Jim Moreno's "RoleCraft" MMO ColumnRoleCraft: Before the CataclysmJim Moreno's "RoleCraft" MMO Column - RSS 2.0
Dr. Peter Venkman: This city is headed for a disaster of biblical proportions.
Mayor: What do you mean, "biblical"?
Dr Ray Stantz: What he means is Old Testament, Mr. Mayor, real wrath of God type stuff.
Dr. Peter Venkman: Exactly.
Dr Ray Stantz: Fire and brimstone coming down from the skies! Rivers and seas boiling!
Dr. Egon Spengler: Forty years of darkness! Earthquakes, volcanoes...
Winston Zeddemore: The dead rising from the grave!
Dr. Peter Venkman: Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together... mass hysteria!
- Ghostbusters (1984)
Yes, WoW roleplayers, the Cataclysm is coming. Are you prepared?
I recently restarted my WoW account, after taking about a year off. The incoming Cataclysm has me quite intrigued about all the new roleplaying possibilities, and I just didn't want to miss out. As is my usual state of mind, I'm not looking for RP, but rather making it wherever my characters are. Which got me thinking about doing some pre-planning for the Cataclysm, and what would I like to do with my characters to prepare for it.
I bet there may be some fellow WoW roleplayers thinking along the same lines. So, I read through the official WoW Cataclysm website and jotted down five potential RP ideas that came to mind first.
Just getting back into the game, the only thing I've witnessed so far that hints at this future doom & destruction are the earthquakes. Maybe (hopefully) the Blizzard wizards have much more in game foreboding elements to bring in slowly until the Cataclysm hits.
Roleplayers can be counted on to play up these earthquakes to their full potential. This is one time where I think it's perfectly fine to break the separation of player / character knowledge rule. Roleplayers should be taking what they are learning about the impending Cataclysm and channeling that info to their characters in true RP fashion.
Now is the perfect time to see roleplayers with low-level characters in rags wandering the streets of Stormwind and Orgrimmar, crying aloud "the end is nigh!", and other such doom & gloom phrases. Soothsayers, oracles, wisdoms, and wise men all over Azeroth may be in tune enough to have caught some notion that something heavy is about to go down. Priests may have received a calling from their deities, shamans from their communions with the elements, and druids from observing Nature. Miners could be seeing firsthand the effects of these increasing earthquakes on ore nodes. Engineers might be tasked by officials or guild leaders to investigate the tremors with sophisticated measuring equipment. Rogues posing as cartographers or employed as scouts may be quick to notice the subtle geographical changes happening all around. Basically, every race, class, and profession can have some link for being observant to varying degrees that something is wrong. Then it's just a matter of roleplaying that out ever how much you wish.
I am really looking forward to roleplaying this new secondary skill. It already has a good share of mention made to it in game, especially dealing with dwarves, and I often wondered why it wasn't in game before.
With all the underground locations there are throughout Azeroth, all the ground-level and water-hidden ruins, roleplaying an archaeologist is relatively easy to do now, but should be made all the much better with the Cataclysm expansion. Up until then, they are in prime positions to be the ones to discover long lost histories which may give some indication of the future destruction. I see these being the first to find the first mentions of possible Deathwing prophecies, which could turn others on to investigating Deathwing further.
Perhaps my favorite new upcoming item will be the return of the trolls to their home islands. My troll priest will certainly be making a pilgrimage back to Durotar to lend his aid in this endeavor. Perhaps other trolls will receive a direct summons from Vol'jin himself, asking for their aid of arms and magic, as he gathers his army together. Troll friends, adventure seekers, treasure hunters, warriors and mercenaries from every race may here about the approaching battle for the islands, and bring sword and skills with them.
Much the same could be said for the retaking of Gnomeregan as for the Echo Isles. I have one especially good-hearted gnome engineer who will soon began making his best and almost-works-correctly contraptions to assist in the gnome's return home. Scouts will certainly be needed to begin an accurate appraisal of the forces which hold Gnomeregan, and all manner of weapons, armor, potions, and other equipment will need to be manufactured ahead of time.
Just as big as the Cataclysm may be the news of the return of Deathwing the Destroyer, once known as Neltharion, the Earth-Warder. It's his resurfacing that will cause the Cataclysm, so it stands to reason that if he's destroyed once and for all, the Cataclysm will end. That makes for one epic RP storyline for any and all characters wishing to take it on. Since Neltharion's dominion was over earth and the deep places of Azeroth, perhaps his influence is yet found in and around such places, just waiting to ensnare some unsuspecting archaeologist into doing his evil bidding. Perhaps, as he nears his breaking out of his prison, his power and rage begins to seep into the minds and hearts of psychics and fortune-tellers, and they take on the task of either warning or corrupting those around them. Spell-casters deeply involved with the element of earth may notice changes in their reagents, or fluctuations in those spells. Nearly anything your imagination can create could be just what's needed here.
What RP ways are your characters getting ready for the Cataclysm? Share your storylines in the Comments section here, tweet them to @RoleCraft, and/or join the RoleCraft Facebook Group to post there. Until next time, role on!