181: Speech of teh Realm

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anti_strunt:

This is why RP servers are dumb, because it takes everyone three times as long to communicate one-third the information. It is okay to say, "Which way is the tavern?" That is perfectly in character. You don't need to put it all in iambic pentameter.

Well actually, you CAN just say where is the tavern... some people just like to take the rp a little more to the extreme.

I find that RP [Role Playing] servers are much more of an enjoyable experience than the normal PVE/PVP [Player Vs. Environment/Player vs. Player] counterpart. You tend to become more in touch with you're character that way. I also find that speaking in a normal way without all the 'LOL' and 'OMG HAXORZ!!!1!one' is more appropriate than "Where is Thou Next Quest for the Fair Lady Bitchen?". It is quite plausible that in the 'Middle Ages' people spoke like us without all the 'Thou' and such. If people want to speak straight out of a Shakespeare play than so be it. People that want to speak like mature people without the 'L33T speak' should be able to too, on the RP servers. Let the 8 year old Legolas' run free yelling their 'OMG I DIED!!!1!HAX!!!' and let the mature gamers play and speak like a proper person should.

Odd thing is...taking for an example WoW, with all the references to 'Thous' and such people are making. The NPC's for the most part -don't- talk like that.

Actually, with regards to actually roleplaying, the only real requirements are that,

1: You do not make references to anything going on in real life, past or present.*

2: You do not speak in the modern vernacular, that is, plain english is generally a'okay, but leave out the smileys :) :P :( etc. and slang.

And really, that's it. It's not that hard to understand.
(*Also, depending on your company at the time, there's nothing wrong with making an occasional pop culture reference, but, don't over do it.)

AS for article, kudos. But, the people in that story, they are by -far- the tamest ooc'ers you're likely to meet haha.

Such hearty laughter I have never known. My belly shakes still. This hath given me much amusement, good stranger.

RP servers do not enforce old english. It's a misconception based on a stereotype. English (or any language apart from LEET speak) is good enough and stay in character. RPers do tend to have a larger vocabulary and use it in character. Which could be discouraging to the young or the uneducated, as no-one likes to be reminded of their limited intelligence.

There are some great NWN2 RP persistant worlds. And with the release of SoZ, more will be coming.

To those who instantly dismiss RPing, give it a go. It's the best fun gaming I have ever had. By pretending and playing with the concept of 'not self' you gain a greater understanding of what is 'self'.

(I'm pretty sure I'm about to crap on someone's fun here. I'm seriously sorry about that.)

This piece reminds me of why I think RP servers are dysfunctional. There are several elements that I consider the cornerstones of fun and effective roleplaying that are deeply lacking on MMOG RP servers:

1. Scene framing and narrative flexibility. Think about how a pen-and-paper game is played. It's not a set of real-time events. Instead, there are scenes. Game-players have the ability to vary the pacing of a scene. They have the ability to cut to the good stuff. They have the ability to cut away artfully when a moment has wrapped up. Think about how flexible the verbal communication that's going on is, for that matter: the group can summarize, paraphrase, &c. as needed. All this allows a group to use direct dialogue where it's needed, as a way to add emphasis and detail.

2. Background social communication. The players know each other. They communicate fluidly about reactions and expectations out-of-character, both as co-creators and each others' audience. Some of the most effective sessions also involve active kibitzing from players that aren't part of a scene.

Both of these are very deeply stunted on an MMOG's RP server: the simulated world makes it much harder to actually do anything with scene framing (while adding almost nothing useful to the mix because it's so damn static), and many of the players are strangers to each other, only engaged in momentary interactions -- so you usually end up with characters saying nothing important to each other and players with nearly no knowledge of each others' tastes and expectations. It's all rather stilted, clunky, and pointless. Kinda like it plays out in this story.

-- Alex

Alex_P:
(I'm pretty sure I'm about to crap on someone's fun here. I'm seriously sorry about that.)

