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Reader Comments (86)

Posted: Mar 18th 2012 8:06AM RenektonBot said

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I wouldn't expect any policing but it would be nice to have someone on hand to get rid of CHUCKNORREZ when he comes around with his hilarious naked black character to be funny at everyone.

Posted: Mar 18th 2012 8:11AM mystique said

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personally for most aspects I don't see the need. IF someone intentionally does something to get me killed in game or tries to sabotage me gaming experience yes. If however I call a GM cuz I think some guys name is inappropriate I hope they tell me to bugger off. I don't like a guys name I don't look. If what someone is saying annoys me I tune him out and go about my business. In my role playing game I got better things to do.

Posted: Mar 18th 2012 1:17PM Jetflame3 said

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@mystique Umm off topic just a little there?
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Posted: Mar 18th 2012 8:19AM xBludx said

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Yes. It should be "policed." But that would be customer service, wouldn't it?

Posted: Mar 18th 2012 2:22PM (Unverified) said

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I do not think they should be policed. Some individuals have different ideas of what counts as "role-play", and when one group decides they want to police the other group (and start reporting them like the wet-noodles they are). That is when I get annoyed.

Some think that role-play means you have to be some tragic long haired blonde elf with a dialogue from a crappy romance dime store novel. Seriously. The majority of the dialog I've seen on RP servers is an embarrassment. *Lyreat brushed a wisp of hair out of his eyes and gazed out into the distance while chewing thoughtfully on his lower lip. Pondering the situation he opened his perfect mouth to speak, yet no words came out...memememememe* Le'vomit.

Now, for me... just interacting with your environment is all the RP I need.
Is everything in a virtual world fake? Yes. Are you interacting as if it was real? Yes. Good job you are now role playing.
I like to do it in fun and creative ways that most RP people would be pissy about. For example, if a player dies in front of me (while in town and safe) I might run around in a panic. I might start praying to the gods, try to sacrifice a chicken, and start some good-fun voodoo rituals. I might claim they worked when he/she gets back up. If something big and mean is chasing me... after i pick up a quest item next to it, I might say "Yoink" while running, or "Woopwoopwoopwoop".
Or on any random day our guild might decide to be pirates, or dress and act as if we're the entire cast from the show "Lost" (and somehow ended up in a MMO). A friend and I might be watching some outdoor (world) boss fight, and decide to be Statler and Waldorf, heckling from the sidelines. That's RP... oh sorry, we're in a fantasy game so it has to be fantasy RP or nothing? I wasn't at that meeting when everyone decided that, I guess.
This sort of silliness tends to just PEEVE off the typical RP player. Whatever, I'm having fun and it is playing a role. Let people enjoy the game in their own way, you don't have to start being the player police and deciding what "RP" is for everyone. Reporting guild or player names is just petty and small.

Here is what would typically get reported on my server: Say you have a guild called "The Zoocrew" and you're all named after different animals and dressed like the animal you're named after. To me, that's fun lighthearted fun RP. To a typical RP'er... that's horrifying report-worthy shenanigans! (And this actually did happen, though the guild was called something else, and the players named themselves after certain types of bugs.)

Its it too much to ask people to just chill?

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Posted: Mar 18th 2012 2:59PM OneEyeRed said

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@xBludx

I agree and I never understood why developers continue to create them but not enforce them. It's really a slap in the face to those truly looking for an immersive rp environment. It would be better off to simply not allow them at all. From my years of experience rolling on rp servers, the last 6 years has been a joke. I have found rp servers are far worse than general servers because people go there specifically to be cement heads as they know nothing will be done except for perhaps a name change.
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Posted: Mar 18th 2012 8:24AM Irem said

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No, I don't. It would be nice, and I used to expect it, but it's not going to happen, realistically, until someone gets it into their heads to charge a little money for playing on an RP server, either as a one-time fee or an addition to a sub. And that's probably not going to happen, because it would bring complaints of "dividing the community" (even though it's really no different than separating the PvP and PvE players, and IMO it's a good idea for the same reasons).

The main perks of an official RP server are twofold: the first is that it offers a central hub for RPers to gather in that can't fall prey to bad organization or arguments over which server to pick, which can lead to a fatal fracturing of the community. The second, and I think the most important, is that it empowers RPers to stand up to griefing and harrassment ourselves. Roleplayers are often shy and it can be a difficult hobby to get started in because it requires putting yourself out in front of other people creatively. Peer pressure runs both ways; a healthy RP community will encourage more and more people to RP, because they feel safe and supported. A server in which there are few visible RPers and no way for those interested in RP to establish their right to engage in the activity sends roleplay underground.

