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Old 02-22-2012, 01:49 PM   #1
Odd Raven
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Roleplay: Up for Reward?

So, I've always played MUDs that vaguely enforce roleplay -- but more-so by the players compliance than any work of the administration, which is how I feel it should be. It promotes a pleasant experience. I don't mind smashing stuff a bit mindlessly for a little while, nor do I mind a little PvP, though I'd rather get involved in an epic battle of diction rather than daggers (or what have you). Pretty much, I puddle around, act ICly, sometimes get involved and tangled toes topside in some worlds-wide event and that's about it. I've heard about the site several people saying that roleplay in and of itself should be the reward.

However, since discovering my current mud, Arantha, I've begun to contemplate the way things are done in that roleplay can be rewarded with valor that can be used for experience, money or what have you. Now, knowing a slew of characters that like to play pacifists and so on, who will not involve themselves in the normal 'levelling' methods or the general money-making methods, I have to say: I like this idea.

I'd also like to hear some more thoughts on it: Someone bite?
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Old 02-23-2012, 02:34 PM   #2
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Re: Roleplay: Up for Reward?

I do think that tangible rewards give good encouragement to iffy RPers to improve.

You get 'fame' in my home mud.

50 a day just for logging on, and like 500 for a roleplaying bonus.

You can use it for a whole slew of things.

You can get completely custom items, alter the descriptions of existing items, add elemental flares to weapons, exp, skill points, increasing saving room capacity, custom scent, descriptions of just about everything (pets, mounts, inn rooms) owned by the char (and its own), custom titles, and languages.

Oh, and for 100k you can create a (very low ranking) noble character.
This pretty much eliminates the lvl 1 powertrip nobles, since people are usually quite experienced by the time they gather that much fame.

You can also fish for exp, money, and some loot if you're not big on combat.
One character is approaching the level cap, and most of his levels were gained by fishing.
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Old 02-23-2012, 05:00 PM   #3
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Re: Roleplay: Up for Reward?

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Originally Posted by Ghostcat View Post
I do think that tangible rewards give good encouragement to iffy RPers to improve.

You get 'fame' in my home mud...
Yeah, thus far I like the idea. Previously, I played IRE games and there wasn't much to encourage roleplay except for self-will and the occasional fleeting interaction with other roleplayers. There's an entire list of things you can use valor for in Arantha, it's more then entire concept that delights me. Do you feel it's more beneficial to have a system where roleplay is rewarded, then?

EDIT: I say that despite your first sentence, because I feel 'iffy' RPers will do what they will do, they'll get better or they won't. The reason I find the system is beneficial is because it promotes an IC environment and player interaction on a RP level.

Last edited by Odd Raven : 02-24-2012 at 09:28 AM.
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Old 02-24-2012, 07:03 AM   #4
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Re: Roleplay: Up for Reward?

This is actually a more metaphysical issue than some people realize. Every game, even a chatroom-like mush, "rewards" roleplaying or somehow lets you improve your character via rp. Making rp contacts/friends/allies makes a character more "powerful" in many games, but this reward isn't coded. It depends on other players, who could turn around and not be your friend or ally tomorrow, sometimes not for the best or most developed rp reasons. But roleplaying also makes you popular on many games. If you're an active and renowned roleplayer, people will seek you out and find excuses to be your buddy so they can rp, too.

The actual issue is that players don't trust other players to keep these intangible rewards tangible, so they also like a code based reward. In a perfect world, rp really would be its own reward, and not just the fun, but an actual character improving reward. But you can't trust strangers on the internet, so people want rp points.
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Old 02-24-2012, 09:33 AM   #5
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Re: Roleplay: Up for Reward?

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Originally Posted by SnowTroll View Post
This is actually a more metaphysical issue than some people realize. Every game, even a chatroom-like mush, "rewards" roleplaying or somehow lets you improve your character via rp. Making rp contacts/friends/allies makes a character more "powerful" in many games, but this reward isn't coded. It depends on other players, who could turn around and not be your friend or ally tomorrow, sometimes not for the best or most developed rp reasons. But roleplaying also makes you popular on many games. If you're an active and renowned roleplayer, people will seek you out and find excuses to be your buddy so they can rp, too.
Agreed. Again, in my past life, politics were a big deal in an IRE MUD I played. Not so much anymore, hence my moving on, but I remember being fond of the power struggle for elections and subtle shifts of power. Some called it under-handed. I called it part of the game.

