Alright folks – time for another Ask Anna question.
This one comes to us from Fierine of Wyrmrest Accord, and deals with guild websites, RP, and how to deal with the times when you can get to the internet but not to the warcrafts. (An excellent question, btw. For a similar one, check out this post I did for Arrens’ blog, on keeping RP alive when you’re out of game. It’s not the same, but some of that stuff might apply here too!)
I’m a busy co-lead of an RP guild on Wyrmrest Accord. I love my guildies but unfortunately my RL job and life severely limits my in-game RP time. I am, however, able to RP intermittently on the guild forums throughout the day. Unfortunately, I often feel like I’m talking to myself there. How can I encourage guildies to use the forums more as a means of RP? And what’s a good way to explain forums as an in-character tool? Thanks for your advice!
Covenant of Wyrmrest Accord
Thanks for your question Fierine; it’s a good one.
From my perspective, there’s a few things you can do to be encouraging.
First, make sure people know that forum RP doesn’t have to be huge and involved. In fact, you can use it as a slightly elaborated chat room, where people post a sentence or two and work on a conversation slowly as they have time. This can be a good bridge, since not everyone likes extended writing RP ; it takes a level of presence and writing skill that not everyone enjoys. The Wildfire Riders are largely a community of writers, but not everyone enjoys writing long stories or participates in that way very often.
Some people just really like in-game RP better, and using a short-status forum RP thread or two to bridge the gap can get things rolling without forcing or guilting people into doing things they don’t enjoy.
You may also want to do a little publicity in game (like in guild chat, or your OOC chat channel) about the forums. Sometimes people need to be reminded!
Another suggestion is to create a Current Happenings thread – a single, stickied post for people to post a paragraph or two about what their characters are up to at any given time. This, while not actively spawning forum RP, will help the people that aren’t around as often in game to stay on top of the in game action. (These are also a lot of fun to peruse through later on, to remember where your characters were six months or a year ago).
You can also start some OOC conversations about IC topics; build up your characters a little, brainstorm, and take advantage of the other people’s creative ideas. I really enjoy conversations I’ve had with some of my guildies and writing cohorts about Aely. Sometimes an outside perspective goes a long way. This is also a great way for someone who’s playing a trying/difficult/villainous character to do a little explaining and make sure that IC issues don’t end up bleeding into OOC ones.
Leading by example is another good start – which you seem to already be doing, so here’s your cheerleading team for being on top of part of this already! 🙂 Having posts to respond to can be a lot of help. Something you might try is a “question of the week” (or of the day even), where you ask an IC or OOC character development question in a thread and see what kind of answers you get. I give you full permission to steal these questions from my Friday Five posts!
Unfortunately though, not every community is built for forum interaction. I’m a member of several forums, and most of them move slowly (if at all) until there’s something pressing going on. The nature of forums is to move more slowly, since people are usually busy at work and don’t always have time to devote to hitting the refresh button on a conversation. Longer posts take time to write, and time can be the enemy here. You can try to jumpstart people’s interest by initiating a big forum RP storyline, but that is a TON of work and shouldn’t be entered into lightly.
So you might do a lot of bull-horn, yelling, handwaving, and cheerleading only to get a lukewarm response.
And that’s OK – at that point I’d suggest looking for other outlets for RP. Realm forums, open RP forums, fanfiction websites and the WoW official RP forum are all good places to look, but there are other options as well.
Like, maybe, starting a blog? <wink>
If you guys have other suggestions for Fierine, please leave them in the comments!
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