Has anyone ever played the World of Warcraft RPG?

Discuss the World of Warcraft campaign setting, as it relates to pen & paper RPGs, here.
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Has anyone ever played the World of Warcraft RPG?

Post by Big Mac » Tue Jul 21, 2009 12:45 am

The Warcraft Role Playing Game (later renamed the World of Warcraft Role Playing Game) is based on Blizzard's computer game/MMORPG world, Azeroth.

While the Warcraft/WoW RPG only has 13 books in its product line (and the switch from an official D&D product line to a d20 System product line cause some later books to be duplications of eariler books) the RPG is an official part of Blizzard's Warcraft Universe, as are the Warcraft novels. This means that a lot of material from the World of Warcraft MMORPG and earlier Warcraft computer games would be compatible with the RPG. As there are some very active Warcraft/WoW wikis out there (including WoWWiki), a GM would probably be able to use them as a source of additional information about the world and use that to build up a game that goes beyond the original RPG books.

We have had a number of people on the forums bring up the WoW MMORPG, but I was wondering if anyone has actually played the WoW RPG?

EDIT: "[Warcraft]" tag removed.
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Re: Has anyone ever played the World of Warcraft RPG?

Post by Big Mac » Tue Jul 21, 2009 12:48 am

Reposted from the v2 forum:

Post 2
Havard wrote:Never played it. A friend of mine picked up the sourcebook though and it looked kinda neat. :)

WoW certainly has enough elements to it to make it feel different than your average D&D setting.

Havard

Post 3
Big Mac wrote:
Havard wrote:Never played it. A friend of mine picked up the sourcebook though and it looked kinda neat. :)
I skim read some of the WoW books a few years back (when I was potless) and they do have a very good design style.
Havard wrote:WoW certainly has enough elements to it to make it feel different than your average D&D setting.


One of the things that I find interesting about WoW is the way that you have the Alliance and the Horde, but have times when the two groups have cooperated against others. If you set a game in the right time period, it should be possible to make up a party of good and evil players and have a logical rationale for them all to work together without stabbing each other in the back.

As someone who has played the MMORPG, I'd actually be interested in seeing if it would be possible to add in elements of the Ghostwalk RPG and create the graveyards where WoW players come back from the dead (sans equipment) or appear in spirit form and can travel back to their body.
Post 4
night_druid wrote:
Big Mac wrote:As someone who has played the MMORPG, I'd actually be interested in seeing if it would be possible to add in elements of the Ghostwalk RPG and create the graveyards where WoW players come back from the dead (sans equipment) or appear in spirit form and can travel back to their body.
WoW would be interesting if they ever aligned the story with the game mechanics...namely how everyone is effectively immortal. Yeah, you can "kill" someone, but its just a temporary condition as you do a corpse run. It is effectively a world without permanent death, an aspect never addressed in the storylines of the game.
EDIT: "[Warcraft]" tag removed.
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Re: Has anyone ever played the World of Warcraft RPG?

Post by Big Mac » Sat Nov 14, 2009 11:56 pm

In all the excitement, I forgot to reply to the post from Night Druid that I copied over! :oops:
night_druid wrote:
Big Mac wrote:As someone who has played the MMORPG, I'd actually be interested in seeing if it would be possible to add in elements of the Ghostwalk RPG and create the graveyards where WoW players come back from the dead (sans equipment) or appear in spirit form and can travel back to their body.
WoW would be interesting if they ever aligned the story with the game mechanics...namely how everyone is effectively immortal. Yeah, you can "kill" someone, but its just a temporary condition as you do a corpse run. It is effectively a world without permanent death, an aspect never addressed in the storylines of the game.
Now I've actually got Ghostwalk, I could have a look to see how easy it would be to export this feature from Manifest to WoW.

However, I suspect that it is only in the MMORPG to avoid having people give up in frustration if their character gets killed. I would bet that Blizzard would want to avoid actually giving a background to these game mechanics. I think that is a shame because, with NPCs coming back from the dead, you have the perfect excuse for a grudge match.

EDIT: "[Warcraft]" tag removed.
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Re: [Warcraft] Has anyone ever played the World of Warcraft RPG?

Post by Val.S » Sun Nov 15, 2009 12:28 am

I prefer that, 'in setting', people die and remain dead. A story where you overcome the big bad guy and he pops up 5 minutes later, offs your character then stands around looking at his watch for the rematch doesn't really appeal to me. :twisted:

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Re: Has anyone ever played the World of Warcraft RPG?

