Well, this week's article was supposed to be a tour of one of the newest additions to WoW - The Exodar, the crashed Draenei ship located on Azuremyst Isle. However, in what may seem to be a major turning of the tables, this Alliance 'city' is, in my opinion, completely devoid of any quality RP places matching the likes of those I've stated in this article series, and quite unlike the other Alliance cities. At first, this was a bit of a shock, but as I thought it over, I can see how the lack of such places makes sense here. It is a crashed spaceship, after all, and shouldn't bear any resemblance to the taverns and inns and other structures native to Azeroth. However, it still seems to me to be a huge waste of such a beautiful piece of game design for the Exodar to not have something strongly RP related to draw in players.
Fear not, though, for this week's RP City Tour is not without a silver lining, which comes in the equally beautiful and more sinister home of the Blood Elves, Silvermoon City. Again, the number and quality of places for potential RP here is reversed from any other Horde city. In my mind, the entire city seems to actually want to lend itself over to roleplayers, but there are a few specific locations where I have seen and participated in some excellent RP events.
The first couple of places to look at are The Silvermoon City Inn and The Wayfarer's Rest, both marked with the moons on the map at left. While both inns are delicately decorated in prime Blood Elf fashion, The Wayfarer's Rest I think looks to be geared more toward the common blood elf, while The Silvermoon City Inn I think tends to play host to the higher classes. The Wayfarer's Rest is where I have seen most RP going on of the two, since it has a bar without an NPC to get in the way, leaving it open for a player character to RP bartender and host. Two round dinner tables are available for any wishing to sit and break bread with friends, and the upstairs rooms make an excellent and very comfortable place to retire to afterwards.
The Silvermoon City Inn seems a more upscale establishment. Though lacking a bar, it does have ample square footage given over to banquet style fine dining, with a kitchen and NPC wine merchant just off the main hall housing one large dining table. The upstairs has a few of those extremely plushy red daybed-looking pieces of furniture also found scattered all over the city, made all the more enticing by the hookah pipes in close reach. This setup to me marks the epitome of the Blood Elf psyche, and is one of the reasons why I think Blood Elves are so much fun to RP.
I also don't think it can be overstated at how much loving care and artistic talent the Blizzard wizards put into designing and creating Silvermoon City - the place is beautiful! The colors, the sounds, the whole South Asian look and feel of the city, all make for a remarkable piece of work. Walking a character around the city streets, I can almost hear Led Zeppelin's Kashmir playing softly in the background. That is the solid ambiance I love to have for RP, and it's not lacking one bit here. Another thing that sets Silvermoon City an RP cut above the other Horde cities are the ample number of places to sit. From benches placed around fountains, under trees, in gardens, and just here and there, to those soft cushy seats in small alcoves and out-of-the-way nooks, the city is tailor made for high quality relaxing RP.
That's not to say the Blood Elves don't know how to take care of business. Of course you'll find shops, vendors, and trainers throughout the city, along with a couple of places I think would do well for a player to RP their own such place. The red x on the map marks an open wagon that would be great for such a place, perfect for an herbalist / alchemist roleplayer, since its location is right by the Silvermoon Alchemy shop. The gold star marks the cozy little retreat of Harene Plainwalker, Tauren Druid trainer. She has a very nice camp set up here with two small tents. She only uses one, leaving the other open for some imaginative player to make use of. When I look at the place, I envision a gathering of characters around the small campfire there singing folk songs and letting their freak flags flow in the wind. Ahh, makes me wanna go hug a tree. But that's probably just me, I bet. Anyway, I think it would be a good RP place with the right players.
Unless you've walked through Silvermoon City blindfolded and deaf, it's very difficult to catch the feeling that there's something hidden here, another layer of life just under the highly polished publicly visible surface. Along with the stereotypical haughty attitude of the Blood Elf race, this level of the society is one of the great RP strengths a player could use when roleplaying a Blood Elf. Sadly, I have seen it used only on a rare occasion. For an example of what I'm talking about, step into The Sanctum, marked with the green triangle on the map. While this place is specifically housing some warlock trainers, it is indicative of many other such places to be found around the city, often tucked under shops, down at the end of quiet paths, or beyond some common doorway. The Blood Elves are fighting (?) an addiction to magic, but in these basements and darkened rooms can be found places primed for RP by characters who may not be so intent on breaking away from that addiction. These places would make for some very deep and perhaps introspective RP by those so inclined. You never know until you try, right?
Well, friends, that'll conclude this RP tour of Silvermoon City. I'm certain I missed something, so, as always, I'm open to comments from my fellow roleplayers as to what those are. I'm thinking next week will be a tour of the city that actually has a tour, Shattrath, so stay tuned!