Looking at Secret World’s ‘dangerous’ roleplaying scene

    
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“It was supposed to be fiction, but the developers and then the fans started blurring the edges of the game. It turned out that the the roleplay community would be more dangerous than anything the developers could cook up.”

In a fascinating essay at Waypoint, a dedicated player game master named Cass Marshall shares her experience cultivating and running a roleplaying community within The Secret World. Despite the MMO already having plenty of story, some players desired even more immersion and narrative.

That’s when Marshall and others like her stepped in to write scenes and conduct extensive roleplaying campaigns both inside and outside of the game itself. “I focused on hiring voice actors to create audio logs, drawing art, and figuring out environments — all of which led to running four-hour roleplay sessions for a dozen people once a month,” she said.

Unfortunately, the lines between reality and fiction started to blur, and tensions rose between players as well as the RP creators. Marshall said that even while her work was in high demand and quite buzzworthy, it fed into an “unhealthy” environment. Finally, after some health issues, she stepped away from managing roleplaying but not the game itself. It didn’t kill the RP community, but it effectively ended her part in it for better and for worse.

Source: Waypoint. Thanks KidWithKnife!
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xpsync
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xpsync

Damn and here i thought i was really into the game. wow!

Gnomeland Security
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Gnomeland Security

The issue started from the very beginning…when trying to use tabletop base RP in an MMO. RP in gaming is about organic interactions. Yes, you can have a general idea of what you want to do but it’s really about the meshing of 2 or more general goals that play out in a story. The pre building of entire stories almost always ends in the predefined conclusion, which creates a “must win or it’s rp fail” mentality.

Of course using an archived RP style will end up in drama laden bitch fests, just as people who RP in mmos that just sit around one location and talk about what their virtual dinner is going to be. Some people want to cause chaos as stories, and it’s completely fine. The issue is when those with predefined stories from start to end can’t handle that things didn’t pan out exactly how they planned…which isn’t good RP.

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mistressbrazen

The role play community is always at risk of splintering in my mind. Players feel things deeply and often over-identify with their RP characters. Emotions can run deep. For a while I participated in Twitterverse, at least in its beginning existence. I never really got into the serious role play communities there though. Coming out of a really strong RP community in SL where my game partner and I did have responsibility for creating and running arcs, I can sympathize with the author of the Waypoint essay, but some aspects of the essay made my eyebrow raise. A four hour role play session? Not suspecting dysfunctional attitudes were developing? I’m not sure how the game master can not know or sense the tension. But, in the final analysis, it always feels sad when you lose your RP community. It’s just a hole in your game play that’s hard to heal.

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dm_jim80

I’ve been in the Secret World RP scene for almost five years…I’ve a small group of buddies I stick with, and generally keep all contact with the larger balkanized ‘roleplay community’ to surface level only…

…and guess what, I’ve managed to avoid just about all of the drama of the week/day/month/year/etc.

I’ve seen nothing to convince me keeping my distance wasn’t a wise decision.

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nobleeinherjar

I’m not really sure what to make of the article, even as someone who has been part of role-playing communities for about two decades now.
But that blurring of lines and people getting mad at people in real life is why I stick to small-group RP and tabletop stuff. I can’t do the guild thing anymore.

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Jeff

I wouldn’t call this fascinating…I would call it terribly written, by an obvious drama llama.

Things like this have been going on in the tabletop rpg communities for decades, it’s more or less why I left that scene,(it’s current state is so toxic that it’s infected even on the corporate level) and as bad as that was MMO role play groups are worse, so this article really dose little to nothing to shed new light on an ancient issue.

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Witches

I know it’s the SECRET world, but this is too vague to really have an opinion.

Negativity is almost guaranteed once you have a group of people interacting, and in MMOs, because the default behaviour tends to be an augmentation of real life, bad behaviour is amplified, you have to expect that guy you are roleplaying with to potentially be that guy who freaks out when the servers go down, or insults the devs over class changes, because his dps is now 0,000001% worse.

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

mmo roleplay groups are the worst ever. throw in discordians and you’ve got yourself a drama hell full of trumped up threats and unwarranted self importance.

Pepperzine
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Pepperzine

This article seems like it’s missing a lot of context and is half written… I know the source provided elaborates further, but would be nice if this was expanded to feel like a fully fleshed out article.

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

is as expected when you pander to discordians.

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

which i’m not blaming the GM here. she seems to not known what she was getting into. which is typical for those that deal with discordians.

they are a rabid bunch. a fringe of a fringe that feel whatever forum or venue they see should belong to them, and no means is too unethical to obtain that domain. they have a cult of personality combined with a sense of self importance and superiority over those they claim “don’t get the joke” but for them it’s a full time job. it’s what they do all day every day. and they don’t care who they hurt in the process of completing their infantile goals.

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kidwithknife

Okay, I suspect you’re right about the author not understanding what she was getting into, but what is the discordian thing about? I’ve never heard the term used in this context.

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

basically alot of TSW’s rp community is dominated by this lunatic fringe internet cult called discordians.

i used to be one until i wised up to how insane they are. and basically when i was playing tsw back at launch there was alot of talk about how they had raided teh forums and tried to take over teh game forum. and some of them had stuck around in teh RP sections.

as TSW’s lore setting and story is heavily deriviative of a trilogy of novels that features the religion (the dragon faction is a cheap approximation of certain aspects of them). called the illuminatus trilogy by robert anton wilson and robert shaea

anyways they are a bunch of nutters that take things way too seriously and too far when they don’t get their way and really love internet drama and throwing their weight around and ruining other people’s forums/etc, that because TSW is deriviative of the literature attached to tehir “religion” they have latched on to it primarily through the RP community.

and basicaclly it looks like this GM ran into them here and got on their bad side and they acted as they always do.

glad she got away from them. tbh they are pretty toothless but they can appear pretty scary when you’re facing oneo ftheir drama episodes focused on you.

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

i mean honstly RPers in general are prone ot this kind of behaviour – of wanting to feed their own egos and control things and pull drama fits over trivial things and use harassment and irl action threats tools to get their way in the RP stuff.

but in this case of TSW’s rp community with the discordians who are also all of those things as well.

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Melissa McDonald

it’s called being a sociopath.

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

yeah but this cult attracts such people in particular it seems.