This piece reminds me of why I think RP servers are dysfunctional. There are several elements that I consider the cornerstones of fun and effective roleplaying that are deeply lacking on MMOG RP servers:

1. Scene framing and narrative flexibility. Think about how a pen-and-paper game is played. It's not a set of real-time events. Instead, there are scenes. Game-players have the ability to vary the pacing of a scene. They have the ability to cut to the good stuff. They have the ability to cut away artfully when a moment has wrapped up. Think about how flexible the verbal communication that's going on is, for that matter: the group can summarize, paraphrase, &c. as needed. All this allows a group to use direct dialogue where it's needed, as a way to add emphasis and detail.

2. Background social communication. The players know each other. They communicate fluidly about reactions and expectations out-of-character, both as co-creators and each others' audience. Some of the most effective sessions also involve active kibitzing from players that aren't part of a scene.

Both of these are very deeply stunted on an MMOG's RP server: the simulated world makes it much harder to actually do anything with scene framing (while adding almost nothing useful to the mix because it's so damn static), and many of the players are strangers to each other, only engaged in momentary interactions -- so you usually end up with characters saying nothing important to each other and players with nearly no knowledge of each others' tastes and expectations. It's all rather stilted, clunky, and pointless. Kinda like it plays out in this story.

-- Alex

To the former (If I'm reading it right) there is nothing stopping anyone from doing any of those things. Within what structure an MMORPG does provide, yes, it is limited by the fact that, you can't really control every single aspect of the 'story' and in this instance, the dialogue and actions of the other party. As you've pointed out, you probably don't know the person/s that well. However, that is what you'd call 'Random RP', that is, going out into the street, or into an inn or pub and striking up a conversation with the nearest available person.

To the latter, from my own experience for the most part, you -are- going to be RP'ing with people you know a fair bit more than that. If only through guilds, or groups, or specified channels etc. And without going into all that about not knowing them in real life and all, I'll say that that doesn't matter, only that you have chatted with these same people in an out of character context over a period of time. Meaning, that when you are going to RP with these same people, you -can- control what goes on through a kind of Meta dialogue going on as you are RP'ing with them, whether it be through whispers or a separate chat channel.

GothmogII:
To the former (If I'm reading it right) there is nothing stopping anyone from doing any of those things. Within what structure an MMORPG does provide, yes, it is limited by the fact that, you can't really control every single aspect of the 'story' and in this instance, the dialogue and actions of the other party. As you've pointed out, you probably don't know the person/s that well. However, that is what you'd call 'Random RP', that is, going out into the street, or into an inn or pub and striking up a conversation with the nearest available person.

To the latter, from my own experience for the most part, you -are- going to be RP'ing with people you know a fair bit more than that. If only through guilds, or groups, or specified channels etc. And without going into all that about not knowing them in real life and all, I'll say that that doesn't matter, only that you have chatted with these same people in an out of character context over a period of time. Meaning, that when you are going to RP with these same people, you -can- control what goes on through a kind of Meta dialogue going on as you are RP'ing with them, whether it be through whispers or a separate chat channel.

Well, there's no satisfying way to do scene-framing in an MMOG. At best, you can yell out "cut" and then have everyone walk or teleport somewhere else, almost like a little troupe of actors putting on a traveling play. That's a far cry from actually roleplaying within the game; at that point, the entire game world becomes just a big distraction that makes it harder to do what you want with the text in the chatbox.

But, no, the problem isn't that these elements don't exist at all, necessarily. The problem is that they're heavily constrained.

Add to that the fact that there's no real, focused game design behind techniques used for RP-server roleplaying and you've basically got a medium that emulates the crappy dynamics of a gamestore D&D group with minimal play experience and an unresponsive GM.

-- Alex

not a zaar:
RPers are pretty lame. If you want to roleplay, go play DnD. MMORPGs are about numbers and loot, that's it.

n00b.

That said, i will now get to the reason i was posting. WoW is such an anachronistic mash-up that old english isnt really apropriate.

There is a lot of middle ground between "LFM XXX" and "Searches I for companions to challenge the halls of XXX." Its possible to RP in modern english.

Although, really, most of the talk onthe RP server im on isnt in character at all. Its just slightly better than the gibberish on the PvP servers.

