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Thread: What can we do?

  1. #1

    What can we do?

    Wanted to try a dialog on, assuming we could get numbers interested in RP, what can we actually do with them beyond conversations?

    One of the cornerstones that we are missing is ARK, and it isn't their fault... they don't have much latitude in doing anything story or world related in the first place, and I presume ARK-Events is understaffed for actors. So we can't change gas percentages or spawn enemies/bosses dynamically or change guards...

    FC is... wherever FC is. We can't expect anything even semi-official story-wise.

    We can still bring stories around to PvP zones, but PvP is something that many RPers are never going to be prepared for (and with the levels of gear etc serious PvPers use it would be a joke). I ran one event that led to a chase to a small PvP zone and standoff, but that would fall apart real quick these days once word got out. I had an idea to use the WTF dungeon that no one ever uses, but that runs into the same problems.

    In order to get a private zone, I think the main method would be group invites to apartment zones? We can't even lock down the Tower in Tir.

    We are left with... a lot of dialog, maybe some easter egg detective-like searches (doable with enough people to play parts), escort of characters through dangerous zones, spying/secrets (which we've been trying to do with the CoT site going down), and... other ideas? I'd love to get Gridstream etc on board, but unless we have something players can actually do and interact with, there isn't much point. We aren't at critical mass, and serious RPers are not that common in almost any MMORPG without dedicated servers.
    Aleksei "Zagadka" Garcia - Savior, Council Clerk
    Cindi "Razishlyat" Bolieu - Advisor Eternalist

  2. #2
    I think what we need is players to partake in things, offer up their own ideas in events and attempt to try something outside of their own comfort zone. There is no twinking for RP where you can calculate things out for a set outcome, and that scares some people. I’ve come across players who are interested in RP but are afraid to try it because they might get something wrong. I’m not sure what we, as the more dedicated RPers, can do to help people over that hurdle.

    As for events, I don’t believe players should expect every event to have extra mob spawns, gas-level changes or epic, game-world-changing outcomes. Unfortunately, that is an issue I run into too often when running events in AO. No offence to ARK, who I am sure do the best they can with whatever limited staff and resources they have left, but I truly think that carrying the weight of RP in a game should fall to the players. I have come across quite a few players, and even some of the dedicated roleplayers, who seem to expect ARK to be present at an RP event or the event is not “really RP” or worth attending. Some of the best events I have ever taken part in had no support from ARK, but instead had groups of players throwing plot twists at each other. It made for some great player driven story arcs. I’m not sure where that RP mindset has gone to in AO.
    Fya "Hilfy" Hill - Clan MA, RMR Ltd Security Officer :: Council of Truth's liaison to the ICC
    “The price of freedom is the willingness to do sudden battle anywhere, any time and with utter recklessness.”

    AO Roleplay: A New & Returning Player’s RP Info Sheet | All-in-One | IC Connections & Contacts

  3. #3
    Hiya! I've been away from AO for a few dozen moons, but I learned some things GMing in a game that has basically no RP support at all. So I have some ideas on running events and storylines without relying on invisible people pulling strings:

    • Roll a mission and roleplay it. You can use a mission to run an event even if you have absolutely nothing prepared. Or you can use the mission location as a private zone (though if you want more people RPing, I'd suggest keeping things as open as possible.)
    • Dedicate a chat channel for "GM voice". This is like when ARKs use yellow system text. You can use that channel for immersive descriptions, successes and failures, and NPC dialogue. On that note...
    • Use NPCs instead of actors to reduce the workload and make things more dynamic. For example the players can walk up to an NPC in the game and talk to them in vicinity. The GM can reply as the NPC in your GM channel.
    • You only need 2 things to run an event: a location and a thing to do in that location. Some of my most fun events had no planning at all. I'd think of a place to go, say to the guild: "We have a mission, follow me" and then think of something to do along the way: a puzzle to solve, a lost item/person that needs to be found, an NPC that needs to come along peacefully.
    • Generally try to walk instead of fly to said location; you never know what might happen along the way. Your event might change drastically because you found an item that turns out to be handy, or you met a cool NPC who turns up again later for a big reveal, or you pissed off the wrong creature who appears at the end for a roleplayed boss fight.
    • Encourage your players to use their own initiative by putting an obstacle in front of them and sitting back to watch them solve it, letting them know if what they try succeeds or fails: e.g. you need to access a password-protected terminal, have your character just look at it and scratch their head. Someone might emote /me searches in the trash, to which you say in GM channel "you find a balled-up piece of paper with a printed message 'your password has been changed to P4SSW0RD - DO NOT print this message!'"
    • Give people tasks between events. For example, you need some grid-usage data to figure out where someone might have travelled so you can follow them. Get the players figuring that out by sending IC mail to the GM. One might decide to ask their Omni-Com contact to pull that data. They can then mail you and you can reply in-character as the Omni-Com employee.

