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5 Little Things Required For Successfull, Player Driven Rp (and Why)

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by CrainyGB, Oct 27, 2013.

  1. RidleyXan CrainyGB Subordinate


    I am, like all of us, super excited for Eternal Crusade and cant wait to wage war in the WH40k universe in the MMO we fans always wanted. Im confident that this game is in the best hands it could be and the developers really seem to know what they are doing. I am sure from a gameplay standpoint Eternal Crusade will rock the world.

    However, what I would like to address in this topic is something that is also very important to many, including me, when it comes to MMO´s and that I hope is pulled off properly: Roleplaying "support". Often times, I feel like quality roleplaying in MMO´s is one of the most fun things they have to offer and I believe WH40k with its diverse factions, philosophies and overall interesting lore that is taken seriously by a majority of the players offers an enourmous potential for this, moreso than other MMO´s.

    As such, I would just like to share my thoughts of what tiny additions to a game can make large differences when it comes to the roleplaying of players. In other words, in my opinion, the following little things are required for a successfull and stable roleplaying community within an MMO (and why):

    1. Local area chat

    Out of all the points im going to make in this thread, this is easily the most important one. As with all these little features I am going to mention, it is important that they dont interfere with anything that the game normally does gameplay wise.

    Local chat is a simple idea: A player can choose to say something and only people in the very near vicinity of the player who said it actually receive that message. World of Warcraft has a great example of this.

    Additionally to that, it would be ideal if people can filter their chat that they only see local chat messages if they so desire.

    Why its important:
    Local chat is important so that players can talk to each other in a way that seems natural - its often times important for roleplayers that the things they say isnt heard across the entire area they are in, but only to the people near them, mostly because this makes the chat less clustered and easier to read, which is very important. Filtering for local chat messages would be a great addition so the chat is even easier to follow. Filtering can be as simple as a button above the chat window that says "Local chat".

    2. Optional speech bubbles

    This feature is less important when you can filter for local only messages, however, its still a very handy thing for roleplayers. First of all, its important that speech bubbles need to be able to be turned off and on, seeing how not everyone wants to roleplay.

    Speech bubbles should be small, transparent bubbles with text in them, but ONLY if the text is spoken in local chat. They also should only be visible to the people that can actually receive the local chat message to prevent them from popping up all over the map.

    Why its important:
    Speech bubbles make it not only easier for roleplayers to keep track of a conversation with several people, it also gives the things said more of a "spoken" and "direct" feel and thus enhances the experience - you dont even have to look away from the characters you are talking to. Its important that the bubbles only appear when used in local text because they otherwise will get annoying very quickly and they dont make any sense for stuff that is said in world chat or similar chats.

    3. Basic emotes

    I dont want my Space Marines to dance. But it would be nice if they can sit down, lie down, kneel and maybe even make a speaking movement when the player posts a local chat message.

    Why its important:
    Emotes are very important for immersion purposes and give the roleplayers a very basic way of visualizing their character, which they otherwise wont have. Sometimes you want to sit down while talking. Maybe your character got badly wounded during combat and needs to lie down while the apothecary fixes his wounds. Maybe your character kneels on a large hill while observing the enemy movements or proving his loyalty to his superiors. Emotes is something that most MMOs have and often times, roleplayers are the ones that profit most from it, so I dearly hope they are in Eternal Crusade.

    4. Action/Emote chat

    This is something that I loved in World of Warcraft. When typing e/ prior to your message, the stuff you write out would appear in a red tone, which signaled your character is doing an action - a text color otherwise reserved for NPC´s.

    Basically, it would look like this when written "Shilas: e/ fires a well aimed shot at the filthy traitor he once called his brother"

    When posted, in the chat it would appear like this: "Shilas fires a well aimed shot at the filthy traitor he once called his brother"

    Notice that there is no usual ":" that comes with normal chat messages, signalling that this is an action.

    Why its important:

    Now, emote chat is a big example of "nice to have". It is possible to signal written out actions through other means, like placing a * infront of your chat message, however, having your own little command for it that actually gives the text another color and appearance further distances these emotes from normal chat messages and provides greater immersion and less confusion for roleplayers.

    5. RP flags

    Last, but definately not least, RP flags are the ultimate tool for roleplayers. I remember them from my time in World of Warcraft, where they were added through a mod, and they just freaking rocked it.

    Basically, an RP flag is a little sort of "information card" a player can write his character that would appear everytime someone clicks on your character on the side of the screen as a little box. RP flags would contain valuable RP information, like further descriptions of what your character looks like (scars on your armor) or your currently visible emotional status ("It appears that Shilas is currently filled with rage" and so on). They could also contain stuff like nicknames/last names.

    As always, it is important that RP flags need to be generally not enabled for players that are not interested in them - it should be an optional thing.

    Basically, an RP flag could look like this:

    "Name: Shilas Harkon

    Current emotional status: He seems very indifferent about his surroundings

    Appearance: His scout armor seems to be freshly damaged and has blood stains and several scratch marks on them. He carries a bolter, but it too seems to be in poor condition."

    This is a very simple example. RP flags can be rather complex and be a great addition to the RP experience. One might considere limiting the lenght of the RP flag to just a decent number of sentences to prevent people from writing entire novels in them, which, in fact, is not the point of them.

