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[OOC] Why many roleplayers are planning on an Unofficial RP server anyway

(credit: Tyler Jacobson)

There seems to sometimes be a degree of confusion as to exactly what it is that we as roleplayers usually do in-game.  As with any community there are horror stories and polarizing topics, but at our core we as roleplayers simply do as the name suggests: We play a role, and that role happens to be a character we craft for ourselves.  Name, lore, costumes, class, appearance, residence, background, and even playstyle are often carefully considered when it comes to writing said character.

Much like a protagonist in a movie, or show, or book—the roleplayer's character is the fictional individual through with the roleplayer experiences the setting, and for many this is more entertaining when said individual is complex and interesting to them.

To some from an outside perspective "roleplay" is a very peculiar way to play an MMO.  After all, what people do know of the community are the things that grab public attention—which may not always be the best side of roleplay as the noteworthy events most care about tend to be negative or at the very least surprising.  But at its center, what many do is collaborative writing.  Much like stories such as The Witcher series, or shows such as Game of Thrones, or various other examples that exist (including Ashes lore itself) what people are seeking to create is that same sort of narrative entertainment.

(credit: Stephen Stark)

The difference is that generally instead of making a story in the traditional sense, what numerous roleplayers do is more along the lines of improvisation.  Others write to us and we respond, all from the perspective of our characters.  It's an act of coordination and shared understanding that has been refined over decades on the internet and tabletop games, with commonly accepted rules and methods to keep things fun for everyone.  It may not take long to grasp the concepts (or even step right in with a bit of common sense), but there is a degree of learning to properly interact with others when it comes to the the collaborative writing style of roleplay.

And it's for this reason that many roleplayers seek out the company of other roleplayers instead of doing what they do by entirely themselves or in crowds of those disinterested in roleplay.  By its own nature, this type of interaction requires others to play along in the same way you do.  It's a very lonely existence to be the only one who cares about writing in this way among a group of dozens who don't—and though a rare few form small groups entirely away from the general roleplayer population—a very large portion of the roleplay community looks to interact with a greater number other roleplayers, or at least to have the option to form connections with a greater amount of other roleplayers.

(Credit: Michael Kormark)

This isn't the only definition of roleplay, clearly.  Ashes of Creation's design promises to include many elements of roleplay and it is, after all, an MMORPG.  But many are seeking the experience of something similar to a Tabletop Roleplaying Game (D&D, Pathfinder, and so-on), where we describe the actions of our characters—often through text instead of voice—and have dialogue in-character with other people's characters.  We seek our own adventures and interactions and drama, the same types that are recognized in great works of fiction across the globe—like that scene you remember from watching a great show, or those well-written characters that you remember from a movie.  The idea is to fill the setting with our characters, becoming the cast of a constantly evolving and changing story told by various people behind a screen one post at a time.

So while the idea of spreading roleplayers across multiple servers with the intention of not wanting to separate the overall community is well and good—it will only truly work for those roleplayers who either have dedicated groups with similar interests that they'll play with, or don't mind being alone in the way they play.  And if either of those things shift, such as their group splitting up or they gain a desire to write with others, it can still be good to have the opportunity to be around other roleplayers as a sort of safety net.

Given the plans for Ashes to not have an official server labeled for roleplayers to congregate, this makes unofficial roleplay servers (typically one per region) an inevitability as well as a necessity for the playstyle—and is why a great portion of the roleplay community will definitely gather together in a shared space where we can collaborate with one another, whether our characters end up as strangers, acquaintances, allies, friends, or even enemies.


  • I could not have presented this better, myself.  As a minority of the playstyles of MMOs themselves, roleplayers tend to thrive most when they are gathered together.  The stories become more complex and entertaining simply because there are more actors playing a part in what is happening.  I am excited to see what we as RPers can pull off within the confines of AoC, and with that in mind, AoCRP intends on designating an unofficial RP server for each region for the community we gather. If others wish to RP on different servers entirely, it is of course up to them, but know that there will be places one can go to find concentrated RP efforts. :)
  • this is an incredibly relevant topic that I can't stress hardly enough.

