ART SPOTLIGHT

Today we share some nice Blizzard fan art by Robert Maldonado (screen name d1eselart)....
Robert’s artwork includes everything from concept work and 3D models to fantasy paintings and fan art inspired by Diablo, World of Warcraft, and Starcraft. Enjoy his amazing art below!
— 2p.com

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CHARACTER SPOTLIGHT

Memnach

What inspired you to create this character? Memnach got his start in VTM (Vampire the Masquerade), everyone in our group was making really combat heavy characters and I was just like "nah not going to do that" so I came up with a concept for a socialite  performer ... and voila! Mem was born. ... There is a little influence from Ann Rice's Lestat character along with Jim Butcher's Thomas character...

What do you like and dislike about this character? Being a fire dancer myself I love the way Mem puts on a show, and just how smooth and charming he is. At the same time I dislike that he can be a total slut at times.

Why do you like roleplaying this character? He's actualy liberating to play, he lets me express a side of myself that that normaly doesn't get out.

What game, or games, do you roleplay this character in? Mem started out as a VTM character and while always a vampire I have applied minor tweaks to him to fit the setting of what I play. He has been in Pathfinder and Shadowrun along with RIFT and TSW.

What has been your best and worst rp experience with this character? I think my Best RP with Mem ever was back in VTM when the party had really really pissed of the city's Prince, and in walks Mem cocky as can be and just cons, lies and charms his "friends" out of being staked out for the sun. 
As for the worst well I think I ran into that on RIFT when dealing with monster hunters, they never stopped to ask me anything OOC that their toon might know, then they got mad and thought I was godmoding, when the truth of the matter is [Memnach is based on VTM stats]. It turned what could've been a great RP story into frustration for everyone.

 

Article Spotlight

 

Storytelling in Stranger Things

Full article here.

10 THINGS STRANGER THINGS TAUGHT ME ABOUT STORYTELLING

by Chuck Wendig

3. The show does a lot of good with character agency, by which I mean, it is characters who create problems, who escalate the problems, and who inevitably complicate and then fix the problems. Characters want things, and in pursuit of those things, they f&*k up and fail and then succeed as heroes. They push the plot. The plot doesn’t push them. Except…

4. The show occasionally drops out of this mode and then has characters act outside themselves to service the plot. They betray their own emotional intelligence, their own logic, and they do this in order to perform actions that seem necessary to move the plot along. (Example: two characters are out monster hunting, and one randomly disappears and doesn’t answer the other one yelling, and then that other one decides to just, oh, I dunno, crawl into a tree stump because sure, that seems like a good idea. Another example: a protagonist near the end commits an odd, out-of-character betrayal for no other reason than to tidy up the plot and create conflict.) Problem is, when the show does so right by its characters that when it does wrong? It is keenly, almost painfully felt. It is a break in the consistency and constancy of these characters.
— Chuck Wendig
9. F&%$ YEAH ROLEPLAYING GAMES. You wanna learn to tell stories? You need to play in — and eventually serve as DM/GM/Storyteller for — a roleplaying game session. It will tell you so much about how to set up the plot but to let the characters tell the story, it will tell you so much about not forcing things, it will teach you so much about how to keep people’s attention and what it means to thrill them or betray the intentions of the narrative. And it’s so awesome that D&D is a legit component to the story, not just as a nostalgic eye-wink but as a literal plot and character connection to the story. RPGs demand their day in the sun.
— Chuck Wendig

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Inevitable MMO Clichés

By: Graham Host August 5, 2016

My Toxic 'World of Warcraft' Relationship Made Me Who I Am Today

By Zac Thompson  August 14, 2016

Vin Diesel and his cohorts embark on an epic quest with Dungeons & Dragons

By Rob Dean

Behind Hollywood's Closed Doors, A-List Stars Are Playing Dungeons & Dragons

The role-playing game that once defined geek suddenly is oh-so-chic, as everyone from Dwayne Johnson to Drew Barrymore roll multisided dice while pretending to be dwarves and wizards. Says 'Silicon Valley's' Martin Starr: "There's a huge resurgence of nerd culture, and I'm excited about it."

 

 

MUSIC SPOTLIGHT

RP ADVICE SPOTLIGHT

A common mmorpg storytelling problem often occurs when a player plays their character in the set game story. They're usually the hero, the leader, the owner of that one-of-a kind epic weapon, the slayer of that one terrible enemy! Well, SO IS EVERYONE ELSE'S CHARACTER!! So, what do we do? How do you, as an rp'er faced with this situation, handle it? 