Post by Big Mac » Sun Nov 15, 2009 12:51 am

Val.S wrote:I prefer that, 'in setting', people die and remain dead. A story where you overcome the big bad guy and he pops up 5 minutes later, offs your character then stands around looking at his watch for the rematch doesn't really appeal to me. :twisted:
Well, lets face it, given the way WoW works, you would overcome the big bad guy and he would pop up 5 minutes later in his underwear and without the suit of armour and big magic club you looted off of his body! :o

The game might turn into a big Benny Hill chase, with nekked PCs and NPCs running after the people who looted the clothes off of their bodies! :lol:

EDIT: "[Warcraft]" tag removed.
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Re: [Warcraft] Has anyone ever played the World of Warcraft RPG?

Post by dulsi » Sun Nov 15, 2009 1:22 am

Big Mac wrote:Now I've actually got Ghostwalk, I could have a look to see how easy it would be to export this feature from Manifest to WoW.
When I was writing Worlds Within Worlds, my original thought for running the game was to use the WoW RPG. Incorporating Ghostwalk could be interesting. It isn't really the way death works in MMOs. A ghost character typically can't do anything except get resurrected.
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Re: Has anyone ever played the World of Warcraft RPG?

Post by Big Mac » Sun Nov 15, 2009 1:28 am

dulsi wrote:A ghost character typically can't do anything except get resurrected.
Hmm. As a ghost, a WoW MMORPG character can move around and explore and they have limited ability to communicate with other people in their gaming group. I'm not sure if that sort of thing is meta-gaming or if you could argue that Warcraft PCs would have psychic communcation with each other. :?

EDIT: "[Warcraft]" tag removed.
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Re: [Warcraft] Has anyone ever played the World of Warcraft RPG?

Post by Val.S » Sun Nov 15, 2009 1:00 pm

Ultimately, i would say the lack of Perma death for both characters and Boss mobs is one of the major reasons that MMO's are poorly suited to roleplaying, both for the lack of impact your character can have on the world and for the abuses players can inflict on others without fear of repercussion. We all know that player characters would abuse the heck out of a system where they couldn't die (permanently) :mrgreen:

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Re: [Warcraft] Has anyone ever played the World of Warcraft RPG?

Post by night_druid » Sun Nov 15, 2009 4:51 pm

That is a problem with WoW: very little sense of accomplishment. Even with the "achievement" system, it still feels like nothing changes in the world. You can clear out Gnomeritan 10,000 times, but it'll never be rebuilt. I wish I had the money to set up a private server, because I think I'd run it for a few friends but heavily modified, using the in-game quests and content. For example, I'd let the PCs "win" and drive out that thief brotherhood out of Westfall, defeat the orcs of Red Ridge, etc.
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Re: Has anyone ever played the World of Warcraft RPG?

Post by Big Mac » Sun Nov 15, 2009 5:27 pm

night_druid wrote:I wish I had the money to set up a private server, because I think I'd run it for a few friends but heavily modified, using the in-game quests and content. For example, I'd let the PCs "win" and drive out that thief brotherhood out of Westfall, defeat the orcs of Red Ridge, etc.
Surely someone running a MMO could take the same sort of approach as Living Greyhawk and "average out" the results of all the players doing a particular quest.

And in the case of World of Warcraft in particular, they should be able to (if they wanted to) set up a server that runs the entire timeline of Azeroth and have things change over time as the number of PCs completing a specific quest hits the "magic number" that makes that particular plot-arc kick in. I think they could even make add-on modules (like Outland) into things that get "unlocked" after a certain number of more basic quests get solved by PCs.

One thing I think would be especially useful, would be to somehow introduce a small degree of randomness into some of the quests (so that when two people do the same thing they don't do exactly the same thing). I think that something like that might help cut down on the situation where other players come up and want to walk you through the quests they know well.

EDIT: "[Warcraft]" tag removed.
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Re: [Warcraft] Has anyone ever played the World of Warcraft RPG?

Post by Val.S » Mon Nov 16, 2009 12:48 am

Money and development time. They want to get maximum useage of their resources, not progress the storyline realistically, because then they have to create even more content to replace the stuff they've tossed out by progression.

Have to give kudos to Blizzard for cataclysm, which will be moving the world on some, but that decision was driven by the requirement to update the levelling process to make sure people make it to endgame where blizzard can build in all the timesinks to keep them paying, erm playing....

