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Roleplaying Alt: You Decide

13 Aug

For a few months now I have contemplated giving Roleplaying a shot. I am an avid roleplayer in every type of game that I play. I was introduced to D&D when I was four years old, though I didn’t actually start playing the game until I was nine. I love roleplaying, and I love World of Warcraft. I used to really get into the story of the games that I played and I liked knowing a lot about the world I was in and how things related to one another and so forth.

A lot of that changed though when I went to college. I no longer had time to play as much as I did before but I still liked playing the games. What ended up happening though was I began to ignore story for the sake of playing the game instead. I really like to beat games quickly the first time I play and then go back for a fully indepth experience during the second play through. Since my time was short, it was easier to just jump online for a quick walkthrough and then play the game while ignoring most of the story.

That was a bad habbit I developed and it’s one that has made WoW a bit less enjoyable than it could be. I really love playing the game and all the things we can do within the world and such, but I can only give you a summarized version of what any of the story is througout any of the game.

That’s where you guys come in. I need help.

The Plan
I want to roll a character that I can really get into from a roleplaying perspective. I don’t care what faction he’s in, what class he is, what professions he takes, or what gear he wears.

The server I roll the toon on doesn’t particularly matter to me, nor does the type of server that it is. I don’t mind turning off all of my chat logs so that I see nothing that any other players say. It can be a RP server, Normal, or PvP – it doesn’t matter to me. I can reroll on a fresh new server, or I can roll on one that I already have.

What I want to do though is start a brand new toon and take the time to really get into the story of the game. I want to talk to those of you who have actually played this game and paid attention a bit to some of what’s going on around us so that I can get the most out of this experience.

I need help.

Race
While I prefer to play the game as Horde, this time I need to keep the doors wide open. I want your opinion on what race(s) I should play strictly from a story standpoint. If you think that gnomes have the best, richest story in the game then tell me to roll a gnome and I will do so (yes, @Arrens you can come kill me and eat me for saying that if you must).

I know there aren’t really any race-specific quests in the game, but if there are some quests that you know enrich a particular race enough that you would suggest I play that race just to experience it, then let me know.

I have played all of the Warcraft games, but I don’t remember a lot of the old story, and I certainly haven’t made any particular effort to go back and learn it. I’m not so much interested in becoming a master of Warcraft Lore, but I do want to learn from this experience.

Class
Taking class quests, play style, and ability to solo content all into account here – what class(es) would you suggest that I play?

If a certain class’s class quests really helps you to get into the story, then I want to know. If you feel that the best way to experience what this game has to offer is by sneaking around as a stealthed rogue, then I want to know. If you think the best way to really get into this game is to be a warrior who rushes into combat to face the enemy, then so be it; let me know.

The point here is to play the best combination of race/class to get the most out of the game. With this toon I plan on reading all of the quest text and even talking to random NPC’s that I come across simply to see what they have to say. If going after Shaman totems makes this game tick for you, then let me know. If rogue quests expand the story too much to be missed, throw it out there.

Tell me which class(es) you feel would give me the richest roleplaying experience.

Death Knights: I want this to span across the whole leveling process, so this is going to be a level 1 toon. Death Knights are out. No exceptions.

Professions
Some race/class combinations make for good professions, some seem a bit odd, and so on and so forth. I don’t care so much about what I’m getting out of the professions as I am how it fits in with the overall concept of the character.

If you think a Gnome Warlock Herbalism/Blacksmith is (honestly) the way to go, then that’s what I will make. Well, alright, so I wouldn’t grab two professions that abosolutely do not work together at all, but still. The point is, if you think any of them will strengthen the experience at all, then I want to know about it.

Questing
There are a LOT of zones that I have never even been to, much less quested in. I have a set of quests that I like to do from a leveling perspective, so there are far more zones that I have never quested in even than the ones that I haven’t been in.

Along with that, I don’t play Alliance characters, so I have no idea what any alliance quests are like beyond level 20, and even then all I know is the Night Elf area. My highest alliance character is a 20 NElf Hunter.

