Tag Archives: Role Playing

Hail The Imperium! Amarr Victor!

Goonswarm 2015: We are not here to ruin your game, but to ~enhance your immersion~

The Mittani, CEO Update: The Imperial March

And here I thought a few jackets might be pushing things.

The CFC has been declared dead, a clusterfuck no longer.  In its place rises the Imperium.

And the first act of the Imperium was to formally declare its loyalty to the True Emperor of Amarr, Maximilian Singularity VI.  Any residual loyalty to the irredeemably tainted Empress Jamyl Sarum will be rooted out and destroyed and our ideological purity will be assured as guardians of The Sixth Empire.

The Mittani kisses the ring and swears his allegiance

The Mittani kisses the ring and swears his allegiance

I am not sure exactly when The Mittani fell under the sway of Maximilian Singularity VI, though he did mention his admiration for him publicly a couple of times before Fanfest (where Maximilian blessed other known figures), but now our coalition is wed to his crusade, with The Mittani names as “The Sword of Redemption.”  His cause is now our cause.

Jamyl Sarum has stolen our Golden Empire and is no longer True Amarr…  I am True
Amarr as Tash-Murkon and Kador family lines and I shall see in my time all four Empires in battle while a gathering storm of the fifth empire comes. We Capsuleers of all races are the rising Sixth Empire… and we shall follow a storm!

All four empires are tainted. War is coming to them, my words will be true. The fifth empire is in turmoil. WE ARE THE SIXTH EMPIRE to rule the galaxy. The old ways are no more. Vitoc is an abomination we ALL SHALL BE FREE and no longer dogs of war to the poisoned State, Republic, Federation and Empire. I preach LOVE (and by love I mean lasers).

-Emperor Maximilian Singularity VI, to his Imperium forces before blessing his followers

Maximilian Singularity VI and his claims to the Amarr throne face issues, including a pro-Jamyl faction in Providence.   But with the usual squabbling between the five houses, Jamyl’s weak position after violating the doctrine of sacred flesh, and the ever present pressure from the Blood Raiders and Sansha’s Nation, a claim to the Amarr throne backed by Imperium titans cannot be dismissed lightly.

Within the Imperium itself, a new order is being forged.  Change is coming.  Uniforms are being discussed and appropriate propaganda being prepared.

Meanwhile, out in the farms and fields of sovereign null sec, the N3 appears to be falling apart under pressure from all sides.

Reavers leaving the roost for another night mission over Querious

Reavers leaving the roost for another night mission over Querious

Delve continues to be overrun and, in a surprise move, Imperium forces declined to deploy to the obvious choice of ZXB-VC in Delve and moved instead to a base designed to block Darkness and The Kadeshi (themselves working out of 1-SMEB) from having easy access to their route out to low sec Aridia.  Sahkt it to me?

NCDot has decided to abandon Querious and has reset its renters in the region.  The Germans may be stepping in however, as Ev0ke has already said they are headed that way.

Meanwhile, Nulli Secunda, unironically based for the moment in the system 3-BADZ in Feythabolis (and thus inspiring a new nickname for the N3 coalition, The Three Bads), facing the threat of Pandemic Legion dropping on them, is reported to now be headed for the exits as well, giving line members very short notice to pack their stuff.

So with all of that plus Brave already leaving null sec (or maybe headed to 1DH-SX in Delve, I don’t know, what with coup and counter-coup) and the Russians reportedly interested in exploiting N3’s weakness, the Imperium set to set to return to its new, Fozzie-sov-sized domain (consisting of the regions Deklein, Fade, Pure Blind, Tribute, Tenal, Branch, and Vale of the Silent) while dropping sov on its other conquests and holdings (Delve, Fountain, Cloud Ring, and anything else we might take along the way), and I don’t know what going on in Wicked Creek, the declining weeks of the Dominion sovereignty system look to be interesting times. The map will change before the updates hit.  I need to put that sov war updates blog in my reader.

And then we will have Fozzie-sov where, we hope, the real fun and chaos will begin.

While that is all going on, the troops of the Imperium are still out in the field and still taking sovereignty from its foes the old-fashioned, Dominion-style way.  Last night Reavers shot an infrastructure hub and reinforced a station while I was on, while dodging neutral or disenfranchised renter.

Sometimes we bring out the big guns, like this Drake XL

Sometimes we bring out big guns, like this Drake XL, to shoot ihubs

Tonight there will be another station.  Tomorrow there will probably be another ihub.  Or a POS.  Or another station.  Or some SBUs.  The war goes on.  Sovereignty will be overturned and infrastructure smashed.

