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What happened to the "RP" in MMO-RP-G?

ChonkaChonka Member Posts: 27

      I'm playing Guild Wars and yes it's a great game, almost perfect in a way, yet I still wonder about the Roleplaying aspects in a game.  Sinced I started playing MMORPGs years ago, I only saw real "Roleplaying" a few times in all of my history with the genre.  To me it discredits the purpose of the game and sometimes I should wonder if the term MMORPG should rather be dubbed MMOG.  And yes I see your point in that by Playing the game you are "taking a role". But real "roleplayers" know that this isn't what the creators had in mind in most cases.  I'll admit that I can't really talk, because I dont roleplay in any MMOs anymore.  I just hope that this aspect hasn't been lost for good.   Just remember-- Lets not let the n00b L33t "I pwn u" generation of players take over all the good content out there.....

Chonka Kimoto 70 Shaman (EQ I since beta) - Retired
Azuri Spiritweaver 26 Mystic / 13 Craftsman (EQ II) - Retired due to boredom
Azuri Jingizu W/N20 (Guild Wars)





  • GumbyXGumbyX Member Posts: 42

    Roleplaying is a nebulous word as it can be held to many different standards. Someone playing a computer game may be considered "softcore" to someone who play's pnp's. That same pnp'er could be considered softcore by someone who *shiver* does Live Action Role Playing.

    Theoretically, if they made a Counterstrike with 1000's of players on each server, it could be considered an MMORPG.

  • codecode Member Posts: 95
    rp became boring

    Ignorance is Bliss

  • ChonkaChonka Member Posts: 27
    You can say RPing became boring if you want...but just remember it's the old school "roleplaying" that led to the creation of most of these games.  If you have never really roleplayed than you may never understand how fun it really can be.  Call me what you want but sometimes it can make purpose of the "grinds" and "bullshi*" that is included in some MMORPGs.

    Chonka Kimoto 70 Shaman (EQ I since beta) - Retired
    Azuri Spiritweaver 26 Mystic / 13 Craftsman (EQ II) - Retired due to boredom
    Azuri Jingizu W/N20 (Guild Wars)



  • ChonkaChonka Member Posts: 27
    maybe it is something that you only could have experienced in the older days I dunno.

    Chonka Kimoto 70 Shaman (EQ I since beta) - Retired
    Azuri Spiritweaver 26 Mystic / 13 Craftsman (EQ II) - Retired due to boredom
    Azuri Jingizu W/N20 (Guild Wars)



  • BlackstarBlackstar Member Posts: 50
    It is kind of hard to roleplay when companies let characters with names like Iloveicecream run around.
  • Jer0nim0Jer0nim0 Member Posts: 38

    At ryl they do a pretty good job by giving much roleplay with an event...

    You receive an email where the event is noticed in , there is also an topic where they put information about the event , there's always a big background story ( == roleplay) for the event ....

    like the last event , each nation got a lord and they needed to defend it and kill the other lords--> really funn , makes you feel more having a role.


    It is good but unknown =)

  • Jer0nim0Jer0nim0 Member Posts: 38

    At ryl they do a pretty good job by giving much roleplay with an event...

    You receive an email where the event is noticed in , there is also an topic where they put information about the event , there's always a big background story ( == roleplay) for the event ....

    like the last event , each nation got a lord and they needed to defend it and kill the other lords--> really funn , makes you feel more having a role.


    It is good but unknown =)

  • KraptorKraptor Member Posts: 359

    IMO, there has never been any RP in MMO games in my oppinion:)

  • ThinmanThinman Member Posts: 461

    Back in the days of MUDs, roleplaying was useful, because it added something to whatever game you were playing.

    Nowadays, games actually have enough of a story, or enough content of various kinds, that it isn't necessary.

    These days, RPing is just so much fluff, just putting on airs.

    That's what 90% of gamers would say, I think. The RP purists may say otherwise, but it just seems so banal to me.. what's the point?

    And no, people back in the day didn't talk like people in Shakespear's plays. So stop doing it.


    Looking forward (cautiously) to: Age of Conan, Dark Solstice, Armada Online.

    Will soon try: Guild Wars

    Overall: Amazed and bewhildered at the current sad state of the artform of gaming.

  • TranquilityTranquility Member Posts: 171

    Maybe you should start looking for it... In UO for instance i roleplayed a lot, in almost every situation (from pvp to "grinding") and just standing in the yjelom pit cursing that you didnt hit that damn training dummy got people started allready. I mean people generally find it amusing/fun to see someone approach them in a roleplaying fashion. You just have to be a bit clever about it, and even if they start calling you names find a roleplaying solution why that character might be flaming you.

