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Old 06-14-2005, 12:34 AM   #1
Akraasiel
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It seems that every hack and slash out there now goes by the title of roleplay encouraged. Yes they provide histories, and perhaps general guidelines, but does this really count as encouraging a player to roleplay?

If you give a woman a toolbox and let her loose, expecting a Cistine Chapel out of it, is that encouraging her to build it, or just giving the opprotunity to do so? To encourage her to build it would be to offer some incentive for it. But I find in many RPE muds that there is no incentive, merely a toolbox, then administrators slap the label of RPE on the mud to attract the widest possible playerbase.

Note that I admire the skill and tenacity of IRE, but Im going to use their games for this example.

Their system does not reward roleplay, but is designed to encourage hack and slash styled powergaming, by making the only tangibles in the game purely dependant on mechanics oriented gameplay. A scholarly mage who spends their life studying the intricasies of their magicks wont learn anything, due to the hardcoded nature of the game. However a hack and slash character who does nothing but pwn mobs for leet lewt and expie will bloom into a far more adept magick user than the scholar. In this specific case, roleplay is not encouraged, but rather discouraged. There are no tangible incentives to roleplayers, but there are tangible incentives for powergamers who play for everquestlike gameplay. I can understand the appeal of the style, and how well that style sells, but I really find objections to its advertisement as a roleplay encouraged MUD.

IRE is not alone in this phenomenon, merely perhaps the best known example. What has this phenomenon done to the state of roleplay in MUD's and specifically, how can it be fixed? (assuming that the proprietors of claimed RPE's want to fix it)
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Old 06-14-2005, 01:19 AM   #2
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Not-so-simply put, this phenomenon creates crass, bitter RP'ers who oftentimes end up having difficulty when they eventually move on to a true roleplaying game; like the man stuck in solitary confinement for thirty years, they tend to become their own island.

That said, though, RPE's are oftentimes the budding grounds for future rp'ers, as those HnSers who start searching for something more. This is one of the two reasons I'm not out starting a jihad against RPE's. The other, of course, is that there are some people who actually enjoy the lack of pressure that RPE's have, as since there are no palpable gains or losses from how 'good' or 'serious' of a roleplayer you are, whatever you do is welcome. It tends to morph into light and whimsical behavior that verges on AOL chatroom emotes that some people enjoy *immensely*.

How can it be fixed, though? I don't think there is a way. There will always be a palpable benefit for games to attract the roleplaying crowd (as some rp'ers will stay for the HnS), and a lot of work involved in making it truly an RPI. Unless the administrators truly want to revamp their game into a new creature, there is no way (that I've seen) to shift the roleplaying environment into something more than a toolbox.
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Old 06-14-2005, 01:51 AM   #3
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In my opinion, there's no such thing as an RPE MUD. Either it's a roleplaying MUD or it's not. The thing that makes a roleplaying environment an acceptable place to really RP and not just horse around and call yourself an orc is the consistancy of the experience. In an RPE, anyone's free to disrupt that whenever they want and hide behind the shield of it being RPE. Not only that, but like the topic creator says, most RPEs tend to be H&S games with storylines. But, again, simply using a character as an avatar isn't roleplaying.

