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Anti-Aliased: Don't make roleplaying servers if you can't handle it


For those of you who don't know, I'm super in to roleplaying. No, I'm not a Shakespearean nutjob who spouts "I shall put my sword betwixt thine evil heart!" No, nothing like that. I'm just a guy who likes getting into the setting of game. When you go into Naxxramas and see Anub'Rekhan, you see a boss where I see a commander of Anub'arak, the traitor king.

It's because I know the lore so well that I like to play around with it, involve my character in it, and really keep the fantasy of the world intact around me. But I've learned something over my course of 12 years of MMOs. It's something that happens in every single game that I've played and a problem that I've found insurmountable when it comes to roleplaying.

It's really hard to roleplay when a thirteen-year-old is thrusting his virtual crotch in my face, screaming "LULZ GUYS! LULZ! Lolololololol!!!!11oneeleven"

I appreciate your effort, I really do...

Roleplaying servers mean very much to me. It says that the company producing the game has an ear to the ground and understand that a select number of their population would like to do improvisational acting in their virtual world. That's what it's for, right? You make us able to sit in seats, drink booze, and do dances because we like interacting with one another, and sometimes we like to interact with one another on the same level that the game interacts with us. A seamless divide between players and NPCs.

Certainly we're not a huge population of people. Roleplayers don't overwhelm the core population of many games (save Matrix Online and Star Wars Galaxies) and, as a whole, roleplaying is beginning to wane. People would rather just play what the game has to offer them, rather than spend time using their imagination (which is simultaneously sad and yet understandable) to entertain themselves.

You don't have to make servers dedicated to what we do. You, the developer, could easily remove that little tag that says [RP] on the server and make it into a standard, everyday, vanilla world. You don't have to spend the time writing a separate document of rules and regulations regarding interactions on that server, and how your support team is going to handle it. Yet, you go to the trouble anyway, just to show that you think of us.

It's nice, it's kind, but it becomes ultimately flawed.

...but your support team sucks...

I'm not pointing the fingers at any single game or any single support team, because everyone has this problem. The servers go up, the roleplayers pile in, and then the griefers get wind of fresh meat. They're like the hyenas of the gaming world. They smell fresh roleplaying blood and then move in to the server in packs, all snickering to themselves like their seven-year-old toilet humor is the best comedy this planet has to offer.

This is usually the point where problems start to occur and objections begin to be raised. Lines begin to be blurred, and no one knows whether the support team really cares, or just doesn't want to deal with all of the extra rules on the RP server.

Case in point, a friend names his elf Lothlorien. Yes, it's obviously ripped out of Lord of the Rings. Whoops. But he's in a fantasy game, he's an elf, and he's named something that's at least pretty close to what's going on in the world.

2 days later, a GM changes his name into "Generic11324" and requests that he changes his name into something that is more original and in-line with the server's policy. This friend complains, moans, but inevitably changes his name into something else and moves on.

2 hours after I found my friend's name to be forcibly changed, I run into a human warrior named "Cptnpoopnscoop." (Totally not lying.) I throw in a GM request for this guy's name to be changed, and I add him to my friend's list just to see what happens.

3 weeks later, Mr. Poopnscoop passes me in a major city, completely without a name change. What just happened here?

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