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Old 03-11-2008, 04:20 PM   #21
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Re: Looking for an RPI, where the 'I' stands for "Immersive"

Ooooo where's my nuclear weapons...

Keep it on topic and avoid personal attacks please. If you want to get into a discussion on what RPI does/should/could stand for it would be better off in a new topic in a different section of the forum.

Have a nice day!
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Old 03-11-2008, 04:27 PM   #22
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Re: Looking for an RPI, where the 'I' stands for "Immersive"

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Originally Posted by Newworlds View Post
Um, yes, that is what you wrote, let us quote you:

Again I maintain that this is hogwash as stated before. I won't reiterate the points made because you cannot seem to grasp the concept that RPI is "subjective" not "objective." RPI is defined by the player not the admin.

I also take issue with your "strawman" designation. Do you really have to stoop to name calling to argue your point? Are you afraid of any game but your own being considered RPI? RPE? Even Roleplayable? You are similar to the poster in another thread that complained about admin trying to define what is or is not good roleplay. You are like an action film lover that loves "Kill Bill", but claims that all other films are not true action if they do not have arms flying off with blood squirting out in buckets.

I mean really. If you are going to claim you know NW so well, please define exactly when did you play NW and how long? Did you actually get involved with a guild, religion, plot? Were you ever murdered or put on trial? Were you ever involved with thieves, assassins, intrigue, or secret societies? Exactly what do you call RPI? Logging onto a game and being pk'd in the first hour? Please define it for all of us less experienced roleplayers that do not know the meaning of the word intensive.

I find your comments offensive and lacking substance. You do not include your "criteria" that you claim is RPI criteria. You do not include your background or references to exactly "who" is defining RPI. I can only guess what game you play or what game you are building because your profile conveniently hides these facts.

So Jazuela, if you want to present an argument, please do so by actually reading your own post before you misquote yourself.
The term RPI has been co-opted by a lot of MUDs to describe themselves even though they bear little resemblance to the type of MUD the term was first used to describe. It's only become subjective because of the desire of other types of MUDs to use it. Personally, I am not a fan of this as it has greatly hurt RPIs in terms of player expectations. Far too often those who complain about RPIs have fit into one of two categories, neither totally dissimiliar from the other.

The first group are H&Sers who object to being "forced" to RP and not be allowed to mob-bash. Why they don't simply play H&S MUDs is beyond me but inevitably you find players who simply want to go around killing things and looting corpses showing up in RPIs and then complaining when they're either told by staff or other players that what they're doing is not appropriate for the game.

The second group are players from games that call themselves RPI but don't possess the criteria of the traditional RPIs, namely a lack of levels, lack of experience points, lack of traditional class implementation (an example of non-traditional class implementation is Armageddon which employs classes but more so as a means of skill determination/potential rather than skill/profession restriction), skill-based advancement, extensive crafting, strict IC role-play enforcement at all times, a lack of global channels, limitations on PK and NPC killing (ie, only where appropriate via role-play circumstances), descriptive identities, and veiled ability and attribute mechanics. It is not the fault of these players that they find these characteristics difficult to adapt to nor is it uncommon for them to express question as to why they're missing or appeal for their institution. They're used to these things and unaware that traditional RPIs don't possess these things. That's where the problem arises.

It's an annual ritual, sometimes more than once a year in fact, to have to explain to players via the forums or over email why there is no way for them to see another character's name when they walk into a room or why they can't know how far they are from mastering a skill.

"Why can't I see a character's name? I've met them before so I should be able to remember it."
"Every character has a different short description and even if there are two with similar ones, they each have a unique physical description."
"That's too hard. I should be able to see their name if I met them before."
"Well do you remember it?"
"No, but my player should be able to."
"If you can't, why could they?"
"There should be a command so I can 'remember' the name of any person my character meets."
"But unless they tell you their name, how are you to know it?"
"The RPI I used to play had this command."

I can remember a time when players didn't ask these questions (I know I didn't when I first started because I was trying out a RPI, not a H&S, and naturally expected there to be differences). But now, it's far more frequent and that's because in the many years since I started playing RPIs the term has been used by far more MUDs and MUD types than it was when I started. There were three games that were called RPIs when I first started playing MUDs (two of which are still operating). Now, the term is used by dozens upon dozens of MUDs, the vast majority of which resemble H&S MUDs more than they do those three RPIs.

Confusing the issue are games which resemble RPIs in most aspects but still retain traces of the H&S code from which they're derived. They may possess many characteristics of RPIs but employ global OOC channels or clear skill mechanics (ie, raw numbers from which players can gauge more data than they realistically could). These games are close enough to RPIs that I've never felt their exclusion was completely just but still not close enough to the original characteristics of an RPI to warrant inclusion (lest it further lead to the problem I illustrated above). What to call them, I asked myself.

I came up with a new term myself and mentioned it to Wade Gustafson, founder of The RPI Network (RPIMUD Network @ RPIMUD.com). He liked the term though he used it in a slightly different context lumping the majority of the second and third groups together under the title of the second. However, my original basic outline of Role-Playing MUDs went something like this:

RPI (Role-Play Intensive) MUD
Policy: Strict dedication to and enforcement of in-character behavior.
Code: Modified or written to remove non-RP characteristics.

RPO (Role-Play Oriented) MUD
Policy: Strict dedication to and enforcement of in-character behavior.
Code: Modified or written for RP purposes but still retaining some trace elements of non-RP characteristics (examples include retention of global OOC channels, means of displaying character names, etc).

RPE (Role-Play Enforced) MUD
Policy: Strict dedictation to and enforcement of in-character behavior.
Code: Slight or no modification of the code; most aspects retain the H&S-conceived mechanics.