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Re: [Warcraft] Has anyone ever played the World of Warcraft RPG?

Post by night_druid » Mon Nov 16, 2009 12:40 pm

I love how in Burning Crusade, you walk through a portal and a huge battle is going on, but once you get past that point, there really isn't any conflict going on. For a world that's supposedly wracked by war and battle, the battles are already over (save for one constant battle at the tip of Hellfire). The did a LITTLE better with Lich King, by having the orc citadel somewhat under siege and the battle of Wrathgate, but other than that, there's very little sense of the "war".
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Re: [Warcraft] Has anyone ever played the World of Warcraft RPG?

Post by night_druid » Mon Nov 16, 2009 1:09 pm

Oh...one thing that cracks me up about WoW: all the characters of any give race have literally identicle physical features. That is, every male is a hard-bodied body-builder, and women all have near-perfect figures. All the same height and weight, no variation. You'll never see a skiny guy, or some fat guy, short or tall. Nope, everyone is the exact same height/weight, with the only difference being determined by gender & race. That just makes me laugh a little.
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Re: Has anyone ever played the World of Warcraft RPG?

Post by Big Mac » Mon Nov 16, 2009 3:25 pm

Val.S wrote:Have to give kudos to Blizzard for cataclysm, which will be moving the world on some, but that decision was driven by the requirement to update the levelling process to make sure people make it to endgame where blizzard can build in all the timesinks to keep them paying, erm playing....
Well, they did "move the world on" with earlier additions, but the move was a one-way move, so you still essentially get the same game.

I was more thinking of something like:
  • A new realm starts with basic WoW,
  • The highest level players do X number of quests that "unlock" Burning Crusade,
  • Then they could do Y number of quests that "unlock" Wrath of the Lich King and
  • Then they could do Z number of quests that "unlock" Cataclysm.
Essentially, the players could cause progress without that progress being wasted, as that progress could be on a server by server basis. And you wouldn't need to make this a linear plot either. If the players on server A all work towards freeing Gnomeregon and the players on server B do not, then server A could "give" the players what they want and server B could carry on with an occupied Gnomeregon.
night_druid wrote:I love how in Burning Crusade, you walk through a portal and a huge battle is going on, but once you get past that point, there really isn't any conflict going on.
I gave up by that point. I'd already paid for the game and they were already making me pay ongoing rent. I just saw Burning Crusade as a way to fleece more cash out of my pocket. To be honest, I'm pretty sure I downloaded all of the BC content anyway as I spent about 3 days getting patches at one point. That really cheesed me off.
night_druid wrote:Oh...one thing that cracks me up about WoW: all the characters of any give race have literally identicle physical features. That is, every male is a hard-bodied body-builder, and women all have near-perfect figures. All the same height and weight, no variation. You'll never see a skiny guy, or some fat guy, short or tall. Nope, everyone is the exact same height/weight, with the only difference being determined by gender & race. That just makes me laugh a little.
I'm pretty sure they could introduce a bit more randomness without too many problems.

But having said that, I think that this "sameness" is something that could be taken over to the WoW RPG*. Really, all the PCs (and NPCs) should have slightly more similar Str, Con and Cha scores than standard D&D.

* = If I am allowed to bring the thread back on topic! :P

EDIT: "[Warcraft]" tag removed.
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Re: [Warcraft] Has anyone ever played the World of Warcraft RPG?

Post by night_druid » Mon Nov 16, 2009 3:51 pm

Big Mac wrote:I gave up by that point. I'd already paid for the game and they were already making me pay ongoing rent. I just saw Burning Crusade as a way to fleece more cash out of my pocket. To be honest, I'm pretty sure I downloaded all of the BC content anyway as I spent about 3 days getting patches at one point. That really cheesed me off.
Yes, you did. WoW is a week-long installation now, with the insane number of patches they've done. If I ever switch PCs again, WoW is getting cancelled. I'm not going through that BS again.
But having said that, I think that this "sameness" is something that could be taken over to the WoW RPG*. Really, all the PCs (and NPCs) should have slightly more similar Str, Con and Cha scores than standard D&D.
Not only same stats, but the same weight & height as well. ;)
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Re: [Warcraft] Has anyone ever played the World of Warcraft RPG?

