I’ve been thinking about this quite some while. When I first started playing Gmod I joined an rp server titled “darklands rp”. It was a very casual roleplaying server, if you can call it that. The basic aim of the game was to earn money and kill people as you saw fit. This served as a great deal of enjoyment while I was there, but after a while I wanted more. I moved on to applejack and saw that they had around the same idea, but with more items to choose from. This went on even longer, but it still served to the same end. Finally, I headed to Kuro’s server, where I spent about six months or so playing there while learning to role play properly. I had always had great aspirations to earn a gun on that server, so that I might smite the oppressive combine machine. However, that day never quite came. I settled for the monotonous experience that was “passive role play”. Very little ever happened on that server for a majority of the time spent on it. From time to time there was a rebel or combine event that would trigger my interests, but for the most part they were exclusive.
The odd thing about Kuro’s hl2 server was that the combine and lambda (rebel) forces were exclusive. Most admins either had combine or rebel status. This didn’t sit well with me, I was assured that any good roleplayer would be given his just desserts, but later Kuro denied this and stated that role play was in itself a reward. I pondered this idea a very long time.
I discovered that text roleplay, what I would later label Kuro’s brand of roleplaying, was very boring. Most people like ‘get-rich’ or ‘death match’ roleplay. So I’m still left wondering what would be a great balance of role play that would attract a great deal of players. I used to think that themes controlled the popularity of games. Hl2 roleplay was an overall failure because the way kuro and TnB implemented it, there was no way to have creative input. Dark rp, a supposedly real life themed roleplay, was enormously popular because it entailed weapons which could be bought and then used to kill anyone who stood in your path.
Despite all that, it wasn’t themes that controlled popularity, it was how convenient weapons were to attain, as well as the amount of creativity the game bolsters. All this along with how casual the game is, and how much stake players have in the game. Take for example Applejack, a ventmob rp server. Weapons can be bought from a menu by a class, making them incredibly easy to get. You can pretend to be any number of classes and jobs from real life, allowing infinite possiblities, as well as the clan feature. The game is very casual, seeing as things don’t typically happen without your being there. All this and people have a stake in the game, they invest their time and find themselves rewarded with weapons, items, trust and all sorts of other goodies.
Another example, BDB survival gamemode. This is an excellent example of a popular gamemode. Weapons can be produced through extensive play time. Creativity is massively implemented, you’re able to create an entire society based on your fancy. The game is INCREDIBLY casual and demands almost no participation for extended periods of time, and the stake is the skills you develop while playing the game.
One final example, kuromeku’s hl2 roleplay. This gamemode did very poorly in the long run in terms of popularity. Weapons cannot be obtained in any way shape or form for casual players. To sign onto any kind of power, you have to register on the forums, apply for a position for a combine officer, hope you get accepted, and even then, you’re not permitted to fire your weapon to kill, rather shoot to miss to enhance the rolaplying experience. The whole idea of the game is limited to no creativity. Superiors of the server set up a schedule to abide, such as sleeping in your appartment and “passively roleplaying” until a certain period of time is met. This game is not casual in the least. You have no stake to begin with, you’re discouraged from collecting money and items as it ‘distracts from the role playing experience.’ Ditto for the skill feature implemented in the gamemode. In summary, the server sacrificed total playability, for a canon gamemode with little to no input from guests to the server.
In lieu of all this, I’d like to make a swing towards our targeted brand of role playing(Not referring to RN.). The game mode, should have at least some open access to weapons, allow extra input from users for maximum creativity, be casual so people can pick up and play the game whenever they feel, and finally people should be able to have some sort of stake in the game. I’m not sure how to implement all this but perhaps I could throw some suggestions out.
Open access to weapons: Of course this is the most volatile of all variables, too many weapons and you’ve got yourself a death match. Too few, and you’re left with a boring server with no applet for an adrenaline rush. My thoughts are that a unique experience be given to each of the players, in terms of weaponry of course. Weapons should be distributed based on time spent on the server, as well as activity. In this way, guests are encouraged to participate on the server in whatever goes on.
Creativity: Once again, a very volatile knob on the proverbial dial of game choices. In some servers, building rights are offered to inspire creative building. On others, guests are given a large range of jobs and items to make the most of. I’d suggest presenting the player with a plethora of options, each with it’s own risk and reward. Thus a player is never out of options to explore.
Casual gaming: Some players don’t have a three hour time span to spend on training to earn special rights. Nor do others have the time to allot for finding a weapon based on pure luck. Casual gaming is a big part of any successful game. People want to enjoy themselves for the time they do have, and want to return to find things the way they left them.
Stake: An idea that begins to trail a path opposite of that of a casual opportunity. Stake is why people return, they have something to return to. Players want to find that the privileges they did earn, remained the same as they left them. Money, white lists, items, skills, and donator privileges are all examples of stakes that the player has in the game. While these are all fine and dandy, too many stakes in the game, not only makes it unfair for casual gamers, but actually causes others to obsess unhealthily with the game. Leading into a point where the player feels the unrelenting need to best every other player they come into contact with. Which greatly kills casual gamer numbers.
I’m giving consideration that Deus Ex Machina had already thought of all this in some manner or other. How I miss him and his great insights so.
All this taken into consideration, I hope that a happy median is found. Thanks for reading my ideas.