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State of FE Roleplay and how to help make it better

 
Khal Vorgus's picture

Hokay, so!

There is an ongoing sentiment that RP in this game has dwindled (well, it has!). With good RP clans disbanding, trusted Roleplayers giving up and generally people being griefed left and right, those that have been playing the game for years and years on end, generating endless hours of fun for everybody are finding it hard to "keep up the fight". And, I tell you from the bottom of my heart, it's understandable!

However, it doesn't have to be this way. The very fact that FE's RP Community is dwindling, may be a sign that now more than ever, with FE being F2P, some effort is required in order to do two very important things:

1. Locate the new players that are mature enough to Roleplay and 

2. Teach them in the "Common Logic" of Roleplaying, that essentially means everyone must be having fun. Even at bad times, they - the players - must believe that this is a fun activity.

 

So, I'm suggesting... Let's use this thread for constructive ideas on how can we go about finding Quality Roleplay and how can we recruit new roleplayers, willing to learn and play in a mature and respectful way?

Sure, haters, griefers, drama llhamas will always be there - like everywhere else. This is a Video Game. A Multiplayer Video Game. We cannot lock them out. Let us instead, work out a few ways to handle their disruptive behavior in a way that is not disruptive for the community. 

Brainstorm, suggest, or just tell us what it is that annoys you and you'd rather other people did not do!

Joe Spivey's picture

We will only get 'quality' RPers if we create them. To missquote: "Give me the RPer at level 1 and i will..." well it all sorta falls to pieces after that, but you get what I'm saying.


 Unless we actively go after anyone who shows the slightest interest in RPing we run the risk of having them go off and do their own thing and get entrenched into the sort of selfish RP none of us like.


Invite people in rather than exclude them. We've all been watched while RPing around the pond so, if it is at all possible, PM them and ask if the want to play. Sure we will get burned sometimes but think back to when you first started and how you got involved, spread the good karma :)


But all you old timers (hehe) know this already. It's what used to happen. So let's bring it back and start rebuilding the community instead of moaning about it.

Stick with me kid and you'll be farting through silk.

Reaper's picture

A lot of the issue with dwindling RP communities is reflected in the paradigms illustrated in Khal's post there (sorry, Khal, don't mean to pick on you... but you've done a good job of illustrating a point that's pervasive in most MMO RP communities, so I'm using you as an example).

So, I'll recommend what I think is the best way to strengthen the community in a positive and pro-active way is to change some of these core paradigms folks carry about themselves.  To paraphrase Gandhi, BE the roleplayer you want to roleplay with.  The change starts with each individual reading this post.

Stop looking for 'quality' RP.  You're right, you heard me... forget 'quality'.  Quality is such an incredibly subjective term as to lose all real meaning.  What's quality to one person is trite and boring to the next.  Focus on creating whatever you consider quality RP in yourself... those who enjoy the plotlines and style you consider 'quality' will naturally gravitate to you.  As soon as you start judging others and what they enjoy, you're heading down a dark road that'll exclude more and more folks until you end up RPing with just a very select few people... and that's how communities become smaller and balkanize.

Everyone Roleplays.  Everyone.  Again, shocker, right?  Yes, everyone who plays Fallen Earth roleplays to some degree or another.  If you go out into a PvP zone, you'll start seeing players calling each other out, shouting about how the CHOTA are pussies, whatever.  That?  That's RP.  Because the CHOTA don't actually exist... every player has some level of immersion in the game.  Its not that huge of a step between 'Fuck the Enforcers!' to 'Fuck da Bronze!'  During my time on Fallen Earth, I RP'd with some of the hardest-core PvPers in the game.  It wasn't some huge, in-depth story, but it was intensely satisfying and rewarding.  More on that in a bit.

"Common Logic" in RP doesn't exist.  Look, I get it... there are RPers out there who annoy me a bit too.  I have certain 'RP rules' I tend to live by when playing in an MMO and some of them are admittedly pretty anal.  But that's my own 'common logic', not something I try to impose on others, even when leading guilds.  By way of example, a lot of people consider emote-fighting to be a 'truer' form of RP that focuses on story and doesn't let the game's rules get in the way.  Me?  I abhor emote fighting.  I work to get my toons to a certain state, geared up, learn how to play the game... my level 18 isn't going to pick many fights because he, as a part of his storyline, doesn't have the skill to win many of them.  My level 50, on the other hand, will fight just about anything put in front of him.  But when I fight, I duel or flag up and play out the fight.  Actual PvP is absolutely anathema to many folks' 'Common Logic'.  And I get that.  While I strongly dislike emote-fighting, if its initiated on me, I'll do it and try my best to work within the ground-rules the other guy wants to use and emote my way through a fight.  My point is that your 'Common Logic' isn't going to mesh with someone else's... so learn to compromise, learn to go with what other folks throw at you and try to have fun with it.

All RP is Selfish RP.  Yes, I mean you, you "Special Snowflake" you.  ...I hate that term.  Its one of those things that really annoy me.  Because, in the end, we're all 'Special Snowflakes'.  That guy who RPs a farmer from Embry who's a one-lifer with no mutations and can barely point a rifle in the right direction?  He's a Special Snowflake.  The former KGB agent that crosstrained with the Mossad and Al'Quaeda?  She's a Special Snowflake.  The rough-and-tumble Biker President who's constantly chomping on his cigar?  Special Snowflake.  In the end, we're all unique and we're RPing what we RP because we enjoy it and we want our moment in the spotlight, even if that moment is to illustrate just how achingly 'normal' our character is.  Look, whatever backstory the other guy has come up with he's come up with because its interesting to him... its fun.  You've got no right denigrating that.  You come up with your own plotline and backstory, however in-depth you want that to be, and focus on that.  When someone demands the spotlight... well, go ahead and give it to them.  Because, in the end, we're all prima donnas and we all like that spotlight from time to time.  Does it really matter that much that someone hogs the spotlight a bit?  Is the reason you're upset because you want it?