(Role-Play Encouraged and Role-Play Accepted do not meet the policy criteria listed above and therefore are not included)

In no way does this differentiation define the quality of role-play found within a MUD and create some claim of better role-play in one category or the other. There may be, and likely are, RPE MUDs with vastly better quality role-play than you'll find on some RPIs and RPOs. The quality of role-play is determined not by code or policy, the latter does however ensure consistency, but by the skills of the staff and players themselves. The different terms are merely to serve as guidelines for players so that they may better know what to expect when beginning a RP MUD. The terms have yet to receive widespread use though the term RPO has been used more and more by players and staff on some RPIs. Games that would fall under the term RPO and RPE have on the whole been reluctant to use the term as they were enthusiastic about employing the term RPI before.

Through its use on The RPI Network and hopefully in the RP Community, I hope the confusion the evolution of use of the term RPI will be minimized. It remains to be seen if it will be used beyond that site and within the general MUDding community.

Take care,

Jason

Last edited by prof1515 : 03-11-2008 at 04:37 PM. Reason: Fragment of a deleted sentence wasn't deleted. I'm a nitpicker about such things. :-D
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Old 03-11-2008, 05:55 PM   #23
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Re: Looking for an RPI, where the 'I' stands for "Immersive"

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Originally Posted by Ide View Post
However, though at a gut level I'm bothered by it, I think Jazuela is pretty much correct to say that RPI has come to mean a certain set of properties, much as MUSH has come to mean something other than what we talk about when we use the term mud.
Indeed. RPIs are a type of roleplaying intensive mud, but not all roleplaying intensive muds are RPIs - just as MOOs are a type of object-oriented mud, but not all object-oriented muds are MOOs.
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Old 03-11-2008, 06:03 PM   #24
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Re: Looking for an RPI, where the 'I' stands for "Immersive"

I think the problem that's actually come in with the RPI thing is actually pretty basic. RPI has evolved to have a certain set of "must-haves" by the people who have basically decided that their mud falls into this category and a few select mud that they agree fall into this category. Originally, RPI didn't mean perma-death, nor did it mean "crafting system", nor did it mean any of the stuff that's been listed. It mean roleplay intensive or immersive, which a number of roleplay enforced games out there actually ARE. There are some people who still believe that's what it means, obviously, since a PLAYER believes he's looking for an RPI only to be told that what he is looking for ISN'T an RPI.

As RPI evolves further to mean this very select group, it'll become a misnomer for the games who aren't interested in being pegged down with those specifics. Then someone else will come up with a new term, and people will try to narrow that popular term down into a very specific set of criteria that they hope to exclude other games from in order to be called that very thing!

It's just taking a while for people to decide what is RPI territory and what isn't. Personally, I really couldn't give a hoot! As RPI evolves further and further away from just being roleplaying immersive/roleplaying intensive, games who just care about roleplaying enforcement and the roleplaying environment but not any of the other stuff will dump this argument.
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Old 03-11-2008, 08:04 PM   #25
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Re: Looking for an RPI, where the 'I' stands for "Immersive"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mina View Post
I think the problem that's actually come in with the RPI thing is actually pretty basic. RPI has evolved to have a certain set of "must-haves" by the people who have basically decided that their mud falls into this category and a few select mud that they agree fall into this category. Originally, RPI didn't mean perma-death, nor did it mean "crafting system", nor did it mean any of the stuff that's been listed.
Actually, yes it did - that's the real problem. The term "RPI" was coined by a tiny number of muds which had a very specific feature set (including permadeath, etc), and they invented it to differentiate their style of roleplaying mud from the competition. Other muds later came along and thought "Aha, RPI stands for roleplaying intensive! My mud has intensive roleplaying, so I think I'll use the term as well".

It would be like me saying "Hmmm...MOO stands for Mud Object Oriented. God Wars II is a mud, and it's object oriented, so I think I'll advertise it as a MOO". I think can you imagine what sort of response I'd get from the MOO community

This subject has also been discussed before, see here: http://www.topmudsites.com/forums/ro...-have-rpi.html
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Old 03-11-2008, 11:19 PM   #26
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Re: Looking for an RPI, where the 'I' stands for "Immersive"

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Originally Posted by prof1515 View Post
...a lack of levels, lack of experience points, lack of traditional class implementation (an example of non-traditional class implementation is Armageddon which employs classes but more so as a means of skill determination/potential rather than skill/profession restriction), skill-based advancement, extensive crafting, strict IC role-play enforcement at all times, a lack of global channels, limitations on PK and NPC killing (ie, only where appropriate via role-play circumstances), descriptive identities, and veiled ability and attribute mechanics.
Let's not forget detailed character creation and approval before entry.

I forgot a few more things no doubt which will come to me when I've had some sleep and am not sick with the flu.

Kavir has it right. The term was used by a very small number of games to differentiate themselves from the array of RP-enforced MUDs out there. Role-Play Intensive (RPI) is less a reference to the role-play than it is to the nature of the game and how its features are designed for and around role-play.

Take care,

Jason
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Old 03-12-2008, 01:39 AM   #27
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Re: Looking for an RPI, where the 'I' stands for "Immersive"

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Originally Posted by KaVir View Post
Actually, yes it did - that's the real problem. The term "RPI" was coined by a tiny number of muds which had a very specific feature set (including permadeath, etc), and they invented it to differentiate their style of roleplaying mud from the competition. Other muds later came along and thought "Aha, RPI stands for roleplaying intensive! My mud has intensive roleplaying, so I think I'll use the term as well".

It would be like me saying "Hmmm...MOO stands for Mud Object Oriented. God Wars II is a mud, and it's object oriented, so I think I'll advertise it as a MOO". I think can you imagine what sort of response I'd get from the MOO community

This subject has also been discussed before, see here: http://www.topmudsites.com/forums/ro...-have-rpi.html
I like this post it does explain things clearly. The only issue of confusion and the problem stated by Kavir is the choice of RPI. Stating that I created the RPI tagline and telling everyone that only this subset of MUD can be considered RPI would be akin to creating a standard called RRP Mud or Real Roleplay Mud and claiming the standards for a Real Roleplaying Mud are (among others):

1. The Mud must have at least 6 specific Gods.
2. The Mud must have guilds, clans, three distinct nations, and heirarchy of political structure.
3. The Mud must only allow players over 18.
4. Etc.

