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Old 06-04-2005, 06:53 PM   #1
Nutai
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In reading the topic on description length, I was immediately drawn to think about the length of emotes in roleplaying situations.

Personally, I always find myself getting bored waiting for someone to write out long emotes. More accurately, if someone takes more than sixty seconds to type something out, my mind starts to wander and the situation seems to drag. Some people can type faster than others, in which case a long emote isn't such a big deal, but what do people consider to be a polite/reasonable response time for writing out an emote?

To me, there's a big difference between roleplaying and creative writing. Some people pride themselves upon writing the most lavish emotes they can possibly devise, taking exceptional care to choose just the right adjectives. Others feel the need to spew out up to six to ten lines all at once. I feel that these people are missing the point of what it is to roleplay.

If you've got a good vocabulary and can spice up your emotes, that always makes things more interesting, but the most important part of roleplaying in my mind is to make sure that you're actually doing something and that the flow is quick enough to get everyone involved excited about what is happening. Waiting three to four minutes to read someone eloquently describe how they are twiddling their thumbs has never struck me as particularly entertaining.

So after that rant, I'll repeat: how long should someone reasonably take to write out an emote? What do people believe to be the optimal balance between eloquence and action?
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Old 06-04-2005, 07:27 PM   #2
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The difference between roleplaying and creative writing really depends on the specific environment and whether it focuses on writing/storytelling or action/quick emotes.

Personally? Even though my games focus on writing, I still don't like to drag things along too much. How elaborate I get depends on the situation: In action sequences, I most certainly keep things brief, concise but as colorful as possible. In more dramatic situations, and especially with fewer people involved in the scene, I may take longer. But I do try to limit composition time to no more than a few minutes.
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Old 06-04-2005, 07:37 PM   #3
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I like short, pithy emotes. I love elaborate details in writing, but I don't need to know exactly how someone blinks their eyes. Frankly, I don't really care. Just let me know what you're doing and I will understand. I don't really watch someone tying their shoes in real life, though I may glance enough to know that they are tying their shoes, I don't stare at them and absorb all their hand movements.
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Old 06-04-2005, 07:44 PM   #4
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The maximum length I want to deal with is inversely proportional to the number of participants. :>

Ie: 2 people, I don't mind waiting 10 minutes between poses/emotes if they're of good quality most of the time. Heck, I'll happily wait 15 if the scene calls for longer than normal. 15 is about the longest I want to wait between rounds though. If it gets longer than that I get this really bad temptation to log onto Yahoo and play a game of chess while waiting...

I like to pose in 3-5 minutes under normal conditions, myself. This isn't something set in stone or anything, but I like enough time to think out the action and then enough time to write it out.
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Old 06-05-2005, 01:04 AM   #5
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I agree. Less is more in some instances. Overly detailing emotes only does them injustice. As long as you are straightforward enough to be leading, that is enough.
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Old 06-05-2005, 09:24 AM   #6
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When it's "busy" with PCs all doing stuff, I much prefer short and sweet. Screen scroll drives me nuts. I don't need to know the exact angle of your head when you nod. I don't need to know that three six-inch strands of hair, the precise hue of the sun when it hovers in the middle of the desert sky, have tumbled like a rippling dune in front of your nearly-translucent pearly-pale neck.

In fact, I probably don't want to know either of those things, ever, and will likely read an emote like that once. If I notice the player does little else but drawing attention to their extraordinary emoting prowess, I'm inclined to just avoid RPing with that person. I'd try to figure out a way to have my character simply not be interested in interacting with them.

Flowery writing is great for poetry. I don't feel it is necessary in roleplaying. I certainly can understand that there are times when it adds to a scene, or breaks up the monotony. But people who do this all the time, to the exclusion of all else, are equally monotonous. I also wonder why the heck all these flowery emoters are also -really slow- typists! I mean sheesh - if you're gonna slam-dunk a series of 4-liners down my throat, at least have the courtesy to do it quickly so I don't have to endure it for more than a few minutes!

