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News & Features Discussion  » General: Massey: The Myth of Role-Playing Servers

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294 posts found

Novice Member

Joined: 1/30/07
Posts: 55

7/09/09 4:51:47 PM#21

Basically I'll go ahead and say that Dana you're full of...interesting yet horribly misinformed conclusions. I also dont understand how you came to your conclusions. Perhaps you didnt spend enough time on various games' roleplaying servers to actually experience the community and understand the type of roleplaying that goes on. Yes people dont walk around all day in character speaking in the King's English and flaming people that talk about the latest football game, but I'll take it upon myself to explain to you what sort of behavior is exhibited and I hope that others will agree.

I'll agree with the previous posters in that my primary reasons for starting on roleplaying servers are enforced naming conventions if any, and the tendency of the community to be more mature, both in personality and actual age. I tend not to roleplay but I am also not one of those people that flames others for doing so. If I know enough about the setting I might even join in on the fun from time to time.

One thing the roleplaying servers' communities do really well is set up an environment for other people to enjoy being immersed in a world. What do I mean by that?

Lets use guilds as the first example. Many guilds (*see almost all) that are started on RP servers are created with the goal of immersion in mind both for the creators and guild leaders as well as their lowliest members.  They do this in many different ways. One is using the deeds of the guild to weave an ever growing and shared story. Reading somewhere that "Today our greatest heroes battle the dreaded dragon Xarkxiz yet again. Where we were defeated before, we shall prevail and bathe our warriors in it's blood!" is a much more fun and imaginitive way to say "hey guys we wiped in DR running TZ in RF4 last sunday. We got the tank sweet drops from killing Teth last night so this time we'll do it!"

Telling a story or presenting it in this way helps you imagine your character doing these epic things even though you yourself are chatting about how your favorite nascar driver just drove in another circle.

Another way that people end up 'roleplaying' is well, actually doing it. Herein is another reason I dont believe you, dear Dana, spent enough time as part of the community on an RP server. People DO actually roleplay and though it may not be 100% of the time you'll find that since so many like-minded individuals joined the server because they like roleplaying games OUTSIDE of the game world, that they'll even join in. At least they'll enjoy seeing other people do it as a way to immerse themselves. It really just depends on who you're playing with.

Take Star Wars Galaxies as an example. There are no roleplaying servers, but look at almost any guild (in this case player association) webpage and you'll see all this garbage about how "The Empire will not prevail! Our squadron <insert guild name here> will be the instrument that the hands of the oppressed shall use to wash away the corruption the Emperor has wrought for too long!" I mean why even pick a side? Because people like to join in on the fun and be a part of the story if only in name and not action.

I could rant for days on end about how I almost completely disagree with your article, but hey, maybe that will qualify ME to have my articles (*see rants) on the front page of MMORPG.



Apprentice Member

Joined: 5/07/03
Posts: 1158

7/09/09 4:52:45 PM#22

Like his former game "Wish" this article is a flop. It's like he's making it up as he writes. Why he has to project his experiences on everyone else is beyond me.

RP servers exist, for a reason. People want an environment more conducive to RPing. I dunno what game Dana played on that ruined his RP experience but whatever it was it left a massive scar as anyone can easily tell by reading this article.

People role-play. Whether you consider is RP or not doesn't matter.

Sorry for the "Wish" jab but that game was seriously a train wreck.


Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/21/07
Posts: 1730

7/09/09 5:07:30 PM#23

if I'm playing an MMO and it has an RP server to choose from, i ALWAYS choose the RP server.  Not because I RP, or because i grief RPers (i rarely RP and NEVER grief), but because the community on them tends to be more mature.  Average age probably is a bit higher and the youngins that do decide to play and stick around on the RP servers are more mature than most of the kids their age.


I lead raids in my wow guild on an RP server and when i'm done doing it for the night i don't feel like i've been babysitting for 3 hours.



RIP Ribbitribbitt you are missed, kid.

Currently Playing EVE, DFUW

Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed.

Dwight D Eisenhower

My optimism wears heavy boots and is loud.

Henry Rollins


Novice Member

Joined: 7/09/09
Posts: 13

7/09/09 5:13:06 PM#24

Well, I literally registered for these forums, just to comment on what a illinformed, illogical, and just down right ignorant article this was.

