Jeric

Roleplay World Rework -- Suggestions and Feedback

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There is a strong interest on staff in evaluating RP on MLPF. Looking at what works, tossing what doesn't, fixing some broken things, and introducing some new ideas that might make RP more exciting for some. For simplicity's sake, EvE is the RP section that allows freedom to explore Pony and non-Pony RP without having to strictly adhere to canon requirements. EqE is the canon Pony RP Section. Basically anything in there should not contradict the show. I wanted to go over that because some ideas will be for EqE and some won't work in the canon environment. 

Before I go further, obviously the Character Databases are a priority. Getting the templates to display HTML correctly is going to be a major focus for me over the next month. Luckily I have time and patience. Now, I'm going to list some ideas we've already mentioned that would impact the canon area. I'm curious as to how they would be received. 

 

EqE Ideas

Some ideas that have been tossed around include reevaluating EqE to make it more accessible and adding some perks for jumping in.

  • This includes streamlining the application process through some automation and improved response time, making some of the requirements a bit more friendly toward the lesser experienced individual, creating a page that includes all the rules in an intuitive model. Basically, to quote another staffer, we have realized that it takes an awful amount of effort to simply say, "Hi, I'm Pinkie Pie!"
  • Some cool ideas that seem to ha e almost unanimous approval  are investing in a IPB extension that will allow members to be able to switch to their Cast characters on the fly so that they would be posting as Applejack with an Applejack profile. Also allowing this characters to be able to interact with the community during various events and in statuses. 
  • The removal of character bans is happening. Basically, villains and Equestria Girls characters would be open to the community to grab. While this would make EqE slightly more canon flexible with the introduction of characters like King Sombra and Tirek, we see this as a important step to opening EqE. 
  • Event based RP's with a focus on adventure and epicness. Currently EqE is mostly an SoL affair. We want to work with the community to create massive exciting event epics within RP that would be memorable experiences. We even have the Clubs feature that we may leverage for such occasions. 

 

EvE Ideas

  • A guided beginners system that would slowly introduce inexperienced people to RP that would leverage the Mentor program and help people craft phenomenal characters and learn how to create a fun interactive narrative. 
  • A greater focus on organizing non-Pony RP. Yeah we are a Pony site, but creating an area for other properties to thrive is not something that is off-the-table. 

 

Back to you

So I'm curious if you, the community, have any ideas. Regardless of whether you RP or not we are listening. This is your time to have your voice heard. What would you change. 

 

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@Jeric 

Not quite sure what can be done, but something to encourage players to stay on board with an RP. There are many RPs where players just dropped out with no warning and plans had to be changed on the fly at best. At worst, the RP had to be abandoned half finished. Plenty of RPs on going right now that have stalled because of an important player or two not replying to mentions. I know RL gets in the way and is more important to deal with, but it'd be nice if the rest of the party was told that was the case. Or if they simply weren't interested anymore, they're character could be phased out or things can be fixed within the RP to make it interesting again. But no responses? It may just be a text based forum role play, but it's important enough to the rest of us to invest time and energy into it. 

A procedure to follow should they wish to leave, like a weeks notices to phase their character out. A sort of signed commitment to post every two or three days at least, or state why they wont and let that be judged as acceptable or not. And if they drop out or don't reply for a lengthy time with no word as to why, perhaps we implement that as part of the forums disciplinary system. And if the behavior of applying to, playing in, and dropping out of RPs with no warning is consistent, perhaps they shouldn't be allowed in the RP section. 

Role Playing is a commitment, and when that commitment isn't followed through, it impacts other members. 

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I'm not into RPs, but don't you need a rulebook and a dice simulator for epic adventures?

 

Also, I cannot see how restrictive and ambiguous FIM canon would be able to host good adventure stories. Most of us can't even agree on how the magic works. Can anyone tell me how my bat pony can penetrate a unicorn barrier of that lazy OP magic camper over there without getting into a heated debate with other Bronies? You can't and that's a problem. Heck, it's the current year and we don't even know if bat ponies are a thing or what kind of a thing they are. Can I use giant crabs and what are their stats?! Buck everything!

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1 hour ago, Goat-kun said:

I'm not into RPs, but don't you need a rulebook and a dice simulator for epic adventures?

In my experience most internet text based RP's are DM and story driven with some general planning. If I ever go balls to the wall, I would tear into this framework and try and build a economy system, stat system, inventory, arena, and even a random encounter system with a bestiary. I did that on phpBB about a decade ago and was quite the challenge. At least the random encounter engine was. phpBB was far more manageable to modify at the time. This would be a year long project here (if not longer). I would definitely jump into something like that if I was certain the userbase would utilize RP more. 

1 hour ago, Goat-kun said:

Also, I cannot see how restrictive and ambiguous FIM canon would be able to host good adventure stories. Most of us can't even agree on how the magic works. Can anyone tell me how my bat pony can penetrate a unicorn barrier of that lazy OP magic camper over there without getting into a heated debate with other Bronies? You can't and that's a problem. Heck, it's the current year and we don't even know if bat ponies are a thing or what kind of a thing they are. Can I use giant crabs and what are their stats?! Buck everything!

