I’ve started up a new mini-blog. It’s basically the a continuation of the “Let’s Play” ideas where I take a character in an MMO, and give him a story. You get to follow along with text and pictures. Anyway, give it a look through if you’re bored.
Massively Multiplayer Roleplaying Essays
Gordon from We Fly Spitfires wrote, both on his blog and on this one, about the seeming transition of Roleplaying from inside games to outside them, such as on blogs or websites. It’s interesting to have watched it change over the years, and while hope may be dying for Gordon, mine has just been sparked by a simple memory.
I remember playing Ultima Online many years ago, back when it was new and revolutionary. Roleplayers were everywhere and no matter what you did you were exposed to it. In many ways it was the opposite of what we have now. But you know what I remember most? Out of my entire time playing Ultima Online, the one thing I look back on with the most fondness were the guides.
The only guides I could find, and the guides I really wish I could find now, were in character. I remember specifically reading an alchemy guide and it was entirely in character. Just try to imagine the creativity it would take to not only figure out all of the information needed to create a guide, but to then make a story out of it that was compelling.
The fishing guide was another favorite of mine. It was told from the perspective of a young whipper snapper (you) as you met with an aged, salty fisherman. He told you about some of the misconceptions the people of Brittania had when it came to fishing and the ocean. He warned you of the dangers and explained, in vague terms that were specific enough to easily figure out where to go and what to do, but it was all a story.
Jump forward a few years and most people were roleplaying in game. Guides had become information textbooks with no flare and no heart. Let’s face it, the majority of people in the world are not roleplayers. That fact by itself shouldn’t effect the roleplaying community as much as it does. If it were just for the fact that more and more people are getting into MMO’s then it should just mean that there are more and more non-RPers and non-RP servers. So why is it so hard to find Roleplaying ON a Roleplaying server?
The problem is that it’s not just non-roleplayers that are flooding into MMOs and video games in general, it’s that douches are flooding in with them. Sure it’s partly the anonymous nature of the internet, but that’s like blaming guns for murders. Sure, without the gun the murder might not have happened, but some idiot pulled the trigger.
It used to be that video game nerds were just that. We were the quiet kids who liked DnD and reading. Flash forward to now and the vast majority of gamers are people who would have tried to beat us up for our lunch money back in the day, and they haven’t changed much. They’ve invaded the hobby and changed not only the pay models, but the target audience and the treatment of people inside the game.
Sure, you’ve always had jackasses in MMOs, going all the way back to MUDs. Ultima Online had it’s fair share, but, and this may be nostalgia talking, I seem to remember it being a current beneath the broader roleplaying/adventuring vibe. Now Halo Jocks (Disclaimer: Halo is a good game, but would have been better on PC. Facts are facts, keyboard and mouse will always be superior for FPS) with popped collars are running around “roleplaying” P3nisP3n3traterXx the Orc Fighter! His battlecry is “L2P!” and his favorite taunt is teabagging.
So why do I have ANY hope left? Because I blog hop and see dozens of stories being written from the perspective of the bloggers characters. Even people who don’t usually write RP stories throw out little one shots that give me not only an insight into their character but into the blogger themselves. I see people in game trying to roleplay (some do better than others) for the first time, though it’s rare. I also see drawings of characters, in character podcasts, in character “newspapers” that publish real and made up in game events. Perhaps one day soon we will see in character guides make a resurgence! If that happens you might see the amount of in game RPing make a comeback simply because, if you can get brought in character and into the world deeper and deeper by the supplimental material outside the game, then you are more likely to be interesting in staying in character while in game.
I have never been one who believed that the lack of MMOs feeling like living breathing worlds was the developers fault. I think more and more the worlds are vibrant and interesting with some great stories playing out that even the developers didn’t foresee. I blame the community for changing and making roleplaying in a roleplaying game, or treating people nicely even, a taboo.
Then again I have no faith in humanity. I haven’t since I was a boy. That is probably tainting the way I’m seeing the whole picture but it’s just who I am. I hope that roleplaying will make a comeback, especially since it is so difficult to get six or so people together for several hours once a week every week in real life. If it doesn’t I’ll just enjoy some great roleplaying on the outside.
Below is a list of recent RP posts that really got me interested:
Yams – The Breckenridge Legacy 2.3. A Sims 2 story that isn’t so much in character as a great story and some great writing.
Star Trek: Tarpitz. This blog follows the adventures of Captain Judon Ruz of the U.S.S. Tarpitz.
MMO Gamer Chick – Fight Like A Khitan. Told from the perspective of her new Khitan Guardian. Am I the only one who can’t help but picture Kung Fu Panda whenever I read Sifu?
Tooting my own Horn. My Star Trek Online Captains Log. It’s the first one I did on Star Trek Online, and I really think it was entertaining.
Blue Kae’s Meet the Silver Hunter. It’s not in character, but more a character biography, and a well though out one I might add. I really enjoyed it.
Have your own blog or website and like to post storied of your MMO characters? Let me know in the comments and I’ll check it out!
Let’s Play Star Trek Online: Captains Log 2
Captains Log, Stardate 87863.07.
My name is Captain Amuntoth of Clan Teklik, Ensign in the Federation. I’ve been ordered to return to Earth Spacedock 1 as quickly as my warp engines can get me there. I’ve just had one quick stop to make on the way.
Ensign Selvok: “Sir, we’re approaching Javus IV Sir.”
“Of course we are Selvok, of course we are. Tell me, how goes the skin grafting?”
