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When is RP not RP?

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. :D

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?


  • Token1337GuyToken1337Guy Member Posts: 159
    Well, when is RP not RP?  It's really hard unless you're with a lot of like minded people.  I prefer to be constantly in character, even if something like what you mentioned happens.

    But back on topic, I think unless they have a justified in character reason that isn't too much of a stretch, it really isn't RP.  You're playing a role, say a peaceful crafter, so why in the world would that character suddenly get up and go kill somebody?  If he had a good reason, that would be RP, but if not, it shouldn't be called that.

    Oh, and, by the way... where might I get in on Neocron?
  • MalochMaloch Member Posts: 6


    I will say this much for Neocron, it was at its peak, one of the best games I had ever played. Imagine Fallout from a FPS, with all that goes with it, but with so much more.

    From owning and furnishing your own apartment(s), buying vehicles to drive around massive wastelands with lots to see and do, two massive cities (Neocron and Dome Of York) not to mention Faction Installations (Military Bunker, Fallen Angels HQ) with lots of opportunity to interact, Neocron has it all.

    I'm looking at it now actually, debating on rejoining. For as with any MMO, Neocron has slumped from its peak, and you can expect about 180 people on during European peak time. That's what's stopping me.

    However, get the free trial, give it a go. I've had some of the best times in that game, from leading a big and successful clan, to setting up my own business, to just adventuring. It is PvP though, and it is unavoidable, but if you're cunning, you can usually survive an encounter. (I've had some amazing adrenaling pumped moments trying to escape a ganking or two)

    Take a peek, give it a try. I recommend it, if only to see what MMO's can be like, and that they don't all have to be bloody Fantasy  or Franchise based. :D

  • brutotalbrutotal Member Posts: 276
    The problem with rp is, like it or not you are your character when you rp them. When you react to things, they react to things.

    Senseless violence in a game? No problem to you irl, your character becomes cold blooded. Someone steals something of value from you clan your suddenly outraged as irl that means something more a small death penalty. Your character now loathes theifs but honors violence.

    Or you don't rp and you start raging through what the other guy thought was a very rp moment.

    You live forever in a orc vs elf orgy of death and slowly begin to hate the orcs/elves and think of ways to get ahead irl. I remember being on rp forums and having the race war of our rp spill over into our OOC debates, the channels we used to talk about our rp strategy and story backgrounds becomes a battleground of how that stupid elf said whatever about whatever political debate.
  • MichkeMichke Member UncommonPosts: 106

    RP remains RP, it's not you in real life that suffered the theft. What you need to look at though is how to "punish" the thief you caught.

    It's something that's very much missing in most mmorpgs. I remember the first singleplayer rpgs I played always provided in guard npcs that would chase you, kill you, slam you in jail if you were caught doing something against the "laws". MMOs do not have that option, most of them just let players grief. The problem isn't that it isn't RP, the problem is that crime isn't punished effectively.


  • XephonasXephonas Member Posts: 29
    Very true with neocron..i tried to get some RP going in my later days of playing NC but it just didn't happen.

     Only one MMO ive played ( Face of Mankind) where RP seems kind of always around. The forums always has alot of pvp..but the game still has alot of little retards who dont care about RP and just wish to gank..

     An MMO that awards RP? haha


  • TymoraTymora Member UncommonPosts: 1,295
    Originally posted by Maloch

    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"

    I've always approached RP in this way.  Some players think there is no place for OOC chat when roleplaying, but I think it is very important.  Tells are better so that immersion is not broken when roleplaying, but it is always a good idea to send a tell or at least let people know your intentions when they can be potentially harmful to others in the game.

    As for RP in a PvP environment . . . I say good luck to you.  Any RPer who can RP around PvPers who are not interested at all in RP have a very large obstacle in their way, and I give them credit.  There will always be players who do not want to RP, and some who don't like RPers and will go out of their way to spoil the fun for them. 

    I think there are also different style of RP just as there are different styles of playing any mmo.  All it comes down to is meeting the right players and making the most of the situation.

    I can't answer the question "When is RP no longer RP" for everyone, but for me it is no longer RP when it is no longer the characters in the game that are interacting, but the players controlling them instead.  This is the most significant detail in RP that some players don't understand.

  • ironoreironore Member CommonPosts: 957
    To me RP has, over time has come to encompass too many things.  I have thought much about it as applied to experiences with DnD, LARP, and all manner of computer-based RPGs and I have broken it down thus:

    Avatar Playing

    This is what most people playing a supposed mmo'RPG' are doing.  They choose an avatar and play around in a virtual world collecting stuff, doing quests, and fighting.  All this is done for no particular reason save for being loosely based on an predefined background story or lore.  It is all about the character, what he/she looks like, can do, owns, etc.  While there is nothing inherently wrong with any of this, I have often wondered why it still goes on under this designation.

    Character Playing

    This is what I think tends to fall mostly under the 'rp' label as most people think of it.  It is about creating a character and thinking about how they would do things, although it seems hard for a person to completely divorce themselves from this alternate persona.  It is more about creating a story with others in real time as they interact through actions and dialog, etc.  Anyway, this is where there seems to be a need for direction (such as a DM/GM) and OOC collaboration and such.  It can be tricky to keep even a small number of people focused in this way, let alone thousands.

    Role Playing

    This designation for me would actually be best applied to a game where you were playing a unique and specific role that matters within the 'secondary reality' of the virtual world that is being shaped by each and every interaction of the individuals within it.  I've never really seen it done, although it is in my opinion the greatest potential of the genre.  The game would have to be completely different than anything out there at this time (and much discussion to exactly what this would entail can be found in the developer's corner forums) and would almost have to go under a different title than MMORPG despite being perhaps the best suited for it.  In such a game you could mix a little of the other kinds of 'role playing' but for the most part your character is you in another world, perhaps even in another body, but engaging in tasks and interactions that appeal to you and your personality and intellect.  These tasks and interactions would mix with the actions of all other players to shape the world constantly and so you would be PLAYING a ROLE and not simple 'role playing' in the traditional sense.  You don't just pick a fighter character, but you go out and find fights that NEED to be fought and fight them.  Maybe the area you 'live' in comes under attack and you fight to defend it.  In this way you find a role that suits you and fill it. To me this would be the ultimate way to play and in my opinion the most appropriate for the label of RP within the acronym MMORPG.

    IronOre - Forging the Future

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