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What’s your story? Role Play In Guild Wars 2.
One of the tag lines in Guild Wars 2 is ‘What’s your story?’ and normally this refers to the personal storyline so lovingly crafted by ArenaNet into the Game. However, there is an even more personal story available for those with the imagination, patience and sense of community to develop it. What am I talking about? Is it some new dynamic event system? Is it a new form of player made content like Skyrim, Portal 2 or Gary’s mod? No. It’s something called Role Play and it’s a third of GW2’s genre , MMORPG. So it has to be important right?

Why should we care?
Now I am a complete role play noob, I don’t know my IC from my OOC or when I should /emote or when I should '(('. But what I do know is that this part of the GW2 community hasn’t had a lot of focus in articles so I’ve decide to take a brief, outsiders look at it.

One of the first questions I asked the growing GW2 RP community is why should ArenaNet and us Non-RP players bother with RP at all. I mean they are just a minority who lurk in taverns playing mighty wizardsor even pursuing more.. Adult forms of entertainment right?

To the pure PvP’er or hard core raider this may seem a stereotype that is unbreakable, no matter what is said and that’s fine. If you see people in role-play, just run on by, live and let live.

However, to the player who wants more than just levels and loot from their game, who wants to delve deeper into the world of Tyria, who feels that their personal story isn’t personal enough or wants something fun to do in game in between levelling and WvW then there is much to commend giving role play a try.

To answer my first question of ‘Why care?’ we should look at what a healthy RP community brings to the table. From my digging around in various forums both from GW2 and other games I’ve found that very often the RP community tends to be the most loyal and community focussed which is something even the most hard core PvP or PvE’er notices if it’s not there.

Even if you don’t wish to join in they add a depth of experience, atmosphere and color to the environment and game that no matter how hard Arenanet try they couldn’t hope to match.

Giving it a go?
So, why even try to RP? I mean what does it do to enhance your gameplay or experience in GW2? Does it give you phat loot, or ‘Lulz’? Well, I asked people to give me three reasons why a player should give RP in GW2 a try. Their answers are summarised below
  • Infinite content. You are not limited to the story ArenaNet wants to tell, but get to actually play out yours and others stories in a truly dynamic and varied way. That Grawl encampment becomes more than just a heart to fill in, a tick in the ‘done it box’. It becomes where a friend of yours died or you lost something important. In short it gives you a reason, special to you to explore the world.
  • You start to care about the lore and the setting which makes everything more enjoyable. You’ll start to notice the little details ArenaNet have put in the game which will bring the game world even more to life. ArenaNet spent years creating a living game world, why not do something to appreciate it to its fullest?
  • It makes you feel more attached to your character you see on screen. It becomes more than a tool for just getting things done which gives you an incentive to create just the right look and feel for them. In short it makes your character matter.
Alright, so we’ve seen how Role play gives the game world more depth, more flavor and makes it seem more alive and vibrant than it already is and also three reasons why you should consider it.

Making it easy?
How does Guild Wars 2 help Role play?

Well for a start there is the wonderful game world, where every nook and cranny has a story to tell, Where the background story of every area is just begging to be unearthed and discovered, it has a comprehensive town clothes and dye system to give your character a unique look and even the multi-guild system helps people who wish to flip from say hard core PvP to a more relaxed RP guild in just a few clicks. Finally it offers the chance to join in a like-minded group of people, who will enhance your gaming experience just as much, if not more so that that’ leet’ PvP or dungeon team you play with.

But what if you are not the slightest bit interested in role play? Pretty much every Role player will say ‘that’s fine’. All they would ask is to be shown the same respect every other player would ask for. Don’t grief, don’t spam stupid comments and don’t harass them. Two servers have been chosen by the community (Petrified Forest and Tarnished Coast) as role play focussed servers so if you find yourself on there, then please bear that in mind and respect it.

However if the infinite world of role play appeals to you or at least makes you a little curious there are several ways you can get involved. Before launch you can read up on the world Tyria and in Guru’s own lore and role play forums. You can get to know your fellow players and start to build this fledgling community or perhaps as you play in the next BWE you can be thinking of who person is you are controlling on screen is, what are they like? What are their good and bad points, and even start to answer the vital question…

"This is Guild Wars 2, What’s my story?"

Some RP resources
For all things RP related here on Guru, we have our very own Roleplay forum or if you want to learn more about the world of Tyria then check out Durmand priory. The community has also set up a couple of dedicated RP forums which can be found at http://www.gwrpc.org/ and http://www.guildwars2roleplayers.com/
Posted in: News Editorials

Comments

#1 orcish

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 05:46 PM

If we got Konig, Wooden Potatoes, and Ree Soesbee in a room together, do you think they would form a Lore Abomination boss that we would have to fight in the game?