Somebody put up a Gallente tower

Somebody put up a Gallente tower, let’s shoot it

And so it goes, until there is no more enemy and Emperor Maximilian Singularity VI sits on his throne without dispute.  Amarr Victor!

Reavers Represent

As a group, the Reavers are already dangerously close to role play.

We are a small team that goes behind enemy lines to attack their infrastructure.  We exist to reinforce structures, blow up defensive SBUs, kill the scattered locals, and then fade away when the enemy forms to fight us.  When they form for us, we win, because that means they are not forming for the main front of the war.

We have our own fleet doctrines within the CFC and our ops are always considered strategic for purposes of ship reimbursement programs within the CFC. (And woe to any alliance accountant who tells Sky Marshal Blawrf otherwise.)  And Reaver ops run pretty much around the clock.  It is a perfect place for somebody who wants to drop in and do something (and click on a participation link!) for a couple of hours every day, because there is always something to shoot.

And we have our traditions.  There was a big push when the group was launched to forge an identity.  We have our forum sigs and our own forum Bee in the GSF forums.

Reavers forum bee

Reavers forum bee

In the field we don’t chat in local unless directed.  We often work out of a single POS deep in hostile territory for weeks at a stretch.  We burn out a fleet commander or two every deployment because they thrown themselves into the role and try to keep ops running around the clock.  As a group, we go to great lengths to get people back from deployments.  I have seen pings to help get a single pilot home two weeks after a deployment has ended.

However, in this ongoing effort to forge an identity, I think we might have crossed a line.  We have moved from operational traditions into the field of dress up.

This week Asher Elias, our leader, announced that there was now an official Reavers jacket for our avatars.  I am not sure where this idea came from, but it got a chuckle initially.  However, Asher and the other leaders kept repeating it.  And then people started buying the jackets and updating their avatars.

The jacket was 750 Aurum (Aurum is that odd ball other currency in EVE Online, specifically for the New Eden Store cash shop), but it turned out that a lot of us still had that initial 1,000 Aurum that CCP gave us when the whole thing came online back before the Incarna expansion.  We had the money already, so why not?  As we landed back at the station in our staging system, more and more people bought into the idea.  I was in, though fortunately I had already figured out how to change my clothes in space, so it was a quick swap for me.  Some had to figure things out scratch.

Then there was talk of an official pose for avatars.  And, judging from how things have developed, I gather we were given an official background for our avatars as well.  I wasn’t on last night, but I was putting together a composite of some of our avatars and noticed that, even as I was doing that, they were getting updated with that background.

Initially I had trouble putting together an array of twenty avatars to demonstrate the phenomena.  Later I decided to stop at forty avatars, thinking that perhaps I had made the point already.  Here is what I ended up with:

Reavers Represent

Reavers Represent

That picture expands out to 1280×2048.  I am at the top left and I stand out for not having the correct background yet.  (My method for finding the portraits was to scan recent Reaver kill mails over at zKillboard to see avatars, then go to EVE Who to look up specific names to grab 256×256 portraits, which I then pasted willy nilly into an ever expanding page in Paint.net.)

And, even as this was kicking off, other groups in the CFC started jumping on the idea.  I understand that there is talk in capswarm about an official uniform, leading people to argue over which uniform you should wear.  Asher’s view was that the first group to declare a uniform has precedence, so all Reavers should be wearing our jacket… and in our pose… with our background.  I wonder if our effort… and how it seems poised to spread through some of the CFC… will cause a spike in Aurum usage and character updates?

And just think what would happen if we had hats.

Addendum:  I now have the correct background.

Wilhelm Arcturus

Wilhelm Arcturus

In Middle-earth, The Role Plays You

Much has been said about the community in Lord of the Rings Online, about how helpful it is, about how generous it is, and about how generally mature, at least relative to World of Warcraft.

And, in general, it is true enough.  There are always a few problem children around, but the ratio of good to bad is pretty reasonable.

And nowhere is this more true when it comes to role playing in game.

In WoW, on the Lightninghoof, a designated role play server, nothing gets the 13 year old boys (those either physically or mentally 13) using the word “gay” or “fag” faster than somebody role playing in Orgrimmar.

And I have seen this sort of active hostility towards role playing quite a bit in WoW.

Not that I am big on role playing in-game.  But I try to be… role play compatible.  I tend to go with character names that are not too disruptive to immersion in the game and I will hold up my end of things if I end up in a situation where role play is happening.

In LOTRO though, role play seems to just happen, whether you plan on it or not.

For example, the other night, Potshot was working on his cooking profession in the game.

