All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players. In World of Warcraft, that player is you! Each week, Anne Stickney brings you All the World's a Stage with helpful hints, tips and tricks on the art of roleplay in WoW.
While World of Warcraft has plenty of extra gadgets and widgets for PvE or PvP players, there's little in the way of any kind of RP utility with the existing user interface. It was requested at BlizzCon this year that some sort of RP description tool be added to the existing UI, but if Blizzard does decide to do something like this, it's likely to be pretty far in the future. Thankfully, until that time does occur, roleplayers have loads of addons to choose from that can help them out.
Patch 4.0 broke a lot of existing addons for PvE and PvP gameplay, but most of the RP addons seem to have made the transition without too much hassle. While I can't go over every addon under the sun, I'm going to touch on a few of my favorite different RP addons that a good chunk of the RP population uses -- how they work, what they're for, and why you should have them.
MyRolePlay / FlagRSP2
One of the problems roleplayers run into is that there's no easy way to identify another roleplayer. Unfortunately, while RP servers do have an RP population, they also have their fair share of players looking for PvE or PvP who have no interest in roleplay at all. Fortunately, these addons have been developed for identifying roleplayers at one quick glance by allowing you to type up your own character's roleplay description and allowing you to see other player's descriptions, as well.
There are several different addons that do what MyRolePlay and FlagRSP2 do, but these two are the ones I hear about the most. I use MyRolePlay, but I used to use FlagRSP back in the day. The way these addons work is pretty simple. You just open up the interface and type in a physical description of your character complete with titles, surnames -- whatever you'd like, really. Once that information is saved, anyone with the addon can see your description by mousing over your character's name, targeting you, or simply using a hotkey. Other players who are using the addon will pop up in your tooltip as being flagged for roleplay, so you know who's around to RP and who isn't.
FlagRSP2 has seen some changes in layout. In order to access the FlagRSP2 interface, you can go to your interface/addons panel from the main menu in game, or you can bring up your character pane and click the button on the bottom of your character portrait. The addon itself is straightforward, giving you space for both a prefix and suffix name as well as whatever title you'd like to have, plus a large box for character description. The tooltips are pretty user-friendly as well, making it easy to spot fellow roleplayers.
MyRolePlay has also undergone some changes, and I tend to like them a bit better. Rather than having to open up your main menu, you can simply go to your character pane, and you'll see a new tab next to currency labeled "MyRolePlay." Highlighting the titles of the different areas will give you instructions as to what goes in what box, which is an incredibly useful thing for new roleplayers to have around. There's a separate spot for physical description and history, as well as areas for your character's home, birthplace, and motto.
The nice thing that I have always liked about MyRolePlay is that it will let you view other player's character descriptions even if they don't have MyRolePlay installed. So if someone's using FlagRSP2 and you're using MyRolePlay, it doesn't matter -- you'll still be able to see what their character is all about. Out of the different roleplay addons to come out of 4.0, MyRolePlay is still my favorite -- but I'd encourage roleplayers to try as many of them as they'd like and pick the one that best suits them.
This is one of the more "advanced" roleplaying addons out there, but what it does to enhance the roleplay experience is nothing short of phenomenal. This addon works like MyRolePlay and FlagRSP2 -- only those with Gryphonheart Items installed will be able to see and use the items that the addon allows you to create. Say what? Create items? That's right. Gryphonheart Items lets you actually create tradeable items and objects, food, drink, quest items, and darn near everything under the sun with a few simple clicks -- or in the more advanced cases, a little coding.
Upon enabling Gryphonheart, players will find a new icon on their UI: a small blue bag. You can easily move the bag around the screen by holding shift and clicking it, so shoving it in a corner is entirely possible. The bag is the complete interface; no messing around with the interface menu is required for Gryphonheart. Simply click on the bag to open the menu, and hit "N" for new item. You can then select what level the item is going to be -- all the way up to Artifact, even -- and what kind of item it is.
After you've done this, you're allowed to edit the item. Did you make a book? Right-click the book to open it, and then edit the book to include whatever text you'd like and however many pages you desire. Are you making an item to play music? This is a little more difficult; you have to set the item to use a script and then give it the script to do whatever you'd like it to do. In the case of playing music (like that creepy harpsichord music from Karazhan, for example), you'd use the script PlaySoundFile("Sound\\Music\\ZoneMusic\\Karazhan\\KA_OperaHarpsiWalkUni01.mp3") in the script window. Right-clicking the item will make the music play.
Gryphonheart has been updated for 4.0 and should continue working just fine when Cataclysm hits. Plenty of people have written tutorials and suggestions in regards to making items; a Google search on the subject should bring up a host of things you can do with the addon.
In addition to creating items, Gryphonheart has one more handy feature that I use frequently: It will allow you to copy any in-game book, letter, readable quest item or piece of mail into its inventory. So if you don't feel like running all the way to the Academy of Arcane Arts and Sciences in Stormwind just to read a copy of Mount Hyjal and Illidan's Gift, you can just copy it to Gryphonheart and access it from your little blue bag at any time.
WOWscribe Chat Logger
There are a million and a half different addons that will log chat for you, including an option in the existing interface in game. So why use an addon, and why this addon? Personal preference, I suppose. What WOWscribe Chat Logger will do is log your chat to a file called WoWChatLog.txt in your World of Warcraft/Logs folder. What makes this addon so different? Versatility, for me. With WOWscribe, you can pick which channels you want to log and which you don't -- so you can log whispers but not emotes, /say but not /yell, /party and /party leader, or everything all at once. It doesn't matter which combination you use; you can turn them on and off at a whim.
In addition to this, this mod is extremely simple to use. Just type in "/wowscribe" to bring up a list of commands in your chat window, type in "/wowscribe status" to see what you're already logging, "/wowscribe start" to start logging, and "/wowscribe stop" to stop. There is no crazy UI for this addon; it's all text-based -- and really, doesn't that make sense in the long run for a basic chat logging addon?
Why should you use a chat logging addon? In my case, if I am working on a story based on in game RP, I like having chat logs to fall back on so I can see who exactly said what or what took place. Logs can also be handy for those who don't play often; if a player can't quite remember where he was in a moment of RP from several weeks ago, he can go back and look up where he left off.
There are lots of other addons out there designed with roleplaying in mind. These are just a few of my favorites. Feel free to leave a comment if you have any amazing roleplaying addons of your own that you'd like to spread the word about!
All the World's a Stage is your source for roleplaying ideas, innovations and ironies. Let us help you imagine what it's like to sacrifice spells for the story, totally immerse yourself in your roleplaying or even RP on a non-RP realm!