Post by Bonetti » Mon Nov 16, 2009 8:31 pm

Big Mac wrote: I was more thinking of something like:
  • A new realm starts with basic WoW,
  • The highest level players do X number of quests that "unlock" Burning Crusade,
  • Then they could do Y number of quests that "unlock" Wrath of the Lich King and
  • Then they could do Z number of quests that "unlock" Cataclysm.
They did this a couple of times. First, with the Ahn'Qiraj patch in retail WoW, where the participation in gathering quests plus the completion of an epic questline available only to the leading raid guilds allowed the gates of AQ to be opened. (It also rewarded a fairly unique mount.)

Second, it was done later with the Sunwell patch, in which completion of dailies (by everyone) opened the sections of Quel'Danas.

They opened the ability to have personal progression in-game with the introduction of phasing in Wrath (used in the Wrathgate sequence, heavily used leading to the Sons of Hodir, but also lightly used in places -- such as the flightmaster at Nesingwary's expedition in Sholazar). From what I hear, this will be widespread in the zone revamps in Cataclysm.

(As a side note -- the AQ gate blockage, as part of world-wide raid competition, actually went over very poorly. Low pop servers were very slow to complete the gathering, and on at least one server there was only one guild capable of completing the questline. That guild demanded tribute before opening the gate. The whole thing was an interesting experiment, but it had some real drawbacks. And, frankly, "gather 400,000 heavy linen bandages" was dumb, slow, and boring. Quel'Danas worked better.)
night_druid wrote:Yes, you did. WoW is a week-long installation now, with the insane number of patches they've done. If I ever switch PCs again, WoW is getting cancelled. I'm not going through that BS again.
FWIW, if you install the xpacs in sequence, they bring you up to the launch point. You can also download a major point-release cumulative patch, which allows you to go straight from 3.0 (Wrath) to 3.2 (current) or 3.3 (Icecrown, once completed). This is a significantly smaller download than allowing the patcher to guess, and can be grabbed from any major game file site such as filefront, fileplanet, etc.

The last reinstall for me took about 3 hours total, current game patch was 3.1. (I had archived the patches, though, so no downloads involved.)
night_druid wrote:Not only same stats, but the same weight & height as well. ;)
...and the same 8 faces (fewer for some race/sex combinations, e.g. female trolls) :-)

Incidentally, I know someone who used to be on the WoW team. He said that they kept the RPG books around as the primary resource on layout and lore while building the world. I don't know if it's true anymore, but at the time the books were the only place all of this information was already assembled, collated, cross-referenced, etc.

All that being said, having looked over the game books at one point (with the intention of running a game there), I backed away from it and ended up heading back to Mystara. Azeroth's interesting, but it'd be difficult (for me at least) to divorce it enough from the MMO to make it worth playing in :-)
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Re: [Warcraft] Has anyone ever played the World of Warcraft RPG?

Post by night_druid » Mon Nov 16, 2009 10:12 pm

A couple of more annoyances from the game:
* All NPCs & creatures have a sight & hearing range of 5 yards. They are unable to see, hear, or otherwise sense anything further away than 5 yards, unless they are attacked.

* 1 acre of farmland is enough to feed entire kingdoms.

* There are several high elves in the alliance, including at least one town that's at least 1/3rd high elf, yet blood elves (who are physically identicle to high elves) are attacked on sight in any alliance-held territory. How do they tell the difference between high elves and blood elves?


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Re: [Warcraft] Has anyone ever played the World of Warcraft RPG?

Post by Bonetti » Tue Nov 17, 2009 12:41 am

I kind of like that a town like Ratchet, which has a decent population in the RPG books (either 15k or 20k, if memory serves), has 10 or so in-game NPCs :-)

Oh, and the entire city of Stormwind has two active farms (and one overrun) -- and the farmers on the two real farms aren't doing anything because they're too busy hating each other and keeping their kids from marrying.

On the other hand, one could take the in-game quest storylines and build some fairly lengthy adventures from them. The Defias storyline, for instance, or the Arugal storyline from Silverpine, etc, are all ripe for plucking.

I'm annoyed that they didn't build onto Outland (née Draenor), which is just screaming for additional zones being tacked on by discovering new "islands" of the former world. Not to mention the number of portals to other worlds it should have, being a sort of planar nexus...
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Re: [Warcraft] Has anyone ever played the World of Warcraft RPG?

