October 26, 2009 – 11:33 am
TJ wrote a really excellent post about lying on the internet. You should go read it (then come back, please!) I started to leave a comment and then realized that it would be as long as her post, so better served to put it here.
World of Warcraft is just a game, right? And not only is it just a game, but it’s just a game on the /internet/ right? It doesn’t matter what you tell people, it’s the internet, who cares!
Hopefully you guys all know better, but it doesn’t quite work like that.
It’s a game where you interact with /people/. And just like when you’re at the mall, or in the airport, or at a giant convention, you have no idea who you’ll meet and when.
“But Anna, some people on the internet are /bad/. I can’t tell them the truth!”
… well duh.
Obviously you wouldn’t tell some random stranger on the bus your full name, age, address, and phone number. In the same vein, you also don’t want to tell some stranger on the internet the same things. (And if someone you don’t know in either situation starts asking you really personal questions like that? Run away.)
Not telling someone something is /very/ different than lying to them.
Choose to say “I’d rather not share that” rather than making something up. Why? Because not disclosing something won’t come around to hurt you, but making something up can.
A little while ago there was a blogger who claimed he/she worked for Blizzard on one of the class development teams who then was revealed to have been a string of different people, none of whom ever worked for Blizzard (and none of whom were the woman in the pictures supposedly of the blogger – that had, in fact, been stolen).
An “innocent lie”, right? Obviously they were just trying to get credit for their articles about playing certain classes.
Except that when they were revealed to be a phony, a lot of their articles were called into question as well, even though they were quality writing and had nothing wrong with them.
As soon as you create a precedence for distrust, you lose trust about /everything/.
I choose what to reveal about myself based on what I’m comfortable having out on the Greater Internets At Large. You have no idea if I am who I say I am, other than that you trust me as a writer and blogger to not be a phony – and I take that trust very seriously.
It doesn’t matter whether or not you think the person you’re lying to can catch you. (Do you really think you’re smarter than everyone else you meet, especially on the internet where SO much can be tracked?) Eventually, lies about what you have and haven’t done, who you have and haven’t run with, instances you have and haven’t tanked/healed/dps’d, raids you have or haven’t been on will catch up to you – and when it does, you stand a good chance of losing any and all credibility you might’ve had.
You might be able to do a fine job in that group, but if you lied to them about having been in a guild, or having done it before, and they find out?
Chances are you’ll get booted from the group, or not invited back.
I’m sure most of us have heard of or known someone who lied about his or her age when they first met someone, trying to appear older (or younger) to seem more attractive, only to have relationship issues when they revealed that no, they had been lying.
The internet isn’t all that different.
Choosing what you tell or don’t tell people is wise. Protecting yourself in an open environment like the internet, where you never know who is watching? Smart move, and something I do all the time.
Just don’t attempt to “protect yourself” by lying about it, because when you do?
Everything else you’ve said will come into question, and that’s not a fun position to be in.
This post is partially spawned by a conversation I had with a young player in general chat, who wanted me to believe that he was 13, and that he could “prove” it with a MySpace page – but that he’d lied about his name and location because he “wasn’t that dumb”. My point that his admitting to lying about one thing calls into question anything else he said was, thankfully, well taken.
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October 24, 2009 – 10:51 am
One of the cool things about getting incoming links from other sites is that they bring in an audience of folks that don’t normally hang out here in my little palm-frond covered corner of the internet.
Of course – sometimes that means those folks aren’t familiar with RP, especially if they’ve been playing on a PVE-normal or PVP-normal server for the entirety of their time in Warcraft, and haven’t ever really thought about roleplay at all (other than the MMO-RPG part). One of those folks had the courage to ask me, flat out, about RP (though he or she didn’t actually leave their name), so instead of leaving my answer buried in the comments, I’m going to tackle it straight up.
I’m gonna be frank and just ask… What IS RPing?
Is it a series of carefully planned scripts people follow ingame? Do you talk with a medieval accent? Do you wear greens and grays to role-play characters? Please Help!
