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1) The first bit that comes to mind is policing. Name Filter, and enforcing it is important, as is having some sort of OOC chat be flagged as OOC and giving people the ability to not see it. Reporting that is robust and effective for Jackass behavior: abusing emotes, shouting obscenities not in the scope of the setting or situation
2) Then you would need to have some way of rewarding players for Role-playing.
Backgrounds and Biographies could be tied into this, but a lot of UI work and attaching those UI choices to actions in the game would need to be happen.
Something like: XP for donating to the orphanage for the Good Guy character. XP for using a brash statement with an NPC when the character is flagged as a Brash Youth type Adventurer. XP or some other reward for keeping limitations that add to the character such as a Dark Fate, or a Missing Eye.
3) Perma-Death in some form is necessary for RP imo, as otherwise there is no existential tension, and dueling/nemesis/guild wars/faction flagging is necessary too, unless you are just going FFA but that would seem to invite mayhem.
There is nothing sadder than people having to pretend to fight because the game won't let them do so. I take that back, people having to pretend to sit in chairs or pretend to lie down is the saddest. You should allow serial deaths of a sort, but not just typical respawn system.
4) Character Creation that teaches Role-Playing while also weeding out the players who just want a non-RP MMORPG
Chose a good and original name. Fantasy / medieval or whatever genre you are playing. Not from a book or movie, not a verb, not a title, not rude etc.
A name not found from a dictionary or in modern use. For example -
Ok names: Nephyral, Mijashi, Gwysean, Syphosis
Not ok names: Raven, Luke, Courtney, emeperorwings
The above names are not from a dictionary or in modern use, the below names are modern names, name of an animal, has a title and in modern use. Not ok for in character behaviour.
Know your background. What is your character like, motivation and goals. You didn't come into this world magically for example you always lived here and decided to start the adventuring life because you were tired of being a blacksmith or something. Your father didn't die unless it actually happened in game or you experienced it (in a rp way) but it's interesting because it could be part of your background as in why your character the way it is so it might have happened when you were a kid or something.
Name and concept to be approved by admin so to really only attarct the serious in character role players. Act the part. Personality, characteristics, habits etc.
Put alot of effort into describing your character and actualy living up to what you described like if you rp having a beard actually have a beard in game for example
Example of a character description: An eratic dark elf who has come to the land to learn new ways. He has the tendancy of taking life easy and gets frustrated easily. He never holds a grudge for very long. He is disapointed from his races evil past and wishes to find peace in the word. Due to his temper he is never at ease and will always have problems which he endeavours to overcome. He is an outcast and likes to sometimes create playful mischief for no other reason other than he is bored.
There other things to consider too like not discussion whats on tv or who won the football last night etc.
Hope that helped someone.
This isn't a signature, you just think it is.
Promote an RP rating system in a group centric game that unlocks class quests.
A guild based PVP system(group balanced, not per character solo PVP balanced) that is also group oriented, and dissalowed guild member voting can help keep it honest.
A GM tool to view cross guild voting can also be employed. Money/items gifted vs RP rep can also be used. As well as player viewable RP rep and a player reporting tool.
Such a game would not be solo friendly. It would have highly varied character skills and a reflex based skill synergy system. Holy trinity would also be employed, as well as monster/player resistances/attack
Really interesting thread! As a role player, I would love to see games pay attention to us once in a while. Years of frustration have kept me away from playing MMO's for a while.
Of course we all have our favorite things that we want in a game. I agree with most, but not all of the suggestions here.
Personally, I find chat bubbles annoying and not at all immersing, but of course, they can be turned off and on easily. I rather feel the same way about graphical emotes. While I enjoy them on forums, I would prefer characters show me their moods through the use of animations and facial expressions rather than players putting smiley faces in the chat channel. I love tying words to emotes!
Multiple idles, ability to sit and lie, evaluating items aesthetically or qualitatively are all great ideas and again not hard to do.
