One of my favorite pieces of creative worked created for Blizzard’s World of Warcraft is “Unbroken.” It’s gotten a bit of air time on http://www.wow.com, a cool WoW blog that if you haven’t been to, you should visit! The story puts a lot of clarity into the story of the Draenei and, well, for shamans, it’s just plain cool. I myself haven’t finished it all, but I intend to in short order, once these Computer Science classes stop kicking me in the ass. I think that every shaman should read the story, but especially those interested in roleplaying as their shamans.
Speaking of which, I’d like to chat a little bit and offer some opinions about the new Cataclysm expansion, and the opportunities I see for roleplaying as a shaman. I should mention that I haven’t roleplayed much in my history of World of Warcraft. I’ve tried a couple of times, and actually enjoy it, but have never really gotten into it in WoW. It’s interesting to note, however, that my MMO experience started with a text MUD called Achaea which is roleplay enforced. So not only did I constantly roleplay, but I loved it. I guess the immersion was removed because in WoW roleplay is not forced, even for things as simple as naming conventions, despite the claims of most RP realms. Don’t get me wrong, I have my fair share of non-RP names, like Cowmule and a bunch of characters named after protagonists and minor characters in my favorite book series (A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin, which I highly recommend), but I still find it irksome when I run across mains that are named “Archimondex” or “Sylvanaaaas.” That shows no power of creative thought, and for people that want to roleplay, it’s utterly ridiculous, and difficult to take someone seriously with those sort of names. As I said though, I have never been a big RPer in WoW because I had the eye candy (compared to the constant stream of text) to distract me into exploring, questing and raiding. When Cataclysm hits though, I’m going to try taking on the mantle of being my character. I don’t intend to try to act my character out in real life, but since I’m an author of creative fiction, I think it is within my power, and really my obligation in terms of character development, to really get deep down into the character that I created, and gave an RP name to. With the world changing as it will be when Deathwing ascends from the depths of his lair, I feel that the elements will be in a state of disaster and the shamans will be in great need. Plus, I have a set of islands to take back for my people, and what are they going to do without a shaman to guide them to their ancestral home, and make sure that they all stay healthy? “I tell ya mon, dat be the hardest part!”
I’m fascinated with the possibilities, and will probably keep a running log of what I do when Cataclysm hits. We’ll see what we happens when the world gets torn asunder. I’m looking forward to possible quest flavor geared towards shamans and perhaps a special quest or two that might allow some character fleshing. I also hope to meet others who are interested in roleplaying about the new events. Even if there isn’t anything specific, I feel like taking a shaman into Cataclysm will be much like taking my Death Knight through. With her, it was all about vengeance to the Lich King. He enthralled us and then tried to use us. Thanks to Highlord Darion Mograine, we saw the light, and sought to exact revenge for the evil that we had committed. I still haven’t had a chance to kill the Lich King with her, but when I do, that will be a fulfilling moment. I guess that has been my roleplay up until now: going through the early raids in preparation for the final battle, slaying countless of the scourge minions, the mindless beasts that I had once be very much like, and training through the Trial of the Crusader with purpose of assaulting Icecrown Citadel. My Death Knight’s one desire is to drive her axes straight into Arthas’ skull. I figure the same type of feeling will occur for shamans when it comes to the elemental lords we might get to fight. One thing is for sure, the elemental lords will not be happy with Deathwing’s disturbance, and the shamans will be needed to help calm the riptide of anger that may wash over the world.
Aside from quests I’m also looking forward to gear and new skills. I have never had a max level shaman, so I don’t know much about them, but I do know that every class is getting significant upgrades in Cataclysm, and the small amount of PvP healing I’ve done with my shaman has convinced me that I want to explore the skills and find the good combinations, both for PvP and for PvE.
I will leave this post with one last thought. The elementals are calling. Will you answer?