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Reader Comments (28)

Posted: Mar 30th 2012 9:11PM Eamil said

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The downside to having a tag is that it makes your server a target for trolls. And in Guild Wars 2 you can switch servers on a whim (only pay money to switch your home server for WvW, which applies to your whole account), so the lack of knowledge about an unofficial RP server isn't as big an issue since if I start on one server and then find out all the RP is happening somewhere else I can just move over there.

Posted: Mar 30th 2012 9:36PM Irem said

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@Eamil
Trolls get bored of trolling. They leave if people ignore them. People who see RPers as invaders on "their" server never get bored or go away, because as far as they're concerned, the roleplayers are the ones ruining their gameplay. I've used this analogy before, but it really is like the difference between being in-character at a Renaissance faire and LARPing in public: at the former you're expected to be respectful of the performers and you'll be tossed out if you do enough rude heckling; in the latter situation the performers are looked down on if their activities are too visible. Trolls trickle back to their own servers, but there's no erasing the resentment from people who view RP as being on roughly the same annoyance level as duel spamming and don't like the fact that we just happened to congregate on the same server they wanted to play on.
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Posted: Mar 30th 2012 9:54PM Eamil said

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@Irem

Are there really people that resentful of RPers? I don't remember hearing about that kind of problem on, say, Landroval for LotRO.

That said, I'm not against them adding RP-flagged servers, I'm just offering my two cents one way or the other.
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Posted: Mar 30th 2012 10:25PM Irem said

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@Eamil
Yeah, there are. It depends on the community; some games have an overall playerbase that is fairly accepting of RP--like LotRO, from what I've heard--and even if people don't RP themselves, they're laid back about it. In other games, a combination of apathy and hostility from the non-RPing segment of the playerbase results in it getting shouted down wherever it appears. I wish I knew what causes one or the other. FFXI had great lore and an amazing world, and not only was there no RP community to speak of, I encountered a lot of hostile anti-RPers at the time I played. On the other hand, there are quite a few RPers in EVE, as ScottishViking mentions above, and EVE has a playerbase you wouldn't think would lend itself to tolerating it.

I suppose I feel so strongly about this because I've never seen straight-up "ha ha i troll u" kiddie BS, even when it's malicious, wreck a community, whereas I've seen RP/anti-RP turf wars kill roleplay outright.
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Posted: Mar 30th 2012 9:12PM ScottishViking said

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I am an avid RPer. And where do you think I've found the best RPing in my MMO career?

EVE Online, a game which many people would describe as the anti-RP MMO.

It's hard to create strong RP environments. In some cases, you can't just build a space and say "Go!" This manifestly failed, in my opinion, in SWTOR. It does work in some games, like LOTRO, where the lore and the community has the will to make it work. But in the absence of that strong background, you really need to let your players carry the burden. RPing in EVE has been amazing DESPITE the powergamer-ganker-griefer coalitions and collections of sociopaths. In many ways, being united AGAINST these groups has worked in roleplaying's favour.

This isn't a vote for laissez-faire when it comes to RPing. I REALLY wish EVE had some stronger naming convention enforcement. (Right now, they only ban names which are outright offensive or which breach the terms of service.) But I do actually believe that "unofficial" RPing may be the only way to make it work. It worked in LOTRO (Landroval!), and it works in EVE. Don't see any reason why it can't work in GW2.

Posted: Mar 30th 2012 9:17PM Morbius said

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I have to agree with Eliot here. If Tera, WoW, SWTOR etc etc can manage an official RP server, I don't see why GW2 can't. Sounds like just an excuse to me.

Posted: Mar 30th 2012 9:20PM Irem said

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There's a bit of a misunderstanding regarding ArenaNet's stance on official RP servers. So far, to the best of my knowledge, the only person to make a comment on it (because he was asked) is community manager Martin Kerstein, and he made clear that it was only his personal opinion on why they shouldn't have RP servers. And it seemed to be less about the difficulty of policing them, and more about the fact that he doesn't believe they can be done "right." The article he linked to illustrate his point at the time basically argued that anything short of having dedicated storytelling GMs for RP servers (along with a bunch of other stuff) would be halfassed, so it's better to let people RP wherever they decide to and not say "Here's your RP server!" and then just essentially abandon it.