I don’t have to have just a single idea on this one, I want to know what quests or quest chains you think really give this game some flair. If I need to travel to some remote zone in the world to do some quest that gives me a whopping 3 silver as my reward, then so be it. If you think the Gnome starting area is supreme, but questing around Stormwind is the next best, and then heading over to Bloodmyst Isle is the way to go from there, then let me know.

While low level will obviously be where I start, I’m looking for all of your specific suggestions on questing. If you think I should be sure to experience every quest in Howling Fjord, should do all quests related to Ragefire Chasm, and should get the achievement for all of Hemmit’s quests, then let me know.

Any quests that you consider top of the line that should never be missed are what I want to see. Or if there’s a chain of quests that absolutely suck and you always skip them, but they really help you get into the story, then let me know about those as well.

How to Help
I am looking for whatever suggestions you might have to offer here. It can be a mixture of Horde/Alliance-only or it can be something general like “I think Alliance quests are better than Horde” then go ahead and let me know. I want to know what your opinions are so that I can come up with the best way for me to really get into this game.

I have already tried every race and every class in this game. So telling me to “just play whatever you want, whatever you think you’ll have the most fun with” isn’t going to do anything for me because what I want is what you have to suggest for me.

If you don’t know much about the quests but feel a specific race or class is best suited for getting into the game’s story, then let me know. I am looking for whatever information you would like to share here.

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17 Comments

Posted by on August 13, 2009 in Roleplaying

 

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17 responses to “Roleplaying Alt: You Decide

  1. Psynister

    August 13, 2009 at 10:55 AM

    Let me point out here that you don’t have to be an expert in these things. I’m looking for opinions, so just tell me what you think.

     
  2. D

    August 13, 2009 at 11:08 AM

    I see that at the time of this comment, Draenei and paladin are in the lead. I don’t think the paladin storyline gets really deep, coming from that particular race – if you’re gonna roll a paladin, you should either choose a Blood Elf (they have their own special faction of BE paladins, separate from the Alliance ones) or humans (sort of the “default” – all of the paladin NPC’s that I remember seeing were humans.)

    The Draenei have an interesting backstory and Blizzard certainly did lay out the starting area well. None of the classes, though, have interesting class-specific quests or stories that I can recall – my two main toons are a Draenei priest and a Draenei shaman, and neither one felt different from the other while leveling.

    Therefore, out of the races that were available and judging by what you said about not being familiar with the Alliance, I voted on a gnome. Playing through the gnome starting area, doing all the quests in Dun Morough, and carrying that over to Loch Modan really allows you to flesh out the history of the gnome race, and why they don’t have their own starting area instead of sharing it with the dwarves – I sort of look at gnomes as the “trolls” of the Alliance. You do get to read and learn about Gnomeregan (I hate the instance, but there’s a lot to do in it and there are a lot of quests for it, furthering the storytelling) as you level up in the area.

    I picked the rogue for a class because I know that they are one of the few that have their own quests and places to go (Ravenholdt Manor, I think it’s called, in Hillsbrad). I don’t believe it’s required now, but back in the day, you had to do a questline that led you up there in order to learn lockpicking. I had a fun time as a level 20 night elf (my first toon – I was completely noobish) trying to find this place, much less figure out how to even get to Southshore from Darkshore/Ashenvale without dying every few feet in Arathi Highlands (I think I actually ended up swimming along the coast from the Wetlands.) Lockpicking is fun and indeed it’s one of the few abilities, in my opinion, that really makes you feel like you are truly your particular class.

    Plus, gnomes get an engineering bonus … which is the perfect profession for a rogue. Pick up mining (you get to follow along the edges of Dun Morough looking for copper – always fun) and engineering – it’s still expensive to level engineering, but at least with mining it’s not as bad, and you can sell off the ore that you don’t need.

     
    • Psynister

      August 13, 2009 at 1:32 PM

      D, my many thanks for your detailed reply.

      I know from leveling my BElf paladins that there was some interesting story in their leveling, though I of course didn’t bother reading it at the time. I’m not sure that I want to roll yet another BElf pally so soon, so if I did go for a paladin it probably would not be a BElf.