    Hopefully there's some helpful (if general) stuff in that mess ^^.

    EDIT: Oh and one more thing: in games without RP support, I wasn't afraid to use major faction leaders as NPCs in my events. If you can be satisfied that your events might not be recognised by ARKs, you can do some very impactful stories.

    Let me know if I can help in any other way
    Last edited by Redesine; Jul 25th, 2017 at 01:46:00.
    Advisor of Lumen Orien

  4. #4
    In my experience, what RP sorely needs, are engaged players who can dedicate more than a few minutes or an hour here and there to partake in the story. Granted, not everyone is interested in the same kind of RP-experience, so finding the right audience for your event, or the right event for your tastes might make it or break it.

    Perhaps presenting a coming event with information that includes what timezone you're in, what kind of event it is or what the focus is (treasure hunt, mystery, personal story, social event, deep story, combat/no combat etc.) and how many players you're looking for might help? Running events almost like tabletop RPGs, with an option to include more players, more or less.

  5. #5
    Wondering if we should have another Green Cloaks meeting. See how many active RPers we still have, who is interested in doing what, etc. Maybe even see if ARK wants to join in and let us know how things are looking on their end.

    Fya "Hilfy" Hill - Clan MA, RMR Ltd Security Officer :: Council of Truth's liaison to the ICC
    “The price of freedom is the willingness to do sudden battle anywhere, any time and with utter recklessness.”

    AO Roleplay: A New & Returning Player’s RP Info Sheet | All-in-One | IC Connections & Contacts

  6. #6
    I think that is a good idea, especially if we can get a voice from ARK, at least to give us an outline of what they can do or open doors for communication.
    Aleksei "Zagadka" Garcia - Savior, Council Clerk
    Cindi "Razishlyat" Bolieu - Advisor Eternalist

  7. #7
    I have one suggestion that may or may not help with this.

    As I'm sure everyone's noticed, the active RPers are from different timezones -- and we're not teenagers or people in our twenties, some of us, but we all share the same problem.

    When are we all around at the same time? Do we have to plan it, and can we plan for meeting at the same time? Short answer, yes and no. Longer, sometimes things happen, sometimes it's impossible, sometimes there's a chance meeting. But there is one medium where we can co-operate, and it's writing stories on the forums.

    It's not as much fun or as in-depth as in-character and online, having your heart beat in suspense as people move in real time (or however long it takes and in which mixed order as commentary and chaos comes in the client), but on the other hand...

    How much time do we spend waiting, online, hoping for someone to show up so we can have that? Forum posts will reach more and more people, and can be of varying lengths, and are something to do, something by which to know the other character, and to further know the player. And, this is the thing I'd like to really point out, it's NOT a replacement of ingame activity. It's supplemental. This tradition is steeped in many RP orgs, in my experience, and every time I've read something by someone, I've found myself finding it more joyous to bump into them online to play with them. Nothing's really stopping us from writing a long-term thread on the forums, and then jumping in time if characters meet up online.

    It might get a little crazy, but it beats waiting for stuff to happen, no? (I for one remember a story by Hilfy where a lot of things agreed to kill a b****.)
    [Vicinity] Hilfy: Expecting?
    [Vicinity] Redtricks: Pregnant? No.

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