The trouble is that I am now defining what Real Roleplay is based on my limited subset of rules and conditions that do not validate what is real roleplaying.

By the same token, again as Kavir stated, this is the real problem, RPI is a poor distinction. Perhaps a better definition would be RPP (Roleplay Permadeath), RPL (Roleplay Leveless system), and on. These distinctions are much more identifiable and do not imply the MUD is somehow more roleplay intensive than any other Roleplayable game. Unless of course, that is what the originators are trying to define.

The sad point is that most of us aren't even MUD's anymore (Multi User Dungeons) though we are Multi User Domains (another definition of MUD), yet we all call ourselves a MUD.

I remember when a similar argument about FREE came up and costed over 500 posts of arguing over the definition of FREE. What a headache. I think it silly we even argue amongst ourselves for no better reason that to feel better about our games or those that we play. Let's face it. Every single text MUD you play (even those I may not like) have qualities in them that draw interest, whether you are RPE, RPI, RPP, RPO, MOO, MUSH, HS, or MMORPG.

As for the staff, players, and admin of NW. We are none of the above. We are a game. Play if you want. Only requirement: You have to stay in character (eg. Roleplay). Have fun!
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Old 03-12-2008, 05:31 AM   #28
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Re: Looking for an RPI, where the 'I' stands for "Immersive"

This issue seems to come up every few months, and I sympathize with both sides of the issue.

I understand the importance of a term like "RPI" both for creators and players. People who know what an "RPI" is want a way to find other "RPIs" to play. Creators of "RPIs" want to be able to advertise as such and attract gamers who like that type of game.

But I also understand and agree with Newworlds that there is a very real problem in the choice of term. It is not very distinctive, and the term itself does not have a clear connection to what they are really getting at.

I am not an expert on what features are mandatory for RPIs. I believe permadeath is mandatory, and classless and/or level-less may be mandatory as well. The problem is, those concepts are not inherently any more "Role Play Intensive" than their alternatives. Some people prefer those concepts, and some people think they tend towards better RP, but that is pure opinion. Thus the term has serious problems. It is vague and not very descriptive on its face.

I do not presume to tell this type of game what they need to call themselves, but I think they would be better served by coming up with a more unique term that does not use general words. For the sake of making a point, I'll give an example: ASRP - Armageddon Style RP. A term like that is unique and does not use general terms that other people could legitimately lay claim to or use for describing their game. Someone could not reasonably just come along, put up a hybrid hack n slash/RP optional game and call it "ASRP." That would be patently false.

That is probably a pointless suggestion, because I can't see any of these games willingly changing their designation. But in the long run, I do feel it would actually be in their best interests. But hey, I don't make "RPI" style games so to some extent it is none of my business. I am only chiming in because the confusion is probably not good for any of us.

But in all seriousness, telling someone they cannot call their game "Role Play Intensive" seems a bit dodgy to me. Like I said... I understand and sympathize with the reasons. But "Role Play Intensive" is just an incredibly generic term that could have a lot of different interpretations - all of them relatively accurate.
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Old 03-12-2008, 07:12 AM   #29
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Re: Looking for an RPI, where the 'I' stands for "Immersive"

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Originally Posted by Newworlds View Post
I like this post it does explain things clearly. The only issue of confusion and the problem stated by Kavir is the choice of RPI. Stating that I created the RPI tagline and telling everyone that only this subset of MUD can be considered RPI would be akin to creating a standard called RRP Mud or Real Roleplay Mud and claiming the standards for a Real Roleplaying Mud are (among others):
I think the main problem is that some people take offence at the literal definition of the label, particularly those who feel that their mud has very immersive roleplaying. If that label had instead been something like "RPA" (standing for "Role-Playing Armageddon-style"), implying that such games have a similar roleplaying environment to Armageddon, I doubt there would be so many objections.

Unfortunately the label chosen was "RPI", and it's been used for many years among those who play the Armageddon-style muds; when they look for similar muds to play, they're going to ask for RPIs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Newworlds View Post
The sad point is that most of us aren't even MUD's anymore (Multi User Dungeons) though we are Multi User Domains (another definition of MUD), yet we all call ourselves a MUD.
It's the whole "label means more than the literal definition" thing again. Technically, not even the original MUD was a Multi-User version of Dungeon (i.e., they didn't download a copy of Dungeon and make it multiplayer, they just borrowed the name). But MUD was still a Multi-User game in the style of Dungeon, so the name stuck, and was applied to the entire genre. As all of our games belong to the same genre, we are all MUDs.

An interesting comment by Richard Bartle: "AberMUD was, for a while, known as AberMUG. The reason it was known as AberMUG was because I asked Alan Cox not to call it AberMUD because otherwise people would think MUD was a generic term. I used to use MUA ("Multi-User Adventure") as the generic term. It didn't catch on, and despite my efforts, MUD did become the generic term."

It's very difficult to stop people using a particular term; I don't think you can realistically stop people from using "RPI" to refer to roleplaying muds with an Armageddon-style feature set. You might be able to dilute the term over time, but I don't think that's a very constructive solution.
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Old 03-12-2008, 09:08 AM   #30
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Re: Looking for an RPI, where the 'I' stands for "Immersive"

This subject has also been discussed before, see here: What is necessary to have an RPI?
I like this post it does explain things clearly. The only issue of confusion and the problem stated by Kavir is the choice of RPI. Stating that I created the RPI tagline and telling everyone that only this subset of MUD can be considered RPI would be akin to creating a standard called RRP Mud or Real Roleplay Mud and claiming the standards for a Real Roleplaying Mud are (among others):

1. The Mud must have at least 6 specific Gods.
2. The Mud must have guilds, clans, three distinct nations, and heirarchy of political structure.
3. The Mud must only allow players over 18.
4. Etc.

The trouble is that I am now defining what Real Roleplay is based on my limited subset of rules and conditions that do not validate what is real roleplaying.

---------------Another straw man arguement.

Oh and Newworlds, calling your arguement a strawman arguement isn't namecalling. Do you even know what a strawman is?

