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General: 'No' Your Role

SBFordSBFord Associate Editor - News ManagerThe Land of AZPosts: 16,649MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon

Before anything else, remember that the type of game that many of us play is actually called a massive multiplayer online ROLE PLAYING game. In Coyote's Howling today, we take a look at role playing in today's MMOs and what it really means. Read on and then FORSOOTH! Be sure to leaveth your commenths!

I'm a pretty avid role-player.

Now, while a few of you read that statement and continued onto this sentence without so much as blinking your bleary, porn-strained eyes - a larger percentage of you probably just inwardly groaned and thought the words that I've seen typed in game chat too many times to count:

"F**king role-players."

Read more Coyote's Howling: 'No' Your Role.


Associate Editor: MMORPG.com
Follow me on Twitter: @MMORPGMom

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Comments

  • drowelfdrowelf phenix city, ALPosts: 104Member

    So true...

  • JimMorenoJimMoreno Decatur, ALPosts: 18Member Uncommon

    I approve this article. :)

    Jim H. Moreno

  • NameWasTakenNameWasTaken Where Osama isPosts: 132Member

    Lets face it, NOBODY role plays in online games these days. If anything, these games should be re-badged as MMOTPBM's (Massive Multiplayer Online Third Person Button Mashers).

    Oh, and those hawt chick elves... they are REALLY guys. ;)

  • JaggaSpikesJaggaSpikes LabinPosts: 421Member Uncommon

    Amen

  • DarkPonyDarkPony RotterdamPosts: 5,566Member

    Talking about Drizzt references: 1st reply is from "drowelf". Typical :)

    But yeah, great article once again, Coyotheth. Filled to the brim with clever observations and stuff I can relateth to.

  • FadedbombFadedbomb Aiken, SCPosts: 2,081Member

    No one RolePlays anymore in online games, because MMO developers have moved away from environments where the PLAYER had to RolePlay. Developers have moved the genre, mainly for quick cash, into a scene called "Forced Roleplaying" where the player is ALWAYS roleplaying by being TOLD what they are, and HOW to play their character!

     

    In games like SWG, UO, Shadowbane, etc etc you didn't really have classes. So, you could Roleplay WHAT you were to other people who didn't know wtf you could do. Albeit none of this is like RL Roleplaying when you're doing board games, but that's not the point we're talking about here are we :P?

     

    The RPG has been ripped from the industry by "Fat Cat" industry leaders who want a quick buck for a low quality product, ala: WoW, SWTOR, RIFT, Aion, etc etc. You simply CANNOT roleplay in these games, and if you try hard enough you'll only strain yourself :/!

    The Theory of Conservative Conservation of Ignorant Stupidity:
    Having a different opinion must mean you're a troll.

  • NoizMchnNoizMchn Atlanta, GAPosts: 29Member

    and yet, another spot on article.  When pen and paper games can be played online from remote locations, it will be time to head back to the basement.

  • TardcoreTardcore MinskPosts: 2,325Member

    Yet another great write up Mr Coyote. But . .

    First I was all like this

    But by the end I felt like this

    Not becuase of anything you said, but because I have been so conditioned by MMOs for past several years to care about nothing but gear quality, min/maxing, rotations, and my own characters level of epic epiciness. Blame not the gamers but the game makers themselves. 

    And before anyone steps in and praises SWTOR for changing this trend, no they haven't. Their "choose your own story" questing system combined with small group and player companion, and zone sharding mechanics, while quite cool, actully lead players even further down the rabbit hole of "Alone together gaming." Where there is no point in role playing because the game will tell you how you feel and act once your choice is made, and since the very game mechanics that are supposed to enforce a sesne of community actually work counter to their intent, you won't be interacting with other players enough to bother.

    image

    "Gypsies, tramps, and thieves, we were called by the Admin of the site . . . "

  • thekid1thekid1 GroningenPosts: 789Member

    "In order to role-play, you need other players, but the fact of the matter is – no one can be bothered. There is no longer a group dynamic.  Your fellow players have ceased to be an intricate part of your gaming experience. They’re not an element, they’re an obstacle; an annoyance that keeps you from your next fast-paced Michael Bay explosion of action and ass."

     

    So why not play a single player RPG instead?

    They're even better in every aspect. I don't recall seeing mobs next to the road waiting to be killed in Oblivion.. Quests are usually more diverse, stories are better. Etc.

