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Posted: May 27th 2010 2:52PM Phone Guy said

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Very enjoyable read. I tend to agree in allot of those cases and most of present in other RP communities in other games as well. I have been pleasently surprised with the RP crowd in Champions and what they have come up with. I ran a few custom created sessions for folks as a test. I setup kidnap scenarios, murder mysteries, and a few other surprises. I was pleased not only to see folks not try to hinder the sessions but joining in. Whether asking to help or join in on the fun. Though after these sessions I found myself wishing CO would release a mission creator like CoH.

But honestly cryptic should not only research a way to increase Roleplaying tools and ways for players to interact. They should also research a better mission architect system. Not only allow players to play your custom missions, but give you the option of running along as Story Teller. This missions don't need to give experience or badges since the point of running them would be having fun.

Posted: May 27th 2010 3:11PM (Unverified) said

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This list is the TIP of the iceberg on that game, oh the vampires and mary sue rules annoy the crap out of me. I for instance had an arguement with a character IN character btw, that argued that a soul could be forged for a construct. She reported me for saying that it could. Which sucked, cause i really enjoyed that game. Yes meta gaming is annoying, hence why i tend to NOT read backstories when rping as my character, or talking about backstories OOC at least. If my character dosent know, i dont know.

Posted: May 27th 2010 3:56PM (Unverified) said

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My biggest problem with that game was the hyper-seriousness of role players. It got to the point that my Supergroup tag was enough to make a social pariah. Plus nobody enjoyed my Mexican wrestler character.

Posted: May 27th 2010 6:57PM deadborder said

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RP is Srs Bznss is a great way to ruin a community.

Had I encoutered your Mexican Wrestelr character while playing, I probably would have had a great laugh and joined in on the fun.
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Posted: May 27th 2010 3:59PM (Unverified) said

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I've got to say that the RP community in CoH/CO (I consider the community practically the same) is one of the most robust I've ever encountered.

It's also one of the most goddamn insufferable ones out there.

It seems to be filled to the brim with more than your typical grandstanding, power-playing, self-inserting manchildren, but those who have this weird sense of entitlement to them. In most other MMOs I've played, RPers acknowledge that they are, ultimately, a minority, and police themselves. This also builds a sense of tight knit community and friendship. CoH/CO's RP community is a different kind of insulated, it almost feels like one gigantic circlejerk of people constantly complementing increasingly horrid ideas and art whilest demanding that the game, and others, conform to THEIR standards. One of the reasons I never got into RP in CO was because people honestly try to sequester themselves off from the rest of the world- I was honestly asked for my character to stop using his demonic powers because they were RPing on what they had called "holy ground". That's wonderful... but it was asked OOC, and they refused to roleplay it, instead throwing a hissy fit when another player in the MASSIVELY MULTIPLAYER game didn't decide to comform to their special little worldview.

Posted: May 27th 2010 6:55PM deadborder said

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This many, many times over.

My experience with the CO RP community seemed to suggest that it was filled with nothing but whiny, self-important brats fueled by an sense of entitlement. The article pretty much amounted to a checklist of things I encoutnered routinely in CO RP and certainly became sick of within days, if not seconds. When everyone was a self-important grandstander with a volumous tragic backstory (that they would glurge out at you at the drop of a hat) who took things as utterly seriously as possible, it quickly became impossible to, you know, have some fun.

You were right about the "insular circlejerk" part; one big aspect of the community was the establishment of a 'centralised' RP community. It pretty much established a dividing line between who was the "in" crowd and who wasn't. If you weren't a member of that community and you wanted to RP, then you were SOL. Of course, that said community tended to be dominated by the most self-improtant grandstanders didn't help at all.

Finally, there's the little matter of the Champions universe Lore. Now putitng aside that Cryptic mangled it horribly and did an utterly terrible job at depicting the universe, the dominant trend was for poeple to ingore it wherever possible. Should somione point out that their character ran contrary to the aforesaid lore, the result was usually a volumous stream of butthurt.

Personally? My worst RP experience in-game came when I tried to play at an IC firiendship/possible relationship with another superhero - only to begin to realiase that my character was fulfilling one of their RL fetishes.
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Posted: May 27th 2010 4:03PM (Unverified) said

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I hate when people try so hard to make their character unique, and end up with a cliche.

Example: Her mother was an angel, and her father was a drow vampire. She's also bisexual! How will she cope with her dual nature?!

I also hate people who force their backstory into conversations.

Example: "This totally reminds me of the time my brother was kidnapped by power-hungry demonologists and sacrificed to their dark god! Ultimately, that's what made me devout my life to stopping crime!"

