Roleplaying games have been around since the early days of Dungeons & Dragons in the late 1970s. Computer games have taken on a fair share of roleplayers since then, with MMORPGs (massively multiplayer online roleplaying games) currently housing a vast number of roleplayers in their wondrous game worlds. Whether you’re a beginner or a veteran roleplayer, knowing where to find fellow roleplayers in a game is one of the first steps towards creating a quality roleplaying session.
Things You’ll Need:
Massively Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Game
1. Visit the official game website and click into the Forum section. Scan the topic titles there for a specific roleplaying section, and chances are you’ll find others also looking for roleplayers and generally discussing RP items. Forums also have a search function with them. Focus your forum search to only those posts where RP is specifically mentioned.
2. Select an RP server to create your roleplaying character on, as these are generally the best ones to find fellow roleplayers on. MMORPGs have different servers categorized according to varying play styles, such as PvE (player vs environment), PvP (player vs player), and including RP (roleplayer). However, there are some MMORPGs, like The Lord of the Rings Online, that do not categorize their servers in this way. If this is the case for you, reading through roleplaying posts on the official forum should lead you to which server is the unofficial roleplay server.
3. Chat in game on the accepted roleplay channel. Every MMORPG has communication channels set up that allow players to chat with each other in game. Roleplayers very often have one or more unique channels that are used for chatting in or out of character, and that help roleplayers meet in game for roleplay sessions. The name of this channel can often be found in a post on the official forum. Or simply ask in any chat channel in game.
4. Take your character to an in-game event. Many players are drawn to their favorite MMORPG by the setting and lore of the game world. Many MMORPG creators know this, and help foster this affection through in-game world events, such as holiday celebrations, fairs and other public affairs. These are prime times and places where roleplayers often gather in game, and should not be missed when looking for other roleplayers. Keeping tabs on news of the game from the official website should let you know when and where in-game events happen.
5. Roleplay. Perhaps the quickest and best method for finding roleplayers in game is to just roleplay, anywhere and everywhere. Any roleplayers that see that your character is roleplaying may seek to join in with you, or even invite you to join them. Before you know it, you’ll have met other roleplayers by simple association and with very little effort.
Roleplaying is simply when participants adopt and act out characters that are not themselves. Sexual roleplaying therefore is when couples act out characters with an erotic motivation as part of a sexual fantasy. It can range from being serious with costumes, accents, props, etc. to just being something that is imagined, like being stuck on a deserted island. Practically any role could be involved in sexual roleplaying as long as both people involved are interested. Pretending to be someone you are not can be fun and exciting when done correctly.
Roleplaying can also be good for a marriage as it may be an opportunity for a spouse to ask for something she has always wanted done to her or done for her, but never felt comfortable asking for. For example, in a roleplay where the wife is the dominant person (boss) she might feel more open about telling her husband (employee) that she wants to have her body rubbed in a certain way that she had never asked for before. The reduction of inhibitions can be great for a marriage as inhibitions are a killer of sexual enjoyment.
Some roleplaying scenarios are:
* Animal-related where one is treated as a non-human animal such as a dog or pony
* Hospital fantasies involving doctors, nurses and patients
* Stranger-related one or both spouse pretend to “meet” for the first time
* School related – Headmistress and Student or Teacher and Naughty Schoolgirl
* Photographer and Model
* Stripper and Client
* Business related – Boss and Employee, Boss and Secretary
If this is your first time thinking about roleplaying, start with something simple, like Photographer and Model and then move on to ones where the acting requirement is a little higher.
Roleplaying is a lot of fun and is easy, but there are a few important requirements:
1. It requires open communication
2. It requires a willingness to participate
3. It requires honesty
4. It requires not taking yourself too seriously
5. It requires establishing rules
Let’s examine these requirements in a little more depth.
1. Roleplaying requires open communication – Roleplaying can involve actions that when taken too far, might be uncomfortable for one or both partners. Let’s say a couple pretends to be strangers who meet in a bar. They pretend to have different pasts and even different names. As the night continues, the husband begins to feel uncomfortable being called a different name. As soon as he realizes this, he needs to be able to communicate with his wife that he wants to end the fantasy or just be called his real name and continue, or another option he feels comfortable with. Whichever he chooses, being able to discuss that with his wife, even in the middle of the roleplaying, is vitally important.
2. Roleplaying requires a willingness to participate – Perhaps a husband wants to be the boss and have his wife pretend to be his secretary with a German accent. His wife should not worry about whether that makes sense, if she knows what a secretary does all day, or if she has any idea what a German accent sounds like. She should give it her best try and of course, have fun!