Obviously I wouldn't last long in a MUSH I don't have the patience for that. I'm not fond of canned socials either - they're too flat. Players who mix up their emotes, who type fairly quickly, who can bring me into the scene without feeling the need to point out every nuance of every piece of furniture in the room, and who have a basic understanding of grammar and punctuation...those are the players I enjoy RPing with most.
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Old 06-05-2005, 09:34 AM   #7
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Yev: 15 minutes? Wow. That's really surprising to me. It would just seem as though you'd have to spend hours upon hours in order to get anything substantial accomplished if that much time was spent between emotes. Are you doing something else while RPing, or can you patiently wait for 15 minutes just staring at a screen while the other person types?
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Old 06-05-2005, 10:49 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Jazuela @ June 05 2005,10:24)
Obviously I wouldn't last long in a MUSH I don't have the patience for that.
I wouldn't be so sure. You might be quite happy on a MUSH - but you might get aggravated with *some* MUSHers who are incredibly slow typists. But I've actually found that many players I encounter on MUSHes are rather quick typists *and* conscientious about keeping their poses short and sweet when the occasion calls for it. Delays more often come from the fact players may be drawn AFK for something - not from an effort to outprose everyone in the room.
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Old 06-05-2005, 12:28 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nutai
Yev: 15 minutes? Wow. That's really surprising to me. It would just seem as though you'd have to spend hours upon hours in order to get anything substantial accomplished if that much time was spent between emotes. Are you doing something else while RPing, or can you patiently wait for 15 minutes just staring at a screen while the other person types?
Most of the time I'm waiting 5-7 minutes, and stuff does get done. I also do a lot of priority stuff though. As in, I'll openly classify one scene as important and needing finished and another as 'I'd like to finish but I can get on with my life if otherwise.'

15 minutes is the longest I want to wait for everyone else in the room. I don't care whether it's 5 people or 10 or 50. Also, where I play pose/emote length is 3-7 lines normally, with one liners or 7+ line emotes in occassionally. It's not like there's a rule that says 3-7 lines for all emotes. :>

Anyway, after about 15 minutes if it's not an AFK or something else I begin to get irritated, and will either find a way out, or just OOC and say "I'm out of here." If it goes on for too long.

A lot of this goes into one of my big tenets of RP that'll sound odd: It's about me first. - And I don't care if everyone says that, really. Since I pursue my own self interest in role playing, I'll go and make interesting scenes and make interesting contributions to scenes. Other people can get involved, thus increasing my entertainment. On the converse, when other people generate fun I get involved in, I get fun for myself but not without giving back my own idea generation to everyone else. It's for this same reason that as a group we try to be courteous and friendly to other players, and respect them. We get our own benefits.

Along with this: When I'm not having fun anymore, I'll leave. I don't mean I'll leave if bad stuff happens ICly, I mean I'll leave if I'm waiting 30 minutes to emote and it takes 90 minutes for something just to get started. I'm not having fun at that point and I'm no longer contributing. So for my benefit and the benefit of everyone else involved: I get out of the scene.

As for what I do between emoting: I have alts, I'll chat on the channels (There are global channels where I play at), maybe even play some Yahoo chess... I put the scenes I'm in first, but will happily do other things if it facilitates the other players trying to make a good scene of fun.
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Old 06-05-2005, 03:55 PM   #10
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When roleplaying on a MUSH I'll usually pump out 2-5 lines in a minute or less. Medium length, and maximum speed. If my character happens to be doing something very detailed and is the center of the action I could throw out eight or nine lines of text in three or four minutes, sometimes longer.

Roleplaying on non-MUSHes, though, I very rarely emote. Things generally go much quicker, with no 'pose order', so to speak, and if you take the time to write a three-line emote it won't make any sense by the time it's done. So I generally just stick with text and pre-made emotes such as 'smile', 'shake', 'frown', ect.
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Old 06-06-2005, 11:35 PM   #11
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I try to use the pose order that I think will be best for the scene. If two characters are having a witty banter session, that often calls for snappy dialogue, which is just bogged down by a lot of drawn-out action description.

