I hereby dedicate this “Memory Monday” post to RP. For those who don’t know, that’s short for “RolePlaying.” Specifically, a set of memories from my roleplaying history in the popular MMORPG (Massive multiplayer online roleplaying game), World of Warcraft. If you’d like to give it a try, awesome! Leave a comment and I’ll help you get set up through recruit a friend. Trying the game is free up to level twenty.
Anyway, back on topic. I’ve never been one for boxes, so when I originally started playing this game (and the only lore I found was dry and boring; I’ve since found the Wow Wiki which provides far more interesting reads) I knew almost nothing about the lore and history.
Eager for roleplay anyway, I switched to an RP server and created Renawyn. Now, the last time I did this in a roleplaying game was Everquest. I went with amnesia…even though real amnesia doesn’t explain a loss of historical and cultural knowledge. This time, I wanted to avoid the old amnesia excuse.
Back on point, I noticed talk of other realms and worlds in some of the dry history, specifically that a group of titans created many worlds besides Azeroth. What’s more, portals to and from some of these worlds exist in lore. Orcs and demons are technically an alien species!
I used that as Renawyn’s existence loophole. She was from another world entirely and fell through time and space to Azeroth via a freak accident on her world. Problem solved. She knew all about her world. Another character of mine (Lesara) found her half-drowned and nursed her back to health. She helped teach Rena common a few years prior to live RP. Rena learned quickly out of necessity, and now wanted to explore Azeroth. The perfect excuse to learn more about this new world along with my character.
And people loved RPing with her! The RP was so involved and intense sometimes I never bothered to question if we were all having fun.
Now, I had already encountered other roleplayers trashing me, claiming I couldn’t do this. I even ended up on a board dedicated to server Mary Sues for mocking. Stop right there. A board created specifically for RPers HATING on other RPers. No wonder so many people got tired of the crap and quit, or began griefing (a term for players doing what they can to mess up or interfere in obnoxious ways with your RP) instead.
Fast-forward past a huge mess with one small group of “friends” that left me a neurotic former RPer mess and I STILL ask people if I’m boring them. Thanks to a toxic dose of haters and Mary Sue accusations I drew in, RP turned from fun and off the cuff to constant worry and second guessing. Funny thing is, people STILL wanted to RP with me. My slow changes back into the “acceptable” box disappointed many friends, some of which spent years watching me go from a favoured RP companion to a neurotic apologist for my RP, eventually avoiding it at all costs (with put-it-off excuses).
I’m only just recently recovering from that. My stories are more tame now, but not because of the haters. My stories are more tame because I’ve matured as an RPer. I got those first stories (some are kind of embarassing, even if we did have fun) out of my system. I have 20 characters…more if you count the secondaries on the account I share with my son. Yeah, some are purely within the bounds of what Blizzard gives me in lore, others…Well, I love it outside the box too.
Occasionally I still see haters. Some get puffy over my Arashanti race (or similar attempts by other players). “Blizzard gives you plenty of lore and history and diversity to play with! Changing or adding entirely new things makes my character an idiot for not knowing anything about yours! I don’t even know how to RP with that!”
My answer? So don’t. Honestly, if you’re that vehement about it before you even allow me to explain how I fit them in the lore…we have no business RPing together, just ignore me.
These days, what makes me most angry about these haters are new RPers joining the scene. The more I hear haters loud and clear on a variety of servers, the more I see mousy RPers afraid to jump in. They spend months quietly watching everyone else RP before they disappear, either from the game entirely, to another server, or just away from RP entirely. The haters intimidate them. The haters create an environment that doesn’t tolerate mistakes. “Pro or go home!”
The haters can shove it. I’ve heard every justification for hating on new RPers, immature storylines, storyline mistakes, and out of the box thinking under the sun. All nonsense! Stop. Being. A. Hater. ARGH! You may sneer at new RP blood, but I get excited seeing it. No, everyone does not have to be on your page of the game. Millions of people play this stupid game and I don’t know about you, but I prefer small groups anyway. Leave me with my few “pathetic” friends and go enjoy RP with yours already (Is it a lack of friends that gives you so much time to troll us?)!
I once spent time in an in-game chat channel that only exacerbated my RP apologist attitude while simultaneously making me angry at this type of RPer. A few regulars, all in the same guild (with the same habits), frequently made a game of reading and then mocking pretty much any character description over a sentence long (unless that sentence mentioned anything they looked down on…and that was quite a lot). Then they turned around and COMPLAINED about RPers without a character description too!
This atmosphere is very toxic and I absolutely hate it. I’m still very slowly getting my RP mojo back. As whack and Mary Sue as my RP was, at its height of whackiness I had mutual fun with lots of people. Often, it got to the point that I had so many players requesting RP with me that I needed to schedule people in by order of request (“Hey, wanna RP?”) if they weren’t willing to swing by and become part of a small (or larger) group.
These jerk-faces took away my favourite RP partner too. Yeah, I blame them. After the crap hit the fan with a side-group of friends, my favourite RP buddy was never the same until he eventually quit the game entirely.
Well, I refuse to give them any more than that. I’m taking my mojo back, I’m swallowing all my apologies, and embracing my style, from my Sueyest character to my Plain Janes. I’m through letting them bully everyone off the playground too, time to start embracing all RPers again, experienced and novice alike. I share part of the blame for the vanishing RP noobs, but no more!
I end with a comic I made regarding my Arashanti tribe from northern Stranglethorn Vale. It’s my very first comic, be gentle (made with photoshopped screenshots from World of Warcraft). PS I intended something more pointed than funny. I hope you enjoy it!
Millions of people…many many different servers…turns out Azeroth IS big enough for the two of us. L2share.