In the end, what we're doing is to have some fun participating in a hobby we enjoy.  Getting that enjoyment out of it is, in and of itself, a selfish act.

Forget the labels, welcome everyone.  This is a big one for me.  As a guild leader, I can't count how many times I've had someone come to me looking to join the guild and ask if we're a 'Heavy RP' guild.  That question bugs me... because, in the end, they're asking me if we're going to dictate to our members how they can enjoy the game.  Invicta has some rules of conduct, to be certain... particularly about how you treat others OOCly and some RPish stuff that fits better in the theme we're running with (No Enforcers for the Invicta MC was a big one).  I also hate being accused of being 'just' a roleplayer... I am and I'm proud of that, but I'm first and foremost a gamer.  I enjoy PvP, I enjoy PvE, I enjoy crafting, etc.  I don't like labels and I don't try to pidgeon-hole people into them.  That pidgeon-holing is a HUGE problem in most RP communities, this one included.

You cannot be griefed unless you let yourself be griefed.  Another big one for me.  I'll give an example... as some of you know, I used to DJ for a weekly Biker's Rally in New Flagstaff back in the day.  Most nights, it was folks dancing about, doing some light RP, getting to know other RPers... your standard 'party RP' stuff.  One night, a group of folks from one of the most hardcore PvP guilds in the game came by to peck a fight.  Having someone like Reaper start complaining about fighting doesn't entirely make a fuckton of sense, so I encouraged the fighting.  I couldn't participate myself, because I can't really PvP while alt-tabbing out to set up music, but I did flag up.  I called out the guys from the PvP guild to try to come get me.  A ton of the RP crowd in the Tavern flagged up and, I think, most had a blast trying to defend their DJ against the 'raiders' coming after him.  I started changing up music to taunt the PvP guys into coming after me (I specifically remember dedicating "I Fucked Your Mom" by Emily's Toybox to them).  We had a blast... they eventually got me, but to me, that was a memorable night.  I could've gone the 'stick-up-my-butt' route and bitched at 'them' for trying to ruin our fun, but instead I incorporated it into our fun and, I like to think, most folks enjoyed the hell out of it.

I'll give another example, from another game... in Age of Conan, we had a similar event each week.  Most weeks, if a fight sprung up, we'd fight it and have some fun with it.  One week, we had a couple of guys from, again, one of the most notorious PvP guilds on the server show up and start attacking people.  After getting waxed, they didn't let up... admittedly, I was getting a touch annoyed.  Suddenly, out of nowhere the guild leader of their guild (again, a known badass) shows up at my event in front of me.  Before I get a word out, I see the guild tags of the two guys who were messing with us disappear and a horde of their former guildmates show up and start camping them on the spawn point.  The guild leader says to me "sorry, we told them not to come mess with you guys, but they didn't listen... we'll keep them on the spawn until your event is over".  I about shit myself... see, we'd rarely had much interaction with these guys, but when we did, it was usually out in PvP and, though we always lost horribly, we never disrespected folks.  That got paid back to us that night.

My point is that people can only get under your skin if you let them.  And if you do let them, they're going to keep coming after you because they enjoy getting a rise out of folks.  If you try to incorporate "Non-RPers" (again, that doesn't really exist, but bear with me) into your own RP, you're going to have much more fun, they're going to have fun and you might just get an amazing, memorable event out of it.  If someone is camping your ass... well, you're flagged up, so that's your fault.  But, more importantly, if you're being camped, call out your friends to camp the other guy right back.  And if you don't have enough friends for that... well, maybe you need to reconsider how you're treating other folks in the game yourself.

 

So, to sum up, if you want to grow the community, then look to yourself (again, meaning everyone who's reading this post) and be the sort of RPer you hope others will be.  Extend your hand (OOCly) to everyone and anyone, regardless of their guild tag or how well they spell or whatever.  Consider the possibility that there's no such thing as 'quality' RP or 'mature' RPers and just RP with folks.  I promise you, a little self-reflection and a lot of patience will go a long, long, long way to rebuilding what you feel you've lost.

Allriae's picture

Well I think Reaper has nailed it.

I confess that I've locked down my RP to few at some time ago. Although I had great moments, they eventually have left the game and I see myself backfired due to what I did before and due to my own RP circumstance. That has turned the game incredibly boring to me, but I know it's my fault.

People do RP on different ways, sometimes your RP won't click with somebody else, but that doesn't mean you can't have minor/casual RP with everybody. I guess it's thru those small RPs that we become a better comunity. Plots are usually way too hard to deal with and chances of getting into a clusterfuck are high.

 

If I may, I'll use Joe and Volt as an example again: they are both open to anyone who RP or want to RP. They have the ability to enjoy and bend their immersion to their own pleasure. Perhaps we should be more open to strangers indeed. What if they come godmodding/killing you? There are several ways to deal with that, one of them is by getting into contact and telling the person that you think it could be a better moment/RP if it wasn't they way it was. I'm sure that after such communication, both parts will get into an agreement, if not... your RP doesn't click.

 

And about communication: we had a great example of how it's important with BB and Badgers. However, we don't have to be clans to do such. We can take communication down to individuals. I know most of us try that, and most of us have the feeling of anything that is being said here. That's why we have to be the ones who'll teach how to be a polite RPer to those that doesn't share these feelings and somehow are not connect to the community (directly or on a feeling basis).

