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The roleplay community in Ultima Online was huge. I'm currently playing Eve online and although it appears it has less roleplayers than Ultima, there is still quite a few out there The Minmatar(Ushra'Khan) v Amarr(CVA) conflict has some 400 roleplayers.
I find games with freedom of creation and a more open gameplay environment allows roleplay to flourish. Take WoW for instance. How would you build your own town? Market? Ultima had a level of freedom that allowed people to be creative. Unfortunately, only Eve online appears to have what it takes at this point in time.
I don't think RP is dieing. It is merely being suppressed. I do not claim that there is a grand conspiracy to route RP but it is being suppressed by what people are seeing as RPG's. Someone mentioned earlier that games like Secret of Mana, Final Fantasy, Phantasy Star, etc. are what they see true role playing as and this is a reflection of the age.
When I was first introduced to Role Playing it involved a few loose friends, or close ones, some dice and a set of established rules. The CRPGs are merely intetractive stories. You do not truely play a role in the story as you can never truely guide the outcome. Its like those books that have a niche where you can choose what happens next and read that chapter. RP is not dead but it is hibernating. It is just waiting for the right tool before it wakes back up.
In UO I found that there were roleplayering groups but the tools provided to them were created without them in mind. My first RP character ever was a Lawful Evil Cleric who eventually killed all his teammates and tried to take over the kingdom but died shortly after succeeding. What made it a true RP was that the players accepted what happened and reacted AS THEY SHOULD. The people who were alive wondered about the strange behavior of the now undead companions but stayed within their character's mindsets. Well I tried to initially relive that character's legacy and found the medium sorely lacking. For one thing I did not start with UO until they had the two places one with PVP and one without. The players on the PVP areas killed without reason. They killed other players becasue they knew it would make them angry. When I tried to enter these areas they simply killed me and took my meager posessions.
The problem is this: Most New RPG Fans have no idea what Role Playing is. They know what it means to play an interactive story where might makes right but they have no idea how to perceive things from their character's view point. They do not know how to limit what they act upon to just what their character knows. How many NPC's do you "talk" to on your second or third trip through the game? It is probably as few as necessary becasue you already know what the future holds for your characters. This is the view point that all new Role Players have. They do not understand the mechanics of playing out a part even if it is not a grand part.
The test I loved to give my players was to tell them that the red chest contains an unavoidable trap that will kill them then I would make their characters want to open it. A true Roleplayer gets very mad at me and opens the chest killing their character and probably cursing me til I die but they still open the chest.
RP has never fit well with any MMO so far to date. Most MMO's really don't support it and even though even WoW has a few RP servers as well as EQ2, the MMO communities just doesn't support it enough to function well.
Infact, I think WoW has a better environment to support RP than EQ2 does, but that is my opinion.
However, if you are looking for a MMO type that is trying to focus more on the RP element and encourage players to take advantage of the opportunitites I would keep an eye on DDO. http://www.ddo.com
I know a lot will say that RP has been successful in the MMO community, but not like it was in NwN Online, Darksun Online or MUD based games or even most known being tabletop D&D. If you are a serious RPer. I would keep an eye out on DDO which will be coming out later this year. Or even Hero's Journey.
As the MMO community shows to enter its maturuty state, it is starting to be more obvious that it issn't really agenre at all but really more of a way of playing RTS, FPS, RPG and all the other genres out there. So if anyone steps in and says RP is dead, you are the farthest from the truth and not able to really see how the MMO style of playing is just covering more areas and there will be a MMO for each and every style of gaming that has a demand, and RP style in RPG within the MMO community is obviously a popular style. On and BTW< RP doesn't mean no PvP. Just in RP we know why we kill each other. Takes someone with a brain to kill for a reason.
Chonka Kimoto 70 Shaman (EQ I since beta) - RetiredAzuri Spiritweaver 26 Mystic / 13 Craftsman (EQ II) - Retired due to boredomAzuri Jingizu W/N20 (Guild Wars)
The focus is just in powergaming and the majority of market is composed by young people with little capacity to appreciate any roleplay.
Current mmorpg's wish to explore this market and it's features are designed merely to attract more of the same.
For any decent roleplay one has to look in the free player run servers, usually of ultima online or MUD's
Still, some features of games in development scare away the normal player base and, for some reason, attract a substancial audience that appreciates immersiveness and roleplay.
This happens from time to time in the forum based communities of games that rarely leave the development stage and, when they do, they become major fiascos since they never implement 1/10 the features they promised and betray the faithful roleplaying community they had gathered. One example of this betrayal was Mourning, currently left to the normal community of young standard powergamers.
A example of a game in development that again has gathered a huge base of roleplaying worshippers is Trials of Ascension. The activity of this community is so centered around the dreaming activity that when the game launchs roleplay will be supreme.
Of course, the developers may end the dreaming in a nice cold bucket of water as it as happened so many times before.
One of the main features that contribute for a different minded community of players is Permadeath.
Can you imagine any "1337 ub3r 1 j0wn u" type of kid playing with this feature? Most of current mmorpg players won't go for it but it is certainly a great force in gathering up all those people that are thirsty for real immersiveness and roleplay.
flame at will
Dont know if any one will read this or not but oh well
Roleplaying is the best game gerne out there
If only these greedy money takeing game desigers would make a good game
YOu know with all the money the make of crap games couldnt they find it in there hearts to make a good one for once
LOVe the game Hate the creators
Avatar and Signature [c] Ishi*;
Originally posted by bluefreak12 Dont know if any one will read this or not but oh well Roleplaying is the best game gerne out there If only these greedy money takeing game desigers would make a good gameYOu know with all the money the make of crap games couldnt they find it in there hearts to make a good one for once LOVe the game Hate the creators
The problem is all they think about is the money. When it comes down to it the game devs have to support themselves and their families and the marketing and managers are there to increase profits. In the end it comes down to its just cheaper to carbon copy an existing theme.
Course I cannot imagine any l337 player playing a mud or other stictly RP based game. I remmeber playing Furcadia many years ago and if you were able to ignore the clueless chillderen there was asolid player base as long as you do not mind everyone playing with different rules.