Saturday, May 31, 2008

A Wee Confession

I have a confession to make.

I am a horrible roleplayer.

"But wait, Pike, don't you only play on RP or RP-PvP servers? Haven't you scrapped every single non-RP character you've made precisely because you miss the RP? Don't you come up with vastly deep backstories and personalities for all your characters and view them as being about as 'real' as they can be without actually being real? Isn't the 'What toon do I feel like playing today?' question usually answered by 'What character story do I feel like exploring today?'"

Yes. And all that is 100% true.

But stick me in an actual roleplaying situation and I'll be completely at a loss for words. I don't know what my character is supposed to say! She's not me, she's herself. I don't want to put words in someone else's mouth.

Oh, I can probably fake it decently well. Especially if I'm allowed to throw in knowing puns and anachronisms ("I heard this crazy story that the world was born out of a Great Blizzard.") But I'd be lying if I said I wasn't guilty of bursting out into a rather infamous song mid-RP-session. (To be fair, the other person was a blood elf and didn't know what I was saying.)

I guess that's one of the things I like about my main servers, Silver Hand and The Venture Co. They aren't exactly shining star examples of roleplaying servers; people are more relaxed and passive, but you still do get the sense that people care about their characters. And of course, once you do find the underground roleplaying community, it's quite expansive.

Really good roleplay can be a scintillating thing; a showdown between Tawyn's guild and an overzealous all-Paladin guild in front of the Cathedral of Light comes to mind as being a bigger adreniline-rush for me than Karazhan ever was. But I still think I feel much more at home trapping and pewpewing than wondering if I'm roleplaying correctly. It's simply a matter of which I think I am better at doing. I enjoy doing things that I am good at.

All that said, I couldn't dream of not having the roleplaying element in the game, even if it's more of a passive background thing for me. I've said it before and I'll say it again: the vast majority of my interest in this game comes from the fact that you can invent your own character. Give her or him a personality and a story and a life of their own. If that element wasn't there I think I'd quit playing.

I've had e-mails or comments or tells in game from people wondering how to get started on a roleplaying server. To be honest, if you're making characters on my servers it's going to be just like a normal server except you might see a few people with roleplaying-addons running around, and once in a blue moon you'll catch snatches of roleplay. That's really it. I think there's a misconception that people on roleplaying servers talk in Shakespearian English or use grandiose words in Trade Chat on a regular basis. I've never seen either. Don't be scared to roll on an RP server if you want to try it out; at the most, you'll be underwhelmed.

Who knows-- you might be better at roleplaying than I am. (Heck, I'm sure most people are!)


Cynra said...

Aww, miss Pike, yer jes' being a bit too hard on yerself, ain't ya? An', sure, yer right -- us fellahs 'round them roleplayin' servers mostly don't speak all lordy-like, but ya'll find yerself some if'n ya look real hard. But I've found some tha' thinks they're all lordy-like 'cause they tease me fer the way I speak, which ain't very nice-like. But, jes' like m'pappy always says, the word o' other fellahs don't mean nowt -- 'less it's t' tell ya tha' ya owe 'em money.

Then ya always listen.

As a roleplayer and someone that is enough of a roleplayer to act in-character on roleplaying servers, the large group of non-roleplayers on our servers is always a bit disappointing. In general, though, I find that most of them think it's cool but don't know how to get involved; since I'm in-character at all times other than when I'm raiding I try to get people involved whether it's talking about silly little things, having my perky priestess with absolutely no mind for battle tactics tell our DPSers to get ready to tank, or break out in song.

It's fun, promise! And a good roleplayer tries to include others -- even if they claim that they don't roleplay.

Pike said...

@ Cynra - I'm lucky and the guild that I'm in has managed to establish itself as a duel roleplaying/entry-level-raiding guild. We have some 150 accounts in our guild and that includes everyone from the most die-hard roleplayers I've ever met to the people who wouldn't be caught dead roleplaying and are just here for the Kara runs. Most of us, myself included, fall somewhere along the middle spectrum; the people who like a little of both.

For the most part we all get along very well and it's always neat to see other peoples' views on the subject.

Mister Adeqauate said...

I know where you're coming from! I enjoy when I see RPing around, but I'm not that great at it myself. I do remember one very wonderful time that my Onatah was falling for an undead fellow - he was very upstanding and pleasant. But then my account expired and I didn't have money for more time xD

My main problem with RP though is dealing with people who don't. Not the wilful ruiners, they can just be ignored, but regular folks who just don't grasp it. The only response you can really use is "Did a Trogg hit you with one too many Head Cracks?", and it gets pretty old and boring.

Faeldray said...

Don't feel bad, Pike. I'm exactly the same way. I love the idea of roleplaying and the atmosphere but when someone actually wants me to do it, the first thing I that comes out of my mouth is "Uhhhhhh...". I just stumble through it as best I can :)

Elune's Guidance said...

'At's all right, Pike. I adore roleplayin' and all, but sometimes, it does get a little too much. I must remember to always -- always! -- put brackets on when I talk to certain people (which, for long conversations that have nothing to do with roleplaying, get terribly irritating -- especially if one is in an instance!).

So it's more than all right to be in the middle. As long as you are receptive to roleplaying, we hold little ill toward you.

Just have fun! What you might not think is good might be considered brilliant by others! ^^

lienna said...

Ah roleplaying servers and the fun thereof generally there are 4 types of people on them:

1) the people who don't care about roleplay, they often choose the server because of rumors that roleplayers can't raid/pvp/whatever and want to be the best on the server, they will openly talk about RL or game issues in /say and are generally a nuisance, would say around 20% of the server are these, but they are the most noticeable

2) the people who "respect" rp but don't do it, they are happy to be on an RP server, but generally do anything they can to avoid Rp, stil they respect the rules about not using /s for game mechanics etc, probably make up around 40% of the server.

3) the people who want to roleplay, but don't know how/can't find it/get held back for whatever reason. These people often joined the server hoping for an Rp paradise, but didn't find it and didn't go out of their way to look for it, they will RP if someone starts with them but often won't start it themselves, a solid 30% or so of the server probably

4) The people who actually know how to, and do roleplay, they know the lore, are great at being IC 99% of the time, even know how to RP needing to use the loo IRL! these make up the last 10% of the population, and often hide in out of the way locations and so are hard to find.

And you know what, numbers 2, 3 and 4 are absolutely a-ok, so long as your not a number 1 you enjoy your RP server as much as you want to!

Maevet said...


I don't do much rp, simply because the mood has to hit me and it's a bit few & far these days. I originally rolled on a RP server in the hope it wouldn't be as crowded & idiot infested as a Britany Spears concert.

Martyrmaul said...

As long as you have a solid group of friends who are okay with the break in roleplaying every now and again, I don't see the problem in it.

I don't roleplay all that much, my last experience in roleplaying turned out retarded in which the guy talked about some dark aura around him destroying the world.

Luckily WoW prevents overpowered mary sues.

Unless they're resto druids.

Anonymous said...

Another comment that got out of hand...