The Daily Grind: What’s the best MMO for actual roleplaying?

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, I was a cantina rat.

I would spend the first part of my daily gametime emptying my crafter’s harvesters, flipping my factories, and stocking my vendors, but then I’d log into my smuggler and flit off to one cantina or another to roleplay, to hang out with (or join!) the entertainers, to banter with the patrons, to threaten enemies, to plan adventures, to fall in love, to start wars, and sometimes even to end them. Sometimes it was dramatic — I let a character be permanently murdered once, just for the powerful effect it had on our story — but most times, it was just witty and fun.

Nowadays, I seldom have time to invest that much of myself into a role, and besides, that world is long gone. But where would I go if I wanted to recapture that experience? What’s the best living MMORPG for actual roleplaying, right now, in 2015?

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!
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176 Comments on "The Daily Grind: What’s the best MMO for actual roleplaying?"

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strangeangel2
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strangeangel2

Finaly Fantasy 14 Balmung server is amaaazing, and also Black Desert online Orwen Calpheon 2. For all of you who are wondering where all the Rpers went. I actually think BDO is the best experienced community who enjoys full open world RP that I have ever seen. And I have been rping for a very long time. :3

KylePolinovsky
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KylePolinovsky

Lord of the Rings online is one of the better vehicles for Role play I’ve seen. But as of late it’s community is hurting on the dedicated servers (Landroval and Laurelin). So are there any other games with bigger communities for roleplay that are good for it? (Plenty of emotes, good sized cap on characters per emote, plenty of cosmetics, good character customization?)

RodHoboboHardwick
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RodHoboboHardwick

KevWhiting MUDS were all imagination, I’ve not come anywhere near the experience of immersion since ’98. MMO’s present you with an over-breathing cartoon mannequin that stares into the middle distance. RP is simply impossible with such a dumb avatar. A program for webcam facial expression and gesture recognition that is expressed by the avatar is a long overdue and necessary for MMO RP as well as lockable eye contact with your interlocutor.

Rathnos
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Rathnos

Soulcairn Well… those are not MMOs now are they? So the only role playing you can do is to orchestrate a small group of friends yourself… and they don’t cater particularly well to the goal of actually roleplaying… so I’d say you missed the whole point of the question.

CurtisHobbiggisson
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CurtisHobbiggisson

mysecretid ArtemisiaWS

Like I said before. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MUD

CurtisHobbiggisson
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CurtisHobbiggisson

mysecretid There is no ‘New School’ about what you describe. Go google MUDs and learn about the progenitors to literally all online games.

Soulcairn
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Soulcairn

Minecraft? Spacestation13? Starbound….? anyooone…? reaaaaaally..? you peeps never heard of it…?
or some of those indie sandbox survival games…? do no one think of this or i miss something…….

Brochim
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Brochim

Totally get the measuring stick lol I can’t count the times I’ve been called in to settle a god mod dispute where person a’s character was trained by blah blah and has there 1 hko person b was in whatever accident and is invincible . Usually the time to tell them to stfu and settle it with dice like a true rper

Brochim
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Brochim

I have always recommend second life to any one interested in a more immersive role play environment. The platform itself is based on player creativity. The foundation of any good role play. Players can make virtually anything they can imagine clothes shapes skins vehicles weapons or anything else you would possibly want in a rp environment. styles vary all the way from voice to short one line comments with meter combat all the way to paragraph heavy short novel posting. The games graphics have improved dramatically over the years and now with tech like google cardboard coming out were on the verge of breaking role play as the occultist rift client can put out true stereoscopic side by side 3d rendering. Once leap motion comes more into play combining all of this will lead to a mind blowing revolution of our online role playing experience

KevWhiting
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KevWhiting

I think the undercurrent of what’s being discussed here is the levels of immersion you’re looking for as a gamer. I started doing textual RP a looooong time ago, and I’ve learned that there are levels of depth that people use when roleplaying. I consider myself more of a deeper roleplayer, more of the actor sense, where I totally immerse myself in the persona that I’ve taken on in the game. Whether I’m attacking the NPC baddies or actually confronting someone else in the game, I have devoted myself to thinking and acting in the mind of the one in question. I consider this like a ‘complete immersion roleplay’ that involves using deep, elaborate descriptions that totally flesh out characters and paint a picture as to what is happening on a very thorough level. I’m also into using private messages as a sort of background, the ‘behind the shield’ aspect of the game where I can ask ‘did my spell work?’ or ‘can I scan that object?’ without breaking the actual flow.

It’s hard to find people who can play on that level, however, because most people are just looking to have that immediate satisfaction of fun, right now. I consider this a more casual sense of roleplay, where of course, I’m a Night Elf in the Alliance or whatever, but I’m not so concerned with the feelings or thoughts of the other players, so much as having a simple, continuous flow of actions and antics while beating up the baddies. These players don’t do paragraphs of text or talk about their inner feelings. They’re also more concerned with the mechanics of the game, generally, than the role being taken.

I’ve done both. Both sides are valid (although it’s hard to keep up with rapid-fire one-liners from casuals) but I definitely enjoy the episodic situational interaction of the deeper story game. It’s why we watch movies or read books – only now, -I’m- the central actor, or at least one of the lead players. Playing the game is fun and I’m always interested in that, but I could have just as much fun in a persona for hours.

I play Champions Online. I like its depth of character customization, but the game is really, really small as far as its in-game real estate. I would play Dungeons and Dragons Online, but…I’ve played tabletop D&D for years, and that tops the imagination of any game (which puts it right there in front of you and is limited by the scope of the game’s design).
World of Warcraft has gone from a great idea to a money-engine. That game is retarded, I’m sorry. Take it or leave it, my opinion.

We need a game with size and scope for deeper roleplayers.