The only way we could land a critical hit would be to ask it a lore question that it couldn't answer.

#2 amidwx

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 05:57 PM

Founder and community manager of Guild Wars 2 Roleplayers here - thanks for the article, shanaeri!  It's always wonderful to see a focus given to our style of gaming.  :)

If any roleplayers reading this haven't come by the site, please do!  Or even if you're new to RP, we're always open to answering questions and helping folks learn about the lore and about MMO-style roleplay.

#3 Rain King

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 06:57 PM

Shanaeri,

I am also going to be trying out RP for the first time & I would be very interested on your feedback from this thread:
http://www.guildwars...me-using-a-pun/

#4 Kaenes

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 08:03 PM

Project lead for Foundation- chiming in. RP communities are always tenuous things; they live and die by the connectedness of their components and the depth of their characters. There are a lot of great communities forming already; if you're on the fence, now is definitely the time to jump in.

In reference to Foundation, the goal of our project is to nurture and emphasize those things within the community. Specifically, our project is built upon the idea of shared stories. When the site goes live on July 15th, we're going to be accepting individual characters from around the community for inclusion in our stories, in addition to featuring stories from around the community. If that sounds like something that might interest you or your communities, I would strongly encourage you to contact us either by PM or in our community thread here on Guru.

We're all looking forward to building one of the most vibrant and connected RP communities in existence, and to seeing how it grows and develops as time goes on.

PK

Project Lead - Foundation
Necromancer Columnist - GW2Guru


#5 Krathos

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 08:58 PM

Ho-yeah!

It's awesome to see someone giving credence to such a blossoming role-play community. I couldn't agree more with your three points, I'm a die hard pvper, can't get enough of slicing people up, there used to always be something missing from my gamming experience though. I'm a bit of a story nerd. I love books and console rpg/adventure games, and I always missed those elements in a game, or if the game had such things, they eventually ended as all stories should, but then I became bored, and typically quit the game.

One day I stumbled onto Rp couple years ago, and I've never looked back. I'm definitely looking forwards to the story quests of guild wars, but I'm also looking forwards to crafting my own epic adventures that will likely have little to do with the dragons.

It's not for everyone, and role-play communities can be a prickly at times, especially when they've been harassed, but if you're curious there will always be plenty of other that are willing to show you the way things work.

Shout out to: http://www.guildwars2roleplayers.com/ 1500+ members and growing! Wahoo!

#6 Doctor Overlord

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 09:04 PM

I don't usually actively roleplay but I do like logging onto RP servers to just watch and listen to people.  I just hang around in background.   It's like going to a Ren Faire :)

#7 Greyaxe

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 10:08 PM

View PostDoctor Overlord, on 06 July 2012 - 09:04 PM, said:

I don't usually actively roleplay but I do like logging onto RP servers to just watch and listen to people.  I just hang around in background.   It's like going to a Ren Faire :)

Same here. When i played wow i leveld my alts on RP servers just cause it felt more alive. I do hate those nasty s*x RPers though "shiver".

#8 Doctor Overlord

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 10:23 PM

View PostGreyaxe, on 06 July 2012 - 10:08 PM, said:

Same here. When i played wow i leveld my alts on RP servers just cause it felt more alive. I do hate those nasty s*x RPers though "shiver".
RP servers always do seem more energetic.

As for the cyborz RPers they've make for some of the funniest moments I can remember playing MMOs. There's nothing more hilarious than stumbling onto a naked Tauren and Blood Elf in the bushes :D :D

#9 Greyaxe

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 11:30 PM

View PostDoctor Overlord, on 06 July 2012 - 10:23 PM, said:

RP servers always do seem more energetic.

As for the cyborz RPers they've make for some of the funniest moments I can remember playing MMOs. There's nothing more hilarious than stumbling onto a naked Tauren and Blood Elf in the bushes :D :D

Hmm i guess your right :P . still a bit creepy though

#10 Izardoz

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 11:36 PM

i am curious about roleplay, but i haven't the first clue how to go about it
it sounds interesting....maybe if i get to guest on a roleplay server, i can observe, and learn

#11 Archduke

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 12:37 AM

I love to Role Play. Without, I would in no way be a big MMORPG player. It is deemed extremely nerdy by my family and few friends, but I could care less. I love the feeling I get when I log on and see my character, who because of role playing, is like my constant companion and like a best friend to me.

Because of role playing, I even find myself sometimes wishing my character was real so he could like make reality bearable and beat up the losers that I'm surrounded by. (LOL)

Gaming is just fourty-two times better when your role play. Getting imeresed in the game makes things less stressful, more enjoyable and simply gives you the illusion that life is good. ;) It even makes grinding enjoyable if you do it right. :P

Anyway, sorry for barfing up nerdiness all over this thread, but whatever. Tis' true.