Since roleplaying hinges on that consistant environment that lets the character be a character and not just another NPC programmed to walk around and be able to 'kill monster,' it's very easy to shatter the illusion with even a slight mention of OOC material. That's why the term RPE is just wishful thinking at best and simple delusion at worst.
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Old 06-14-2005, 03:58 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by (Gabocha @ June 14 2005,08:51)
In my opinion, there's no such thing as an RPE MUD. Either it's a roleplaying MUD or it's not.
As with most things mud-related, everyone has their own preferences. Some prefer the stick (get punished if you don't roleplay, or roleplay badly - aka "Roleplaying Enforced") while others prefer the carrot (get rewarded for good roleplaying - aka "Roleplaying Encouraged"). Both types of mud appeal to a different audience, and each audience tends to deride the other as being inferior, but at the end of the day they're both 'roleplaying muds'.
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Old 06-14-2005, 04:05 AM   #5
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In my foolish quest to try out every MUD in existance (nothing too long term, but this way I can at least recommend or not recommend a MUD if a friend asks), I have run across several MUDs that claim to be RP but really come across as RPE or H&S pretending to be RP*. Once, I tried out a MUD that I was just about to compliment on being the fourth best H&S I'd ever tried when I was informed by one of their staff that since I'd reached a certain level, I was now required to create a description and RP while xping. In addition, I was told that when I did, I'd receive an xp bonus. Now, what the #### was I supposed to RP having just spent an hour or so killing everything in sight? That I was a serial killer, like every other player marching around? Completely unenjoyable for RP, this MUD put restrictions on its H&S nature. The result was a MUD I can not possibly recommend to RPers or H&Sers. Hence, I agree that you're either role-playing or you're not. Combining aspects of both just leaves you with the worst elements of each format.

Take care,

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Old 06-14-2005, 04:51 AM   #6
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Judas PRIEST! And people wonder why HnS'ers consider the RPI crowd "elitist snobs."

*snorts*

Ok, although I *want* to flame the lot of you as hard as you so richly deserve...I'm going to leave it at that, and attempt to offer some concrete suggestions, instead.

1) RPE's could offer retro-coded additions to rooms. If there are things that would interest a certain class, say, scrolls on a desk that a mage might be interested in reading, code could be added to give xp to a mage who attempts to read them. Warriors who try to read them might find them written in a language they don't understand, whereas a mage might find a historical document or whatever.. something semi-useless in nature, but either way, xp would be awarded for doing something with an item. The warrior might get LESS xp for trying to read it, perhaps warriors could get more xp for lighting the whole desk on fire. Figure out what you *want* that class to do with things in a room, what they MIGHT try and do with them, and then, add a small xp thing if they happen to try that certain thing. Record syntaxes attempted in that room, and by whom, and build your retro-fit accordingly, with common syntax tries built in.

2) Add an exploration system. Make it fancy. Perhaps add a time element. Give xp to people who actually take time to read the game, and play it out, trying syntaxes.

3) Give non-combat related character rewards/autoloaders to people who make the effort to 'round out' their class, and who in the long run 'pick up' on the type of person they can be in their class. Warriors who excel at combat might get a battlescar of power. Thieves who consistently steal might get a black armband. Clerics who actually party and heal might get a glowing aura of goodness. None of these things is a 'perk' or affects fighting, but looks classy on the char.

4) Tell true RPI fanatics to stay the #### off your mud, and go where they aren't sneering down their noses at your regulars. Oh, wait... that was flame territory. I've run out of constructive ideas, so better quit while I'm behind. I'll slink back to my RPE Mud and kill some more stuff, while I play out my beautiful Priest, who's more a cleric than a lot of RPI'ers I've ever met. She can spell better, too.

With greatest bitterness,
EM
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Old 06-14-2005, 05:04 AM   #7
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IRE muds aren't as bad as say a mud where there is only IC channel(and it is global and never used) and everything else is strictly OOC/pure hack&slash and yet it calls itself RP Encouraged. (Yes, there are muds like that. You can't realy look at what a mud calls itself all the time, you have to play it and see for yourself often enough)

Oh, also wanted to point out that out of the H&Sers and the RPMers(roleplay mandatory which is a more broad catagory than RPI), it seems like the H&Sers are usually the ones insulting the other group and talking about how they are so much better, and yet still call the RPMers elitist. Anyway, just food for thought.
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Old 06-14-2005, 12:35 PM   #8
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For me, there is a *significant* difference in the type of "Role Play" that is 'intended' when you talk about a levelless, RPI environment as opposed to a game that calls itself RPE.

It is more than a semantic difference, it is a tonal difference in the Game itself. RPI/M MU*s afford a great deal more interaction between Gods and Mortals, and those interactions forge the world. A player walking onto an RPI, after being approved, knows that they will have the opportunity to immediately and in the long term impact the Game, the landscape, the economy, the history, and many other aspects of the Game without ever becoming a God/Builder/Coder/Imm.

