Posted by: Sean | March 6, 2009

Give me my damned bus seat back, you stupid woman (or; Alternative Locations for your Role-Play)

Sigh. This is the second day in a row this has happened now.

See, I get onto my bus to go in to work pretty darn early in the morning (6am to be precise) and the particular bus I catch has only one stop ahead of mine. This is good thing, there’s lots of seats to go around, I always get one, and in fact, I usually get a particular one every single day: First seat on the left hand side of the bus. This particular seat is golden for using a laptop in: Instead of ramming into another seat in front of me, it opens up onto a fairly low railing so that the front view of the bus isn’t obscured. Absolutely beautiful. You can jam the lower part of your laptop up onto it, flop the screen out over the top, and it’s as secure and firm as you’ll ever find. And I can’t update off the bus; I travel two hours to work every morning and two hours home every night – This is my free time.

But for some reason, there’s this one woman who’s decided she likes that seat and for two days in a row she’s taken it from me. There is no seat on the bus that’s nearly so good – That’s why I didn’t update yesterday. But since there’s no way on earth that I’m skipping updates twice in two days, I’ve jammed myself up in the back seat and found a way to keep going. It’s not as good as the seat I prefer, but it’s at least something.


(Note: This probably isn’t your game and if there’s any reason you want that seat in particular I’d be betting it’s because you enjoy the view but none the less if by some really weird coincidence you’re a World of Warcraft role-player and you read this ‘blog well then I really hope that you’d consider returning that seat to me because if that’s the case then you’re only denying yourself fun, fun columns to read and just to remove all ambiguity it’s the 610 to the city from Knightsbridge that departs at about ten to six. Love and sweetness, Sean.)

There is a lesson here to be learned, however, and it’s on a theme I seem to be banging on a lot lately – The importance of being flexible. There’s only so many really good role-playing locations in World of Warcraft – Places that have a bit of space for people to stand around in, not too many quest givers so people don’t wander in and out of it all the time, and good atmosphere so that it suits the tenor of the role-playing you’re doing. Good locations lend themselves to the play, they don’t distract from it, they close off the outside world and let your scene become the entirety of your experience. They’re less important in small scenes, but crucial for guild meetings and the like.

So what happens when you ride up for your guild meeting and some group is already there, having a big scene of their own?

You have a few options.

  1. If you’re on a PVP/RP server (bless you guys, and screw the haters!) then you have a simple solution if they’re opposite faction to you: Bring in your guild and kill the bastards. Sure, it’s not quite the role-playing experience you’d been hoping for, but come on, they’re invading your space. You’re not going to let them get away with that.
  2. But most of the time, this won’t be the case. You could of course try negotiating with them. (“How long do you need it for? Will you be here next week too? Could we arrange times so that we don’t overlap?”) And indeed, if this is a regular spot for you guys I’d say that’s a really important step in order to avoid repeated incidents.
  3. Find a new location.

Even if you do negotiate, and find an acceptable arrangement, I’d still say that for this week (since they got the location first) you really owe it to them to let them have it, at least for this time only. (If you’ve had guild meetings there every week at that time for years, then you probably have a good case to make about asking for the location back next week.) So where do you go in order to start playing?

Well, first off, have a good guide. If you play in a major city, the good news is that there are some fantastic guides put together by Jim Moreno at Warcry (This is the first one, for Stormwind.) which detail a number of really good spots for role-play in most of the major cities. (There are no good spots for role-play in Orgrimmar or Undercity, sadly. And there’s all of two in Thunder Bluff.) So if you get cut off from your first choice in the city, pull up one of the guides, find another one there, and run for it before someone else steals it.

But what if you’re outside? What if, oh, I dunno, you had Aerie Peak as your guild headquarters?

Here, you need to have some good player knowledge. Every location will be different, but the way I’d try to swiftly find a new location is like this:

  1. Run to the nearest flightmaster. You can search for this on your mini-map if for some weird reason you don’t know where one is.
  2. Open up their map and look over all the nearby places to fly. In this case, it would be Southshore, Refuge Pointe, Chillwind Camp, and maaaaybe Ironforge.
  3. Quickly rule out those which don’t work at all. In this instance, Refuge Pointe is nothing but a hole in the ground, so it’s out. There’s not much beyond a few NPCs and certainly no buildings in Chillwind Camp. Southshore it is!
  4. Think about the location. What’s there? Like, oh, hey! Isn’t there a town hall in Southshore? Yes, there is!
  5. Relocate.

As you can see, this requires some basic player knowledge of the areas, but not a whole lot. Good, smart, sensible thinking can usually find a good alternative location quickly and easily.

Now, wouldn’t it be nice if these kind of problems happened often? It would mean heaps and heaps of role-play was going on. Sigh.

Sadly, that doesn’t happen too often. My bus seat gets stolen more often than that. GRRR!


  1. dude just explain to the lady that you are a part-time journalist and can only write in the mornings and would she mind giving you the seat. i’m sure she’ll be obliged. if that fails offer her a chupa-chupa – everyone loves chupa-chups!

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