Friday, September 6, 2013

In the Meantime: Traveling with your Character


Congratulations are in order to Team WildStar for stealing the show at Gamescom and PAX Prime! At Gamescom 2013, WildStar won Best in Show from ZAM as well as the Best of Gamescom award from one of the biggest gaming networks in Germany: At PAX Prime 2013, they also walked away with's Best of Show award. Awesome work guys! We were rooting for ya the whole way!

The bug is so CUTE!!

Today another Tales from Beyond the Fringe : Mystery and Mayhem was released. This one for Victor Lazarin. With some stunning art, these are really fun to read!

Part 1: Mondo Zax
Part 2: Victor Lazarin
Part 3: Coming Soon! 09/13/13


Today looks like a DOUBLE FEATURE FRIDAY. Guess I just had so much to say, I couldn't contain myself.

As always, feel free to share any ideas, comments, concerns or suggestions for future articles! (Or harass Agent Hawkens with any questions you might have) I know Blogger isn't always the most convenient to comment on, so feel free to check out my link to these articles on WSRP. Each one gets their own thread to allow others a chance to comment where the whole community can help chime in! ( Plus you should totally check out all the awesome stuff that goes on WSRP or even make your own character there ;) )

Right, so, before Hawkens here can add anything clever, let's get started. Be sure to check out both articles today! I've got this one here on traveling with your characters and the previous one here about the payment model.




Like everything in the Dominion, the Imperial Arkship was the model of efficiency and strength. Every Cassian, Draken, Mechari and even the Chua dedicated themselves to their tasks of preparation for their inevitable arrival on Nexus.

Agent Hawkens was no exception to the rule. Like all soldiers of the Dominion, he knew life was made up of periods of intense action filling the spaces between the infuriating stretches of waiting. Thus every day became a ritual of training and drills. Every day was as much an exercise of the body as it was of the mind. If the agent was not in conference with his handler, he would instead seek solace in the silence, drawing strength from the calm before the storm instead of madness.

Every moment was potential. Potential to study Nexus, potential to study the Exiles and potential to prepare himself. To waste such time in idleness or frustration was to invite calamity. Every agent of the ICI knew a lazy agent was a dead one and the Cassian had no desire to add his name to the lists of the departed just yet.

Though Agent Hawkens well believed the warning, it did little to mollify his restlessness. Nexus, the Promise of the Eldan made real, the endgame of thousands of years of loyalty and faith. Planetfall could not come soon enough. Until then, he settled himself for one of the hardest tasks he had ever faced in his life: patience...

With the pushback of the release of WildStar to spring of 2014, Nexus seems just all the further from our reach. Though I am all for Carbine taking all the time they need to make the best game they can, this certainly does not stop me from pouting dejectedly in the corner. But, just as Agent Hawkens, I know there are far better ways to spend my time instead of moping about.

So you have your character and you're ready to go, yes? Or close at least. You've got a pretty decent idea who you want to play, but with WildStar so far off and a bit of a lull in the big reveals for Carbine studios everything seems to be slowing down as people look to find a way to spend their time while they wait. So what exactly can you do while you sit with bated breath?

Well, one of the best things about creating characters is that they are quite mobile. In fact, almost every character comes in their own neat little travel package in your mind. While some parts of them may rely closely on the world you built them for, with a bit of creativity and malleablility, you can shape them to whatever you so choose.

First of all, before I continue, I would like to remind everyone that playing other games or taking some time off the forums is not a bad thing. You don't have to feel like you are somehow betraying WildStar if you play World of Warcraft or any other game. You do not have to check the forums every single day to be a valued member of a community. Times are slow right now. With the last really big reveals being the last two races and WildStar's business model, there has been a lull in the flow of energy and excitement while we wait for them to prepare their next build of the beta with all their new changes and streamline more of their work behind the scenes. Many people have taken the time to explore Final Fantasy: A Realm Reborn and some have simply decided to take a break for a little while until another surge of news emerges. And this is okay! The last thing you want to do is push yourself to the point of burning out. WildStar, at the end of the day, is just a game and games are meant to be fun. If you are not enjoying your time, take a break, play another game and relax. We'll all be here and so will WildStar. :3

That said, you don't necessarily need to leave everything behind if you are looking for something for yourself, your friends and/or your guild to do for now! In the realm of roleplay, your creativity travels with you and so does the product of your genius. Just because WildStar has not yet launched does not mean you need to slam on the breaks and refuse to move! Remember that it is even in the little things that a character can really evolve, especially when you are able to RP with others.

