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No, not those bars. The fun kind of bars. Massively reader Serrenity recently posted a provocative comment lamenting the loss of gathering places in MMORPGs: "Why aren't there many bars in games anymore? There's virtually no communal space. In capital cities everything has a numbers-related functi...

October 24th 2014 at 8:00am 0 Comments
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Roleplaying is one of those things that you know a lot about if you've done it and very little about if you haven't. That's fine; it's not as if you need to know the fine details of PvP balance if you never PvP. But there are tons of gaping holes in people's conception of what roleplaying actually...

February 28th 2014 at 2:30pm 0 Comments
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Playing a manipulative character is kind of a minefield because you wind up falling into one of two traps. The first possibility is that you wind up not being very good at it because you aren't very manipulative. This isn't a mark against you, as none of the hallmarks of manipulation is thought of...

February 21st 2014 at 2:00pm 0 Comments
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I'm aware, on some level, that not everyone plays an MMO with an eye toward roleplaying. But roleplaying is the key experience I want from a game. A big part of my investment in Final Fantasy XIV has to do with my long-term roleplaying experience with other players, years of friendships and rivalri...

February 18th 2014 at 8:00am 0 Comments
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There are certain bits of roleplaying that I like to think of as mechanical. They're there, they're necessary, but they're not terribly interesting. They're like random battles in Bravely Default: kind of neat the first time, altogether forgettable all subsequent times, and never blessed with an ab...

February 14th 2014 at 6:00pm 0 Comments
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Eliot's last Storyboard column about killing off characters in MMORPGs got me thinking how rare that practice is outside of permadeath MMOs, both in RP and a literal sense. It's rare that I delete a serious character that wasn't just a bank mule or throwaway toon, and in fact, the one time I did so...

February 14th 2014 at 8:00am 0 Comments
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Dead is dead. I can't stand when comics endlessly bring back dead characters, I can't stand when shows bring back dead villains, and I can't stand when death is treated less like the final note and more like a brief inconvenience. If you want someone to come back from the dead, don't kill the chara...

February 7th 2014 at 9:00am 0 Comments
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Roleplaying characters are often secretive sorts. This is understandable; a lot of people are secretive sorts. Sure, you're not deceptive, but you harbor a secret affection for Lady Gaga that you don't want to tell anyone about, or you secretly did forget to feed the cat that one time she broke int...

January 31st 2014 at 9:00pm 0 Comments
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For me, player vs. player interaction is a necessary component of any online game. The urge to engage with skilled human opponents is the reason I spent countless hours defending flags in World of Warcraft and likely the main motivating factor in my slide away from traditional MMOs and toward MOBAs...

January 28th 2014 at 2:00pm 0 Comments
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So you know it's time to say goodbye. Your previous group of roleplaying companions just isn't filling that need you have for roleplaying, and that means it's time for you to pick up shop and move on. Great. Your metaphorical bags are packed, you're ready to pick up shop, and all that remains it to...

January 24th 2014 at 6:00pm 0 Comments
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There is, as I have discussed, a group of roleplayers for whom the game is the thing. If the game doesn't allow you to be a moisture farmer, then why would you want to pretend to be a moisture farmer? Similarly, if you're not actually a master of the marketplace or sitting on huge assets in the gam...

January 17th 2014 at 10:00pm 0 Comments