What you garbled above - let's apply see how ridiculous it looks with another term:

It would be akin to stating that Hummel's created the term hotdog and telling everyone that only this subset of meat can be considered a hotdog, and that this subset must have the following standards:

1) The meat itself must come from a cow.
2) The spices must not include MSG
3) The paprika must be from anywhere other than New Zealand.

And your trouble is that you are now defining hot, by your limited subset of rules and conditions.

See what I just did? See what you are doing? You are taking a term, that has been defined, and used by a "general consensus" with a general, overall meaning, and taken that term apart and nitpicked on a single word, or declared it false because a single word of that term can be defined in other ways.

Yes, the I in RPI can mean this. The R in RPI can be interpreted that way. The P can be used for this purpose. However - the term, the phrase, the collective grouping known as RPI - has a defined and generally regarded as functional purpose.

Just like "hot" can mean a few things, and "dog" can mean a few things. "Hotdog", in the hypothetical example above, would have been a very specific term, created by a specific company, to be used to describe a specific food. Just because you think "hot" refers to your sister's beautiful legs, and "dawg" is how you feel about your best buddy, does -not- mean that "hotdog" means your sister and your best buddy are getting jiggy with each other.
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Old 03-12-2008, 11:08 AM   #31
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Re: Looking for an RPI, where the 'I' stands for "Immersive"

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Originally Posted by KaVir View Post
Actually, yes it did - that's the real problem. The term "RPI" was coined by a tiny number of muds which had a very specific feature set (including permadeath, etc), and they invented it to differentiate their style of roleplaying mud from the competition. Other muds later came along and thought "Aha, RPI stands for roleplaying intensive! My mud has intensive roleplaying, so I think I'll use the term as well".

This subject has also been discussed before, see here: http://www.topmudsites.com/forums/ro...-have-rpi.html
Actually, the evolution is pretty clear, especially if you go back to the topic you referred to.

Refer to Jez's post #56 and #58. Even she, who I associate instantly with an RPI, was willing to call Inferno an RPI. You clearly cannot do that nowadays!

Reading through the past topic, again, it's clear that the word "RPI" never had a set of laid out conditions, which is probably why so much debate has come over the term.

And clearly, there's STILL some confusion because the OP obviously thought he was wanting to play on an RPI only to be told that what he's looking for is NOT an RPI.

Honestly, never really seen a mud who isn't an Armageddon Style mud declare themselves an RPI. Threshold has always been heavily roleplay enforced, and they've never bothered to call themselves an RPI or wanted to.

Not sure what the post linked above was supposed to show me. It only seemed like there's been confusion and argument over the term for a while, and it is obviously continuing on today! Keep in mind that this discussion was started because a PLAYER was requesting what HE thought was an RPI.

I can't respond to your MOO thing either because I'm not sure what MOOs are supposed to be now, and I've never tried God Wars. I wouldn't know if it's a MOO or not! I wouldn't have a problem with you wanting to call yourself a MOO. I would probably have a problem with you if I was running an object-oriented game, and you tried to tell me I couldn't be a MOO!
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Old 03-12-2008, 11:26 AM   #32
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Re: Looking for an RPI, where the 'I' stands for "Immersive"

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Actually, the evolution is pretty clear, especially if you go back to the topic you referred to.

Refer to Jez's post #56 and #58. Even she, who I associate instantly with an RPI, was willing to call Inferno an RPI. You clearly cannot do that nowadays!

Reading through the past topic, again, it's clear that the word "RPI" never had a set of laid out conditions, which is probably why so much debate has come over the term.

And clearly, there's STILL some confusion because the OP obviously thought he was wanting to play on an RPI only to be told that what he's looking for is NOT an RPI.

Honestly, never really seen a mud who isn't an Armageddon Style mud declare themselves an RPI. Threshold has always been heavily roleplay enforced, and they've never bothered to call themselves an RPI or wanted to.

Not sure what the post linked above was supposed to show me. It only seemed like there's been confusion and argument over the term for a while, and it is obviously continuing on today! Keep in mind that this discussion was started because a PLAYER was requesting what HE thought was an RPI.

I can't respond to your MOO thing either because I'm not sure what MOOs are supposed to be now, and I've never tried God Wars. I wouldn't know if it's a MOO or not! I wouldn't have a problem with you wanting to call yourself a MOO. I would probably have a problem with you if I was running an object-oriented game, and you tried to tell me I couldn't be a MOO!
That's part of the problem Mina. In my posts on that other thread KaVir linked to, my experience with actual RPIs was extremely limited. I didn't know any better, because my experience was primarily with a game that advertised itself as RP Intensive (not RPI), and GemStone, which claims it's an RP-enforced RP game, when in fact it's primarily a pay-for-play trading-card game (meaning, players -do- buy and sell characters, game items, and game currency for real-life money and for other characters and game items) with roleplay allowed.

I was naive, uninformed, uneducated, and ignorant. Ignorant because I had nothing really to compare my understanding of things to, because I had never attempted to try. Inferno isn't an RPI. It's roleplay enforced, but not particularly intensive. The code doesn't support roleplay; it supports levels and skill min-maxing. But because I had come from Gemstone to Inferno, I was obviously completely floored by the quality of roleplay in Inferno and realized that what I came from was cartoonish and 2-dimensional.

Then, I went to Armageddon, and experienced difficulty getting into the whole idea of that genre, because what I came from was so different, I couldn't imagine myself enjoying it. But then I came to realize how 2-dimensional and cartoonish Inferno was...and that's when I started to actually pay attention to the differences. And the criteria, and the "unofficial" rules of terminology. It wasn't until after I stopped posting in that thread that I finally "got it." And in fact it's probably WHY I stopped posting in that thread; because I realized how stupid I sounded to people who actually knew what they were talking about.
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Old 03-12-2008, 11:50 AM   #33
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Re: Looking for an RPI, where the 'I' stands for "Immersive"

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Originally Posted by prof1515 View Post
I came up with a new term myself and mentioned it to Wade Gustafson, founder of The RPI Network (RPIMUD Network @ RPIMUD.com). He liked the term though he used it in a slightly different context lumping the majority of the second and third groups together under the title of the second. However, my original basic outline of Role-Playing MUDs went something like this:
I'm not sure how I missed your post. That is a really pretty site, and I'm always a huge fan of MUD promotion sites. In addition, the nicer it looks, the better.

