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Ever wondered what happened to roleplaying in MMO's?

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Comments

  • KonfessKonfess Dallas, TXPosts: 949Member Uncommon

    In the mind of a developer, once they add a chat window and system, they are done supporting RP.  The real roadblocks to RP are players that can’t be bothered to use a keyboard, yet play on a RP server.  Also those players that can’t wait on slow typers/thinkers.  My PnP RP experience was very much like a modern MMORPG, fast and action based.  The groups I played with could care less about story and only wanted XP and LOOT.  My WoW main was a RP server, where speed of typing determined your worth. I can spend 20 minutes working on a response, so I didn’t do well.

    I do agree that having many emotes can help RP, especially two person emotes like /kiss, /hug, /salute, /HighFive, and so on.  When I ask myself what is missing from mmorpgs to support RP I think of buildings.  First I would want chat in this zone to be free of non-RP chat, no-Barrens-chat or ChuckNorris speak.  The zone would be equipped with building for RP purposes alone.  Farms, Mills, Forges, Taverns, Arena, Halls, Shops, Guilds, Jails, whatever just to RP in an appropriate location.  Nothing there should attract Non-RPers, You couldn’t PvP there for Valour, or craft non-RP gear, or buy non-RP items.  Maybe you could upload RP story dialog and actions to NPCs, that are triggered by having a RP Storyline Key item in inventory.  This is what I am adding to my game.

    Pardon any spelling errors
    Konfess your cyns and some maybe forgiven
    Boy: Why can't I talk to Him?
    Mom: We don't talk to Priests.
    As if it could exist, without being payed for.
    F2P means you get what you paid for. Pay nothing, get nothing.

  • centkincentkin Asbury, NJPosts: 943Member Uncommon
    Ubiquitous voice chat was what put the final nail in the coffin of roleplay.  IF they had a non-voice chat server where it was against the rules to use voice chat then you would probably have a lot of roleplaying on that server.  You would also get a more mature group of players.
  • kjempffkjempff AarhusPosts: 883Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by centkin
    Ubiquitous voice chat was what put the final nail in the coffin of roleplay.  IF they had a non-voice chat server where it was against the rules to use voice chat then you would probably have a lot of roleplaying on that server.  You would also get a more mature group of players.

    Amen. After turning to WoW and playing a few chars to max, I moved to a RP server mostly to avoid voice chat.. it worked for a few years but eventually RP died and it was impossible to find a guild who didn't require voice chat on raids. The voice chat trend is tied to more and more action based gameplay, and "raid dancing" mechanics, but returning to Eq after 10 years I found the infestation was there aswell even though it is not needed in a game like Eq.

    I don't mind voice chat in itself, but it breaks my Immersion when I hear someone talk. Suddenly he is not the dwarf paladin Basil Battlehammer anymore but a dude from Barcelona - Not only during the raid where You hear him, but the identification will stick forever. It is completely different when You type, well atleast for me, knowing someone is a dude from Barcelona doesn't ruin my Immersion; it is the voice that messes things up.. maybe thats just me.

  • centkincentkin Asbury, NJPosts: 943Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by kjempff
    Originally posted by centkin
    Ubiquitous voice chat was what put the final nail in the coffin of roleplay.  IF they had a non-voice chat server where it was against the rules to use voice chat then you would probably have a lot of roleplaying on that server.  You would also get a more mature group of players.

    Amen. After turning to WoW and playing a few chars to max, I moved to a RP server mostly to avoid voice chat.. it worked for a few years but eventually RP died and it was impossible to find a guild who didn't require voice chat on raids. The voice chat trend is tied to more and more action based gameplay, and "raid dancing" mechanics, but returning to Eq after 10 years I found the infestation was there aswell even though it is not needed in a game like Eq.

    I don't mind voice chat in itself, but it breaks my Immersion when I hear someone talk. Suddenly he is not the dwarf paladin Basil Battlehammer anymore but a dude from Barcelona - Not only during the raid where You hear him, but the identification will stick forever. It is completely different when You type, well atleast for me, knowing someone is a dude from Barcelona doesn't ruin my Immersion; it is the voice that messes things up.. maybe thats just me.