  • BattlerockBattlerock Youngstown, OHPosts: 1,393Member
    It's what you and the community you thrive in make it, stick with it and others will catch on, want to try it out of curiosity, find out its fun, and soon it will just keep growing. Every little bit counts
  • bobfishbobfish SouthamptonPosts: 1,688Member

    Still... who wouldn't hit on Myra Maxwell! http://myramaxwell.com/

    I play on an RP server because it has less annoying idiots on it, not less idiots, but they are of a breed that I can tolerate.

  • ScotScot UKPosts: 5,769Member Uncommon

    MMO's used to have what they called 'role-play tools' now you are lucky to get a roleplaying server. Any sort of naming convention on such servers is a not going to happen. Some new MMO's launching do buck this trend but most just see the possibilty that someone called 'grrrrtastic' might decide not to resub if he can't play an Elf or a Sith on a rp server and bottle it.

    In the early days of MMO the consumers (groups like roleplayers, guilds) were king, and grouping was the norm. Now indivdual consumers are the king and soloing is the norm. So roleplaying and in fact any activity which involes more than one player, is very far down on the design agenda.

  • rpgalonrpgalon canilPosts: 430Member

    I find Age of Conan a pretty good place to RP...

    and there is a machinima series called Roleplayin', lots of fun: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zHqUi1NND48

  • black_isleblack_isle IstanbulPosts: 239Member Uncommon

    "The Single Player MMORPG" - Everyone and their sister complains about this then they rush to buy swtor and praise it to heavens citing the companions and the story and the blabla as their favorite features... there is a problem here, and hypocrisy.

  • KhaerosKhaeros Monroe, NYPosts: 452Member

    Roleplaying is still around, even in MMOs.  It's a bit hard to notice, as most roleplayers now keep to themselves in cliques because of the harassment they get.  There's also usually lots of drama involved with RP - even more than loot drama - so cliques are even more important in separating yourself from the drama.

     

    If you play MUDs, you'll find plenty of roleplayers there.  Lots of games that are RP enforced, and staff members actually do enforce it.  It all depends on how willing you are to look at ASCII and call it a game.

     

    For modern MMOs, it's all about finding the guild that you will mesh with the best.  Since there's no enforcing of roleplay anymore, you have to find a group of people you can trust not to be Drizzts and catgirl vampire werewolf dragons.  It's not too hard if you do your research which will likely involve going to server forums or offsite roleplaying communities for the game.

     

    It was much better when roleplaying was more accepted and you could just have open roleplaying events without worry of bad apples storming in and ruining the event.  Closed RP feels so much more constricted, but at least you can trust that people won't grief and you'll get some quality RP out of it and not 'hey i'm so sexy your jaws drop at me let's go cyber!!11'

     

    The worst part about it? Burnt out roleplayers tend to become trolls, in my experience.  Go figure.

  • HluillHluill Lovingston, VAPosts: 105Member Uncommon

    Guilty as charged.  Over the holiday break, the my girlfriend, her daughter and I all played EQ2 together.  By together, I mean only that we were all in the same room, staring at our seperate computer screens: we were not in a group; we were rarely in the same zone; we were all crafting or questing individually.  How sad.

    My rare encounters with other Roleplayers is in global chat-channels.  I am not a fan of chat-only roleplaying.  I want to play my character on the big window, not just in RPC-chat-channel-one window.  Consequently, I don't RP much anymore.

    I think it's interesting that most gamers want the better graphics but we don't spend much time actually looking at them, actually seeing them, watching what's happening on the screen.  It's just a numbers game.

    Hluill, a barbarian rogue, and his Warrior-daughter, Leyek
    Playing/Subscribing: TSW, LotRO, EQ2, and SWTOR
    Played: GW2, V:SoH, Neverwinter, ArchAge, EQ, UO, DAoC, WAR, DDO, AoC, MO

  • logan400klogan400k Owings Mills, MDPosts: 68Member Uncommon

    Well the big difference between the basement dynamic (other than you were sure of most peoples genders - though not all) is the Game Master. Role Playing was a generally personal experience: yes we all played Keep on the Borderlands or did adventures in Apple Lane (is that too obscure?), but we had a Game Master there personalizing the experience for us. There were 1o different ways to off Lolth or the Tarrasque. However with the big MMO bosses its usually just learning the dance steps well enough to take them down and your party of five is just like everyone elses party of five.

    Just My 2 Lunars

  • sverhmashinasverhmashina St Albert, ABPosts: 6Member

    By  47 billion, you meant million, right?