Dear Unsure –
Roleplaying is nothing more than approaching our characters in game as though they were actual people living in an actual world. Rather than just being “toons”, they have personalities and histories.
- Sometimes that means simply having a loose idea of where a character came from. If you play a Forsaken character, it might be something like knowing who they were before they died, or how they broke free from the Scourge.
- Sometimes it means setting up big “player created” quests and events in game. These events can involve just your character or your entire guild – or even the entire server. They might just be a big party (like the one I’m throwing on Tuesday to celebrate a year since the Zombie Invasion of Stormwind), or they might be more serious.
- Sometimes it means writing stories about them (I have a lot of those up at the Story Archive link at the top of the page). Those stories can be long or short, serious or humorous.
- Sometimes it means that we sit around like old friends, getting drunk and telling stories in the local bar, where everyone knows us, but where we welcome and enjoy the company of new friends as well.
You should check out my sidebar of links about RP, or go check out the world of warcraft official page about realm types and RP servers to get more information. In fact, they have one of the best short-definitions of RP I’ve seen:
If you choose to play on a Role-Playing realm, you should act and speak as your character would in the World of Warcraft setting.
However, it does NOT mean that we sit around talking in a medieval accent.In fact, this is one of the most persistent stereotypes about warcraft RP, and it is almost 100% false. I’ve met a lot of people in the last four+ years of roleplay, and I have never met ANYONE that said “Forsooth!” in a roleplay situation.
It also does not mean that we are incapable of raiding, pvping, or progressing through content. In fact, some of us even raid in a roleplay environment – and are pretty successful at it (progressing through ToC 25 heroic). Our (mostly) Fearless Leader, Tarquin ap Danwryith, wrote an excellent post on how RP Raiding works, if you’re interested.
It’s something we do in WoW – and everyone approaches it a little differently. There are as many different ways to enjoy RP as there are Roleplayers (much the same with raiders and pvpers an any other game demographic).
It also doesn’t mean that we set up elaborate “scripts” for other players to follow, like writing theater. Sometimes we have a “well, this story needs to go this way” clause for things? Kinda like a party planner usually has a list of activities or events. Those don’t define how people react to them or what the final outcome always is. They just give a basic framework to something that’s going on.
Though yes – sometimes we DO wear greens/greys or non-tier armor when we’re not out fighting. (People that wear only “RP clothes” while fighting usually get pretty frustrated with it) Would you want to sit around in a park with your friends while wearing an entire suit of armor and padding, unable to bend half way? I know I wouldn’t! So Aely usually wears pants, a shirt, and a vest, with some leather boots when she’s just “hanging out” – simply because as a /person/, it makes more sense. (Even Knights from the Medieval era didn’t wear armor 24/7)
I hope that helps as a little “basic intro” to Roleplay, Unsure.
I know that we roleplayers get a lot of grief, especially in places that aren’t populated by many roleplayers (or around people that have only ever met some notably unfortunate examples), but we’re not a bad lot!
Keep an eye around these parts early next week for an updated post about resources for a new Roleplayer!
October 22, 2009 – 10:58 am
Some of you may have noticed that I write things.
For awhile, I was even getting paid to write things (and being employed as a writer was pretty cool) – though sadly that job doesn’t exist anymore.
And the more I write – about the various Annas that hang out around this little corner of the internet – the more I wish I wasn’t writing something that is, essentially derivative. I could never make these works my own. They’re my writing, but I’m writing in a borrowed world. And, should they decide that my writing is in some way bothersome to their copyright, the Big Shots at Blizzard could email me a cease and desist, and tell me to take all of my writing down.
This is not ideal – especially for characters like Aelflaed, who could easily stand on her own in another world, because who and what she is doesn’t depend on the Warcraft Universe.
Some of you have asked me if I was planning to do NaNoWriMo.