Posted: May 27th 2010 8:25PM J Brad Hicks said

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How did you miss my number one hate-on for online roleplayers?

"But that's enough talking about me, and my origin, and my powers, and my adventures, and my family, and my history for now. Let's talk about you: what questions do you have about my character's origin, powers, adventures, family, and history?"

I stopped RPing altogether in CoH ages ago because there seems to be only two kinds of RP to be found: cybersex and narcisism. (And let's not even start talking about where they overlap. An amazing number of people can't even cyber without bragging about how much better their character is than anybody else at whatever it is they claim that they're doing to their barely-noticed partner(s). *shudder*)

Look, in a tabletop roleplaying game campaign, after the first couple of sessions, your characters have something else to talk about: what happened last week, what do you think is going to happen this week, what do you think the bad guys are really up to, that kind of thing. In an MMO, the story moves forward maybe 2 or 3 times a year. There's nothing to talk about!

Posted: May 27th 2010 9:06PM (Unverified) said

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Slightly off topic, but it was so nice to see a discussion about CO without a bunch of Cryptic haters. I really think they are doing a great job with the resources that they have available.

Even more off topic.... I'm still not too impressed with Mythic.

Posted: May 27th 2010 10:06PM mattwo said

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so do you like RP and just don't like these aspects or do you dislike RP?

Posted: May 27th 2010 11:03PM (Unverified) said

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Oh Lord. Role playing is part of what killed CoH for me. It seemed that everyone RP'ed the same arrogant twit no matter where you went and since it was mandatory to always "be in character", whenever they had to say something they ((spoke like this to indicate that they were out of character whenever something minor need to be said.)) Now the problem with this was that NOBODY ever seemed to BE in character, so EVERYBODY freaking ((spoke like this)). It was obnoxious. This primarily happened on the Virtue server since that became the unofficial RP server...which was BS since I was on Virtue before all these pseudo RP rules came into effect. I watched as the server my characters where stuck on transformed into a cesspool of horrible character designs, people who ONLY RP'ed either this:
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/ArrogantKungFuGuy
or this
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/SmugSuper
...which forced them to constantly be out of character in order to not come off as a complete jackass, the paragraph emotes, and let's not forget the 10th circle of hell, Pocket D.

I only ever went there to use it as a shortcut to get around Paragon City as actually remaining there for prolonged amounts of time would be hazardous to my mental health. Here, there was this one time I stuck around because I was waiting for some one. I went over to a wall and planned to pass the time by looking at the tool tips of my powers. It just so happened that there where two people near where I was standing who, I swear to God, reacted to my presence in the same manner as those automated mascots at a theme park would (that or an automatic urinal) and started up what can best be described as a rehearsed set piece, leaving me (the audience) to view. Just out of curiosity to see how long they'd go, I stayed and watched. I was rewarded with a brain aneurysm. In CoH, like other MMO's, you can type up your own emotes to be displayed through that channel. One of the "actors" had this:

(Name{I forget}) takes a long drag from her cigarette and exhales a fine, thin stream of smoke before turning her head away from (Whatever the other moron's name was). She sighs deeply and looks back at him, saying "You shouldn't have left me there..." (The other jackass) looks down silently and then stares into (whats-her-face)'s eyes.

I saw that and I felt like I was about to freaking turn into the Incredible Hulk and go on a 12 state bloody rampage. This player made an emote that featured not only her actions, but her partners actions as well along with her spouting a line of text. Some might call that clever, but me? I call it a smug, artsy load of written bile. I saw what was happening. The world around me was changing, mutating into a horrid beast with 47 backs.

Oh, I got another. There was this one time I was on a team with a healer who REFUSED TO HEAL. Her excuse was that she was a mutant who hadn't fully grasped the depths of her powers yet. Okay, I get that. It makes for a fine back story, but THAT IS NO EXCUSE FOR NOT HEALING DURING REGULAR PLAY!

Trumping these two is the time I was strolling through Atlas (at super speed) and I came across a ring of players sitting in the grass. They were chatting and had on costumes that looked like their civies, that is to say their alter egos, which is fine. However, upon closer inspection I soon realized that these characters all had "Non-combat player only" marked in there bios. I was dumbfounded. These people started up this game (a game about being a super hero) and decided that there was no fun in that so they'd instead play as the average Joe. In other words I found a group of PNPCs, Playable Non Playable Characters. Seriously? You couldn't just, I dunno, make a normal costume for your regular toon and go be normal in that during your off time?

