Sorry for not making a post recently, had a lot of hectic things going on this weekend. This post is focused on whether or not roleplaying in a game, can make the game more entertaining.
I don't really roleplay with pen and paper, and I've never played a Dungeons and Dragons game (Outside Neverwinter Nights). But I do roleplay from time to time. And I have, for quite a while now. For those whom don't actually know what roleplaying -is-, it's the act of creating a character, whether virtual, or imaginary, and pretending to be that character, in the realm/area you use it. Such as people who play Dunegeons and Dragons, who dress up like their character, or people in World of Warcraft, who follow the lore and act what's called 'In Character'.
In MMORPG's, we're immersed in a world different than our own. It's a completely different universe than our own, and follows whatever rules the developers decide it should follow. The distance of a mile can be differed greatly, and the properties of water can be altered drastically. Video games give us the ability of simulation, or, the ability to explore different realities. Some games, let us play the life of a European spy, whom romances women, cheats at poker, and speaks in a humorous accent. Some let us travel through time with the power of a sword, to rescue a princess and defeat a Pig.
What do MMORPG's give us? They give us the chance to evolve past the developer's preset character. They allow us to create a character, all our own, focusing on what we want that character to focus on. There's different skillsets, different weapons, different abilities, different spells, different races, different classes, even different servers, to allow us to choose whether we want our character to live in a densely populated area, or a vast, empty realm. They also give us boundaries, to work with. There's a set storyline, a set timeline, quests, events, places, people...We get more freedom, yet boundaries, to keep things sane.
Now, what does roleplaying in an MMORPG mean? It means taking your character, deciding a backstory, and pretty much going from there. Your character can interact more indepth, you might pay attention to what NPC's say about quests more, instead of just clicking rapidly through the speech, and checking your quest book/log later. The game becomes more indepth. It allows you to see past 'A Game' and look more into that it's 'A new world'. These worlds can be similar to our own, in the sense of varying ecosystems, from water-parched deserts, to snow-capped mountains, to bountiful forests, to the dank dark undergrounds filled with illuminiscent mushrooms the likes of which you've never seen.
What's required for becoming a Roleplayer in an MMORPG? Well, first, you need to know whether or not the game your playing is strict on it's storyline. Games like World of Warcraft, have many predecessors to it, that set the storyline for hundreds of years before. Do you have to learn every detail? Of course not. But if you don't know that the area you're in is called Azeroth, you're going to have some trouble. Research a little. Learn some of the bigger events that happened in the MMORPG's storyline. Don't incorporate your character into it too much, but get involved. Your character may not have been the big hero to save the day. But they could have helped in a smaller battle, or even stared in awe as a child as the big hero walked through town on his way to battle. Get involved, and you'll be involved.
The benefits? Typically Roleplayers are more among the mature crowd. If you learn to roleplay, and play on a roleplay server, you'll be around mature people, who don't scream on Ventrilo, or do other stupid annoying things you'll meet on run-of-the-mill servers. You'll be able to appreciate the storyline of the game more, and will be able to be more entertained by the quests. It can help get out of the boring rutt of 'Go get this, go kill this, bring it back to me', if you know why you're doing it. What it's going to, why it's going to help. You can even get a heads-up sometimes, on what you might need for the next chain of the quest, to help save some time.
What do you think about Roleplaying in MMORPG's? Do you think it helps enhance the game? Do you think Developers could do more, to encourage actual roleplay? If so, what would it be? Do you think all MMORPG's should feature 'roleplay servers'? Tell me what you think MMORPG.com