When walking onto an RPE MU*, these assumptions don't hold.

On an RPE, the type of 'pose' RP that is 'mandatory' in a levelless system is moot. Players do *NOT*, nor will they ever have the opportunity to impact the direction of the Game's world through their poses. RPE means that there is a world, and players are encouraged to pick a role within the game, and live UP to it. The roles are pre-defined: classes, races, guilds, whatever... this structure is THERE. A player must learn to 'fill out' the Game's 'intent'.

On an RPE, player interaction with the GAME ITSELF becomes the role-play. The Game's success and continuation does not rely on players being online together to make sure it exists. Players breathe daily life into these worlds, but are NOT the world itself. The CODE is the World... players come to be a PART of it, not the entire thing. Players who want to Role-Play in this environment learn to work within the Game's structure, they learn that they are NOT the center of the action. Their Role-Play is a *different type of RP* than what is INTENDED in a world where poses create the action.

"Encouraging" RP simply means that players can take one of the pre-defined roles, and breathe life into it. It does NOT mean, "you will be able to Role Play immersively here." Players who RP in an RPE give a sense of depth to the code. But the GAME ITSELF exists outside of the players.

Immersive or Mandatory RP games are a *completely* different type of situation. People who are used to fully immersive RP will *never* find this type of experience on an RPE MU*. Gods are hard-coding, not interacting or reading logs of player interaction to see what direction the world is taking at that point in time. This does NOT mean that Role Play is NOT being 'encouraged.'

It is, but the RP is a _different type_ of RP.

Yes, the players are only given a 'toolkit.' But it is a disservice to act like the RP found on RPE's is "not really RP." Players who USE the toolkit CAN end up painting the Sistine Chapel. The difference is, on an RPI, that Chapel tends to be the entire world, whereas in an RPE, that Chapel is ONLY the PC itself.

That does NOT mean that Role Play is NOT 'encouraged.' There may not be a carrot on a stick for doing so, this is true. But I *GUARANTEE YOU* that there is Role Play involved in ANY HnS game. That is *specifically* why there ARE races and classes... so that people can BE SOMETHING THEY ARE NOT IN REAL LIFE.

The definition people who are used to RPI use for 'role play' is so very limited. There is only one type of 'real' role play for them, the fully immersive pose type. This is because that type of RP affords a LOT of leeway and control over the direction of the PC as well as the Game itself. Players in RPE worlds know that their RP is NOT going have control over the direction of the world. They accept that fact, and play the role they are handed at character creation. They are content with that.

Any RPE that wants to 'encourage' more RP has to give players the opportunity to grow and fill out the framework they're given at character creation. There have to be options and various directions. They can even reward those players who actually 'role play' to a higher standard within the confines of the enviornment.

For people who are used to the freedom RP immersive worlds afford, this is a vexing and limiting situation. I understand the frustrations with it. It would be wise, however, for immersive players to UNDERSTAND that the *type* of RP they are looking for is not what RPE games afford.

But dog GONE it, that does not make the RP found on RPE games of a lesser quality. It is merely a much more rare phenomenon, and is a darn sight tougher to accomplish, because the Game LIMITS, by definition, how much impact any given PC will have. An RPE RP'er will have to live up to the hard code's intent. An Immersive player gets to forge, an Encouraged player gets to fulfill.
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Old 06-14-2005, 06:37 PM   #9
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I fear that the heart of some of the disagreement here revolves around the definition of what roleplay is, as Earthmother states in her insightful post.

Akraasiel would likely define roleplay as acting out a role in-character and playing a game expressly to act out that role. Earthmother would likely define roleplay in her game as staying within the theme of her character while doing other things, such as exploration and the like.

I don't believe that things are as cut and dry as people want to make them out to be, and I don't think that you can classify all RPI's together and all RPE's together, as one will discover many differences from game to game even within each category.

