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Am sitting here, browsing for a new MMO to try, having experienced Neocron, DAOC, Eve Online and Project Entropy or whatever the hell it was called.
As a long time P&P, LARP, MUD, FFRP and all the others RP'er, and an avid writer of fiction, I always try to bring RP to any game I play online. I've often encountered issues with the matter though. Nominally that no-one gives a flying fuck about RP and is too busy trying to gank your ass whilst all you want to do is have some fun and make your two hours that night a bit entertaining, instead of wasting it grinding away.
For example, Neocron has massive scope for RP, and I managed to elevate myself to writing the official in-game RP magazine, as well as doing a few player run quests with GM backing, bringing some good inter-player RP.
However, one thought continually re-occurs to me from experiences specifically within Neocron.
When is Roleplay not Roleplay?
You'll know the type. They're arrogant, screaming, abusive, harrassing, but then in a moment of sanity, claim they're Roleplaying a sociopathic maniac,
The people that join your Guild / Clan and once imbedded within the group, proceed to steal everything they can and give it to an alternative account. The people that report back to the enemy your every movement via another account. The people that generally shaft you and make your life miserable.
When does the Roleplay stop?
One classic example I once experienced, was as the leader of a Clan in Neocron, we took in a new member, whom was given access to the cabinets which held our entire resource stockpile. Slowly, over a period of time, highly expensive and valuable items started to walk, and eventually blame was pinned to this new player, whom had gained and subsequently abused our trust.
Immediately people were OOC and screaming hell and wrath down on this person. I took them aside and had a quiet chat. They explained they wanted to Roleplay someone that was a thief and a liar. Hmmm. I took great pains to explain that I could understand that, but as an environment where human nature is the over-ruling factor, things like that needed to be approached tactfully.
In that above instance, I believe that an event like that should be preceeded by some OOC chat with whomevers in charge of the group;
"Look, would like to steal some stuff, I'll give it to you as soon as I've taken it, so it's not lost, but would like the group to experience some inter-clan turmoil"
Yet what do we do about people that we would normally accuse of just being PvP gimps whom claim that when they're being complete knobbers, they're actually Roleplaying?
I think too many people feel RP is all about;
"Greetings, how are you this fine day?"
When is it in reality, time to move on to;
"Fuck you asswipe, you're a fucking n00b."
Just passing the time of day. Comments?