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Role-play and Out of Character 
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Beginner
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Joined: 10 Feb 2017 18:25
Posts: 18
People often ask questions about the Genesis of the old days, and Genesis now-- I sometimes see it discussed in threads as a means of trying to bring back the player retention of old. For me, one of the biggest differences between Gen then and now is how people treat role-play. (But first let me say, I played on Gen for 7.5 years during its "heyday." I first started either in late 89 or early 90. Back when most people didn't know about the internet yet, and those who did were mostly male computer nerds. They were also often D&D players who had moved online. I never played D&D, but I sure was addicted to Gen.)

As a returning player in 2016-2017, one thing I find to be a wet-blanket for me is the way role-play has changed. There are, indeed, many awesome, cool, new changes and additions to the game, but the new attitude about what-it-means-to-role-play, is not one of them. My experience now, is that many people practically have a conniption fit if someone says something OCC. Everyone goes hushed and the person is politely explained that "we like to stay in character, but if we do _HAVE_ to say something not in character, then we should use OCC say."

To me that whole idea is as ridiculous as it is insulting to the intelligence of the play. Imagine a gang of D&D players sitting around the table at somebody's house playing D&D. Bob who plays a bad-ass dwarf Knight, gets up to get a coke and says "hang on a sec," as he starts to head to the kitchen. Terese sees where he is headed and says "Hey, can you get me one two?" Meanwhile, Jill and Keith start talking about something else OCC. Bob returns with the coke and play resumes. In between turns people make the occasional out of character comments about real life. Dale doesn't need to say "OCC everybody: I need to get take a leak, just roll for me when it's my turn." No, it is obvious by context within the game. Players aren't discouraged from talking as themselves about their day while dice-rolling and calculations are made. Nobody says: "Shhh, Tiffany, you can only say something if it is your elf saying it, and right now she is hiding."

I think New Genesis is confused about the difference between lack of role-play and good role-play of CHARACTERS versus in-game sharing between PLAYERS. Back in the day there were always role-playing greats. Fabulous battles between Knights and Angmar. Mysterious vampires... elven princesses... so many very distinct and love-able (or hate-able) characters. Many people had great role-play and awesome characters-- but we didn't stop to say "I'm going to speak out of character now." We just assumed our friends were intelligent enough to figure out when we started talking about RL. The biggest difference to me is: back then there was more exchange in Genesis between real people. There were deep friendships behind the game-- beyond ones character. That is why people kept their characters for so long, why people played in between classes, and at every chance we got. Sure there was always one more creature to kill or quest to perform, but the lulls between doing those things, the friendships, that was what kept people addicted.

In New Genesis it seems to me, sure there are high numbers of players, but if you look closely, many of those numbers are a rotating stock of newer players. There is a problem with retention. Many people don't stick around-- Frankly I just don't buy that "this is because Facebook is a competing force." I think it is because New Genesis is a freaking lonely place. Back in the day, start locations were set up so that newbies tripped over older players and were instantly taken under a wing and shown the ropes. You remembered no one like that person who gave you your first plat or told you how to set your wimpy. The friendships that developed as a result were a great draw to the game. In New Genesis, even once outside of the tutorial (which is brilliant BTW), and in the realms, it is hard to meet people AT ALL as new person. Even once one is bigger, and makes a few friends-- the whole culture of "any out of character expression being frowned upon, and discouraged"-- well it's like having a D&D party were people aren't allowed to talk to each other. With the new "role-play social rules" (ie avoid speaking out of character), deeper friendships between players don't get built as easily, and Genesis is easier to walk away from. New Genesis looses sight of that.

To me, Role-play is not about whether a person talks to another player out of character-- Either a person takes on their character, and puts some thought into their back story and role-play, or they don't. To me, saying something to another player out of character, is a part of the social interaction that is the extended part of any game-- be it dice, or cards, or D&D, or Gen. New-Gen's hyper vigilant stay-in-character-at-all-times doesn't really help increase actual role-play, it just limits the deeper aspect of social interaction and enjoyment that is the goal of games in general.