 

That has always been an issue with some online forum based RP's. My old old forum was a nightmare because it was Star Wars and .... well ... that was a mess because everyone that touched the IP at the time kept changing how the Force worked. Come to think of it ... that is how it is now too. :P

 

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I don't RP, but if there was a way to encourage some connections between forum RPers and fanfic writers, that'd be pretty neat.

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19 hours ago, Goat-kun said:

I'm not into RPs, but don't you need a rulebook and a dice simulator for epic adventures?

 

 

 

Also, I cannot see how restrictive and ambiguous FIM canon would be able to host good adventure stories. Most of us can't even agree on how the magic works. Can anyone tell me how my bat pony can penetrate a unicorn barrier of that lazy OP magic camper over there without getting into a heated debate with other Bronies? You can't and that's a problem. Heck, it's the current year and we don't even know if bat ponies are a thing or what kind of a thing they are. Can I use giant crabs and what are their stats?! Buck everything!

 

You could always use Ponyfinder.

https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/TabletopGame/Ponyfinder

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In my experience: the number one thing that will scare people away from RP is elitism. Make the atmosphere as inviting to newcomers and possible and they are more likely to stay. Appeal only to the RPers that you think are "worth the time" then you quickly find yourself in a tiny puddle of elitists who take so long to reply to anything because everything has to be "perfect".

The best rules are relaxed rules.

The best system is one that encourages improvement, but not forces it. When people feel they are being bossed around they are not going to have fun, so they need to be given gentle nudges into the right direction rather than scolded for misstepping.

Help the newbies and you will find yourself full of fresh RP.

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5 hours ago, Denim&Venom said:

Did check it out. Bats have sonar and griffins aren't total chums. Good, good. That's the kind of foundation we need. Though I do believe most users are seeking a fluffier social experience that does not require such tools. I'm only in this particular thread cause the words "epicness" and "adventure" summoned me here. That kind of a thing would require a tutorial as most of us are noobs. That's why I'd also like to see a kind of a simplified rulebook that's unique to Poniverse.

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Well, I gave my two cents' worth on EqE roleplay over a year ago, but to reiterate:

1. Lift the minimum posting requirement for cast characters. It's supposed to be fun, not a chore.

2. Allow more than one person to play a cast character at a time.

3. Drop the requirement for a picture of a character when applying.

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46 minutes ago, Red Cedar said:

2. Allow more than one person to play a cast character at a time.

Minimum character count or the number of posts per week? 

46 minutes ago, Red Cedar said:

2. Allow more than one person to play a cast character at a time.

Since the plan is that there will be actual cast character accounts that we will link to their profile, that may not be tenable. 

46 minutes ago, Red Cedar said:

 3. Drop the requirement for a picture of a character when applying.

For OC's or for Cast Characters?

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1. Posts per week.

2. That's unfortunate. It will discourage some.

3. Both.

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If we were to limit people playing a cast character to a char count would that not totally bork things? Some people might have epic plans for the character or play the character in a way people like better etc. So that means that word flow, plans for the rp etc might totally fly out the window from person to person. Which would make it hard to play would it not?

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12 minutes ago, Red Cedar said:

2. That's unfortunate. It will discourage some.

 

Perhaps it will be offset by the encouragement that comes from the excitement of being able to possess an account such as this one that somepony might be able to use during Roleplay. 

PLUS POSTING AS LUNA IN THE CANTERLOT VOICE IS AMAZING FUN!

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1 minute ago, Princess Luna said:

Perhaps it will be offset by the encouragement that comes from the excitement of being able to possess an account such as this one that somepony might be able to use during Roleplay. 

PLUS POSTING AS LUNA IN THE CANTERLOT VOICE IS AMAZING FUN!

Seems to take the roleplayer out of the equation. I liked being recognized as the roleplayer of Applejack. Now it's near-anonymous.

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14 minutes ago, Red Cedar said:

Seems to take the roleplayer out of the equation. I liked being recognized as the roleplayer of Applejack. Now it's near-anonymous.

So you are suggesting that there be an easier to recognize or get to the public cast list? I tell you what, if the doors of EqE start to burst open with Bronies rushing in where memory can no longer help keep everything in ones head, it may be a viable suggestion to have some better way of identifying a person. Though there is something to be said about the illusion. People certainly had a lot of fun interacting with those characters here recently, so there has to be something there that we hit on. A lot of what we are doing is working off of actual proof of concept instead of guessing and theories. Perhaps there is a way to utilize both ideas. Something to consider. 

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It's kinda late and I haven't thought this through all that much, so take it with a lot of salt.

