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Old 09-29-2016, 07:47 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Arrow One reason RP is on the decline in SL

Hereís one reason why role play in SL is in the decline, so maybe LL has it right with sensor and canned experiences being the next big thing. I have this parcel on the water I was undecided on selling, so I figured I set it up for a RP sim with a sort of sci-fi theme, itís on the adult continent so a little BDSM thrown in. Gave it what I think was a decent back-story about a pandemic killing off 98 percent of the worlds population, and a small set of survivors on this island. Pretty much an open story line almost anyone could tie into, setup a few buildings, some equipment to play with, not to many rules. When I set it up the parcel count was low only about 10, or so never really used it much and it was open water, so visitors were few. I dropped in to see how it was going after a couple of weeks and the parcel count was almost at 800 visitors, the group I setup for it only had about three people contact me for a tag, when I popped in I see about four people over by a building, not wearing my normal avatar I join them and say ďHelloĒ, only one girl responded back, they are not RP, just hanging out and discussing how nice the sim is, but the owner could do more to attract people for it.


So I ask, what could the owner do they already ran a classified and pay for the sim to be listed in search. Now here is where it gets interesting, I get three people who claim they are avid role players saying how the owner should be here everyday to greet people and start the RP, or at least have some people here to do that. One was saying how the owner should used the OOC club to have a DJ in once a week with an event and stuff. The one girl who returned my hello when I walked up pipes in how she has contacted the owner for a tag and is working on her own back-story as a tie in to the sim. She then states how no matter what a sim looks like, or what props are provided itís up to people to start a story and carry it on, not the owner.


So out of four people only one had a clue, the owner provides a space and some props, a back-story and then the people who want to RP are the ones who need to start it going and keep it going. No amount of weekly events, or greeters to take you by the hand and lead you will ever make a RP sim, itís the people who make it, not the owner always trying to pull people in.


So it seems the new breed of role players in SL all need a canned ready made experience in order to be happy with weekly events, their own imagination seems to not be enough any more.
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Old 09-29-2016, 09:23 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Years ago I ran a RP village in an old game (Ultima Online). You'd always find both newer RPers and older ones who almost wanted a scripted experience. Or they'd expect to turn up and get to fight someone every time. Or just figured RP was all about saying "hail!" and remembering to leave your horse *outside* the tavern.

There is a lot of value in having either one or ideally several regulars online somewhere to get things started. Folk like to visit a place when they know someone will be there, especially someone who is welcoming and good at conversation. Once it's established then others kinda do that for you, but I think it's useful having a presence till things are more active.

Most folk who came to my place were not used to improvising RP at all, certainly not comfortable with it. My regulars were really into that kind of RP though, so we just sorta dragged random strangers into whatever was going on at the time. I had a tavern owner/barmaid character who would ask IC questions of her visitors or chat about her "day" to try and move past the awkward "hi" *silence*. I'd try and ask questions I thought would be relevant to their character or profession to coax some interaction out of them. The local characters would help to set the tone and scene for people who might be struggling to imagine the sea air or what was happening in the village.

I haven't needed to spoon feed with a really scripted experience, but we did often write up stories about what we'd done so people could see what we'd done and get a feel for the place.
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Old 09-29-2016, 10:51 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I haven't done much RP in SL, but I've done lots of tabletop RP, and RP without a game-master that's actually got a script and the ability to guide the action is pretty thin stuff.

Even forum RP needs a GM/moderator who can monitor and guide the RP. Otherwise you end up with a kind of desultory "slice of life" story line that's about as exciting as Office Space without the plot. OK, you can hope for people coming in and "topping from the bottom" (to borrow a phrase) to try and make up for the lack of a GM... but (a) most people aren't crazy enough, and (b) they tend to take things places you're not comfortable with.

