My Critical View on RP Servers

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.

tl;dr

A lot of your complaints are just banter on a script that isn’t really for roleplay at all.

Your rants on DarkRP are fruitless. Why? It’s DarkRP.

Tacoscript and other advanced scripts don’t shun new players. They ensure that new players don’t just have the inventory of the Resident Evil 4 merchant, consistently walking around going “What’dya buyin’?”

So you registered here to complain about DarkRP. If you had bad experiences from DarkRP, it doesn’t mean that all of us have had bad experiences. Cause when i play DarkRP, i really enjoy it and it’s cool. Also, you don’t have to take DarkRP 100% seriously, just chill and have fun. You can roleplay seriously in DarkRP and it succeeds if there is good players and admins. You can configure/modify DarkRP massively, so you can make it more serious by deleting unnecessary jobs and making guns more expensive. There are plenty of roleplaying scripts which are suitable to SeriousRP. I like to play them, too. But my point is, that DarkRP is getting insulted because of it’s reputation. DarkRP has bad reputation because of bad communities/players.

I did write perhaps too much and not focused enough. I never claimed that DarkRP is good, or bad, only that the majority of the servers I played on lack any structure. Adding classes that have no actual role being the major one. Garry’s Mod, DarkRP servers are not the first to introduce “Drug Trade”. Some servers go only as far as “Drug Labs” that produce money over time, I am fine with that. However, who will buy items that make the screen go funny for a while? Perhaps I should adress this on specific servers, but I felt it more appropriate that other people might have something to think about when setting up their own servers.

I did not aim at “beating up” DarkRP servers, hardly, I simply want server owners to put more thought into their servers. More practical thought instead of just “The cool factor”.

If that’s your opinion, I’m fine with it.
When you try to shove your opinion down our throats and try to make it a fact, I’m not fine with it.

I think you made a valid point, no one buys drugs in darkrp, but then again, who in their right minds plays Darkrp on a regular?

I see what you mean, but it’s not always this way for everyone.

Maybe it’s the servers? I dunnno.

I’m trying to give RP servers another chance right now (I’ve given them many over the years). I’ve always looked down upon them.

So far, it’s just been so boring. It honestly seems like people are just standing around doing nothing. The rest are arresting people or barricading up buildings.

Tonight I will play on as many RP servers as I can and I will keep a little journal of my experiences.

Server 1: DarkRP server with 27 people @ rp_downtown_v2. A bunch of people standing around. Spent a couple minutes watching someone barricade up a building. There were no enemy NPCs, so I guess he’s just concerned with keeping players out. Tried to guess the combination to his door & failed. Made a Wiremod billboard with the text “this is boring” and walked around with it for a few minutes. Admin saw me, removed the billboard, and slapped me for 99 damage. I guess free speech doesn’t exist in the government that they’re trying to roleplay. Started messing around with wiremod & spawned an audio emitter. After that, either the server went down or I got IP banned to the point that I couldn’t even ping.
Fun: 0.1634686/10

Server 2: 29 people. DarkRP. rp_c18_v1. Claims to be a “serious roleplay” - don’t they all? Walked into a building and some guy’s in a cage playing trivia or something. He’s doing math problems right now. Can’t make this shit up. I leave, hear gunshots, and some drug dealer asks me if I want anything. Nope. I walk around for a while, desperately seeking something exciting. I pass by some barricaded buildings and try to guess combinations, but fail. I can’t take it anymore. I spawn a text-screen with the text “this is boring”. Suddenly, I see a crowd of people gather around me. They must be so excited to see something going on - a text screen. I drop my text screen and walk up to a door. It’s locked. Enough, I’m outta here.
Fun: 0.2788546/10

Server 3: I’ll join a smaller server just to see if maybe less is more. rp_downtown_v2. Just 7 people. It wants me to link my username with my account for their forum. No thanks. Some people are building cars. At least they’re doing something. Someone opens a locked door to a building from the inside. I run in as fast as I can & run around in circles. They tell me to get out, then I get killed with a crowbar. the guy spends about 2 minutes bashing my corpse with a crowbar. I don’t feel like building cars, or getting killed for trespassing, so I guess I’m just going to leave.
Fun: 0.297424398

Like I said, I’m going to give RP servers as many chances as possible. I’m going to update this post very soon.
edit:you know what, actually I’m not. all of these servers are the same & they’re just awful

Roleplay just aint as it used to be back in 2007

When you look back on the past, you’re filtering out all of the boring moments. Honestly, can you remember a single boring day in 2007? I can’t. It almost seems like 2007 was the most exciting year ever, but no, you just don’t remember the boring times. RP has always consisted of bored kids occasionally finding something fun to do (which usually involved griefing, glitching, or shooting in my experiences)

I probably sound pretty negative by now, & I understand that I’ve never gotten the full experience since no server has ever interested me enough to pull me deeply into their community. I’m just wondering where the instant gratification is at. That’s why I play video games - to go from a state of boredom to a state of entertainment.