I think, though, that even as nice as that site is, it doesn't even give a really solid definition of an RPI mud. Here's a quote from the site:

Quote:
The majority of RPIMUDs have no character levels and are classless, focusing instead on skills and crafts that players may pursue during the lifetime of their characters.
The majority? That means that some don't, right? This seems like there's a lot of wiggle room, and it just depends what games they want to let in.

Quote:
Out-of-character communications are often restricted in RPIMUDs, if present at all.
Several roleplay-enforced muds have restricted OOC communications. I'm going to guess that they won't make the RPI list, not that they'd want to, but you never know!

There is absolutely no mention of perma-death on the site, especially in the "What separates the RPIMUDs from other MUDs?" which is where I would expect a list of criteria for RPIs. From what everyone is saying here, an absolute in RPIs is perma-death. Shouldn't that be on the site dedicated to RPIMUDs then? Most of the "What separates" list focuses on describing the roleplay:

Quote:
The majority of RPIMUDs have no character levels and are classless, focusing instead on skills and crafts that players may pursue during the lifetime of their characters. RPIMUDs tend to focus more on role-playing interaction between characters, as well as against the game world or environment, often going as far as to request their players to engage in role-play with inanimate creatures and objects. Such dedication to role-playing, in addition to creating a vivid experience for other players, is often rewarded by staff members who invisibly monitor the game. The best role-players often find themselves able to aquire new skills and roles for their current, and subsequent characters, and are often key figures in the ongoing storylines. Out-of-character communications are often restricted in RPIMUDs, if present at all. If you want to communicate with other characters you have to go find that character and talk to them as your character would talk to theirs. OOC banter is typically not a part of an RPIMUD.
Again, this is all very vague and open to interpretation. Ask any player who plays on a game where roleplaying is enforced-- most put their very utmost effort into roleplaying. Games like Threshold and New Worlds, where there's plenty of hack and slash capabilities but also lots tons of roleplaying, have players who RP with NPCs and inanimate objects all the time. They're encouraged to do so, especially in specific areas. I still don't think they'd qualify as an RPI, and I don't really think either mud wants to be designated as one.

The RPIMUD requirements for an RPI mud is a prime example of why this debate still exists. RPI mud requirements are always changing, very vague, and, ultimately, seems to be just a gauge of the roleplaying skills of the players involved in various muds and a put down on other mud's roleplayers. (You can't be a REAL roleplayer if you chose to roleplay on anything but an RPI! Granted, this is more of a player's attitude than an admin's attitude. I've never heard any of the RPI mud admins say anything like that!) So, I honestly think the RPI community's refusal to actually acknowledge what the requirements are for being an RPI play a HUGE part in the confusion that the original poster obviously had.

If *I* were to define an RPI based on what players on this site have been saying, I would list the following qualities:
  • Classless
  • Leveless
  • No OOC channels/chats in game
  • No global channels
  • Crafting system required
  • Roleplay enforced
  • Roleplay rewarded
  • Admin supported RP events
  • Perma-death mandatory
  • Robust emoting system

Otherwise, RPI will always be a judgement call, and this confusion will always be around in some form or another. Until then, I think that RPIMUD is leaving things open-ended in order to incorporate the muds that they wish to and exclude the muds they wish to based on the judgement of a handful of people. Though, honestly, that's totally legit, too. Who knows! Maybe RPIMUD simply wants to end up incorporating ALL RP Enforced muds. I have no clue!

Quote:
Originally Posted by prof1515 View Post
RPI (Role-Play Intensive) MUD
Policy: Strict dedication to and enforcement of in-character behavior.
Code: Modified or written to remove non-RP characteristics.
See, ultimately, this is where I start getting weird feelings (oogies?) about RPI, the people who try to define it, and some of the players involved. The term "non-RP characteristics" makes very little sense to me and is completely subjective. What I feel adds to my RP could very well be something someone else feels detracts from their RP. In fact, I KNOW that some of the stuff I love and I feel adds to my roleplaying is stuff other roleplayers hate! While there's stuff on other muds that people love for RP that I think is simply a nuisance and actually breaks immersion including some of the extremely unwieldy emote systems out there.

Anyway, sorry to keep the debate going. I guess I was just feeling bad for Burrtyr.
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Old 03-12-2008, 12:02 PM   #34
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Re: Looking for an RPI, where the 'I' stands for "Immersive"

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Originally Posted by Jazuela View Post
That's part of the problem Mina. [snip]

I was naive, uninformed, uneducated, and ignorant. [snip]

Then, I went to Armageddon, and experienced difficulty getting into the whole idea of that genre, because what I came from was so different, I couldn't imagine myself enjoying it. But then I came to realize how 2-dimensional and cartoonish Inferno was...and that's when I started to actually pay attention to the differences. And the criteria, and the "unofficial" rules of terminology. It wasn't until after I stopped posting in that thread that I finally "got it." And in fact it's probably WHY I stopped posting in that thread; because I realized how stupid I sounded to people who actually knew what they were talking about.
I totally agree, Jaz. Don't view my post as a criticism or trying to point out your past flaws. I honestly go to you and prof when I start wondering what in the world an RPI actually is, and both your posts have inspired me to try to find out. (It's also why I was psyched to go back and find that post from prof linking to the RPIMUD site.) I'm not real big into mud designation and only get involved because I always ALWAYS defend people's attempts to roleplay, and I admire the effort that many, many players put into roleplaying whether or not they chose to play an RPI. When that comes under fire or is ridiculed, I always tend to speak up.

I only pointed out your post that this is a confusion that LOTS of people have had, and I'm not really sure that the RPI community helps to resolve the confusion. And, honestly, I think that "roleplay immersive" or "roleplay intensive" applies to SEVERAL games that I would not think were Armageddon-style. Armageddon/Harshlands/SoI have a very distinctive style to them, in my opinion. I would never lump them in with something like Threshold or New Worlds, and they're even further removed from something like Ancient Anguish or BatMud.