    Why its important:

    Even the MMOs that are best at it offer too little variation when it comes to customizing your character and conveying what he currently goes through. RP flags are an incredible effecient way of telling a story with your character - an RP flag never outright states anything above the visible, but they can describe things that go beyond the capabilities of the game engine, like emotional status, in what condition the armor is and more. This way, like in real life, RP players can tell stuff about other players without even talking to them, just by looking at them (their RP flag).

    This also adds another level of enjoyment to RP: People often tend to spend alot of time on their flag and it can be quite fun to just read about what the characters surrounding you currently look like.


    So, thats about it. Include these little features and I can assure you that roleplaying will spread across your game naturally - and it will be fun, too, without ever getting into the way of the actual game!

    I hope this was a good read for people and ofc share your own ideas of how roleplaying in Eternal Crusade can be realized!
  2. Gorbatz Gorbatz Subordinate

    I'd use it.
  3. I approve of every single bit of this, the potential for RP in Eternal Crusade is incredible and these are all things I enjoyed from other Roleplaying games.

    But having something like RP flags for the game by default is genius, I can't think of another MMO which has it!
    It's always a mod, never In the game naturally!

    I've realised how most other MMO's appear to rarely care about the Roleplaying community, mainly just the masses who play the game without any care for the depth and immersion of the universe they're playing in.

    I just hope Miguel Caron is true to his word about keeping immersion in the game.
  4. Meow Tyff Subordinate


  5. Sorantam SpiritofRock Subordinate

    You forgot the most important one: make sure the story isn't all about you.
  6. This, by the Emperor, this.

    I like the idea of being flattered and being called the "hero" but when you stand back and look at it, you realise there's another couple of million "heroes" who have done exactly the same thing, despite the in-game story praising YOU as the hero.

    And even worse, lore related events of certain battles the heroes themselves aren't even considered canon in most cases...
    xtrmntr1 likes this.
  7. Akalonian Aka Well-Known Member

    This is cute, but in this game, we have four faction with guns that will be constantly fighting against each other and against a 5th race (Tyranids).

    There will be no missions to go collect mushrooms in the forest or slay 10 wolfs on a farm. Just bases to attack/defend. Endless war.

    I don't see any room or use for in-game role playing unless you want to stay in base and talk to people while clans fight battles.

    Not saying this stuff in not welcome, just saying this game is about fighting, killing and dieing. Best role-play you can get out of it is in this forum or if your clans put a bit of lore into an assault.
    WarriorNation's Space Marine section likes to put a lot of lore and RP into the multiplayer matches it has on game nights, you could always check us out if you like that kind of stuff.

    Best regards,
  8. Steelhide Steelhide Well-Known Member

    What I seen on this forum, is everything but you described. I have not seen anything like this, so much love about roleplaying in a mmo (even if this is wont be a regular mmo) setting.

    People DO care about rp, they love it, and probably they will do it in game whenever they will have the chance. Even if it will only be a few curses they throw at their archenemies before opening the DAKKA bag, but still, they will roleplay. If you think that roleplaying can only be initiated if there are quests like collecting mushrooms or killing boars in the woods, you got it all wrong. We are not talking about general rpg elements like you seen in your regular mmo out there. But all the stuff where the most strong part to use is someone's imagination. Roleplaying can be done basically with an ingame chat in its most basic form, where the players say things, or do things that their played character would do in any given situation. Thats what we call rp.

    Indeed, it can be done. Yes, on the battlefield they will be less frequent, and fewer. Either on the community hubs ingame or the clanships, but people will stay back and roleplay when they don't want to fight. Not everyone, yes, but I think if we would know the numbers it would be surprisingly high compared to other games and universes out there.

    About the original topic. I like this idea. I can't recall any game if I think about it where the ingame chat was as good as in World of Warcraft (talking about mmo setting), and I played a few.

    One of the most basic error to make with this game is to think that voice communication will substitute any kind of chat communication. Look at Defiance, the lack of a proper and working chat on pc in the first few months of the game pretty much killed the in game communication.

    About the dancing. First, I love to dance in my games. this is just a good way to entertain the group or pass time, or just enjoy the moves. But the more I think about it, the more I agree with Crainy. I dont want to see my space marine dancing. Neither do CSM. I can imagine some tribal stuff at the Orkz, _maybe_ the Eldar too, but not the Imperial-Chaos factions.

    About being called a hero, I dont think anything like that going to happen. Basically this one is going to be a sandbox game like EVE, where events are mostly player driven. If you done something remarkable and the community acknowledge it, you may be called a hero. But dont expect NPCs going to drool all over you just because you're so cool. Gladly, this also means that no stupid npc going to steal your achievements. :)

    Sorry for the wall of text. :)

    TL;DR: I like the idea.
  9. Khyrus Khyrus Menial

    incombat it is entirely enough to yell "die heretic" or "purge the alien" and others acting in a space marine kind of way to fill the needs at least i have regarding RP. but in safe zones like battle barges and quieter moments like in a fortress just before a battle is about to start, its nice to have, say a chaplain making an inspiring speech.

    on topic: i REALLY want /lay down instead of /sleep. many games had only the later one, what made RP just a tad bit silly. a wounded soldier who screams for a medic and is at the same time snoring like he is asleep. well...
    Steelhide likes this.
  10. Warsmith Matt Warsmith_Matt Well-Known Member

    Area chat I do want but the rest I'm not so sure about.

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