Roleplaying in MMORPGs


Some musings….

A friend and member of our team sent me a link to a very interesting article about roleplaying on the Massively Overpowered website. The article is by Bree Royce and is entitled The Trouble with Roleplaying in MMORPGs. 

The article was very well done and I agree with just about everything said. However, I was most fascinated by the comments.  130 comments from gamers, most of whom were still looking for a game where they could actually roleplay, and where the tools they needed were available.

Here are some of the things that I noted:

Designated Roleplay server

Emotes based on chat keywords

Rich profiles and bios

Housing where you can socialize and a reason to be at your house

Chat bubbles

Ability to sit in chairs (interact with objects)

Wardrobes

Languages that must be learned

Rich Lore

Non-combat roles that are not there just to support combat

No instant travel

No instant mail

In game methods of enforcing roleplay (No RP Police)

Reputation

Moods in bios

Chat system with custom channels

These are the ones I found but I am sure I missed some.  I found this very interesting. Most of these are pretty simple.  One I did not include was voice changing ability over a headset, only because that would be a 3rd party system.

The only ones that I don’t have currently in our roadmap are tying emotes into the chat system, which is a great idea and the moods in the bios.  These are relatively easy to add and would make great additions.

By the way, RP Police refers to players who constantly correct other players when they make mistakes. We want to encourage a place where players support others and while we expect everyone to stay IC, mistakes do happen. Trolls and griefers are a different story.

I did not see some things I thought would be important to roleplayers, maybe because they are already common in games, or because what roleplayers really care about is the interaction with other players.  I knew this, of course, but a lightbulb sort of flashed in my head. Wow!   Pretty pictures aside, interaction is the true reason for roleplaying and the reason we are making this game.

Some of things you will see in our game that were not included:

Dynamic world where  player actions matter

Consequences for actions, so if you do something good or bad, the “rewards” are different

Dynamic NPCs and Animals that react to interactions players and environmental needs

Player economy complete with a trade system

And much more….

So, now I know what they want and I know what we can give them. But….where are these roleplayers looking for a place to call home? If we build, will the come?

Creating for a niche group is risky and a bit scary. Since they do not seem to congregate in one place, it is hard to get information from them and to them.  Advertising in the future will more likely go into and out of the ears of players who have no interest in a roleplaying game. So will our attempt go unnoticed even by the very people who are seeking?

Of course, at this point in development, we are still doing all that back end stuff that simply isn’t all that sexy, such as servers and skills and attributes. We have pretty scenery, some houses, and a very cool inventory system.  Our character system is almost finalized and we have the beginnings of a nice wardrobe for our player characters and NPCs.  Animals can chase prey and run from predators or be hunted by players.

But…we still have a ways to go.  However, I have absolutely no doubt we will finish. 🙂  Too much time, money and talent has been invested into this project. So…if you see a few roleplayers wandering around, send them my way.

Teila

P.S. Feel free to add to that list. 🙂

This entry was posted in Legends of Aryiure, Musings, Roleplaying and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Roleplaying in MMORPGs

  1. Farelle says:

    historical places to explore 🙂 I think having bits and pieces of secrets, things you can discover that could be explaining how the world came to be, which invites players to pay attention to their surroundings is also a big aspect in how to make players feel more immersed.
    Like as example in the game wurm online, I have recognized that since players structures can decay and are falling apart slowly, aswell as the items inside that I quite often stop and wonder who was living there and then go to scavenge abandoned places just to find items with the signature of a player on it that I may have never heard of 🙂
    Or things like skeletons from dead animals, like in the real world when people are venturing out to find fossils and similar things to try to find about the past. having players come up with their own conspiracy theories and stories about how the world around them is, is probably very engaging 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • teilasblog says:

      Excellent ideas, Farelle! Welcome to the blog.

      The lore includes some secrets, ones that can be uncovered by the players in the long term. My hope is that players will find things, talk to others, and eventually put together the clues, sort of an epic quest available to all.

      Wurm Online does a lot of things well, and that is one of them. Houses will decay and in some cases, players can scavenge them. All items can be torn apart for useful parts although not at the original quality. I love the way you talk about “wondering who lived there” and “finding items with signatures of players whom you have never heard of”. That is exactly the type of environment we hope to create, a place that feels real and lived in, a place that draws you in, makes you curious. Making stories, creating their own theories, and even finding their followers will be encouraged.

      Great suggestions and your words drew a very compelling picture of how a game should be. Thanks!

      Teila

      Like

  2. teilasblog says:

    We would absolutely love to have you! Keep watching. Things should get interesting soon. 🙂

    Like

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