Anyway, I doubt that anyone thinks you sound stupid, or maybe you think I sound stupid talking about RPIs! I was more trying to find out if high fantasy and heavy mechanics (which is what I got from Burrtyr's post) is somehow anathema to RPIs.

P.S. I was totally agreeing with the fact that it's confusing to try to figure out what an RPI is, which resulted in you referring to Inferno as an RPI, not that you were ignorant. Snipped a little bit too much.

Last edited by Milawe : 03-12-2008 at 12:04 PM. Reason: Added the PS
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Old 03-12-2008, 12:49 PM   #35
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Re: Looking for an RPI, where the 'I' stands for "Immersive"

I say we cut to the chase. This is about Armeggedon wanting a unique tagline for their game and games like it. I'm all for that, I just think RPI is the wrong tagline as Kavir, Mina, Threshold and everyone here attests in some form or another. While I agree with Threshold's premise that ARP would define it better (Armeggedon style mud) I think that is much too direct. I doubt many games would tag themselves with another mud's name saying they are in the same style. I think the name would have to be more generic and fit what Mina posted below on all the features such a game would proport to embrace.

If this isn't done, people are going to use RPI whether others of like genre like it or not. Which will in the end be confusing for all players.
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Old 03-12-2008, 02:16 PM   #36
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Re: Looking for an RPI, where the 'I' stands for "Immersive"

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Originally Posted by Mina View Post
I'm not sure how I missed your post. That is a really pretty site, and I'm always a huge fan of MUD promotion sites. In addition, the nicer it looks, the better.

I think, though, that even as nice as that site is, it doesn't even give a really solid definition of an RPI mud. Here's a quote from the site:



The majority? That means that some don't, right? This seems like there's a lot of wiggle room, and it just depends what games they want to let in.



Several roleplay-enforced muds have restricted OOC communications. I'm going to guess that they won't make the RPI list, not that they'd want to, but you never know!

There is absolutely no mention of perma-death on the site, especially in the "What separates the RPIMUDs from other MUDs?" which is where I would expect a list of criteria for RPIs. From what everyone is saying here, an absolute in RPIs is perma-death. Shouldn't that be on the site dedicated to RPIMUDs then? Most of the "What separates" list focuses on describing the roleplay:

Again, this is all very vague and open to interpretation. Ask any player who plays on a game where roleplaying is enforced-- most put their very utmost effort into roleplaying. Games like Threshold and New Worlds, where there's plenty of hack and slash capabilities but also lots tons of roleplaying, have players who RP with NPCs and inanimate objects all the time. They're encouraged to do so, especially in specific areas. I still don't think they'd qualify as an RPI, and I don't really think either mud wants to be designated as one.

The RPIMUD requirements for an RPI mud is a prime example of why this debate still exists. RPI mud requirements are always changing, very vague, and, ultimately, seems to be just a gauge of the roleplaying skills of the players involved in various muds and a put down on other mud's roleplayers. (You can't be a REAL roleplayer if you chose to roleplay on anything but an RPI! Granted, this is more of a player's attitude than an admin's attitude. I've never heard any of the RPI mud admins say anything like that!) So, I honestly think the RPI community's refusal to actually acknowledge what the requirements are for being an RPI play a HUGE part in the confusion that the original poster obviously had.

If *I* were to define an RPI based on what players on this site have been saying, I would list the following qualities:
  • Classless
  • Leveless
  • No OOC channels/chats in game
  • No global channels
  • Crafting system required
  • Roleplay enforced
  • Roleplay rewarded
  • Admin supported RP events
  • Perma-death mandatory
  • Robust emoting system

Otherwise, RPI will always be a judgement call, and this confusion will always be around in some form or another. Until then, I think that RPIMUD is leaving things open-ended in order to incorporate the muds that they wish to and exclude the muds they wish to based on the judgement of a handful of people. Though, honestly, that's totally legit, too. Who knows! Maybe RPIMUD simply wants to end up incorporating ALL RP Enforced muds. I have no clue!

See, ultimately, this is where I start getting weird feelings (oogies?) about RPI, the people who try to define it, and some of the players involved. The term "non-RP characteristics" makes very little sense to me and is completely subjective. What I feel adds to my RP could very well be something someone else feels detracts from their RP. In fact, I KNOW that some of the stuff I love and I feel adds to my roleplaying is stuff other roleplayers hate! While there's stuff on other muds that people love for RP that I think is simply a nuisance and actually breaks immersion including some of the extremely unwieldy emote systems out there.

Anyway, sorry to keep the debate going. I guess I was just feeling bad for Burrtyr.
I agree that the site doesn't give a good definition of RPI. Part of the problem was that very problem we're discussing here and the fact that it had not come to the attention of the site's founders until well after the site was operational.

Wade left the definition vague and as soon as he created the site, a bunch of games that don't fit the traditional meaning of the term entered the site. Needless to say, I don't believe that had he included a more specific definition it would have prevented this from happening as there were even some H&S (which even stated that they were "role-play accepted" and not even enforced) which created listings; they were removed as soon as the obvious was noted. Unfortunately, there was no device in place to confirm acceptance to the listings, merely an after-the-fact check by staff and manual removal then. As a result of that, and due to the site's staff being unable to do the extensive confirmation at the time, several MUDs that clearly did not meet the criteria of the term slipped in and were established within the community. While a few were rejected, ultimately, by the time others were reviewed it was clear that the listings were not composed of the original intent. The problem existed of what to do as the very problem of confusing use of the term which we here are discussing was now present at that site.

Removal of numerous games already on the site would only serve to create animosity while accepting some and rejecting others would create hypocrisy. That was one of the reasons I suggested the RPI-RPO-RPE distinction. Wade agreed but chose to use a different angle on my term RPO (pretty much splitting RPO and combining most RPO with RPE) by using the simple definition of "more natural" versus "more mechanical" skill advancement as the determining factor (a summary of some but not all the characteristics which originally defined the term RPI). Regardless, I don't think Wade had yet implemented at the time of his retirement from managing the site.

