Do not take this post wrong, but I merely hope that some people will read through this and ponder a bit on the problems I mention concerning playability and game systems on the numerous different RP servers that I have hopped onto.
The basic thing which is an eye sore for myself are the repetetive topics on most Servers, these being in the vast majority the DarkRP servers. DarkRP servers are almost always centred about there being the “Law and Administration”, the “Opposition” and then everybody inbetween. It is very often than no matter whether the DarkRP server will have in its server name “Serious”, “Semi-Serious” or “Lite” RP, it always boils down to RDMers becoming the criminals, people with Admin rights/Garry Mod tools becoming the gun dealers, and then everybody else is restricted to whatever is left, most often classes that nobody ever wishes to interact with ever. I recall that my first experiences on a DarkRP server made me become a Food Vendor when the server did not use a Hunger Script. The RP came down to an Admin visiting me on a few occasions, since I decorated the building/restaurant in a nice climatic manner, to help me out and actually buy something from me. The other events were people smashing up stuff and stealing my supplies.
Another poor experience I had from a DarkRP server was that of being a Medic/Doctor, where despite there being a police force present a group of bandits smashed down the door, killed me, then robbed the entire store. Gun Dealing, although theoretically intriguing its equally bad since everybody will want to rob you, if you have a storage of weapons.
DarkRP servers, put simply are unimaginative. It is always the same structure, no matter how people attempt to deviate from the basic version of “assault” classes being those most heavilly mobbed, leaving the theoretical backbone classes left empty.
After my DarkRP experiences I decided to join TacoScript servers which offered an incredible change in quality, however in my eyes they suffered from something different, compared to DarkRP servers. In DarkRP servers obtaining a weapon, even a basic pistol is quick and easy, earning the local currency is very intuitive and groups are very often very flexible.
TacoScript servers often have good RP but I cannot help but thing that I feel “naked” constantly. I see people who have incredible equipment, who form in groups, and that is in a way the problem. I am a very open player, and I often do not have a problem finding somebody to work with, but TacoScript servers in a way due to their enforced scarcity of resources force groups to shun newcomers since any resource handed out could end up wasted when the player never returns.
Some of the “Hard-Core” RP servers I have been to enforce something known as “RP Items”. These are items that do not actually have a use In-Game but are semi-real items that you should be theoretically able to trade between people for whatever hard earned IG currency you obtained. I could never understand the need for these items however for a number of reasons: 1) Most servers do not have clear rules on scavening for such items, this might invite powergaming. 2) Admins are needed to verify on some occasions, but when you hop on for only an hour on a slow day you do not have time to wait for an Admin, who might have already more important things to do. 3) They have no real use, you might as well assume they do not exist, and even if you did not ever obtain a packet of cigarettes nobody will be able to verify.
I never understood why servers did not attempt to add NPC stores. A handful of servers I have been to introduced Stores however they were inefficient because whenever there was a server reset my character wealth was whiped together with most of the statistics.
After that few paragraph “rant” I would wish to point out a few simple solutions that might be one day implemented to some servers. In a lot of RP-“Survivor” servers scavenging systems and Admin pressence appear to be almost mandatory. A simple solution that I see personally, that is used on different games, are scavenging spots. A player would have a maximum number of scavenge attempts and depending on the spot where he is searching he can obtain different items. He goes into a 24/7 he will more easilly find food, water, basic supplies. He goes into a Gun Store, he find weapons and ammo. How to make sure a group does not hog an ammo spawn? Make more than one. For example, survivor A has three scavenge attempts. He wants some food, ammunation for his rifle and then look for random junk. He goes first to the 24/7 uses one of his scavenge attempts to find food. He then goes to a gun store to look for weapons and maybe uses his third attempt there also. After all his scavenge attempts are used up he has to wait a certain ammount of time (15-20 minutes?) for each scaveng attempt to regenerate.
Of course, you will not always find what you want or need, but that is when NPC stores kick in. There might be a safezone where you trade in your found gear for some credits/caps/rubbles and then buy instead whatever you need. Not to make people too powerfull NPC Stores would only have the necessities. Perhaps basic ammunation, food and water. And if a player does not want to trade with a store? Go to another player.
RP Servers, get rid of the stuff you do not need. If something does not give anything IG, get rid of it, don’t make people trade for stuff that has no power IG. It begs for powergaming, it begs for skams, and what for? DarkRP servers, I know Drugs are “Cool”, but why be a Drug dealer if nobody will ever buy anything? Do not add Food Vendors if nobody will ever be hungry, do not give cops or robbers automatic machine guns. Pistols, knives maybe, but Assault Rifles? Be serious and think about it for a moment. Tone down on the “minge stuph” and instead stick to the necessities. People will still like it, and people will complain a whole lot less about RDMers or class hoggers. And if on a Survivor server you need “RP” items assume you have them already. Whatever cataclysm happened you might have a swiss knife, packet of cigarettes, a kit-kat, toothbrush, there is no real need give IG value to them, it only mixes things up.
And for the love of god, I know servers need money, but letting anybody become an Admin means half the admins will be people who can have a bank account or have access to one and have a basic grasp on using the internet. Which is very much 90% of the poppulation, including those who do not understand what are Admin responsibilities. Let people have their Gravity guns/Garry Tools, but restrict the number or type of placeables.
To give credit to some of the servers and unfortunately mention some of their downsides that I saw. I played on the Hypergamers S.T.A.L.K.E.R. server and that was an experience I shall remember for a very long time. The atmosphere, the maps and the RP is incredible. However, earning a living is not. Very often you have to wait for an Admin to drop something somewhere on the server so that you can earn a few rubbles. And then it takes even less effort for a “LoL Bandit” to take you at gunpoint and rob you clean. Yes, it is climatic, and it might be fun, but some of my attempts really left me with nothing more than a few hours of waiting wasted by a hiding bandit.
Some of the HL-2 TacoScript servers that I have been to were incredible. Although they did not suck me since there is nothing to do outside of pure RP, if you ever feel the need to be scared to death by the Combine, without the crappy “Gordon Freeman Rambo” stuff, these are for you.
Starship Troopers RP, that appears to be gone now. It abandoned completely the need for “items”. Everybody was more or less equal (ranks and specialist equipment differed), and although the server often stagnated, lacking anything to do when there were no missions I really enjoyed it.
Necropolis RP equally awesome to the Hypergamers Server, suffering the same sickness (at least when I played on it) of items not spawning and you were often left with nothing to do, and hiding endlessly in a room gets bored after a long while.
Lastly, from the list I recall just now, Fallout 3 RP (and not the Fallout 3 Random Game Mode), same problem of Necropolis and STALKER RP, great RP, but addicted to spawned Admin items and using too often “RP Items”.
That would be all, thanks for reading and hope for some constructive comments.