[MUD-Dev] DESIGN: Role playing

Tess Snider malkyne at gmail.com
Wed Oct 12 23:16:14 New Zealand Daylight Time 2005

On 10/7/05, Mark Whittington <markc at liquidev.com> wrote:

>> Those extra few seconds (or even minutes, depending on the nature
>> of your RP community) result in dramatically superior RP. In
>> voice, people have to keep yammering along to maintain the flow
>> of the conversation. This increases the likelihood of modern
>> slang, babbling, filled pauses (uh... and... like... ya
>> know... etc.).

> This is only true if the people that you're playing with choose to
> use the extra time in that manner.  My experience has been that
> many don't, even on RP-centric servers.  Also, what's wrong with
> filled pauses?  They are a very natural part of real-time
> conversation.

I think the reason you two aren't on the same page is because you're
talking about two completely different sorts of games.  (Or at least
two completely different playstyles.)

In a heavily combat-oriented game, being able to shout, "Help!  I'm
wounded!" is more in-character than typing "heal plz."  Who the hell
has time to type when they're trying to bash a foozle in the
head?=20 I'm wholly in favor of chat in situations where people need
to make quick tactical decisions, and typing is just going to turn
into a mess of alphabet soup -- and get you killed while you're at

However, in a heavily conversation-oriented game, the words are much
more important.  Conversation is the meat of the game, and it needs
to be good.  Eloquence can be an essential commodity.  Politics
require thought.  Logs are cherished.  Moreover, I wouldn't have
lasted more than a week RP-MUSHing, if I had to use voice chat,
because my college roommate would've started throwing heavy objects
at me.  This is not to mention the fact that she would've thought I
was completely and utterly off my nut.

Many of us roleplay with our real voices in pen-and-paper games, but
it's not quite the same as characters in an RP-MUD.  1.) We're
usually among trusted friends who we can rely on to hear the
character behind the person.  2.) We're in a safe environment where
it's acceptible for us to be acting like a bunch of weirdos
out-loud.  3.) We usually have many challenges to accomplish that
don't involve constant clever conversation.  4.) We usually don't
play pen-and-paper characters as many hours as an online character,
and thus may not interact with people on quite as sophisticated a

So, in conclusion, I think that there are some games where voice
chat is good for RP, and other games where it's not at all helpful,
and may be detrimental.

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