When roleplay is used for good, instead of evil

Spinks, over at Book of Grudges, posted today about roleplay servers.

I played Dark Age of Camelot on a roleplay server, Percival. I’ve often wondered how much that contributed to my enjoyment of the game. It’s the only roleplay server I’ve ever really played on, and I chose it because a lot of my Everquest friends from the Druid’s Grove (an old druid class board) were rolling characters there.

I’m not one to roleplay. It’s not because I’m against it, or I think it’s stupid, or anything negative. I’m just generally doing a lot of things at once, and I rarely take the time to slow down and try to craft a good roleplay experience. Tabletop pacing lends itself much more to good roleplay, for my tastes.

My initial experiences on Percival involving roleplay were kind of annoying, to be honest. We had a charter member of the Proper Name Police in my guild, and that individual kind of drove people crazy with her outbursts concerning inappropriate roleplay names. We’d hear about it in guild chat, we’d hear the arguments in the general chat channel, we’d hear the threats about petitioning names…it was annoying.

That only lasted until we leveled out of the starting areas, though. It seemed the Ministry of Silly Names only encouraged their members to enter the newbie areas and harass the thin-skinned RP Police.

Once clear of the newbie zone silliness, roleplay on Percival, at least in the Hibernian realm, evolved into quite a civil society. I never met anyone who required you to roleplay around them. Those that chose to follow the roleplay path did so with gusto, and seemed to appreciate attempts to respond in kind. Those of us who either couldn’t simultaneously roleplay and keep ourselves alive at least attempted to stay in character in public channels, respecting the spirit of the server rules.

For me, the biggest apparent benefit of playing on a roleplay server was that most people would consider what they said out loud before they actually said it. When egregious out of character posts appeared, beyond the newbie zones, most players were content to simply ignore the transgressor. Shunning worked well; some previously annoying people stopped being tools and actually began to participate a little more maturely in the server community, and those who didn’t grow up usually ended up leaving quietly.

I don’t know if it was the roleplay rules, Mythic’s willingness to support the ruleset somewhat, or just the mix of players on playing Hibs on Percival, but it was the best game community that I’ve been a part of. If I get the opportunity to try an RP server again for WAR, I think I’ll take it. It all depends, of course, on the failures and successes at Friend Herding onto the same server, but I’d like to see if an RP server could become a successful community in WAR.

You don’t have to be a great roleplayer to play on an RP server. You just have to be the type of person that’s respectful of other players around you. Really, what more could you ask from a realm mate?

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3 Responses

  1. We need to coordinate so all bloggers plan on the same server for WAR, if only so we can blog about how we just stomped so and so blogger the night before.

  2. ha ha, that would be so funny! Blogwars!

  3. We certainly couldn’t brag with impunity if we were checking up on each other 🙂

    I’m up for trying, Syncaine. Unfortunately, we may leave our European friends behind.

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