The sad truth is that a lot of non-RPers still see roleplay as a fringe activity, think it's bizarre, or react badly out of contact embarrassment because they're just too cool to ever think doing something like that would be acceptable. It's not even griefers who want to get a rise out of RPers that are the problem; most of us have gotten used to trolls by now, and understand that if you ignore someone who is looking for a cheap thrill long enough, they'll go away. The people who don't go away are the ones who think RP is annoying or embarrassing and want RPers to stop. They will report you for spamming. They'll shout at you. They'll argue with you. They'll straight-up demand that you stop. And the unfortunate thing is that it doesn't take much to kill a fledgling RP community: just convince the majority of RPers that there's no audience for it and they're in the vast minority, and they'll go underground.

The best thing an RP server can offer is a clearly marked place where those hostile to RP who simply don't want to come in contact with it can avoid it, and those who RP can point to the server tag and say, "If you don't like it, you can leave." The official designation means that the devs see RP as a valid playstyle, and that's extremely important. Good fences, in this case, really do make good neighbors.

Posted: Mar 18th 2012 8:51AM Balraw said

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@Irem Would a server be able to survive with just the rp community?

You compare it to being no different to splitting pve from pvp but there is a difference in the numbers participating. RP, like it or not, is not a mainstream activity and there is nothing wrong with that but you do need numbers for a server to be viable.

I am saying this as someone who is a non rp'er (so my point of reference may be somewhat off) but I do always roll on rp servers (if available) just because I find them to be more relaxed and the community more to my liking. Even so I have yet to see an rp server that is wall to wall rp all the time or even during a prime time period, which suggests to me that this is a "fringe" activity. Again I am not saying that is a bad thing and if you enjoy yourselves then good for you :)

I wont ever disrupt anyone's role play as its not my place to tell you how you should have fun and I would expect the same courtesy in return even on an official rp server :)
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Posted: Mar 18th 2012 9:12AM Irem said

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@Balraw
I should probably clarify that I don't have any problem at all with non-RPers rolling on RP servers because they like the atmosphere--you guys WANT to be there, and you want to be around RPers, and that makes all the difference. I'm not a PvPer but I've tried out PvP servers/games, and I know some people roll PvP because they find it more exciting even if they don't actively seek out fights with other players, and it's the same kind of thing.

It's a niche playstyle, but what I mean by fringe activity is the impression people have of it being all sex, or primarily attracting people with issues, or that it's something people aren't "supposed" to be doing but insist on doing anyway. Dedicated RP servers are important both because they legitimize the activity, and because it's frankly hard enough to get people to RP on one to begin with--not because they don't want to do it, but because, like I said, RPers tend to be shy and open RP is the MMO equivalent of getting up in front of a crowd and doing improv theatre. It takes a gutsy person to do that, and you have to be even gutsier to do it when you can't be sure if your potential audience even wants you there.

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Posted: Mar 18th 2012 9:39AM Irem said

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@Balraw
To clarify further, I see RP servers as being a lot like a Renaissance Faire.

--You have the actors, who dress up and wander around in-character. They may be few in number compared to the overall population at the grounds, but they set the atmosphere and provide live interaction. These are the dedicated RPers.

--Then there are the people who aren't official actors, who dress up in costume because it's fun. They may not be always in-character, but if the actors approach them they'll respond in kind and play along. These are occasional RPers, or non-RPers who find it fun to dabble in RP when they see it happening in front of them.

--The average faire-goer is dressed in regular street clothes, but they like being at the faire, enjoying the atmosphere and watching the actors. They may not respond to actors by trying to stay in-character, but they'll be friendly and polite. These are non-RPers on an RP server.

--Then you have the asshole who is drunk and thinks the costumes are silly, and considers himself hilarious for harassing the actors and making "funny" jokes at their expense. He's a griefer, and if he does it enough he'll get tossed out.

--Finally, you have the people who think the entire thing is airy-fairy BS, and the sight of a grown man in tights and a tunic carrying a tankard makes them want to punch him in the face. Ideally, these people are going about their business where they don't have to see any of it, which is why nobody sane gets pissed off about a Renaissance Faire, whereas public LARPing can, in some places, end up being broken up by the cops telling you to move along and stop being silly in public.

