| Mail |
You might also like: WoW Insider, Joystiq, and more

Reader Comments (86)

Posted: Mar 18th 2012 10:37AM Zetesofos said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
See, I've always wondered, why can't player's be banned or exile just from single servers. Heck, there is a good use of a Political System - allow the community to do a tribunal court system, and pass judgment relegated to their server.

That could be interesting...

Posted: Mar 18th 2012 12:34PM Seffrid said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
@Zetesofos "why can't player's be banned or exile just from single servers."

No need even for that. For the most severe offences a permanent account ban is warranted, for everything else just delete the character(s).

A player won't exploit or choose an offensive name if he knows his character is likely to be deleted without warning and that he will lose all the gear and currency etc associated with that character, including if appropriate all his characters.
Reply

Posted: Mar 18th 2012 10:41AM UnknownUser said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
I think the community can do a good enough job policing the server themselves. All I really want from the publisher is the tools to help that along.

Give me a solid ignore feature that hides a players nameplate and chat on all channels (including emotes) and I'm a happy camper. Aside from that, I love it when GM's give forced name changes to the real idiots, and choose something with a scarlet letterish stigma for them.

Posted: Mar 18th 2012 10:42AM Raika said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
I don't expect it to happen(because it never does), but I'm of the firm belief that it should. One of the biggest reasons I ceased to play Rift was the fact that the roleplaying servers(all of them) were packed to the gills with idiotic people naming their characters things like "Buttpipe" and "Monkeyfart" while holding naked dance contests in the Meridian town square. Rift also didn't have any good roleplayers(I remember one character who claimed to be pregnant with a miniature rift rather than pregnant with a baby), but that's a whole other kettle of fish.

Posted: Mar 18th 2012 10:43AM Rialle said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
It would be nice in theory, but is practically impossible to properly police RP for multiple reasons.

1. The only real action I've seen on so-called RP servers, at least since 2004-ish is enforcement of naming conventions. This is the easiest thing to police and often the only thing policed, although in an extremely lax manner.

The issue with this is that not everyone will even what good RP names are. Does the name have to be the character's given first name? What if the character name is the family name, or the character's nickname? Most people will agree that Gokuvegita and Sephirothxxx are pretty lousy names, but there are some pretty ambiguous names which might seem bad at first glance but really aren't.

For example, a paladin named "Crabface" may seem to be an RP violation because it is a "silly" name, but the character's player may have a detailed back story as to why the character is called that as a nickname.

2. Enforcement of actual RP itself is even harder, because not everyone will agree what "good" RP is and if RP should be enforced in all aspects of the game (including raiding, and so forth). The best you can do is try to keep public chat channels free of Chuck Norris jokes and leetspeak.

Mary Sues are a generally considered bad RP, but not not technically a violation. Likewise, someone who claims their character is an alien who crash landed in Middle-Earth would technically still count as RP.

3. It is difficult to enforce RP when the game's developers don't even take their own lore very seriously, and when there are little to no features within the game that support RP. World of Warcraft comes to mind, but just about every theme park is guilty to some degree.

Posted: Mar 18th 2012 11:33AM Melinoe said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
It would be nice for them to try and uphold rules they put into place, but the reality is they don't. I don't blame them for it though, it would be a lot of work.

But really, why have those rules if you aren't going to do a thing to enforce them?

Posted: Mar 18th 2012 11:42AM Cyclone Jack said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
IMO, the only thing that should be GM policed are character names. Past that, the community should police itself as not everybody RPs in the same manner as everyone else.

Posted: Mar 18th 2012 12:19PM Caerus said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
Absolutely. PvP and PvE servers have distinctly different rulesets, there is no reason that RP shouldn't as well.

Although I am not a roleplayer, have never roleplayed, and have no intention of ever roleplaying, I find it insulting for the developers to create servers with an RP tag given equal weight to the PvP/PvE tag and then completely ignoring rule violations.

IMO, if it isn't in OOC chat then it shouldn't reference anything out of the game world at all. I don't expect CMs to police threats, vulgarity, immaturity, or anything like that - because roleplaying a villian is as valid as a hero and your chat filter/ignore button exists for a reason - but I do expect them to watch for and stiffly punish things like RL political debates in zone chat/"wow sux" talk/people named "Nugehigger"/etc.