    Even in dark age of camlot (i dont think games with a chatbox in them (unlike uo with the text-above-head system) are any good for roleplaying) i went around roleplaying and generally speaking most people enjoy it, and join in.

  • ChonkaChonka Member Posts: 27
    Well the last time I remember roleplaying was a long time ago,...but it was so fun. I met this other random Dark Elf on EQ old world. We started running around the commonlands shouting stuff like "Down with Antonious Bayle!!" or what not. We started approaching humans and messing with them in a way that was consistent with the storyline.  It was pretty fun.

    Chonka Kimoto 70 Shaman (EQ I since beta) - Retired
    Azuri Spiritweaver 26 Mystic / 13 Craftsman (EQ II) - Retired due to boredom
    Azuri Jingizu W/N20 (Guild Wars)



  • lanorralanorra Member Posts: 9
    Maybe it's because roleplay involves effort, and most people are lazy? ;)
  • CopelandCopeland Member Posts: 1,955

    Anytime you think roleplaying is dead just hop on over to EVE-Online.. Roleplay is a key ingredient to the game. I do think that roleplaying in fantasy games is severely lacking though. I think its because sci fi games attract a more mature community where as fantasy attracts the kiddies.

  • BobCrazytonBobCrazyton Member UncommonPosts: 2,117

    To be honest I've never seen ANY roleplaying in ANY mmo.

    I've played EQ WoW GW FF xi and I did not find 1 bit of Rp ever

  • zethcarnzethcarn Member UncommonPosts: 1,558
    The game developers must provide an environment that people would WANT to roleplay in.  In my experience old day EverQuest is the only one thats come close to giving you a feeling of immersion in a fantasy world in which you could forget about the fact that you are just grinding, looting, etc.  But those days are gone.
  • Bonez005Bonez005 Member UncommonPosts: 38

    RPing is far from dead. I believe it is greatly related to the type of game and the majority of people the game attracts. I've been MMOing since UOs first days and although I'm not ALWAYS in the RPing mode (sometimes I just wanna play the game as it is) I still have plenty of RPing experiences. Alot of people don't realize the difference between table top RPGs and MMOs and often compare them with one another in a role playing perspective.

    Fact is a video game is a video game and since the beginning of RPG video games, RPing has been non existent in comparison to D&D or similar table top games. The vast majority of gamers have never played these paper and dice games so have a small idea of what RPing actually is, and even more of the people who HAVE played them have thier own idea of what RPing is. Then you have the people who just dont care (which all of these is completey fine and should never be flamed because after all is said and done, people are free to play however they wish). Point to this being, get 3000 people in a world with thier own excuses and personalities and you have a pile of guk which YOU need to adapt to and learn how to have a good time with it.

    Roleplaying is speaking/acting from a character's perspective in context to that characters enviroment/time period.

    All else is out of character

    And its never required and seldom prefered.

  • herculeshercules Member UncommonPosts: 4,922

    Roleplayers are the minority of players nowadays and almost a dying breed.


  • _myko_myko Member Posts: 333

    MMORPG's have changed the definition of RPG (IMO). For me, RPG's were Secret of Mana, the Final Fantasy series, the Zelda series. They were games where you were the hero fighting the bad guys and trying to save the world. Basically playing through a story from one perspective. As soon as MMORPG's appeared, suddenly the RPG bit at the end meant speaking in olde english and criticising anyone who didn't 'RP'. Most of this I assume comes from the old MUD's which most of the RP players moved from.

    Nowadays there are two extremes of MMORPGs. On one side you have the open ended persistant realistic universe MMORPGs, like Eve. On the other, you have games like Guild Wars which are multiplayer online RPG's* of the old kind (play a hero, save the world, get the elementalist girl), basically story-based. I have no issue with either extreme, or the games that are somewhere inbetween. With the open ended MMO's it's mainly down to the players to create the story, and are given tools to do this. WIth the story MMO's the devs create the story and the player plays through it until they complete it. Both types appeal to different types of gamer, with the open ended games usually requiring more teamwork and cooperation than the story MMO's.

    The other problem with MMORPG RP'ers is that most aren't very good at it. They expect the universe to revolve around their RP, and as soon as someone comes along playing a slightly different RP they tend to go OOC and criticise and debate lore etc. I say play the game first, RP second. And always make sure that the RP you are playing fits your playstyle - it's no use RP'ing a brave knight if you don't like PvP (assuming the server has PvP ofc), or a blockade runner if you are scared of pirates...