Now I think starting a sub-story about a mysterious camera that takes pictures of ghosts was a heck of a lot more interesting than the "well Jack is hanging out with the Rogers twins" "hey, what happened to the user playing Sandra Rogers?" stuff that was going on before that, it was kind of frowned upon by the GM when he came back from vacation. Seems like it wasn't supposed to be a supernatural RP.
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Old 09-29-2016, 01:59 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Back when I was running Hillcrest College we had enough people coming by the sim to keep the RP going 24/7, for the most part. But every so often the sim would go into a temporary lull. I would kinda sit back and watch people TP in, we would get a new person every 5 or 6 minutes and they would leave after 3 or 4. If they all hung around longer there would have been a large group.

This gave me an idea to change the way the entry worked so that new people would have more things to catch their interest for more than 5 minutes. Then as more people came in the crowd would build up and people would stay. Anyways, what was the most effective was when I worked on getting more people in the sim, the people would take care of the RP themselves. I also noticed that people tend to group up and play off of each other, which means keeping the place small and having less places to spread out.

It seems the trend now is to run a bunch of events to keep people in the sim. That can definitely work. I know it works extremely well for Town of Eureka. The issue is just the enormous amount of work that goes into that. Sadly though, it goes largely unappreciated and then as soon as the event ends most of the people just leave. Unfortunately, as Naseby eluded to, most people these days just expect that if you have a public venue then they are entitled to be entertained by it and it's the venue owners responsibility to provide that entertainment around the clock. It would be nice to get back to the way things were but I think the attention span of your average mmo player just isn't there anymore.
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Old 09-30-2016, 01:30 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I'm sure that there are a ton of current and former sim owners that would say, "Don't get me started."

I had an interesting argument once with someone in Seeking Roleplay about this subject. There is a class of player who feels that they are not obligated to be bored and wait for other people to show up, to be the seed upon which a new sim builds, because it's the owner's responsibility to grow a sim, not theirs. While this is true to an extent, it pretty much guarantees that no new sim will succeed unless it comes with a built-in base of friends who will put the love and care into it to stay there and rp, to cater to people and provide entertainment for them. And people wonder why so many sims fail, why there is so little diversity in sims.

There has to be a balance.
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Old 09-30-2016, 06:38 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I roleplayed in SL for years, and have a great appreciation for those who build, run and pay for RP sims.

The RP sims I have seen work best, and longest, had active moderators and some degree of automated structure (meters, interactive NPCs, etc). True, some people didn't like all the rules or agree with them, but they still chose to abide by them if they wanted to play there. I don't think that made it a canned experience, as the RP itself was not micro-managed, but it gave the community structure, and I think most players liked that.
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Old 10-03-2016, 10:35 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I think that the NumberOne reason that roleplay has gradually declined on SL is this:

When a predator breaks someone's heart, jacks their life, or griefs them - the predator does not leave SL, but the roleplayer is likely to. It's like crocodiles around a shrinking watering-hole in a dry-river.
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Old 10-03-2016, 03:34 PM   #8 (permalink)
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This type of Role-player that stands around expecting others to entertain them is one of the reasons why I refuse to ever run or mod an RP sim.

With Gor, people were always asking for alliances or raids from other sims. In response, I would ask why they all just don't play with one another. 10 dots on the sim, all camped in their homes and doing nothing but complaining OOC. Something could surely unfold when such a diverse bunch are mixed together! I never got an answer.

The irony is a good chunk of players have detailed bios in their profile Picks yet they still always complain about being bored and are generally just dull to play with.

Giannia is also right. Sims don't last long and the banned assholes only end up infesting the next shiny new paragraph RP sim. They continue to run out eager newcomers and jaded players alike. The only thing that'd stop them is if their machine got destroyed or if they grew up-neither is likely to happen.

It's not unreasonable to expect a sim to have some IC leaders to keep the flow of RP going either. You can't just make a pretty sim and expect it to flourish without a lot of effort yourself. If you count on the player to do EVERYTHING themselves, there would be no point in joining an RP sim when they can just RP on their own private plot. Though a sim owner can only do so much...