    It is NOT just you.  Voice chat utterly destroys any immersion I have in a game as well.  I avoid it like the plague but any serious guild these days tends to require it.  The only way I have found around that is to allegiance hunt.  Find a strong allegiance of guilds that raid together or rvr together that has a guild in the allegiance that does not require voice and join that guild.  Even so you have issues but it can get you into raids or (like in warhammer) into real rvr.

    The problem is that the non-voice people are split amongst the servers and rendered harmless.  There ARE enough people who despise voice or for some reason can not do voice period to populate a server or three in a popular game. 

    As for roleplay I even went far enough to be in a shadow guild once that was only for iksar in Everquest as well as my main guild. 

     

  • AerovantheAerovanthe Athens, GAPosts: 3Member
    Are there any games that still actually have people that RP in them?  I've been searching far and wide and to no avail.  I stopped playing WoW a while back, my last hope was joining an RP server but no one ever actually does.  It's quite a shame to see all these amazing games but people only play them to get their action fix.  I prefer to delve into character which I can no longer do.  Guess I'll have to stick to D&D with my husband!
  • MendelMendel Marietta, GAPosts: 925Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Scot

    I agree, for me RP in MMO's has always been third rate when compaired to PnP. But I have had some great times doing it, so I don't do a lot but have done some in every MMO I have played.

    The question is, how can RP in MMO's ever get better when we are so far down the design prioity list, if on it at all? We will be stuck in RP guilds playing a game within a game until that changes.

    To me, the biggest hindrance to RPing is the lack of in-game mechanisms that support RPing.   Many games only give the player a chat feature that can be used for role playing.   By that standard, games like Total Annihilation and Age of Empires were RPGs.

    I think several other, non-combat oriented systems are needed in order to facilitate RPing.   These should include things like a political system (where players can take roles within the society), a voting system, an integrated religious system, a mechanism to generate social events (where dress code is important, a mechanism to evaluate the results of skills (crafts and performance), dynamic emote controls (including animation) and others.

    These in-game mechanisms could be used as tools to enhance the RPing experience.   Adding just one of these subsystems would raise the bar for future games.  In theory, this is the way to incorporate RPing into games.

    ----------

    Another hurdle that was mentioned was the lack of goals for RPing.  In a PnP setting, the GM can encourage / reward various actions.  With an MMO, the only mechanism I can envision working is some kind of Peer Evaluation mechanism.  This would allow the players to say how the player acted.   This could build a reputation, a set of personality traits.   This allows some concrete numbers to be associated with these traits.    Put these personality traits on a closed two-ended scale, and the player then needs to behave in-game the way they want to be perceived.   They'd play their desired role.

    Having numbers is great, but they need to have meaning.  The second part of these numbers is having them have some bearing in-game.   I had envisioned having the various gods favor different personality traits.   For instance, the god of war might prefer someone who exhibited Bravery and Noble traits, and would are more likely to pay attention to their prayers (bonuses to perform miracles for this character, bonuses to mundane skills, etc.).

    Couple the Evaluation system and the Bonus system with a system where returning from the afterlife requires the character to get a god's attention before they could be resurrected, and you've got an inventive to RP.

    Obviously, this is a huge step, embracing the RP part of the MMORPG in a way that is incorporated into the game's mentality.

    Logic, my dear, merely enables one to be wrong with great authority.

  • Yyrkoon_PoMYyrkoon_PoM Reseda, CAPosts: 150Member
    I would love to see a return of RP, but not in the sense of just verbal story telling in guilds or groups. What I would like to see is a game where your race/class/deity selection actually have meaning. Using EQ as a example, lets say you create a wood elf ranger of tunare and you want to also work on making your own leather armor.  Would a ranger who worships the goddess of nature go out and slaughter every creature to the point of extinction, in order to work on their crafting or would they kill just a few from each species from  a few different zones to reach the same # of hides?  That is an example of what I wish games would reward/penalize users for.  I would love to see a game where being on a RP server meant that the choices you made at character select last longer than the button click it took to get to the next step of the process.  There should be the possibility that a user can gain skills through actions as well as lose them through their actions/inaction.
  • waynejr2waynejr2 West Toluca Lake, CAPosts: 4,474Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Four0Six

    I RP'd in CoX, almost all the time. BY that I mean, I spoke "in character", always. There were tons and tons of players who did.