As KaVir wrote, everyone has their own preferences. Each MUD may tackle an issue such as roleplay differently. There isn't anything wrong with anyone's viewpoint or approach, just many different options for players to try out. As soon as you start branding every game with labels such as RPI or RPE or hack'n'slash, some people start going for each others' throats. I've played variations on all three of those types and found them all to be enjoyable in their own way, as they all provided different forms of entertainment.

Why worry so much about these labels and about hating "RPI fanatics" or looking down upon RPE players? Not everyone is so set in their ways. Many people can appreciate all different types of games and can judge the enjoyment that they might derive from them by looking deeper than a three letter designation.
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Old 06-14-2005, 06:37 PM   #10
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I had a nice long post typed up, but really, Earthmother said it better than me.
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Old 06-14-2005, 07:22 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by (Nutai @ June 14 2005,19:37)
I don't believe that things are as cut and dry as people want to make them out to be, and I don't think that you can classify all RPI's together and all RPE's together, as one will discover many differences from game to game even within each category.

As KaVir wrote, everyone has their own preferences.

<snip>

Why worry so much about these labels and about hating "RPI fanatics" or looking down upon RPE players? Not everyone is so set in their ways. Many people can appreciate all different types of games and can judge the enjoyment that they might derive from them by looking deeper than a three letter designation.
Nutai, you're quite right in your assessments. I only snipped for brevity.

Three-letter designations *are* limiting. Games vary widely, and appeal to different audiences. There's something out there for everyone.

I'm sorry for the tone of my first post being so snarky -- I honestly have *nothing* against RPI/M games, and I really respect those people who put such great effort and time into bringing those worlds to life. I think that type of experience really appeals to writers (and aspiring writers). I think these types of worlds are outstanding for what they are: worlds that people have an enormous amount of freedom on, a creative outlet, and a rich, personal, immersive experience.

I have just watched these boards, and this particular forum for several years. I have become very bitter with what I consider to be a very limited definition of what "Role Play" is. When I see 4, 5 posts saying that 'there is no such thing as Role Play in RPE games,' it just gets my dander up. I take that sort of statement very personally.

That type of statement undermines all the time I've spent immersing myself in the world I enjoy. It negates all the hours I've spent living up to the role I chose at character creation. That type of statement even gets me mad WITHIN my game, but it comes under a different guise there. There, it comes when I get angry with some situation, frustrated, and I vent. Then, the blowoff statement is: "It's ONLY a GAME."

The underlying sentiment is the same: that when the focus of a game is killing and leveling, all interactive experience is a 'sideline,' rather than a valid, deep, enriching part of the world itself.

That is why I offered up the suggestions I did in my first post. Those types of tweaks CAN enrich the 'role play' aspect of any hack-n-slash game. They are NOT going to make the game an immersive Role-Playing experience, in the sense that MUSHes or MUCKs 'immerse,' that is true. But if the definition of "Role Play" is expanded beyond what many people in this particular forum keep insisting that it is, there ARE very real ways to let players escape from reality and play a role in a text based world.  

Again, I do apologize for being so rude. I truly can appreciate what other worlds offer, and I am not opposed to them, OR the people who play them. What I am opposed to is the attitude that what *I* do, what I have devoted a significant part of my life TO doing, and what I consider TO BE Role Play... is not Role Play. Seeing all those posts saying that 'role play can never exist in RPE games' just set me off. I should have been cooler when posting initially, and I apologize for sneering down my *own* nose at RPI folks. I just want to make it clear I really have nothing against them, and I *do* agree that many people will find enjoyment in many different types of enviornments, so long as they understand what to expect.
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Old 06-14-2005, 07:32 PM   #12
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Hey, there's nothing wrong whatsoever with being passionate about something that you enjoy and that you have spent a lot of time to improve. It seems that everyone just gets overly defensive because a very small minority set out to villify or debase one group or another.

Why does anyone worry about what everyone else is doing? We're all just people who enjoy playing MUDs. I don't think that anyone would want to deny anyone else the enjoyment of playing a game that they themselves might not enjoy.