If someone wants to pose a huge paragraph at a time, I have no inherent problem with that. If they're a good writer, it can be worth the wait. The problems that I have is when the paragraphs feel padded. I don't want to wait fifteen minutes for one line of real content, and ten lines of laundry list detailing how each feature on the person's face is functioning. (There are, of course, exceptions to this, which involve being such a fantastic writer that you can make this kind of padding fun to read.)

The other problem that long poses often create is dialogue. I hate hate hate it when there are too many lines of dialogue in one pose. In real life, you get -mad- when people hog the conversation and talk too much. But in MUSH RP, there's this odd phenomenon where each character will orate for a little while, then pass the torch off to the next character, and none of them will find that odd IC.

Even worse is when the poses start to get so long that you have to have "Jane looks at Bob and says X. She replies to Bill's question with Y. She nods and says Z to Bert."

That's just -way- too awkward. It would be so much more fun, snappy, and readable if each of those were individual poses.
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Old 06-08-2005, 10:59 AM   #12
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That's an interesting one, Doreen. I notice people hold more 'multiple conversations' in MUSHes than they do in real life. So, you get someone speaking with Bob, Bill, and Bert at the same time, when holding two different conversation streams that are seperate is a rarish thing RL for any length of time. I think that's what precipitates that awkwardness. I've been, just very lately, having my characters say "Excuse me, please" and just addressing one at a time when I feel like being super-realistic. It's sure a change.

As for the original topic, pose length, my MUSH has all kinds. I find, like Doreen, that certain types of poses work better for me with certain types of scenes. I also find, though, that I enjoy shorter poses from longer-term roleplay partners.

This sounds kind of odd, but what it means, basically, is that if I know your character for long enough that the facts of their actions will have enough time to accumulate into a meaningful personality, I want that. I'd rather pose short to get more 'stuff' in.

If it seems like your char doesn't have much of a personality, OTOH, then I guess we can fall back on imagery, but that's not quite so exciting to me. Of course, I like variety, so popping longer poses into more sensual scenes (those where the chars are using their senses, get yet mind outta that gutter) is really nice.

And for scale, my original paragraph here would be a middling-long pose, were it a pose, with the second paragraph being approximately 'short pose' length. A single line across the screen always looks lonely to me, although I don't mind them as punctuation/emphasis/occasional simplicity.
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Old 07-08-2005, 01:16 AM   #13
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Anyone else want to chime in on this topic?
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Old 07-09-2005, 12:14 AM   #14
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*edited because now that I look back on myself posting this, I don't think it fit in well with this thread*
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Old 07-09-2005, 12:39 PM   #15
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I gravitate towards action-oriented RP MUDS in which interactions tend to be minimally padded with insignificant (to me) details. I'm interested in the storyline, the happenings, but not that the dark, furrowed brows I saw in a desc are, in fact, still dark and furrowed. I like an occasional little bit of descriptive info along with the action or words of a char for flavoring, but it seems more effective to me when characters show the depth and adherence to role through words and actions without a great deal of mundane descriptive padding.

Poses with more than a couple of lines seem to me like attempts to 'hog the stage'. Long soliloquy turn-taking would seem unrealistic and awkward. And response times of more than 1 - 1.5 minutes would suggest to me that a char I'm RPing with is having link problems or an AFK emergency. These are my own impressions, though--from the thread, I see many of us have very different RP sensibilities.

One of the reasons I gave up on Robert Jordan's "Wheel of Time" series was that the movement of the story felt continually bogged down by minutiae. A fantastic story--but the 16th description of the height of a bustline and a character tugging her braid for the 34th time--how tedious!
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Old 07-21-2005, 02:15 AM   #16
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I tend to be a fast typist so I don't take a lot of time to strike a pmote or toss out an emote. On the whole I don't like waiting for two minutes while someone types an emote, but I don't always wait. I'll force the pace a bit by sending out another emote or a question or directing an NPC I control to interact elsewhere in the room. Does a delay from the other person typing slow down RP? Yes, however, I've played on horrible computers and in public computer labs (back in college) or while working and often had to suffer slight interruptions so I'm rather forgiving when others take their time.

Just my quick thoughts on the matter.

Take care,

Jason
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