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6-15-2008 @ 7:36PM
I've stopped being a huge proponent of full-time roleplaying long ago. Forcing yourself to explain why that coyote you just killed had a [Pike of Ridiculous Size] strapped to its back, or why such systems as the gryphon taxi, leveling, instant mail, and small scale of the game make sense (especially in conjunction to many quests) might make you feel smart for a time, but in the long run, I feel as though the fun of soloing and instancing is detracted if you spend more time logicing out the where's and why's of a game's mechanics rather than just hanging out, making fun small talk, and discussing the tactics of a fight. And time spent rationalizing strange happenings that most people can safely ignore is time you could have spent improving your character or, you know, RPing something that is important to your character.Storylines can suffer under full-time RP, in my opinion, as the threat of the dark powers of the world and the vast, sweeping nature of the landscape itself is trivialized by the means Blizzard has created to keep the game engaging, and people who want to full-time RP and still experience the content are force to either create characters who for some strange reason get involved in every threat, danger, or amoral mercantile offer they are involved it, or create a swath of characters, including some in RP roles they do not enjoy - my main warrior would never have gone into the Dark Portal come tBC if I limited myself to my character's RP, and I know of a full-time roleplay guild that could not run Karazhan until the latest patch, because they refused to help the orcs in the Caverns of Time due to the crimes of the Warsong against their people. Full-time RP also creates a sense of sameness - everybody's gone to the same dungeons, faced down the same hazards, traveled to the same exotic locales, because Blizzard wants us to experience their world. Some people are able to create a unique feel in recounting their experiences, but they are an elite few.There's nothing wrong with RPing the occasional instance with friends, but when you're doing it just to grind that last bit of Sha'tari rep ("Oh, this time, we'll kill the Prophet for sure, and the naaru will sing our praise!"), the repetition and resistance of a game's system to correspond to human logic and intelligence is going to start wearing you out (It's the 25th time you've killed them, you're here for those few extra kills at the start of the instance to boost your rep by 100 to Exalted, and you're hoping this will be the time that insectoid monstrosity will drop the boots you wanted), because Blizzard does not make the game to be immersive.Consider 4th Edition Dungeons and Dragons. A lot of roleplayers are getting upset because the new rules are less realistic. But the thing is, to a lot of people, they're fun. They're engaging, and they don't force you to wait. 4th Edition has taken a close look at the older rulesets to figure out how to make the game overall more enjoyable, rather than build up a dice-simulated real-world environment that accounts for every possible variable. Myself, and most the people I know, would say they succeeded.With MMOs, you need to have this factor even more, because of all the expectations and the larger potential crowd. Blizzard has done a lot of great things to immerse their players, in a variety of ways, but it is first and foremost an MMO based around gameplay that is easy to learn, hard to master, and light on grinds and punishment (Not saying how well they've succeeded, but that's the goal). People who can explain away every new rule Blizzard creates may feel proud of themselves for keeping a solid line of immersion - but the world they live in becomes increasingly surreal and inconsistent. I'd rather keep my gameplay and roleplay separate where they don't mix, thank you very much.
6-15-2008 @ 8:49PM
Omg I just orgasmed from how awesome your post is. Bravo, sir, bravo.Yes, Gameplay and Story Segregation please.
6-15-2008 @ 11:54PM
You raise a lot of good points Marco; someone who shares your values about what's enjoyable in the game and in roleplaying would do well to follow your advice here. The thing is, however, that there's no one form of roleplaying which will work perfectly for everyone. People who enjoy total immersion RP like it for a number of reasons -- first of all they enjoy those same creative challenges you say are a waste of time, but more importantly, they don't want to bring real world issues into their fantasy game. They want to shut all that out for a while -- and why not? Just like you don't want to bother with excluding all real-life references, they don't want to bother with including them. That said, there are a lot of different ways of doing total-immersion too. Some really go for explaining away every detail, but most tend to just overlook and ignore a lot of the things that get in the way of their stories. Nobody complains about the lack of toilets in any big cities, for instance. Everyone is just trying to find the balance they enjoy most.
6-16-2008 @ 8:28AM
I mostly agree with you.I still mix game and roleplay when it fits. and I also avoid to slow the pace of the game.and of course, my character does not tell "we killed Melchaazar, the darkshire is now bright !" for the 35th time. (all we can is push back the daemon and just help the country )
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