I'm glad to see that I am not alone in shying away from using old English in my RP. I like some light RP-ing, and I stay in character as much as possible, but I don't go out to create special situation to RP under. That means, I only RP under the context of the place and situation I am under in the game. I have had plenty of fun with that, but I still find it very restrictive.
For the most part, the fact that you have control over the visual aspect of the game makes it really hard to RP at times. I feel that when it comes to RP, nothing beats old chatroom RP-ing, since people are really usually there for RP. That, and you get to pick the setting. I am very annoyed by the fact that people think you are always stuck in some 3rd rate fantasy novel, and are not given any creativity license. What does it matter if I'm a gnome killer robot in WoW? Gnomes make robots, and they kill! Gnomeragan is full of those. And yet people gets royally pissed when I start throwing some Steampunk aspect into the RP.

Baby Tea:
but this actually reminds me of my old PnP games more then anything. Trying to progress the story,

You mean DnD?, Right?

About the story, It was very funny and well wirten[SP]
Though I though this would be abot leet speak

olicon:
I'm glad to see that I am not alone in shying away from using old English in my RP. I like some light RP-ing, and I stay in character as much as possible, but I don't go out to create special situation to RP under. That means, I only RP under the context of the place and situation I am under in the game. I have had plenty of fun with that, but I still find it very restrictive.
For the most part, the fact that you have control over the visual aspect of the game makes it really hard to RP at times. I feel that when it comes to RP, nothing beats old chatroom RP-ing, since people are really usually there for RP. That, and you get to pick the setting. I am very annoyed by the fact that people think you are always stuck in some 3rd rate fantasy novel, and are not given any creativity license. What does it matter if I'm a gnome killer robot in WoW? Gnomes make robots, and they kill! Gnomeragan is full of those. And yet people gets royally pissed when I start throwing some Steampunk aspect into the RP.

I was about to agree wholeheartedly with your post...then I got to the killer gnome bit. Now...while I don't disagree with people being creative, we have have to remember, that in terms of how we RP with our characters, that: It's not our world, we just live here.

The example you gave isn't entirely implausible, gnomes do indeed make machines and robots and such, and it's only a small stretch to roleplay a gnome that -is- one of those machines. However, how would that gnome interact with others? How would others interact with that gnome? It is very difficult thing for both parties when, if I'm reading this right, your characters natural inclination is to kill everyone, and everyone else's inclination is, not to be killed. Not that I'm sure you couldn't find some willing people to RP this aspect with you, or even just say your character has killed but don't necessitate any kind of actual enactment on it.

Secondly...this kind of 'creativity' can be taken too far. There's a reason all those Half Elf/Half Dragon Immortal Vampire Sons/Daughters of Arthas get nothing but scorn and derisive laughter, they don't fit with the lore or the world. And while there's absolutely nothing stopping anyone from RP'ing like that, don't expect to get anywhere with it.

GothmogII:

olicon:
I'm glad to see that I am not alone in shying away from using old English in my RP. I like some light RP-ing, and I stay in character as much as possible, but I don't go out to create special situation to RP under. That means, I only RP under the context of the place and situation I am under in the game. I have had plenty of fun with that, but I still find it very restrictive.
For the most part, the fact that you have control over the visual aspect of the game makes it really hard to RP at times. I feel that when it comes to RP, nothing beats old chatroom RP-ing, since people are really usually there for RP. That, and you get to pick the setting. I am very annoyed by the fact that people think you are always stuck in some 3rd rate fantasy novel, and are not given any creativity license. What does it matter if I'm a gnome killer robot in WoW? Gnomes make robots, and they kill! Gnomeragan is full of those. And yet people gets royally pissed when I start throwing some Steampunk aspect into the RP.

I was about to agree wholeheartedly with your post...then I got to the killer gnome bit. Now...while I don't disagree with people being creative, we have have to remember, that in terms of how we RP with our characters, that: It's not our world, we just live here.