      I appreciate all the things you listed there, and for addressing professions and quest locations as well!

       
  3. strumpet101

    August 13, 2009 at 11:33 AM

    For alliance, some of the truly epic role playing quests are centered around the Onyxxia chain. I can’t remember what level you pick it up at, but it is an amazing quest chain. There is also the Missing Diplomat chain, that you pick up for altar boy Thomas in the Cathedral (SW) at 28.

     
    • Psynister

      August 13, 2009 at 11:56 AM

      I heard mention of the Missing Diplomat quest on Twitter this morning. Not something I was aware of before. Is that race-specific, or just faction?

      Thanks for taking the time to reply!

       
      • Cynwise

        August 13, 2009 at 3:44 PM

        Faction-specific. You go find a missing diplomat between Stormwind and Theramore.

        It’s an epic chain for the Alliance, spanning a lot of levels. The ending is a little odd since they didn’t apply a phasing engine to Vanilla to make it work, but it’s still a good questline. Oodles of XP too.

         
  4. Cassini

    August 13, 2009 at 12:15 PM

    The Ony quest chain truly is epic and is also one that can be found referred back to several times as you level up further. I was always left a little disappointed with the Missing Diplomat quest chain though with how it suddenly ended with little explanation.

    I have voted for BE by the way. Since levelling one of my own fairly recently, I would say that the story arc from your starting zone and covering the Ghostlands is really nicely done if you follow it all to it’s conclusion. as for class, I didn’t vote their, since I’ve enjoyed most of the different class quests from one time to another and personally I think they all have something to offer. :)

     
    • Psynister

      August 13, 2009 at 1:36 PM

      Thanks for the reply, Cassini.

      I rally love the BElf starting area as well. I often take toons of other races over there to level through the Ghostlands. I think that’s the most epic mini-climax of all the starting areas (never seen Draenei though) with Dar’khan and his followers.

       
  5. Brandon

    August 13, 2009 at 3:50 PM

    Dwarf Hunter.
    Dwarves are the driving force in exploration, and a lot of the early quests really delve into that history and the turn from warriors to explorers. Try to grab every quest in Ironforge you can, pay close attention to anyone with for an affiliation. I was impressed when the story, which took a bit of a backseat when Outland showed up, was revisited with WoLK, including some huge developments in Storm Peaks.
    Hunter is mostly because it is the iconic WoW Dwarf, complete with Gun and Big Bear. You could stick with one bear right from the start for that RP kick and keep him with you till the end. I might even go Marksman with a side of BM for my spec to complete the package.

     
    • Psynister

      August 14, 2009 at 9:34 AM

      I had a dwarf hunter once. His name was Elmerfudd and he made frequent use of a macro /y Wascally Wabbit!!! /tar Rabbit /startattack

      He was pretty fun to play and all I did was go around killing all the rabbits in the starting area. Good times. ;)

      Thanks for the reply, Brandon. Despite the humor above I am taking every suggestion seriously.

       
  6. Roger

    August 13, 2009 at 7:04 PM

    Here are my thoughts about this blog post/question, Jason. The thing is, you’re asking for specifics in terms of what class we believe you should play, however class selections is entirely subjective. Everyone has their favorites based on their personal preferences… and though you’re quite open to different opinions, you’ve still got your own biased based on your opinions.

    No, you haven’t done everything, though no one has. Still, you have experienced a very large part of the game in terms of classes. I’d say that you probably already have a very good idea of what you would like to do. And you should probably go with that gut instinct.

    Now, I say this for a few reasons… first of which is that you have said that you haven’t role played in a very long time. It’s easy to say that you loved it as a student in college, however that was a great many years ago (great many, ol’ man)… and things that you loved back then, you may not anymore. So go with something that feels familiar at first and that is not going to be a huge leap from your own character. I’d suggest the Lazy Leveling Bastard class, but Blizzard hasn’t implemented it yet.