Danny McKillop's picture

Not sure if this counts but that, If you try to incorporate "Non-RPers" part, i use to do that all the time on Garrysmod. What i would of done was if thay started knowing my name are some silly thing like that, even know thay did nothing to find it out, i would of just said back "Hay! how do you know my name?!... its not like its above my head are anything...." and me roleplaying the angery gunshop owner would of started acuseing it on "Kids and there video games" are "Kids and there weed... when i was growin up all i had was a 22. to play with!" sillly things like that really.

And il end off here and say i agree with whats above,{Waves and runs off}

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henerkin's picture

((I might repeat some other folks here, by the time I was done writing, there was a few other post that I'll read after))

I am not sure if its something to worry about just yet, its holiday season coming, every game slows down at that time... But if there is something to worry about I'll give you my experience as an RPer and former event organizer.

Back when I started playing, RPers had a presence in S1. There was Post Apoc Radio that brought RPers there, good ones who showed the others that RP existed and gave us a good example of how to do it.

I learned about Invicta there and then when I got to S2, checked them out. I am still one of its Lieutenants to this day even if they have no presence in FE anymore, I followed them after FE.

After Post Apoc Radio, there was a few events that happened in s1 but most were concentrated in S2 because it was the middle ground. At that time, the RP community was healthy and that wasnt much of a problem getting new ppl to RP or making RP known to those who just started. (Bunker of Blues, Coffee Shop, Invicta party, The Ride, Bunker Bash, Vader's Wednesdays, Crafter Market  as well as may others, there was something to do every day)

There were ups and downs eventually and then came The Rack, in s1, which I think was the best hub for new RPers to meet the vets and either get involved or even learn about RP. I think it helped the RP community a lot at that time. As good as the Invicta party was, The Rack did better in recruiting RPers because it was close to the source in S1.

Eventually people got bored of parties and organizers criticized burned out of the game, these things are bound to happen.

But these social events also had a purpose that was to bring RPers together and encourage RP overall, for the better or for the worst. Most of those events were inclusive, even someone who wanst an RPers could attend and maybe even become one. Of Couse, we had some asshats and griefers too, but I think the good Rpers it brought or even created, outweigh by far the numbers of asshats. If anything, staying in clique and not being inclusive brings more asshats around, they take it as a challenge to disrupt the clique. Being inclusive will often change their mind about RP and spread our wonderful disease to them. Sure some conflicts might erupt and change that from time to time, like when I locked down The Ride to friends only for a while due to IC reasons. It might happen, but overall, the community feels better and more united when it’s inclusive. Even the hard core PvPers showed up at Invicta's party back then and we got some RP out of them because it was inclusive, people like Rose Kershaw, Jude Fox, Reaper, Sharkdog and many others made everyone feel at home there. 

 

==============================================================

 

 

Also a few tricks that worked in the past and could still work today.

1. A SOCIAL EVENT DOESN'T HAVE TO BE A PARTY!

Nothing wrong with them, they are very welcome but there are alternatives. The Badgers had a drag Race, there was the Crafters Market, last week there was Cell's horse race, it can be anything it's up to you to come up with the idea and make it happen. 

 

2. ADVERTISE! ADVERTISE! ADVERTISE!

If you want people to know and attend, it needs to be advertised, not only here, you're preaching to the converted, but in every possible channels, Official FE forums, your guild site/facebook/forums At least a week before it happens, as well as in game word of mouth and Region/Global chat about a hour before the event and at its start. This is no rocket science, there will only be people and potential new RPers if they know it exist. Shiny posters might help to catch people attention if you have them too but they are not necessary. Yeah, it may bring asshats but I still think the good folks it brings outweigh the potential asshats.

 

3. MAKE IT WITHIN REACH!

If it's new RPers you need, then S1 is the place you want to make things happen. The distances in FE are a huge factor, especially for new players, making an event in S2 won’t bring them there. They need to be able to get to your hub in a reasonable amount of time. Starter towns on the main road seems like a good choice to me.

 

4. DIVERSITY! (Not much can be done about this but I still throw it in)

Not only in events. Sure 5 parties a week can become too much, but people don't have to attend them all the time and yet they can serve their purpose, even if it's to a lesser extent when there are too many. However, everyone trying to be the most evil motherfucker out there gets just as boring as everyone being a goody two shoes and THAT cannot be escaped. If you RP you need to deal with your environment. If they're all would-be-saints, it gets boring. If they’re all cannibalistic serial killers it gets just as annoying. Both can turn people away from RP altogether if there is too much of it. That was one of the reasons I burned out back then (Evil dudes constant pissing contest). Balance makes it more interesting but that is something hard to change, people play what they want to they don’t have to be told what they can be.

 

5. BE INCLUSIVE!

Cliques serve no one. 

 

 

I don't know if it is any useful or if I'm an old recluse who lost the plot 3 years ago but here is my two chips.

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Simple Mechanic... For real this time.
Retired: Gunrunner, Traveler, Biker.

Reaver21A's picture

I have to Agree....

I havent been apart of this RP Community as long as some of its other members but ive watched from day to day as ive seen closed Rps and mostly all you can find is a few light Rp here and there.... i find it great that on a daily basis that open Rp is experienced and new people are braught into the Rp Community bringing new stories, new Style, and all around just new Rp! I mean.... there isint much i could say, and im not saying all this like i know everyone... i dont wish to Offend anyone in anyway neather... but ive Rped in a couple games but this is the one game i actualy Setteled in on from moving from WoW to LOTRO to SWTOR and Ect. . ill try my best and im ALWAYS open to Random Rp... you can sometimes find Reaver in Beu's or in the bunker bar in the park so swing on by if you just want to Rp or even develop your storyline. Rp should be experienced... not locked out... thats how a Rp communtiry dies out... Again sorry if i offend anyone... ive watched this type of thing happen b4 and i do not wish it to happen to FE. I truely think this game has alot of life still left in it though there are some that would disagree with me... if they do thats there own opinion... but in the end Ill do what i can to try to strengthen the Rp community from my end... And if you ever want to keep an eye out for the Freelancer.... ((2 thumbs up to the Rp Community))  b (o.o) d

"Your friendly everyday Community "Ghost"...."

