Wednesday, May 16, 2012

In Praise of the Past: Trolls in World of Warcraft

Yo mon.  I be da sexy wone catchin' ey bit uf eezee breezee on da right.  Ya know, da one dat be a troll an all.  Dee otha brutha be my ol guil-masta from da Maelstrom serva. An taday I like ta pay speshall tribute ta mai favorite ting in World of Warcraft: trolls.

Of course, I don't think you want to continue reading my badly aged trollspeak, so it ends here.  I apologize to your eyes for the harm I have already inflicted, however.

You would have most likely called me a casual player back in vanilla WoW.  I never made it past or even completed Molten Core, I did battlegrounds a lot but never with any set group, and I spent most of my time just pretending to be a troll.  The pretending to be a troll part, especially.  I never joined any roleplaying groups, but I liked to throw around a  horrible attempt at a Jamaican accent from time to time in guild chat.

Gruul attempt where I was packing some "serious" numbers
Despite my rather generic name, Abaddon was my first MMO character that I really felt was uniquely my own.  Sure, I had tried to build identities before in other games, and I definitely did an alright accent on any of my dwarfs in Everquest, but I rarely made it as far as quirks, and never backstory.  Most of my attempts at roleplaying in those games were just me mimicking empty husks of stereotypes, hoping no one roleplayed back any deep questions.

Abaddon, however, was a friendly troll who just really liked to go crazy and kill anything around him.  As a rogue, I also had a fascination with making people bleed (naturally went with a very ineffective Hemorrhage build) and I often licked both victims and friends as either comic relief or a threat.

As I moved into Burning Crusade, I had the good fortune of joining the guild <Roll Initiative> where I finally found my favorite WoW playstyle: raiding.  Where once before my biggest concerns were battleground queue times and if enough people were going to log on to get something started, my attention soon turned to DPS charts and securing the best loot for my DKP.  All of the screenshots I have left reference this period and really show how focused I was on the numbers rather than the game itself.

However, the whole me being a troll thing never stopped.  Ya, I didn't use it all the time like a real roleplayer, but I definitely tried to maintain elements that were, to me, as essential to the character as my Sinister Strike button.  And I never stopped scouring wikis and lore articles to get more background on trolls.  I was never a big Warcraft person, so the lore to me has no real value, except when it comes to trolls.  Even now, despite long being done with the game, if I hear even the faintest hint of new troll content on the way, I prepare immediately to read every spoiler I can.  I really loved Warcraft trolls.

Even though I would have labeled myself a powergamer and a fairly serious raider (at least as far as my server went) first, the roleplaying always kept me invested in a way that spreadsheets and loot would never achieve and could never achieve.  As a reward for that investment, I went on to raid for nearly the entire Burning Crusade expansion and I met many friends doing it.

So, naturally, I blame trolls for still being stuck with those bastards.  Kidding of course! I love trolls and I love you guys. /lick

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