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General: Massey: The Myth of Role-Playing Servers



  • ToothmanToothman Greenfield, WIPosts: 76Member Uncommon

    After reading the article I was thinking it might have been a bit overdone.   Then I read the replies and realized that that in fact the article is dead on and the replies prove it.    Great work on saying something you just know is going to make you wish you had nomex undies on for.  

  • shavashava Somerville, MAPosts: 292Member Uncommon

    Here's the telling line:

    "those who love to annoy people who claim to be role players [are] the more intellectually honest."

    Who are the *good* people?  The people like Dana who troll the RP community and love to see us squirm.

    Please don't feed the troll just because he's masquerading as a feature writer.

    He's still a troll.

    To add just a bit to what people here have already said:  I'll predict Massey has never played a tabletop RPG where people bounced in and out of character in context, which is what most RP players do, or if he did, he played in monty haul dungeons with his other pimply faced adolescent friends.

    Games like SWG and LOTRO naturally tend to light RP, because the lore is so well known.  Landroval, the unofficial RP server in LOTRO, is the most civil and pleasant gaming environment I've ever played in.  I have high hopes for sw:tor.

    I would happily, as an older professional female gamer (and there are a lot more out there if you study demographics than anyone like Massey probably assumes) pay DOUBLE subscription, in a world where free-to-play is a juggernaut, for a server with better lore and conduct enforcement in just about ANY lore setting, literary or otherwise.  And that's a market segment that is essentially untapped.

    Fironia Vee on the original EQ was a great example of a successful RP server.  Massey obviously never saw it, because he was probably in grade school when EQ came out.  And Sunrunner on SWG.  These are places where the RP covenants worked.

    However, just like the cheap assed decisions that are made in story crafting, which a far better author documented a few weeks ago, RP covenants (and enforcement) are ignored by modern game companies for two reasons.

    One is the expense -- they take far more care and feeding.

    The other is people like Massey -- "who love to annoy people who claim to be role players."  In the rest of the net we call these people griefers, but the game companies aren't willing to spend an extra penny to keep them in check.








  • stine96stine96 Butte Falls, ORPosts: 45Member Uncommon

    Nothing more than a hit piece, this passes as jounarlism these days.

  • boingedboinged LondonPosts: 161Member Uncommon

    I've found that RP servers do vary from game to game. At the very worst they either attract players who think they can get an easy time from helpful roleplayers, or pvpers who see roleplayers as an easy kill. I've also found roleplayers to be very cliquey, perhaps to protect against these kinds of things, and so can sometimes be hard to find outside of particular inns.

    I've had some of my best RP times in games with no special server so I wonder if they're even needed. I know LOTRO has decent servers but at what cost in increased support tickets?

    What I'd like to see and what is often mentioned before a game launches is the introduction of premium RP servers. Playing on these carries an additional subscription fee which should discourage regular players and go some way towards extra GM costs to seriously enforce the stricter T&C.

  • KhalathwyrKhalathwyr Denton, TXPosts: 3,138Member

    Well, I can't agree with you (Dana) on everything. I knew it was only a matter of time, lol. You're entitled to your opinion (and Sanya is to hers in what looks to be, as you have set it up, another negative shotgun blast at RPers) just so long as you know it's your opinion and not a fact.

    "Many nights, my friend... Many nights I've put a blade to your throat while you were sleeping. Glad I never killed you, Steve. You're alright..."

    Kickstarter 2 / Naysayers 0

  • hosie73hosie73 Tekamah, NEPosts: 10Member

    Ill informed and based on rampant stereo types...  way to NOT be a writer.

  • GorillaGorilla Posts: 2,231Member Uncommon

     I guess the writer prefers the company of the l33t speaking duds,,,I mean dudes. More power to you if you prefer 'barrens chat', Chuck Norris is... and smack talk. Each to there own. I also think they are pretty misguided branding the 'RP Police'  with 'victims'. Misguided Idiots, sure, but a small minority and certainly not victims.