So where do you take them? Well I am glad you asked! ( Also, as a quick aside for those of you who do not roleplay, some of these suggestions still stand as some fun alternatives while you wait for WildStar!)
Note: All activities are more fun with friends, so be sure to bring plenty of them along!

Roleplaying-on-the Fly:

Would you character enjoy spicy food?
-Just a few minutes ago, one of my good friends just asked (while heading out to purchase dinner):

“Hmmm, now brain is considering character development implications. What exotic foods does your character like? Do they like spicy things?”

This is an excellent example of one half of RP on the Fly: Character development. One of the best ways to shape a very believable character lies not in the fantastic, but in the mundane. What you like to eat, what you enjoy reading, what the aftermath of a rainstorm smells like when you step outside, or what the nightlife of the city sounds like, these are all examples of everyday events that shape who we are. This is no different for your character, so have fun! My friends and I often pull the most random thoughts and ideas and pause, giddy with excitement to figure out how they effect or shape our characters! It might sound silly to some, but it can be a lot of fun. It is a good creative exercise that doesn't just help you build your character, but it also further elaborates on your own perceptions of the world. By better understanding the world around you and by giving even simple things extra thought, you greatly improve your creative and communicative abilities! The better you understand your own thoughts, the better you can convey them to others in an understandable fashion.

The second half of RP on the Fly, is exactly that: Impromptu RP. Whether written or voiced, these can be quite enjoyable! Maybe you take part in the back and forth of the Dominion and Exiles in some good-natured bantering on Twitter or perhaps you write a few quick and humorous lines in Skype with one of your friends. Maybe you sit down and write that one scene that just popped into your head at work and you just /have/ to get it on paper or perhaps you find yourself verbally trading lines on the phone or in person with another “character.” While impromptu can sometimes feel silly or insignificant in the long run, don't laugh them off. Some of my best roleplay began as just some tiny impromptu piece that grew far beyond the few silly lines it began as. Although, on the other hand, don't force yourself to take them too seriously (Yes, I am totally reminding myself here as well cough ) Sometimes a few lines of silliness can be a lot of fun and that is great! Laughter is good for you and even if no horribly deep personality growth comes from it, it is still great creative practice and maybe some fun social time for you as well.

RP on the Fly can be done really anywhere. It can be done at Wal-Mart, while you are shopping, or at dinner. You can RP on the bus, or over Skype. You can text some silly bantering with your friends or take your character to a whole new game. Nothing is really limiting you here, save your own imagination. So don't be afraid to look silly, have fun!

Alternate Universe Roleplaying:

The Pacific Rim universe would certainly be an enjoyable AU to RP in!
AU or Alternate Universe RP, stands for when you RP your characters in another “universe” then the one they were created for. For instance, taking your WildStar character and turning them into a modern day version so they could become a Jaeger pilot would be part of an AU RP for Pacific Rim. Or you could make a strong pure fantasy alteration of your character to fit in the worlds of Final Fantasy or Dragon Age.

These AU Roleplay sessions can really be a lot of fun. Not every universe may provide all the things you really would like to build or show in your character. And not every universe fits your personal style perfectly. A High School AU roleplay session might show better how your character grew through their change into adulthood, while translating your character to The Secret World would allow for some really great RP that places them in the “real world” with Twitter, Gmail, McDonalds and Microsoft, allowing you to showcase how your character might react if they were with you today while still allowing for them to deal with the fantastic.

While some people might call these silly or even “stupid,” they aren't. They are just more excellent creative exercises! There is nothing wrong with taking your epic WildStar warrior and making him or her a student at Hogwarts if you really want to. The point of roleplaying is to exercise your creativity and have FUN. These situations can sometimes really help to shape your character's personality or can just simply be a enjoyable distraction for awhile. Don't be afraid to join in on one, or make your own and give a shout out to others to play with ya! Or just write something for yourself if you wish.

Just remember to be respectful of the world you are playing in. You are using the genius of someone else and it is not canon in their works unless they say so. Other then that, go nuts. Make believe doesn't necessarily have rules!

Other Games:

I know, games other then WildStar? What is this? Although it might sound like a trick, there were actually games before WildStar and there will be games during and after. There is nothing wrong with playing them as well!

Except the part where you are clearly a blasphemer and are subject to execution under Dominion Law...

Hawkens...did you just try to make a joke?


Yeeeahhh....maybe...maybe just stick to doing your agent things, okay?


Much better! Now where was I? Oh yes! Other games!