    ;)

    Personally, I’m fairly used to being in a variety of personalities (due to writing fiction as well as never having found the right medication), so I don’t consider what is the biggest stretch… I just look for what will make the best story… who will be the most interesting to play.

    And here again is another point in regards to your request. There are so many things to consider in terms of race and faction. Do you want your character to be a fairly upbeat sort of chap, so you can relax when you are playing? Or do you want incredible angst? Fear?

    Let me put it this way, how do you want to feel while playing?

    It’s easy to think that a character will have the capacity to change, however keep in mind how much change a person goes through in their lifespan. Sure, we go through phases and we change somewhat, however at the core of our being is ingrained a set of personality traits that typically follow us to our death.

    So consider that while choosing what you want to play. I wouldn’t waste too much time considering the quests, the zones and the emotes (though I maintain my hatred of the Draenei emotes). In terms of your everyday RPing, those matter little. What will matter is what your character means to you… how he or she acts, as that is what will be your driving force when you interact with other real people RPing… and that’s where you will have the most fun.

    That is what led me to choose a human warlock. I didn’t think about all the Alliance quests that I could do… the interactions with the various NPCs and all that jazz (with a couple notable exceptions simply in terms of the story that will accompany her journey on my site). What was important was her character, her history and what it meant to her demeanor. Human warlock was the best fit, and luckily was also my second favorite class.

    I don’t know if this all made sense to you. I know it didn’t answer all or probably any of your questions, however it is my opinion that you can’t really guide someone to play as a character. I can’t force a character onto paper… well, I can, but it comes out terribly. The same will hold true of your RP character.

    Think of what you want to experience in the game through this, consider the stories that will envelope this character, and you should be able to very clearly see a race and class.

    Good luck. I certainly would love to see you on Earthen Ring (whether Alliance or Horde). But fun to play a character that may actually like you. Who knows, she actually may.

    ;)

     
    • Psynister

      August 18, 2009 at 5:06 PM

      Roger,

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

      Of course people have their favorites, and that’s why I’m reaching out to other people. I have my own favorites, but I’m looking for something different, or even something the same but from a different perspective. Rather than coming up with something on the fly from whatever thought happens to be bouncing around in my head at the moment, I am opening myself to the thoughts of others to see what might influence my decision. I do already have an idea of my own, which coincidentally matches up with exactly what the polls revealed here (Goat Shaman). But instead of doing it because it sounds cool, I’m doing it because other people have confirmed or suggested the same.

      I didn’t actually say that I haven’t roleplayed in a long time, just that the high point of doing it was back in college. I still roleplay quite a bit, just not nearly as much as I did before. And while I’m not a fiction writer, I am an actor (even if the only people I perform for these days are 4 year olds). I was an actor long before I was into computers.

      Story is what I am going for, which is why I pointed the questions in the post towards all aspects of the game including quests and professions. There were far too many quests to bother listing any of them, and professions I don’t see playing a significant enough roll that they needed their own poll. How I play the character really depends on how well I get into the character and what I want to do. I don’t like to plan our my characters thoughts, feelings, and actions before I start. Instead I like to have a general idea of who the character is and then react to the world around me as it comes.

      One of the greatest strengths/weaknesses I personally possess is a strong sense of empathy. I can pick up anybody’s mood just for looking at them and I can amplify it dampen it with my own thoughts and emotions as well. If the character has a quest to deliver a letter, then I’m probably going to be bored. If I have a quest to go kill the goblins that stone some noob merchant’s goods then I’m probably going to be annoyed, and if I’m going to lay vengeance on a murdering band of orcs then you can rest assured that I’m going to be pissed – both in character and out.

      The core of my character’s personality is going to be the same as my own. When I get into character I have two choices: the character becomes me, or I become the character. Because of how deeply I can get myself wrapped in the emotions and thought patterns of another person, I would rather have a character who exists in a fake setting of a war torn world become like me than for me to become like them.

      The emotes don’t bother me much. Many of them do suck, but I can just as easily come up with my own emotes even though the physical representation of them will not appear on the screen. My imagination still has better graphics than any computer ever will, so I don’t mind not seeing something happen even though I have it typed into the game.

