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One thing a lot of roleplayers these days tend to miss is how awesomely sandbox MMORPGs provide tools condusive to a roleplaying environment. Anyone who roleplayed on UO will probably have a hint of what I mean.
Dawntide is a sandbox game, inspired by UO, that is currently in Open Beta-- this means that it is currently free to play, and will be until release, which isn't for quite some time.
Those of you who have tried games like Darkfall or Mortal Online will probably be shying away at this point, but fear not! Dawntide is not a game of grind. While you may take a month out of your life to learn how to make a boat on Darkfall, you can single handedly build your own boat in a couple of days. My relatively small faction completed our own keep without having any materials gathered beforehand in only 3 days, which claimed us an island to ourselves.
While it is important to note that the game is in beta, and thus is not a completed game, and will have bugs, the game provides a perfect opportunity for those who wish to found a roleplaying community. You can start your own faction, take over an island, build a castle. You can build your own house (A hut or cobblestone house is easier to build than a boat), your own furniture is easily crafted by carpenters. Your character is highly customizable, and your script is your own.
Dawntide's own community forums include a forum specifically for the roleplayers: http://www.dawntide.net/forum/community/tavern
Don't be surprised by the low count of roleplayers in the game. It isn't an indication of anything, really, other than the low population of the game as a whole. I do recommend this game for guilds and players who want to found a roleplaying community, and I believe the game has all the tools you need as a roleplayer.
I write this mostly because I wasted years roleplaying on themepark games such as WoW, which refuse to include any sandbox elements, when I could have been on a sandbox game which had all the tools I need. Build your own village or found an empire, live as a peaceful explorer or a savage killer. Currently, only the southern islands in the game (many of which are still unclaimed) have PvP enabled, but it is important to note that the game will turn world PvP on again at some point, and it is full-loot. This means that now is the perfect time to get comfortable and grow your character.