Frankly I would be happy with accounts being banned from RP servers or forced transfers to a regular servers for the slightest infractions, because people who choose RP servers are there to immerse themselves in the world and we as players need to respect that choice.

RP should literally mean role-playing; right now it's code for "slightly more serious, also you have to be super nice."

Posted: Mar 18th 2012 12:26PM Panicbutton said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
Do I expect it? No.
Should it be? Yes.

I don't RP but I would like everyone to be able to enjoy the games they play and if people want to RP then they should be able to. If a games company sets aside a server specifically for RP then it should be policed and maintained as such. It would be easy enough to have designated OOC and IC public channels and I see no reason why naming conventions cannot be policed.

Why bother creating an RP server ruleset if you're not going to support it properly.

Posted: Mar 18th 2012 12:33PM Sorithal said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
As nice as that would be to have properly policed RP servers, it shouldn't be expected. However, stuff like reporting inappropriate names or reporting people who grief roleplay groups should be doable still.

And by "properly policed" I mean something along the lines of "somehow GMs are set up around RP hotspots and are able to monitor/watch the chat". Which would be a tad bit ridiculous and would mean certain GMs would have to spend more time in the game world monitoring stuff on RP servers. And really RP servers shouldn't get that much extra enforcement.

Posted: Mar 18th 2012 12:41PM (Unverified) said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
I very much liked Irem's comparison to a Ren-Faire. Spot on!

I think there are two kinds of people who actively RP. Those who RP within a guild and those who RP with the larger community. I have noticed something in WoW -- RP is alive and well within the mega-guilds. You log on to the Moon Guard server and you would swear in court that NO ONE RPs there. You don't see it in Stormwind, you don't see it ANYWHERE.

However, if I watch over my son's shoulder as he's in a League of Lordaeron event, you would swear just as readily that EVERYONE RPs. They organize MASSIVE events, both within their guild and between their guild and other RP mega-guilds. The League is a max level guild with over 200 accounts in it and is a perfect example of what I'm talking about. They organize events months in advance, they have a leadership council that handles all decision making, and their highest goal is to RP.

So, what's happening here is that the RP mega-guilds are policing the RP within themselves. The RP community has gone underground. If you get plugged in, it is a very different experience than if you wander about hoping to meet a friendly traveler in your adventures.

Should it be this way? In a perfect world, no. But when customer service cannot or will not police RP servers for people who are breaking the immersion, then what other choice do players have?

Those players who are content to RP inside the safe confines of a guild find happiness no matter what the server is like generally. Those who cannot, who want Utopia and are willing to settle for nothing less, find themselves in a much different situation with a much different level of happiness.

Posted: Mar 18th 2012 1:32PM AstralEcho said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
I don't expect it (anymore), but that doesn't mean I don't want to see it. Unfortunately in the last half-decade I haven't seen companies willing to hand out punishments for severe harassment cases that are entirely unrelated to RP, and if they can't even do that then I don't see any enforcement heading towards RP servers any time soon.

Posted: Mar 18th 2012 2:08PM Utakata said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
Policing creativity is always a bad idea. And can lead to players being suspended and/or banned arbitrarily for the most benign of things because it doesn't fit someone's elses idea of RP.

Game should instead encourage a more RP atmosphere on designated servers. How that's done is based on what the game is trying to achieve lore wise. But it may include player and/or gm hosted community events and /or challenges. A disallowance of store bought items that kills immersion. And more emphasis on costume/character building instead of gear progression. I could go on.

Posted: Mar 18th 2012 2:09PM tenfootgoatman said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
I think names of characters should be regulated on role playing servers ( and guild names ) . I tend to create a character on roll playing servers sometimes because you tend to have older and more mature players on them . I don't think people should be kicked off them for the odd lapse in role playing though .

Posted: Mar 18th 2012 2:21PM (Unverified) said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
I played on one MMO where the staff would police roleplaying events. They would do things like ask disrupters to leave and would even move someone away from the area if they started griefing or got crude. Some of the roleplayers may have loved it, but it really didn't work out well as best as I can tell because I saw complaints from the non-roleplayers that the staff shouldn't be interfering and complaints from the roleplayers that the staff didn't do enough.

Even name changes can be contentious. After many years of pen and paper RPGs, I know that not everyone agrees on what an appropriate name for the genre is.