Now, I know a lot of RPers demand that kind of pie-in-the-sky stuff in forum posts and it seems like the devs of games with RP servers can't win. But I think having no RP server is worse than designating one and expecting players to mostly police it themselves. An official RP server is permission to RP, no more and no less. It's "Mom said I could," an acknowledgment from the devs that they consider RP a valid playstyle and that there is a place to do it where if you don't like it, you can leave. Without that you're guaranteed to see turf wars between RPers and people who find it annoying, and because RPers tend to have a lot of shy, hesitant folks in our ranks, that can easily drive RP underground.

Posted: Mar 30th 2012 9:47PM Irem said

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And I meant to say, thanks for tackling this, Eliot. One of the things I'm less than thrilled with about GW2 is the fact that ArenaNet has affirmed their love of RPers whenever asked, but when it comes to providing tools and support for the playstyle, they usually default to talking up the personal story. Which, you know, is great, except for the whole single-player aspect, and having to beg for basic tools like walking (which, to their immense credit, they implemented just because people wanted it) that they don't even appear to have considered before being asked makes me think their definition of "roleplayer" is closer to "someone who likes RPGs" than anything else. I know they're trying to complete a huge undertaking and they've got a lot on their plates, but I think it's safe to say that the game wasn't really built from the ground up to accommodate RP and player storytelling.
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Posted: Mar 30th 2012 10:57PM wahahabuh said

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@Irem they've put in the /me emote as well. So they are trying to support RP as well, but RP servers are useless really. Most of the RP I see on official RP servers tend to be the pretentious kind where if you don't know every single bit of lore you get ostracized, I've seen better RP on non-RP servers
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Posted: Mar 31st 2012 7:57AM (Unverified) said

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@Irem

"One of the things I'm less than thrilled with about GW2 is the fact that ArenaNet has affirmed their love of RPers whenever asked, but when it comes to providing tools and support for the playstyle, they usually default to talking up the personal story. Which, you know, is great, except for the whole single-player aspect..."

Even if it were party-based like in SWTOR I'd still dislike it. It's nice to have preset stories that tell an interesting tale, but I feel as if it's immersion breaking. I don't like being told what my character does and says exactly, I'd rather leave it open to interpretation. I'm fine with directed content but not when it's narrowed down to providing a personality without the ability to opt out. I'd imagine your character responses are bland as possible, but I'm sure they will still convey something different from what I'd imagine.

I'm not liking this turn towards a heavy-character driven story. It didn't grab me in SWTOR, and I'm worried it won't in GW2 either. I'd be fine if they only told the story of the NPC's in the world as they can be much more interesting to learn about.
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Posted: Mar 31st 2012 5:50PM Irem said

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@wahahabuh
That's really good news about /me!

My experience has been the opposite: I've had good luck on dedicated RP servers, and little to none in games that didn't have them. Some people are going to be pretentious and mean no matter where you go or what your playstyle is, but I've had the good fortune to find some great communities who didn't put up with that.

@Unverified
I agree, but I suspect you and I are in the minority.
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Posted: Apr 1st 2012 5:20AM Sean D said

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@Irem

Irem, you seem pretty knowledgable about GW2 and RP. Any good recommendations for websites where future GW2 players/RPers are already gathering?
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Posted: Mar 30th 2012 9:22PM (Unverified) said

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All mmorpgs are MADE FOR ROLEPLAY! Everything that has been talked about for GW2 says that as well! Silly they are being lazy - believing that they will make more money from level rushing idiots, than loyal rpers. Oh well.

Its sad, because of mmorpgs all knew what RP truly was, theyd realize that the majority of us do indeed RP! Some dont realize it and some hate the term RP because of some bad apples they have met(ex people that spend more time out of game working on a character than actually playing that character IN the game lol , or the people that flip out if God forbod you mispell or say something they dont agree with as part of teh games lore!)

Most RPers just like to take their time, read lore, emote to players and npcs, use battle cries and its more about what IS NOT said, than what IS!

But all who read this column know that I'm sure. If they are refusing an RP server, than future GW2 rpers need to band together and pick a server to be our unofficial home, and start promoting the hell out of it!!!


Also, its sickening to see that today, mmo devs would rather have whiney level rushing and grinding BABIES that only play a few months a year and dont RP, instead of players that play an mmorpg CORRECTLY and are loyal and stay all year.

