Roleplay, or RP, is one of the many ways you can show your own creativity in the World of Warcraft. Transmogging might be the hip new thing, but RP in Azeroth has been around since the launch of the game and has led to some of the most memorable events in my own time in Azeroth, and many others. I am here to bring you five tips on what to do to be a good citizen of an RP server, whether you actively RP or not. Please note, RP to some may only be Erotic Role Play, or ERP, but for most RPers, this is a small portion of their RP story, or a type of RP they have no interest in. Please do not paint all RPers with the same tar stained brush!
No one likes someone who is immature and tries their hardest to ruin other people’s fun. Why be that person? Maybe you aren’t into RP, and that’s fine. There is a pretty wide line between not participating in RP and being a jerk to others who do. Jumping around when there is an event going on, doing rude emotes, or even taking advantage of PvP flagging to attack participants is a sure fire way to get a lot of people to be mad at you.
If you want to watch the RP going on, in most cases this is fine. Maybe it will encourage you to dip your toe in the water. If not, just go about your business and leave those who like RP to their chosen pastime in Azeroth. Even if you do decide to dip a toe in the RP pond, as long as you are respectful and willing to listen to those with more experience, you can go a long way to perhaps someday enjoying it yourself.
Do Not Break Other’s Roleplay
Much in the same vein as the first one, don’t do stuff to break a people’s RP. What this means is doing something intentionally that would interfere or break the RP of others. Being rude is the smallest form of this, such as speaking when carefully scripted events are going on, but it gets even bigger. Using real world(RL) terms in say, yell or emotes is a violation of the rules on RP servers. Doing this during someone’s RP is very frustrating and can easily shatter the RP going on.
To the extreme of the breaking of RP, I have seen people crash RP funerals from the opposing faction, seen dozens of naked as can be females and males show up in the Cathedral of Light to crash a wedding, I have seen people pop a picnic basket in the middle of people discussing critical story events in their RP and more. Please, folks, do not be these people. Be respectful and you will get respect back. Be a troll and you just might find yourself killed by a kind GM, or teleported to far off lands.
Do Not Be A God
If you do decide to actively roleplay, please do not act like a god. Anyone who has read fiction will tell you that is it one of the biggest annoyances in literature, and equally as frustrating in RP. If someone kills you in RP, your character dies in the story. Do not be the Lazarus of your realm’s RP community. You can participate in other stories, in other RP lines, there are usually a few divergent or even completely separate stories going on for a server, so there may be a place for a deceased character in one story to join in on another.
However, do not be that person who kills people off all the time. No one wants to roleplay with some who constantly plays a psychopath, and ruins the story by coming in and killing everyone. Much like no one liking a god-mode junkie, no one likes a mass murderer. When you kill the player, you harm the story that is unfolding.
Do Not Cause Useless Drama
I know, it sounds preposterous to tell people to stop causing drama in a played out drama. Sort of asking a hockey player(Go Jets!) to stop scoring so much. There is a huge difference, though, between playing out the story, and making drama that is not needed. There is good drama, like a story that comes off perfectly, and everyone playing their parts to perfection, and someone who messes with the story, changes the events and their role, just to either feed their own ego, or to mess with someone else’s fun. Doing so is another way to ensure that no one wants to invite you to the next event or story.
The most important thing about RP, folks, is to have fun. Want your character to speak like a mix of Tauren wisdom and gnomish energy? Do it. Want your character to have an impulse to dance on every table she comes across? Have at it. Want your character to act like a roman senator? Ok then. Just have fun, and enjoy the time you spend with your fellow roleplayers, and don’t take yourself too seriously. It is, after all, still just a game.
Bonus: Be Careful of ERP
Ahh, yes, I am sure many of you have heard of this. ERP, or Erotic Role Play, is the act of roleplaying erotic or sexual situations. No doubt you have heard about this in connection to the realm Moon Guard, hell the Lion’s Pride Inn in Goldshire on that realm has its own WoW Wiki page! I personally feel that each person’s RP is their own business, as long as it doesn’t affect me. Approaching someone and offering lewd favors, if you are RPing a prostitute might be ok, but it is better to make sure the person wants to be involved. Using addons, one can absolutely flag themselves as interested in such things, and that is all it takes to really guarantee you are not soliciting up the wrong tree.
Likewise, if you are approached, be firm but respectful in advising you are not interested. There are a number of people who think that 99% of RP is ERP, and that all it is for folks is a virtual sex session with a stranger, using WoW as the conduit. For some, I am sure this is the case, but for many, there is so much more depth and life to RP that doesn’t include any bodily fluids or naughty bits. If an ERPer will not take no for an answer, the solution is the same for a duel spammer, a non ERP Roleplayer, or harasser in the game. Report and ignore.
I hope my tips were helpful, and I would love to answer any other questions on Role Playing in the World of Warcraft. Email me or join Bella, Rho and myself in the All Things Azeroth live chat every Monday at 8 pm CST!