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Posted: Mar 18th 2012 12:29PM Ehra said

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@Irem

I love your renaissance faire comparison. If you don't mind, I'm going to start using it from now on whenever people ask why I play on RP servers when I don't RP in MMOs :)
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Posted: Mar 18th 2012 5:52PM Irem said

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@Ehra
I'm glad you enjoy it! :D Be my guest!
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Posted: Mar 19th 2012 3:20PM Masync9 said

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@Irem

Very nice! I do love the Ren-fest example. Also paying a bit more for a subscription is a good incentive with companies for the "why" RP servers should be supported. Hopefully this change would align both parties interests and promote good servers to become great servers to login to.

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Posted: Mar 18th 2012 8:24AM Vinzix said

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Of course there need to be some form of policing. I mean, nobody enjoys xLegolasx or DEATHWING when RP-ing. If you want to RP, stick by the rules and don't go 1337-speak either.

This is what I love about Lord of the Rings Online RP, over there it's very restricted and you get banned after a look into the matter. Trolls, go back to servers where you can do it.

Posted: Mar 18th 2012 8:58AM Morioch said

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It sounds great in theory, but it's nearly impossible to implement. Except for the blatantly obvious bad names, some people might make a name that they think is an appropriate name and someone else thinks its a travesty.

One of my biggest pet peeves is the general chat role play. To me, that ain't role playing. But to the people who do it, they think it's just fine. Who is right - me or them?

A set of rules would have to be established for this to work. All names would have to be approved by the game developers or you would have to pick from a set of names.

If you allow the players to determine whats ok, you got a problem. Not everyone has the same idea of what constitutes role playing.

I remember playing D&D. Some people would play in the first person, even hamming it up a bit and effecting an accent of some type. Others would speak from the third person, telling the DM what the character was doing. Very different approaches. Both acceptable.

Posted: Mar 18th 2012 9:22AM Irem said

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@Morioch
"Not everyone has the same idea of what constitutes role playing."

That's another problem I have with policing RP on RP servers. Yeah, it might be nice to think of a server without Princess Mary Sue, the ten-winged priestess of Lolth who is also a catgirl and came here from another dimension and you get the idea, but all it takes is one look at the average discussion among RPers to see how specific people can get with their own personal boundaries. No amount of regulation is ever going to make everyone happy.

ArenaNet's Martin Kerstein has said, to that effect, that he doesn't think making official RP servers is even a good idea, because it's basically impossible to "do it right." Which I passionately disagree with, for reasons I mentioned above, but he does have a point in that developers get a bad rap for halfassing RP servers when there's really no way to, uh, full-ass them without employing dire magics.
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Posted: Mar 18th 2012 12:17PM Ehra said

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@Irem

While I agree with your stance on there being a very good place for official RP servers to serve, I think GW2 can get away with not providing one. The community can pick one to be their "unofficial RP server," and due to how easy it'll be to switch servers/worlds I don't think it'd be much of a problem. It'd be one thing if people picked server Y to be the unofficial RP server but you were already established on X and you don't want to spend $20 to switch, it's another if you can just move to Y whenever you want.
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Posted: Mar 19th 2012 1:04PM Irem said

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@Ehra
It really depends on how welcoming the overall community is to RP. There are already plans to choose an unofficial server, since it really doesn't sound like ArenaNet will be providing an official one, but after that the survival of open RP in the game is at the mercy of two factors: 1) the level of participation (which will automatically be lower because of the lack of an RP tag, which means it'll be a fight uphill to establish a strong presence), and 2) the level of hostility toward RP by the non-RPing playerbase. Is it still doable? Yes. Do I think the community will be as healthy as it would have been with an official server tag that designates an "OK to RP here" zone? Sadly, no. It's already been suggested by several non-RPers that if we want to RP that badly we can just go do it in our home instances, and unfortunately I think that's where most of it is going to end up.

It would be easier if ArenaNet implemented features like the ability to flag ourselves as in-character, or even an RP chat channel, but that kind of thing is probably so low on their priority list I don't expect to see it for a very long time, if ever.
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Posted: Mar 18th 2012 9:05AM Jorev said

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I expect character names to be regulated by developers so they fit the genre and those that slip by the filter and are reported to be changed.
It's up to the community to regulate poor behavior and language amongst players by ostracizing those who seek to spoil the atmosphere.

Posted: Mar 18th 2012 9:10AM jillian said

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What game is that a screenshot of?

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