On Role Playingon June 20, 2008 at 12:12 pm
I started playing MMORPGs in college, back when most of them were free and you had to either dial into their servers directly or navigate that wonderful system known as “telnet.” Many of us who had found these games through one friend or another had cut our teeth playing paper-and-pencil RPGs like Dungeons & Dragons, GURPS, and any one of a dozen more. I could wax nostalgic for hours on the topic, but my key point is that in those games you would get further and have more fun by actually playing the part of your character.
The idea of spontaneous acting in response to both random and controlled events was very appealing to me, and still is. It’s unfortunate that many of the players out there have discarded the “RP” in “MMORPG” in favor of a more Halo “let’s shoot things until they stop moving and then do unspeakable things to their corpses” style of play.
I’m not saying that virtual (key word, there) wanton mayhem is unenjoyable. I simply propose that a style of gaming that requires the additional skill set of impromptu acting can also be fun to do. Unfortunately, such skills must often be honed over time. Many people, new to the genre, tend to make the same mistakes. I myself have made countless errors, which my ego prevents me from rendering in comic form.
However, there are a few things that I just couldn’t resist memorializing due to the fact that they’ve been so overdone. I’ve seen each of these examples repeatedly just in this past week, and that’s on a server that (I’ve been told) has a much better ratio of true role players than several of the other servers designated by Blizzard to be “RP.” I imagine that some of the guilty parties portrayed here will eventually grow out of the phases they’re in that encourage these types of behavior. At least, I hope so.
Your opinion might be different from my own as to whether these are worth having on an RP server, but I avoid them (or parody them) with a passion.