Character Development: A Roleplay Column
By Shannon Doyle (Leliah), OnRPG Journalist
Have you ever been in the middle of a zombie apocalypse and seen a small group of people walking down the street instead of running around like any sensible person would do? Have you ever seen two people facing each other underneath a train station seemingly ignoring the world while aliens bomb the city from above? Maybe you’ve been wandering through a meadow and stumbled on a woman giving birth next to a pond. These are just a few of things that are quite normal in MMOs of all sorts. Ok, that last one is a bit unusual even for a seasoned roleplayer like myself.
I’ve been a roleplayer longer than I’ve played MMOs. I got my start in the chatrooms of MSN back in the day before they worried about children and closed them. I met my husband in one of those MSN roleplay chatrooms. When I started playing MMOs and to this day I look at an MMO and judge it on how much fun I would have roleplaying in that world. Now I am bringing my experience to you. Every other week I will bring you news from various roleplay communities around the MMO world, share some of my experiences and hopefully create a running dialog on the OnRPG boards about things that are important to the RPing world. I’m really looking forward to interacting with you, my readers. So if there is a community you think I should check out, or if your roleplaying group is holding an event let me know!
So when I was thinking about what to write about first a few things came to mind. The game I’ve been in the longest; I could but I’d rather save it for one of the awesome events that are held on a regular basis. An introduction to roleplaying; I could but that might be a bit boring for veterans. Or there was the one that I had my heart set on doing and have decided to go with, The Secret World. I know, right now it’s everywhere. And there is a good reason for it. The world is completely amazing. But the game isn’t for me to talk about, that’s Ardua’s job in his weekly The Secret World column called Faithless Is He. I’m here to talk about all the amazing things Funcom has done for the Roleplaying community in The Secret World. Ok, so if you look around either of Funcom’s two roleplay servers you won’t actually see much rp going on. Why? Everyone is still doing the content. Add to that how new the game is and how different it is from any other game in the genre and you end up with slightly empty pubs and a whole lot of dead evil creatures. But Funcom has gone above and beyond to make The Secret World fantastic for RPers.
How so you ask? Well if you’ve played you know you have to come up with a first name, last name and finally your nickname which is unique to your character. Some people have been finding the requirement of a first name and last name a bit annoying. I’ve even seen people who have all three names exactly the same. In a post on the official TSW forums Ragnar Tørnquist came out and said that the naming process was done with roleplayers in mind.
When a new dimension was added it was flagged as a roleplay dimension since they seem to be one of the most popular in most MMOs.
The in game store is almost entirely clothes which have nothing to do with your stats. So far I’ve managed to resist buying anything but I don’t think I’ll be able to hold out much longer. My character already wears a different outfit every day. And I’m afraid once I start I should just have my paycheck from OnRPG direct deposited into Funcom’s bank account. I’ll want it all!
The three hubs for the player factions are combat free. Now I imagine that it’s all part of the story, putting together the setting, but I can’t help but think this is a nod to rpers. If I’m headed to Seoul, New York or London for anything other than quick business I put the weapons away while I’m still in Agartha. For people who do want to see a bit of action while they’re in the hubs there are the fight clubs. Not that these areas are excluded from roleplaying as a result.
In London there are two pubs to pick from. The Horned God has been picked as the main rping spot in the whole game. It makes sense to me because London is the hub and rpers are for some reason always drawn to the clubs/pubs/inns.
Personally I never stop rping. Even doing dungeons I’m rping. So if you’re in The Secret World on Arcadia and see three people walking everywhere, strike up a conversation! We don’t bite, I promise.
I hope you all come back in two weeks when I talk more about the wonderful world of roleplaying.