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All the World's a Stage: Roleplaying plot points Q&A

Anne Stickney

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.

Well, I've certainly had fun covering the different plot points out there for roleplayers of any Warcraft race to pick up on. Keep in mind, though, that these articles are merely suggestions for relevant topics your character could potentially be interested in -- they are certainly not the be all and end all of interesting things for your character to talk about. Hopefully, you guys were able to find a good idea or two in all that lore to sink your teeth into!

Today, I'm going back through the plot point series, checking out the comments and answering any questions you guys may have had about the various points brought up in this series. There are a lot of really good questions here, so let's get started!

Possum asked, from Night Elf plot points:

In regards to the Night Elf mages, I was under the impression that all PC mages created were Highborne? To me this makes a lot more sense. Letting the Highborne back into society tentatively I can see out of desperation, but having them train/corrupt their youth?

Yes and no. The thing with Night Elf mages is that you can play them whichever way you like. But in the case of the Shen'dralar, there are very few of them actually left in the world. When the Shen'dralar started using demons as a source for arcane energy down in Dire Maul, the amount of arcane energy produced was too little for the sheer number of Highborne in the city walls. That's when Prince Tortheldrin decided that in order to keep enough arcane energy for everyone, he would simply have to limit the number of people siphoning it.

He did this by slaughtering his own people to the point where there aren't many alive today. Tortheldrin wasn't exactly ... sane. Neither were a large chunk of the Shen'dralar survivors. This is why it makes more sense for the Night Elf mages you see today to be largely Kaldorei that are being taught by the Shen'dralar, rather than being Shen'dralar themselves. Does this mean you can't play a Shen'dralar survivor? Absolutely not.

Heck, when you think about it, it'd make for one really gruesome backstory, wouldn't it? A character who's lived the majority of his life being ruled by a mad tyrant who may or may not decide at any given moment that said character should continue doing the nice things in life like using arcane magic. Or breathing.

For more information on the Shen'dralar, you can check out the Know Your Lore article on their history.

MusedMoose asked, from Draenei plot points:

I just read Rise of the Horde, and all through it, Velen is said to be white-skinned. But in all the official art, and in the game, he's purple. Did something happen that led to his color changing? Or is this just a slip-up on Blizzard's part? It's not a huge deal, but he's one of my favorite characters, especially after reading Rise, so I was curious.

There's no real lore reasoning behind the color change, but you could simply chalk it off to signs of advanced aging, if nothing else. The Draenei are alien and immortal. Who knows what thousands upon thousands of years of life do to an alien creature?

Proffesor Orc asked, from Draenei plot points:

Is it known how many different worlds the Draenei have visited or settled before they came to Draenor?

Nope! All of that information is pretty much up in the air -- which means it's also ripe for roleplay potential. Since there is no defined lore surrounding that time period in Draenei history, you can feel free to fill it with whatever stories you like. Make up a random planet your Draenei remembers fondly if you'd like to, or an alien race he was particularly fond of and regretful of having to leave. The only limits are your imagination!

Do keep in mind, though, that you are making up what are essentially thousands of years of history that have not been clarified in official lore. In the event that Blizzard comes out with stories and lore that do go through and explain the full lengths of Draenei history in detail, your story may have to be adjusted to accommodate that lore. So I wouldn't suggest making anything major, events-wise -- no giant wars or things that would supposedly impact every Draenei who ever lived through that time period.

Joe asked, from Goblin plot points:

What do you think about just ignoring the goblin starting zone story? I mean, it's pretty restrictive to have ALL goblin players having recently arrived from Kazan. And, while the Steamwheedle Cartel is, of course, the most active on the Azeroth mainland, it stands to reason that the Bilgewater Cartel would have some people working in Kalimdor and the Eastern Kingdoms pre-Shattering. (even if players never ran into them)

So how about just ignoring the starting zone and RPing your Goblin having been a minor Bilgewater agent working in Kalimdor for years?