 

Let's see your opinion on it here in our forums!

 

Here is a discussion on the WoW forums about just that thing, and regarding the upcoming Legions expansion. The following is an excerpt:

I have concerns with some of the concepts in the upcoming expansion, and their implication on the story. Starting with Warlords, and seeming to continue into Legion, the player is being forced further into the limelight as the great heroic leader of the Alliance/Horde, and that just doesn’t make sense in an MMO setting.

This is not a single player game, it isn’t Skryim with its pre-determined, manifest destiny making us the center of the story. We are not the leaders of the Alliance, or the Horde, nor should we be, because we are only participants in the story. We are the classic adventurer, always there, shaping the events around us, forced by circumstance to play a pivotal role, but not the center of the universe. The world of Warcraft is filled with far greater number of heroes and legends than just us....
— Archimtiros
You don’t necessarily have to utilize current game lore for your roleplay, but many players choose to do so. Whether you consider your character actively involved in current events or not, those events are still going on all around you. But when you reach the end of an expansion, and a new one is looming on the horizon, the situation gets even trickier — particularly if there’s a lot of information to be had.

Do you use the information you’ve learned to tailor your roleplay? Do you ignore announcements and soldier on until the current expansion has reached its end? How and when do you determine that the final boss of an expansion is “dead” in the eyes of your fellow roleplayers? Just how do you handle end of expansion roleplay, and what are you expected to do?
— Ann Stickney

See full article here, and comment on our forums here!

 

RP COMMUNITIES SPOTLIGHT

 

- TABLETOP

Heavy rotation: The tabletop games we’ve been playing this summer

Murderous inkeepers, dueling spaceships, and scarab beetle tanks all feature.

ARS STAFF - 8/6/2016

Scythe review: The most-hyped board game of 2016 delivers

- MMORPG

World of Warcraft: Legion release date August 30, 2016

World of Warcraft: Legion preparation guide - getting ready for WoW's upcoming expansion

Click here for a comprehensive WoW timeline!

Story and Setting:
We’re back in current Azeroth—and Draenor characters remain behind in Draenor.
Gul’dan frees Illidan from the Vault of the Wardens. This is the Legion’s largest invasion. 12k years ago, Highbourne Night Elves built the Temple of Elune over the Pillar of Creation to seal a wound. That wound has now been opened with Demons infinitely spilling out of it.
We’re scouring the Broken Isles to find the Pillars of Creation. Karazhan is an important place, as seen by its inclusion in the Legion trailer. However, the devs did not provide details on why it was important. Khadgar is now in charge of the Kirin Tor—Jaina no longer is. No further details, besides Jaina is very upset. What about Alleria and Turalyon? It’s their time. The Legion will be introduced to players in an Event that takes place before the expansion launches. The Legion will invade all of Azeroth, not just the Broken Isles. Players will fight demon invasions across Azeroth.
— wowhead
  • Val'sharah: Forgotten Druid Refuge, used to be pinnacle of elven civilization - Malfurion becoming a druid, lots of Night Elf lore. Players face demons trying to unleash Emerald Nightmare. We can't stop it, so we go into the Emerald Nightmare where we get glimpses into the Emerald Dream. Meet up with Cenarius and Ysera to help us fight back.

  • Stormheim: Uncover fate of Vry'kul that left Northrend 1000s of years ago in search of Holy Land. Halls of Valor and Hellheim--homes to warring Titan Keepers. Discover origins of Val'kyr and K'valdir as you ride Ship of Souls into Maw of Hell. Fight Vry'kul's God King that are pawns of Burning Legion. Beautiful and scary area.

  • Azsuna: You will see this place was once something very special--bones of ancient Night Elf civilization. There are ghosts of ancient night elves and remnants of blue dragonflight. We'll be facing Queen Azshara here.

  • Highmountain: Tribe of Tauren, Keepers of Kazgoroth's item. Lair of the Earthwarder, Neltharian - he's still dead but there are other things there. Nesingwary is in this zone--he's after the big game.

  • Suramar: New race of elves - Lived there for last 10k years, flourished from Magic abilities. They became pawns of the burning legion and they have the last relic we need.

Brush up on WoW lore!

Secret places in WoW

World of Warcraft in VIRTUAL REALITY - HTC Vive Gameplay

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Rift Expansion: Starfall Prophecy

Change fate and emerge victorious as a true hero of Telara, with the new RIFT expansion Starfall Prophecy coming this Fall!

