Objective: To cover key elements of MMO-roleplaying, or "RP" for short.
What Roleplaying Is
As stated in the Oxford English Dictionary, "roleplaying" is the changing of one's behavior to fulfill a social role. In this case, RPing is basically acting through an avatar, which would be your character of choice in Aion: The Tower of Eternity. You can easily identify a player as an RPer mainly by the way he/she makes use of emotes, movements, and dialogue. Let's use some scenarios:
*The Average Player Looking for A Group Scenario*
3. Find Group - Wowfanboiii: nub its soloable. lrn2glad
*The RPer Looking for A Group Scenario*
3. Find Group - Beatrixa: "Arieluma, Stoneheart. I am Beatrixa, a Rank 21 cleric. I will offer you medicinal assistance so that you may do battle with a mind of ease and a heart of fire."
Making Your Role
The "meat" of roleplaying: your character. Making a character seems easy enough, but with an MMO like Aion where you can only do so much with your attire as far as customization, it will make it quite difficult to cook up a concept and theme. This forces you to focus more on other aspects, such as your name and weapon of choice. Class plays an important part as well.
If you wish to be a doctor of sorts, it would be customary to choose a Priest sub class, particularly Cleric. Name is one thing, but with character type restrictions in Aion, it makes it impossible to have surnames and "The" titles. So it would make more sense to have an original name, or perhaps a generic title such as "Evangelist" or "Apostle", maybe even "Nurse". These will be incredibly difficult to grab, no doubt. Most RPers just deal with their own well-thought up names, and that's ok, and recommended.
There are limitless possibilities of roles you can give your character. There is more to it than just making a medic named "House". You need to develop a backstory; a history of how your character became who they are currently. You normally share these stories when you are acquainting with other RPers, or just your general audience. You can be as eccentric or professional as you wish, but again, your aiming to hit the spot of your viewers. Nobody likes a mimic; you need to add some twists and turns if you wish to have your gear free of tomato juice.
Here is a biography of a character I was thinking of as I was typing this sentence:
Heartshot, the renowned Elysean archer of Daminu Forest. She serves as a vigilante and guardian of the Elim. With a barbarous and vulgar disposition, Heartshot slays all who approach the forest with malice.
She loves to kill, no doubt, although Noah, the Forest Protector disagrees with her motives. Noah constantly chastises Heartshot for her brutal actions, and threatens to exile her from the wood if she does not deal with intruders according to his charter.
Heartshot hasn't another home, however she cannot help the fact that she takes pleasure from the blood of her adversaries. Daminu, leader of the forest, decides to send Heartshot on a long journey outside of the forest, that she may witness an epiphany which may change her "heart" forever...
How To Roleplay
There is no wrong way to RP, but if you wish to attract other RPers and gather an audience, you will need show a little virtuoso. RPing is all about planning ahead, whether you are attaching dialogue to a macro or cooking up something clever when put on the spot. When interacting with other RPers, you need to be able to prove yourself a worthy part. It isn't too difficult, but you must always make sure your part blends in with another's.
This is the number one element that shows a player is RPing. Their speech, their dialect, their vernacular. Or simply the way they type. Your dialogue is based off your character's concept or role, at least, it should be lol.
If your character is a barbarian, most likely, you will grant him a barbaric tone:
Most RPers make use of quotes to show that they are RPing. It is merely a preferred style, and not required.
My personal favorite. With Aion's variety of dramatic and hilarious emotes, it would be a mistake to neglect their usage in roleplaying. Obviously, you will make use of the emotes depending on the conversation and/or situation. However, take note that it would be unwise to overuse the same one, for the simple fact that you need to focus on flowing through the conversation with style.
Emotes increase the liveliness of your character. It makes RP sessions more enjoyable, and last a bit longer.
Text actions are used to present the more detailed actions that your character is doing. In other words, if it isn't an emote, make it a text action. For example:
Helgaria takes out a cloth and wipes the sweat off her bosom
Basically, moving your character when approaching other RPers, NPCs, or a prop. Movements aren't exactly viable when it comes to RPing in MMOs considering that you may not even move the way you want since things such as lag and other interruptions may occur, but most people like to go all out in making their character engage in an RP session.
Here's a big one. How to start RPing with others. Personally, I like to do monologues or "solo RP", as a means of attracting other RPers to play with me. This is why an RP server is important. You need to feel comfortable in RP in order to do well with it. Here is an example:
Leigh: "Is all well, darling?
Faye looks up to see a beautiful Mage smiling down on her
Faye: "Oh..ummm. Yes, everything...is fine."
Leigh: "You seem to be having difficulties with your spirits. Perhaps I can offer you advice, for I am a Spiritmaster myself."
Faye: "Yeah. They won't listen to me. Everyone at school makes fun of me." *pouts*
Leigh: "Why, that is a common problem actually. I've had the same issue when I was at your young age. A spirit will not obey you if you lack the will to fight. Come, let me show you the prowess of a true Spiritmaster....
Out-of-character (OOC for short) is speaking (typing rather) with your normal persona, basically putting a halt on your RP to say something serious and important, or to just "lol" at something another RPer said. You can tell when somebody is speaking OOC when they type in-between parenthesis or brackets. For example:
Maggie: Cleveland! How dare you silence us!?"
Willian: "Who made you commandant over us!?"
Cleveland: (But no seriously, shut up, guys. They're trying to sneak up on us.)
Dealing With Attackers
Most RPers know ONE thing for sure: they are going to be hated with a passion by most players. RPing is great fun at a great risk. This is another reason why joining a predominant RP server is extremely recommended, but even so, there will NEVER be a server where everybody is RPing. Some non-RP players join it just to observe it, others join it simply for the joy of trying to ruin it. There is a way to deal with this:
Play along with it. Everybody gets bad audiences. The best actors and funniest comedians even have them. Not everyone is going to like the same thing, because we are biased.
Never digress your act because some troll doesn't like the way you type. I can't stress this enough. There is the ignore feature, but if you are a passionate RPer, you will use the idiocy as a means of supporting your act. Here is another scenario:
You and a fellow RPer you met along the road decided to quest up to gather some materials for the local merchant. As you are collecting, a Rift opens, and a bevy of Asmodian players burst through with a preemptive attack. You managed to escape unscathed, however, your partner did not make it...
The Asmodians taunt you with insulting comments, addressing you as "carebears" and "noobs". Instead of retaliating with "your mother" jokes, you despair over the death of your newfound ally, while "RPingly" cursing the Asmodians for their treachery. But alas! Your ally speaks, stating that she will be able to survive.
A wise RPer is able to adapt RP to ANY situation. So what if you got ganked? It gave opportunity to even more RP with a plot twist. This doesn't mean you have to take it up the butt. If you are a witty RPer, you can find means of making comebacks while remaining in RP mode. I have met a lot of these guys in many MMOs; they really know how to defend themselves when in-character. rofl
Try It Out
If haven't tried RP, I seriously recommend doing so. It brings a whole new experience to MMOs. It doesn't have to be about grinding. Have something to talk about; make it look like you are playing with real people and not NPCs. It IS a massively multiplayer online game. Meet some cool friends, join thematic legions, and play the game like it's a game.
If anybody has any questions or wish to request in-depth information on a particular element, let me know and I will make updates for the guide. I'm no genius or anything, so help me out.
This post has been edited by Aion Bunny: 09 December 2009 - 01:07 PM