All of the problems people seem to have with RP are starting to stem from the same source, boredom. It seems like every complaint I see on DarkRP is really the fact that almost every server is doing the same kind of RP. Same goes for the “serious” gamemodes.
This is because they are feeling “safe” with these typs of RP, and is why I never bothered with them on my server. We locked the server and did pure story-based RP with just a few of us (3-4 if I recall) that we knew were really good at in-depth RP.
Nothing was for “cause”, everything had purpose, you wouldn’t find cops and robbers or gun dealers (with a few exceptions on the last one). You might find people going about a normal (normal for whatever setting the RP was in anyway) lives but it was merely part of the story, an interlude to the coming chaos.

And no, the “serious RP” servers are not an example of story based RP, that is normal RP with a overall background tying things together.

This is an example http://www.facepunch.com/showpost.php?p=14737729&postcount=219, albeit a poor example since it was a test run to see how it worked.
Think of it more as a text based RP, not /me up the ass, what I mean is RP on forums, look at the flow. People are always doing something with purpose to the main story, they aren’t doing boring normal shit for 20 pages (some do but that’s another topic) until they finally “meet” and get something going. They work up toward this relatively fast and have the meat of the RP be around the main story and partake in it actively.

That’s a fairly good example of what we did.

Basically what I’m trying to get at, is it seems to me that everyones real problem with RP (no matter the gamemode) is that they are all the same in the end, just with different interfaces.

And it’s up to server owners to change.

To this day I’ve only ever known 2 servers that did what mine did, mine being one of them. I suppose it can’t really be fixed though, that kind of RP only works with an owner that has the imagination and willingness to basically tell an interactive story to the players. I’m a writer, so my enjoyment comes from “telling” the story to the players. Their enjoyment (according to them anyway) is being able to partake and influence the story and have the RP as a bonus.

Fuck it I should just take their advice and write a guide on this and hope it latches on to someone.

I played on a “DarkRP HL2” server once, and what I did is gave the feeling that it was actualy HL2 and not just some DarkRP server. As the City Administrator I went onto the Breen Screen and made Breen Talks, I think the way they should had been done, promoting our benefactors, how safe it is in the city, etc. People loved that. I then gave the Civil Protection units some non-standard tasks, such as releasing manhacks into the sewers to hunt for rebels (with the help of an Admin). After some time people really expected me to sit on the City Administrator position constantly since I was the only one giving the city any atmosphere.

Its not the script, its the players. DarkRP just attracts idiots.

FINALLY! This one gets it. DarkRP is easy to use, therefore the majority uses it, anyone can walk, it takes a certain kind of people to fly, but does it make ALL walkers idiots? I think not…

Of course there are decent people out there. But I presume when they go on one of the “crappier” DarkRP servers they quickly leave to one of the TnBs or other. It simply does not take much for a person to lose interest, if nobody wishes to RP properly or a lot of work is gone in an instant because somebody was a mingebag.

DarkRP could be compared to a student party. It can be great with your closest friends, where everybody brings something and there is a great atmosphere. Or you go to one of the bigger public ones where people get drunk, yell and if you are one of those calm “not-wild-party” people you will simply leave.

It’s just that now it seems that there are just problems and no roleplay. In 2007 there were roleplay and less problems.

World of Warcraft: You’re an elf!

Tabula Rasa: You’re a space elf!

Warhammer Online: You’re a funny looking elf!

Eve: You’re a elf-shaped spaceship!

Gmod Roleplay: You’re a middle aged man trying to make ends meet!

I’d like to know why everyone is criticising DarkRP nowadays. Sure, I used to do it too, but then I realized that the gamemode has no longer got anything to do with poor RP - heck, some of the best servers I used to roleplay on used DarkRP, back when they were still online!

The main point is that LightRP probably made RP more accessible to many. Then DarkRP arrived, brought weapons and attracted minges to RP-servers. Apparently, the ‘new DarkRP generation’ of GMod RP consists largely of new players who were introduced to RP by DarkRP. Some of them might even think that RP is just DarkRP, which is… Not that good.

I’m just wondering how great gamemodes such as LightRP were just forgotten. It’s still probably the best RP gamemode, in my opinion.

I took the time to read the OP. This post explains what I thought in a nutshell.