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Standing Stone Games | Official Site
MMORPG | Setting:Fantasy | Status:Final  (rel 04/24/07)  | Pub:Daybreak Games
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Dev Journal: RP vs. G

Posted by Dana Massey on Jul 22, 2005  | Comments

Dev Journal: RP vs. G -

"Floon Beetle", the Lead Production Artist and UI Designer on Lord of the Rings Online, has penned the company's latest developer journal on the official website where he examines "RP vs. G".

It's odd how "role-playing games" will have "normal" and "role-playing" servers: it's an admission that there is a fundamental tension between the "RP" and the "G" in the genre. Being a game means that there are a priori rules that govern success and failure within the game environment. Conversely, there are no rules governing what makes for good role-playing: role-playing takes place entirely between players, who determine for themselves the quality of the role-playing experience. Without formal rules, role-playing is essentially not a game: it is performance, and the world and systems we design need to recognize that distinction.

Should a game attempt to cater to role-players via dedicated game rules or systems? I am of the opinion that games should not. For one thing, any game distinction between "role-players" and "typical players" is often a magnet for griefers. RP chat channels, visual indicators of RP or Non-RP players, RP "ranking" systems, and RP banning policies all introduce more problems than they solve for RPers, for they are all accessible to people who like to disrupt them. Even RP servers generally fulfill their roles with mixed success: many players join them solely to interfere with the serious role-players, or often simply for network latency or server population reasons.

Give it a read over on their official website.

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