This is one of the best ways to spend your time, evolve your character and just plain have fun. You can play by yourself, with a group of friends or even as something for your guild to bond over while you wait for WildStar. Here's just some of the games I would recommend to look at:

Star Wars: The Old Republic- Though it's had some rough spots, this Star Wars themed gem from Bioware has some of the most fantastic storytelling in the world of MMORPGs. I personally highly recommend this as a good way to spend some time for a few months to at least play through a class story. While the dialogue choices foster roleplay in it of themselves, the game is even more enjoyable if you bring in your WildStar character and translate them over the best you can. While it might not be a perfect fit, it can be a lot of fun! My friends and I are currently spending some time here for some relaxing RP as we run through our storylines! My advice? Spend the fifteen dollars for the sub, their F2P is terrible.

GuildWars 2: A buy-to-play game with no monthly fee, Guild Wars 2 can be an enjoyable game to return back to whenever you just want to run around and enjoy some gorgeous landscapes and some decently fun gameplay. While your WildStar characters may not translate the best, you can always carry over their personality and give it a shot in a heavy fantasy setting. While the game is colorful and the classes interesting, the grindy-ness of the game can get kind of boring with time and the zones tend to start blending together in looks. However, I still enjoy hopping on my Charr Mesmer and Charr elementalist from time to time to just relax and run around killing and cooking XD

The Secret World: Another buy-to-play with an optional sub fee, The Secret World has an excellent storyline and some unique questing ideas including puzzle solving quests with an in-game browser for researching your answers! The world itself is set in modern day, filled with H.P. Lovecraft/Stephen King inspiration. It is very interesting, playing your character as not some magical hero, but one of many supernatural forces standing in between the darkness and those in our world who live unawares. While the story can be dark and sometimes downright creepy, the combat has an incredibly steep learning curve. While it allows you to play in most any style, without looking up how to make a strong deck, anything past the first two sections of the first zone can get frustratingly difficult. That said, its certainly worth a look!

Final Fantasy: A Realm Reborn: While the launch of this game has run into some frustrating issues for the North America and European servers, I have been told the gameplay itself is rather enjoyable, if somewhat grindy. Though I decided not to try it out, I find the idea of getting to have your own Chocobo mount and companion is amazing! I love Chocobos!!!

Mass Effect 3: Multiplayer: While I personally recommend the entire Mass Effect series, and the Dragon Age series for that matter, as some amazing stories to play through, the multiplayer of ME3 is a lot of fun. Though it is no longer officially supported from Bioware, you can still get into games of all levels of difficulty within a reasonable amount of time. Even though the levels themselves can get a little repetitive, I always find the fast paced combat to be fun and enjoyable and nothing is quite so satisfying as charging my Krogan Warlord across the map and sending the bodies of my enemies scattering everywhere while I laugh!

The Thief series, Deus Ex series and System Shock 2: You can find these games for a decent price on Steam and some of them on GoG. Though most of them are a bit outdated, they still hold a very dear place in my heart. Thief has some excellent stealth gameplay for the patient, while Deus Ex features a very rewarding conspiracy theory/cyberpunk story that began my love of agents and cyberpunk! System Shock 2 is an amazing survival horror that still has some great atmosphere to this day, though I will warn that the ending is a little lackluster. Still, these are all worth the time to see!

These are just some of the games I would recommend, there are MANY more that I haven't played that I know people really enjoy. Feel free to mention what you are playing and/or enjoy in the comments either here or on WSRP!

Pen and Paper/Tabletop RPGs:

I know I've already babbled on for a bit, but I felt I would be remiss if I did not touch on this briefly. Pen and Paper games are another perfect way to get your RP fix while you wait for WildStar to come out, even better if you can play with your fellow WildStar friends or community!

There are all sorts of settings for you to play with from the cyberpunk Shadowrun to the classic Dungeons and Dragons! GURPS, Star Wars, Warhammer 40k Death Watch, Ironclaw and a whole myriad of other settings exist out there. It can be sometimes difficult to pick the right one for your group and get a session up and running, but if you can these can be TONS of fun to roleplay in!

So you see, there really is a LOT of alternatives to keep yourself and your friends busy with and still have fun. You don't necessarily have to leave the WildStar character you worked so hard on behind either. Feel free to bend and mold them to have fun, be silly and try some random RP or even join up with a WildStar thread over on WSRP while you wait. Don't feel bad if you just need to step back and take a break for awhile either. There is no sense in getting burned out and no longer enjoying the game! Besides, we'll all be here when you return. ;)

Just remember, the most important thing of all, is to have fun!

Relax ;)

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