Ardenn's picture

Im not going to read allt hec constructive replies right now, I got other thigns to do but I'll get back to it.

I did want to make a comment before I forgot about it though. I dont know if this is specific just to me and my reputation or it happens to everyone; People asking Ardenn for work.

I understand the need to be useful and wanting your character to have something to do, work for someone, move up int he food chain through exposure, but this really puts me on the spot and I flat out dont know how to answer it. Doesnt matter the quality of the player; I am not going to be able to generate a super fantastic storyline oriented on one person or even multiple people out of my ass every time someone walks up to me and asks for it. "Quality stories" take a lot of time and effort to put into them. I cant just be like "Go find the cure for a plague" at the drop of a hat and have it both be fun and make sense.

I'd appreciate some feedback on this thought. I like to be inclusionary and at least say hello to any RPer withine arshot but I dont have a hitlist of enemies long enough to keep veryone I meet busy.

Current Status; Fully Operational, Slightly Cheesy

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“I destroy my enemies when I make them my friends”

Khal Vorgus's picture

Thank you Reaper, Ally, Henerkin for the very constructive and explanatory posts. You nailed down the most important things to keep in mind and I'm sure, that there will be a reaction - Like Reaver's post.

Sometimes, all it takes to change a bad situation is to simple say that it is bad and why it should not be so. What I'm aiming out of this thread, is already happening. Old timers with experience are sharing the wisdom of "successful co-existence". Newer players are stating they are open to new people, new roleplays, new opportunities. That's what a community needs! New blood, fueled by old experience!

As for Ardenn's dillema, when someone ask your char for a job... Have you ever thought about simply asking them to do something mundane? Like say, what are you crafting now? Can they gather some material? No need for a super plot, no need for a cure the plague case, you just happen to need a bunch of lead to make bullets...

For a random player, that sort of thing might be more than enough to generate RP that may surprise you!

mah sig!

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Lyssa's picture

Lots of good stuff here.  And a whole banquet of food for thought served up.

 

 

 

Ardenn's picture

I actually hadnt thought about mundane things like parts or guns, thanks for that. Usuaully I expect people asking me for work want just RP jobs, but I'll try out having people craft goods, thanks.

Current Status; Fully Operational, Slightly Cheesy

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“I destroy my enemies when I make them my friends”

Sarah Gunsmith's picture

Everyone here has probably said everything I have to say here myself, so I'm going to do away with the walls of text and say simply: if you're feeling stressed out, if you're feeling down, use those feelings and turn them into something positive. Let them motivate you to go out there and make those changes you hope others will.

On one other note, I'd not despair over a dwindeling RP community. Sure we've had good folks leave us recently, and that's always painful, but at the same time, I've seen alot of old faces come back and stick around over the last month or two (hint: some of them are in this thread!) and I've met new faces that have well and truely surprised me.

 

On another note, Ard, the whole people looking for work thing, I think that's just you. Either that or Sarah just looks like she'd never have work for anyone :P

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Reavy's picture

Then hire mercs dammit! Um...sorry, just passing by...

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Allriae's picture

*puts a fake mustache with glasse*
*clears throat* HELLO! Can I hire you?

Reavy's picture

No, you still owe Reavy a lunch for that last painful murder you ordered.

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Allriae's picture

o_ o!

which of them? :B

Sarah Gunsmith's picture

All of Sarah's old enemies mysteriously died of old age!

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Ardenn's picture

I cant hire mercs for a job that doesnt exist! :P

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Ardenn's picture

I think Im gonna start hiring people to make RP props and houses for the next ghost town caravan. :)

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Khal Vorgus's picture

That, right there, is an excellent idea for an event / plot, without involving a lot of planning or great thought on anyone's part. 

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Betty Hatlevik's picture

I'm really tired right now, but this post has been running through my head most of the day, so I'm going to attempt to make my thoughts coherent for this; but as some one fairly new to MMOs and even more new to MMO RP (I've never role played in a game before this) I wanted to share some of my thougths from a noob's perspective. Hopefully they'll be taken in a constructive way.....

I think first I'd like to touch on what Reaver21a said about all you can find is "closed RP." When I first found there was role play in this game I was excited. I thought it sounded really fun and I tried really hard to get involved: passive ways, aggressive ways, passive aggressive ways, but mainly the biggest thing I learned was: do NOT talk to RPers and if there's a groups of RPers most definitely do NOT approach them. They're busy role playing and all you're doing is interrupting their good time. Now I'm not saying everyone is like this, but it's a good generalization. I've been accused of being quite and that I don't talk much...well I learned not to talk to RPers unless they talk to you first....I got so frustrated over this at one point that I left the game for about two months. And even now, if there's a publicized event I still won't go unless some one in game (ICly or OOCly) invites me.

Next, yes I'll RP with just about anyone if you talk to me (I'm sure I've probably annoyed Pyrok with that a few times) but I'll RP with players that don't even roleplay.  And by doing so I've learned that most those "griefers" aren't there to annoy you, they just want to play too. That guy jumping up and down and running around you while you're roleplaying at the AH yelling "Hey this is a stick up!" for the most part, he's not trolling, he's trying to get involved. Maybe that's the first RP he's seen, or whatever, so he doesn't know the "RP Rules" he's just trying to get involved the only way he knows how. Humour him, play along. It'll probably only take a few moments of your "serious RP" and best case scenario, maybe you have a new RPer to the community. Worst case, maybe you have to /ignore. But most likely he's just killing time between BloodSports and you have a chance to make someone's day for the moment, then you can get back to your RP.

