How do you play your character?

When you sit down to play WoW, do you have a back story for your characters?  Do you have set expectations on how your character would react to certain situations?  How do you envision your character’s life?

I have come to find that even though I don’t RP myself, I have a very distinct personality and story that develops for each of my characters.  I tend to tailor the story based off each individual and how I envision them.  A good example of this is my main Bulidar.  Bulidar is a member of the Earthen Ring and does everything he can to support them.  He has had trouble with many of the things that Garrosh has done in his conquest and sees himself joining the rebellion to fight against Garrosh’s dark shaman and to counteract the damage that they have caused to Azeroth.  On the other hand my mage see’s no problem with most of what Garrosh has done, but he has only followed the Horde because of his devotion to Lady Sylvannas and she has been sending the undead to help.  He joins the rebellion because the Dark Lady has realized that Garrosh has no use for her or the undead and she has decided to help the rebellion to take him down.  My mage follows the Dark Lady without any questions, and would probably turn on the horde if she asked him to.

I have come up with stories with some of my others, but these are the two most detailed.  Do you guys do this to or am I just strange?


Random Thoughts

I find it interesting, that after four years of playing I’m still so enthralled by WoW. I love the people, I love the lore, I love the community.  Even with as busy as I have been over the past 10 months, I still regularly find time to logon and play.  I think my favorite times playing are my guild’s Tuesday LFR runs.  To me it feels like we handle LFR the way that flex is intended to be.  We pull together a group of anywhere from 10-23 of  guildees and friends and all hop in mumble and have a grand old time while taking out the current tier.  I think it is events like this that keep me playing.

I have been lucky in guilds.  I have had my main in only two guilds since I started playing.  The first one is a friends and family guild that belongs to a real life friend of mine.  I stayed with the guild for two and a half years and only left it after they began to play less and less and I started to do more and more.  I still have toons in that guild and still play with them when I can.  I’m still on the same server so it makes it easy.  My new guild I found through twitter and I’m glad for it.  I started talking with @glyneth not long after I started on twitter and I started going on LFR runs with them not long after LFR started.  I even began to fill spots on alt raids when they couldn’t find the people.  The highlight of my WoW career came when they asked me to fill in on their main raid and I helped them take down Heroic Deathwing.  I think I’ve had less anxiety giving a public speech than I did that night.  When a raid team counts on me, I become very afraid of messing up and causing a wipe.  The exiliration that I felt when we took him down is high on my list of memorable events in my gaming career.

RealID, Battletags, and the twitter community have made this even more fun, because now I get to do LFR with even more great people on a regular basis.  I’m glad for our community and look forward to us continueing into the next expansion.

Pure Speculation: And the next Warchief is….

With 5.4 approaching we already know that Garrosh is on his way out.  His pride is leading to his downfall.  There is no doubt in my mind that the Horde will need a Warchief, but the question is who will replace him.  This post is pure speculation on my part, but is based on observations from the lore I’ve seen in game (I have not read the Vol’jin book yet so if it reveals anything, it won’t be included here).

This is what I do know, Thrall will not be back as Warchief.  He feels that his time has passed and he has a new path.  I do believe he may have a hand in selecting the next one, but it won’t be unilateral like Garrosh was.  I don’t believe Vol’jin, Baine or Lor’themar will allow it.  All three of them have felt the wrath of Garrosh during the Pandarian Campaign.  This is the way I see things shaping up.

Among the current leaders, I believe that either Vol’jin or Baine would make a good Warchief, but I don’t think either one of them wants the job.  They are both concerned for their people, and I do not believe that either would take well to the leadership of the entire Horde.  I do believe that either one of them would have a better chance of bringing peace between the Horde and the Alliance than any others would, I just don’t feel either really wants to be the one to lead the Horde.  Lor’Themar is having enough trouble just trying to keep his people going and they are hurting.  He doesn’t need or want the extra responsibility that would come with running the Horde.  I also don’t think that no other faction of the Horde will allow Sylvannas to be the new Warchief, and I’m positive that the only reason she would take it would to be to further the forsaken, she cares nothing for the other races of the horde.  Gallywixx would be willing to be the leader of the Horde, but only because he would see it as a way to make more money.  And the final current Horde leader, Ji Firepaw, is too much of an unknown quantity by the rest of the Horde to even be considered.  The final race of the Horde, the Orcs, will be without any real leadership after the events in 5.4.  Garrosh has gutted most of the leadership and replaced it with the Blackrock and his handpicked Kor’Koran guards and officers.  I don’t believe any of them will be left after all is said and done.

The first order of business will be to find a new leader for the orcs.  It may be personal opinion, but I believe Rexxar may be the best fit.  He is already an established clan leader, and has the love and trust of many of the orcs for his actions for the Horde.  Another possible option would be Drek’thar, but honestly I don’t think it matters who leads the orcs, they won’t be Warchief.