My response has always been no, since November is incredibly busy, since I have houseguests and traveling to do, and since – to be honest – I don’t have a novel’s worth of writing planned out. Of course, the fact that I don’t have it planned out is largely a factor of my not having planned it out. I have characters rattling around in my head, to be sure. And bits and snags of world building too.
So I’m pitching my hat in the ring.
(Which is scary, really – now I can’t weasel out of it.)
I have nine days to plan out what I’ll write, and then thirty days to write 50 thousand words. Fifty Thousand. For reference – the Wrathgate story (not including the epilogue post) is around 6500 words.
No, my writing will not be public – I don’t post unedited writing, and the essence of writing 1700 words per day means I don’t have time to edit. But yes, it will be fiction. Probably fantasy. Possibly somewhat historically grounded fantasy – dunno. We’ll see. I’m going to go plan now.
October 20, 2009 – 9:49 am
One of the hardest things about being in an established RP group is dealing with people that obviously want to join in… but who are so clueless as to toe the /ignore line because their behavior is egregiously annoying. This goes whether you’re new to the group, to the server, or new to RP altogether. As a whole, RPers like new people. They bring new ideas and fresh perspectives into a group that’s sometimes so well established as to be a little bit boring.
Each new RPer is a risk though, because sometimes you run into a bad egg. And some nights, you get lucky enough to have a not-so great experience with one new person and a fantastic experience with another one. Last night was one such evening and was the inspiration for this post.
So. Things to beware of.
The Bad! (And sometimes Ugly)
- Repeatedly stating things in /say, but using ((OOC BRACKETS)) is really annoying. Particularly if what you reference in say using brackets is bitterness at someone who didn’t read all of your RSP flag. (see point #2) A casual ((afk a few)) is fine, every once in awhile – though there are in character ways of dealing with afks as well.
- RSP mods are great, but not everyone has them. If your description is seven screenshots long? Nobody is going to read it. Pretend it doesn’t exist and RP from where you are.
This is particularly true if you have, in the past, chewed people out in general chat for having what you deem “bad RSP descriptions”, only to have yours contain the information that you are a DK but you’re not really a DK, and that your bust is exactly such and such size. If you have to break it down into sections like “Physical Appearance” “Armor” “Is Not a <Class>” and each of those sections is more than a paragraph? It’s too long. Which is fine, just don’t demand that people who are busy in the middle of several conversations around a bar-room table stop what they’re doing to read all of it before they RP with you.
- Long, passive aggressive emotes will only annoy the people you are talking to. Things like “/me sighs and stares pointedly at everyone at the table who is ignoring her attempts to stalk them.” aren’t going to make you any friends. In fact, if even YOU think it seems like you’re stalking them? They’re probably not real keen on your being around.
- If you want attention, and you keep doing attention hogging things to get it, people aren’t going to be keen on giving it to you. It’s the equivalent of ignoring the three year old running around with a shipping box on her head. When everything you do screams PAY ATTENTION TO ME I’M SPECIAL… it’s not conducive for a group RP setting. If you come across as trying to be the center of attention, you’re probably going to be unsuccessful (or at least get a negative reaction)
- Point #4 also goes for Elune Stones. Standing around in spotlights and then ignoring anyone that tries to ask you if you’re putting on a show? Not a good way to have people want to spend time RPing with you.
- If, when you get frustrated with a group of people’s refusing to acquiesce to your demands for attention, you stand on the table, dance, strip naked, make sexy emotes, or do other behavior usually found in the sphere of griefers…. you seem like a griefer. Even if you aren’t trying to be one.
In short, demanding – either outright or through your actions – that you MUST be the center of attention because your character is somehow amazingly special isn’t going to make you any friends. If you were going into a real life bar or coffee shop for the first time, and a large group of people who obviously know each other were there, how would you act? Those same kinds of guidelines work for your character as well. Real people don’t like emo, passive aggressive behavior, obvious ploys for attention,
Now, not every new RPer does this.
In fact, last night at the Pig we had the pleasure of RPing with someone new both to our circle and our server. And this young paladin, in short, got it right.
