Rants tag

Rants, ruminations, and rambling remarks from my mad, muddled, meandering mind.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Livy and Manerva


The Risks of RP

Meet Livy and Manerva [IPA: ˈlɪviː & məˈnɜːrvə], a pair of Forsaken Rogues. I don't really have much to say about these two yet. Manerva (derived from the Roman goddess of wisdom and war) is Scooter's character, with lively eyes and a mischievous grin. Livy (may be sort of short for Olivia, and yet includes "Ivy": a creeping vine, fitting for the name of a stealth class) stands behind her, a more bitter—perhaps vengeful—twin. I hope to have something more fleshed out (heh) for them in the near future, but we barely made level 5 last night.

Part of my problem is that we kinda fell into these characters by default. As Scooter and I were discussing starting new characters, we quickly decided on Horde because we already have two Alliance duos. Since I wanted a Rogue, Tauren were right out, and I was reluctant to start another Blood Elf pair, since their starting area hasn't really changed since BC. We've already started Goblin characters (and I strongly dislike the result of the Goblin starting story). Scooter already has a Troll hunter, and expressed no interest in repeating the starting zone.

That leaves the Orcs and the Forsaken (called "Undead" in the character creation screen; is that because new players were confused as to what Forsaken are?). We could have gone with Orcs, but Scooter didn't really express interest in them either. Plus, her Troll and my Tauren (solo characters) are already in the Barrens, likely following the same questlines that any Orcs would.

So there I was, staring at the character creation screen, reviewing Forsaken models. And there are almost twice as many "Features" choices for Male Forsaken—including several with no jaw. I thought it would be cool to have a jawless female zombie. Many of the female Features, I guess, are supposed be protruding facial bones. But they end up looking like budding horns, like SWTOR's Zabraks. Despite the relative lack of choices, I still prefer the female Forsaken models to the males; hence Livy and not Georg.

Perhaps this risk in "RP" isn't much of a risk. No one is throwing virtual rocks at me or disrupting my RParty in Club 37. But it does touch on the fantasy side of why people roleplay. It's a powerful thing to step into the shoes of a character. But if the fit isn't quite right, it will obviously affect the enjoyment you might get out of the experience.

Class Fantasy

Herein lies the other side of my dilemma. Stormsage fills my core fantasy of the Shaman as a "battle mage": up close and personal, but with the fury of the elements infusing every blow. Sedgeweaver is the mighty Tauren Hunter, with a powerful beast companion by his side and respect for his worthy prey; more comfortable under a wide open sky than stuck in the social confines of a city. Bernolf is the shapeshifting Druid, ferocious and versatile in battle (though less so with the recent changes), in tune with the pulse of life in the wild world.

I don't actively RP in any game, but I usually have a strong sense of who my characters are. And I often make in-game decisions based on how I think characters would react to situations, even if that knowledge is the mind of other toons of mine. For example, I avoided (and urged Scooter to, as well) an entire questline in Stonetalon that involved the Alliance teaming up temporarily with the Grimtotem, because I knew—though there is no reason Bernolf or Leilue would—that they were dishonorable traitors to the Tauren and that it was dishonorable for the local Dwarf captain to form an alliance with them.

I love the Forsaken in general, but I am ambivalent about what happened to their plot line after Wrath of the Lich King. The story of the self-willed victims of the Undead Plague, trying to survive in the ruins of their former kingdom and against a world innately hostile to their very existence, was a compelling one. Then came the Wrath Gate and the betrayal of Putress and Varimathras. The Forsaken became even more distrusted by the living races. But then Sylvanas doubled down and started raising her own new citizens rather than just recovering the victims of the Scourge; not to mention her expansionist conquest of Southshore and Gilneas. Having been away from the game for a while, I hadn't realized that Sylvanas is now the Warchief of the Horde and somewhat allied with Stormwind's King Varian, as seen in the Legion opening cinematic. (BTW, if Dalaran is now over the Broken Isles, what is the "capital city" of Northrend?)

I have a strong class fantasy about a swashbuckling sort of honorable anti-hero that I'm not sure Livy fulfills. Then again, I'm not sure changing Livy to an Orc would solve that. I think Forsaken would lean toward Assassination, given their propensity for murder. (On the other hand, so too are the rest of the WoW races.) Am I going to come to appreciate Livy as a Swashbuckling Outlaw, or would I be better off changing her to another race and creating a Forsaken Shadow Priest or something?
Creative Commons License
This article from I Have Touched the Sky is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. If you repost part or all of the work (for non-commercial purposes), please cite me as the author and include a link back to the blog.

If you are reading this post through RSS or Atom feed—especially more than a couple hours after publication—I encourage you to visit the actual page, as I often make refinements after the fact. The mobile version also loses some of the original character of the piece due to simplified formatting.


  1. Dalaran remains the capital for Northrend. While you're there, you're also there time-line wise. Just like Arthas and all of his goons are still there, you're entering that specific timeline while in Northrend that Dalaran is still the capital.

    1. Ah, that makes sense. They are really screwing with the timeline though, because new characters start out after the Cataclysm which is a year or two after the events involving the Lich King in Northrend, and of course the events of the Burning Crusade, where presumably the Exodar has still just recently crashed onto Azuremist Isle, and Illidan still broods in the Dark Temple.