  • AignurAignur Posts: 5Member Uncommon

    It's probably all been said by now so I'll keep it short:

    I've spent a fair amount of time on roleplaying servers/communities in a number of different games, both actively RP'ing and as someone who just enjoys a server with a naming policy. And I don't recognize any part of the picture you're painting here.

    Naturally Roleplaying Servers will not be perfect - but no server is. But to claim that they're impossible is just dumb. And if it's an attempt to get a debate going, it's a really poor one.

  • ZhauricZhauric Houston, TXPosts: 292Member Uncommon

    Wow..never expected to have to read bashing of a player base and generalization of that player base from this site. The ignorance from this article is more than abundant. For one, as others have stated, roleplaying is not about speaking in the old english. Anyone who truly understand roleplaying and character development would understand this. Only the ignorant do not and simply hold to this same mantle as you are. It's rather unprofessional to have someone writing an article for this site lacking this much knowledge in the words they are utilizing.

    Secondly, not enough roleplayers to fill a guild let alone a server? I have led a roleplaying linkshell in FFXI that lasted two years. I led a roleplaying guild in WoW that last 2.5 years. So I must have had the one single guild that survived all this? Well...that can't be since in WoW my guild was also part of an alliance of other roleplaying guilds and about two of them were larger than my own. show ignorance in your "observation."

    And roleplayers are not truly roleplaying? I have written dozens of stories of roleplay that have taken place in game and I carried forward to forums so others could see the development. In Age of Conan alone there is a dedicated community of roleplayers on an UNofficial roleplaying server (wiccana). I know because I am a moderator on it. In Everquest 2 there is a community on Antonia Bayle where they actually get the GM cooperation to run events such as Festival of Discord and the Unity event.

    At least I learned a lesson and will no longer need to bother reading this individuals articles.

  • Raithe-NorRaithe-Nor Moscow, IDPosts: 315Member
    Originally posted by Khalathwyr

    ...Sanya is to hers in what looks to be, as you have set it up, another negative shotgun blast at RPers...


    I have a feeling that these articles are an attempt to steer a game genre towards a certain destiny, by squashing the uncertainty about its nature.  The funny part of this is that it will backfire in a huge way:

    1) As soon as there is no lore, no interactive story, no in-character socialization, a very large part of current populations will no longer find "MMOs" interesting.

    2) When these people are gone, the metagamers will find that they are all the same.  They aren't actually better than anyone else still playing the game.  They will lose interest in "MMOs."

    3) Because the players are passionate, the roleplaying niche will spring up in some other medium, which may be very close to the current implementation of a "MMO."  Only this time they might protect their genre somewhat from massive infiltration.  This new medium will require roleplaying to make it interesting.

    And what we end up with is a dead genre with roleplayers surviving as they always have.

  • ShreddiShreddi Thousand Oaks, CAPosts: 317Member Uncommon

    What games did writer experience this on first hand?   Yes I can believe Playboy Bunnies are a myth to you.

    This post is intentionally written as to not make any sense what so ever. Thank You Very Much.

  • lilune666lilune666 Cedar City, UTPosts: 129Member

    You've written some really good articles before, but God damn this is just trolling! 

    edit:  For the record, Antonia Bayle has a GREAT role playing community.  You don't even have to speak in old english or cyber to participate.

  • Vaijerimies1Vaijerimies1 rantasalmiPosts: 3Member

    "Oh my god, you're not supposed to play it like that! You're doing it all wrong!"

    Well... Have to admit some of the control freaks among roleplayers (not all control freaks are roleplayers though) do make a whole lot of noise out of nothing. I had this guildleader in AoC (roleplay guild in pvp-rp server) who raged in guild chat everytime he happened to get ganked. D'uh, comes with the territory. Rest of the guild were really laid back though, seemed to me they realized that roleplay like you see in LARP events or pen and paper just can't happen in free multiplayer environment. And I had great time roleplaying with those guys, though I didn't stay long partly because of that leader...