It is a player's personal decision to flesh out their character which makes for good role-play. If they create their own backstory, and play that role. That is what makes role-play. Without fleshing out their character, one can never says a word OCC, and still not be role-playing. As such, good role-play exists independently of whether the players choose to interact during the game as their RL player or only as their characters. To me, the second is un-natural, silly, and in the end hurts the longevity of the characters sticking around Gen.

Sidenote: I didn't want to distract from the main point of the above, so I add this side note here: When I say start locations were set up so that younger players tripped over the old it is not a reference to the tutorial, is is a reference to back when the racial starts were positioned near super highways of travel. This changed by happenstance long ago. The road to Calia for example was through Sparkle past the human start and to the north . The road to the Knights guild, Neraka and Solace all took one past the elven racial start-- both these super-highways changed course when Calia moved and when Krynn was recoded. And when those changes were made it affected player retention of newbies. Which back to the main point --player interaction on a deeper level is important to player retention, and OCC-say-culture is a wet-blanket to interaction and fun!

Maisey

P.S. All of this is OCC


23 Jul 2017 20:29
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Myth

Joined: 08 Mar 2010 19:50
Posts: 1305
Location: Kristiansund, Norway
So play the game your way, and others play the game their way.
Seems to me that you're the one that has issues with how others play their game here, no?

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The views posted by me on this forum is not the views of the character Amberlee in-game.
If you ask for my opinion here, you will get MY opinion, not that of my character.


23 Jul 2017 20:59
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Wanderer

Joined: 14 Jun 2016 16:34
Posts: 70
I cannot follow any of what you describe.

I don't know these people you're running into, but I don't feel any judgement like that.
Perhaps people don't dare or care to tell me because of my level, I don't know.


23 Jul 2017 22:06
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Site Admin
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Joined: 03 Mar 2010 20:51
Posts: 2125
Location: Some old coffin
Maisey, I get what you are saying. I think, in general, letting people play how they want to play, and doing your best to have fun with it is a good idea. For instance, I think it doesn't accomplish much to shame someone if they are OCC. In fact, if you are a character who *never* goes OCC then it can be fun to try to roleplay your way around it - maybe confusion at the incoherant babbling, and perhaps indication that so-and-so has been at the bottle again. I also think it doesn't do much good if you get frustrated with people who refuse to break character. Those people are often really determined to keep Genesis a pure roleplay enterprise for themselves, and so long as they don't get bossy about it, good for them.

In general, avoiding the <rolleyes> emote because you don't appreciate how someone else does it is what I advise! Have fun, and let others have theirs. If they mesh well, great! If they don't, see if you can make it fun despite (or maybe even thanks to) the dissonance. :-)

Cheers,
G.

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Mmmmmm ... pie ...


23 Jul 2017 23:49
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Adventurer
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Joined: 18 May 2017 16:22
Posts: 98
Location: Sipping on some joe in the necro lounge
I always enjoy a thought out post compared to the usual charming rabble on these threads pushed by yours truly. My experience is different from yours Maisy, obviously, but I will type up some particulars. ...

I have had multiple people break character to help me out, show me some of the realms I was simply ignorant of due to me being itsy bitsy, or simply talk to me about the game. All while maintaining that steady pressure that there is a well-played character there, right in the mix with this helpful individual. I get what you're saying and resonate with some of it but the dissonance as Gorboth so described it is that I have also been greatly helped by strict RP characters who did not let up for a minute - example: how are your trigs? let's talk about skill stats ... - But I still was helped in a comparable way by these kind souls, and I don't mind them. (Sibbedidenn shrugs helplessly) I am new, started playing back in April I believe. I like Genesis for... well... for... What is it I like Genesis for? Come on Gorboth? Amberlee? What is it?
Well, it is the cream in the coffee, the then coffee with the doughnut, the then insulin for the further uninhibited consumption of more dough nuts. Wha is it? IDK, but sock me in the mouth and feed me pudding messily, I like it...

"I like it"
"I want some more of it"

Best regards, Sibbie


24 Jul 2017 03:46
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