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:
- No one RPs on Feathermoon anymore. At all. RP is dead.
- RP happens, but it’s only in elitist cliques, and you’ll never break into them, don’t even try.
- 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.
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.