Roleplaying VS playing

WoW is divided into 3 types of servers:  pvp, rp, and rp-pvp.  There is also the “normal” type but let’s ignore it, who likes normalcy anyways!

The general opinion of the playerbase is that pvp servers are for immature 12 year olds on a sugar rush where it is impossible to level past 20 because of the armies of ganker-campers stationed in every single zone.  Rp realms are where lonely housewives and 30 year old single guys go to play, imagining that their level 10 paladin is on an epic quest to rid the world of cancer and to get a fair maiden at the end of his struggle.  Rp-pvp are acknowledged as jokes by all players.  They try to combine the danger element of pvp realms with the somewhat more mature gameplay of the rp realm, usually meaning they are simply pvp realms with slightly higher standards for character names.

Please keep in mind that I do not really believe any of that, I just gave you the prevalent Internetz Philosophy!

The reality – sad thought it may be! – is that all the realms and servers are the same: filled with good players, roleplayers, bad players, immature players, gankers, campers, idiots, geniuses.  You can’t get away from this.  You will find more roleplayers on an rp (pve) server, obviously, than on a pvp server, but they’re on all of them.  And this rather long introduction brings me to the point I would like to make:

immersion is just as much fun as roleplay

In all the games I have played ( Achaea and WoW – google the former if you’re confused with a “achaea mud” search ) roleplayers have thought that they have to go out of their way to create exciting events.  They’re always plotting, always inventing shit that doesn’t exist or doesn’t seem likely to happen.  They’re always making big deals out of nothing.  My “roleplay” in Achaea was always to simply play my character the way I believed that character would behave if the Achaean world and he were both real.  For the handful of people that know that game and remember Latus, that meant certain specific traits like honor above all else, not harming innocents, etc.  When Latus underwent a demonic possession (yes, maybe lame, but in his situation and with some coincidental/accidental lead-up to it by the game admins it was really cool) he switched that all around.  When he was cleansed of the demonic taint, he resumed his old role with renewed vigor and played up the sense of utter despair he felt at the things he had done while possessed.  Other than the possession, the rest was simply playing things out.  And even the possession was almost forced upon Latus, in a way, by events, how they unfolded, and what a few other players did.  I didn’t go out of my way way back then to create events and a plot.  For the most part, I simply imagined I was really living his life and played him accordingly.

WoW is the same!  I do not roleplay.  I do, however, believe I have some sense of immersion.  I don’t question why I repeat daily quests, or kill the same things day in and day out.  That’s how the world works.  I allow it to become real as I play Latus the Warlock.  I also keep in mind my character history: Forsaken… dead human…  raised by Arthas… broke free / helped to break free by Sylvanas…  This is very powerful stuff from an immersion point of view.  Latus does have an affinity towards all human structures and events in the game.  He loathes the Lich King with a passion but also places him in unbelievably high esteem for the power he wields, having returned life (well, unlife) to his corpse.  He associates with the ragtag crew of skeletons and decaying zombies that are his people now… he admires the Scarlet Order in the same way people might admire the Nazi regime; a sense of awe at it’s efficiency and power, but in the end despising absolutely everything about it.  He fell in love with the character of Leonid Barthalomew in Light’s Hope Chapel.  He is, in the end, driven by the hope that one day he may rest in peace or be returned to his Human condition.

What this means is that there are quests I won’t do.  I imagine Latus as relatively noble in life, despite now being a maniac (read: Warlock), so the quests to plunder Ulduar’s stones, or chop down the trees under Dalaran didn’t seem cool, they seemed like destroying heritage.  Quests that involve too much killing of Humans are not necessarily off limits, but greatly frowned upon.  Quests that see Latus freeing newly raised members of the scourge are a godsend, like that daily at the Argent Tournament where you free 6 newly fallen heroes.  I love, love LOVE LOOOVVVEEE that quest!

This type of immersion also means not having some achievements.  You know, I didn’t really explore Winterspring.  I don’t have the achievement.  I won’t until I quest my way through there on Latus or on a separate toon.  I don’t come close to the Loremaster achievement, same reason:  why push something that Latus didn’t experience?  If I didn’t do the Hillsbrad quests, that’s how it is, tough!

Immersion does not have to turn you into a hardcore roleplayer.  You can simply enjoy believing your character is in fact real, or at least is real in his/her own world… anytime you make a decision whether it is deciding on a quest to take, a mob to kill, a faction to join…  think what your character would really do.  Even if you don’t follow that decision, you at least get those few moments of entertainment as you ponder the options and the implications.

Roleplay? Meh.  Immersion? Yay!

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2 Responses to “Roleplaying VS playing”


  1. 1 Shayzani October 12, 2009 at 11:05 am

    Agreed sir. The immersion of the world I play in has pretty much always been the foremost concern of mine.

    Although I did always want to really commit to a style of roleplay modeled after Savonarola while playing Achaea. It wouldn’t have lasted because I was too flighty at the time but oh well!

    …I need more sleep. Almost everything I wrote here was just a random stream of consciousness.

  2. 2 latusthegoat October 12, 2009 at 11:40 am

    That’s how most of my posts are… 😀


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