Posted by: Sean | October 8, 2008

State of the Role-Play Address

My fellow Azerothians,

We stand at a cross-roads today. Our role-play is in crisis – undersupported by Blizzard and in jeopardy across all the role-play realms. Something must be done, something drastic. A series of reforms must begin, and must begin soon.

Our numbers are diluted, our base divided. Grassroots solutions like settling on “one true role-play server” have failed, and a strong hand must now guide future role-play efforts in Azeroth. Sacrifices must be made. To this end, I am proposing that fully half of the current role-play realms in play must be cut. They will be redefined as normal realms. Similarly, fully half the RP/PVP realms will likewise be re-categorised as pure PVP. Anyone currently on an RP realm facing the cut will be offered a free realm transfer to any of the RP realms that will remain. An Oceanic RP realm will be added1. Anyone on an RP/PVP realm that looks to be cut will be offered a free realm transfer to any of the remaining RP/PVP realms. To further cement these servers as pure role-play realms, any RP or RP/PVP realms that are penciled in to remain will be offered free realm transfers to a selection of normal or PVP servers. As this words goes out, it will be accompanied by news of stronger enforcement of role-play rules on these servers, and make it clear that anyone who chooses to remain on them will be presumed to be a role-player. I approve this plan, and I call upon Blizzard to work with me on implementing it.

Obviously, these measures will never be foolproof. Some role-players will not leave their servers, more non role-players will choose to stay on board on their own. So be it. They will not be punished on either end; as always, you will not be obliged to role-play on RP or RP/PVP servers. However, the naming policy will now be rigidly enforced, and overt griefing of role-play on a role-play server will be met with suspensions. Spot checks on the major cities for egregious breaking up of role-play will be carried out. The word ‘lol’ will be treated as a swear word and trip the profanity filter.

Furthermore, and to ensure more consistent application of these rules, a review of GMs will be carried out. GMs working on RP realms now will be exclusively drawn from those GMs who role-play as well. Any GM who cannot produce a strong opinion upon the correct pronunciation of THAC0 – in either direction – will be moved to a non role-play realm.

My friends, I know that it is pronounced THAY-co.

The message must be made loud and clear, and we will make it, that what the role-play community needs is not surnames or player housing. (We can’t afford to give mortgages out anyway.) It is not gimmicky items with little true role-play value, or even more items of genuine role-play value. What we need is law and order. What we need is for our policemen and GMs to do their jobs. What we need is for our politicians, lawmakers and Blizzard to create policies they intend to enforce, even at the expense of a wider segment of their player base. What we need is a home, a realm where we can not only gather to role-play without harassment but expect to find people role-playing in the street.

I propose less role-play realms, but more role-play! I support not changing the rules, but enforcing them more strongly! I believe in less demands for new features, and more time spent on maintaining the fundamentals of our role-play! I denounce cheap metaphors and stale parody inspired by clichés of American politics!

It is time, my compatriots. It is time to reach across the divides of Horde and Alliance. To cede realms and come together as role-players.

Light bless Azeroth.

ps. Is it just me or would Joe Biden make a really good game master for a traditional tabletop game? Look at that man’s grin. That’s the grin of a game master who has something planned.

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