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Old 10-05-2016, 11:32 PM   #9 (permalink)
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A lot of people think they can just build a place in SL and things will happen on their own.

I personally think that's a very small part of it, but it's a still very important small part. The true key to success is building the community. Build a framework of lore and rules that enables the community to take care of themselves. Then make it AS AVAILABLE AS YOU CAN. Set up a website with information, like a wiki. Notecards and notices are garbage. When all that's done, you'll only really need to intervene when people are being toxic (The hardest part of the job). But even at that point, it's just still just basic administration in SL.

The best most on the nose point Naseby Girl made was that most people arrive expecting to be entertained. I think that's a problem that's very specific to SL, and it baffles me. Maybe I'm just too old, or maybe I just enjoy reading -- but I think it has to do with immediate gratification. If it takes more than 5 minutes, a lot of people will find something better to do. That's my guess.

What our community does is work to help people fit in, and I think that's our strongest asset.
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Old 10-07-2016, 11:52 AM   #10 (permalink)
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All good points, and I covered most of them. Had friends hang out a couple of hours for each time zone I could find someone to act as greeters and move things along with RP, but like a few have said it seems most today want a ready made video game all set to go when they arrive with as little involvement from them as possible, which is why I said I think LL has it right with the sanser concept.


No real problem, after a few weeks of just my greeters and some friends being the only ones there, I was about to put the place up for sale like I started to. Has not been the same since LL striped out the protected waterway on the one side of the adult continent. One of my greeters asked me to allow her to make a few tweaks and see what happens. Looks like she was right in the first week rented out three places. Now it's just another resort hangout, RP if you want, or not....
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Old 10-07-2016, 11:58 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Giannia Rossini View Post
I think that the NumberOne reason that roleplay has gradually declined on SL is this:

When a predator breaks someone's heart, jacks their life, or griefs them - the predator does not leave SL, but the roleplayer is likely to. It's like crocodiles around a shrinking watering-hole in a dry-river.
This can happen, but most die hard RP will talk to a sim owner and see about resolving any issues. You would be surprised how many sim owners will monitor this and see if something can be done, even having one of them leave. As Neobokrug said it's about building a community not just RP.
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Old 10-07-2016, 01:00 PM   #12 (permalink)
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It's not unreasonable to expect a sim to have some IC leaders to keep the flow of RP going either. You can't just make a pretty sim and expect it to flourish without a lot of effort yourself. If you count on the player to do EVERYTHING themselves, there would be no point in joining an RP sim when they can just RP on their own private plot. Though a sim owner can only do so much


Like any venture in SL that wants to attract people and have them return, I don't think the owner has to be in-house 24/7 but I feel they should be around to participate often enough so that at least the regulars know who they are beyond just a picture on an info board. If they can't be there, then they need dedicated mods/storytellers to be around often. What came across as 'owner disinterest' has chased me away from some really beautiful immersive sims. It's like, if you don't care enough to be around then why should I?

Also, and I know this has been said before, the sims that have a gazillion rules about every. single. thing. are just a turn off. Some structure is important but geez let the RP'er engage without first having to read a 14 page manual. Between that and the paragraph-post trend where you're forced to wait 10-15 minutes for someone to post...UGH, it's just not fun anymore.
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Old 10-07-2016, 01:37 PM   #13 (permalink)
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the sims that have a gazillion rules about every. single. thing.
The best ones are when you get banned in the landing zone for some transgression despite having been personally invited and your screen is still filling up with notecards as the world's struggling to rez the 1024 textures on dozens of vendors.
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Old 10-14-2016, 11:30 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Roleplay has its own sector in interactive entertainment. Ironrealms I am sure I saw at some point their staff get paid.

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Roleplay itself can be simple. But there is always more to making a "community"
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Old 10-15-2016, 06:10 AM   #15 (permalink)
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This type of Role-player that stands around expecting others to entertain them is one of the reasons why I refuse to ever run or mod an RP sim.