Dana Massey should be working for Fix Noise or the Drudge Report, or some other media works of utter baseless ficiton that pride there writers on not fatct checking, not actually going out and doing research, and just kinda coming up with what they think is a good spin, and then writing the story around that spin, rather then the other way around.

It feels like Dana went into one WoW RP server, thought, Oh, this must be how it's like everywhere, and then drew up his article and cut-and-pasted some pictures of other MMO's with little "witty" punches at RPers.

The Truth is, real Roleplayers are actually just writers expressing themselves through a cooperative medium.

Just like Dana is a terrible writer, of which I'm not currently aware of a good reason for him to continue to be under MMORPG.coms employ, there are also terrible RPers. They are generally categorized by people who either only RP in shakesperian english, get waaay to upity when someone breaks continuity or immersion, or just generally cause drama, through whatever source.

Generally speaking, you really don't know about good Roleplaying communities unless your actually apart of them. The mediocre RPers strive to RP in public where other non-rpers can see them. Theres really no point to this, except to kind of keep the waterfall of hate, so to speak, going. True, dedicated fiction writers, or real RPers if you will, will get to gather in groups far away from busy places.

It is not entirely unbelieveable that Dana would not have been privy to such groups, as a boy of his candor is unlikely to have anything of value to them, or too add in general.

Good Roleplayers perfer to colaborate with writers who can actually write themselves out of a thin paper bag, a feat I'm positive Mr. Massey can not accomplish for the life of him.



Novice Member

Joined: 10/04/05
Posts: 26

7/09/09 5:15:53 PM#25

Way to alienate your audience dude. Who exactly were you aiming towards? I disagree with everything you wrote and would go so far as to say this article should be taken down. I don't believe this is the kind of behavior and mentality an MMORPG site should foster. You've insulted a good deal of honest people who honestly enjoy RP servers for none of the reasons you've listed. An featured article writer should have more intelligence and grace when writing and most definitely when dealing with matters he finds far from his personal preference (this fact is very obvious).

Your other articles were good. This article is venomous and would be more appropriate on a darkfall forum.

Sadly, you’ve managed to mar your integrity as a writer. Good luck recovering.


Novice Member

Joined: 10/23/07
Posts: 750

7/09/09 5:15:58 PM#26

Wow Dana...of all the years I have been coming to this site this is the first time I have ever seen a venom laced rant from you. Guy I have been part of Role-playing guilds since UO, and those who use Elizabethan English (even in DAoC) are usually universally laughed at.  ERP guilds are mostly often viewed with disdain by the normal folks who RP.  We like gear, we like fun and we bitch about nerfs just like everyone else...we just don't want to name our Character madeyourmommoan, or Azzzwhippa, nor do we want to hang out with those who do.


No great need for all the hate bro.


Novice Member

Joined: 11/09/05
Posts: 75

All That is needed for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.

7/09/09 5:33:11 PM#27

After reading the article I was thinking it might have been a bit overdone.   Then I read the replies and realized that that in fact the article is dead on and the replies prove it.    Great work on saying something you just know is going to make you wish you had nomex undies on for.  

GrimToothman Xfire Miniprofile

Apprentice Member

Joined: 3/09/05
Posts: 288

7/09/09 5:35:24 PM#28

Here's the telling line:

"those who love to annoy people who claim to be role players [are] the more intellectually honest."

Who are the *good* people?  The people like Dana who troll the RP community and love to see us squirm.

Please don't feed the troll just because he's masquerading as a feature writer.

He's still a troll.

To add just a bit to what people here have already said:  I'll predict Massey has never played a tabletop RPG where people bounced in and out of character in context, which is what most RP players do, or if he did, he played in monty haul dungeons with his other pimply faced adolescent friends.

Games like SWG and LOTRO naturally tend to light RP, because the lore is so well known.  Landroval, the unofficial RP server in LOTRO, is the most civil and pleasant gaming environment I've ever played in.  I have high hopes for sw:tor.

I would happily, as an older professional female gamer (and there are a lot more out there if you study demographics than anyone like Massey probably assumes) pay DOUBLE subscription, in a world where free-to-play is a juggernaut, for a server with better lore and conduct enforcement in just about ANY lore setting, literary or otherwise.  And that's a market segment that is essentially untapped.

Fironia Vee on the original EQ was a great example of a successful RP server.  Massey obviously never saw it, because he was probably in grade school when EQ came out.  And Sunrunner on SWG.  These are places where the RP covenants worked.

