race of the toon. When creating a toon, I often spend more time trying to find a good name than any other part of the process. It's not uncommon that I'll sit on that character screen for almost an hour trying to get it right.

Sometimes I flip through the random selections until something catches my eye, and then I'll tweak it a little bit. Change a vowel here, add a syllable there. Make it just right. (Saniel, Daluaan, and Siaaryn all got their names this way.)

When that fails, I have a bookshelf next to my computer with a good couple of rows of fantasy books. I'll pull one down, flip through the pages and see if one of the names appeals to me. (Maarken was named with this method, as is my future Worgen, Maeniel).

Barring that, I have a couple fantasy name-generator websites bookmarked from when I used to write a lot. (None of my current characters were named this way, but a few deleted alts were.)

Personality quirks: Most of my toons have small personality quirks. They rarely ever come up in the normal playing of the game, but they sometimes make things fun for me.

Saniel used to be kind of vain. A pretty boy. He was clean-shaven and had that NElf hair cut with the long hair that kinda frames the face. Every time he went into a CoT instance that made him human, he was aghast that he ended up mostly bald. Eventually he got so traumatized it that he tied his hair back into a braid and grew chops.

Daluaan enjoys his drink and would stop mid-fight to fill his mug if someone dropped a keg.

Ultanan can only have pets that are bigger than he is.

Maeniel is going to have a bit of a royalty complex.

Back stories: I don't build long, complicated back stories for my toons. But just little tidbits.

My favorite is Siaaryn's. I knew I wanted a Shadow Priest, so I picked a Draenei specifically so I could make one with that whiter-than-white skin. I like to think that he was kinda revered when he was born because, well, how could someone like that not be light-touched? So he was set down the path of a Priest. But then this darker side of him emerged.

Sometimes I like to think it's a Jekyll/Hyde kind of thing, where each side isn't even aware of the other.

These kinds of things...they make the game more fun. Add a little bit of personal investment in it.

How about some of you? How much do you RP? What are some of your favorite examples?


  1. I like this post. It appeals to my growing interest in immersion, lore, and experiencing the story and environment. (I think I just repeated myself)

    For the first two years that I played, I just played the game. I didn't raid or do dungeons, RP, or PvP - I just played through the game. Noob-style, I guess. And, especially when WotLK came out, I found myself really interested in the story's progression; I think I realized that things were really happening in a story-like fashion when when I ran into Gryan Stoutmantle in Northrend! (ROFL)

    Since then I've read almost all of the books too, and it has taken the level of interest to an all-time high level. Which is probably the number one reason I'm coming back, provisionally.

    At any rate, my interest in the story (and my potential part in it) has grown. As a druid, I feel like a part of Malfurion. Additionally, I'm more and more interested in creating a backstory for my toons. I honestly don't feel like doing the RP thing, but I enjoy a couple of traits of roleplaying toons. One of them is the naming restrictions. None of my toons are named "Death____," "_____pwn," "____killer," or "Arråggørn," etc. Like you, I have legitimate, appropriate names. I think of my toons as separate entities, and that enhances my enjoyment of the game.

    I haven't gone as far as to discern personality quirks for my toons (other than the fact that my female feral druid is hot, smart, kicks ass, and takes names... ok, maybe she takes names, maybe not!), but I still feel a difference when I'm playing different toons, and I play differently, respecting their as-yet wide-open traits and heritage.

    This is a late response, San, and I read it the day you posted, but I still wanted to respond. I'm sorta farting around in the game again, and thinking more lore/story and less RAIDRAIDRAID etc. :) Thanks again for the post.

  2. I usually don't set out to make the personality quirks. They just kind of happen.

    San's vanity started the first time he stepped into a CoT instance and lost his hair to that human pattern-baldness cut. I thought it was funny, so I played it up.

    Dal's drinking started when he wasn't doing much healing during a Direbrew fight, so he just sat down by a keg and started drinking.

    Ultanan's started while I was riding the boat out in Feralas and noticed his Gorilla was bigger than him. I may reneg on this one, though, because it means I won't get to use that white Lion anymore. I like him. Named him Lafcadio...