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Reader Comments (16)

Posted: Nov 23rd 2010 12:57PM Palebane said

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I'm sure Bioware's SW stories will be phenomenal. However story is only a small part of actually roleplaying a character, in my opinion. If the developers decide to actually get involved with their players and their stories instead of using static templates and storylines, then I would be more optimistic.

The stories will make for a great single player experience, but the true wonder of roleplaying is interacting with other characters. It has yet to be seen how much of that will be encouraged in SWToR, but if popular opinion is anything to go buy, I won't expect very much actual roleplaying in the game, personally.

Posted: Nov 23rd 2010 12:58PM Severius said

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Who's character we are playing is a matter of perception. For myself, RP has never been acting, never been about taking on someone else's persona. I look at it from a more philosophical perspective, I think. According to many faiths and religions around the world (Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist to name the major ones) believe that the spirit or the soul of an individual is separate from their physical body. That once the body dies the spirit continues its journey. This is how I approach my characters in game. They are nothing more than the physical representation of my spirit or soul in the virtual reality provided by the game. While choices are limited, just as in real life, and I may not be able to solve all problems the way I would like, I tend to pick what I would really pick of the options available. So, while the rules aren't mine the story is always mine, to an extent.

Posted: Nov 23rd 2010 1:58PM Harley Dude said

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I wonder with all this talk about putting the RPG back into MMORPG if they'll even have RP servers.

Posted: Nov 24th 2010 1:09AM Larry Everett said

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@Harley Dude
Will there be a need if it's truly an -RP-G, right?
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Posted: Nov 23rd 2010 2:39PM Interitus said

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TOR is both very roleplaying, and very restrictive at the same time. You have lots of options, and you can influence the world (the version you see anyway) through many different choices. The catch is that it's choices Bioware gives you.

They also limit other aspects some people use as roleplaying. For example you can't be a Wookiee bounty hunter who works for the republic after escaping the empire. The game simply doesn't allow certain combinations. You have to choose your role from the start.

Some themeparks (EQ2 for example) could let evil races switch over to good and vice versa. But if i remember right, if you had an evil class it would change to it's good version.

I think too many people still hang onto SWG which was very open in character progression. TOR has roleplaying, but it's by Bioware's rules.

Posted: Nov 23rd 2010 5:44PM thecipher said

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I'm actually quite excited by the approach that TOR seems to be taking towards RP.

As a veteran table-top RP'er (with 20+ years of playing), role-playing in MMO's has always been difficult for me - there has always been this 'disconnect'. Sure, you could have a well-fleshed out character with an intricate personality and all the trimmings - but you only really get to express that character with other players. This, for RP purposes, divides the inhabitants of the world into two groups - Actual people that you can RP with, and robots. It ruins immersion big-time for me to have it work like that, and most RP communities in MMO's tend to be very cliquish (and, unfortunately also very mary-sue-ish).

I'm hoping that with TOR, the quests in the game will actually help shape your character, and that their focus on "heroes" will deter most casual mary-sues, and actually start thinking about having a character that realistically will fit into the universe. Being reminded of your place in the galaxy constantly, not just through player-to-player RP will hopefully help.

Multiplayer quest dialogue is also a potential great aid for roleplaying, as a group of RPers can bounce stories and situations off things that actually happen in game, with NPC's and such.

Me, for my first character at least (and I have no idea what I'm going to play yet), I will make a damn good attempt to actually create a personality for my character that is separate from myself, and then play that personality throughout the game, without worrying about the consequences of light/dark side decisions.

Posted: Nov 24th 2010 1:07AM Larry Everett said

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@thecipher
As someone who has played TOR in demos, I believe I can safely say that this game will shape your character, and I also believe it will bring back a lot of that PnP feel we had with our nerdy friends playing Dungeons and Dragons at the kitchen table (without the awkward part of the romantic scenes).
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Posted: Nov 23rd 2010 6:07PM Space Cobra said

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I do agree with Interitus, but feel like writing my own response. :)

While this type of roleplaying is neat, it is not true roleplaying by my definition. I do come from the free-form school and yes, it can be either exciting or boring at any given time. I also like events, but don't kid yourself. This is still very much "on rails" RPG, even if there are a few more tracks/rails to choose from. For example, I can't choose anything outside the choices I am given. If I wanted to give a flower(s) to every female NPC I met, I bet Bioware doesn't have it in game. I also think, your end-story is pretty much set and can't deviate from the norm.

Of course, the roleplay *I* want is almost economically unfeasible (or is it?). I've RPed with GMs online and it while being simple, it was rather magical (dare I say, it was close to the thrill one gets when one praises PvP-You are dealing with a human/thinking opponent). So, if I were to whip out flowers to, say, the admiral from that one game trailer we can either shoot/kill or let live, what would be the effect of that? Of course, I can't and if I could somehow do that, no effect on the NPC AI would take place (besides perhaps waiting for me to choose one of the 3 responses that are pre-set).

In this regard, I prefer GM-events, in small groups, than plug-n-play scripted ones that can't adapt. They may give me 3 choices...or 5 choices, but sometimes, there are choices that are not listed.

As Kirk would say, "I don't believe in the Kobayashi Maru scenario," at least in a pre-programmed form of choice.

Posted: Nov 24th 2010 1:04AM Larry Everett said

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@Space Cobra
So in a nut shell, your "true" type of roleplay is the ability to do and say whatever you want your character to do.

I don't see anything wrong with that, but personally, I believe that belongs in another game that is not SWTOR unless you are up to disregarding the SWTOR storyline, in general. I know there will be people who will do that, but I think you will be missing out on a lot of good content by taking that route.