I've found most those people watching RP or comeing up and saying "Howdy folks its a fine day today" aren't trolls, they just don't know much about RP and if you PM them and tell them you're in the middle of something and they can come back later, 9 times out of 10, they'll apologize.

I'm not as good at explaining things as the rest of you, I'm really tired and keep losing my train of thought, but I think the bottom line is, RP in this game is exclusive. It's really exclusive, and if you talk to some of the other players, the RPers in this game don't have a much better reputation than the PvPer griefers...

Also I've seen a lot, A LOT of complaints about god-modding/meta-gaming about new players...but for the most part it almost seems like you have to god-mod/meta-game just to get your attention. I've been playing since, February/March and I've hardly spoken to half of you; IC or OOC. And that's long enough I shouldn't feel like a new player, but I still do....

Anyway, a lot of the points made in this thread should really be taken into consideration and applied. Otherwise you're all going to be sitting there bitching about the same stuff over and over, and nothing's going to get better.

sorry, my thought process doesn't work anymore, so...... /endrant.

In the land of Gods and Monsters I was an Angel, living in the Garden of Evil.

Reaper's picture

Tired or not, you make good points.  I think you might've just explained something I noticed last night when some fireside RP developed in the NF square last night.  More than once, someone walked up to the group of us and asked "Am I interrupting anything?"  I thought the folks were being extra-polite, but it happened enough that something was clicking in the back of my mind.

That said, I'm happy to report that the folks I was hanging with tried to pull in people who walked up, even if they were lingering a bit to the side watching.  Hopefully, what you experienced Betty might be changing (heck, maybe even partially because of this thread, a couple of folks that have commented here were a part of it).  I specifically remember someone who was lurking a bit behind Reaper and commenting on how they shouldn't try to sneak up on him like that and another guy who streaked our conversation that we started joking around with.  It doesn't take much to indicate to someone who might be a bit trepidacious (I think I spelled that wrong) about joining in on the RP... just an emoted nod or sideways glance or something like that is enough to indicate that you've noticed someone and are welcome to interaction.

Of course, it should also be noted that it goes both ways.  If you're naturally a bit wall-flowery, you may need to put yourself out there a bit more and be willing to "interrupt" people.  Some folks are going to get bent out of shape about it, but that's no reason to stop trying.  There's plenty of good folk in this community, maybe some a bit gunshy about RPing with people they don't know, but I say judge folks individually.  You're going to eventually find the folks who welcome folks they don't know into their RP... I know they're out there.

Petyr's picture

Edit: Edited grammar error. :/

I understand what you are talking about. I felt intrusive when I first started to Rp but thankfully I had a good clan that showed me it's okay to "barge in" and it isn't unwelcome. They are the reason I've adopted the "It's Rp, shit happens." motto on my Rp. And I've picked up the habit of "Never put someone on ignore" from when I use to PvP. If I'm busy with something, anyone, whether I like them OOC or IC or not, can interrupt me unless I say so otherwise OOC (And that's mostly just when I'm roleplaying alone and focusing on other tabs and not the game itself, so they aren't wasting time to get half-caring Rp from me). Personally I like that stance on Rp and it's served me well.

Now from what I have learned, anyone can tell you my character (and in turn myself) doesn't give a shit if he's interrupting your conversation, actions, whatever. It's simply a matter of reality. Example: You're having a conversation in a bar? Expect eavesdroppers or passer-bys. All too often someone will try joining in on the conversation without knowing what they're talking about and if you do it in public space you have to learn to deal with it.

So I guess summarizing what I'm trying to say is "Deal with it."  and  "Don't be afraid to make others "Deal with it.""

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henerkin's picture

A bit like you, my character is the quiet type, not for the same reasons, he's just that way IC. He could sit in a group and say about 5 sentences in two ours, often less. the rest of the time he will light up cigarettes, drink or sketsch some mechanical parts on a scrapbook.  That's just how he is and he rarely opens up the conversation first, he's just there doing his own thing, doest meant I Ignore people, I'm open to whatever happens.

I also don't believe we can be interupted in RP. If somethng happens that interupts what we are doing at the moment, acknowleging it and playing along is still RP. Not the RP we planned, but RP itself is still going on, just in an unexpected direaction.

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Simple Mechanic... For real this time.
Retired: Gunrunner, Traveler, Biker.

Sarah Gunsmith's picture

WARNING! WALL OF TEXT AHEAD!

 

Note: It got so long, I decided to just give up and add chapter titles for those who want an easier time getting the essence of this post :P

 

Chapter 1 - On the subject of random interuptions

My general style whenever I'm not really active in anything is to just sit around and watch the folks go by until something interesting happens. I've had quite a few folks walk up to Sarah and company and start conversations and generally, so long as your character isn't wearing a mask and half a military base on their back, Sarah is quite happy to have more folks to talk to. Undue amounts of creepiness generally scares her away, but she's a mostly sensible one lifer, so its more her character than anything else.

I've never seen folks walking up on a conversation as interrupting anything. If Sarah is talking in public, if she hasn't moved the conversation to somewhere private or out of the way, its perfectly natural that folks will walk up and be 'nosey'. If I did not like folks interrupting, I wouldn't be RPing in public.

Now that said, if you walk up on a conversation that wasn't exactly your business, well it will die down, and its up to your character to bring up something to fill the void.

