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n4psta Warf

Roleplay dying in SL?

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It used to be my main hobby on SL, but nowadays sim after sim is either empty or filled with afk residents. Is roleplay dying out in SL? It has become harder and harder to find good roleplayers and a solid and well-built roleplay sim.

 

Is it just me? 

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It's probably because most of the roleplaying in SL involves being killed, eaten or imprisoned, which reduces the number of participants considerably on a continuing basis.

Or maybe they get married.

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I think a couple of factors are in play;

 

#01..WoW just sucked up a chunk of the player-base with its expansion.

#02..The Holidays have hit

#03..Its hard for sim-owners to start and maintain a "theme" sim with a narrow RP focus, because a narrow genre-theme narrows the list of players, which also limits the number of people buying rentals or otherwise financially supporting the sim.

#04..Admin talent is hard to retain, as being an unpaid sim Admin is a thankless and hate-filled job that also seriously cuts into one's play time, and "play" is the reason you come to a RP sim. SL making it so easy for griefers and the drama-prone to have dozens of alts to take up Admin time, and thus making it hard to keep the good ones (who are not on a power-trip) who can "hold on loosely" and build up a sim as opposed to tearing one down by behaving badly.

I enjoy Freeform RP and am always looking for good people to create Story with, but the folks who disrupt RP by traditional griefing or by just being an A$# and causig drama really make it hard to justify the investement in time and money to outfit a good RP avatar and then spend the time to build a story.... when one "problem player" can do so much to tear things down while LL sits on their thumbs.

 

Still, I love RP and haven't quit yet :-)

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I agree that the scope of most RPs is limited, and not only that, most of them are just copied off someone else. It's really hard to find roleplays that aren't medieval fantasy or RP-less combat or modern fire/police. Some of those modern sims could appeal to lots of different people and interests, like an arguing neighborhood association, for example, but they don't.

Plus, owning a sim is really expensive, especially when you are using most of it for roleplay and not a business. Some RPs have moved out to opensim grids for that reason.

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I seen alot of Good rp sims close down to either  the owner let it go due to finicial issues or they got tired of the drama with the staff or the rp'ers.. I also took notice that alot of the Rp's now are Medevil or fantasy or Police/Firefighter that don't seem to last long.. plus the Rp's I like  Cyber/Scifi are rare to find plus I like Meterd Roleplay like DCS2 or the FRCW from Starwars but they are going downhill also and one more thing Rp's are too Restrictive when it comes to Characters  like some Rp's do't like Nonhuman chars like Furries or Nekos so there's of players that could used in their rp sim

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From what I've heard -- and the posts above have definitely confirmed it -- an enormous part of the issue is financial backing for these environments. On the other hand, as someone brand new to SL, I think it's difficult to get new people into RP. Especially experienced RPers. I've roleplayed for years and only played SL for a few weeks. My RP experience so far has been very much a reeducation, and I can see why a lot of people in my position drop RP on SL altogether. A few of the friends that invited me to play who have been on SL and RPing on SL for years have ceased RPing on here for similar reasons.

The first thing I've run into is that there's no systematic turn taking or etiquette with posting in most sims. There's frequently no consistent posting or length requirements, either. I write 4-5 sentences per post and try to make my writing enjoyable while representing the details of my character's design. I come from a paragraph RP background, reading and writing is a big factor in being able to enjoy RP for me.

The problem is not only do most RPers only write one sentence at most, but they don't take turns or wait, they bowl right over you while you're writing with zero regard for you. This makes it extremely difficult to reply or even participate in a scene and oftentimes I miss interactions with characters because two or three other people have posted over the other person multiple times or they've posted in the whopping two minutes since writing assumptions about my character's "silence" into their post. In one way, this is godmoding, but it surprises me that the majority of sim owners don't forbid writing over others with assumptions like that. It gets confusing and chaotic. It makes me want to drop out of the scene as soon as I step in. Maybe I'm just too new to SL but Roleplay here, from an outsider's perspective, is a huge and often frustrating adjustment. 

The second thing is, there's seldom a smooth transition from OOC to IC. I don't see a lot of OOC bonding or community in the sims I frequent. There's often no place to sit down and chat, and check out other peoples' characters, discuss storylines or kick it before breaking the ice well enough to ask for roleplay. It seems like you're expected to drop a line out of nowhere after reading someone's "Picks" profile or walking into them on the map.

Alternatively to that, the OOC aspects can be too steeped into the IC. I recently popped into a sim to explore and was greeted with a, "Good 'morrow Mi'lord." in the middle of the OOC greeting area. Which would be good fun and games as a joke but I found it a little intense and disconcerting as the player continued using old time vernacular. Like, "Whoa, I'm not ready to be getting down to business just yet. I'm going to just greet you with, 'yo, sup?'"

