No Need for that Death Knell

By | April 28, 2009

At least once a week, someone posts on the Feathermoon forums looking to transfer servers.  After Wrath first came out, the posters were mainly looking for a new home to experience end-game content, asking about the raiding guilds and their progression.  But in the last few months, we’ve seen a resurgence of RPers looking for a new home.  Unfortunately, that tends to bring out the RP Is Dead crowd in full force.  Their answers tend to fall into three forms:

  1. No one RPs on Feathermoon anymore.  At all.  RP is dead.
  2. RP happens, but it’s only in elitist cliques, and you’ll never break into them, don’t even try.
  3. RP has been ruined for everyone, forever, because non-RPers grief it and Blizzard doesn’t police RP realms and last week I reported this one guy and I still see him running around Ironforge so since he didn’t get permabanned into next week I’ve stopped RPing and everyone else has, too.

Times like that, I feel like I’m something right out of Monty Python and the Search for the Holy Grail. Something sort of like this:

We have our valiant RP defenders that respond, insisting that we feel happy, and think we’ll go for a walk.  I’m not sure which side tends to win the shouting match — what proportion of the potential transfers actually do take the advice and roll a lowbie alt to give Feathermoon a try, and what proportion move on to other RP realms instead, because they’ve just gotten a glimpse of one of the quickest button-pushing subjects there is on our server.

I don’t know how often this happens on other RP servers — Argent Dawn and Scarlet Crusade are just as old as Feathermoon, I believe.  Moonguard is much newer.  But my advice for testing the waters is valid for any RP realm.  Ready?  Here goes:

RP IS WHAT YOU MAKE OF IT. ALWAYS.

Want to know what RP is like on Server X?  Asking on the forums isn’t the best way to learn that information — not every single person on a realm posts on its forums.  Chances are, there’s a large portion of RPers who never even visit them.  Plus, if you’re unfamiliar with the realm, you’re also going to be unfamiliar with its forum dynamic.  Lurking there for a while might give you a clue, but it still isn’t representative of the realm as a whole.  The only way to truly experience the RP on any particular realm is to do your own research.

How?  Easy.

Roll a character on that realm.

Pick your favorite race.  Get out of the starting area and into the nearest major city.  (Because, dear god, Goldshire is NOT going to be an accurate portrayal of a realm’s RP population.)

If you have an RP mod installed fill out your character’s description. It doesn’t have to be completely fleshed out.  You don’t need a full backstory.  It’s simply one more thing helps other people identify you as an RPer.

Another thing that helps?  Walk, don’t run. (Okay, run through Goldshire.  But once you’re in Stormwind proper, hit that / key.)  It gives you time to overhear conversations as you pass by.

Lurk for a while. See if the people nearby are having a conversation you can join in on.  Determining a private conversation from a public one is a whole post in itself, but for now, use your best judgement — if you were walking along the street in real life and overheard this particular dialogue, how would you react?  Two people who look like they’ve just been reunited after a long time apart? You should probably give them some alone-time.  Two people about to have a fistfight?  Maybe you’d try to break it up.

Still unsure?  Use your emotes. If RPers see you trying to engage them, chances are they’re going to respond in some way.  One of my favorite random RP encounters happened in Stormwind’s mage district, right near the well.  Threnn and Fells were having a fairly private conversation when a Draenei came along.  He didn’t try butting in, simply emoted that he saw the two human women, and sat himself down a distance away.  Then he took out a sketchbook, and started drawing them.  He didn’t join the conversation, even though both of us acknowledged his presence and broke off from what we were talking about to try to include him.  He finished his sketch, handed it to Fells, and moved on.  I don’t think we ever saw him again, but I sort of wish we had.

Don’t see any RP?  Start some. No, really, it’s not that hard.  Maybe the banker can’t find your deposit.  Or the auctioneer tried a bait and switch on you.  Or there’s a letter in your mailbox that makes you comment aloud.  Or Thomas Miller sold you a loaf of moldy bread.  Start small and simple, and see who reacts.  Try drawing someone nearby into the exchange.

If at first you don’t succeed… you know the rest.  Maybe there’s somewhere else on the server that’s an RP hotspot.  Maybe it’s just a quiet night, or the regulars in a certain area are off traipsing about in Ulduar — on Feathermoon, Thursday night is a pretty big raiding night, and even guild chat gets quiet when we’re staring down angry tantrum-machines.

It might take a few hours, or even a few days.  You might decide that a server’s not right for you, after all.  That’s okay!  You can put the big “No, thank you” stamp on that realm knowing that you at least gave it a try.  But, then again, you might find a new home for your characters that you never would have tried if you’d listened to the doomcryers.

RP is interactive.  It isn’t something that happens to you; it’s something that happens with you.


8 Comments

Itanya Blade on April 28, 2009 at 12:11 pm.