If someone sees a listing for a game that calls itself RPE, and the game doesn't turn out to be what that person is looking for, that person just doesn't play that game. No harm done.
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Old 06-14-2005, 07:32 PM   #13
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I have to agree with Earthmother's second post, as well as Nutai. One of the things that seems to be an issue all across the roleplaying board (tabletop games included) is the gross overuseage of the word 'roleplay'. The word seems to range in meaning from directing the actions of an avatar, to as EM said taking control of a character and interacting with a coded world in code and word, to controlling character plus world with only descriptive words. Of course, there are a whole bunch of stops in-between, and variations and mix-and-matches on all those ways of doing things.

What I'd love to see (won't happen soon, but eh) is some sort of clear terminology to describe these differences. In general, on a MUD you roleplay by 'doing' things in interaction with code-- you're pretending to be a person drinking when you type 'drink wine' or 'smile' whatever, and the code then deals with telling other people what you're doing -- but the telling other people isn't the point of the game. In general, on a MUSH you roleplay by describing what your character does to other people, who are both audience and interactive world at the same time, and the point is to describe to each other what your characters do and thus mutually create the world.

I can kind of skirt around words for this: human-interactive roleplay vs code-interactive roleplay, descriptive roleplay vs active roleplay, whatever. Most of us have a good idea of what we're expecting with just the 'MUSH' and 'MUD' terminology, although sometimes that slips up.

In general, too, 'MUSH'es' encouragement to roleplay lies in the admiration of roleplaying peers. Standard encouragement on 'MUD's as described above involves an increase in ability or title.

If you want to encourage descriptive roleplay, it's good to have some way of publically recognising it. Doing something tends to be describing a thing so others can see it, so let others see it. Post logs of the roleplay on your website. Let people alter the world a little bit. Give them time to write some description of their actions, rather than making speed of command-input absolutely vital for the game. Give 'excuses' for more than one person to be in the same room so they can descriptively roleplay with each other, whether they be long-term excuses (a tavern) or short-term excuses (a party, kidnapped and held hostage in the same house).

If you want to encourage code-interactive roleplay, do much the same sort of thing: put in venues for it. On a code-interactive game, doing something means the code recognises what you're doing and helps narrate the story to you. Let people do a wide range of things in-character for the role they've chosen. Like EM said above, have books that can be 'read'. Make it easy for people to 'smile' and 'frown'. Give them pets to interact with, give them forests where wind actually blows, give some sort of feedback for walking down a street. If XP is a measurement of how many 'useful life experiences' someone's had, make sure they get XP for the things you want people to do.

I think it's trickier to do the MUD route because people expect different kinds of things from the world, and the code has to do it all.

In the MUSH-type roleplay described above (I know I'm grossly generalising here, and there are many many deviations from these generalisations on TMS) if someone wants a barstool, they just put it into their pose, no one had to think of it beforehand. If someone wants a handkerchief to do a fake magic trick, they put that in their pose.

On a MUD-style game, though, you need to anticipate the kinds of things people will want to do and support them, while thinking about the things people don't want to do, and not cluttering their time up with those things (Your nose itches. 'scratch nose' Your nose no longer itches.) Some people like a lot of nitty-gritty details, some like more sweeping details-free panning shots. While a MUSH environment automatically *is* whatever the players want it to be when they want it to be that way, a MUD environment stays however it was in the first place, never jumping details if they're put in, never only doing something when it's 'interesting'...

Bah, but I'm rambling on. Long and short, decide what the types of people you want to attract think of as a reward, make sure they have the ability to do the things you want them to do, and reward them when they do the things with that reward.