Time of day with NPC having their own agendas and events linked to the time or season, again, doable, and adds a lot to a game.
I have a rather weird problem with biographies. I like to role play and learn about people through the role play rather than read it in a text. If I go to the grocery store and talk to a stranger in line, I do not know where they are from, whether they are good or evil, or whether their favorite color is purple unless I talk to them. I don't want to know your character's background...I want you to tell me and show me. I want your character and mine to evolve as we play. While it is very important for the player to have a character concept and a background, it should be theirs alone, something they use as their guide to their own character's behavior. Of course, like real people, characters can grow and changed based on experiences. This is truly what makes role playing worthwhile, in my humble opinion.
World: A world should be interesting, have lots of details to discover and should have a deep and interesting lore. A bit of beauty helps as well. Weather, along with time of day should have an effect on the world and the NPCs. Same with seasons.
Character Customization: Very important. Players should be able to make their character look like they want them to look. Of course, there are limitations when creating a game to what one could do but in modern games, we should be able to at least make some changes to appearance and choose body size/shape and hair color. Clothing changes is good as well. We should have a multitude of skills to choose from, not just combat.
Skill-based: YES, non-combat as well as combat. And the non-combat skills should not be created just to support combat but they should all have a purpose in-game. Skills should also encourage cooperation by making tasks easier if done by the more than one player.
Social Spaces are crucial. Players will role play if given the tools to do so and places to gather like pubs and town squares will encourage interaction. Events like market days, festivals and rituals also aid in social interaction.
Shops should be owned by players. I will go even so far as saying only players should own shops or run stalls. The economy should be player based and influenced.
There should be a variety of housing choices. Lots of mechanics issues here but there are ways to work it out.
Permadeath is a must and I would go further than the OP. There are ways to soften the blow but I think the consequences of death should be more serious than just losing stuff. I also think the consequences of living a good/bad life should also matter. A player's actions during life should live on after them. A hero's death should be meaningful. Lots of people disagree with me on this one.
Enforcing role play is a tough one. There are many ways to do it but really, rewarding is the best way. I like the idea of letting the community help and that is something that can work if carefully implemented.
Now, a disclaimer, I have worked for years as a writer/designer for indie game development companies and I can tell you that ALMOST everything you want is possible. The problem is whether it is marketable. Are there enough people who will play such games that the big AAA companies will actually build a game that will include things we want? My experience in the industry is that we are a very small subset and most folks thing we are nuts.
"No min-maxing?" They say players will hate that..and yeah, many will. "Chats that are policed?" Where is "freedom of speech!" "Permadeath" It will never work...are you crazy???
Big companies maximize profits by appealing to large masses of the gaming population. Archeage is a perfect example. They threw in everything but he kitchen sink and are successful for the most part.
There are few things I didn't mention that are in this thread that I think would be difficult to implement unless you have lots of time, money, and a huge team. Things like flags for role play based on the biography and background might be difficult. You could fudge something like that using machine learning but it won't be as customized as you want. Besides, once a player figures out that using a rash emote gets them rewards, what is to stop them from using that JUST to get the rewards?
Remember the word triggered NPC quests where you go up to the NPC, as a question and if you get the trigger word, it will cause the NPC to give you the quest? Well, imagine that with an emote...a trigger to get a reward. It no longer becomes role play but instead is simply a game mechanic.
Of course, this is only my opinion...good ideas out there.
I think that predictability and scripting is the enemy of good role playing. Think of a good table top RPG. While there's a framework of rules pretty much anything can happen limited only by the imaginations of the players and GM. Compare to a typical MMO with its predictable framework of quests, dungeons, raids, PVP. I think in order to really encourage Role playing you have to create that tabletop sense of mystery somehow and the two obvious ways I can think of are by procedural generation and having a large group of volunteer or low paid GMs capable of creating content on the fly and also judging and rewarding players based on subjective things like role playing ability. Having a big world and plenty of activities (including non-combat focused activities) also helps. Making players feel invested in their characters and the world is always going to be more effective than trying to enforce roleplaying by a bunch of rules.