I hate to use "correctly" but its the truth. Its hard to find players noadays that do play an mmo correctly. That roleplay as well as enjoy ALL parts of a game and all systems and features, taking their time - rather than people who only care about xp, leveling and gear. These are mmoRPGS after all, not just some single player game to rush through like a raging ignorant bull, frothing at the mouth saying "xp xp xp xp xp" like the little trolls we see all over todays mmorpgs!

LONG LIVE ROLEPLAY!!

Posted: Mar 30th 2012 10:11PM Morbius said

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To add another thing... saying that RP tagged servers will only cause trolls to bully role-players is silly. So instead what will happen when role-players are "forced" to role-play on normal servers? Do they think that these "bullies" will suddenly find it acceptable? Do they think that the amount of RP bullies will be LESS on a normal server than on an RP server?

This actually doesn't make any sense. So if a "bully" harasses a role-player on a normal server does that mean that the GMs won't do anything? I guess RP harassment is okay, but other harassment is not?

Posted: Mar 30th 2012 11:08PM Eamil said

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@Morbius

It's a question of scale. If you RP in public on a normal server and non-RPers who happen to be jerks are nearby they might start giving you grief, but on an RP-flagged server you get more people popping on and looking for RPers to troll them.

God forbid a server full of people like that go down, then you get stuff like the idiots from Blackrock in vanilla WoW rolling alts on Argent Dawn and converging in Ironforge to flood chat and try to crash the server.
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Posted: Mar 31st 2012 7:22AM StevenTM said

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@Eamil Actually, yes. These trolls are mostly of the opportunistic type, i.e. they won't bother to take the time to research which server is the unofficial RP one if none is clearly tagged as such (there are exceptions, of course, but I'm talking about the majority).
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Posted: Mar 31st 2012 2:10PM Morbius said

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@Eamil

Ah, I didn't know role players were afraid of that so much that they rather just RP in the corner on a normal server.

*shrug* I guess role-players rather not have their own server these days for fear of being targeted on their own server. I see it's much better to co-mingle with the rest of the player base and hope you don't stick out. I got it now.

Seems to me a lot of role-players are ashamed of what they do and rather try and hide somewhere.

Ah well, I'll be role-playing in Tera on the official RP sever. They aren't afraid of it. I'm not going to go out of my way to find the unofficial RP server for GW2. I'll just play it normally. Even with all the boasted role-play related features. What a waste.
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Posted: Mar 31st 2012 6:06PM Irem said

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@Morbius
I don't give a crap and a half about trolls on RP servers. Like I said above, I've had much worse experiences in games that don't have them. Like, not being able to find RP at all because nobody does it anymore bad.

In regards to GW2, I've been particularly upset by the number of people I've seen saying, offhand, that they'll only be interested in RPing if there's a dedicated server. The community will be much, much smaller by default if they don't add one, between people who don't see the point if the playstyle isn't officially supported and people who just don't know where to find us because they don't frequent the forums or fansites.

We'll have to make the best of it if they don't add one, but at least having a toggleable RP tag that would allow people to identify each other at a glance is crucial. Otherwise we're just going to see it move into people's home instances and existing on a very small scale as they give up trying to fight the tide.

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Posted: Mar 31st 2012 1:52AM deejrandom said

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I'll just do a little research and plop a character on whatever is the unofficial one. Unfortunately I ran in to a goober of an issue on an RP server in EverQuest: My friend and I couldn't PM each other because we were different races and didn't know the language one another spoke. I mean I love detailed RP, but that was just nuts in my book. He said we could create a macro to 'teach' each one of us the others language. That is all well and good, but not understanding a PM?

I'd rather have unofficial RP servers than that level of detail.

By the way - Landroval in LOTRO is probably my favorite RP server of all time. I can't remember if it was an official one or not...

Posted: Mar 31st 2012 3:02AM (Unverified) said

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@deejrandom

@deejrandom

Landroval is not an official rp server. It does have a rp encouraged tag though.

This was added when when Turbine took back the euro servers from Codemasters. The Europeans did have official rp servers and Turbine wanted to acknowledge Landrovals history as the US rp server of choice without hindering those longtime players on Landroval who were there for the great community without being rpers.
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