However, just like the cheap assed decisions that are made in story crafting, which a far better author documented a few weeks ago, RP covenants (and enforcement) are ignored by modern game companies for two reasons.

One is the expense -- they take far more care and feeding.

The other is people like Massey -- "who love to annoy people who claim to be role players."  In the rest of the net we call these people griefers, but the game companies aren't willing to spend an extra penny to keep them in check.








Would you pay twice as much for a game, and three time as much for a sub, for a kickass storytelling game?

Yes, in a trice! :)
No, screw you RP geeks anyway.
No, I can't spend more.
Maybe, depended on the game and the developer.
(login to vote)

Novice Member

Joined: 1/01/07
Posts: 45

7/09/09 5:36:39 PM#29

Nothing more than a hit piece, this passes as jounarlism these days.


Novice Member

Joined: 8/18/04
Posts: 161

7/09/09 5:52:05 PM#30

I've found that RP servers do vary from game to game. At the very worst they either attract players who think they can get an easy time from helpful roleplayers, or pvpers who see roleplayers as an easy kill. I've also found roleplayers to be very cliquey, perhaps to protect against these kinds of things, and so can sometimes be hard to find outside of particular inns.

I've had some of my best RP times in games with no special server so I wonder if they're even needed. I know LOTRO has decent servers but at what cost in increased support tickets?

What I'd like to see and what is often mentioned before a game launches is the introduction of premium RP servers. Playing on these carries an additional subscription fee which should discourage regular players and go some way towards extra GM costs to seriously enforce the stricter T&C.



Joined: 6/02/04
Posts: 3154

Google is your friend.

7/09/09 5:52:39 PM#31

Well, I can't agree with you (Dana) on everything. I knew it was only a matter of time, lol. You're entitled to your opinion (and Sanya is to hers in what looks to be, as you have set it up, another negative shotgun blast at RPers) just so long as you know it's your opinion and not a fact.

"Many nights, my friend... Many nights I've put a blade to your throat while you were sleeping. Glad I never killed you, Steve. You're alright..."

Kickstarter 2 / Naysayers 0


Novice Member

Joined: 1/29/05
Posts: 10

7/09/09 5:53:26 PM#32

Ill informed and based on rampant stereo types...  way to NOT be a writer.


Old School

Joined: 6/07/04
Posts: 2232

7/09/09 6:07:24 PM#33

 I guess the writer prefers the company of the l33t speaking duds,,,I mean dudes. More power to you if you prefer 'barrens chat', Chuck Norris is... and smack talk. Each to there own. I also think they are pretty misguided branding the 'RP Police'  with 'victims'. Misguided Idiots, sure, but a small minority and certainly not victims.


Apprentice Member

Joined: 7/26/05
Posts: 5

7/09/09 6:07:47 PM#34

It's probably all been said by now so I'll keep it short:

I've spent a fair amount of time on roleplaying servers/communities in a number of different games, both actively RP'ing and as someone who just enjoys a server with a naming policy. And I don't recognize any part of the picture you're painting here.

Naturally Roleplaying Servers will not be perfect - but no server is. But to claim that they're impossible is just dumb. And if it's an attempt to get a debate going, it's a really poor one.


Apprentice Member

Joined: 7/02/07
Posts: 295

7/09/09 6:15:13 PM#35

Wow..never expected to have to read bashing of a player base and generalization of that player base from this site. The ignorance from this article is more than abundant. For one, as others have stated, roleplaying is not about speaking in the old english. Anyone who truly understand roleplaying and character development would understand this. Only the ignorant do not and simply hold to this same mantle as you are. It's rather unprofessional to have someone writing an article for this site lacking this much knowledge in the words they are utilizing.

Secondly, not enough roleplayers to fill a guild let alone a server? I have led a roleplaying linkshell in FFXI that lasted two years. I led a roleplaying guild in WoW that last 2.5 years. So I must have had the one single guild that survived all this? Well...that can't be since in WoW my guild was also part of an alliance of other roleplaying guilds and about two of them were larger than my own. show ignorance in your "observation."