----

 Chapter 2 - On the thesis of why RP has become so insular over the years

Now to change gears a bit here, on the subject of RP being exclusive, I'm gonna bluntly say, yeah, it is. I don't like this at all, and yet I really don't see how it will change any time soon.Now I have theory that's a bit more like a chain of events, so please bear with me while I lay it out

The fact is, there is no OOC chat in-game where RPers can hang out and go "So what's happening where tonight?", in a relaxed and relatively non hostile environment. The best solution to this that you can get is clan chat. Instantly this means that you're at a huge disadvantage to not be in an active RP clan. Additionally this can come with the benefit of an IC radio channel, which instantly makes it easier to keep your character in the loop with what's going on and thus involved in whatever is going on.

Now not everyone is going to want to join the "Happy Trails Ranching Association", just as not everyone wants to join "Murder. Kill. Death. Babies-on-Spikes'r'Us", and not everyone has characters that are truely cut out for the grueling skillset needed in "SECTION: PARAGRAPH/NOCOM FORCE 31", or perhaps they want to be an elite member of "Goldfish". So folks go their different ways and this isn't too bad. Everyone still wants to RP with everyone at this point. The common knowledge and OOC friendships that end up being built up engender more trust in folks to be free with information crucial to RP such as "Where the heck is everyone." In the end, the entire clan can share in the joy of RP that starts between just two people.

For the next thing though we need the X factor.

The X factor in this case is that one person X who is a member of one of the Clans above. They will end up doing something, and there will be a misunderstand, a falling out OOC. Clan members tell clan members, and the drama goes beyond person X. This though leaves a sour taste for everyone in the clans involved. Just as they share their joys in RP, they also share the pains of when one thing goes wrong. And this I think is where clans become the cliquish societies they are today and where folks end up wanting to insulate themselves against outsiders.

Now the above may be way over simplified, but that's how I've seen the isolation progress up until now, and in all honesty, if I were to -guess- at how to make RP more open, it would be to get the clans talking to each other again. Get folks to try to open up again. Its up to the neutral parties in all of this to try and find out who stung who, and talk to both sides and see if there can't be some agreement. However, gaining the trust of all involved would be a massive undertaking.

Alot of the clans that I have seen highly regarding their RP interactions on this site have also claimed to have had very good OOC relations with other clans. I believe this to be essential to producing more RP, or at least more smiles.

----

 Chapter 3 - On the subject of so-called 'Quality RP', in which Sarah gets a bit ranty.

On one final note, I do have to give some sympathy to the folks who claim to only want quality RP, for I feel that they have poorly chosen their words and managed to burn their image with the rest of the community. They may not care about what others think of them at this point, but I still feel I should do something to help mitigate the damage. Now I can't really speak for them, that would be improper, but I've found myself wishing for so-called "quality" RP in other games at times, and being misunderstood by others for using the word.

So-called 'Quality RP' isn't about doing it right, using the right emote grammar, spelling things correctly, putting on accents, knowing the lore, heck it even has nothing to do with god modding or meta gaming. That's right, nothing to do with it.

What it comes down to is this: "Are you fun to RP with? Am I having fun?"

Now that's a very subjective pair of questions I just asked, but it's ultimately what so-called 'Quality RP' is about. If RPing with you feels like I'm sticking my hand in a blender every time, I'm just not going to do it, no matter how much I want to be inclusive.

"Sarah what's going to make you feel like you have your hand stuck in a blender? I mean surely you're a very picky person with a huge ego after writing so many paragraphs presuming to be the Voice of the Goddess of RP."

I'm glad you asked. I my case, it doesn't mean if you threaten Sarah, that's it. "Bad taste in my mouth, must run off to play my little pony online!" No. And I don't believe it is the case for anyone else who wants quality RP. Is pointing a gun at Sarah going to make me shut down and say "I quit!" Nope. Shooting Sarah?  Nah. You could do all of these things to her, with out ever having to even ask in OOC if it was ok, and I'd keep on playing with you.

However where I draw the line is when I am left with the belief that there will never be the possibility to ever inflict similar mental harm or fear on your character. If your character is ultimately a scarred and forsaken woman who knows only pain now and relishes in the way of the new world of the wasteland and is a clone, well that's where I draw the line.

What I want to do as I draw the line, is make it clear. I'm not doing it because you godmodded, because you metagamed something, or because you're a mary sue. You did none of that. However, you are boring to me. Boring. Dull. Snooze.

Why you might ask? Is it because I'm not doing it right? No, probably you're doing it just fine. But what do -I- do? There's nothing there that offers me a chance to develop my own character. No meat to latch onto, nothing to inspire a story, a crisis, a tiny journal entry or whatever. I don't mind deconstructing Sarah, as long as there's an ultimate point to it. But if there's nothing that will ever significantly change your character or their relationship to the world on offer, if I can't see that in some way, and if you're not wanting to talk to me about it OOC... I might as well just phone in my emotes. I'd have more fun playing solitaire on the other monitor. Nothing that I could imagine, say, or do will change what your character says or does, and that very honestly is boring.

Now this doesn't just apply to 'evil' or 'dark and edgy' characters. I've run up to folk playing the good folk who are just insufferably dull. Nothing I can say or do changes their attitude to the world, gets an unexpected laugh, or provides a surprise or shock, and again, I could just be picking out random one line answers and I'd feel like I'm being given the same amount of consideration as a nearby wall. I end up with the feeling that my character, Sarah, has become something like a crutch, or a prop, or a tool for their RP, without any real relevance. It's almost as if these folks are trying their best to 'win' at the RP.

Now with both these examples, I stress, these characters aren't doing anything wrong that anyone could call godmodding, metagaming, mary suing, whatever. In fact according to their characterization they're probably acting in a very 'realistic' way. I'm sure their players have put great effort into explaining every detail that makes up the character, and have well reasoned and thought out reasons for all of their actions or lack of reactions. But to me they're just painful to be around, and frankly I'm not RPing for pain am I? However I am aware that they're part of this community too, and so I don't go particularly out of my way to push them out of my RP, or to try to make life difficult for them IC, that's just not my way.