I’m struck by the two new people we have in our circle, Hammaryn and her friend. It’s the first time I have been approached by someone about RP and Feathermoon, through my blog, but I think both of us have benefited.

Arrens on April 28, 2009 at 3:31 pm.

A-effing-men! We get the “RP is dead!” shouting matches on Cenarion Circle all the time. The truth of the matter is, it’s not. Not by a long stretch. Horde-side has events at least 3 days of the week, every week. Sure, someone rolling a new alt might have trouble locating these events if they don’t know where to look (or don’t take the time to search the server forums which has a multi-page stickied thread at the top). Even that’s fine. The trick I’ve found is to learn the names of the heavy RP guilds and whisper someone in that guild to ask them a couple questions. Where, when and how often do events happen?

As for Feathermoon, I’ve yet to see any regular events. This is due in large part to my limited amount of playtime I have on the warlock (and with only one other semi-active member within my guild, the incentive is occasionally lacking too). However, the few times I -HAVE- RP’d on FM were due to my interactions with my demon or a non-combat pet that ultimately drew someone else in. Random, non-scripted RP is, in my opinion, always the best. You never know which way it’s going to go and it keeps you on your toes so your creative writing abilities can shine.

Itanya Blade on April 28, 2009 at 4:37 pm.

We’re not much of a regular event kinda crowd.

Lots of people support things from time to time, like Nox’s fire night.

But most of our RP is just done because people are there. Random conversation out of nowhere, just because you see something, or someone says something.

It’s fun stuff.

Hammaryn on April 28, 2009 at 7:52 pm.

My ears are burning! /blush
As new people to the server, Rukhzin and I haven’t had trouble finding RP at all. The Noxilite people have been a huge help, and very friendly, but we’ve also found quite a bit of random RP too. Sometimes it’s as simple as waving at someone with a flag, then random RP happens. I’m having fun!

Jezrael on April 29, 2009 at 9:36 am.

I’ve been playing on Feathermoon since 2005 and rolled on the server because it was RP. Even though I have never really participated in any serious RP on the server myself (I’ve been too shy/time poor) I love coming across moments of RP and trying to make some small emote or what have you that contributes something without being intrusive. One of my favourite moments in game was overhearing some RP at an inn in Northrend, (I wish I could remember which one) when the expansion had just come out. I loved the new areas to explore and quest lines to engage in and seeing a group of players actively RPing their experience was fantastic.

Thanks to Anna I’ve started reading the Rider’s Wrathgate story line and look forward to reading more! RP on FM is definitely not dead and there are many of us I think who appreciate an atmosphere that is open to RP even if we don’t participate directly.

falconesse on April 29, 2009 at 10:23 am.

Welcome, everyone!

Wrath has been pretty amazing for RP opportunities. I definitely feel like the quests in this expansion were put together with the metaplot in mind far more successfully than they did with the Burning Crusade. In BC, each zone had its own story, but they didn’t tie together very well once you leveled out of a zone.

Northrend, though, you have several different storylines (Arthas, the dragonflights, the Titans) that all weave around each other. There’s a little bit of something for everyone’s stories in each of those. Even leading up to the expansion, with the zombie attacks and the rumors of the Apothecaries being Up to No Good, there was plenty of RP fodder.

We used to have an events thread up on the Feathermoon forums, but unfortunately, we lost Aarnieu to the great Sisters of Elune exodus of… 2007? I still see Bricu’s Pub Crawl listed on there. Bricu stopped drinking, oh, two and a half years ago, or thereabouts. (Though the Boomsticks’ Pub Night is still going strong!) The Feathermoon Roleplay Alliance had a calendar going, too, but it’s pretty empty right now. I wonder if we should see about getting a new thread going on the realm forums and updating that calendar. Hrm. I think I have a project brewing.

Syrana on May 3, 2009 at 2:22 pm.

I don’t know for sure if someone has started an RP channel on other RP servers… but a couple servers I had RP’ed on had RP channels. You could usually whisper someone in the channel to get the atmosphere of the setting, if it wasn’t clear to you. That was sort of how I started…

I had rolled a character on an RP realm and talked to NPC’s in the starting area and just did my own thing. I felt sorta awkward, but was having fun and received a few responses from other players. Eventually someone told me about the RP channel. That helped.. I lurked there a bit, then made my entrance. This helped connect with other active RPers on the realm which led to roleplay events and meetups and eventually RP guild invitations.

We had tried to have a separate forum for the community (away from the official forums) and a wiki for guild story information, but even the RP community seemed divided on maintaining and utilizing those. However, they were good starting points for newer people to the realms.

Bricu on May 6, 2009 at 10:27 am.

We have an RP channel on our server, and a Role Playing Alliance Channel on Feathermoon. They were instrumental in helping me connect to other RPers.



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