The Joy of Role-playing in MMORPGs




The last post in my four-part series about MMORPG touches on a topic not only applicable to the genre, but to any game played: Roleplaying or the art of immersion.
I mentioned in my post last week that I wish for a world geared more towards player creation and less towards the tedious repetition of tedious tasks to progress a character. The character of Laurenar in “An Elusive Hero” is partly based on my experiences roleplaying in MMORPGs.

When playing MMORPGs, I always play on RP servers. This allows me to immerse myself much more into the world the developers have created. While this kind of servers are supposed to be reserved for role-players, reality shows that they are still a tiny minority even on the most dedicated servers. Nonetheless, they do exist and I believe many players could enhance their experience by joining in on player created plots. Why?

The most important reason is immersion. When I play a game, I want to be involved in an epic story and to immerse myself in a world far away from reality. Roleplaying a character adds a new wrinkle to just hitting wild animals with a sword or magic spell. It allows players to craft a unique character and to be much more involved with the game. Unfortunately, many players I know always belittle role-players, not seeing the extra dimension it adds to a game. As an example, I remember playing a character disguised as a tailor. I had a lot fun talking to other players who were unsuspecting of my secret identity as a spy for group of alchemists and warlocks. With this specific character, I didn’t even feel the need for many elaborate plots to have a bit of fun using the game engine and our imagination.

Many players just think role-players talk in a weird way and waste their time in game by not following the endless grind for better gear or domination. But for me, it is a wonderful way of taking what a game engine makes available and making the most out of it. At the moment I’m participating in an event, which spans over weeks with players creating different experiences from day to day. On some evenings players gather around campfires to talk about our characters backstory and motives, while on the next day a meet up with a rival guild is staged fight on a battleground. The third event in the series might be a spy mission with other players trying to stop us from getting to their base. All of this is often done in parts of the world which haven’t been visited in a while and which add to the fascination of roleplaying. It isn’t bound by level restrictions. You can participate with a brand new or with a maxed-out character.

Getting into roleplaying a character is easy. Like with writing, think of a suitable back-story and some grand motivation for the character. Try not to make your character a queen or an unbeatable warrior, but make them interesting. How about a warrior, who acts as a diplomat? Or a mage starting out his journey on becoming the next Harry Potter? Or maybe you’d like to play your rogue similar to James Bond with a smooth charm? After you’ve thought about how you want to play your characters, go seek out other role-players and see on what kind of journey you can embark!

These are my thoughts about roleplaying. Have you role-played a character before? If not, why not? Would you give it a try? Let me know in the comments!

As always, please like, share and subscribe for my eternal gratitude!

Sincerely yours,