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4-09-2008 @ 12:28PM
The issue is that you pay to play, but in doing so you promise to adhere to Blizzard's rules and their rulings when you break said rules. If you get caught manipulating the game to your favor in a way that someone somewhere in Blizzaerd with authority deems is not allowed, you suffer the consequences. Your fifteen dollars doesn't allow you to do whatever you want. In this situation, roleplayers have specific realms on which to play the game as they want. Certain rules (though, honestly, they're treated more as guidelines these days) were established in order to maintain some sort of standard for roleplaying. These very simple rules included: selecting character names that not only adhere to basic WoW naming conventions but are also suitable roleplaying names; avoiding discussion of game mechanics in most public venues (/s and /y in particular); and conducting yourself in character in those public venues. These are extremely simple rules and shouldn't adversely affect your gameplay if you're not a roleplayer. However, failing to adhere to those rules do adversely affect roleplayers, which is why they are in place..The problem is that in failing to enforce these rules regularily and consistently, the norm has seemed to stray from what seems to have been Blizzard's purpose for these realms. At this point, people consider rules that aren't enforced to not be rules at all. What's the point of adhering to a rule if there are few repurcussions in failing to do so? This is why I made a number of suggestions of these that I think would help in another article on this site. First off, if there already aren't (and I don't think that there are), there should be regular GMs to roleplaying realms that have an understanding of roleplaying mechanics and basic conventions. These GMs should enforce the rules by the standards of the players on that realm: what might be acceptable on one server may be a gross faux pas on another. If rules are to be self-policed, that also means that they are probably left to the discretion of the community to determine what is an infraction. Regular assigned GMs on roleplaying servers would have the intimate knowledge required to determine what is norm and what is not based on their experience on that server in the past. It will also give the server the opportunity to build a rapport with the people servicing them. I know that from my experiences on a free Ultima Online server, there were staff members we knew of, spoke to, and communicated with on a regular basis. They were as much a part of the community as our friends: they spoke on the forums, hosted events, and made their presence known. Of course, this was a server with hundreds most of the time and maybe somewhere over a thousand unique users in its heyday, but the number of GMs would have to scale to the server population.Secondly, I honestly believe that infractions should be publicly discussed or displayed somewhere. A lot of the work that the staff does flies under the radar and so the general feeling of the roleplaying community is that Blizzard does not care about our plight. This isn't exactly true, having taken the opportunity to speak with a couple of staff members during the course of a number of pages. However, their policy of not discussing pages involving other people leaves the community with feeling like nothing is being done. While they shouldn't release names, perhaps some sort of authority figure could post basic stats of what they've done. This would be a wonderful opportunity for a regular GM with experience with the realm to get further interaction with the community. He could, for example, point out that so many name infactions were reported and so many were changed; perhaps based on these numbers, he could further explain that many complaints were unfounded, that this is a problem on the realm and so more information should be disseminated, and so on.Anyways, random musings from a fellow roleplayer.
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