Thursday, June 18, 2009

Mean in RolePlay, or "Jerk or Dedicated?"

My husband's been leveling a druid to be BFF and de facto sidekick (primary reason for creation: Anzu summoner) to my Birdfall. Our (non-PVP!) server is for roleplaying, where people play as their characters. Submersive roleplay on Moon Guard is high, but there are still people who don't RP.

Aside from the occasional "can i haz guild invite?" yelled across Stormwind, when is it possible to know (without a RP flag addon) when someone is playing as a jerk rather than just being a jerk?

The hardcore roleplayers are easy to see -- they speak in uncluttered prose and signal roleplaying status through emotes and dialogue. But what about people who can't speak? Like . . . the other faction.

A hordie watched my husband's druid die yesterday and offered a /spit instead of help. My husband, used to PVP realms, chalked it up to another rude person behind the character.

But I always have niggling doubt -- is it the person? Or is it the character? Many alliance and horde on RP servers hate the other faction. If some people won't even train spells if they don't go with the character, wouldn't the opposition realistically stand and spit on your dying body?

I have the same question with fellow alliance, especially the nice, helpful ones. If their grammar is fine but they don't present the most obvious signs of being in character . . . are they? And you don't want to ask . . . if they are in character, helping you, it seems counterproductive (and random) to ask through whispers.

On Moon Guard, I assume everyone is in character unless they obviously aren't. But here are a few tips for how to show that you are in character:
  • Use a greeting that only your race uses, rather than "hello."
  • Emote something creative. "/e glances around for danger."
  • Speak in dialect. (Harder.) "Er ya go, lass."
You can also have a roleplaying addon and turn your flag to "in character," but unless the other person also has the addon, your best bet is to give them reasonable clues.

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