With Gor, people were always asking for alliances or raids from other sims. In response, I would ask why they all just don't play with one another. 10 dots on the sim, all camped in their homes and doing nothing but complaining OOC. Something could surely unfold when such a diverse bunch are mixed together! I never got an answer.

The irony is a good chunk of players have detailed bios in their profile Picks yet they still always complain about being bored and are generally just dull to play with.

Giannia is also right. Sims don't last long and the banned assholes only end up infesting the next shiny new paragraph RP sim. They continue to run out eager newcomers and jaded players alike. The only thing that'd stop them is if their machine got destroyed or if they grew up-neither is likely to happen.

It's not unreasonable to expect a sim to have some IC leaders to keep the flow of RP going either. You can't just make a pretty sim and expect it to flourish without a lot of effort yourself. If you count on the player to do EVERYTHING themselves, there would be no point in joining an RP sim when they can just RP on their own private plot. Though a sim owner can only do so much...

I personally feel that every rp environment does need a combination baby sitter / theater director at least to get it started. There's an rp going on right now that started small and select and is now doing pretty well. But one reason it is is that at least 3 people were there for several hours a day and they kept it ic in reasonable ways. They didn't allow people to lurk about afk, they went upstairs or into the forest or something when they needed to log off and their rp was mostly non metered. (I personally think metered anything is about the most boring thing ever. It reminds me of those sex attachments that emote for you. That's crap. I'll emote my damn self thank you. )

In addition, I have both run gaming sims and also tried to participate in others. There's a lot of so called rpers who don't know what to do if the "rp" doesn't involve either sex or violence. I am not kidding.

I started text based rp way back in the days of aol chat rooms and later transferred to second life rp. One of the problems with sl rp, for some percentage, I think, is the fact it is visual. People get caught up in the visuals, to the tune of "ooh hot avatar" or "wow sex lantern" or "we're being raided" and sort of leave any other idea of rp by the wayside.

And nobody, nobody knows what to do with an original idea as far as rp goes.

I played Gor, back when Gor was actually more than the above... I once played a blind mute girl and people engaged with her in lots of interesting ways.

The other day as an experiment I played a girl drunk off of the fumes from ale casks... not one person replied to me .. cause they couldn't figure out what to do. I even got ims asking me what the heck I was doing. I thought it was pretty obvious. Hi drunk and silly girl being funny? Ever heard of that?
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Old 10-20-2016, 07:29 AM   #16 (permalink)
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I personally feel that every rp environment does need a combination baby sitter / theater director at least to get it started. There's an rp going on right now that started small and select and is now doing pretty well. But one reason it is is that at least 3 people were there for several hours a day and they kept it ic in reasonable ways. They didn't allow people to lurk about afk, they went upstairs or into the forest or something when they needed to log off and their rp was mostly non metered. (I personally think metered anything is about the most boring thing ever. It reminds me of those sex attachments that emote for you. That's crap. I'll emote my damn self thank you. )

In addition, I have both run gaming sims and also tried to participate in others. There's a lot of so called rpers who don't know what to do if the "rp" doesn't involve either sex or violence. I am not kidding.

I started text based rp way back in the days of aol chat rooms and later transferred to second life rp. One of the problems with sl rp, for some percentage, I think, is the fact it is visual. People get caught up in the visuals, to the tune of "ooh hot avatar" or "wow sex lantern" or "we're being raided" and sort of leave any other idea of rp by the wayside.

And nobody, nobody knows what to do with an original idea as far as rp goes.

I played Gor, back when Gor was actually more than the above... I once played a blind mute girl and people engaged with her in lots of interesting ways.