What I see happening with the new leadership of the Horde is this, I see the Horde being run by a council of leaders with each leader taking care of their race and the council coming together to make major decisions.  I believe that make up of the council will be of the current Horde leaders plus whoever ends up leading the orcs.  Because of this, I see an alliance of Baine, Vol’jin and Lor’themar maintaining sanity and trying to rein in Sylvannas and keeping a close eye on Gallywixx.  I think Ji Firepaw will fall in line with whoever takes the Pandaren under their wings, and currently I think the Tauren are most like the new Pandaren who have joined the Horde and would be willing to take them under their wing.

These are just my thoughts on how the leadership of the Horde will evolve based on personal observations.  We will see if my ideas pan out.

Flex Raids, Virtual Realms and more 5.4 thoughts

Patch 5.4, The Siege of Orgrimarr, has hit the PTR and with it come some changes to the way that we are used to playing the game.  The two biggest of these changes in my book are Flex Raiding and Virtual Realms.

Flex Raiding is the capability to take a raid of any size between 10 and 25 man into current content and the raid will scale in difficulty based off the number of people you have in your raid.  The difficulty of this type of raiding is supposed to be between current LFR and Normal.  The Flex Raids will only be available to premade groups, and those groups can contain cross realm friends though Real ID and Battletag friends.  Flexible raids are projected to be open for raid achievements unlike LFR, however loot will be in the LFR model rather than the normal raid model.  Current information has flex raids opening up a week prior to LFR for the same content.  I personally think this is a brilliant idea.  This gives guilds that like to do LFR as a group now a way to do something similiar without having to deal with the random factors that come with doing LFR.  This also gives guilds a way to include their more casual players in the end game content.

Virtual realms are Blizzard’s answer to low server population.  With most MMO’s when server populations start to drop off, the game companies begin to reduce the number of game servers by merging multiple servers together in one.  Blizzard doesn’t want to close down servers but wants to make it so that lower population servers have the same capability for content as higher population servers to do this they are creating virtual realms.  A virtual realm is a combination of multiple realms into one larger virtual realm.  We don’t have a ton of information on these yet, but what is being put out so far is sharing an AH, capability to be guilded with anyone that is on the same virtual realm.  Will this do away with CRZ, for some reason I don’t think so, but it may lower the instances of it as with the virtual realms more people may be in certain zones.  Much about this feature and how it will be implemented is still unknown, but it will definitely be a game changer.

The shaman changes so far being proposed in the upcoming patch are intriguing to me.  The changing of Healing Tide Totem from a Talent to an all-spec shaman spell is a welcome change as it now brings shaman online with druids (Tranquility) and priests (Divine Hymn) for a multi-target raid heal.  The other intriguing change to me is the talent change to Conductivity.  It almost looks like with this talent a shaman would be able to cast healing rain at the beginning of a fight and have it up in that location for the entire encounter.  This may make this talent more attractive to all shaman.

As with all things early in the cycle, all of this can possibly change between now and 5.4 release, but it definitely makes for some intriguing new ways to play.

How I Level – An altoholics guide to enjoying WoW

There is no doubt that I’m an altoholic.  In an expansion that is geared more towards running just a main, I have 5 level 90 toons and am working on more.  For me the fun of the game is in the leveling.  I don’t see it as a grind that most due, I see it as a way to experience the stories of Warcraft.  I have leveled through every zone at least once, and while I do have my favorites, the depth of story across the zones is just amazing.  It is hard to play through the Worgen starting zone without developing an absolute hatred for the undead.  By the same token, it is near impossible to play through the Silverpine forest storyline without developing a devotion to Lady Sylvannas.  The fact that I’m able to immerse myself in the stories of these zones makes the game fun for me and is a big reason why I have so many alts.

The other big reason why I level so many different alts, is the need to learn to play as many of the different classes and specs as possible.  The completionist in me doesn’t feel right if I haven’t at least tried to level a class, and over half of my alts are different specs of another of my characters.  I’m at worst with shaman.  I actually have alts of every possible race as a shaman.

The final reason that I create and level so many alts, is our community and the friends I have made.  I don’t have a lot of spare money to spend moving characters around, so I create alts to play on other servers with people I know.  This has led me to having a smattering of characters across six servers currently and of all different classes and races and both factions.

Having that many alts does have it’s drawbacks, I never have enough time to keep them all up.  So what ends up happening is every expansion I focus on a couple of them and move on from there.  My first to max level any time is always my main Bulidar, but from there it’s random depending on what I feel like playing.

Hopefully that gives you a little insight to the reasons I’m an altoholic and why I love leveling them so much.