    Me I don't really see enforcing the naming , OOC, etc. rules  as absolutely necessary. I'm totally fine with just having one server tagged as RP, just so those with RPing in mind don't spread all over the place. I don't see why RPing should be restricted to just sitting around campfire either, as most RPing fun I've had have been while instancing or doing pvp activities (great passion of mine) , and it didn't slow us down or handicap even little.

    If WoW didn't have RP servers I don't think I would have wasted 2.5 years on it. EQ2 was also great for RP in the early days.

    But hey, finally an article that made me subscribe here after years of lurking. :D

    Ps. English isn't my native language.

    Pss. Last time I did live action roleplay I was 12. ;P

  • mOoKmOoK Seattle, WAPosts: 26Member


    I have a couple of points here:

    Its seems to me that if given a public forum to post opinion anonymously, you're bound to have people trolling, complaining and basically ruining it for whatever demographic the espouse to represent. In this case, RPers.

    For every person you mention who's MO is to whine, the overwhelming majority are playing their game, the way they see fit. This is true for any service.

    However, I will say that MMORPGs are not conducive to Role Playing.

    They are systematic, controlled and are basically the antithisis of what Role Playing really is: Collaborative Story Telling.

    I play table top every other week. Some times we role play, sometimes we just bash against the NPCs. As, Dungeon Master, I am as much a part of the game, working for the common goal with the players to have fun, build the world and occasionally tell a story about some characters we imagined.

    The fact that individuals are able to get together, focus and RP together in these heartless online worlds, in spite of the rude, the ambivalent and the sarcastic points the heart of the issue:

    The issue isn't that Role Players are the problem, but that there has yet to be a game worth their time and investment.

    If you'd like to see some of the ideas I have about presenting a format for real online RPGs, check this out.


  • ferndipferndip santa rosa, CAPosts: 67Member Uncommon

    In all fairness, yes, there are role players that make the rest of us look bad.  Are all role players jerkwads?  not at all.

    In all fairness, yes, there are PVPers that make the rest of us look bad. Are all PVPers jerkwads?  not at all.

    Funny how many bitter english majors I have met in my life that lack IMAGINATION & seem offended by those who have it.

    Next week, lets see Dana do an article about how all PVP players are spoiled rotten, couldnt make the foot ball team jerks that all talk like John Wayne & see what kind of response that gives you.

  • terrantterrant Virginia Beach, VAPosts: 1,683Member

    Lotta hate on these posts, but sad to say a lot of what Dana says I've seen to be true.


    I've spent time on a lot of MMOs, and most of them offered some kind of RP server. Usually the kinds of people I ran into broke down into 4 categories:


    1) The cyberfiends: Interested in one thing: what's under that Orc's breeches.

    2) The griefers: Do whatever it takes to disrupt ayone trying to roleplay in any form. Usually spend all day in any ooc chat channels griping about how they hate RP servers.

    3) The RP juniors: No idea how to tell a story or create a character. They copy whatever anime or teen novel is popular this week. Case in point- DBZ and "Twilight" vampire roleplay in World of Warcraft. Yes I've seen these. Often.

    4) Real RPers: They spend most of their time levelling, because there's nothing else to do.

  • angus858angus858 Mechanicsburg, PAPosts: 377Member Uncommon

    That was the most ill-informed column I have ever read on  RP servers, even the unofficial ones, exist for a reason.  Role players enjoy the game more on an RP server than they do on a regular server.  This will be true for every mmorpg even if Dana doesn't understand why.  Many people go to the RP server because the community there acts more friendly and mature, even when they are not role playing.  Others go there because they want to RP as part of an RP guild.  Guess which servers have the RP guilds?  Oh, yeah, it is the "mythical" RP servers.

    I don't really get the attraction of powergaming or raiding but clearly some people enjoy those things. I'm glad they have servers where they can do that as a community.  But since I don't understand what their style of gaming is all about I think I will refrain from writing a column called "The Myth of Regular Servers".

  • PaksPaks No Where, OHPosts: 263Member

    Now I know why I never read your articles.  You obviously don't know much about RPing and the RP community so I'll chock your article up to ignorance. 