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The actual issue is that players don't trust other players to keep these intangible rewards tangible, so they also like a code based reward. In a perfect world, rp really would be its own reward, and not just the fun, but an actual character improving reward. But you can't trust strangers on the internet, so people want rp points.
Well, the reason I like this idea is because in lieu of, as Ghostcat said, fishing for hours or doing some other activity that while enticing to some characters, to others may seem monotonous, it's nice to have a system that will allow you to obtain money/experience as a strictly roleplay-interested character. It was the first time I ever saw such a system and I delighted in the idea, as I am (while a jack of all trades, albeit a bit poor at PvP. Okay, super poor at it) mostly a roleplay-centric player.

Super enjoying the discussion!
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Old 02-24-2012, 04:23 PM   #6
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Re: Roleplay: Up for Reward?

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Originally Posted by Odd Raven View Post
Well, the reason I like this idea is because in lieu of, as Ghostcat said, fishing for hours or doing some other activity that while enticing to some characters, to others may seem monotonous, it's nice to have a system that will allow you to obtain money/experience as a strictly roleplay-interested character. It was the first time I ever saw such a system and I delighted in the idea, as I am (while a jack of all trades, albeit a bit poor at PvP. Okay, super poor at it) mostly a roleplay-centric player.
I hear this a lot and would point out the following: most serious, hardcore roleplayers like a logical, somewhat realistic game. The logical, realistic reward of talking in character with other characters is to gain allies, friends, influence, recognition, social standing, and various other "rewards." You don't go up a level, become more durable, stronger, and better with swords and magic by hanging around in a bar talking in character with people. Those rewards don't fit the activity done to gain them.

"I wanna hang out and RP all day" often doesn't mesh well with "I want a stronger character with powerful weapon skills," because to get better and get those powerful sword skills, the logical thing you need to do is practice with your sword, not RP all day.

"Serious" roleplayers, however, seem to have some kind of issue with roleplaying some of the time, and going out swordfighting the rest of the time. It's not a good mud in their eyes if they have to kill stuff and can't just chat in character all day. They want to sit around roleplaying all day, but still end up with a character that's good with swords, even though from a realistic, RP standpoint, what their character should really be improving at is talking, drinking, and socializing. I'm pretty serious about RP myself, but hesitant about mud systems where I actually get a stronger character for doing it.
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Old 02-24-2012, 11:16 PM   #7
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Re: Roleplay: Up for Reward?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SnowTroll View Post
I hear this a lot and would point out the following: most serious, hardcore roleplayers like a logical, somewhat realistic game. The logical, realistic reward of talking in character with other characters is to gain allies, friends, influence, recognition, social standing, and various other "rewards." You don't go up a level, become more durable, stronger, and better with swords and magic by hanging around in a bar talking in character with people. Those rewards don't fit the activity done to gain them.

"I wanna hang out and RP all day" often doesn't mesh well with "I want a stronger character with powerful weapon skills," because to get better and get those powerful sword skills, the logical thing you need to do is practice with your sword, not RP all day.

"Serious" roleplayers, however, seem to have some kind of issue with roleplaying some of the time, and going out swordfighting the rest of the time. It's not a good mud in their eyes if they have to kill stuff and can't just chat in character all day. They want to sit around roleplaying all day, but still end up with a character that's good with swords, even though from a realistic, RP standpoint, what their character should really be improving at is talking, drinking, and socializing. I'm pretty serious about RP myself, but hesitant about mud systems where I actually get a stronger character for doing it.
I think that's somewhat erroneous. It's missing a connecting thought. You say "It's not a good mud in their eyes if they have to kill stuff and can't just chat in character all day."

I don't think that's the criteria, exactly. It's more like "It's not fun for them, if killing stuff -without- including roleplay and mixing emotes/says/poses/socials in with the coded combat, is the usual expected behavior in that mud.

So, yeah this mud has coded combat. I like the idea of improving my coded combat skills. But I don't want to have to stand there typing "kill bat" over and over and over again, while 3 of my VBFFs are typing "kill bat" over and over and over again, just because trying to actually INTERACT with each other could result in the death of one of our characters. I mean yeah if there's an ambush and there's a whole gang of bats, sure I can understand there's no room for fancy emoting.

But when a couple of folks are just going out to grab a few hides so their armorsmith pals can make them a new set of greaves, it'd be nice to have some interaction during the hunt.

It's also strange, to me, to have to hunt, as the focus of the game. Why is my character hunting? What does he need with a bunch of dead bats anyway? So I can up my sword skill? Really? Does that goal make any kind of sense, ICly? Do you know anyone who goes hunting, in real life, just so they can get better at swords? Or do people go hunting so they can put a trophy on their wall? Or have something to eat. Or make a pair of shoes to wear or sell...or bring to a taxidermist to stuff and put in a museum..