Post by night_druid » Tue Nov 17, 2009 12:55 am

Bonetti wrote:I kind of like that a town like Ratchet, which has a decent population in the RPG books (either 15k or 20k, if memory serves), has 10 or so in-game NPCs :-)
Kinda like Goldshire, which is described as a fairly large & thriving town but consists of a total of 3 buildings (4, if you count a farmhouse halfway to Stormwind).
Oh, and the entire city of Stormwind has two active farms (and one overrun) -- and the farmers on the two real farms aren't doing anything because they're too busy hating each other and keeping their kids from marrying.
At least Stormwind HAS farms...several cities lack any sort of visible means of supporting themselves.
I'm annoyed that they didn't build onto Outland (née Draenor), which is just screaming for additional zones being tacked on by discovering new "islands" of the former world. Not to mention the number of portals to other worlds it should have, being a sort of planar nexus...
Well, Outland more or less covers the portion of Draenor that was mapped in Warcraft II. But its strongly hinted at, given the presence of so many alien races (the birds, ethereals, and a couple of others) that Outland should be connected to a number of other worlds.
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Re: [Warcraft] Has anyone ever played the World of Warcraft RPG?

Post by Bonetti » Tue Nov 17, 2009 1:32 am

night_druid wrote:At least Stormwind HAS farms...several cities lack any sort of visible means of supporting themselves.
...or the mages just conjure food and water for everyone :-)
night_druid wrote:Well, Outland more or less covers the portion of Draenor that was mapped in Warcraft II. But its strongly hinted at, given the presence of so many alien races (the birds, ethereals, and a couple of others) that Outland should be connected to a number of other worlds.
There are four explicit portals to other worlds (the ones Illidan closed in WC3:TFT), three of which are in-game in WoW. I was rather hoping they would eventually open those portals back up and take things in that direction. I'd like to see Xoroth and Argus some day, and maybe the ethereal's homeworld as well.

Oh, well, Northrend's fun, too.

I think that if I were to actually run something using the Warcraft RPG rules, I'd be tempted to leave Azeroth behind simply because it's been so developed in the MMO.
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Re: [Warcraft] Has anyone ever played the World of Warcraft RPG?

Post by night_druid » Tue Nov 17, 2009 1:46 am

Bonetti wrote:...or the mages just conjure food and water for everyone :-)
I love how you have to be a certain level to eat/drink certain food/drinks...;)
There are four explicit portals to other worlds (the ones Illidan closed in WC3:TFT), three of which are in-game in WoW. I was rather hoping they would eventually open those portals back up and take things in that direction. I'd like to see Xoroth and Argus some day, and maybe the ethereal's homeworld as well.
Yeah, they should have opened them up as level 70 zones. I found one in the Marsh; I haven't visited all of the zones (last time I hit 70 in Nagaren, and with a new PC I'm not even going to make it out of Forest before I'm 70 :p )
I think that if I were to actually run something using the Warcraft RPG rules, I'd be tempted to leave Azeroth behind simply because it's been so developed in the MMO.
I might use Azeroth, but I'd use my own storylines. Or maybe my own world.
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Re: [Warcraft] Has anyone ever played the World of Warcraft RPG?

Post by Bonetti » Tue Nov 17, 2009 2:34 am

night_druid wrote:
Bonetti wrote:...or the mages just conjure food and water for everyone :-)
I love how you have to be a certain level to eat/drink certain food/drinks...;)
Yeah. Guess zesty clams are too much for a level 1 to handle!

(Actually, one of the first things I noticed while skimming the PHB for 4th edition D&D was the levels on gear. I wondered if they were implementing the WoW mechanic for D&D, but it explicitly doesn't apply. It is kind of nice to have a nice set of tables as to what gear is aimed at roughly which level, though.)
night_druid wrote:Yeah, they should have opened them up as level 70 zones. I found one in the Marsh; I haven't visited all of the zones (last time I hit 70 in Nagaren, and with a new PC I'm not even going to make it out of Forest before I'm 70 :p )
Outland was always intended to leave 3 or 4 zones left to finish when hitting 70, and then they went and sped things up. My most recent leveling toon dinged 70 at the tag end of Zangarmarsh -- the second zone I did... I can't imagine where my death knight will hit 70 -- he has the +10% xp shoulders and hit 65 halfway through Hellfire before I got the shoulders for him :shock:

I believe the other two portals are in Blade's Edge (Death's Door), and Nagrand. I don't believe there is an explicit statement of where they lead, but I think in WC3 Magtheridon was using them to summon reinforcements from the Burning Legion, so it would be reasonable for them to be homeworlds (e.g. the previously mentioned Xoroth (Dreadsteeds, Doom Guards) and/or Argus (Eredar)).