  • Mr.CoyoteMr.Coyote Arkham Asylum, NYPosts: 28Member

    Originally posted by sverhmashina

    By  47 billion, you meant million, right?




     

  • ArglebargleArglebargle Austin, TXPosts: 1,418Member Uncommon

    More irreverant blowhard snarkyness!

     

    MMOs are just not well set up to do good roleplaying, whether they favor it or not.   You are going to struggle with the interface.

     

    Different people like different styles of roleplaying as well.   The advice to find a group that fits your style is by far the best.   I don't know how many times I was checking the time as some 'RP' session went through tedious emo dramatics, or informed me of the exact location of every sword and dagger a character carried.  Lesson learned.

     

    On the other hand, I roleplay every single character I play.  I just don't require it of everyone else I play with.    

    If you are holding out for the perfect game, the only game you play will be the waiting one.

  • jakinjakin somewhere, ONPosts: 243Member Common

    Originally posted by thekid1

    So why not play a single player RPG instead?

    They're even better in every aspect. I don't recall seeing mobs next to the road waiting to be killed in Oblivion.. Quests are usually more diverse, stories are better. Etc.


     

    Well - primarily because you can't actually role-play (in the context meant by the article) without other people around to do it with.  Until AI gets to the point where it can respond to a player's actions as a human could, role-playing is exclusively a multiplayer event.

    RPG in the context of single player computer games is a description of expected mechanics or genre (i.e. FPS, RTS, Strategy, etc.), having nothing to do with actual Role Playing Games.

  • IcewhiteIcewhite Elmhurst, ILPosts: 6,403Member

    In order to role-play, you need other players, but the fact of the matter is – no one can be bothered. There is no longer a group dynamic.  Your fellow players have ceased to be an intricate part of your gaming experience. They’re not an element, they’re an obstacle; an annoyance that keeps you from your next fast-paced Michael Bay explosion of action and ass.

    You know, it's a funny thing.  Clear back in '97 we (general roleplayer we) predicted that the inherent limitations of a graphical format and the implications of "Massive" would lead directly to...what we have.

    Not that MMO roleplayers don't try, often very hard, to chop through the barriers and reach some roleplay again.  But the game engine (at least everything since UO) is built against it.  Limited (and hardcoded) emotes, not much in the way of props, limited customization, limited things to do that do not involve killing monsters, paper-thin lore that gets Deus Ex Machina'd every time the developers need a new expansion--and above all, no developer support for roleplaying...

    But let's be honest.  The PnP crowd won't really be around all that much longer.  The people with memories of roleplay being more important than experience points or a new purple--they're fading fast.  What was always a minority audience (at least in MMOs) is growing ever-smaller.

     

    Self-pity imprisons us in the walls of our own self-absorption. The whole world shrinks down to the size of our problem, and the more we dwell on it, the smaller we are and the larger the problem seems to grow.

  • RequiamerRequiamer ???Posts: 2,034Member

    Great article Coyote. Got me some tear, rage and disgust. And i'm still waiting for a good rp mmo, well for a good mmo at this point...

  • TheLizardbonesTheLizardbones Arkham, VAPosts: 10,910Member

    If you really want to role play on a role play server, it's going to depend on the developer monitoring the server strictly to not only make sure people don't have names like 'Drizzzzzt', but to ban or at least chat ban the people who join RP servers just to troll the RP players. Seriously, join an RP server (PvE or PvP) and most of the general chat is going to revolve around how lame RP servers are or how stupid RP is.

    I can not remember winning or losing a single debate on the internet.

  • IcewhiteIcewhite Elmhurst, ILPosts: 6,403Member

    Originally posted by lizardbones

    If you really want to role play on a role play server, it's going to depend on the developer monitoring the server strictly to not only make sure people don't have names like 'Drizzzzzt', but to ban or at least chat ban the people who join RP servers just to troll the RP players. Seriously, join an RP server (PvE or PvP) and most of the general chat is going to revolve around how lame RP servers are or how stupid RP is.

    RP enforcement on MMOs has always been a joke. 

    They aren't "watching"; it would require something less than 50000:1 player:gm ratios to do any active enforcement.

    The do lackadaisical name enforcement, sometimes, when they feel like it.

    "Roleplay" server title is mostly wishful thinking and lip-service.  They aren't willing to devote the staff or money to do a better job.

    Self-pity imprisons us in the walls of our own self-absorption. The whole world shrinks down to the size of our problem, and the more we dwell on it, the smaller we are and the larger the problem seems to grow.

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