So you understand, this particular part of this post is an exception I've made; so as to try to add some more depth to the discussion on so-called 'Quality RP'. I believe that it needs to be understood in this level of detail if we're to get around some of the obstacles to getting RP to be more inclusive overall. I very much hate new players getting the flack for being too new, or not doing it right, when most of them are not at fault in my opinion. So-called 'Quality RP' is a very layered and detailed subject, and I don't believe it's entirely fair to make generalizations about it. I could sum it all up with something like: its a fine line between trying to be totally inclusive, and trying to have totally stress free RP.

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Khal Vorgus's picture

My Wall of Text follows. Ye have been warned.


I’ll start with copy/pasting some stuff from some tabletop books I own:


“You’ll be playing a character, a person who lives in the Star Wars Universe. While playing, you pretend to be that character.

There is no board to move tokens around. Instead, one of your friends will be the Gamemaster. The Gamemaster acts as Storyteller and referee, describing each scene to you and the other players.[...]

Winning: There are no winners or losers[ in a Role Playing Game]. Having fun is what Counts.”

- Star Wars, 2nd Edition, Revised and Expanded. West End Games, 1996

[This is the game me and my friends are playing on Tuesdays. Coincidentaly, this is also the game Joe plays]


“There’s no script to follow, other than a rough outline used by the Gamemaster (GM): You decide what your character says and does. The Gamemaster, as the director and special effects designer, decides what the story is about and takes on the roles of all other characters - villains and extras [...]. The Gamemaster also keeps track of the rules, interprets the outcome of actions, and describes what happens. Together, players and GM create a story and everybody has a great time.”

- d20 Modern, Wizards of the Coast, 2002


“Roleplaying is a form of interactive storytelling in which a director (called the Gamemaster, or GM) prepares a story and its various threads, and guides a group of Players (usually from 3 to 6) through their meanderings. […]

Roleplaying does not have winners or losers. Player Characters may live or die, but winning or losing has little to do with that.”

- Heavy Gear, 2nd Edition rulebook, Dream Pod 9, 1997


“In Creating this world, we adhered to two rules:

1. It must be fun

Some settings are so preoccupied with impressing you by the detail of the campaign world that they forget it’s supposed to be fun. [...] When considering each element of the setting - from the overarching concept to the last feat - we asked ourselves: Is this contributing to an enjoyable gaming experience? If the answer was "no," it was cut. If our playtesters found something to be

boring, it got reworked. Everything in this book [...]  is in here because it got a firm "yes."

2. It must be believable

Everything in this book is theoretically possible. Some of it may seem wild or even far-fetched, but it is, in fact, the result of studied reasoning. You may have heard the term "hard science." This normally refers to a setting that is utterly grounded in science. Unfortunately, strict adherence to the iron grip of science can make role-playing tedious. That's why we refer to DAWNING STAR as a "firm science" setting. It's hard science up until it encroaches on Rule 1; then, we take a step back. The result, we are confident, is a science-fiction setting that will provide you with years of role-playing enjoyment.”

- Dawning Star, Operation Quick Launch, 2005


I left a bit more from the last source in, for a very special reason. In that book’s credits, the Principal Writer is none other han Lee Hammock. Who is Lee Hammock? Well, according to Wikipedia again: “Hammock was lead game sesigner on Fallen Earth. On April 5, 2010, the Fallen Earth team announced that Hammock was leaving Fallen Earth to work as story designer on a new MMO title, Gargantuan.”


Why do I stress the above points? Because, the above points contain - in my opinion - what is Roleplaying. And, what I referred to the original post as “The Common Logic of Roleplaying”.

So, Roleplaying is an activity, in which everyone involved has fun. Roleplaying works best when it is believable. It works best when there is mutual respect among all participants at the player level - not necessarily at the character level. And, most importantly, the goal of Roleplaying is not to win or lose, but to have fun.

 

In every MMORPG, RP communities lack a single commodity : The Game Master. Without someone to organize the “roleplay”, act as its referee in times of disagreement and keeping track of what happens and when, it is very easy for what Sarah mentioned as the X Factor. In some games, this gap is filled by the wonderful people of the community, that take up the role of coming up with plots, writing up scenes and playing them out [Thank you Ardenn, among others].

However, a) These people cannot do this all the time and b) some people may not want to follow another’s “game rules” and both of these are perfectly acceptable, since this is a free game and not your local gaming group.

With the lack of a Gamemaster, we must all play the part of GM a little and that is perfectly explained by Sarah’s post. When you talk to someone, and roleplay with someone, you don’t just have to be consistent to your character. You are not just a player at that point. While you roleplay with a person, both of you are at the same time your characters and a limited form of Gamemaster to the other. It’s up to you not just to “stick to your own roleplay” concept, but to also allow all other participants stick to theirs. And that, my friends… Is the hard part. That, when it fails, is what drives people to become exclusive and seek roleplay only among those that respect their characters - or are simply willing to accept anyone's concept over their own.

Hopefully, coming out and saying it will help us all (myself first and foremost included) realize the extent of its importance and will steer us towards a direction where every roleplaying opportunity is what it’s meant to be. Fun.

So far, this thread has gathered a ton of wonderful responses, each hinting the basics of not just roleplaying, but human communication and co-existence in any medium. I’m going to start using its link on my signature from now on, as a reference on how to go about if you want to achieve the maximum enjoyment out of a game. I encourage anyone that wants, to do the same. :)

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Interested in roleplaying? Check out this thread for some great advice

Khal Vorgus's picture

I'm chiming in with Reaper on Betty's post. This thread has gathered a bunch of good replies on what RP is, how RP should be handled et cetera. Betty's post shows one important problem with RP. 