I've really enjoyed the resources and freedom I have in being able to craft characters, though. SL is a creative powerhouse for RPers like never before and as I learn to construct and make more money I've very seriously considered starting my own sim. I've made a handful of buddies RPing already, but I can tell you that it has not been easy. Entering into RP on SL from other Roleplay exclusive platforms is a very uncomfortable transition. I'm managing, but the points I made above have reportedly turned a few others off of joining in and it almost put me off as well.

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As far as turns and length go, that is a stylistic preference, not something necessarily bad or good.

Roleplaying live is simply different from roleplaying in text. Many who come in from text roleplaying backgrounds want to continue the same style, and it's really awkward in a live setting. It's also very slow, which is a reason many people who roleplay live don't roleplay via forums or blogs. Roleplaying in SL means a scene that might take weeks on a forum only takes a half hour live. But I think live roleplaying comes with an adrenaline rush that you just can't get with purely text roleplay, and once you adjust, it's really hard to give that rush up.

You don't need to describe your avatar or the setting or some of your actions in SL. You show them. Instead of saying you move across a room, you move your avatar, then say what your character would say. Everyone can see what your character looks like. You also don't reveal your thoughts, unless your character decides to speak them aloud. That's considered a form of metagaming. It is true that most SL roleplayers have accumulated animations, emote HUDs, and things that really help them with this, and that's intimidating for a new roleplayer.

Length of a post doesn't equal quality. It's just divided into smaller chunks, and coupled with all the visual cues that are possible in virtual worlds. You end up writing just as much as you would on a forum, just in smaller doses at a time. It takes a lot of talent to write engaging dialogue, and in my many years of forum RP, that was something many were just not good at, nor did they see a reason to be, because they were too used to being able to describe their thoughts in detail.

As for IC/OOC, that annoys me, too. There are a number of roleplayers in SL who get very offended if you speak to them OOC at any time, even in IM or in an OOC area. It is their preference, but I don't share it, so I just speak to them as I would whether OOC or IC.

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Tiercelle, I think you have an excellent take on the situation.

 

Freeform LIterary Parapost (FLiP) is an art form as well as a discipline, and can make or break the Roleplay in a sim if used along with responsible Admin policies ( enforce the rules but don't be jerks ) and a backstory that gives people someplace they want to play. Having a build that's not ugly is important too :)

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I don't think there's a problem with using emotes or those other things, and I don't think dialogue is an issue but there are definitely subtleties you can't display with a stiff avatar or when your community has very stringent limitations on rezzing. There's only so many things you can accomplish with avatar animations and gesture packs. My problem is this; players on SL tend to steamroll other players and have a propensity to godmode as they do so. It can be very exasperating and disenchanting as someone just coming into RP here. If you started with RP on SL and have been doing it for a while it's likely not of consequence, but from the perspective of someone new, it's not a methodology that attracts new blood very well.

RP on SL could draw in more players and interest by encouraging better etiquette and more OOC socialization between players. In a lot of my older communities in forums and other games, guilds and groups often stayed together for YEARS just because the players were all very good friends and very attached to one another. It seems something like that could help increase longevity of SL communities.

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Some of that does have to do with where you roleplay. And, to a large extent, it happens in a lot of places because RP owners are quite desperate to keep anyone they get, seeing them as being able to help pay for the sim. I was an RP admin on four different sims, and that was a constant issue between staff and sim owners. Many sim owners want to keep problem people because they think losing those people will mean less revenue for the sim. But in turn, that means the good players go elsewhere, a fact that I have not been able to convey to some of those sim owners. They end up with a sim full of really obnoxious people, and usually less people than if they let go of the really annoying ones.

At the same time, don't completely discount people who just use short posts. There are some immensely talented roleplayers in SL who do so. There's often more you can convey in just a few words than you might think.  Information also doesn't need to happen all at once, because you can spin out details over a long period. And realize it can be frustrating for short post players to have to constantly wait on someone to post a lot of stuff, much of which they might consider irrelevant to the situation or information that can be metagamed, especially in a sim where short posts are common.

There are groups of close roleplayers that last for years in SL, too. I have one myself. It just might take some hopping around to find the right place. And as I said earlier, a lot of RPs are moving out of SL and into opensim grids, because opensim grids are cheap and they don't have to sacrifice to keep the RP going.