Oddly enough, I believe that the roleplaying section would actually benefit from paring down somewhat and even getting a little less organized. Right now, the roleplaying forums are structured in a way to help with a wide and vibrant community of roleplayers, something that is very much absent from the site right now. So, the roleplaying forums and sub-forums and sub-sub-forums can come across as intimidating enough that I can actually see it taking an awful lot of effort to simply say "Hi, I'm Pinkie Pie!"

The couple successful roleplaying communities I've been a part of were pretty much a free-for-all, with things like structure, canon or even historical consistency emerging from threads that grew to the point where some sort of fixed elements were needed, rather than being there by design and a lot of the time even those were optional in pursuit of plain, straightforward entertainment of people involved - and by extension, people who wanted to get involved.

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image.png.822914816a20b5aee99cba352e74f096.png

You could always change the username title to the name of the person holding the character. You already have a second one under the avatar after all. And it wouldn't be possible to make multiple accounts a parent to it, I guess?

Multiple people holding cast characters is a good idea, very good one even I'd say. You could RP with an RD player of your choice in EqE, should you wish. And it would alleviate any kinds of disappointment should the character be already in play. Even though there would be a risk of having one player becoming more popular than the others, it is still better than having no choice at all.

 

As for people dropping, I am really not certain if this is something the staff can influence at all. The process of dropping from RP depends on multiple various factors which are outside of userbase influence. Starting from, for whatever reason, loss of available time, going through RP heading in direction which was unwanted/unexpected, to perhaps some kind of dissatisfaction with fellow roleplayers or in worst scenarios writing yourself into a corner with no visible target for your character.

Bottom line, it's not the userbase who decides if fellow roleplayer will drop, but that roleplayer solely. Perhaps if there was some kind of button, mechanism, one-click tool that would allow roleplayers to notify that current thread that they are not willing to continue taking part in it. Something that would not require you to go into thread and write it all out, but rather an "aim-push-post update" kind of thing.

 

EqE has been suffering from SoL disease for a long time now. Based on the fact that we've seen a multitude of really, really odd things happen in the show past couple of seasons, I think that being even more lax about what's been proposed would not hurt it at all at this point.

 

How would the framework for events work though? I do understand it would be RP staff (edit: Second thoughts: Why staff? Why not have users dictate some aspects of the event?) driven and prepared. But it would need to be made different from a regular RP, have something to pull people in. Even some form of gratification as a simpliest solution.

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6 hours ago, Passion said:

You could always change the username title to the name of the person holding the character. You already have a second one under the avatar after all. And it wouldn't be possible to make multiple accounts a parent to it, I guess?

Using the role field is a valid solution to that. Shared linked accounts is simply not a viable option at present, and based on how IPS manages their DB, multiple accounts holding the same display name isn't either. 

 

6 hours ago, Passion said:

Perhaps if there was some kind of button, mechanism, one-click tool that would allow roleplayers to notify that current thread that they are not willing to continue taking part in it. Something that would not require you to go into thread and write it all out, but rather an "aim-push-post update" kind of thing.

There are several options for visually informing and notifying others that a person can't or won't continue an RP or multiple RP's. 

6 hours ago, Passion said:

How would the framework for events work though? I do understand it would be RP staff (edit: Second thoughts: Why staff? Why not have users dictate some aspects of the event?) driven and prepared. But it would need to be made different from a regular RP, have something to pull people in. Even some form of gratification as a simpliest solution.

:)

 

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Posted (edited)

I RPed once on another board years ago, but I had trepidation at first. I eventually got into it, but in general it seems like a big bar to cross, and one that sometimes makes me feel awkward or uncertain.

I do like the events thing though. It's sort of like the difference between an online board RP and a video game RPG. In a video game RPG, everything is already laid out, the setting, the story, you take the actions and do the fights and things in it, there's some framework, I like that. Additionally, it's the coming up with a story thing that gets me... who is supposed to do it? The person whose RP it is? Anyone? I know it's freeform but I sometimes wonder about framework.

(the RP I was in was a Pokemon Mystery Dungeon thing, I was a Swampert, but the plot happenings seemed to depend around the person whose RP it was, and eventually posts just stopped happening in that thread.)

The other thing that's kept me from putting my hooves in the RP section is that I'm really not the most creative guy when it comes to pony OC making. All I have is the yellow pony that I decided to desgined myself as. No backstory, though I'd love to go the Pokemon Mystery Dungeon route and once have been a human, but I don't know how that would work well to get with the show.

I have no pony name, it's just me. And I don't even give myself a cutie mark, this reflects my real-life general feeling of unfullfillment in my personal life, and more importantly, professional. I've always felt like a blank flank at heart. I even considred buying that shirt with that CMC cape logo on it. (if I had a mark though it would probably be voice acting one cause I love doing that)

Oh, I almost forgot: the fear of feeling like I'm going to say or do something that's wrong or improper. It's bad enough I'm like that for real, but I guess with RPing too.

Edited by Toastypk
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Sometimes.... I wish there was a category for folks who want to Roleplay but don't want the commitment of a long term RP...maybe a mini or episodic Rp category...with the intention that it'd end either by a page limitation or date. 

 

 

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