- Use emotes to your advantage. Emotes are a great way to let a group know that you’re there, and that you’re interested in RP. Talk to the bartender, order a drink, make a face at an NPC (Aedis and Brom are particularly good for this, if you’re in Stormwind). In general, let people know that you’re there… without demanding any response from them.
- In an active, busy group, know that you might have to try a few times to get noticed. Especially when the chat window is flying by at the speed of sound because there are four conversations going, a single emote from /anyone/ can get missed. (In fact, they frequently ARE missed. It’s no big deal, just roll with it).
- Offer something to the conversation. If someone is talking about something your character knows, or doesn’t know, or doesn’t believe in, or thinks is a bunch of hooey – respond. Conversations are not limited to the people holding them, and sometimes expressing an opinion is a good way to break the ice. Just be wary of being overly creepy. If your opinion is that you enjoy necrophilia… expect characters to be somewhat revolted.
- Be present enough to participate without forcing all attention to be on you. Going AFK is fine, especially during long nights of RP – but if you emote once and then just sit in the corner, people don’t know whether you want to have interaction or not.
- If a particular character interests you, see if you can strike up a conversation. Whether that’s asking about an accent (Aely gets lots of those!), a particular item of clothing, a non-combat pet, or just something someone said earlier, little things that make your character go “huh?” or pique their curiosity are good ways to break the ice. Sometimes by focusing on one character that seems particularly friendly, you can find an “in” with the rest of the group.
In short – be a courteous part of the group. Is it a fine line to walk? Sure, and it takes guts too. But people are very willing to forgive a few flubs if you’re obviously making an effort. It’s only when someone starts to force their way into the RP that a group will be less likely to overlook things.
As a side note, you’ll notice that nothing in the list of “do’s” is related to backstory. After speaking with this person OOCly to invite him to our usual RP night last night, I found out he doesn’t really have one. All he has is a loose character concept – and that’s all he needed.
We had fun, he had fun, and maybe Aely will have a new protégé to look after. Who knows?
So go forth and RP. Be patient and courteous of other RPers, and they’ll return the favor!
June 3, 2016 – 11:21 am
She was barely fifty years old* when she took her first – a contract handed out in Everlook, though how she’d ended up in that godsforsaken ice-sheet she couldn’t be sure. It was a simple thing to kill the woman …
September 8, 2015 – 9:51 pm
It didn’t take long to get from Thunder Bluff to the Echo Isles – Ankona took advantage of a wyvern so she could think and plan before getting to her destination. She had information to confirm with the spirits – …
August 4, 2015 – 12:22 pm
An old story, reposted here as I’m shaking the mothballs off Ankona and needed an easy way to show people a little bit about the (batshit) things she gets up to. Enjoy, and don’t be too creeped out!
It really …
November 14, 2014 – 7:32 am
So I haven’t finished the intro quests yet (the server queues from the reduced server capacity due to the DDOS attacks meant I only got about an hour to play yesterday), but I’m finding that Draenor is pretty cool so …
November 13, 2014 – 12:30 pm
The morning of the all hands summon to the Blasted Lands, Aely went for a walk. The late fall air was clear and cool, and leaves crunched under their feet in the less-traveled parts of the streets. She and Roger …
November 11, 2014 – 3:09 pm
What a long strange trip it’s been. I’ll be the first to admit that, at the beginning, I wasn’t sure Pandaria was going to be for me. I’ve made clear my dislike of daily quests, and that seemed to be …
October 24, 2014 – 12:01 pm
Squire Benjamin William Sullivan stood in the middle of Light’s Hope Chapel in his underpants.
Actually, it was white linen pants and a shift, but the effect was approximately the same. The little chapel was warm, on the edge of …
June 29, 2014 – 4:39 pm
So I’m not really in a position where I should be creating alts. This, of course, does nothing to deter me from making alts when the inspiration strikes. I’ve been really enjoying my Alliance hunter, and she’s my raiding main …