    Helped that every character was unique, hard to RP when there are hundreds of you standing around. I also think the pace of games is too fast now to RP, unless you want to stand in the bar and tell someone your sob story, booooooooo.

     I did too in cox.  The problem for some players is they feel they need the devs to give them tools to role play.  This is wrong and we know it.  I believe is that those types of role players need the devs to give them some attention in the form of tools.

  • AnirethAnireth Posts: 599Member Uncommon

    I agree with Mendel.

    But: These ingame mechanism that support RP do not even have to be implemented, like the vanarch system in TERA, it's enough if you support the players in choosing their own form of political system. If the players choose to crown someone king and want to hold a festival, maybe decorate the town a bit if players can't do it, open that big ass empty castle so the king can hold court etc.

    If you support something like this, players can run it all by themself so to so. Enforcing a dress code? The kings guard will make sure of that. No kings guard yet? Recruit them from the best people of the city guard.  Need someone to crown the king? The high priest of the official religion as decided by the players (king) can play every weekend from 19-24, but this week he's not at home, so lets schedule the festival for next week.

    Of course if the system doesn't allow players to do everything you need to have GMs that work closely with players. Not "write a ticket, get an answer 2 weeks later with a standard reply", but either a forum where people that organize stuff can talk directly to GMs like to any other player, or have them actively take note of planned events by players, or both.

    The problem is, todays games are so fundamently different from what a game like UO was that it's both hard to imagine a system like this, and probably near impossible to do, without heavy modifications.

    Today, everyone is a combatant first and some do some crafting to make money. NPCs sell everything. You do not need things from other players, except maybe rare materials, to advance. Collection materials is a on-the-fly activiate. Yes, some might be rare, but you do not spend hours mining, you do it on the fly while questing, during the raid etc, or it's a boss drop anyways.

    Everything is already planned out, every bit of space is in it's final form. Players can not build houses and fully furnish it at their liking, even if that means no tables, or several weapon rocks in the bed room. At most they can visit an instance where they can choose between some premade decorations.

    Most buildings are just decoration, even if there would be a door/some other opening, you could not really enter them, you would simply be outside the map. This also means it's not possible to open up unused buildings. Every building that is actually enterable and has furniture etc. has lots of NPCs  - and in spaces a player can not enter, because the counter does not have an opening. NPCs don't need one, players do.

    The good t thing is that you do not need even a single quest. You can also get rid of most NPCs. You do not have to design everything yourself. UO featured several cities right away, but if done correct, some small village or even notthing (take Minecraft) would be enough. Also: No cries for new content each month. All the content ist already there or generated by players Remove classes and levels, and  rework the skill system to reflect a more natural learning, like UO tried, then people will not simply max everything, despite being able to learn it all initially.

    With everything in place, this even allows for FFA open world pvp without really negatively affecting people who do not like this, as the chance of being killed is rather slim as long as you stay on the roads, when there is a sufficently strong "police" force, and if bad guys get actually disadvantages, like not being able to enter all major cities without fear of being jailed/killed. In my two years of UO, i got killed like 2 times while roaming about randomly. Revenge was swift and deadly, and despite full loot, i lost nolthing i couldn't replace.

    The single biggest thing that visualizes how it was different is something else though: Some people spent years playing it, where recognized server wide, would not get atttacked by anyone..without ever fighting or even touching a weapon. Simply because of the way they played their character.

    This all sums up to that it takes a radically different approach to literally everything to really fasciliate RP in all it's facets. It's simply not possible to just hit a switch somewhere and you have a themepark with real RP. Some people might RP, but with people running about who do not RP and instead simply kiil all the enemies etc... idk.

    I'll wait to the day's end when the moon is high
    And then I'll rise with the tide with a lust for life, I'll
    Amass an army, and we'll harness a horde
    And then we'll limp across the land until we stand at the shore

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