Posted by: innerfire | February 7, 2006

Roleplay and Role Play

I play on a roleplay server, which means there’s a bunch of people using Blizzard’s repeatedly butchered lore (how big of a community varies by server) in order to act out personalities and plotlines. It’s really just acting and playwriting on a different forum.

RP- Reviving Avaryne

Our virtual people (a lesson in psychology, sociology, and the general dynamics of humanity if you’re with particularly good folks) live our their lives in a fantastic and broken world, the land of Azeroth. The Alliance holds your typical D&D personalities: humans, elves, dwarves, gnomes. They’re the Alliance, they’ve been around for centuries, and they outnumber us 2.5:1. Then there’s the Horde. Races traditionally evil and corrupt (can’t change years of human folklore in a night, as was once mentioned) are, for the most part, trying to eke out a life in the world despite the pressures of being the underdogs.

Although the races may, for the most part, not be human (elves almost outnumber the entire Horde) they still follow the basic tenents of social psychology. My final for my psych class was a dialogue on how I use social psychology to make my roleplay better.

The main arguments I get against roleplay is that it’s “too hard” or that “the game just isn’t an RP game”. Both of these are correct, however, they’re also merely excuses for mental laziness. Roleplay is not easy for most, and requires effort to yield a reward. However, when that reward is able to keep you from burning out on the day-to-day grinding so that you can get loot that’ll let you grind more in a new grinding instance… well, I happen to think it’s worth it.

As for Warcraft not being an RP game, you are correct, sirs. In the beginning, when servers and their playstyle were announced, Blizzard officially announced there would be no roleplay servers, as the amount of effort that would be required to moderate them wouldn’t be a good use of its manpower. (They said that about RP-PVP too.) We later saw roleplay servers, however, they are not well cared for by the GM staff, with the exception of a few bastions of roleplay love we see on the forums. There is little to no enforcement of the TOS which people agree to simply by creating a character on an RP server, and gold farmers find it a haven for their work. However, as with all things, people can choose to make something work if they’re willing to put the effort into it. I’ve had the privledge of being a part of some really wonderful RP events, things that really forced me to think and plan, so… I can’t agree entirely that Warcraft is not an RP game. Because, hey, look at that, there we are roleplaying right over there.

Then again, I roleplayed in Ragnarok Online.

The Revival of Beloved Doctor Hrookhzin

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