And roleplayers are not truly roleplaying? I have written dozens of stories of roleplay that have taken place in game and I carried forward to forums so others could see the development. In Age of Conan alone there is a dedicated community of roleplayers on an UNofficial roleplaying server (wiccana). I know because I am a moderator on it. In Everquest 2 there is a community on Antonia Bayle where they actually get the GM cooperation to run events such as Festival of Discord and the Unity event.

At least I learned a lesson and will no longer need to bother reading this individuals articles.


Novice Member

Joined: 11/08/07
Posts: 322

7/09/09 6:18:25 PM#36
Originally posted by Khalathwyr

...Sanya is to hers in what looks to be, as you have set it up, another negative shotgun blast at RPers...


I have a feeling that these articles are an attempt to steer a game genre towards a certain destiny, by squashing the uncertainty about its nature.  The funny part of this is that it will backfire in a huge way:

1) As soon as there is no lore, no interactive story, no in-character socialization, a very large part of current populations will no longer find "MMOs" interesting.

2) When these people are gone, the metagamers will find that they are all the same.  They aren't actually better than anyone else still playing the game.  They will lose interest in "MMOs."

3) Because the players are passionate, the roleplaying niche will spring up in some other medium, which may be very close to the current implementation of a "MMO."  Only this time they might protect their genre somewhat from massive infiltration.  This new medium will require roleplaying to make it interesting.

And what we end up with is a dead genre with roleplayers surviving as they always have.


Novice Member

Joined: 3/10/04
Posts: 316

"The decisions you make today will effect the rest of your life"
-Danny Devito

7/09/09 6:24:14 PM#37

What games did writer experience this on first hand?   Yes I can believe Playboy Bunnies are a myth to you.

This post is intentionally written as to not make any sense what so ever. Thank You Very Much.


Novice Member

Joined: 1/02/07
Posts: 130

7/09/09 6:30:43 PM#38

You've written some really good articles before, but God damn this is just trolling! 

edit:  For the record, Antonia Bayle has a GREAT role playing community.  You don't even have to speak in old english or cyber to participate.


Novice Member

Joined: 7/09/09
Posts: 3

7/09/09 6:36:27 PM#39

"Oh my god, you're not supposed to play it like that! You're doing it all wrong!"

Well... Have to admit some of the control freaks among roleplayers (not all control freaks are roleplayers though) do make a whole lot of noise out of nothing. I had this guildleader in AoC (roleplay guild in pvp-rp server) who raged in guild chat everytime he happened to get ganked. D'uh, comes with the territory. Rest of the guild were really laid back though, seemed to me they realized that roleplay like you see in LARP events or pen and paper just can't happen in free multiplayer environment. And I had great time roleplaying with those guys, though I didn't stay long partly because of that leader...

Me I don't really see enforcing the naming , OOC, etc. rules  as absolutely necessary. I'm totally fine with just having one server tagged as RP, just so those with RPing in mind don't spread all over the place. I don't see why RPing should be restricted to just sitting around campfire either, as most RPing fun I've had have been while instancing or doing pvp activities (great passion of mine) , and it didn't slow us down or handicap even little.

If WoW didn't have RP servers I don't think I would have wasted 2.5 years on it. EQ2 was also great for RP in the early days.

But hey, finally an article that made me subscribe here after years of lurking. :D

Ps. English isn't my native language.

Pss. Last time I did live action roleplay I was 12. ;P


Novice Member

Joined: 9/04/03
Posts: 26

7/09/09 6:52:22 PM#40


I have a couple of points here:

Its seems to me that if given a public forum to post opinion anonymously, you're bound to have people trolling, complaining and basically ruining it for whatever demographic the espouse to represent. In this case, RPers.

For every person you mention who's MO is to whine, the overwhelming majority are playing their game, the way they see fit. This is true for any service.

However, I will say that MMORPGs are not conducive to Role Playing.

They are systematic, controlled and are basically the antithisis of what Role Playing really is: Collaborative Story Telling.

I play table top every other week. Some times we role play, sometimes we just bash against the NPCs. As, Dungeon Master, I am as much a part of the game, working for the common goal with the players to have fun, build the world and occasionally tell a story about some characters we imagined.

The fact that individuals are able to get together, focus and RP together in these heartless online worlds, in spite of the rude, the ambivalent and the sarcastic points the heart of the issue:

The issue isn't that Role Players are the problem, but that there has yet to be a game worth their time and investment.

If you'd like to see some of the ideas I have about presenting a format for real online RPGs, check this out.


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