From all the rumblings I’ve heard on Feathermoon, it seems that 3.3 dropped at just the right time. End game content, specifically the Tourney, had been played out. Thanks to Fall of the Lich King raiders–including RP-Radiers–have new content to throw themselves into. The patch is a booster shot: It is giving players enough content to get to Cataclysm. That is what Blizzard, as content providers, need to do. When the game gets stale they are supposed to add another level of content. Not everyone is going to see that content; however, not everyone needs to see it. There needs to be just enough new stuff–items, instance, battlegrounds, whatever–to keep people interested in the game, even if they may not be able to get there.
Blizzard is responsible for that layer of content. When WoW needs a booster, they provide it. RP is a different matter entirely. While it would be nice for Blizz to throw RPers a bone–player housing, phased bars that allowed bar-fights–it is not Blizzards responsibility to fix your RP. It is the RPer’s.
If your RP needs a shot in the arm, there are a number of solutions to fix it. Some are good, some are bad, but all of them depend on the context of the RP and your RP circle. And while one could always just take a break from the game, breaks are not a shot in the arm. Breaks are a chance to rest and recuperate from RP. This is an important, and over looked, tool for recharging your RP batters; however, I’m more interested in more active methods of fixing stale RP.
For instance, in July of this year our esteemed leader and metal head in chief, Tarquin, wanted to get out of his funk. We spent hours talking about what to do, what not to do and how to incorporate the rest of the guild. Currently, that plot line is on-going. In fact, we’ve blogged about them before. I think this method is ideal. It gives the player a chance to work out the “RP Funk” with friends AND it provides more RP threads for newer characters/players. The downside to this method–and there is a substantial one–is that it takes a long time to do. Not everyone wants to spend three hours with people chatting about RP. Not everyone is going to be able to invest the six months–or more–it will take to revitalize the RP. While the RP would see an initial boost, that is a short term effect. Dissecting the RP and plotting the future takes more than just one night of feeling good about the RP’s direction.
Another method, one that does not require a a full on group discussion, is to change the method of RP. If you are a forum writer or a Ficcer, trying to RP during an RP night can give you the real interactions your character needs. If you prefer the raucous and chat spamming RP night, a little fic or forum RP can help you find your way. Changing a method, however, is daunting. Breaking into an RP night isn’t always easy. Writing, especially if you think you are not a writer*, is also terribly scary.
A little adversity doesn’t hurt anyone. In fact, a little adversity forces one to grow and change. Doing something that scares you is good for you. To quote Elenaor Roosevelt,”You must do the things you think you cannot do.” Changing up the method, while scary, can really boost the RP when you need to.
If a mass meeting, fic or an RP night is not your thing, it maybe time to roll an alt. Personally, I cannot speak to this method. Others–including my brilliant and esteemed collaborators–have a few alts. I rolled Bricu a few weeks after Launch and I’ve been playing him ever since. I don’t have an Alt with a story that I care about. I can see the appeal. If one characters story is stale, needs a push or is just too much to handle, hopping over to an entirely different persona can also provide a boost for both toons. Tired of the Alliance? Go Horde. Tired of not having chairs? Go Alliance.
Even the most richly developed characters, with years of untapped potential, can hit a snag. While Blizzard can give RPers a few new bells and whistles, in the end, it is the players responsibility to fix their own snags. I’ve only touched on a few of the ways to give your RP a shot in the arm: Please share your methods with the rest of us!