I believe the wording used on rpimud.com to describe an RPI MUD is in need of revision to more accurately denote the context and origin of the term itself and recommended on the forums that it be used while simultaneously opening the site to any role-play enforced MUD (thereby not removing any MUDs already welcomed into the community despite their clear failure to meet the term). Incidently, acceptance of all Role-Play Enforced MUDs was opposed most strongly by one of the MUDs which would best fit the RPE category I outlined (they of course referred to themselves as RPI despite possessing very, very few of the characteristics that term originally applied to).

Personally, I am not opposed to the greater inclusion of Role-Play Enforced MUDs on the site so long as an effort is made to draw distinctions which will allow potential players to know whether or not a game has the characteristics they are looking for. When the site will reflect this change I can not say as the site's staff member responsible for creating the listing features has other responsibilities elsewhere which occupy his time as well.

Finally, I personally applaud Threshold and New Worlds for their honesty in not using the term RPI. I only wish more MUDs were willing to be honest in that regard. It would save players a lot of confusion.

Take care,

Jason
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Old 03-12-2008, 02:28 PM   #37
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Re: Looking for an RPI, where the 'I' stands for "Immersive"

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Originally Posted by Threshold View Post
This issue seems to come up every few months, and I sympathize with both sides of the issue.

I understand the importance of a term like "RPI" both for creators and players. People who know what an "RPI" is want a way to find other "RPIs" to play. Creators of "RPIs" want to be able to advertise as such and attract gamers who like that type of game.

But I also understand and agree with Newworlds that there is a very real problem in the choice of term. It is not very distinctive, and the term itself does not have a clear connection to what they are really getting at.

I am not an expert on what features are mandatory for RPIs. I believe permadeath is mandatory, and classless and/or level-less may be mandatory as well. The problem is, those concepts are not inherently any more "Role Play Intensive" than their alternatives. Some people prefer those concepts, and some people think they tend towards better RP, but that is pure opinion. Thus the term has serious problems. It is vague and not very descriptive on its face.

I do not presume to tell this type of game what they need to call themselves, but I think they would be better served by coming up with a more unique term that does not use general words. For the sake of making a point, I'll give an example: ASRP - Armageddon Style RP. A term like that is unique and does not use general terms that other people could legitimately lay claim to or use for describing their game. Someone could not reasonably just come along, put up a hybrid hack n slash/RP optional game and call it "ASRP." That would be patently false.

That is probably a pointless suggestion, because I can't see any of these games willingly changing their designation. But in the long run, I do feel it would actually be in their best interests. But hey, I don't make "RPI" style games so to some extent it is none of my business. I am only chiming in because the confusion is probably not good for any of us.

But in all seriousness, telling someone they cannot call their game "Role Play Intensive" seems a bit dodgy to me. Like I said... I understand and sympathize with the reasons. But "Role Play Intensive" is just an incredibly generic term that could have a lot of different interpretations - all of them relatively accurate.
This got completely ignored. Perhaps because I didn't flame anyone and decided to be calm and reasonable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jazuela View Post
It's roleplay enforced, but not particularly intensive. The code doesn't support roleplay; it supports levels and skill min-maxing.
Yeah, because in real life people don't try to min max their lives or level up at their job..... Oh wait, they do. Honestly, what you are talking about is nothing more than a difference in features. I think where the RPI crowd goes really wrong is when they lay claim to a superior form of RP. And that is what they always do whenever "Role Play Intensive" gets discussed. They say they have no OOC stuff, but then their forums are massively used OOC to set up IC activities. I have no problem with that, and I think that kind of OOC communication can be useful. But it really is no different than global OOC channels once you put it all down on a balance sheet. I realize you will disagree, and that's fine too. But that's the point: this is not a fact issue. This is an opinion and a preference issue.

And that is why RPI muds would be much better off calling themselves Armageddon Style RP or something of that nature. What RPI folks are talking about is a specific set of FEATURE CHOICES. They really are not, honestly, talking about RP that is factually more "intensive" than many other games. There is a list of features that RPI fans and creators like. That's great. Give that set of features a proper name and you'd be golden.
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Old 03-12-2008, 02:28 PM   #38
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Re: Looking for an RPI, where the 'I' stands for "Immersive"

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Originally Posted by Newworlds View Post
I doubt many games would tag themselves with another mud's name saying they are in the same style.
It's not so common, as most muds try to make themselves stand out, and claiming that you're like another game isn't a very effective way to do that. But it does happen from time to time, with muds claiming to be "Diku-like", or "GodWars-like", etc.

And I've got to say, I wouldn't be too impressed by someone advertising their mud as "GodWars-like" just because it featured a war between gods. But what qualifies a mud as being "GodWars-like"? Is it just the codebase? I would say "no" (after all, God Wars II is written from scratch, as I still consider that to be a "GodWars-like" mud). Equally, if someone downloaded the GodWars codebase and removed the signature GodWars features, I wouldn't consider it to be "GodWars-like" (even though it would still be a GodWars derivative).

Likewise, if you downloaded the RPI Engine and used it out-of-the-box to run a roleplaying-enforced mud, I think most people would consider that an RPI. And if you created your own mud from scratch, but duplicated the signature features of that codebase and ran it as roleplaying-enforced, I think most people would consider that an RPI as well. But if you downloaded the RPI Engine and turned it into a pure GoP non-RP mud, I don't think anyone would consider that an RPI - but at what point during your modifications would it cease to be an RPI? I guess, like many things, that would be a matter of personal interpretation.
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Old 03-12-2008, 03:22 PM   #39
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Re: Looking for an RPI, where the 'I' stands for "Immersive"

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Originally Posted by Threshold View Post
Yeah, because in real life people don't try to min max their lives or level up at their job..... Oh wait, they do. Honestly, what you are talking about is nothing more than a difference in features. I think where the RPI crowd goes really wrong is when they lay claim to a superior form of RP. And that is what they always do whenever "Role Play Intensive" gets discussed. They say they have no OOC stuff, but then their forums are massively used OOC to set up IC activities. I have no problem with that, and I think that kind of OOC communication can be useful. But it really is no different than global OOC channels once you put it all down on a balance sheet. I realize you will disagree, and that's fine too. But that's the point: this is not a fact issue. This is an opinion and a preference issue.