While some recipes can be cooked at the oven in the crafting hall.  Other recipes, trail food specifically, need to be cooked over a campfire.  But unless you are near an NPC campfire, you have to buy kindling (wood all over the place, buy you have to buy kindling!), which can get expensive when you are a low level character.

I offered to get out my hunter, Silinus, to help him out.  Hunters get a skill that allows them to create campfires without kindling.  Free fire, so to speak.

So I met up with him by the gate in West Bree, over by Harry Goatleaf, and started a campfire.

Within a minute though, several people joined us at the campfire.

Room Around The Campfire

Granted, this is something of a high traffic area, but I think everybody who passed stopped at the fire for at least a moment to see what was happening.

Potshot kept working on his cooking… maybe people were expecting treats.  Meanwhile, the instruments came out and dancing, or at least clapping along with the music, ensued.

Next play 'Classical Gas!'

And you may say that well, sure, on the main road out of Bree you light a fire, then you exclaim surprise that you attract a few passing role players, how silly of you… or me.

But I am pretty sure these guys were not role players.  One had what I would call an immersion breaking name, while the other was in a kinship called ‘Stoners R Us.’  (But we’re ‘Murder for Shire,’ so I can’t really criticize.) And, of course, I have seen this sort of thing happen before.

I think this is more of an indicator of what draws people to LOTRO.

As a game, LOTRO has been called a WoW clone without quite the polish and with a few more boars. (Boars do seem to be rampant in Azeroth as well.)  And without the backdrop of Tolkien’s work, it would be hard pressed to differentiate itself from the crowd of fantasy MMORPGs.

But the fact that it is Middle-earth, the land of Tolkien, changes the way people play the game.  Unlike Azeroth (or Norrath), the lore and legends of Middle-earth are generally known already to those who come to play the game and are, to some extent, why they have come to play the game.  They likely want to feel they are a part of that world.

Which leads, I think, to a somewhat different player culture in and around the game.

Not that all of this leads to some blissful player nirvana.  The game still has its mental 13 year olds.

But some things, like role playing, seem to be generally accepted as part of the game.

Witty Ranter #9

I was again invited to join Adam, along with Craig from Voyages in Eternity, Beau from Voyages of Vanguard, and Luper, the Voyages of Vanguard podcast co-host for another fun filled podcast round table.

The topic was RP vs. XP: Round 2!

As I stated the last time around, this is a huge topic and worthy of a whole series of shows

We moved through aspects of roleplay, like making roleplay elements mandatory in a game, what games have good role play elements built into them already (and Star Wars Galaxies gets its due this time along with Lord of the Rings Online), what intellectual property elements enhance role playing, is it easier to role play with a known IP like Star Wars or Lord of the Rings, do we role play, and game elements that would enhance role play in MMOs. I also point the team towards Fear the Boot, a podcast about role playing game.

In the end, there will probably be another show on this topic to try to wrap up some of the details.

Witty Ranter is part of the ever growing VirginWorlds Podcast Collective.

You can find episode #9 here or on iTunes.

If you like the show, take a moment and leave a review on iTunes, then send Adam a note and he’ll put you down for some sort of prize drawing.

Witty Ranter #8

I was again invited to join Adam, along with Craig from Voyages in Eternity, Brenden from Another Here, and Beau from Voyages of Vanguard for another lively podcast round table.

The topic was RP vs. XP: Role playing in MMOs, another huge savanna of a topic, which seems to be Adam’s specialty.

We quickly and cleanly dispatched the cliche pre-conception that role play means a bad British accent and a Shakespearean vocabulary. (After all, how would the British role play then… or would they be role playing all the time?)

Then Beau immediately torpedoed my own pre-conception, which was that role play requires interaction, and suggested that role play can be a solo endeavor, and that role play can be immersion in the game and its environment. (Read more on his own immersion project ideas here.)

We then went in to what MMOs could do to encourage role playing and found ourselves walking the line between making the game more life like and making the game accessible and convenient to those with limited time budgets.

The topic, of course, was far too much to take on in a single show of reasonable length, but quite a few ideas and experiences were brought up as part of the discussion.

Most of the show stayed in the domain of fantasy, though EVE Online did get mentioned a couple of times. (You can find EVE role players all over.)

What surprised me was that we managed to steer pretty clear of Star Wars Galaxies (mentioned once, and only in passing, if I recall right) despite it being an MMO with classes geared towards role play. (Anyone here an entertainer?)

It was a fun show, and Adam swore he would digest what we said and then come back at the topic on another show.

Witty Ranter is part of the omnipresent VirginWorlds Podcast Collective.

You can find episode #8 here or on iTunes.

If you like the show, take a moment and leave a review on iTunes.