      As for the rest on getting into the character rather than setting/quests/ect, I have to base my thoughts on my experience up to this point. Other players are often losers that I would rather ignore. There’s a reason I do most of my playing solo, and it’s not because I don’t have people who can play with me. I have been on a couple of RP servers before for small bits of leveling and honestly didn’t find a whole lot that was worth my time and effort in the way of people to interact with.

      One thing that’s going to hurt me a little bit is my lack of knowledge about the world. It’s hard for me to create a history for a character in a world I don’t fully understand. Sure, I can come up with something classic and generic, but where’s the fun in that? The history is something I’m going to have to hold onto for a while.

      As for which server I will roll on – I went ahead and rolled toons on every RP server that was suggested to me ran around for a bit to get a feel for the place. I checked for RP in various areas, I checked the AH to see if it would be a server I could actually make gold on, I checked various chat channels for typical crap (i.e. Anal, Chuck Norris, etc), and I threw questions out into trade chat to find what kind of people were on the guild.

      Out of the five servers that were suggested, ER was the only one that I felt the least bit welcome in and it was the only place I found anyone who was willing to talk to me rather than insult me or tell me to get a different server because that one sucked so bad.

      I have rolled my chosen toon on ER and leveling him up a bit to get a good start on him, but I am going to stay open to finding another server for a few more days as well as I don’t care for playing on high(er) population servers much either. I will keep you advised via twitter, of course.

       
  7. ironfeathers

    August 14, 2009 at 8:38 AM

    I really think that the best thing to do is to go with your gut. Failing that, here are my picks:

    Anybody that knows me knows that I adore Trolls. They have some pretty rich lore and, assuming one goes the Darkspear route In-Character (technically all player Trolls are Darkspear, says the lady that plays a couple Skullsplitters, a Gurubashi and a dead Mossflayer, but most folk aren’t going to argue with a deviation from the norm), that particular Tribe is working up from years of being kicked around. They’re being forced to embrace changes to their lifestyles (no humanoid sacrifice, not allowed to be cannibals anymore, their voodoo is frowned upon) and become more like their new allies, the Orcs, whether they like it or not – though, really, who’s gonna say “no” to the people that saved their tribe, out loud anyway?

    I can’t tell you what sorta epic questlines or anything that there are, but I can say that playing through the Stranglethorn Vale quests as a Troll and following the Yenniku line is interesting, as is hunting for Trollbane. I selected Mage as the class because, for the Darkspear, messing with the Arcane is relatively new (IIRC they picked it up from the Forsaken) – imagine the new recruit casting a fireball for the first time and maybe you’ll get it.

    “I did it! My Loas, I did it! I-I want more!”

    Alliance, I’d go for Dwarf Paladin. Dwarves themselves have interesting stories to go with them, with all the Titan-related goings-on, and Dun Morogh is a really neat zone to play through. There are paladin-only quests in Ironforge (like the one to learn the rez spell) that are pretty neat, too.

    I also suggest rolling on a RP server. I don’t know if you’re US or not, but if you roll on Thorium Brotherhood, add my toons!

     
    • Psynister

      August 14, 2009 at 10:49 AM

      I’ll go for whatever I feel is best in the end, I just want the opinions of others since there is so much of the game that I haven’t experienced (primarly alliance-related play).

      I like the troll race enough, but troll mages just don’t seem to fit for me. I think they should have made trolls warlocks instead of mages. Voodoo curses are curses, not slowfall buffs. ;)

      I was surprised to see how large a roll dwarves played in Northrend quests, especially up in Grizzly Hills. They don’t really hold a presence in Outlands, but dwarves are pretty think in the story both pre- and post-tBC content.

      For the sake of doing some P2P roleplaying, I will most likely go ahead and roll on an RP server. I am planning on rolling some toons on various RP servers to get a feel for them and find out which ones might suit me. I have a lot of Twitter friends that hang their hats in Earthen Ring, but the high population there turns me off a bit. I’ve had 5 RP servers suggested to me, so I’ll check all of them out and decide afterwards.

       

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