Wednesday, April 20, 2011

How RP can work for those who enjoy it

Ok so earlier this week I brought up the topic of RP and why alot of people make fun of it. One last caveat on that. Non RPers tend to be goal orientated. PVE folks love the end game content with lotsa shinys. PvPers love to pit their kill skillz against others. This is ok. But alot of them dis on the RP community because they neither understand it nor are they willing to try to...out of fear. This isnt the case for all. When I say fear it is self fear of trying out a persona beyond their own. Again that isnt for all, but I think the least tolerant of them are very much like this.

But we go back to some of the issues I brought up earlier concerning styles of RP. We see a bunch of individualism without bringing in others to experience the interests of the individual. If they aren't THE center of attention, its an epic fail.

 So how can RP actually work? Most people can get a serious backstory and motivation down pretty easily. Often they spend a good amount of time developing these back stories and expounding upon them as the course of play continues. But in a static persistant world this becomes difficult. MMOs that have specific quest lines etc rarely ever see the player's effects brought into play. There is no evolution to affect change.
For the casual passerby, a quick jaunt into a rowdy tavern might do for some random RP. But then this can be tricky as you have several stories spinning at once and all too often it becomes a cycle of one upmanship. The key that I see for the random tavern set is toease up on being the center of attention. Let your story roll out naturally rather than forced.

Storyline Driven RP. Now this is a little tougher as it requires cooperation for starters as well as someone to play the Catalyst. In the old days we called this person the Dungeon Master. Today its more like the quest giver but alot more indepth. The rewards are less tangible for the effort with the exception of the story which is created. Specific chains of events that lead into one another culminating in an epic session which creates evolution within a guild or sets of guilds. It does require some planning ahead of time though and of course someone to drive the storyline.

Cooperative Storylines: We used to do this when I played Age of Conan. The RP guilds would get together to create a full bodied storyline. This worked best ina an RP PVP server environment and was rather successful. Furthmore, the successes were told outside of game in the format of written prose that people fed off one another during the course of events. No one there was a god moder as pvp is what it is. But, you have to be ready for the consequence aspect of the story as well. Things like death happen in this aspect.

Anyways a couple of thoughts that can make RPers have a little more enjoyment. Hope you all have a great day out there!

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.