The rest of this week's installment is less somber, as we're discussing our usual weekend plans as well as whether or not we expect RP servers to be policed. Jump on past the break to see what we'll be up to, and then let us know your plans (and your opinions on the bonus question) in the comments.
@Beau_Hindman: I will be switching to Remanum for this next Rise and Shiny. It's like an MMORTS, but players use only trade to rise in ranks. It's pretty fascinating. I'll also be getting some time in Wakfu and a few other games; I really need to get into Second Life and finally get my house in order.
Yes, I think that RP servers should be enforced. Otherwise, they are just a "suggested" spot for roleplayers to gather, and roleplayers can do that by themselves if they want to. Enforcement is not that big a deal, anyway; it simply dictates rules regarding naming and out-of-character chat. Remember, we're not talking about some mod coming along on a "normal" server and busting some guy because he named himself "KillerMan17" or something silly. We're talking about a server that is nominated as an RP server and is known to have those rules. If someone does not want to follow the rules, he does not need to roll on the server.
@nyphur: I'll be spending the entire weekend watching the EVE Online Fanfest livestream and pretending I'm there.
To be honest, I don't think RP servers are any good in the first place because nobody actually roleplays a normal character. Nobody wants to be Bob the blacksmith who makes quite good sword. They have to be the son of the king, a secret god in disguise, or a vampire werewolf ghost clone pirate ninja. Half the server has amnesia about a troubled past, and the other half is seeking revenge for the murder of a family member. The last time I tried an EverQuest II roleplaying server, someone followed me beeping repeatedly while saying he was a robot.
@nbrianna: Guild Wars 2 beta event for media! Beyond that, I'm painting a highchair. In real life. Although if there's a game out there that has a crafting skill for building and finishing highchairs, I'd like to hear about it because that would be pretty bizarre.
I expect nothing from studios in regard to RP servers; support for RP populations in MMORPGs is beyond abysmal, which sounds ridiculous when you say it out loud. I don't really want self-appointed player-RP-police making the rules, either. Been there/done that -- it just invites abuse. I'd like to see RP servers actually mean something, but it won't happen, so we're stuck with "RP" servers with weak naming policies that do nothing but shame away the "RP is silly" brigade. We ought to just call them "adult" servers and be done with the pretense.
This weekend I'm going to spend a lot of time mourning the death of my kitten, who passed away in my arms on Thursday evening. Beyond that, I'll be playing some Final Fantasy XIV and Star Wars: The Old Republic between bouts of Mass Effect 3 multiplayer and Final Fantasy XIII-2.
Do I want roleplaying servers to be policed? Absolutely. I also want another season or two of Terra Nova. An end to world hunger and a cool million bucks would be on that list of wants, as well. None of this is stuff that I actually expect to happen. I expect the server type to exist, and if it doesn't, then the company has dropped the ball. Past that, I expect more or less nothing.
@elixabethclaire: It's another Guild Wars 2 beta weekend, so I'm busy logging as many hours as possible into that. There's still a ton of stuff to explore, so I'm not really expecting to make time for much else... aside from Draw Something, which is ridiculously addictive.
Yes, I think RP servers (when players are lucky enough for them to exist) ought to be policed and properly supported. I know that most RP servers aren't, so I'm not exactly saying that as a player, I'm expecting support and policing when I roll on an RP server; I'm saying that's what people should expect. The idea that "support for RPers has always been terrible so I'm just grateful if we have an RP server even if it's just a label" is, while laudably pragmatic, not one I can get behind.
I'm playing Mass Effect 3 and possibly some EVE Online.
I don't expect RP servers to be policed. Hell, I don't even expect RP servers at all, and spending money to police those that do exist when RPers make up one half of one percent of the MMO-playing population is kind of a joke. And yeah I made that percentage up, but to an RPer, that's often what it feels like.
What I would like to see is all this shard and instancing technology put to use in the creation of private MMO servers that are then rented out to guilds or RP alliances on a monthly basis. Failing that, I'd like to see an /ignore command that makes someone's avatar completely invisible (as opposed to simply blocking chat). Oh, and I'd like the ability to assign names to other people's characters on my own UI/friend's list. Everyone would retain her own "real" name from character creation, of course, but instead of it floating overhead, there would be a blank space into which I could type "girl in a red dress" or what have you. This would eliminate subjective stupid names and increase both immersion and social interaction (and probably griefing, which is why no dev team will do it).
@Jeremy_Stratton: I'm pumped up by the Vanguard announcement. I'm hoping to make some real progress on my Dwarf in leveling and crafting. I'm keeping an alt for slowly going through the dungeons; it was always my goal to stop XP gain as I go through every single dungeon.