    *as for the massive bit, well that's bit discussed more than enough


    PvE in general is pretty lame, if you think long and hard about it. You are spending your time beating a severely gimped AI that would lose to a well trained monkey. Best not to think too long and hard why you are wasting time playing games in general actually...

  • kishekishe Member UncommonPosts: 2,012

    UO had the greatest roleplaying comminities EVER...but it had incredible freedoms of different playstyles that makes even today every 3d MMORPG that tries to appeal to RPers look rediculous.

    MMORPGs are going more or less in to huge arcade/hack&slash arenas and the basic concept of mmoRPg is getting raped like a chimp in MJ's villa.

  • waveslayerwaveslayer Member UncommonPosts: 398

    One problem is, to many people think role playing means speaking in old english. You can roleplay with modern english just fine, you just have to emerse your self in the game.

    I like lite role playing, and have no problem leaving the real world out of the game even if I dont wanna role play. But, it seems most players are just there becuase of the current "its the cool thing to do now" syndrom and most these kids seem to think its even kewler to be the biggiest jerk they can be, wether its a competition to see who can have the silliest character or guild name or who can say the most outragous stuff in general chat and get away with it.

    Eventually MMoPRGs as a fad( hopefully more games like GW will help) will die down, and someone will make a game thats to complex and more emersive, the makers wont be worried about having a million players so they wont tolorate the system abusers, and once again we may find role playing.

    Godz of War I call Thee

  • jackman11118jackman11118 Member Posts: 399
    All these people saying RP is dead in modern mmorpgs are wrong. the matrix online has a LOT of role playing in the game. Its very fun and easy to role play in it too, because its almost like the real world. theres tons of RP'ing events.


  • VolkmarVolkmar Member UncommonPosts: 2,501

    First of all. The problem comes from the origins of Mmorpgs. No, not muds that as small, niche products made by volunteers, never attracted the attention of companies.

    No, i am speaking of CRPG, Computer Role playing games. In such a game the amount of roleplay is ususally minimal and limited to multiple choices in NPC conversations.

    Where the "Role Playing" comes out is in the ability to choose from a wide variety of roles. You could be the burly warrior, the ranger, the cleric or whatever. they are roles and so the game is called "Role playing".

    We all know that pen and paper RP, may (not always), be more centered on the avatar's character more than what he does for a living. so you get the honorable mercenary that is gaining money to heal his sick mother at home or the evil cleric that is beguilling everybody to believe he is really a saint when he is not.... and many many variations.

    So, MMorpgs inherited from CRPG the definition of RPG. As such, technically they are, but the actual acting is left completely to the players. It is not true that such things do not exists, because it does, but is not very spread out. Seeking a RP guild will improve your RPG experiences ten folds.

    Still, is also not true that Roleplayers are a dying breed. Not by looking at the Pen and Paper market. on the contrary i would say the Roleplaying games market has never been so good and big as today. with many multiple companies like Wizards of the Coast and White Wolf that put out high quality books with enormous frequence. A huge variation from the mostly black and white, art sparse volumes of the 80s.

    So, if the Roleplaying market is booming (and so is the number of players one would think or to whom this companies (and a myriads of indies) sell their products?) AND the connection between RP market and video games market is evident, where they are?

    Simple. they do not roleplay online. Reasons could be varied, but i believe the best is that there is no possibility to emulate the pen and paper environment in any of the actual mmorpg.

    For one, you are used to be the centre of the story and now are just one of thousands, for two where is your character creation? no... not the attributes and class, no, the actual Character creation. My disposition, my likes, dislikes, where i grew up, who were my parents, did i have friends and etc etc.

    Ususally such a thing is handled in cooperation between GM and player so that a starting character has, at least, a trace of a backgroudn giving it a specific collocation in the world. he is not a "Human Wizard". He is "Andrew Thoraion, Wizard from the school of magic of Thunderdale, son of Martin and Lucretia of Thunderdale... father deceased in the third goblin war.. mother......".

    All this is left to the players to decide. Without any support of the Virtual GM, IE the game. Yes, because a background that remains just a background is not very useful (better than nothing). A background becomes alive. your friends evolves, get killed, kidnapped, turn to the darkside. your village get burned down if you do not stop your evil brother from doing so.

    Things happens linked to you and you personally.

    The actual development of modern MMorpg(and Computer games for that matter) is unable to give such a level of details. They could reach the first point, by offering a very detailed character generation procedure. I ,for one, would be interested to see such a system that starts with "You are born, choose your gender and race"... and then your story start in rapid vignettes letting you choose your path. It would of course still be limited in respect to P&P, but still interesting to see.