You can certainly do that if you like! Not every Bilgewater Goblin has to have come from Kezan -- it means that yes, you'd have to ignore the events of the Goblin starting zone, but since all that starting zone stuff is phased away from non-Goblin players, that's pretty easy to do, honestly.

It does, however, open up a whole new list of questions when you're considering your Goblin character. What was he doing in Kalimdor or the Eastern Kingdoms prior to the Shattering? Who was he working for, and why did he leave Kezan in the first place? How did he find out about the Bilgewater Cartel's new alliance with the Horde? And how did he react to that kind of an alliance, when Goblins as a whole have been remarkably neutral up to the point of Cataclysm's launch?

MisterRik asked, from Goblin plot points:

Was Kezan the *main* goblin island? That is, is Kezan where Undermine is located? If so, then there should have been several other Trade Princes and Cartels aside from the Bilgewater bunch in other locations on the island that we never see.

Has there been any indication what happened to the other Cartels when the volcano erupted?

Kezan is indeed the main Goblin island; the city of Undermine is located beneath Kezan. Someone asked about Undermine during the Quests and Lore panel at BlizzCon last year, if the Goblins would ever try and go back to Kezan and if we'd ever see Undermine. The answer was that yes, they would like to go back, but they just aren't sure when it will happen. The city your Goblin starts out in is just one city from one Cartel. There are other Cartels out there and other Trade Princes that haven't been seen yet. Whether or not we will see them eventually has yet to be seen, but I hope we do!

Bellajtok asked, from Orc plot points:

So I have a timeline question- how long have the orcs been free of fel influence? My feeling is that it hasn't been very long, but perhaps we're reaching the point where a new generation of orcs who were never fel-tainted in their memory might grow into conflict with the older generation who does remember?

It hasn't been very long at all, really. Thrall and Grom Hellscream destroyed Mannoroth and freed the Orcs from the Blood Curse just before the Orcs, Humans and Night Elves allied for the final push of the Third War and the defense of Hyjal. According to the official timeline, that was year 20 or so, and we are now in year 28, give or take a year or two. So in order for an Orc to have been born without memory, knowledge, or influence of that Blood Curse, he'd only be 8 or 9 years old at this point.

It's going to be another 10 or 20 years in the timeline before we run into that kind of conflict. Even an Orc who is just reaching maturity in Cataclysm would have been born right around the time of the internment camps in the Second War -- and definitely old enough to remember the Blood Curse and what it did to the Orcish clans.

Scuac asked, from Human plot points:

Any tips for a human mage from the Kirin Tor, born in Dalaran (back Eastern Kingdoms)?

Ooo, that's going to be one really stressed-out Human being right there, presuming he's lived in Dalaran his whole life. Depending on how old your Human character is, he may remember when Archimonde pretty much flat-out destroyed Dalaran and have been among those who fled from the city and survived. Upon returning to Dalaran, the mages of the city surrounded it with the glowing bubble we saw in vanilla, and there was pretty much no contact whatsoever with the outside world.

The mages of the Kirin Tor noticed that they were beginning to weaken and that the ley lines were doing odd things somewhere in between The Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King. A large part of the reason Dalaran moved north was to try and figure out what was going on -- and that was the spark of the Nexus War between Malygos and the Kirin Tor. Malygos didn't feel the mortal races were responsible enough to handle arcane magic, and the Kirin Tor firmly disagreed.

So, from a timeline standpoint, it has only been seven to eight years since Dalaran was smashed to pieces and put behind that glowing bubble. A character born during the Second War would have been about 15 years of age when Dalaran was destroyed; that would make him about 22 or 23 today. First War was in year 0 in the official timeline, the Second War was years 6 through 8, and the Third War was year 20. Keep in mind that a mage of the Kirin Tor raised entirely in Dalaran wouldn't remember the events on Hyjal because he wasn't involved with it -- he was behind the bubble.

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!

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