Ensign Selvok: “Well Sir, though I’m still not certain that this is within Starfleet regulations…”
“Selvok what did we talk about?”
Ensign Selvok: “That my Vulcan heritage counters my emotions, thus making me a genetic freak in need of purification Captain.”
“Precisely, and that is why we grafted some of my skin onto you, in order to purify your flesh as we are working to purify your mind.”
A Few Good Stories
I have been known to post a few stories based on my game characters. It’s really gun and if I keep up on it really makes me enjoy the game more. Not only that but I hope at least a few people out there receive some kind of enjoyment through reading them.
I’ll have the next installment of my Star Trek Online story up soon but I’ve been a little busy. Partly with college classes starting again, partly with playing Star Trek Online, and partly with reading OTHER peoples stories. I thought I’d take the time to include two of my current favorites:
First up we have Captain Nezi over at Warp Core Breach. Adventure Historian, as the writer and Fleetmate calls himself, is a wonderful writer. In the first episode he has crafted so many interesting and compelling characters that I can’t wait to come back for more!
But Star Trek Online, and indeed fantasy MMOs, aren’t the only stories I read. My tastes in almost everything are what you might call…eclectic. This next story is a Sims 2 Legacy done by the ever amazing Yams over at her Livejournal.
The Breckenridge legacy is not her first (her last one ended with the death of her old computer) but it is the current family. It’s still on the first generation but I am loving the characters, especially one named Galen who you can’t help but enjoy.
I’m looking forward to more updates to both of these stories in the coming days and you should be too. Go check them out and you’ll see why I don’t want it to ever stop.
Let’s Play Everquest II: Skulls and Cadavers 4
Donning his new robes, and finally getting a good meal, Amuntoth was all set to continue on his way.
Calnozz J’Melvirr: “Woah there friend!”
“I don’t remember you at all…”
Calnozz: “That’s not important. What is important is that I have a business proposition for you.”
“Not interested peasant…”
Calnozz: “Not even for several silver?”
“Well, I guess I can’t just walk away without hearing your proposition, that would be rude.”
Let’s Play Everquest II: Skulls and Cadavers 3
When we last left our hero…
When we last left Amuntoth the Evil Necromancer he had just left the starting town, bound for the wide world. Also he plans to own it all.
“Ahh, some of my subjects. It looks like they’ve made camp out in my wilderness. I’ll just have to see if they have any food, as I seem to have not bought any when I got to the surface.”
Let’s Play Star Trek Online: Captains Log
Ensigns Log, Stardate 63631.9.
My name is Amuntoth of Clan Teklik and for the last year I have been a Starfleet officer. Things weren’t looking up merely an hour ago, and I’m not sure how I like the current turn of events.
Amuntoth D’Teklik. It’s okay to drool.
As of ten minutes ago I was being escorted to the brig. It turns out Starfleet isn’t very keen on it’s officers recruiting enlisted into what they deem “cult organizations”. Thankfully, maybe, I’m no longer on my way to the brig. You can thank the Borg for that.
Let’s Play Everquest II: Skulls and Cadavers 2
When we last left out hero he was just informed that killing off dozens and small elementals has lead to several of the larger elementals getting angry. These larger elementals are conveniently twenty feet away in a cave. As luck would have it though there are several things that need to be done in the cave including: kill elementals, pick up rocks and kill some more elementals. I also found a wanted poster for Ithari K’Xyrae, some Dark Elf that apparently did something wrong. Who cares? It’s time for pustules and pain!
This is a rock elemental.
This is the same rock elemental. Here he has taken off his own arm and is beating me to death with it. Luckily the sound of my screaming is drown out by the horrible, wet crunchy sounds my face is making every time he hits me. At least no one can hear. I scrape through the fight and thankfully I feel like I have learned a lot from the encounter.
More after the jump.
Let’s Play Everquest II: Skulls and Cadavers
Everquest II came out in November of 2004. At that time I was playing Final Fantasy XI and pretty much hating life. I went directly from FFXI to World of Warcraft in November of 2004 without even looking twice at Everquest II (See what I did there?).
It really is a shame that I missed out on Everquest II the first time, or maybe it’s not and the game needed six years to improve, but I am going to correct that right now with this Let’s Play. I got the idea for doing a Let’s Play from Shamus over at Twenty Sided. If you enjoy my Let’s Play, or if you don’t, I highly encourage you to go read his Champions Online Let’s Play.
From here on out it will be important to remember that regular text, the type you are reading right now, is going to be in character, kind of.
|Text inside a box like this is going to be out of character. I’ll use this to talk about bugs, odd game mechanics or something I really enjoyed.|
It didn’t take nearly as long as I thought it would to download Everquest II, only a couple of hours for a full download, which is great. I loaded it up started browsing through the races. Of course I could go with typical fantasy mainstays like Dwarves or Elves but I could do that in practically any MMO. Troll would be interesting, definately not going fairy…BINGO! Ratonga!
It is probably important at this point to tell everyone that I have a massive thing for rat people in anything. If your game has rat people in it I will play your game, at least for a little while. So I guess the next question is what class I should pick.
I am Evil, not really by choice though. You see all Ratonga are evil and so, and since rat people are the only race anyone should ever pick, I am now evil. I might as well pick a class that is fittingly dark. Evil bard? Not for me. Druid? Not this time. Necromancer? Oh yeah, someone is getting a stiffy.
I mean a corpse…
More after the jump.