    Your entire article sounds like somewhere along the line some RPer pissed in your cheerioes and now you have a chance (as you think) to get back at them so have come up with this steaming pile of an article/rant... Or was your purpose in writing this an attempt to create what?  Drama?  A spreading of misinformation?  Over generalizations are fine for dramatic effect but are not fine when you're trying (at least I think you are) to get your readers to take you seriously. 


    There are elitest in the RP commnity as there are in the PvP and PvE communities, but they none of them should be considered as being the norm for that community.  Your willingness to focus on that one subgroup of the RP community and use them as a basis for denigrating RPers is shameful.


    RP servers do exist.  The ONLY reason RP servers degrade because of lack of support, poor rulesets, and player apathy.  Player apathy usually comes after we figure out the support system is a POS.  RP degrading in guilds is up to guildleaders.  RP degrading in voice chat?  WTH?  Who cares?  Really.  It's not in game.  The point is to try and be your character in game, not be your character 24/7 in and out of game because you say you're an RPer.  Do you expect PvPers to PvP in voice chat as well? 


    Pen and Paper RP had their limitations and immersion breakers as well.  You're sitting at a table or on the floor with the person next to you drinking a bottle of beer or soda and the one on the other side might check their watch every now and then or ask for a dorito, and then you roll dice which has to be interpreted, etc... How is that so vastly different from the immersion breakers we deal with in MMOs?  Seriously.  Did you think before you wrote that article?  The dice and DM positions are now just the interface and game mechanics as in combat engines and whatnot.


    And if I were to use your logic for server types I could say, why in the world do devs create PvP servers when all PvPers are griefers, whiners, and socially inept kids looking for attention.  They can never decide on what ruleset they want and CS is constantly bogged down with complaints of ganking and cheating so why bother? 


    Devs bother because players in their community have demonstrated a credible desire for a PvP server and it's the same for RP servers.  They also bother because they care about their community. 


    If you cared about this community you'd rethink the next time you thought about writing about a subject you obviously know very little about.


    I hope Sanya doesn't try to pass off similar BS.  There's a reason RP servers have problems and it's not because they're impossible to maintain, but I'll wait to read her article.








  • sablephoenixsablephoenix Des Moines, IAPosts: 31Member

    Written from the point of view of someone that doesn't sound as if they've gotten into many RP guilds.I've been in hardcore RP guilds, family RP guilds, family raiding guilds and hardcore raiding guilds.

    Myself, I only join a game if they have an RP server. I refused to join Age of Conan when they said no RPPvE. I myself have witnessed a number of guilds where the majority of the members were all about RP first and foremost. In time there would be those that would come along and 'taint' the concept but for the most part, there are a lot of true roleplayers out there.

    Why then, does it seem like there are those that believe that the RP populace is so small? I believe that is because roleplayers are isolationists as opposed to elitists. They tend to stick around others of their preferred playstyle, which is no different to other playstyles. Ever try to be a roleplayer in a hardcore raiding guild? Good luck. You'll likely be insulted and booted for wasting precious time roleplaying when you should be out grinding and gearing to get to end game.

    Some roleplayers are elitist. But, honestly, can you say that raiders aren't? Can you truly say that raiders don't puff out their chests and behave holier-than-thou because of the epic level raid gear that they have thereby proving how much better than you they are? People make a big deal because of the rules RP Guilds enforce upon would be members and say it's elitist but for a raiding guild asking you to have X tier gear, X number of Advancement Points, and be available for x number raids per week are seen as normal? Sounds like a double standard to me.

    I've been on both ends of the spectrum. I have played as a hardcore roleplayer who's character passes on certain gear if it doesn't fit their character and I've played as the raider, raiding 2+ times a day, 10+ times a week. All in all, after these many years I can tell you I can still remember the storylines I was a part of with other players but for th life of me I can't remember one single piece of gear gained during the raider days. Names and descriptions didn't matter, it was all about the stats.