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You can of course argue that practically everything we do in SL is role playing but that's beside the point of course :matte-motes-wink:

I've only tried "proper" role playing a few times in SL so I'm hardly an expert - and I never noticed any significant metagaming  problems - but I think there are four other important factors here:

  1. Finding the right place. That's not just an rp problem, it's hard to find anything in the vast world of SL. The destination guide is so outdated both in content and format it's hardly any help at all and if you use the in-world search function, you'll probably have to shift through so many irrelevant and uninteresting hits, it'll take ages to find a good one even if it exists.
  2. There are too many or too few alternatives. Depending on the theme. Some themes, like medieval fantasy, are very common in SL. That means less rp'ers for each sim and there are few things in SL as sad as an RP sim with no people. Other themes are underrepresented. Try finding a good cyberpunk rp for example.
  3. Time and money. Somebody's has to pay the tier and somebody has to spend a lot of time organising and maintaing the rp scene. Any volunteers?
  4. Lack of good game mechanisms. What if LL had finished and released the Experience Key right away rather than put it on hold for three years? Things might have looked very different then. But it might have been too little and too late even back in 2011. SL simply wasn't made for player interaction. You have full control of your things and your avi but once you want to interact physcially (or metaphysically as it is) with others, things get really complicated. I used to do a bit of role playing in various irc chat rooms and was a bit disappointed to find that SL role playing tend to be much the same. There's a lot of "/me does this" and "/me does that" in local chat while the avatars stand around and show no indication of actually doing it. I've even found rp sims where people us "/me says" rather than just typing whatever lines they wanted to say - never went back to any of those places. Often the only differences between SL rp and chat room RP are that SL tend to be mcuh slower and the avatars standing there not doing what they say they do makes immersion harder.

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Hello to all the posters on this topic.

I think we are the ones you may be looking for ...

Let me introduce us first:

I am Latamier - I am a builder / business person ( I create places and things) and my RL/SL GF is Imperia Darkmoon and she is the Role Player. (I myself do not roleplay) - I do / handle everything else.

We have our own sim - Underfoot and we are currently looking for people to join us to make one of those long lasting groups. 

It is a medieval townish type of place (sorry - it is the time period we like)  but here is where we are different:

We are not a forced RP place.

We know RL comes first

We actually want peoples input to what they want to see / do on our sim. If our sim is missing something please let us know. Both of us are quite open minded about new ways and things especially when it comes to the sim.

Our sim isn't 100% roleplay - I have other things on the sim that will help bring in the income ( a game center for starters and I have rentals and am adding more types of rentals every week). None of these extra things will interfere with the roleplay or take away from it.

We are new however but we have been kind of taking our time at setting up the things we have in place.

As far as the OOC/IC thing - I will let you discuss that with her to see how she handles it.

I hope we hear from each one of  you.

You can always IM one of us or reply to this post.

Check out www.latamier.com for more info about the sim.

Hope to hear from you soon.

Lat

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So agree about the Neko part... No tail and ears allowed... :(

I hang around Never Never Land now at least because they have no such silly restriction. Do they even know the whole idea of SL is not being yourself? (Or maybe just me)

Never Never Land is a sim based on the story of Peter Pan and its adult for other stuffs if necessary. Medieval theme, with a meter for chase (which i love).

It is not a force RP or worse force Sex place. No no, just run, chase, chat, dance all cool.

And best of all all ((OOC)) and RL is respected. No such thing as you cannot put this in your picks, you cannot deny this on this sim.

Well, To be honest, kinda sales speech, but I am guard (and player), so I think I would love to make this a better place for everyone to enjoy. 

Free Feel to drop by. and IM me if you have any suggestions or comments.

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Matelot/215/172/155

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Sorry if I missed answering one of the questions.

I would believe that Nekos are welcome on our sim.

Our sim is based on the Dungeons and Dragons games that I used to play years ago.

In those games we had every creature imaginable. So I wouldn't see why any type of person or otherwise wouldn't be welcome.

 

Hope that answered that question for you.

Lat

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RP has generally been dying all over the internet, specially in SL... Which is a pity, since I think SL was totally made for it.

 

The few sims with half-decent immersive RP are usually populated just by a couple of crazy psycho maniacs with social issues who admin it and their 17 alts, and they arrogantly impose on new players as well as estabilish that RP quality means post size quantity (bad prolix literature)

 

After many years looking for a place and not finding any, and with all that in mind, I finally felt the need to come forth and create what is missing. A tabletop-minded RPG campaign in a neat sim, with an ongoing storyline and "quest-minded" purpose to each character just like in tabletop RPG, where immersive, good quality roleplay is required but with maturity, chill-outness and a sense of being helpful and welcoming to people who would like to take part but don't know their way around yet.

 

If anyone is curious to give it a try: Dragon Age Roleplay (group) / Dragon Age - Lothering (sim)

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I agree with you, rp does not have the numbers like it did.

Have you noticed when logging in it tells you how many are online.  The great days of rp, that number being online was over a Million.  Now the most I have seen is 50,000

I just wonder if LL is going to do anything to get the numbers up?  I know many have gone to Inzworld as land is sooo much cheaper.  Certainly I know of rp sims who have moved there.  Even our great meter and weapon maker, not to mention the Unity pouch which he took over from Perwins, Warwick Falconer has left SL for Inzworld.

Anyway that is my thoughts...I do blame the fact there is just not the numbers anymore and the main reason is cost.s

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