Monday, April 18, 2011

Roleplayin', RP, ARPE, rpee.....good bad an ugly

Well, my weekend break is over with and I had a bit to read today amidst my hectic crazy work life as well as my online course work. I been busy ok? So here I am to write a bit more. Today I found this post on Sheep the Diamond and found it an interesting topic to discuss. First a bit of background. I grew up on pen and pencil roleplaying games. Yes, I was the Dungeons and Dragons nerd rollin dice all over the place when other teenagers were out getting plastered or playin football etc. Over time I got into deeper story line driven games like Vampire the Masqurade or Werewolf. Tried Sci Fi games but they werent as fun. I even tried the LARP scene though that felt kinda silly to me. Don't ask me why, it just wasn't my cup of joe. Then the mighty MMO came out. Holy crap! MOAR RPers!!! I thought I would be in heaven. No not really. It never happened.

So with all of the background in place, let us progress before I digress. See all of this comes back to motivations of why we play. If we look at the big 3 (rp, pvp, pve) we notice one thing, they all make fun of eachother and hate on eachother. But why does the RPer get the worst of it? Well, I'm guessin alot of it comes from the avid gankin PvPer.
 Unfortunately this is the stereo type of many RPers. Typically the most over used cliche is the tragic hero, you know that guy...stripped of all that is good, doomed to fail though noble in heart...blah blah blah. The worst of course is the guy who's total motivation is revenge upon (insert name, clan, race). Look that was wearing thin when Luke Skywalker was in town for Star Wars. Ok, cool back 20 years ago..but way out of fashion. The next one people stereotype out is the god moding, vampire/demon hybrid...totally whacked out axe murderer of extremes. *Yawns* yeah ok you can incinerate me with a stare, so can Deathwing. Cmon, we got enough of those types already built into the story. So this leads to the next know the tavern crawler and or casual reveler. So damned mundane they can never rise above barmaid or tavern owner. yay, really? And for the love of god, in a world of heroes, why do we have 50 or 60 hardcore heroes in a small village (Goldshire). Now finally the ERPer, you know the one, either the creepy guy lookin for a girl, or the creepy guy pretending to be a girl lookin for a girl. One must wonder why non RPers look at RPers with such derision.

But lets say you are an RPer, ever get bored acting out a totally mundane seen that has no plot drive or reason? Let me tell you, there isnt anything more annoying than this. It lacks substance so why do it? Really?
All of this drives the non RPer to hysterical, no breather laughter. It also makes the RPer a pariah. Now believe me, I'm not knockin RP. I love a good story driven set. But I stopped RP for the most part, and here is why. Aside from all the above cartoonish stereotypes which I actually have seen on a regular basis, I really HATE the ever so many folks in the RP world that want to ALWAYS be the center of attention. Drama queens the lot of em. This unfortunately drives many people away from the RP scene because it's seen as a dirty word.

I have actually become more of an Immersion player that enjoys aspects of rp, pve,pvp. Fact is, no matter what you do, to a small degree you are deep down inside an RPer when you play an mmo. Why? well you are taking on the different roles in a fantasy world. Yeah somewhere there is a tiny pin hole of RP light in you. It's ok, you don't have to admit it, but it is there. You love tanking? Guess what, that is a role...and you play. Like ganking some poor lil night elf out questing? Yes you are to a slight degree roleplaying, as an aggressive murderous pillager. That is a role.

RP is not thee's and thou's hell most people during Shakespeare's era didn't speak that way anyhow, and they certainly didn't speak in such language during the dark and middle ages. No, there wasn't the lol nubcak3s 733t speakers or slang which we use on a daily basis, but that's just the opposite end of the spectrum. Want a good taste of fantasy world speech? Check out the way R E Howard wrote. Good RP doesn't need to have a troubled tragic hero at it's center either. Background stories need not have elements of tragedy either. At the same time, the common person thrust into uncommon situations makes for one hell of a story.

So is it all wrong to be an RPer? Well, in truth its wrong for some people who pay into mmo's for a different reason. But it's just right for those who love to weave a great tale that will be remembered down the road. Just remember in the end, have fun out there, regardless of your interest in the game, and even more so, let others have fun as well. With that, I must end this post. Enjoy your day out there in Azeroth fellow players.


  1. My 10 year old daughter is a natural RPer. Every time she logs into a multiplayer game she is talking constantly, telling me the backstory of her character and why she is doing what she is doing. She has an army of low-level alts on any game she plays. She can spend hours on the character creation screen or the barber chair. She loves to find places that could be her home or her workplace - cafe/pub/library. Her characters are all majorly Mary Sue - the long lost daughter/sister of major lore figures, half-dragons in disguise. I'm a straightforward PVE'er, so I watch the way she enjoys the game on a level so different from how I enjoy it and I gain a great deal of tolerance and respect for the other points of view.

  2. @ Anonymous ~ Nothin wrong with that coming from a child. Understand, I do appreciate roleplayin. I poke fun at myself as well. The cool thing for your young daughter is the fact that she has that sense of wonderment. he downside is everyone else is copying her lol. I am sure she is having a blast and that is awesome. For a youngster this high idealism is ok, but then children have a natural way of RPing that can make the most jaded person smile. Unfortunately I see too many adults trying to get that center of attention for all the wrong reasons. A child does it out of pure joy and fun, for them MARY SUE is ok because they still have the sense of wonderment. What I will sort of correct on myself is for the rest of the mmo world...we don't know who is in fact behind the keyboard. In that, I am sufficiently chastised. Have a great day out the Anonymous!

  3. The key to happy gameplay of any kind is finding others who enjoy playing the same way that you do. I think the difficulty with the dreaded RP is that there are so many different types of RP (as you have attempted to point out). The accepted RP community seems to be very intolerant of anything outside of "the norm." This is why I don't RP anymore. I found that no matter what I did I wasn't "doing it right," and I wasn't even close to being a Mary Sue.

    I still love RP and all of my toons still have a backstory and a personality all their own, but I've chosen not to share that with others in game.

    Beautifully written post, and I can agree with most of what you've said here.

  4. @Ama ~ That is of course the key and I agree with you. Because of the many different tastes and or motivations, it is hard to find poeople of like tastes and interests when dealing with different types of play, especially in the EP arena. This is why I say I became more of an immersion player. Immersion to me is when you still enjoy the setting, you create characteristics and motivations for your character and then let it happen. Occasionally I run across people who are actually fun to RP with. While I am poking fun at some of the different styles of play remember at heart it isn't tosay they are wrong, just not my style. Mhorgrim who is on a strictly pve server has his own back story as well to make him more than just a cut out paper doll. I do this with all of my alts to one degree or another. I don't have to but it makes for interesting personal ideas. Thanks for dropping by Ama and sharing your insight. I will be doing a little more on the RP end as well here for future discussion.