  • LanthirLanthir Port St. Luice, FLPosts: 219Member Uncommon

    I remeber when SOE first came up with the FV server for EQ.  It had all the Rp rules you could think of.. restrictiosn on who could group with who  even who could talk to no SK iskar could group with a Human paladin. 

    I recall a fight..  Group leader was a High elf he gave an order  which the wood elf translated into dwarf  the dwarf then translated it to common  then Human then translated it to Barbarian  thus finally  everyone in the group knew what the leader was saying.

    Magic is impressive, but now Minsc leads! Swords for everyone!

  • LordOfTimeLordOfTime Pacific Grove, CAPosts: 13Member

    I'm actually now wondering what purpose this article even tried to serve in the first place, and what exactly was going through both the pseudo-writer that concocted this fallacy, and the editor that approved it.

    To be honest, I've lost a lot of faith in the credibility of this site after this debaucle.

    It is my opinion, and that of quite a few others reacting to the rude and downright stupid article that this was, that some sort of official statement, or reasoning should be made. I want to know what research your douche bag of a writer did before cut-and-pasting his my-pretend article togeather.

    Hey! Guess what? People are multi-faceted. No medium actively supports Roleplaying, because roleplaying is, newsflash, a creation of the mind. It's taking text, a.k.a what you attempt to work with, and using this text to tell a story. That's it.

    In a sense, ever great entertainer, every great writer (hint: Not you, Dana. And not ever.) is a Roleplayer.

    So I guess if you want your MMO's to be little grey, un-sculped blocks running around firing similar, smaller un-sculpted little grey blocks at each other, I'd suggest you stop insulting the RPer community, and allow them to collectively continue to create the story content that you yourself get to enjoy, you stupid little man.

  • SandsifterSandsifter New York, NYPosts: 3Member

    >>"It’s time to face the fact that no video game, noRPG, let alone MMORPG, has ever truly fostered role-playing"<<

    Actually, if you consider some of the early "MUD's" as video games, there was a lot of serious role-playing there. The Simutronics series (Gemstone/Dragonrealms) were the closest  I've ever been to feeling like I was playing a character removed from RL.

    I spent  3 years as a "Bard"...and didn't worry about leveling...just composed songs, and got decent tips as a reward.  I don't see that possibilty in any current game though...and that's something I really miss.





  • DanaDana Halifax, NSPosts: 2,415Member
    I definitely got a reaction out of you all. Mind you while I obviously am not a fan of rp servers I may have been a bit over the top. The goal of this is to incite debate not riots. :)

    Dana Massey
    Formerly of
    Currently Lead Designer for Bit Trap Studios

  • RedtahRedtah Rutherford, NJPosts: 23Member

    The most acual RP I've seen in a game was in LOTRO on Landroval, the unofficial RP server. That being said, I think the most usual reason I've played on an RP server being official or not is looking for a more mature crowd. I mean if you think about it and its so kid's first MMO why would they roll on an RP server?

    Honestly there are about 3 reasons to roll on a RP server, none of which are to RP : p

    1 - More Mature

    2 - Likely to meet some of those same mature people from game to game

    3 - hopefully no dumb names. (Within second of logging into Aion's 3rd beta event I saw PussyLover as a name) I don't mind some of the non rp clever names out there but names like the aforementioned one are just well something I'ld like to never see again.


    Not to say there aren't people who RP, but the best reasons for RP servers are the reasons above.

  • ShadinShadin StockholmPosts: 294Member Common
    Originally posted by Dana

    I definitely got a reaction out of you all. Mind you while I obviously am not a fan of rp servers I may have been a bit over the top. The goal of this is to incite debate not riots. :)

    If you want debate and not riots it'd be wise not to insult a whole portion (not the major portion perhaps, but one of the portions (pve, pvp & rp)) in your article. :P

    Perhaps you've had bad luck, but from the article you really come off as an asshat. I love the RP, though I dislike those who come in only to mess up the server for the RP:ers - something I've mostly noticed and encountered in AoC - and granted, not all of us RP 100% of our gametime, but we Do RP, and do it A Lot - at leat those I play. Oh, and we do it without the "thou shalt not kill" english. :P

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