    I am well aware that simply by playing the game, some could and/or will consider themselves to be already roleplaying. However, roleplayer communities are vast, varied, and very often more heavily active in a game than the typical player. We not only invest time and energy into developing our characters, but we also tend to spend more money on cosmetics and gear that help us match the image of our character on screen to that which we have in our heads. Whether or not an official "Heavy RP" server is desginated come launch, a vast majority of us will be flocking to the same server as all of our friends. All it takes is two or three of those friends taking an interest in participating within the Roleplayer's community, at large, to drive all of us to join the same server as everyone else.

    We want to tell stories. We want to go to the fantastic and weird places Intrepid makes for us, and we want to meet new people while we do it. The best way we've found to accomplish that is to all start off in the same place. As said before, no one is stopping anyone from roleplaying in other servers. Nevertheless - at least as far as the larger community that's been forming in discord, on this site, and even on the main AoCRP Site goes - A large number of us will be coordinating our efforts to start off in the same place, so that all of us can more effectively enjoy the game together.
  • ArchivedUserArchivedUser Guest
    edited July 2018
    Excellent topic and post. As a long time RPer, I was disheartened when I learned Intrepid will not be making an official roleplay server. But when I did some searching, I found that the roleplay community is harder to extinguish than a forest fire. They are around, lurking from the shadows and occasionally stepping into the spotlight to show, gather, and coordinate. So my hope was revived. I believe that this will pose a challenge, as during times of oppression there will always be rebels. In an upcoming MMO without a dedicated rp server, there will be rpers. This thread is an example of that light within the darkness. Let us gather together, so that we may share our stories and characters with one another, and as a pebble starts a ripple in a pond, so too shall our efforts spread across the AoC community, and our dedication rewarded to make AoC a truly inspiring roleplay experience. 

    ~Tarre Vizsla, Fallen Knight
  • ArchivedUserArchivedUser Guest
    edited July 2018
    Accidentally double posted, no option to delete, sorry.
  • Agreed! I totally agree on an unofficial server for the exact same reasons. I just hope that sometime in the future, before or after launch, Intrepid will see our community creating this unofficial server, see how important it is and then give us our own RP server.
  • I truly believe if the RP community gets large enough they will put an RP server for everyone. Keep posting and showing your desire for one, they are the kind of company that listens to their community.
  • I would be all for a roleplay server but only if it had a naming policy and that you can’t disable PvP. If people want to roleplay as guards then act like guards if your caravan or city gets under attack.

  • I would be all for a roleplay server but only if it had a naming policy and that you can’t disable PvP. If people want to roleplay as guards then act like guards if your caravan or city gets under attack.

    The devs have said in the past that they have no intention of making designated RP servers.  OP is speaking about unofficial RP servers designated by RP Communities themselves, why we choose to designate them in games that have no official support, and what purpose it serves for us as roleplayers.
  • I think the reason the devs don't want to designate an RP server is the same reason there won't be PvE or PvP servers - their goal is to provide a game that *incorporates* all of those elements into the actual gameplay. While unofficial RP servers are an inevitability because of the current nature of MMO culture, I think they're somewhat hoping to change that. The tavern structure and tying the ownership of housing/land into the economy and citizenship of nodes are two prime examples of pulling some of the stronger RP elements into the "mainstream" of the game space. By making it less "weird" to role play and breaking down some of the barriers between the cliques of the MMO community, there will be an easier time for rp'ers - who themselves run a gamut casual rpers that mostly want names that make sense and some light rp around their questing/raiding to those that often *only* level to get the prettiest of outfits or be able to survive in a specific scenery for some social event - to find a welcoming community whether or not their on an RP server - official or otherwise. 

    I hope it does. I'm an avid rper that can't type fast enough to rp in-game but loves forum rping. I'm an oddball, but I'd *love* to see more in-character stuff in-game and more people willing to give *all* forms of rp around video games a shot! :)
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