3. Roleplaying requires honesty – The husband finds his new doctor very attractive so he gets his wife to pretend to be a doctor and tries to make the fantasy about his new doctor. This is NOT a situation in which roleplaying should be used, nor is it the purpose of roleplaying. The husband needs to be honest with himself about his motivations for the roleplaying. He may not need to tell his wife he is attracted to his doctor, but he definitely should not start a roleplaying session with the goal of thinking about anyone other than his wife. All sexual fantasy, including roleplaying, is just a tool that helps married couples increase their sexual pleasure with each other.
4. Roleplaying requires not taking yourself too seriously – In a roleplaying session, the husband might pretend to be an airline pilot while the wife pretends to be a stewardess. Since neither of them have real airline clothing, they make do with what they have. His outfit leaves him looking more like a butler than an airline pilot which could lead him to cutting short the session out of embarrassment. Instead if he is able to play around and ignore the idea that he looks silly, he will probably end up having a great time.
5. Roleplaying requires establishing rules – Similar to open communication, rules are important should something need to change or stop during a roleplaying session. This might be as simple as “no” means “no” or could be something that has been pre-arranged as in a certain stopping time for a specific situation. A couple should always stay where they are both comfortable even if a fantasy heads in an unplanned direction. Also, setting and timing need to be right (as with any sexual encounter). Perhaps a roleplaying scenario was planned for today and a wife comes home from a horrible day at work. A postponing may be in order. A
I “discovered” MMO’s during the Star Wars: Galaxies Pre-NGE days and fell in love with them. Not only from a gameplay/immersion level, but for some reason I’m fascinated with the inner-workings and behind-the-scenes stuff and I have an insatiable curiosity to see what each new MMO offers and how different ideas are implemented in each game.Over the years I’ve tried just about everything that’s hit the store shelves. I’ve dabbled in the City of Franchise, Everquest 2, Age of Conan, Warhammer online, Vanguard and just about everything else that’s been released since mid-2004. I’ve spent the majority of my time in WoW not because it’s the best game ever released but for some reason it’s been the one game that offered enough to keep me captivated more than any other game.I consider myself a casual gamer, although I spend more time online than most hardcore players and I thrive on the challenges of beating any content that a developer can throw at me. I’ve spent my days in high-end 10/25/40-man raids and I’ve also spent them with plenty of reputation grinds and small-group content in all of the games I’ve played. After 5 years WoW has finally lost it’s luster, and I’ve been desperately searching for something that offers the depth and complexity that I expect from these games to hold me over until the “next big thing” is released.In the interest of full disclosure I was first introduced to LotRO back when Ten Ton Hammer got me a beta key (thanks guys!) but I was quick to write it off as another “WoW clone” that was short on content and didn’t offer enough new features to pique my interest. The IP was so restricted by the licensing that I didn’t have much faith that they could tell a decent story, the classes seemed bland and non-descript and the graphics didn’t impress me, so using the 3-strikes rule I quickly moved on to other adventures in other games.Fast-Forward 2 years and for some reason I bought the Mines of Moria expansion when it was released last November, and although I didn’t immediately fire it up it’s been sitting on my shelf for a few months until I just didn’t have any other options. I re-activated my account about a month ago and I can say at the least that I’ve been pleasantly surprised. This review is not meant to be objective and un-biased, but rather my feelings about the game as I’ve grown to respect it on it’s own merit and not just another WoW clone. I’ve decided to break this review into 5 categories, each with an individual rating:Graphics
The 20 level testGraphics:
When I originally loaded this game on release day I wasn’t very impressed with the graphics. The starter zones for the Dwarves is a generic snow-covered zone and the starter zone for Men/Hobbits was a generic grassy area. To this day it has not changed.What I did not understand back then was that this was just the tip of the iceberg. Maybe Turbine, as a business decision, decided to tone down the graphics in the starter areas to prevent lag for new players but as I’ve gotten out of the starter zones and seen the world-at-large I’ve become extremely impressed with what LotRO has to offer me visually. The landscapes may not be radically different and I may not see crazy landscapes that don’t exist within middle-earth, but they’ve added a lot of detail to every zone and made it not only distinct but also very beautiful to look at and spend time in.Looking at the Aurora Borealis-type effects in Forochel, the swaying fields of flowers in North Downs or the creepy rock-like structures in Angmar the scenery meshes very well with the game itself and the story you are participating in. DX10 has been added to the game since launch and even though I can run it in DX10 I’ve found that the graphics are not lacking even in DX9!And the graphics in the open world are only second to their interior landscapes. All of the solo/small-group/full-group/raid dungeons have been hand-crafted with very little re-used art. They are truly a sight to behold! The sad thing about the graphics is… players will never get to see what Turbine can do if they never make it past the starter zones.The Character models seem a little stiff at first, but I’ve never seen a game that’s been able to provide a realistic atmosphere without this problem. Stiff character models are short-lived, however, because once you get some armor on your toons it seems to become much less noticeable.All in all this is one of the most beautiful games I’ve ever seen, coming in at a close second to games like Age of Conan (that game was beautiful… bug-ridden but beautiful).Graphics: 4 Stars (out of 5).Gameplay/Combat:
Combat is the life-blood of an MMO. After all, we spend most of our time fighting monsters and evil-doers, so if we can’t enjoy the combat then we won’t enjoy the game.Combat in LotRO doesn’t deviate much from the standard MMO… you have hotbars with actions slotted that each have varying cooldowns. You can auto-attack between using your special abilities until the mob is dead.Where LotRO did tweak the combat is rather subtle. By using longer cooldowns and the ability to queue up your next move they have made the combat a little more “mushy” as opposed to a more crisp and clean combat such as what you would find in WoW.At first this was a turn-off; I didn’t feel like my characters were very responsive when fighting. As I’ve played the game I’ve come to appreciate what they’ve done, as the LotRO combat system forces the player to rely more on strategy and less on button-mashing. Fast-paced it is not, but it is definitely more strategic than a lot of other games out there. Unfortunately this is a very subtle difference from what most players would expect, and anyone that doesn’t make it out of the starter zones may not realize that this type of combat was by design and not poor coding.Combat/Gameplay: 3 Stars (out of 5)Questing/Leveling:
This is where LotRO really shines. Make no mistake that LotRO is first and foremost a story-driven MMO. They have a story to tell and they’ve done a fabulous job of integrating that story into every player’s world in the form of an epic questline.As everyone is leveling up they will meet specific NPC’s that will offer epic quests. This does not necessarily mean that the quests are more difficult than normal quests, but it does mean that it’s part of the main storyline. It gives you a sense of belonging in the world of Middle-Earth, it gives you a reason to do the things you do.For those of you familiar with the books and movies you are NOT a part of the fellowship, but rather the supporting cast. You are always 2 steps behind Frodo and his companions as they trek towards Mount Doom and your job is to rally the forces of the free people in the preparation for war. Through very clever use of the Epic questline as well as cutscenes you are able to keep track of the fellowship (as well as where you are at within the timeline of the books) but this also gives the developers enough freedom to send you places that the fellowship did not participate in and fight monsters that the fellowship did not see.Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of “Kill XXX bears/boars/birds/cats” quests, but that’s pretty much a staple of every MMO. Another crutch that Turbine has relied on is using travel as a timesink. Too many times you are given a quest in one city that requires you to go get materials from an NPC in another city (forcing you to run long distances), only to have to run back and deliver the materials to the original NPC who will then make an item you need to go out and kill some mob on the opposite side of the zone. There have been times when I have done non-stop running for over an hour straight just to finish a single quest chain, and that can get old real quick.LotRO does offer a nice variety of content for all the different playstyles. Whether you prefer to solo, participate in small group content with 1-2 buddies or even run full-group content and raids there is plenty to keep you busy as you level. I’ve pretty much solo’d my way to the last 10 levels only grouping as necessary for the epic questline, but I’ve come across many others that have grouped exclusively preferring to never solo. As for end-game raiding, if that’s your preference, they have that too. They may not have as much of it as some other games, but one of the fallacies I’ve had to overcome is that Small quantity does not equal poor quality. From all accounts (even though I’ve never directly participated in them) the raids are every bit as challenging as you would expect them to be from other games… including a new 6-boss tiered progression raid dungeon being added in the next content patch.Questing/Leveling: 4 Stars* (out of 5)
*The questing system is pretty standard, but the Epic Questline adds a new dynamic and gives you a purpose for being in Middle-Earth, hence the reason I gave it 4 stars versus 3.Ambience/Atmosphere