Soon after I bid farewell to City of Fanfics and waited impatiently for Champions to come out. Say what you want about Champions, I like it because the player base is full of more immature players who don't take the game as seriously (which is both a curse and a blessing, but more of a blessing due to my past experiences). That mixed with my ability to pick any power and more accurately depict my heroes led Champions to becoming the superior game in MY eyes.

Oh and before people raid me about not understanding what RP'ing is, please just listen. I was role playing in CoH before it was ever "popular" way back in '04. There's a definitive skill to doing it that everyone else seemed to lack, leaving only a golden few who possessed the true art. It's actually quite simple, really, which is why it was always so frustrating for me. See, the problem was that everyone else was trying waaaaaaay to hard, making it feel forced and unnatural.

If you wanna do it right then here's a few notable steps I've picked up.

1. Nobody cares about your back story: Don't take that too personally, but on average it's true. Players tend to only care about glimpsing at each others written bio on a whim. A whim usually triggered a few things: a) Character appearance and/or name b) Level (mainly if they're way ahead of you) c) The player nonchalantly does something to inadvertently draw attention to themselves, role playing or not. The key factor here is, don't force your character's back story down our throats; keep the mind set that others are generally uninterested. At the same time you should silently imagine to yourself that the other players ARE interested in you. Imagine that all eyes are already on you and you'll feel more proud of your character whether or not they really are. This way, when someone goes out of their way to comment on your guy/or girl, it'll catch you by surprise and feel that much more rewarding; mainly because you're not standing around waxing poetic and waiting for it to happen.

2. It's a game, play it: I didn't buy this game, load it onto my PC and start playing just so that I could hear you brandish BS about how your powers don't work. I don't want to hear your rendition of Shakespeare when I'm in the safe town areas. And above all else, I don't want to team with you if you're going to stop EVERY FIVE SECONDS to make "heroic wisecracks". Tossing in the occasional one liner or making a reference to your back story when it's applicable to the task at hand is fine, just don't over do it. Case and point: I have a magical themed character who can shape shift. In the normal world, she appears as a teenage girl, but in actuality, she's much older; and because of this, I have two separate costumes to depict this change. Now I rarely use the adult one; only when I enter ethereal landscapes, like illusions, virtual realities or dreams, at which point I switch costumes. If a teammate says "Whoa, you look different", then I explain why in conservative detail, if not, then oh well, maybe next time. AND I JUST LEAVE IT AT THAT.

3. Be clever with your text: I don't mean you need constant wit. I mean, weave your character's emotions into your normal way of speaking. And by normal way of speaking, I mean everything you say. A good role player is never really "out of character". Here's an example:
A teammate says, "BRB, someone at the door" (and they didn't use "(( ))"!). Now that's a comment that breaks the forth wall, however that doesn't mean you need to get all upset about it. One up the moment by acknowledging they're statement. Assuming he hasn't left yet or there are other team members, you can respond with an "ok". However, how would your character really respond? Maybe a solemn "Understood..." or a laid back "Gotcha". Maybe your character has an accent and would reply with a flavorful "Y'all come back soon now, hear?" Upon their return, welcome them back in a similar fashion, not even stopping to acknowledge that either of you broke the fourth wall. If you do it seamlessly enough, chances are people will really be taken in by your character's charisma.

4. Not everyone role plays: Seriously, know when to TURN IT OFF. If your character is a theatrical showcase, you'll have to keep in mind that many will quickly and easily get annoyed by your constant melodrama. If you join a team, start with a few "safety phrases", that is, words that are, eh, for lack of a better term, bisexual. What I'm basically saying is introduce yourself, then wait and observe to see how your fellow teammates react and carry on. If you notice that 4/6ths of the team are not RP'ers, but that one other guy is, then go light with it. If that one other guy is really laying it on thick, but the other players are dropping lols, rofls, and wtfbbq sandwiches with lmaonnaise, then don't feel like you and that other guy need to ditch them just because they're not playing by your unwritten, elitist standard. Just remember, there's more of them than you, that is by non RP'er to RP'er ratio. If your team is full of people who DON'T WANT TO HEAR IT, then just shut up, act normal, and enjoy the game normally. Like I said before, there's always next time.

5. Don't add a macro to every attack: Kinda self explanatory, so yeah. The chat server shouldn't have to block you for spamming just because you were feeling really "in character" that day. It was almost comical in CoH when RP'ers would just go silent for like 2 minutes or so, then come back with ((This game is so restrictive...I can't even role play)).