And that is why RPI muds would be much better off calling themselves Armageddon Style RP or something of that nature. What RPI folks are talking about is a specific set of FEATURE CHOICES. They really are not, honestly, talking about RP that is factually more "intensive" than many other games. There is a list of features that RPI fans and creators like. That's great. Give that set of features a proper name and you'd be golden.
No RPI MUDs, at least none that I'm aware and I'm pretty neck-deep into them, claim they are RPI because they have better RP. They may claim both, but without linking the two. And pretty much every MUD claims they have great RP. RPIs claim a particular set of features. Those features are designed around role-play and staying within character, not skill advancement or leveling.

The confusion seems to stem from believing Role-Play Intensive MUD and Intensive Role-Play are one and the same. They are not. In the latter, "intensive" refers to the role-play, saying that it is marked by an intensity of experience. In the former example, "intensive" refers to the MUD in the same way the term "labor-intensive" does mean that the labor itself is "intense". The word "intensive" means that the expenditure of emphasis, be it coding or policy, is on the word that precedes it: in the case of RPI, role-play.

Role-Play Intensive therefore isn't a reflection on the word Role-Play. What the term is referring to is that the features are designed around role-play, not around the traditional nature of MUD gameplay (ie, leveling, skill advancement, etc). While skills advance on an RPI, the emphasis, via policy, is on role-play and the features reflect the ambiguity that the mechanics should be paid attention.

I have a friend who's an English professor and I keep meaning to have him write a technical explanation of this but alas every time I talk to him it slips my mind. I must be getting senile. :-D

On the issue of OOC channels, I have been on numerous RP-enforced MUDs with them and despite claims to the contrary, the channels are not used sparingly and in a manner similar to RPIs. I heartily remember one RPE claiming they had never had a case of OOC channel abuse in the history of their game. Within a matter of days I learned they had recently been forced to temporarily shut down their OOC channel on account of abuse. Perusing their forums using the keyword OOC, I discovered this was not the first such instance. Now, there are always bad apples and MUDs without global channels are just as prone to such individuals using any existing means to carry out similar behavior. But not all players utilize AIM or forums or other means of OOC contact. And when such individuals use in-game channels to inappropriately convey IC information, the effect is limited. Say something to someone in a room and that person hears it as does everyone else in the room. Say it over a global channel and everyone playing has been exposed. Regardless of whether or not other means of abusing IC information over OOC could occur, such as AIM or forums, this particular danger isn't possible if there exist no OOC global channels (I use that term to distinguish between IC global channels used by administrators for purposes of managing the game and which are typically shielded from players anyway).

Take care,

Jason

Last edited by prof1515 : 03-12-2008 at 03:23 PM. Reason: Left out a VERY IMPORTANT word without which the meaning of a sentence was completely reversed.
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Old 03-12-2008, 04:17 PM   #40
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Re: Looking for an RPI, where the 'I' stands for "Immersive"

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Originally Posted by prof1515 View Post
No RPI MUDs, at least none that I'm aware and I'm pretty neck-deep into them, claim they are RPI because they have better RP.
Well, you might want to re-read Jazuella's posts again. When non-RPI muds have their RP called "two dimensional", I think the point is relatively clear.

Quote:
Originally Posted by prof1515 View Post
RPIs claim a particular set of features. Those features are designed around role-play and staying within character, not skill advancement or leveling.
I agree that is the intention behind the use of the term. But that is why they would be better served by a term other than RPI. Because the "required" feature list really has less to do with intensive role play and more to do with "we like these types of features." An argument could be made that non-codified advancement is extremely fake, and far more "OOC" than something that is actually indigenous to the game world itself. Personally, I find non-codified advancement to be arbitrary in the extreme, and therefore about as OOC as you can get. You don't have to agree, but I feel mine is certainly a fair argument.

Quote:
Originally Posted by prof1515 View Post
Role-Play Intensive therefore isn't a reflection on the word Role-Play. What the term is referring to is that the features are designed around role-play, not around the traditional nature of MUD gameplay (ie, leveling, skill advancement, etc)
But that is even more vague than a feature list. It seems like the more we talk about RPIs and what makes an RPI, the more vague the requirements become. From my point of view, that just continues to demonstrate the real need for a more specific term for this "RPI" feature set - something concrete that does not rely on generic terms like "role play" and "intensive."


Quote:
Originally Posted by prof1515 View Post
Regardless of whether or not other means of abusing IC information over OOC could occur, such as AIM or forums, this particular danger isn't possible if there exist no OOC global channels.
Huh? In the first half of the sentence, you admit the abuse can occur, and then say it isn't possible?

If you don't like global OOC channels, that's fine. Everyone is free to have their own preferences. But don't try to argue that eliminating them has any real, long term effect on people staying IC or inappropriately mixing IC/OOC information. AIM, forums, email, etc. are all avenues people will use regardless of your OOC channel set up. That just gets us back to the main point: the RPI designation is more about describing a preferred feature set than actually designating intensive role play. That is why this issue crops up all the time. That is why people "misuse" (in the eyes of RPI mudders) the term. That is why other people find its use to be snooty and superior.

Personally, I think it is safer (and overall better for RP) to have OOC global channels that everyone can see and that get logged by the game, than to not have them. If you don't have them, you push people towards third party programs that the admins of the game have no idea about and obviously cannot monitor or review. Those third party programs become their ONLY outlet for OOC discussion. At least with global OOC channels you have some idea regarding the OOC "traffic" related to your game - and no matter how intensive you think your RP is, there *WILL* be OOC discussion of your game.

Now, that is pure opinion. I understand that. But that's the point.
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