I also agree that, if not total permadeath, there need to be some permanent consequences for your actions to make it really feel like an RPG experience.
Originally posted by iridescence
I think that predictability and scripting is the enemy of good role playing. Think of a good table top RPG. While there's a framework of rules pretty much anything can happen limited only by the imaginations of the players and GM. Compare to a typical MMO with its predictable framework of quests, dungeons, raids, PVP. I think in order to really encourage Role playing you have to create that tabletop sense of mystery somehow and the two obvious ways I can think of are by procedural generation and having a large group of volunteer or low paid GMs capable of creating content on the fly and also judging and rewarding players based on subjective things like role playing ability. Having a big world and plenty of activities (including non-combat focused activities) also helps. Making players feel invested in their characters and the world is always going to be more effective than trying to enforce roleplaying by a bunch of rules. I also agree that, if not total permadeath, there need to be some permanent consequences for your actions to make it really feel like an RPG experience.
Iridescence, you are absolutely right. Games are created from mechanics, numbers, and scripts. It is very difficult to use game mechanics to create role play because no matter what you do, the mechanics force a certain amount of repetition and suspension of belief. However, there are plenty of ways to encourage role play and support role play through game mechanics. I always think that a good game for role playing would be one that sets the stage and gives the tools, just like a good GM in a tabletop game (yeah, I am a long time tabletop gamer and GM as well) but does it in a persistent creative way.
I completely agree with your statements here. Honestly a good story and a variety of activities for players is enough to create an excellent role play game, and it won't take 10+ years.
Immersion is another thing that is important. If you want players to feel as if they are their character when they role play you need to stay away from things that break the reality, which is why I would turn off chat bubbles and why I would hate to see smiley face emotes. To me, that brings me back to forums, Skype and text messages on my phone, away from the world where I am role playing.
I am happy to see this discussion here though because I do think there is a small niche of gamers who would appreciate a game that supports role play and creates an immersing atmosphere for a different kind of gaming.
I did not realize that this thread was from someone gathering ideas for their own game. Sorry about that. I thought it was simply a place for people to share their ideas about the perfect role playing game.
Sorry about that.
Good luck with your game. I will start a new thread if I decide to continue the discussion.
I would supply you with more information and ideas, but I'm a bit under the weather this holiday season. However, I can offer you some advice - check out Project Gorgon. It has a number of the features on the list so far, despite being in early alpha (currently free to test!) and has a pretty decent community.
On to my main points:
1) Social Consequence: For a game to truly have an environment that a player can immerse themselves in and play In-Character, as opposed to Out-Of-Character, you will need social consequence. Opinions of you and what you represent must have an effect on your character. This will promote 'friendliness' so long as the game mechanics can narrowly define the various archetypes that the player represents with their actions, as well as interactions with other players. An example would be killing another player without justification (Religious crusade, wanted outlaw, at war with represented faction, other character's positive reputation) will decrease or increase your positive reputation with certain PC-controlled groups.
2) Physical Consequence: Already touched on by temporary and permanent effects, Project Gorgon has a few of these already (Becoming a cow semi-permanently if you lose to the first boss, for example), basically you lose something or are hindered in some way if you make a poor choice, or die in certain circumstances. The inverse can also be true for great victories and good choices. This can be tied into the the groups and flags system. If you are an Outlaw, you might get sent to a prison if you die to a character in the Bounty Hunter or Mercenary groups.
EDIT: For "Props", consider tents or visual gadgets that you can set up anywhere, providing you with useless but entertaining effects. WoW TCG had codes where you can get a few of these in the MMO, such as the Disco Ball. Combining that prop with the trinket from Vanilla that made nearby people dance made the Auction House quite entertaining.