18 Mar 2010

So You’re a Roleplayer?

There’s already been a huge amount of coverage about taking your first steps into roleplaying. Some of it’s come from players describing their experiences of being on a roleplayer for the first time. Others have tried to provide advice and guidance to help players get started. If you haven’t read them already, this list should get you started:

There’s also entertaining tales from Arrens, Meka, Pilfkin and Protflashes as well as a gripe from a well meaning Pewter. While a lot of this is due to Tamarind making an inspired choice when creating Single Abstract Noun, I think it’s also shown me something else.

A lot of the players were coming over from their PvE or PvP servers, and were understandably nervous joining in any of that “roleplay malarkey” going on. That quickly changed into abject fascination. You’d end up with a small group of guildmembers – say 2 or 3 – just standing there watching the roleplay take place. This wasn’t so they could point and laugh, it was because they’d never seen this happen in the game before. I guess it’s like showing someone who only does dungeons that they can also do PvP if they want to.

What’s impressed me is the way that newcomers to the concept have started dipping their toes into the roleplay waters. Egged on by others they’ve started to grow in confidence and have a blast while doing so. It’s been great to watch.

But where to go from here? There are a handful of useful tools that can help expand your roleplay, both in terms of finding new opportunities as well as making it more fun. While I might veer into server specifics with a couple of these, the principles are the same for most of them.

  • Get Gryphonheart Items – it allows you to create your own items and share them with others who have the addon. Make ones with on use effects with scripts if you’re feeling creative.
  • Test-drive your character with people you know. Try roleplaying with friends and see how the character fits with you. It’s a bit like wearing training wheels, but it helps you to identify any gaps or problems with your character concept early on. It might also give you ideas on how to flesh out your character further.
  • Look out for the server global roleplay channels – these are usually LookingForRP or LFRP. Get to know the people there and grab opportunities to roleplay with them.
  • Check out your server specific independent website. The Argent Archives, ER.EU and SWC Wiki are all examples of where you can find out what’s going on at the server you’ve chosen.
  • Go to events. Markets, fairs and other forms of entertainment are usually organised to create environments in which to roleplay. If you’re nervous about engaging in spontaneous RP, these events might be ideal for you.
  • Steer clear of Goldshire. Seriously.
  • While it’s sad to have to say it, expect to be propositioned. If idea of adult-themed roleplay is not something you’re after you might want to prepare a suitable response in advance.
  • Try and avoid “emote battles” where possible. These are where “/me swings his sword, aiming for Ziffit’s neck” and so on go back and forth. Trust me, they’re not worth it.
  • Remember that above all you’re playing the game to have fun, and it’s important to treat this aspect of the game as you would any other. If something happens that stops you from having fun or makes you feel uncomfortable with, you have the right to stop.

I’ve mentioned before that Warcraft is made up of a series of smaller games all meshed together. It’s popular not because one of them is outstanding, but because all of them work well together. It doesn’t matter if you’re interested in the single player questing experience or endgame raiding. You can play the auctionhouse or you can battle all-comers in the arenas and battlegrounds. You can dabble in all of the above if you want, collecting achievement points along the way. Roleplay is just like these – another way of playing the game.


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3 Responses to So You’re a Roleplayer?

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