[MUD-Dev] State of the RP: Verant's attempt at a RP Server

Eric Rhea eric at enkanica.com
Wed Oct 3 17:05:37 New Zealand Daylight Time 2001

With all the talk of role-playing on the list right now, perhaps some
perspective about the harsh realities of what actually happens
should be noted.



			2001-10-03 16:33:00
		       [Filed by Snowspinner]

I had some time to spare, and so I decided to go help out with the
testing of the Firiona Vie server. And so I spent ten minutes
patching the test server, and then logged in, rolled up a high elven
cleric, and got to looking at what the server was all about.

Surprisingly, the answer was "Not a hell of a lot."

A bit of poking around led me to a couple of observations.

  1. "Testing" is relative. Verant has decided that as a "Christmas
  present" (The early October date nonwithstanding) to all of us for
  testing out their new server, they'd level everyone to 24. This
  creates an interesting situation for a high elven cleric,
  considering that it means that, at level 24, I had a 4/30 weapon,
  a 10 hitpoint heal, and a craptacular HP buff. No extra
  equipment. No extra money. And no ability to kill anything for
  experience, because, well, 10 hit point heals aren't all that
  useful at level 24, if you're hunting anything that can even
  remotely net you experience. What it is Verant intended to have
  tested on a server by rendering everyone's character nearly
  unplayable is up in the air.

    Ah well, thought I, I can live with this. It was clearly marked
    when I rolled the character that I was a Lawful... um, I mean
    orderly Good cleric, and so I would shrug, accept that it was
    not my lot in life to be one of Tunare's chosen, and make the
    best of my situation. Tunare's will be done.

  2. Sartre was wrong. Hell is not other people. Hell is running
  across Greater Faydark, with no zone-wide channel other than
  auction, and no ability to find anyone to talk to or group
  with. And, of course, auction is filled with the war that I'm sure
  we'll see waged constantly on that server.


    At least, those were the auctions that were in Elven. Maybe the
    gnomes were auctioning actual items?

    At this point, my cleric began to worry. 24 years of faithful
    service to Tunare, and he could find neither friends nor any way
    of getting spells.  The only kindness he'd been shown was by his
    guildmaster, who gave him a tunic to protect him from evil. He
    began to despair, until he eventually found two other elves, and
    formed a party.

  3. Roleplaying servers are only fun with people who roleplay. This
  may come as a surprise to some of you, but, in fact, sitting
  around in a group running mail for the League of Antonican bards
  because it's the only way you can actually make money is not

But, you say, surely you talked to your groupmates and roleplayed? 
Well...  ummm... we had three running monologues about our
history. And so I suppose we were all roleplaying in that we were
playing roles. But I always took RP as being a somewhat interactive
experience, rather than ranting on in the hopes of finding an
audience. Perhaps if I could understand the dwarves or gnomes
running around, I might have roleplayed with them, but multicultural
experiences aren't part of the vision.  Instead, I was stuck with a
bunch of elves who didn't roleplay badly enough to grief, but also
didn't roleplay well enough to play with in a way that was even
remotely entertaining.

In any case, after a few mail runs, my group disbanded, and I was
left to wander Kelethin, my cleric pondering his lot in life. Here
he was, alone.  His god had abandoned him, leaving him no ability to
gain more power to serve her. No one would talk to him. The only
people he could find were a bunch of mail carriers, and they didn't
really seem to sympathize with his agony. True, he didn't have
boils, and his children hadn't all died, but on the whole, his lot
in life wasn't all that impressive. And so, after careful
consideration, he did the one sensible thing he could think of.

He cursed Tunare and threw himself from the top of Kelethin, hoping
to respawn in a world with equipment, people who wanted to roleplay,
and auctions that didn't amount to flamewars.

I, on the other hand, went and griefed #hentai-rpg in IRC. At least
they have tentacle sex when they RP.
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