#12 Roan Rivers

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 01:07 AM

Role Playing is hard work -_-

Gotta make a character with their own story, own personality, their own outlook on life, their own eccentricities, their unique look, their faults, their virtues, and you probably gotta explain specific skills you use, like "thieves Guild" for thieves...  People don't just magically come out of nowhere for no reason, gotta explain who those thieves are and why they work for you.

OOC (out of character), you have to plan on roleplaying every time you log in, plan on spending hours with friends, and staying in character, as well as thinking up of new and exciting things to keep your characters from walking in one day saying...

"Sup?"
"Not Much..."
"..."
"..."
"Well, nice seeing you." *log off*

But if they can make anime have something to always complain about, I'm sure you can think of something.  Heck, choose a random event that happens to be a distance away and do events along the way, or just walk around doing nothing and something will happen or you will see something that you wanna do.  Can't do that in CoH honestly, it's all instanced stuff.  Heck, have someone complain about another character's cooking skill, seems to spark a lot of grief :P

But once you get used to it, it's really fun.  Just the hard part is making a character.  Most people make a rather blank slate character.  No opinion on much if any subject matter until the player is ready for them to speak out.  Or they make a lawful good person, always fighting evil because that's not much less flatter then a blank slate :P  (Then you got the people who make lolies...)  Anyway, I would recommend people try it out sometime but don't ever force yourself to do so, it's not fun when you are not enjoying it.

#13 Tzu Qui Jinn

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 04:36 AM

Love RP, but have an issue with ERP, I swear, ERP'rs are a bunch of perv's IMO.

#14 Ezisha

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 06:09 AM

I had to look up ERP'ers... ignorance is/was bliss...

#15 Oduru

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 09:08 AM

Lovely article. Roleplaying can give you a nice break from the levelling/grinding/dungeons/hearts/etc. and increases the 'bond' with your character significantly. Though it should never be taken too seriously, in my opinion.
I have RP'd in WoW a lot and have encountered a lot of overly serious roleplayers that force people to play their way or not at all and can become very childish when a story does not evolve they way they had planned in advance. Key is to keep it serious enough to make your roleplay fit within the world/lore, but keep in mind that you're doing it to have fun.

The only thing that worries me slightly is that the designated 'roleplaying server' for my region (Petrified Forest - EU) probably will not be my home server, since I'm also playing with a lot of friends that don't necessarily feel the need to roll on an RP-server. I would still be somewhat disappointed if it turns out there won't be any RP on the server I/we have chosen at the moment (Gandara). Of course I can guest at Petrified Forest, but still... It would be wonderful if (some) roleplay could be found on all servers instead of being concentrated on just one.

#16 Tipsy

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 10:50 AM

oeh roleplay :lol:
Spoiler

I'm actuall planning to recreate one of my favorite characters so that is also kinda roleplay no?

#17 Ibari

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 02:49 PM

I plan to roleplay as well, although as it's going to be my first time, I don't really know what to expect. I have my character's backstory and personality more or less thought, yet the profession seems a hard decission for me; hopefully I'll make up my mind by the end of the next BWE.

Warrior, Engineer or Thief... what would suit better a young cook with a burning desire to protect his friends?

Returning to the topic, those are lovely points which I hope to find when I roleplay. I want to feel the world even more alive, filled with heroes with amazing stories to hear, monsters waiting to slay me, and legends to be made. Also, as a personal note, I want to find out whether I can create a brand-new "being" or not.

#18 Azure Skye

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Posted 08 July 2012 - 12:25 AM

View Postamidwx, on 06 July 2012 - 05:57 PM, said:

Founder and community manager of Guild Wars 2 Roleplayers here - thanks for the article, shanaeri!  It's always wonderful to see a focus given to our style of gaming.  :)

If any roleplayers reading this haven't come by the site, please do!  Or even if you're new to RP, we're always open to answering questions and helping folks learn about the lore and about MMO-style roleplay.
Is that open to new player or trying to learn more about roleplay in general? XD

#19 Elan

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Posted 08 July 2012 - 03:47 AM

Used to dabble.  Don't mind and even encourage it in games I play, but mostly I just write stories IC or revolving around the character when the mood strikes me.  Still, it adds an extra level of life to the servers they are in.  More then just prescripted NPC chatter in the background, ya know?

#20 Rain King

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Posted 08 July 2012 - 03:58 AM

I am going to be creating an entry level role playing group that is going to be closer to improv than LARPing. The current RP community standards are much closer to LARPing and they have a lot more rules like LARPing as opposed to improv. I think my troupe will be a lot easier to join for beginners and I will update this thread when I can share more details.

With that said -there are many established RP groups that are beginner friendly such as the Ashenfold Cartel. They still require you to follow a lot of rules but they appear to be very helpful to newbies wading into the pool.