I’m not a role-player. I think I might be RP-curious though1.
The first time I thought about roleplaying in a Warcraft context was probably when I came across Righteous Orbs, reading Tam’s early stories of the prettiest elf et al and the character of his … er … characters. I know this isn’t roleplaying per se, and I certainly didn’t think of it as such, but it was much more characterisation than I’d previously considered.
Fast forward a bit. Until I read some of Pilf’s RP stories2 I hadn’t thought of roleplaying as anything other than a suspect extension of childhood make-believe. It’s stupid, I know, but that roleplaying is storytelling mixed with improvisation — two things I particularly enjoy, and skills I wish I had — simply hadn’t occurred to me3.
When I moved to Darkmoon Faire (a European RP-PVE server) I was intrigued by the idea that RP would be taking place around me, even if I didn’t plan to do any roleplaying myself. Of course, in Europe the *real* roleplaying server is Argent Dawn, and whilst there are role-players on DMF I think there are probably considerably more people here because “RP servers have less obnoxious types”4. Anyway, aside from the occasional IC silliness when bumping into a guildie by the auction house, I’ve remained a largely RP free zone. It probably doesn’t help that my main is largely characterless, and try as I might I can’t seem to retrofit a personality to him. He’s just me, wielding a mightier weapon *eyebrows*.
To that end, I love to read the blogs of people who I think do RP well or are able to get inside the game world and the minds of it’s denizens, and I was delighted by this particular post from Glorwynn at Heavy Wool Bandage about what it means to be a paladin5. Obviously, I have a bit of a personal interest in followers of light, despite Ano-the-character’s persistent Keanu-level characterisation, but it’s with the backstories and lore summaries that I find myself most taken, and the obvious-now-I’ve-been-told revelation that “paladins are people too”.
I might not be a role-player but even I’ve heard the term “Mary Sue“. One of the problems I’ve always had when considering the character of MY characters has been finding the balance between interestingness and believability. It’s hard to care about the life and times of Brian Q. Bland. It’s harder still to talk to Jeb “Dagger” McDangers (they say he once killed a bare with his bear hands — perhaps he’s a druid) without sniggering. It seems to me that Glorwynn’s post could go a long way towards helping someone get it right.
So last thursday I was able to join my first raid since… a long time ago, it feels like. I was healing (!) as we had a slightly odd mix of people available, so as a nice gentle introduction we went to Baradin Hold for the first fight.
The second fight was Cho’gall. *whimper*6 Does anyone else think this makes our raid leader a meanie?
After 90 minutes, we seemed to have hit a wall in terms of improvement so toddled over to Blackwing to quickly kill the first couple of bosses; a cheerful end to the evening.
Next on the to-do list: the troll dungeons — I did most of one of them before I left but haven’t had a chance to go back, and now I’m all nervy about going in clueless. *whine*--
- to mangle a popular phrase [↩]
- I must have followed a recommendation from something; it’s not something I would have sought out. I’m glad I did though. [↩]
- handily, I don’t think I’ve ever claimed to be smart on mb.com [↩]
- that’s the impression I get at least [↩]
- it made me go back and read her blog from the beginning, an activity I’d highly recommend if you find yourself with a little free time [↩]
- a disadvantage of my not having played for a while, and not being a main spec healer, was that it was hard to know exactly how badly I was doing during the Cho’gall encounter. Wiping to tank death on pretty much every attempt probably offers a hint or tw, mind. Certainly, the difference in stress level between the Cho’gall fight and the Golem council fight (which is reasonably complex from a moving-and-mechanics point of view) was very noticeable. [↩]