HERE’S EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT RIFT’S STARFALL PROPHECY EXPANSION

An Unimaginable Threat...

A comet has appeared over Telara, ripping through the elemental planes, tearing off whole sections in the process. The imprisoned Defiant Orphiel knows the truth of its arrival: the comet is an Ascended Tenebrean construct sent here to devour us all.

Ahnket brings with it an endless collection of apocalyptic destruction, collected from the many worlds it has torn asunder.

Lead the battle to Level 70, and fight through 5 brand new zones (the fifth will be released after the initial launch). Prevent the ancient fae lords of Life and the devil scions of Fire from harnessing the otherworldly power of Ahnket to destroy all mortal life upon Telara!
— TrionWorlds
For RIFT’s newest outing, players will definitely be going where no Telaran has gone before: to the giant Comet of Ahnket. This isn’t your average ball of space ice, but instead an interdimensional comet that’s been smashing through and picking up bits of worlds and planes here and there for quite some time. As level 65 players travel to the comet, they’ll encounter five wild new zones that have bits and pieces of landscapes from its travels.

The Comet of Ahnket is primarily themed around life and fire, which means that you’re either going to get luscious zones full of growth or fiery infernos that are best viewed at a distance.
— MassivelyOP.com

Click here for a comprehensive Rift timeline!

Trion figures that if it’s not broken, you should add more love to it. So expect the expansion to include even more artifact collections, more instant adventures, more cosmetics, more achievements, and more dimension decor.

Love rifts? You can eat all of your fill and then some with the planar assault mode. Basically, this tosses players and parties into an endless string of rifts in the vein of instant adventures.

If raids and rifts aren’t enough of a thrill for you, Trion would like to show you Starfall Prophecy’s fortress sieges. These are “uber” open-world fights that take the game’s dynamic event tech in an interesting direction.
— MassivelyOP.com

Click here to visit the Rift roleplay forums!

 

Brush up on Rift lore!

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Korean MMORPG Bless, coming to NA and EU in early 2017

Another Korean developed fantasy title, Bless is shaping up to be an excellent addition to the 2016 MMORPG lineup for fans of anything from Lineage to Lord Of The Rings Online. This one looks like it will hit all the classic tropes, from the JRPG graphical styling to the large class and race combination covering everything from elven wizards to cat folk rangers.
— Game Skinny

Bless is an upcoming massively multiplayer online role-playing game developed by Neowiz Games. The game is based on the Unreal Engine 3 and is the first to utilize the engine's landscape tool, developed by Epic Games for Neowiz. 

Genre: Massively multiplayer online role-playing game

PublisherNeowiz Games

Fan hoping to see Bless Online headed to North American and European audiences sometime in 2016 may have to wait a bit longer. According to an interview with COO Tom Nichols, “Aeria hopes to launch the Westernized version next year.”
The interview goes on to say that the game will need little alteration prior to a Western launch.
You can read the full interview at VentureBeat.com.
— Suzie Ford

Chime in on how a F2P cash shop should work here!

The Korean Cash Shop of Bless is indeed one of the fairest F2P Shops around. Unfortunately, Aeria Games has a bad reputation when it comes to Pay2Win games but they definitely made a lot of good moves in the last months by removing Pay2Win elements from some of their games. They also started communicating a lot with us by doing AMA’s on reddit and answering questions on our forum. Aeria is trying hard to turn everything into the right direction and we are very sure that they will offer a fair Cash Shop for the western version.

The Korean Cash Store currently offers the usual F2P Premium Service for a monthly fee, Skins, Mounts, some smaller Pay2Progress items like Skill Books and Potions you can also buy at the NPC but no real Pay2Win Items.

What do you think? How should Aeria handle the Cash Shop question?
— Furia

Click here to visit the Bless roleplay forums!

What is it? My idea is that TNT live should be something akin to an interactive version of the Tips ‘n Tricks articles I’ve been writing almost since the DTC started. I’m not arrogant enough to think I know everything about building dimensions, but I when it comes to technical things, I like to fancy that I know quite a bit.

What will we talk about? Anything and everything having to do with dimensions. I’m not planning a rigid schedule. Alynai@Wolfsbane, who has graciously agreed to help with this new project, has been polling DA on North America to find out what questions people on the cluster might have. My intent is to start episode one talking about landscaping and environmental effects. We’ll see how it goes from there
— Feendish

Playful Madness, by Zeamage@Brutwacht on Rift

POKEMON!

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