This is another subtle part of the game but, to me, it’s become one of the best things. Too many times in other MMOs people seem to be oddly placed in the world and they don’t do much besides stand around waiting to give you a quest. You run up to them, get the quest and go on with your life, but the rest of the time they might as well be furniture.In LotRO this is very seldom an issue. When you run into town people are doing things! The guy that asked you to go collect wood for him… that’s because he’s chopping wood when you run into him. That girl that needs wolf-meat or boar-flanks… well she’s standing over a cooking pot and she’s making food! For the most part the towns seem “alive” with NPC activity and it gives you the feeling that it doesn’t exist solely to give you mundane tasks and help you level. Towns are not always easy to get to, but that’s because Middle-Earth is a dangerous place and they’re locked away inside a cave for safety.Out in the open world it doesn’t stop, either. You will see cats and wolves chasing rabbits as you run past them, and sentient NPC’s seem to have a purpose for being where they’re at as opposed to standing around just waiting for the hapless traveller to stumble in and kill them.One of the best things that has repeatedly put a smile on my face is the death animations. Turbine has added a “death animation” to every different type of mob, and it is well done. Mobs don’t just fall over dead and hand you their loot when you kill them… they usually have a short, well-designed death animation that adds a little satisfaction to the kill. Bears will stand on their haunches and let out one last roar as you stick your dagger in their chest for the killing blow… orcs will actually clutch their chest and sag to the ground instead of just rolling over. More than once I’ve caught myself saying “ooh, there’s a new mob type, let’s kill it and see how it dies!”Not all NPC’s fit the above description, but a large majority of them do, and it adds a lot to the immersion of the game.Ambience/Atmosphere: 5 Stars (out of 5).The 20 level test:
Most games use the starter levels, or newbie zones, to “hook” players. To throw the best at them and convince wary players to give up their credit cards for a subscription, when the rest of the game is a shell of what the first few levels are (I’m looking at you Age of Conan!). Too often the first 20 levels of an MMO are a completely different game than the last 20 levels. LotRO is no different, but they’ve got the formula backwards.The starter zones in LotRO seem dull and bland and the game doesn’t fully materialize until the later levels. Plastic scenery and dull tutorials give way to well-designed zones and tough solo/small-group/group content that can be a challenge to even the most skilled players. If I’d have quit playing LotRO at level 20 I most likely would have written it off as “just another WoW Clone” but now that I’ve invested my time in it and gotten past that I’ve found that it is generally a very solid game that has more to offer than the box suggests and other than the fantasy setting and the MMO genre very little in common with that other MMO.Final Word:
In my circle LotRO has become known as “the ultimate MMO for casual players”, and I’ve found that to be a huge mistake. While LotRO does offer a lot of avenues for casual players and roleplayers alike to enjoy the game they also offer plenty of challenging content and even the occasional grind (reputations, traits and deeds) for those of us that have other ambitions besides standing around smoking pipe-weed all day while we show off our housing decorations.Overal Game Score: 4 Stars (out of 5).
Roleplaying games build real skills in an enjoyable wayIf you start teaching people using Roleplaying games like Dungeons & Dragons they will be able to learn real life skills without even realising.Mathematics as a skill is in declineUsing dice to generate numbers has been proven to help people stimulate their ability to perform maths. When an immediate game reward is based on the success of the dice roll it becomes apparent that players try to understand how to improve their success chances.Skills developed using roleplaying dice rolls are;
Adding various numbers together quickly
Being able to calculate probability of success of an action
Working with addition, subtraction, divide, multiply about 15 times an hour of roleplaying
Advanced maths of percentages, statistical deviations, and working out averages
Interacting with a diverse group of peopleNothing builds effective skills in dealing with other cultures and people than a roleplaying game. As a player you get to choose your race and culture and are required to interact with up to eigt other players that have made different choices than you.Diverse cultures that are interacted with by roleplayers;
Non-humans like elves, dwarves, and creatures
Different age ranges (players & characters) from 10 to 1200+
The different backgrounds and education of the characters
The different backgrounds and education of the players themselves
Different approaches and respect for many religious viewpoints and behaviours
Interaction with the different legal consequences of neighbouring countries that can be visited without leaving the room
An enormous lexicon of languages, myths, writing, and social behaviours from tribal to world-spanning civilisation
Excellent problem solving skillsAt the core of Roleplaying games is the ability to meet problems while in character and come up with solutions for the current problems. This problem solving behaviour can be applied as easily in real life as in roleplaying games.The process to solve problems is the same and like any new skill, the more times you practice it the better you get. And roleplayers get plenty of practice without any risk to real property, assets or person.On average a roleplaying game will serve up 10-15 minor problems to be solved and a major problem or two in every eight hour gaming session. This is more effective than any problem solving workshop I have gone to as an adult.Problem solving skills include;
dealing with difficult negotiations
travelling to one location without having the funds
understanding the local economy to trade items better
being able to navigate in unknown worlds or locations
responding to unplanned events that range from low risk to highly dangerous (to the characters not the players)
As you can see these are all core skills to have regardless of the career path you decide later and is a fun and cost effective way to teach kids maths and english skills they will need later.