I think a policed roleplay server is certainly possible in the kind of MMO that has a large enough player base to support one or more roleplay servers (WoW, Star Wars, Everquest, and such). However, the cost of keeping even a single staff member in game 24/7 is quite high. They may be able to be doing other tasks at the same time in another window, but if they're expected to monitor global chats or whathaveyou, that's a full time focus.

You're looking at a minimum of about $200,000 a year per server once you include salary and the overhead of the staff. How many roleplayers are going to be willing to pay more for the privilege of accessing a policed server? I think they'd just create an unofficial roleplay server and deal with the griefers.

Posted: Mar 18th 2012 3:37PM Sean D said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
Creating a RP server amounts to setting a standard for that server; a standard that includes such ideas as creating character names that are appropriate for the setting. I believe there is no reason to set a standard unless it's your intention to meet it. If there is no intention to enforce the standards set for RP servers, there is no reason to create RP servers.

Posted: Mar 18th 2012 3:44PM Haldurson said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
As the offerer of gaming services, you can set whatever rules you like on any server you like. But I would hope that any policing that is done is with a very light touch, except where absolutely necessary.

I PERSONALLY do not rp except on very very rare occasions (usually when I'm trying to be funny, because I find most fantasy game universes to have at least some inherent absurdity to them that I simply cannot help myself to point out through satire).

That said, I also do not want to break the rules except when I feel that those rules are absurd as well. And enforcing RP rules are usually not absurd -- they are intended to create an environment where RPers can have fun.

All that said, I would HOPE that any purveyors of RP servers would have a very light touch with regards to enforcing their rules -- there's a vast difference between objecting to someone else interfering with your pursuit of RP happiness, and someone else merely pursuing their own fun in a way that does not directly interfere with someone else's enjoyment of the game. Plus, there are always people who come into a game as complete noobs, and may not be familar with even what "RP" means, let alone what MMO culture is like. So you don't want to make their early experiences make them feel stupid or like outsiders. A light touch is necessary for that.

But kick the actual trolls, of course.

Posted: Mar 18th 2012 4:33PM Theodorus said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
I think this is very simple really: if you don't want to roleplay, and don't respect the concept of roleplay in principle, why role onto a roleplay server in the first place?

Several people took the "if you don't like it don't read it" point of view. Well, that sounds nobly liberal at face value, but it's really quite selfish. Expressed in the first person: I'll do anything I want, and if you don't like it don't watch. Pretty childish and self-absorbed, yes?

You don't have to actively roleplay, but if you're interfering with others' enjoyment of the game, either by being obnoxious in area chat or by sporting a stupid leet name, I think you should be deleted without appeal and told to re-role on a non-RP server.

Second offense should be an account-wide ban.

And by the way, I don't roleplay at all. I just respect other peoples' property rights, even in a virtual world.

Posted: Mar 18th 2012 4:52PM Azurdane said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
No company should ever offer a service they have no intention of delivering on. If an MMO company opens RP servers and then a distinct ruleset they had better be ready to enforce those rules. At current you are hard pressed to get even the most grievous offenders delt with let alone the general annoyances. GMs don't want to bother, tickets sit in limbo for weeks or just closed, etc. Companies should just own up and say, hey we have no intention of enforcing this ruleset so we are not going to offer an RP server. And no I am not talking about arbitrary, opinion based 'what is roleplay'. Just the clear cut rulebreakers that use real life people as names, vulgar plays on words, talk in general chat channels about Obama or whatever. Can they be /ignored, sure.... but that is not the point. These are elements that are against the 'server rules'. They are breaking them. Again, it falls to the company. If you are not going to enforce rules, do not put them up for everyone to see.

Posted: Mar 18th 2012 7:31PM Haldurson said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
@Azurdane
Yes, rules are meaningless (and counterproductive) if there is no way to enforce them. That's why I feel RP-encouraged servers and RP-Friendly servers are a better alternative, at least when the companies are unable or unwilling to intervene.

The corollary to that is don't call it a role-playing server if it really isn't one, and it won't be one if there isn't at least a miniscule of actual enforcement.
Reply

Featured Stories

MMO Week in Review: Are you Elite or Dangerous?

Posted on Dec 21st 2014 8:00PM

EVE Evolved: EVE Online vs. Elite: Dangerous

Posted on Dec 21st 2014 6:00PM

WoW Archivist: A Glyphmas story

Posted on Dec 21st 2014 12:00PM

Engadget

Engadget

Joystiq

Joystiq

WoW Insider

WoW

TUAW

TUAW