I see the legitimacy behind keeping a particular "aura" around RP servers, but realistically, I think it's best to just not bother. Maybe developers could actively engage the RP servers -- police them, hold story events, and sell RP related items in a cash shop. Then players could complain that the ones buying all the coolest outfits, player biography extras, and emotes are paying-to-win. PvP servers would be staring blankly asking, "How is that pay-to-win?" RPers could shoot back, "How is what you're doing pay-to-win?" That'd keep the debate going again and again, while the rest of us just enjoy MMOs on our own clock.
@Sypster: The question isn't what I will be playing... the question is what I won't be playing! I'm pretty sure I won't be playing Noogies Online, nor World of Wedgiecraft. And I just unsubscribed from City of Boogers, much to my chagrin.
A policed RP server would be a horrible place to live, in my opinion. Players are fairly good about policing each other with peer pressure, and we certainly don't need name nazis performing citizen's arrests left and right in the name of preserving the sanctity of the chat window.
@JayeRnH: Vanguard! The free-to-play announcement sent me on a huge nostalgia trip this week, so I revisited old blog entries I wrote about the game and then logged in to clean out my bags and bank. (I just wish we hadn't lost our guild hall when they merged the servers; it's depressing to visit the plot and see that little wooden sign.)
I don't roleplay that much, but I don't think roleplaying servers should be policed. The only thing that will come of it is that everyone will get obsessed with various definitions of what roleplaying means and whether someone is roleplaying "correctly" and whether the GMs are being too heavy-handed. It would probably end up making roleplaying more difficult, and in the end, it probably wouldn't help with the problem of non-roleplayers who are breaking immersion.
@mvmatt: This weekend, I'm playing ride all the rollercoasters at Universal Studios. But once my feet have been worn down to tiny nubs from all the walking, I'll probably wind down with some World of Warcraft, some Star Wars: The Old Republic, and some Wakfu. By the way, if you haven't given Wakfu a shot yet, go do so, then hit the forums and post your username so I can stalk you mercilessly... I mean, say hello. So I can say hello.
As far as RP servers being policed... Yeah, I do expect them to be policed, but no more than normal servers. If you see a guy named something horribly inappropriate on a PvE or PvP server, and you report the name, it stands to reason that you would expect that name to be changed, yes? And if someone is griefing or harassing you, and you report him, you expect action to be taken against him, yes? It's no different for RP servers, except that the rules are a bit different. Instead of just reporting names that make allusions to depraved acts involving wallabies and Crisco, however, we report names that break immersion, and instead of just reporting people for ninja-looting and spewing idiocy in general chat, we report people for disrupting roleplaying events and the like. The rules are slightly different, but I feel that the effort required is precisely the same. Players report; GMs respond.
It's gone from winter to summer in a heartbeat here, so I may forego the boiling room and hang out in the sunshine a while this weekend (I am trying to not install the air conditioning unit in March, dagnabbit!). Once back inside, I will try to get through the Chronoportal Phenomenon event in EverQuest II, do a few player dungeons, and then dive into the many decorating projects I have. I also plan on stretching my little Asmodian wings in Aion -- it's time to upgrade my little pets!
@mackeypb: I'm going to be playing more... League of Legends! What a surprise! Still practicing Kassadin, for those interested folks!
I don't think it's realistically possible to police RP; I think it would be really cool if, like Jef suggested, zone instances could be "rented" to RP groups who had administrative control over the instance. It would allow RPers to police themselves better, at any rate. If there's one thing that I am sure of, though, it's that GMs cannot be expected to know the ins and outs of RP social maneuvering. The best policy overall is to let roleplayers police their own.
@terilynns: I will be writing my first of what will likely be quite a few Captain's Logs that will feature interviews from my recent visit with the developers at Cryptic Studios. After that I will be playing Star Trek Online and farming some dilithium during the new mining event and daily mission, if only just to have fun walking around in my new EV suit! My fleetmates and I will also begin our serious planning of our anticipated meet-up in Las Vegas for the Star Trek Convention in August. There's a pool cabana or two with our names on them!
As for whether I expect policing on an RP server? No. Whether they should be policed? I'm not sure. I don't think so. I guess it depends on the RP group. The RP groups I've come to know police themselves very well. Then again, they're all Trekkies, and they're professional RPers compared to most.
At the start of every weekend, we catch up with the Massively staff members and ask them, "What are you playing this week?" (Otherwise known as: WRUP!) Join us to see what we're up to in and out of game -- and catch us in the comments to let us know what you're playing, too!