The other day as an experiment I played a girl drunk off of the fumes from ale casks... not one person replied to me .. cause they couldn't figure out what to do. I even got ims asking me what the heck I was doing. I thought it was pretty obvious. Hi drunk and silly girl being funny? Ever heard of that?
Have to go with you on that, when I first opened it up for RP I made the effort to have someone there to help get things rolling. At one point myself and two others had someone walking around without a visitor tag so we tried to interact with them in open chat. They seemed to respond when I ordered the other two RP as security agents to take them to administration for questioning, but when they started to play act pushing them and handcuffing them to drag off to a lab they IM'ed us to say they were not here to RP only look around.

It seems many these days not only do not know how to RP, but also ignore the card and tag given at the landing point.
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Old 10-20-2016, 09:09 AM   #17 (permalink)
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To build an active RP sim you need three things.

- You need someone who wants AND KNOWS HOW TO to build the damn thing - and while a good build itself might not lure players, a shitty build will make many of them turn away. So quality does matter.
- You need someone who wants to build a community, made up of all the ingrates and cunts that make up Second life's Roleplay Community. If this someone is a cunt themselves there's a good chance it'll backfire too.
- You need someone who's willing AND ABLE to spend the money on that shit. And it's a lot of fucking money, because land in SL is not cheap. And even if they can afford it for now, can they afford it long term?

If you can find all three in one person ... I don't think I met anyone like that in all my years as an SL roleplayer. But I haven't tried out every single RP sim of course or spoken to every single RP sim owner.

Currently I am hosting a homestead RP I built myself and pay for 100% out of pocket, and I don't see it going away until SL does, but that's only because I treat it as my private home where I just open up the thematic areas for people to come hang out and roleplay or have cybersex whenever they want. I'm not interested in babysitting or DMing though. And even if I were trying to be active in a community again, I know myself well enough that sooner or later I'd blow up at the ingrates and actively chase them away. So hands off is the only admin style that works for me, because I don't have the patience to deal with their shit.

The only times I will still DM is in a tabletop RPG IRL with close friends.

Sure you can divide the responsibilities and cooperate, but unless everyone involved is willing to treat it as a second job, it'll sour anyway. The ingrates that make up the community are demanding enough that even if you want to treat it as a hobby, it doesn't remain such longer than a week or two. So sure, cooperate and divide the responsibilities among people who each like their piece, but then don't complain that your average RP sim breaks up after about 6 months because of drama between the community admins and owners show up. I mean, as long as the person with the money keeps paying it doesn't matter, but after enough drama you'll just end up with an empty sim anyway, and you're no better off than if you never made the whole community building effort to start with.

In the past 12 months I visited 23 different RP sims. Of which 5 still exist - and most of the ones still around are the casual RP sims that operate on the borderline between RP sim and just another sex sim. The "serious RP sims" I visited the past months are all gone, without exception. A few didn't even make it to their official opening day.
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Old 10-20-2016, 09:22 AM   #18 (permalink)
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I haven't done much RP in SL, but I've done lots of tabletop RP, and RP without a game-master that's actually got a script and the ability to guide the action is pretty thin stuff.
Depends on the players. I roleplay in SL to get AWAY from GMs. If I want to RP with a GM there are much better suited platforms for that. SL doesn't even have a proper fucking engine for controlling NPCs except for setting up alt accounts and multiboxing (or even more fun, shared accounts if you're multiple GMs in a sim, yay).

As far as I'm concerned the DM client + builder toolset for Neverwinter Nights (the 2002 bioware RP, not the MMO) are still the best RPG simulator tools out there.
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Old 10-21-2016, 02:38 AM   #19 (permalink)
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To build an active RP sim you need three things.

