The Daily Grind: What keeps you from roleplaying?

    
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At its core, this is just a couples' shot.

I really, really enjoy roleplaying. It’s one of the biggest ways that I enjoy a game. I like coming up with elaborate character backstories and living the lives of these people, which invariably turns into some combination of mundane drama spiced up with the supernatural. Yes, my main character in Final Fantasy XIV is an assassin with magical knowledge who had her entire body reconstructed at one point, but a good portion of her life is still having tea and enjoying a night out with friends and family.

But not everyone roleplays, and even those of us who do sometimes find something holding us back (lack of available partners, for example). So what keeps you from roleplaying? Is it a lack of desire, a complex schedule of availability, fear, or something else altogether?

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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AGx
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AGx

For me it’s two things:

The main issue is the lack of any sort of moderation for RP servers. Lot’s of people who like to RP have either done so in chat rooms or forums at some point and what gave that experience any level of quality was moderation. People who weren’t actually RPers could be kicked or banned. Because there was some authority that would actually punish, players stayed in character because they had to and kept OOC chat to specified places. Even when we needed to discuss the RP itself, but out of character, we knew where to take it. Because there are no admins to keep non-RPers off of RP servers, the quality stinks. People will join that server because it has good players, high population, or a good reputation not because they want to RP and that’s part of the problem.

The second issue is many of these games lack worlds that are worth exploring. I didn’t RP in FFXI but the world was fun to explore. There were so many places you could go that were off the beaten (i.e. force you to go there for a quest but have little reason to ever go back) path that we ended up having many of our own adventures. Not many games have that, so other than standing around or chat-only RP, there’s not a lot of point sometimes. Adventuring to places and conquering enemies don’t have that same kind of epic feeling because they are either stupidly easy, part of a raid or dungeon (i.e. instance with it’s own story you’re forced into) or so difficult you require a massive party (e.g. FFXIV FATE bosses) to beat.

FVerret
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FVerret

FacelessSavior A French-speaking UO server by the name of Temrael.

orrruh
Guest
orrruh

so little tavern RP, so many eRP’rs

paragonlostinspace
Guest
paragonlostinspace

FacelessSavior Yeah for me “back in the day” goes back to text based versions of what we now call mmo-rpgs, or even further back to tabletop gaming.

paragonlostinspace
Guest
paragonlostinspace

Graphical mmo-rpgs really burnt me out on remaining in character and role-playing. All those who refuse to stay in character and keep the OOC (Out Of Genre) chatter to private conversations and those who flat out troll anyone who attempts to be in character or worse role-play just made me finally toss in the towel some years ago. That game developers don’t do more to enforce policies and mitigate some of this took me a lot of years to get over.

solaralune
Guest
solaralune

actionist This is similar to the reason I came up with. It’s partly just because I’m awkward in real life, but I feel fairly awkward going up to people in game and standing around while typing out a full blown narrative. I have a 3d, customized avatar. instead of saying “/me walks up to so-and-so and takes a drink” why don’t roleplayer actually move through the gamespace and then use a /drink emote? (sometimes because there isn’t an actual animation or an oddly specific text to accompany that emote).

It just feels, sometimes, like players are given a huge stage with a lot of props, but they wind up just standing still on stage and just narrating everything. Or worse, they can’t actually use the props. adjusting yourself 10 times so you /sit in such a way that it LOOKS like you’re sitting on a chair. A lot of mmo worlds feel very non-interactive…which is a shame really.

I dunno, just rambling.

FacelessSavior
Guest
FacelessSavior

Ok… what now? The C64 had a Hitchhiker’s Guide RPG??? And I didn’t mean to come off as elitist or anything, I just had a feeling you must’ve entered the genre later, like warcraft era or post. Because in the older games like UO and SWG, we did actually get to RP while fighting and questing. And talk about things that really happened to our characters, because we weren’t all being forced down the same linear storyline and instances.

actionist
Guest
actionist

FacelessSavior Well, my back in the day for MMOs only goes to 2005 with WOW. I do understand that many MOPers started when the Internet was invented. :)

My trusty Commodore 64 introduced me to narrative role playing (sort of) with The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy text adventure game. That and several lost years spent with AD&D, Champions, Palladium, etc. showed me how much fun it is to simply co-create a story together while, you know, killing orcs and stuff.

FacelessSavior
Guest
FacelessSavior

Which server if you don’t mind me asking?

FacelessSavior
Guest
FacelessSavior

That’s because the themepark, on rails, static, nature of MMO game designs these days force you to break canon. When canon is every player going through the same tutorial, and completing the same instanced quests…. there’s no way to RP that.