Most importantly, though, and the point of this post: make it clear, on your website or whatever, of the /type/ of encouragement you're giving roleplay, and the type of roleplay you have. Put snippets from your game up, describe what you do in clear terms and how you encourage it, and you'll get the type of people who like to do that thing and who like that type of encouragement. Once you have a group like that, they attract like-minded people, and it's all good.
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Old 06-14-2005, 11:11 PM   #14
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Having the suspicion (erm, ok, maybe paranoia) that the original poster may be talking about Lusternia, I’ll readily admit that I am not sure what the “official” definition of RPE is and further admit that, at least insofar as Lusternia is concerned, we may not meet such “official” definition. That said, I will tell you what I think RPE means to me and how I go about game design to encourage roleplay. First, it is my opinion that roleplay is its own reward. Thus, I am not an advocate of “roleplay points” or other gold stars to give players who meet some nebulous roleplay standards as subjectively determined by some roleplay council (whether other players or administrators/gods). This is not the type of ‘encouragement’ I’ve ever really witnessed that truly encouraged a good roleplaying atmosphere.

Of course, roleplay is often directly encouraged by gods (volunteer administrators) when they see good roleplaying, the reward of which is often divine interaction or involvement in an event or whatnot. I’d make a guess that almost all MUDs do this in some manner (and isn’t it encouraging roleplay?). However, going deeper than that, when designing a game system, I often ask myself how can the game design itself encourage roleplay. Sure, there are many skills for slaying mobs and thus rewards for doing same. But rather than just building areas full of mobs to kill, we pioneered the influence system (non-lethal combat) for those who wish to roleplay someone who can compete with ‘bashers’ without killing. Further, we designed areas that were loyal organizations so, for example, killing an orc in orc town will enemy you to all of orc town. This means you cannot do any quests in orc town without paying a high price to lift the enemy status. On top of this, player organizations could control some of these areas, so players would end up coming into conflict with player organizations by ‘bashing’ these areas. For many areas that weren’t able to be controlled by player organizations, they were part of quests which could either help or hurt a group of players.

In practice from what we’ve seen, players are very careful in which ‘sides’ they pick to ‘bash’. The players of the dark city go out of their way to never bash any of the mobs in areas that would hurt them. Thus, I feel for these ‘hack and slashers’ that RP is encouraged in that players do feel part of a somewhat real world in terms that their actions have consequences. The dark players protect dark villages and refrain from killing the demonic beings of the higher planes. In other words, a player used to bashing anything and everything they run across will soon find themselves ostracized or even hunted by other players for their indiscriminate actions.

Also, there are systems which I feel encourage roleplay, quests that affect a population of the world so that those who enjoy questing may quickly find that raising the ship of the dead will generate a lot of reaction from the player population.

Given the initial poster’s example of how to reward a scholarly mage for pouring over the books, I’m not really sure if that would be desirable (much less doable). For one, roleplay generally involves interaction with others and rewarding someone for sitting at a desk seems counterproductive. Interestingly enough, however, I was discussing an upcoming design for a library system with my volunteer administrators and they almost have me convinced of a design that would encourage players writing books. Though keep in mind that where game play is concerned, it is usually the actions of players that enhances roleplay, not so much any stories or treatises they may write.

