I began roleplaying in World of Warcraft in 2006, and that has been my sole venue for roleplay throughout most of these last five years, with brief sojourns in other games – Aion, Rift, Lord of the Rings Online, Borderlands. It was only recently, since quitting WoW, that I’ve adventured into a new territory.
Text based roleplay. All of a sudden it was up to me to describe my character in full detail – including general things usually included in the avatar. It was up to me to describe the scenery, the landscape. The world. So much more creativity was required of me, and I loved it. No longer constrained by the short allowance for text in WoW, I was able to form full paragraphs, and force myself further without mental blockades.
But there is one thing that I really miss from MMO roleplay, and that’s casual roleplay. I have a character, I’m standing around, you’re interested in roleplay, so they chat for a few minutes before parting ways. No pressure. No plot required. No theatrics, no obligations, nothing. Just nice, honest, quick roleplay that doesn’t need to go anywhere.
It’s harder, I’ve found, with forum and IM RP. Gone is the spontaneity. You need to plan, but more than that, you kind of need an idea about why you’re roleplaying. And there’s a lot more pressure to do well because it’s just you and this other person working to entertain each other. There’s not going to be another random passerby approaching (even in forum RP most people feel uncomfortable in joining in after it’s gotten started), and if your responses aren’t interesting enough, chances are it’ll just fizzle and die.
I loved the casual, no pressure RP where I could just talk to someone, get a feel for them and their character, and if we didn’t mesh, we could carry on with nothing lost. And because it wasn’t planned, I didn’t feel pressured to put in x amount of time into the roleplay. We could reveal our characters in small doses and see how they worked with different types of people without putting in a ton of work to find those different types of people.
It was, in a word, easy. Effortless, sometimes. And I miss that.
Overall, I love text based roleplay. I find that I’ve been constantly pushing to better myself and put more detail into my posts that I didn’t in past times, and it’s been immensely rewarding to me. But sometimes, I really do just miss light hearted banter that doesn’t go anywhere.