Two articles that popped up on MMORPG.com in recent days both touched on the same subject – roleplay servers in MMOs.
The first one, by Dana Massey, denounce roleplay servers as unenforceable, virtually identical to regular servers and generally a major pain in the ass for those who have to moderate them.
Sanya Weathers wrote a follow-up of sorts, a more interesting (IMO) article concerning the difficulties facing a developer when setting up (and maintaining) roleplay-servers in MMOs.
If you haven’t already, go read both articles, then come back here – I’ll wait.
*hums a tune to himself whilst waiting*
Done? Okay: First off, I’ll say straight out that I think the first article mentioned is too subjective, too extreme and too obviously meant to provoke – roleplayers in particular, I guess. This article doesn’t really give me anything, as I have quite the opposite view when it comes to the continued existence of roleplay-servers. I guess I’m part of the target audience for that specific article!
I find Sanya’s article much more interesting though, as she tries to lay out clearly the problems with roleplay servers from a developers point of view, and ways in which to make those problems less (of a problem). At the end of Sanya’s article, she lists a number of things which she sees as the minimum required feature-list any MMO-developer should offer for roleplay-specific servers. Having been on multiple sides of that table already, both as a player and as a designer, I started thinking a bit myself, about what features a dedicated roleplay server ought to, well… feature.
Read on for my thoughts on the matter.
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