Anyway, my point is (yes, I have one) is that, in my opinion, encouraging roleplay could be the systems and design of the MUD itself. Any MUD with a dynamic guild system encourages roleplay, any craft system encourages roleplay, quests could encourage roleplay, etc. To me, RPE is designing these tools for players that do indeed encourage roleplaying.
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Old 06-14-2005, 11:31 PM   #15
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I see the problem here as being partly one of nomenclature.
The terms "RP encouraged" and "RP mandatory" suggest a difference in how the game (in code and staff) treats roleplaying. But of equal importance to somebody looking for a MUD is the community of players and how they treat roleplaying.
Conversely, RPI seems to imply intensive RP among the community, but actually involves how the game is coded for RP.
The game and the community are linked, but not always the same. Encouraging RP helps but it is often how the playerbase develops and what they come to consider good RP that determines just what style is being encouraged or mandated.
I propose using two parallel sets of terms for describing the RP on a MUD. For the code/staff treatment of RP: RP accepted, RP encouraged, RP mandatory. For the community style of RP: RP casual, RP immersive, RP intensive. Or something like that.
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Old 06-15-2005, 11:46 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Estarra @ June 15 2005,06:11)
Anyway, my point is (yes, I have one) is that, in my opinion, encouraging roleplay could be the systems and design of the MUD itself. Any MUD with a dynamic guild system encourages roleplay, any craft system encourages roleplay, quests could encourage roleplay, etc.
God Wars II will have all of those features - are you saying I should list it as 'roleplaying encouraged'?
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Old 06-15-2005, 12:19 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by (KaVir @ June 15 2005,12:46)
Quote:
Originally Posted by (Estarra @ June 15 2005,06:11)
Anyway, my point is (yes, I have one) is that, in my opinion, encouraging roleplay could be the systems and design of the MUD itself. Any MUD with a dynamic guild system encourages roleplay, any craft system encourages roleplay, quests could encourage roleplay, etc.
God Wars II will have all of those features - are you saying I should list it as 'roleplaying encouraged'?
I'm not saying whether you should or should not list it as an RPE. You are the best judge if these features were designed to encourage roleplay. (Unless there's some RP Committee out there who makes these determinations that I'm unaware of.)
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Old 06-15-2005, 01:04 PM   #18
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I think that there is a bit of confusion on terms. I think Ill stick with IRE as my example in these cases because they are perhaps the best known muds around. (as a whole)

When I think roleplay encouraged, I tend to think that such means that the act of roleplaying is both facilitated by the code itself as well as by the divine, and the players reap reward for roleplay. Not as some pretty gold star, but roleplay relevant rewards. However this system means that any lesson or practice point mud falls short of the definition unless the divines of the realm reward roleplay manually as such. IRE's learning system, as well as their hack and slashed based character growth system prevent this from applying.

When I think roleplay allowed muds, I tend to think of a mud that has the framework that allows roleplay to occur, guilds, economics, maybe a political system, as well as divines who get involved with roleplay on and off. I think that IRE as a whole falls into this category best.

When I think roleplay intensive muds, I think of a mud where roleplay isnt something that is a question, but a fact of life, where roleplay is THE ONLY way to grow. If you dont roleplay getting somewhere you wont get there. Continuing with the example of IRE, they fall far short of this. The inherant mechanics of the game are geared toward min/maxing and other hack and slash principals, making the title of roleplay intensive far beyond its grasp.


I do not think that any level of roleplay MUD, or even Hack and Slash muds are inferior to one another on this principal merely different, though I think that muds should be advertised as what they are. If roleplay is truely encouraged, then its an RPE, if it is merely allowed, with no tangible benefits within the game to it, then it is RPA, and if it is essential to gameplay, with no other route for advancement, then a game is RPI. If no roleplay whatsoever is coded for within the game, nor encouraged by the staff, then it is Hack and Slash. All of these games have their appeal, but the concept of advertising a RPA as an RPE or a RPA as a hack and slash, I find unsettling. That was the entire point of my original post, and to spark discussion on where the dividing lines lie.
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Old 06-15-2005, 01:10 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Akraasiel @ June 15 2005,14:04)
IRE's learning system, as well as their hack and slashed based character growth system prevent this from applying.
One has to wonder why various of our games have bothered putting in systems like our God system, our House system, our political systems, our heraldy systems, our books and journals, our in-role quests or why we bother holding in-role events if we're not encouraging RP.

Manual rewards for RP is one method of encouragement. Just one. (And one I happen to find personally distasteful and damaging to RP, as it turns RP into an achiever mechanic.)

--matt
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Old 06-15-2005, 01:21 PM   #20
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Youre giving players a framework, within which to roleplay, but this isnt actually encouraging your players to roleplay. It goes back to my previous analogy of giving someone the tools to do something, does that mean they will do it? Of course not. But if you give them some form of tangible encouragement for it, as well as the tools to do so, then you bet that they will go out of their way to do it. That's the difference between roleplay encouraged and roleplay allowed.

As for it making roleplay then relevant to the achiever types as well as the socializers, thats a good thing. If your mud is encouraging to roleplay then it makes sense that it would draw in groups that usually dont roleplay and give them desire to do so!
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