Posted by: Sean | May 6, 2009

Talkin’ ’bout the new generation

"Talk to the hand, Velen, cause Dornaa ain't listenin'! She's not becoming a shaman, I'm training her to be a Gnomish engineer!"

"Talk to the hand, Velen, cause Dornaa ain't listenin'! She's not becoming a shaman, I'm training her to be a Gnomish engineer!"

Sigh. It wasn’t meant to be like this. I wanted to spend last night getting zombies off my lawn. But issues with the site have stopped me from accessing that wonderful new game, and instead I had to play Warcraft instead. With Jess.

At least it’s Children’s Week. This is my favourite holiday of the year. Blizzard could do a lot better for role-players than to emulate this event in everything they do. Let’s count the ways the event rocks.

  1. It’s flexible and simple. Take child. Go to place. Repeat. The beautiful thing about this structure is that there’s endless possibilities for play within. You can do anything while journeying from one place to another, and you automatically have a travelling companion.
  2. It’s got a built in emotional hook. There aren’t many things quite so emotional as a young child. Children automatically add an extra emotional touch to any scene. Comedically, well, children say the darndest things, and adults tend to up their darnedness levels around children, too. Dramatically, children can be stressful and the idea of flipping out over the responsibility is definitely there.
  3. It ends when you want it to. Turn your children back over to the orphanage on the first day. Or wait all week. It’s up to you.

But the best thing about it, without a doubt, are the children themselves. There’s endless possibilities of what you can do with them, even on your own but best, without a doubt, in a group.

  • You can get along great with your children! Play with them! Tell them stories. Sit down in the park and show them various cool spells. Corrupt them with drink. (Wait, what?) (Oh, come on. A sip won’t hurt them…) (No, seriously. That’s just wrong.)
  • You can get along lousy with your children. Just as fun. I completely plan on having my Blood Elf orphan tell my undead warrior that he smells and he’s loud and she doesn’t like him. She’ll follow along ā€“ She’s been told to ā€“ but that’s the sum-total of it. This option is particularly good if you do have a friend with you, because you can have your child like one of you but not the other. As a side note…
  • You can share a child. This is quite a cool note. If you have a whole group out, only one of you needs to have the child out in order to grab and complete quests. Yes, you need to take your child out in order to complete a quest, but this means that you can bring him/her out and put him/her away again almost instantly. You could do that almost as sleight of hand. Which means that if you want to role-play a few players taking care of a single child, you can do that.
  • You can role-play the child to others. This works best, really, in small doses. But it’s entirely possible. Say you have that child who dislikes you but likes a different member of the party. Just do something like, “/e huffs and crosses his arms as Blood Elf Orphan turns her nose up at him and asks %t, “Do we HAVE to bring him along?”
  • You can talk to your children alone. One of the best comedy routines available in the game is the one sided conversation, in which you discuss something with your child that goes more and more awry. Jess’s undead mage had a lovely quick conversation that went, “No, you can’t say ‘tally ho’. That’s a naughty word.” A beat. “Yes, worse than poo.” It’s simple, but the implication of what the child asked is always somehow funnier than actually seeing the child ask it.

In short (and it’s a short post today) Children’s Week is a hoot. You can, and should, milk it for all its worth. You only get it for one week a year after all.

I’ll see you out and about with your child!


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