The example you gave isn't entirely implausible, gnomes do indeed make machines and robots and such, and it's only a small stretch to roleplay a gnome that -is- one of those machines. However, how would that gnome interact with others? How would others interact with that gnome? It is very difficult thing for both parties when, if I'm reading this right, your characters natural inclination is to kill everyone, and everyone else's inclination is, not to be killed. Not that I'm sure you couldn't find some willing people to RP this aspect with you, or even just say your character has killed but don't necessitate any kind of actual enactment on it.

Secondly...this kind of 'creativity' can be taken too far. There's a reason all those Half Elf/Half Dragon Immortal Vampire Sons/Daughters of Arthas get nothing but scorn and derisive laughter, they don't fit with the lore or the world. And while there's absolutely nothing stopping anyone from RP'ing like that, don't expect to get anywhere with it.

Everyone loves that crazy robot from KotOR. Or maybe I'm the only one who love him. He makes a fine model for my character--sarcastic wise guy that is quite hell bent on obliterating everything. It also great at keeping my character to the essential--like I said before, I'm not too serious of an RPer, so I don't want a complex past for my character. He's a robot, he's made to fight, and he does it, no question asked.
I think I have to rethink my RP-ing a bit though. You are right--it's a world, and I'm just living in it. It's not just about existing (and remaining in character) but also about coexisting with others. I never quite thought about it that way.
I don't really mind the half elf/dragon/whatever as long as they are played well. The problem, I think most would agree, is that they aren't. People who rolled these overpowered character tends to god mode everyone around.

I've never played WoW, let alone done their RP server, but I have played numerous text based RPGs set in an similar time period. Some times I just want to cringe when my parters try to use "old english" with out any knowledge of what the language sounded like (it didn't help that their spelling was a nightmare). Luckily, I've got a new partner who can spell, and knows the sounds of the period.

Why this story has stirred within me a laughter to be heard across the lands of this fair kingdom...ahem... yeah I lol'd

SnowCold:

Baby Tea:
but this actually reminds me of my old PnP games more then anything. Trying to progress the story,

You mean DnD?, Right?

Nope, I meant PnP. Pen and Paper? DnD isn't the only Pen and Paper game out there!

IF... and this is a huge IF... I was to RP on EVE..........wierd.

smallharmlesskitten:
IF... and this is a huge IF... I was to RP on EVE..........wierd.

Yeah...I never even tried when I had the trial. But...if the new avatar system works out okay, it could be quite possible. (That is if people aren't doing it in their ships already...)

I think the problem is that most people don't understand the difference between three very different modes of play:

The first mode is where people are not actually playing characters at all. I.e., their "characters" have names like "XxLooterzxX", and their speech includes a great deal of internet slang and chat abbreviations. They're not playing "characters", they're playing themselves.

The second mode is on the other end of the spectrum, where folks go about spouting "Thee" and "Thou", and in general making an ass of themselves. Basically, they're attempting to put on a "High School Play", but only 10% of them ever took a Drama class. This isn't "role playing", it's called "really bad improv".

The third mode is somewhere in the middle (although it has it's own internal range), where people (generally) don't force bad tries at Elizabethan English upon each other, but still manage to communicate with each other using novel artifices including capitalization and punctuation, and even manage to pull of decent examples of revolutionary concepts such as the "complete thought". Local slang develops, based on game activities and mechanics, but it's all "in character", because it's the slang of the characters, not the slang of the character's players.

I could go on, but you get the idea. Good roleplay isn't dependent on good acting skills, or a grasp of antiquated English dialects. It's based on the ability (or choice) to develop a sense of your character's agency in the gameworld, rather then your own agency in a game.

That was a great story made me laugh

Why does RP = Old English?

Honestly, "in-character" just means you speak as though you were your avatar rather than yourself outside the game; not making reference to things outside of the game, your other characters (as being also yourself), specific game mechanics or dev announcements; that kind of thing. You stay inside the fourth wall. That doesn't mean your character doesn't speak in the same dialect as you.

My opinion is that if your going to play on a RP server, you don't have to RP but should atleast be respectfull to those who do. I personally play on a RP server and no one I see RPs, and publicly mock the few who do. Kinda sad I think.

I really enjoyed that article! It gave me quite a chuckle, even though I do much more tabletop than online.

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