As to you point about GM-events, I think the whole of SWTOR can be seen as a big GMed event, if you take the right perspective. However, that being said, I really hope there are live GM-events in SWTOR similar to how things were done in EQ and SWG early on.
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Posted: Nov 24th 2010 4:29AM Space Cobra said

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@Larry Everett

Well, pretty much, but don't forget, on a table-top, you have a GM that can adapt (or not) what your actions are. Such things can still be part of the storyline, even if it is the "long way around". (Example : Instead of being diplomatic to an NPC, knowing OOC you will get your way, you insult them ICly about their hat. They get mad and throw you in prison. You eventually escape prison and the story continues).

But, this is "part-n-parcel" with these games and I expect them to be, because of current technology. Heck, I am looking forward to playing SW:ToR and discovering these stories, but that's the thing : In the back of my head, I know these stories have only so many pre-determined paths. If I encounter a major NPC princess in the game, could I win her heart? Perhaps, but I am (unfortunately) pretty good at OOCly "reading events" and can decide deduce GMs have something else planned for this princess.

I guess it is about the age-old debate of single-player vs. Multi-player and "affecting your game enviroment" to suit you, the hero. I am conficent these SW:ToR stories will do that and I will enjoy it, but there have been times, in table-tops, I have "turned GM lessons on their ear" as in my Kobayahsi example. Given two choices that I could not supposedly do at once, but due to being inventive, I have done both (or three things) to either great success or varying degrees of success.

I know, such events serve to move a story forward, but true Game-play comes from a certain interaction, IMO : between the GM and you and you and the other players involved. Things can be adjusted "on the fly" easily to cover any "surprises" that I, the player, may introduce. You don't quite get that with ANY RPG computer game atm.

And I agree, it is "pie in the sky" ideas that I am giving that can't be done in current online computer gaming without some GM oversight. I will live with this, I am just saying "it's not perfect" but accepting it, warts and all. :) I can live with this limitation and have in the past.
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Posted: Nov 24th 2010 4:37AM Space Cobra said

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@Space Cobra

I guess it is similar to reading one of those "choose your own adventure" books.

And if I remember correctly (I admit, I may be wrong), you can replay these stories, right? So if your first outcome is not to your liking, you can go back and "look at another page" til you get an outcome that is to your liking.

And if you can't do that, you can do that with a different character (or advice given via web or book). I don't read those, but really, if I have this image for my character and I can control it, even in subtle way, I may fall easily to such temptation, such as an example, pursuing a love affair with an NPC or being the cold, loner ideal. I generally am good at keeping away from info like that, but there are ways around such automated systems and not so easy ways around a GM-overlooked system.

Nothing is perfect, but I still play. :)
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Posted: Nov 23rd 2010 10:20PM (Unverified) said

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Is that picture of han solo from a novel cover or a comic? just curious

Posted: Nov 24th 2010 12:55AM Larry Everett said

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@(Unverified)
It's from this picture (from a different site, I think, but the picture is the same.)

http://www.etoday.ru/uploads/2008/04/08/dajfgaabf%5B1%5D.jpg
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Posted: Nov 23rd 2010 10:32PM claytondora said

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While I suppose most wouldn't consider me an RP'er by their definitions, I do love immersing myself in the world I'm playing in. I think the dialogue system that bioware is implementing is tremendous for doing just that. There is nothing that helps you get inside the mind of your character, as well as into the world itself, than being made to make decisions which will have an actual impact on your character and the world around them.

So in response to your question, I think that bioware's story will be MY story as well, and both we will of equal importance. I don't especially need to be interacting with other rp'ers to roleplay, as I have just as much fun, if not more, if I'm doing it on my own and with characters built for me to interact with.

Say I'm playing my bounty hunter with a slave background, and I happen upon a young beggar on the side of a coruscanti pedwalk. I would cowl my face into a ferocious visage and regard the youth with disdain. I never begged anyone to get where I am today. I fought every inch of the way, tooth and nail, for the armor on my back and the ship I fly. The filthy child should do the same.

I quite enjoy having moments like this (not the cruelty, of course), where I am quite literally thinking as my character would, and responding accordingly.

In fact, you may even see me *in character* as I romp around the Star Wars galaxy.

Posted: Nov 23rd 2010 11:03PM Interitus said

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@claytondora
"Say I'm playing my bounty hunter with a slave background, and I happen upon a young beggar on the side of a coruscanti pedwalk. I would cowl my face into a ferocious visage and regard the youth with disdain. I never begged anyone to get where I am today. I fought every inch of the way, tooth and nail, for the armor on my back and the ship I fly. The filthy child should do the same."

I assume this is in response to me from my example. The problem is your response is likely shaped by the game. You can't take the beggar off the streets and show him to be a bounty hunter. You can't send him off to live with a wealthy client. You can't drag him behind him a building and shoot him. You can't do any of these unless it's an option written into the story. Now granted when it happens it will likely be amazing, but the character is very much Biowares. We can't even construct our own backstory, we choose from predetermined.

This allows for a far more immersive experience, but it isn't the sort of roleplaying some people are looking for.

Personally I don't mind either way, I've never been a big rolepalyer. But it worries me sometimes reading the TOR forums, some people can't let go of the fact this isn't a sandbox MMO. This isn't a comment to you, just an observation in general.
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Posted: Nov 24th 2010 12:51AM Larry Everett said

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@Interitus
"We can't even construct our own backstory, we choose from predetermined."

As I said in the article, how your character got to the beginning point is the story is largely up to you. I think there will be some degree of flexibility. How much flexibility is yet to be determined.
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