    Point 2, however, will never be realized without personalized games. The best they can do is consider your character with a trivial background and build on it. Mythica was doing such a thing with dynamic instances where your story, your village and your worhsippers would evolve over time depending on your actions.

    Also Fable is to be mentioned as it tried such an approach, making your hero from birth to end of career. Fable, though, from visionary Peter Molyneaux, is a good example of the limitations of computers. They can't react to human beings, they aren't intelligent. they thinks in matter of 0 and 1, IF.... THEN. there is just so many permutations that can be programmed in a game. it will ALWAYS be limited to certain choices, certain paths, certain ends.

    In the conclusion, i do not expect much "serious" RP in a game. certain MMorpg (UO, SWG, EVE) are better tooled for it than others, but still cannot compete. So i Roleplay, yes, for fun. cause i like it and my guild supports me in that. It is a complete different style, but it does exists.

    Keep looking.

    Have fun. and a nice day.

    "If you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day, if you teach him how to fish, you feed him for a lifetime"

  • kishekishe Member UncommonPosts: 2,012

    Nobody expects roleplaying to be spoonfed to them, but I can say I was spoiled by UO.

    It didn't give you only gave you large amounts of tools to roleplay with!

    something like playerbuilt towns, casual clothing, books you could write on yourself, profile scrolls gave people the power to roleplay for their fullest content.

    But it's all about market...when same ancient formula sells so well, why add variety? Why make games more interesting when braindead hack&slash sells so well?

    Times when developers made games with their hearts are now dead...died with Richard Garriot leaving origin...if you look at current games, they are cold, serial produced knockouts designed around money making formula using no heart or dignity in making it....

    Creativity is dead because customers are nowadays less demanding...they don't care one bit about the quality of the game just as long as it has enough of flashy are becoming more and more like serialproduced hollywood knockouts.

  • lovemachinelovemachine Member Posts: 2

      What made RP in older games work so well was a thirst for fame.  Being the most powerful always got your name mentioned here ad there, but being a political figure or a very strong roleplayer who did great things made you a Hero.

      The reason this worked was because you were forced to join a small community of people you did not know.  When one person roleplayed, they immidiately stood out.  This caused more and more people to roleplay, and it eventually got to the point where roleplayers were the majority simply because they held the most respect.  Roleplayers could also choose to ignore those who didn't RP, thus strengthening their environment and giving those who don't RP more incentive to do so.

      This may seem a bit malicious towards those who think RP is "stupid" or "lame", but those of us who remember the times when RP reigned supreme have much, much fonder memories of then than now.  People who refuse to RP can't understand what they're missing, because they'll never have the opportunities that older players had due to the steady decline of RP.

      What I suggest is that a game be created where across the world there are numerous small towns that have a couple of hundred people populating them.  No "one big city" or "central gathering area" can exist, because that would immidiately destroy this concept.  The towns can each be competing against each other for something, or maybe even alliances can be made, but the fact remains that you have loyalty to your birthtown.  This will cause strangers to unite, patriotism to their own town will create RP, and through the use of politics and interaction with allies and enemies, REAL legends can be born, rather than the "I'm level 100" legends that are so esteemed now.  Things like corruption can exist, something that everyone hates but adds flavor that an NPC quest can't, or heroics such as protecting your town from an invasion or unmasking an assassin's guild and forcing them out of your town.  All of these things will naturally be created by players, will naturally cause people to Roleplay.  The smaller number of people you have to manage, the more chance each person has to have a taste of fame, which is infinitely more delicious than levels.  Of course, monster bashing and leveling can still be done in a setting like this, but it can be done out of necissity to strengthen oneself to fight your enemies or remove an oncoming threat or usurping a political position through force rather than the need to prove yourself superior through leveling ability.  This will also help stop abuse such as bug exploitation, because even if you can create infinite amounts of money, chances are you won't be able to buy your way all the way to the top, because in games of old respect was much more valuable than money.

  • lonelyrobotlonelyrobot Member Posts: 194

    The whole "olde English" stigma just isn't true for the most part. Ever since the release of Dark Age of Camelot, I've migrated from game to game and tried to track down the most lively RP community in each. I can't even think of one example of someone criticising someone else for not communicating as if they're part of a Shakespearean play. Granted, there are some morons out there that use Roleplaying as an excuse to be all-around miserable people to others but they're certainly not the majority.

    The majority of the roleplayers I've known only ask for tolerance. You don't have to sit back in a tavern and spin some grand tale with me, but I could certainly do without being called "gay" for doing it with others.

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