That, I believe, is the "problem" that RPers have with the whole going out to hunt routine. It really depends on the mud, but the more detail-oriented RPers will want to have a believeable motivation for their characters to do whatever activities they do. It doesn't have to be realistic, but it does have to make some kind of sense.
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Old 02-25-2012, 01:11 AM   #8
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Re: Roleplay: Up for Reward?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SnowTroll View Post
I hear this a lot and would point out the following: most serious, hardcore roleplayers like a logical, somewhat realistic game. ... "I wanna hang out and RP all day" often doesn't mesh well with "I want a stronger character with powerful weapon skills," because to get better and get those powerful sword skills, the logical thing you need to do is practice with your sword, not RP all day.
Mixed feelings on this -- what if instead of going out and facing the potential for death or PvP/E, they want to roleplay swordplay or a training session with another character? Most in-game characteristics won't cater to increasing skill-level in this way, so that's where something like valor would step in. Anything you can do in a game, you should -- logically -- be able to roleplay out. Hence, you should be able to earn with valor.

Granted, certainly things like a handy knowledge of PvP won't come if you don't dip your toes in the water, but I feel like the point of roleplay is to be able to play the role of something you might not otherwise be capable of -- I'm terrible at combat in a PvP standard. Does that mean I'm resigned to having a character incapable of it? If it was about roleplay only, instead of button-mashing like a pro, perhaps there's a chance for me yet, albeit small, no doubt.

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... That, I believe, is the "problem" that RPers have with the whole going out to hunt routine. It really depends on the mud, but the more detail-oriented RPers will want to have a believeable motivation for their characters to do whatever activities they do. It doesn't have to be realistic, but it does have to make some kind of sense.
I agree with that and actually saw this behavior in a player on Arantha recently. He actually developed and worked out a reason for the time he was spending 'bashing' gnolls in order to validate it for his character, so that when my character interacted with him, it was actually a valid topic and reason for why he was wreaking havoc on this gnoll establishment. Neat stuff, I thought -- needs more of that!
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Old 02-25-2012, 01:33 PM   #9
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Re: Roleplay: Up for Reward?

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Originally Posted by Jazuela View Post
It's also strange, to me, to have to hunt, as the focus of the game.
The issue, in my opinion, is the fact that we're trying to translate life into text. The most popular genre for MUDs is medieval fantasy, spells and swords, which means we need ways for our characters to learn the arts of magic and weaponry within the confines of worlds defined by the written word. And there are only so many ways to do that. Balance has to be considered, as well as gameplay and longevity. So unless someone has a better idea for character advancement, based somewhere in reality, that scales for higher skill and years of play, "hunting" is going to have to be a focus.

Quote:
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Why is my character hunting? What does he need with a bunch of dead bats anyway? So I can up my sword skill? Really? Does that goal make any kind of sense, ICly? Do you know anyone who goes hunting, in real life, just so they can get better at swords? Or do people go hunting so they can put a trophy on their wall? Or have something to eat. Or make a pair of shoes to wear or sell...or bring to a taxidermist to stuff and put in a museum..
Do you know anyone, in real life, who lives down the valley from a fire-breathing dragon or whose city is constantly threatened by hoards of axe-wielding undead? How many games do you play where your character holds a 9 to 5 job for making the money to buy the stuff she needs to live?

I don't know about "upping my sword skill," but it makes sense to me for someone who's survival depends upon his ability with a sword to practice by using it. And there's usually more to hunting than that. It's usually also a means through which to acquire money, or elements required for alchemical or magical processes, or materials for armor, clothes or shoes, or whatever.

Bottom line is, the model of advancement used in MUDs isn't perfectly realistic, but it is realistic enough to me, especially in a mediaval setting, that I can accept it as a necessary evil of a text platform and go with the flow.

The best way to alleviate the "problem," IMHO, is to make hunting a fun, group oriented activity. Back in the day, before Simutronics parted company with Iron Crown, hunting in Gemstone III was intense and exciting. A group of us often went out together and killed stuff for hours. My guy picked the locks on the boxes we found. Dagmar kept us spelled up. Kayla healed us. There was a cleric who resurrected us if we died and many other folks who added their abities to our hunts. We role-played the whole time and had a blast, and not once did any of us wonder why we were there.

Last edited by Will : 02-25-2012 at 01:50 PM.
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Old 02-26-2012, 01:07 AM   #10
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Re: Roleplay: Up for Reward?

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... We role-played the whole time and had a blast, and not once did any of us wonder why we were there.
Essentially, yeah. This is something I super-agree with. Roleplay is what you make of it.
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