I'd swear I read somewhere that Draenor was a dimensional nexus prior to that, but I can't remember where (and may be confusing it with something else). I don't have my books to hand, and wowwiki doesn't seem to be supporting the assertion. Oh, well...
night_druid wrote:I might use Azeroth, but I'd use my own storylines. Or maybe my own world.
My biggest problem is I've been playing since very early alpha (over six years now), so a lot is mentally firmly fixed.

On the other hand, there are some great names there. I flat out stole "Splintertree" for a woods-dwelling orc tribe I used when starting a group through B10 a couple years ago. The WoW-players in the group got a kick out of that :-)

Anyway, going to stop talking WoW, since this is supposed to be more about the RPG. Sorry 'bout that! :-)
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Re: [Warcraft] Has anyone ever played the World of Warcraft RPG?

Post by night_druid » Tue Nov 17, 2009 12:38 pm

Bonetti wrote:Yeah. Guess zesty clams are too much for a level 1 to handle!
Dude, MILK is too hardcore for level 1 PCs to handle :shock:

Outland was always intended to leave 3 or 4 zones left to finish when hitting 70, and then they went and sped things up. My most recent leveling toon dinged 70 at the tag end of Zangarmarsh -- the second zone I did... I can't imagine where my death knight will hit 70 -- he has the +10% xp shoulders and hit 65 halfway through Hellfire before I got the shoulders for him :shock:
Heh, I got a flying mount about halfway through Hellfire (cost me damned near every coin I had). It helps extend the "life" of the zones, as I didn't have to fight through a ton of trash mobs to get anywhere.

Another annoyance to include in your WoW RPG, Big Mac: high-level adventurers constantly BEGGING. "Can I have all your money?" And they are annoying about it, too, chasing you everywhere while begging for money. Sheez, if you don't spend your cash on vanity mounts, you might actually be able to afford a flying mount with some patience and questing. Its not like you don't roll in money soon after you get your mount (I went from like 20 gp to 650 gp in about 2-3 weeks with just normal questing in Outland). Sorry, pet peeve. Tired of being harrassed by level 60+ beggers (which you could ding their honor/rep for doing that crap).
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Re: Has anyone ever played the World of Warcraft RPG?

Post by Big Mac » Tue Nov 17, 2009 9:04 pm

Bonetti wrote:Anyway, going to stop talking WoW, since this is supposed to be more about the RPG. Sorry 'bout that! :-)
Wow, what a lot of WoW! :P :lol: ;)

I think this stuff is all interesting. Gameplay ranting* aside, I think the other stuff has possibilities for a game. I don't personally see the mass of MMO events as a bad thing (or a reason to avoid using Azeroth). I see them as things that a GM can use to create additional monsters, NPCs and plot hooks. The three netbooks that are in production look like they might be partially, or entirely, based on ideas grabbed from the MMO.

* = As a former World of Warcrack player, I've got to say that your stuff really made me laugh. Especially the comment about being too low level to drink milk!

So, while this has technically been "off topic" I actually think it would be worth having another thread to talk about using World of Warcraft to grab ideas that could be put into the World of Warcraft RPG.

You both mentioned things in the game and I wonder how easy it would be to use a resource like WoWWiki to extract enough information to convert this stuff into d20 System mechanics.

EDIT: "[Warcraft]" tag removed.
Last edited by Big Mac on Sun Aug 08, 2010 4:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: [Warcraft] Has anyone ever played the World of Warcraft RPG?

Post by night_druid » Tue Nov 17, 2009 9:20 pm

Big Mac wrote:I think this stuff is all interesting. Gameplay ranting* aside, I think the other stuff has possibilities for a game. I don't personally see the mass of MMO events as a bad thing (or a reason to avoid using Azeroth). I see them as things that a GM can use to create additional monsters, NPCs and plot hooks. The three netbooks that are in production look like they might be partially, or entirely, based on ideas grabbed from the MMO.
Eh, less monsters than you might think. A LOT of models are reused constantly. Most of the time, just take a standard real-world critter, add 10 levels, increase the size slightly and change its color, and you've got a trash mob for the next zone. Boars, bears, wolves, & spiders (hairy & spindlely) are the prime examples of this practice. I think half of the monsters in the game are variations of the same six or so creatures.
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