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To the Devs: How do you feel about Roleplaying, and its place in MMOs?

To start off, I am officially aboard the hype train. Definitely some impressive pre-alpha work you are showing off, beautifully haunting music, and a design philosophy that is hard to disagree with. I think to start off - there was something that was said in the QA, and the first developer blog that really spoke to me, that I hope you all are willing to put your money where your mouth is. The chasm between the themepark MMO, and the Sandbox MMO, is where you ultimately want to place Ashes of Creation. That though it is indeed a tall order, you all are aiming for perfection of the best parts of the MMO genre. I would fall in love with this community and fully support the dev team, if that promise is also extended to the roleplay community as well, that you intend to offer the best option for immersing your players further in this world by being both welcoming and accomodating to the roleplay community. If you can fulfill most of your promises, and show a genuine interest in cultivating roleplay among your playerbase, then I have no problem throwing my money your way, and many more role players will as well.

I think I've found though in my experiences with the MMO genre that often we RPers are a very strong fan base (a minority, but when you consider that ESO has over 10,000 registered members on the Roleplaying Community Website, this minority is a lucrative minority all the same) that gets under-represented and placed on the back burner. We plucky lot of nerds who like to spend our time crafting rich story driven content for our communities, further immersing ourselves in our characters, and further developing the story of the world around us. It sounds like immersion is a key goal for the dev team, and so that right there is already a step in the direction of winning my heart. But it does push me to ask the question to the devs: How do you all feel about roleplay, and what are you willing to do to ensure that roleplay is a welcome playstyle that will have a place in Ashes of Creation?

For one, a way for RP'ers to be able to congregate is always the first and one of the strongest ways to show your support to their community. Whether it is a dedicated roleplay server, --- or if you go in the route of mega-servers with 'channels', then being able to tag yourself as a roleplayer so you are phased in with other roleplayers--- giving us the ability to easily cultivate as a community is one of the most welcoming signs for other roleplayers. Now, I have found, that whether developers do this for us or not, we are a strongwilled bunch that has found a way to do so without the help of devs, via unofficial servers, website communities, etc. But especially in guild war / and pvp driven games, it can be intimidating to not have that support.

When I speak of support, I don't mean that all of us RP'ers are carebears and can't stand the sight or sound of PVP. In fact, on the contrary, PVP helps richen the politics and the conflicts in our stories. As politics can not exist without some sort of conflict, some sort of contraversy. It is not that we RP'ers are afraid of getting steamrolled, losing our node, and getting wasted away off the face of the earth (planet, wherever we are), but rather that when it does happen we want it to have meaning. We want there to be a story to tell there. Its the difference between getting immersed in the story of a beautifully written war film, such as Band of Brothers, or the Pacific, versus, being immersed in a Call of Duty Match. You grow attached to your characters, there stories, and so if the time comes that they lose their homes, their loved ones, or even their lives, that there is an impact there, and a history and legacy to leave behind, beyond "I felt like griefing them." --- and hey, even that can be valid in some cases. Wars don't always have to have a righteous cause, as our own real history has shown us.

I think it can go a long way to show the Roleplayers out there, "Hey, we care about you, and we love that you all are continuing generating content for our game in a meaningful way. We want to let you know that we've got your back, and we'll make sure we have a place for your playstyle as well as everyone else."

Maybe thats an overly dramatic way of explaining it, but I can say this. I am a huge MMO dork. I've played in several upon several MMOs, over the last fifteen years, and after I grind my way through all the raids, build that perfect home, or load my vault with rediculous amounts of resources and have more gold than I know what to do with, it has been roleplay that has been the ultimate deciding factor in regards to longevity for an MMO. For when we have the tools to cultivate our own story to be written in the world, there is never a need for expansions, and new quest lines (though those are always nice), because the world is constantly evolving by my actions, by my story, and the stories of others.

Anyway, good luck with this project. It hits all the right notes for me, and I can't wait to see the final product in action.


  • Firstly welcome @The_Wanderer, glad to have you here :)

    really good question and i know alot of people will be interested in that answer as well :)

    you may want to put the answer in the official discord in the #ask_intrepid channel as well, Steven (dev) regularly answers questions there :)
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    If your looking for some answers to some questions you may have regarding the game be sure to look in the links on this thread here
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