Meet Mortiphoebe, Forsaken Warrior.
Some time ago, I agreed to Ixobelle’s curious suggestion (seconded by Spinks) to try out an Undead Warrior for another spin through Azeroth. When I read of a blogger guild, curiously named Single Abstract Noun (SAN), I thought I might poke my abnormally large nose into matters that were little of my business. (Though as Pitrelli and Hatch rightly noted, SAN is a recipe for a wee bit of drama, as might be seen of late, but hey, it’s fascinating either way, even if I’m just on the proverbial sidelines.) It turns out that trial accounts can’t join guilds anyway, but so it goes.
SAN plays on Argent Dawn, a “Role Playing” server, so I spent a bit of time reading up on the Forsaken and the Scarlet Crusade, trying to craft a backstory for my little undead lady who was deathly afraid of the undead (hence the name she chose for her new self, a delicious portmanteau mixture of “cute, perky and emo”… or something like that). I’m sure my lovingly crafted story of a former Human Priest who joined the Crusade to fight her irrational fear of the Undead, only to be turned to the Undead in a botched operation, was the stuff of legend and totally original, but I wisely chickened out of playing it to the hilt.
Sure, it explained why she was a Fury Warrior, totally shunned by her former allies and the Light, driven by blind fury to destroy those nasty tricksy Undead that she was now surrounded by… and it even played into my own rather soloist tendencies, but in practice, since she couldn’t attack those of her own newly adopted faction, it just didn’t work out.
I had grand notions of writing a pair of diaries from her point of view, one of her old life, one of her new one, reacting to her old diary and the new circumstances in which she rather uncomfortably found herself. I took a LOT of screenshots (637) that could have helped this endeavor, and may get to it someday. I still think it could be a fun writing exercise, but with my lack of time and the difficulties it provided in actually Playing a Role, I didn’t bother with it. Ultimately, I’d like to write my own stories, anyway. Ah, the troubles with Role Playing…
When a random Forsaken player kneeled to Mortiphoebe, that sealed the deal. If a random stranger in an Undead body took the time to welcome my little zombie into the fold, well, the RP was irrevocably broken, and I just went ahead and played the dang game. See, Mortiphoebe as I’d imagined her would not have calmly nodded at the stranger as I told her to in the game, she’d have whipped out her two handed sword and lopped his ugly little Undead head clean off and then stomped on the rest of the corpse and scattered the bones, then shrieked until she was hoarse, running into the forest. (Of course, that she didn’t do that to the NPCs was easily attributed to shock and the fact that they didn’t actively talk to her. It’s a whole new level of interaction when a player takes the time to stop and do something welcoming.) Irrational paranoia and fear of your own faction doesn’t work in the WoW RP framework, even if they weren’t trope-laden emo gibberish to start with.
Sooo… I’ve played another ten day trial with this character, hot on the heels of playing Allods Online. I’ve gathered some notes of comparison, and have a few things I’d like to dig into from a game design and art perspective. That means more articles in this vein, likely all titled “Dead Again: Subtitle”… and lest one get the impression this is now a WoW blog, I’m done with the ten day trial, with no current intention of proceeding further. I have a few other articles in mind that I’ll toss in between the DA series, too.
After that, I hear the Meridians are worth exploring, and I really want to see what I can tease out of the 59th one.
Since that’s sort of what I do. Play, analyze, write. It’s like going to a movie; I’m trained in CG animation, I can’t help but analyze the things. It’s really hard to just go along for the ride.
In the meantime, though, a quick vignette that might explain a lot about just how hapless I was. I tried out the Random Dungeon Finder when the tutorial tips prompted me to at level 16. I wound up in Ragefire Chasm with some of those other players. It turned out to be fun (gasp!), and we steamrolled the boss. It was my last night of the trial, so I signed on for another random dungeon, and we wound up in Deadmines… whereupon, after downing one boss, we promptly wandered into a pack of goblins and wound up wiping. I’ll write more on that later, but what struck me as interesting was after that.
I “released my spirit” and wound up in a graveyard out in Westfall. I’d never been there before, so I was totally lost. I saw a player outnumbered by some sort of piggish bipeds, so I went to investigate. Her guild tag proclaimed her to be a part of SAN, so I figured I’d go help, though it took me a while to get there. I killed one of her assailants and then wandered off again into the unfamiliar hills. She thanked me and I nodded.
Only after I looked back did I realize that she was playing a Gnomish character. Y’know, one of those Alliance mooks. It must have been baffling for her, seeing a Forsaken come in and help, then wander off. What can I say? I was lost. Um… I was Alliance once? For the Alliance? Rah, rah, team? Gooooo Varian? Nice ‘do, who does your hair?
So, Steelspark of SAN, sorry it took me a while to get there to help (but you survived, which is all I was really angling to help with). Here’s hoping your evening went well. Don’t mind the unguilded teenaged Forsaken who looked lost and incompetent. First impressions can be misleading… or accurate. It’s not worth worrying about which.