And that, is the notion of some people that only roleplayers should involve in it. I can't stress more what Reaper said. Be inclusive. It's the only way to have fun :)

Hopefully, thanks to some of the words of wisdom tossed in this thread, we'll all get to experience better times. With a bit of an open mind.

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Veronica Volt's picture

RP can be found where ever we are at the time. If we be part of the FE world then RP will happen. Sometimes it is as part of intricate plot and storylines, other times it is a conversation in a workshop or at the auctioneer. Make everything RP. There are more RPers than we know, but some of them do not know they RP.

Sometimes others speak strange things, of levels, clans and something called P-V-P. Rather than ignore them or complain of them we can tell them we do not quite understand or respond to talk of levels as skill gain in a workshop, or that year spent at Picus Ridge.

There are RPers out there. It is just that sometimes they have not noticed they are. But if we speak with them in a small moment then perhaps they join us in the larger moment as they learn and gain the confidence.

Reavy's picture

 "Rather than ignore them or complain of them we can tell them we do not quite understand or respond to talk of levels as skill gain in a workshop, or that year spent at Picus Ridge."

 

I don't think that's the best way to do it. My first contact with RP was exactly person who didn't knew of levels, exp points and kept talking in IC. On the other hand, i had no idea what is he actually doing and thought that this 75lvl guy is either playing stupid, or snatched his brothers toon at first time play. Maybe an explanation in the pm might be a better way, especially in case of people who don't know that roleplay exists at all.

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Veronica Volt's picture

If meaning is not understood then I pm the person. What I try to say here is that by rping even when away from the other rpers often leads to random rp. I have recently rped with three people in Embry and two in Midway, only one of them I had met before. Sometimes small rp moments are just important as when in the big storyline rp.

Allriae's picture

as I've said, Joe and you have this GREAT skill of bending everything into your immersion. I've tried that when I first started playing FE and didn't know about FERP existance.

There are some boxers in Midway that people take a quest about beating them. One day I saw two players beating them at the same time and I started RPing, asking them to stop, that it was unfair and such, etc. Well... it was silly... Eventually I got names called  and they didn't realise what I was doing. Nowadays when I have an immersion broken I don't ignore the person, but  answer OOCly via brackets or PMs. For some it's extremely hard to being dragged out of their immersion and try to keep the line.

 

I think some may have tried and if so I'd like to hear their experience: What about advertising FERP?

Betty Hatlevik's picture

Yes I know. I actually find just as much RP in S1 as I do in S2, if not more. In Kingman, Terance, lots in Embry, hell one time even in Slaughterville. It's just the RP there is different, lot more inclusive and a most don't even realize they're RPing. Since they're not caught up in "quality RP" there's no complaining if someone's "not doing it right." I don't know how many times I've traveled to Embry on my way to to something in S1 and never even make it from the LifeNet to the Garage Manager because something happens there. I've found RP while joining in with the level 55s  all flagged up and PvPing there and getting my ass kicked.

In the land of Gods and Monsters I was an Angel, living in the Garden of Evil.

Danny McKillop's picture

for me? Roleplay is always there. Hell, when im by my self i do roleplay actions and talk in my head, like my charecter would, having the blast of my life {I know, im sad right :D} but moving on! {Some of this relates to what volt said....maybe}

In Oilville, i roleplay cleaning and fixing my buggy(Sometimes my guns) all the time, doing large and big detailed /e's when theres maybe not even a single soul in sight to see it. Hell if a none-roleplayer walks up and says "EERRMAGURD WHATZ AREZ YOUZ DOINZ!" i just say normal things back like "Ahh... im fixing my buggy up, why what are you doing?" and if thay start to say things such as

"Ermagurdz this iz a gamez" i say back "Kid, are you on some serious weed are somethin? {looks at my hand} hell this hand looks pretty real to me... ya kid i think your on some serious drugs"

the point is... the term used for this, is "Passive roleplay" it was done alot on garrysmod like in City roleplay, I did actions all the time in my small little shitty apartment  like cleaning up the place, roleplay watching TV, cook some food {Dont want to starve : ( }, go to the shop and buy some things for the house.... yep, just borring things like that. 

So there is my!.... {looks back at it} Badly.... but tryed!... opinion.... ya...

{Runs the fuck away}

D804F40CED44EA659D95A84AE353AE0E0BBF3E1C

Khal Vorgus's picture

There is no such thing as a bad opinion, Dan :) Like you said, roleplay is always there. Emoting and talking to myself or NPCs is something I'm prone to doing as well, in every game I play. It adds depth to my gaming hours, making them more fun for me. Even if the game is, I dunno... APB: Reloaded.

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Hello everybody, I imagine the problems are much the same in my day.  Too few people, too many cliques, not enough events.  These are endemic to any RP community, and that FERP is still here says more to the longevity to the game than a few of us myself included had in Fallen Earth. After Alpha County i felt i had been screwed over for the last time, but i am going to try to log back in this week.  I am living in China atm so my peak hours won't be the same but Ivy Paterson, Sukio Aoyama and Penelope Vanderbilt should still be around.

henerkin's picture

Welcome back. I just got back about 3 weeks ago, very casually for crafting and some random RP.

10sc2kh.jpg
Simple Mechanic... For real this time.
Retired: Gunrunner, Traveler, Biker.

Khal Vorgus's picture

Ivy Labs are coming back?!? 

*hides from the creepers* :P

j/k, wb!

mah sig!

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Sarah Gunsmith's picture

Fixed it!

Sarah's Signature Picture



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