At game launch I, along with the rest of my guild, will be looking to play on a Role-Playing server. However, my reasons for creating characters, and playing on, a Role-Playing server may well be different to yours…
I’m a real world role-player. I have been playing table-top roleplaying game for two thirds of my life. I’ve been a live role-player for over half my life. Hey, it’s my hobby, and I love it. But I have problems role-playing online, and I think most of them stem from that lack of actual personal contact.
An avatar is just a dolly, really. It’s incapable of facial expression, and emotes just cannot portray the range of facial expressions that we all use and read during our daily lives, never mind when we’re pretending to be someone or something else. Just like speech. We are social animals, and we use our voices for communication, not just words.
All of my memorable characters have had their own favoured facial expressions, and voices.
When those two tools are taken away from me, I have problems maintaining anything approaching a viable character. Oh, there are all sorts of things I can do with just text and emotes, but they’re not the same, they’re not as immediate, and they’re not as… visceral… as they could be.
So why a role-playing server? Well, the closed beta reminded me. We all play online games for our own reasons, and for me it’s to relax, have fun, and generally be fabulous wherever, and whenever possible. But to be honest, the attitude of many online gamers annoys me. When I mess up, I don’t need the handy advice of; “Noob!” being offered to me. And I definately don’t need that attitude from someone called “Pwnzjoo”. I exaggerate only to try and reinforce my point. I realise I cannot escape this completely on a role-playing server, but at least it’s rarer, and the names are, on the whole, less likely to be an insult to other players.
However, being on a role-playing server has it’s own little ways of annoying me. Yes, I have been known to get tetchy about… Incorrect channel usage! If it’s in “/say”, your character says it. Whichever monkey decided that double brackets means out of character is an idiot. Do not follow his monkey-like ways! Following his example ((Makes you dead to me)). As well as being bad punctuation. There are plenty of channels to use – so use the right one at the right time. Please?
I also wonder at the broadcast-thinkers. I’m pretty sure emotes are for displaying emotion and action that the game does not automatically. Not for broadcasting your innermost thoughts to everyone within 50 feet. Please, some of us might be eating whilst you go on shouting your thoughts out; at the very least, you might be ruining my brew.
But, now that I’ve finished moaning, I must say I’ve had some fabulous times role-playing in online games. And role-playing servers do attract some really, really cool people. So I think it’s more than worth the odd moment of irrational anger to play on the super-geek servers.