Ugh, I'm running out of steam...and I think I've made my point. If you're going to role play, be casual about it and remain within the context of the game. That may sound like an oxymoron to some, "casual role playing", but it's possible. I have had tons of instances in CoH where I was role playing, and my team didn't even realize it. Some one would ask, "hey, any of you guys RP?" and I'd say that I was doing it the whole time. You might say, "Well he's obviously doing it wrong if no one noticed", but see, that's the thing; I know how annoying it can be, so I know how to gauge and level the amounts I do, thereby not alienating myself from a group simply because I want them to care about me.

Hate me, love me, whatev. Either way, my rant is complete. Goodnight.

Posted: May 28th 2010 12:37PM (Unverified) said

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Someone... should've sent a poet
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Posted: May 27th 2010 11:50PM deadborder said

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*applauds*

Well said, sir. Couldn't have put it better myself.

Posted: May 28th 2010 3:42PM (Unverified) said

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This list is basically spot on, with one minor exception (and I've been role-playing in MMOs now for six years, so I've seen it all).

In regards to number nine (multiple avatars, same character), this vexes me to no end as well. I knew someone who wanted his rogue-class character (in World of Warcraft) to have paladin abilities as well. So he created two versions of the character. As if that wasn't horrible enough, he then made a warlock version of the character. The end result was a character with an aggregate of abilities that amounted to one insanely overpowered character. There was no situation that was insurmountable for the character, and no one could even put a scratch on him since, no matter which avatar was being used, the character somehow had instant access to every ability.

Now, with that out of the way, I want to demonstrate that there is indeed another side to this argument (as is often the case), so it's imperative that we don't generalize. Again, this is not Champions Online (thankfully, I've only role-played with people whom I knew outside of CO, so I have yet to experience some of the issues highlighted in reference to that specific MMO), and so this doesn't quite apply to the context in which the original post was written (apologies for digressing), but I also knew an excellent role-player who changed classes as her character's story evolved.

For example, the character she played was originally lived on the streets, pilfering whatever she could when the opportunity presented itself. Later, after interacting with other characters, she was positively influenced in a moral sense, and the character joined the priesthood. In what I consider to be a testament to her superlative ability to role-play, this person dropped the rogue version of her character (unlike my previously cited example), instead switching to the priest class. Her character, as the story constraints mandated, refrained from using abilities granted by the other class. Certainly, that didn't mean that she couldn't scale a building if she had the tools from an in character perspective, but she wasn't carrying flash powder, smoke grenades, lock picks, and poisons that would make her character seem overpowered.

But, in retrospect, she was a rare gem.

Posted: May 28th 2010 3:46PM (Unverified) said

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Correction: The character whom she played originally lived on the streets. (Omit the "was" in there.)
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Posted: May 28th 2010 7:10PM Patrick Mackey said

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I absolutely have no problem with an in-character retcon. In Champions, since you don't have to make a new character to do this, I know quite a few people that have lost their powers and had to make up for it in new ways. For instance, a friend of mine has a character whose powers were beginning to go out of control and cause damage to her surrounding environment. She was genetically altered to remove most of her powers, and instead of having energy expulsion type powers, she trained to be a martial artist.

Now granted, because the character in question was a max level character, she went from being a max level energy blaster to being a max level martial artist, but my friend actually downplays her current skill level, reflecting that while her gameplay function is that of a master, her actual IC skill level is that of a talented novice.

However, #9 mainly refers to characters that maintain two sets of abilities. In CO, the power system is so open that people have very few reasons to do this, but apparently some people want to make their character be both a super awesome mega tank and a super duper healer and have both 'forms' be IC. It gives me aneurysms.

Posted: May 30th 2010 9:28AM Arcadian said

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Why is anyone complaining about RP in Champions when the game will be murdered by the three other better superhero MMOs at the end of the year anyway?

Posted: May 31st 2010 1:23PM Zach Adams said

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Heh. Getting to this so late no one will ever see it.

I have to say, I'm kind of amazed at the amount of rage built up for the CoH RP community (I can't speak for CO, since I quit basically because I wasn't having fun before I ever did any significant RP). Maybe I lucked out by avoiding the Pocket D crowd (though I was an occasional Parker in the first year), but I had probably eighty percent good experiences with not-obnoxiously-powerful-or-perfect RP.

I admit I'm guilty of #9, but I felt it was justified at the time and still kind of do 5 years later. I had a kinetic/electric Defender. I wanted to play and RP with some friends who were in their 20s, so I rolled an elec/elec blaster version of the same character under the logic that a scientist friend built a device into his suit that'd funnel extra power to his offensive capabilities at the cost of inhibiting his kinetic talents. It stuck with something he could already do, made sense for the character and was still something you can "turn off" (change costumes).

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