05 November 2010

[BA shared topic] Home Sweet Home

Sionel of Eight Paws provided this week's shared topic at blogazeroth.com:
What does 'home' mean in your book? Do you have a particular home in Azeroth - a place you feel you belong, that you know like the back of your hand, or that you feel more comfortable in than anywhere else? Would this be different for different characters or different factions, or is there just a place that really resonates with you? Do you think Cataclysm will prompt you to find new and different turf, or will you be heading back there first thing to see what might have changed? If it is destroyed, how do you think that will affect your experience of the game, or your characters' lives? Or do you think the whole idea of having a home doesn't even really apply to a game?
I was too late to participate in the "Names" topic although it really interested me, but I am looking forward to this! I often find myself thinking about RP characteristics of my decidedly PVE toons, so most of them have some sort of "home". For instance, Akabeko is from Mulgore, and when I (rarely) find myself riding through the plains on her I always get a little introspective. After we defeated LK for the first time, I wrote up a little blurb about her returning to her tribe and feeling really grown up and a little advanced compared to her people meandering about the plains. It didn't really have a conclusion so I never posted it, but thinking about that type of homecoming reminded me of how I felt every time I studied abroad and returned home with stories that my listeners could only try to imagine.

Despite having a strong contrast to this home, I rarely travel there in game. When it comes to in-game reflections of my imagined RP conditions, it's not actually practical for me to act them out. For instance, maybe Akabeko is a vegetarian, but that doesn't mean I won't carry around meat and fish for buff food. Similarly, even if she loves to visit Taunka camps whilst in Northrend in order to feel at home (and hang around with those Taunka dudes - yowza!) I don't actually fly out to any of them.

In contrast, I have developed a strange habit on my lowbie ally priest that involves finding a bed in an inn or house and /sleeping when I log out. I can't really explain why I feel compelled to do it, considering her story basically amounts to "a nelf from Teldrassil who travels around helping people and has a fondness for white companion pets". Still, when it comes to her, I always try to find a place for her to eat dinner, sleep, and log off. I find it a little strange that it's so important to me for her to find a "home" for each night even when I don't have any particular location associated with her home.

I think it's probably partially affected by the fact that she still has to visit capital cities in order to train and trade. As an active leveling character I still feel very cognizant of her personality and development and therefore want to do something RPish with her, and since she's the last toon I play at night I'm also always sleepy when I log off. Plus, alliance cities in particular feel like real cities. Ironforge is basically 50% unoccupied houses (I try to stay at a different one every time I go!), and you can even find some in Darnassus or Stormwind. On the other hand, hordeside I only feel that way about Silvermoon. (My belf pally has an apartment there. Don't judge >_>;;;)

With regards to changes from the Cataclysm, I don't think I will feel a particular loss of "home" for any of my characters, although I think the Mulgore wall will probably bother me a touch. Nostalgia for well-loved zones and shock at physical changes of places I know well, like Orgrimmar, will definitely weigh on me, but I hope that it won't go so far as to leave my characters feeling homeless.

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