Posted by: Jess Riley | December 11, 2008

Debate: The Cons, or Why Jess Doesn’t Want To Pay More

For those of you who missed it, at the moment we’re running a debate on whether a premium roleplay server would be a good idea. I’m playing for the cons side, meaning that I don’t think that it would be a good idea.

First of all, there is a very good reason.

I am cheap.

I do not want to pay more money for a roleplay server. But wait, I am sure I can hear you crying. Just because you’re a cheapass bastard, Jess, that doesn’t mean it’s not a good idea. What about all those people who aren’t cheapass bastards and want to pay more?

Sean hypothesizes that because it’s only one server, people would be transferring to it and roleplay would be easier to find. I posit that for every one roleplayer who moves to the premium server, there will also be one that does not want to because they deem the cost too expensive for too little gain. This means that, with how difficult it is to find roleplay in the first place, it will be twice as hard to find it on the old servers in the first place. How will Blizzard deal with this? Well, maybe they’ll offer free transfers and cull the number of roleplay servers, or maybe they’ll leave them as they are.

Either way, the roleplayers are being given the shaft: they are given the option of either paying more for a service that they don’t deem worthy of the additional fee, or of staying on their old servers, on which they will no longer be able to roleplay as well as they would like. People will probably be obligated to pay more if they wanted to continue to roleplay.

Does this seem fair? Absolutely not. I don’t want to be put in a situation where either I have to deal with a greater griefers to roleplayers ratio, or pay more money that I don’t really have in my budget in order to get the same or similar to what I had before.

In other words, a paywall, as Sean puts it, would probably get rid of the griefers… but it would also get rid of a lot of the roleplayers. What kind of roleplayers would it get rid of? Well, me for one. But generally speaking, you’d be culling the casual roleplayers (the ones who just want to ‘give it a shot’ – they don’t want to have to pay extra for that). The casual roleplayers would go to the old servers, which, as I pointed out, would now have a higher griefer-to-roleplayer ratio. They’ll go, “Damn, this isn’t very fun.” and give up on roleplaying.

Do we want to encourage people to give up on roleplaying before they give it a fair go? I’d say not. Of course, they could just join the premium server, but if you weren’t a roleplayer and just wanted to give it a go for a while, would you want to pay for the premium straight up? Probably not. And would you be happy with a server mostly full of griefers, PVPers and PVEers, because all the dedicated roleplayers have moved on? No way! That’s not conducive to learning how to roleplay well.

Next of all, Sean posits that the premium cost would mean that they could hire more GMs to better enforce the roleplay policy. Wait a minute – this roleplay policy? The vague, poorly written policy I lambasted in a previous post for being unuseful?

Sean, are you proposing that they enforce this better, thus creating an environment where people are treading on eggshells in case they make an error and the pretentious crowd are thriving – or, in fact, an environment almost identical to the environment you want to leave, because the GMs are afraid of enforcing it too strictly?

Or are you suggesting that we write a new naming policy? We’ve tried this, and I have to say, I wouldn’t want to play on a server that abides by your rules. I would be constantly crying from pain from all my wedgies and firing questions at the GMs like “If in real life, people name their children Talula Does The Hula From Hawaii, can you really tell me that no one on Azeroth would name their child Dinnerchair?”

So, go on, Sean. Your move. Why should we cut down the opportunities for future roleplayers, make it more difficult for people on a budget to find roleplay, create a more selective and stringent environment in which people can play (thus giving rise to pretentiousness and all the things that people hate about roleplay) and enforcing a poorly written policy? Do the good things outweigh the bad, here?


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