- You need someone who wants AND KNOWS HOW TO to build the damn thing - and while a good build itself might not lure players, a shitty build will make many of them turn away. So quality does matter.
- You need someone who wants to build a community, made up of all the ingrates and cunts that make up Second life's Roleplay Community. If this someone is a cunt themselves there's a good chance it'll backfire too.
- You need someone who's willing AND ABLE to spend the money on that shit. And it's a lot of fucking money, because land in SL is not cheap. And even if they can afford it for now, can they afford it long term?
In other words it would run as a small business, composed of the creative talent, the marketing and communications exec and the financial backer. And a shareholder agreement, in case one bails. And it would have to show profit, within a reasonable timeframe.
Possible... but not as a hobby.
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Old 10-21-2016, 08:51 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Yep. That's basically why I said everyone involved needs to be willing to treat it as a second job.
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Old 10-21-2016, 11:46 AM   #21 (permalink)
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This thread reminds me of the time i was standing around in a roleplay sim and I over heard two people standing near say to each other "So, when is the roleplay going to start!?"
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Old 10-26-2016, 09:56 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Earlier this year I was invited to become an admin in a fairly active RP sim - mostly "furry" or anthro characters, but medieval/fantasy genre and other races and species are welcome there also.

An RP sim needs to evolve. Both staff/event coordinators AND the players themselves need to be flexible and open to things changing, discoveries being made, other characters coming and going, circumstances changing, and things not always working out as they hoped or expected.

One of the problems was that many players have ZERO storytelling interest or involvement. There is complete lack of initiative when it comes to finding things to do, or purpose for their character. They show up for IC events whether or not their character has any reason for being there, they have no idea why the "event" is taking place because they do not participate in RP in between events.

This also carries over to some of the guild/group leaders. We had a few who created or joined player-made groups within the RP and apparently expected to have staff simply provide them with "stuff to do." Like "we're a group of mercenaries, so send us some customers" because individual players were not coming to them for help (because, of course, EVERYONE in sim is a hero who doesn't need to hire other people to fight for them).

If they came to staff and said "I have this idea for an event I'd like to do for my group, would someone on staff be able to help me?" then the staff would work with them. But it never happens, even when they are told it's up to them to generate RP ideas for their group.

It's more like "hey, we're a group, we want stuff to do, come and make up something for us because we're bored."

That's not all of them, of course. We do have some really good proactive RPers who collaborate on things together, to develop their own little plots and activities and mini-events with in the sim. They come up with quests of their own, they form friendships and rivalries and get themselves into trouble. They tend to stick around, and sometimes their ideas actually generate larger-scale events that the whole sim can get involved in.

The question is how to keep them around, and keep more new players coming. . .granted, RL gets in the way sometimes. People have work and school and whatever else keeps them from spending the time online that it often takes to RP. Not everyone can dedicate five hours of an evening to attend a large-scale event, and no one should really be expected to.

Plus, you also have to consider that sometimes staff just get burned out when they want to RP, too, but the players just expect to be told what to do.
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Old 10-26-2016, 12:09 PM   #23 (permalink)
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If they came to staff and said "I have this idea for an event I'd like to do for my group, would someone on staff be able to help me?" then the staff would work with them. But it never happens, even when they are told it's up to them to generate RP ideas for their group.
And if they actually do come up with an idea, it's inadvertedly always a variant of :" We want to blow up this entire build you just spent 2 months building because you got time enough anyway to do a full rebuild of the sim by our specs"
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Old 10-28-2016, 11:33 AM   #24 (permalink)
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Either I'm lucky or y'all are staffing for some terrible players. The ones that sit around waiting to be spoon-fed usually don't stick around long enough because they don't get involved with other players to see the story arcs already in play.

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Old 11-17-2016, 10:08 AM   #25 (permalink)
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When I started an RP sim I did at first take a hand in encouraging RP involvement by example, and it attracted very good players who likewise encouraged good RP with their own example. This is where the sim-specific 'canon' takes root and begins to take on a life of it's own.

I saw it as my responsibility to play host, but further than that it demonstrates to others your own enthusiasm for RP and for the setting you've created, and this is infectious. If you want to be the Absent Creator, it is possible that the seed will be planted and sown by others, but that's not a realistic expectation.
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