Welcome to Jester's Trek.
I'm your host, Jester. I've been an EVE Online player for about six years. One of my four mains is Ripard Teg, pictured at left. Sadly, I've succumbed to "bittervet" disease, but I'm wandering the New Eden landscape (and from time to time, the MMO landscape) in search of a cure.
You can follow along, if you want...

Monday, April 23, 2012

Comment of the Week: Role-playing

Ender nails it in three short sentences when commenting on my post yesterday about the abusive relationship we're all in with EVE Online:
I think the point that is being missed is that CCP have created what is essentially a really large MMO-sized roleplaying group.

I know this gets said a lot but, we are the content. Mittens is banned and he is still creating content too.
I'm quite sure a lot of you are now annoyed at being referred to as role-players, but that doesn't make the statement any less true.  ;-)  Thanks to Ender for your comment!  Very insightful... wish I'd written it.


  1. EvE is roleplaying. I always said that the only thing you need to do to roleplay in eve is undock.

    Everyone pretends to be pirate, landlord, fleet commander, outlaw. And nobody feels better then when he gets promoted/congratulated/rewarded by his friends and corpies/alliancemates in a makebelieve fleet combat game. Or you know, when he takes stuff away from his "enemies".

  2. LOL, we are role playing without having to 'act'!! I love it! Wish I had seen that 1st too. =]

    And you dunt have to undock to role play... ALl you have to do is logon... if yer playing as 'you', then ships spinning and chattin up the guys on TS is still fulfillin your role. LOL

  3. Oh, so Mittens was just "role playing" at FanFest?

    My mates and I thought he was a lightweight drunk, who can't hold his liquor, as well as a carebear pussy, by apologizing the next day. Hell, we bumped him into a wall, accidentally knocking him down, and he didn't even know where he was.

    Damn fine acting.

    1. My wife overheard some people, who were pointing out The Mittani after the "infamous" panel session, and asked me who he was. After I told her about Goonswarm, she said "Oh, just another guild leader then. We've got hundreds of the same sort. Sad little geeks." She works for Blizzard. :)

  4. Well, according to the Internet Psychologists who like to comment on all our blogs, we are apparently EXACTLY the same person in-game as we are out-of-game, so...no we're not RPing? Final answer, Regis?

  5. To people who, like me, have used plex to extend their subscription:


  6. "Sandbox" != "Roleplaying"
    To me it's simple: roleplaying in a MMOG involved restricting oneself to supporting a storyline one has publically expressed that links directly to at least one 'official' storyline arc.
    The last time i witnessed that was back when "The Tetrimon Cult" chronicle surfaced.

    Why isn't normal gameplay of all the players in eve considered 'roleplay'? Ever tried playing a "Chaotic Neutral" character? It's very good roleplay if your DM is clinically insane. It's unpredictable, nomadic and frequently changing it's mind.
    It's not roleplay if you deliberately flaunt the intent to disrupt the rest of the group's game by being raging dickheads (aka griefers)...might as well call scammers in jita, and can baiters in n00b systems great roleplaying. it's a flawed argument.
    Would you call "Leeroy Jenkins" a good roleplayer? He's famous, but calling it roleplaying is really poor logic.

    Roleplaying is something CCP has never supported. Take that old chronicle about "The Tetrimon Cult" that people flocked to but quickly found CCP pulled the rug out from under everyone's feet (not that most cared or knew about it)
    It's storytelling - laying out a believable story that puts a spin on the official storyline arc with an intent to build credibility by following up consistently with one's stated spin, which severely handicaps one's ability to "sandbox."
    CVA comes closest to that definition, as did "Ubiqua Seraph" and guess what happened to them?

    As to why the reluctance of CCP to encourage roleplaying? MMOG developers have a history of dismissing roleplay attempts on a mass scale as to be "not the intent" of gameplay they desired. Looked at objectively, one comes to the obvious conclusion MMOG developers really don't have a clear vision of how their game was intended to be played. EVER.

  7. and if you want to get really technical, roleplaying forces you to say [OOC] every time you want to speak freely.

  8. Hmm, with all the Jita excitement coming, I don't think anybody is going to read this - but since I spent some time thinking about it...

    I both agree and disagree with Ender.

    On the one hand, the hard role-playing community in EVE (or any MMO) is rather small. I understand 'hard role-playing' to mean that people actively distinguish between themselves and the characters they're playing - to the extent that their in-game actions are determined by what their characters would do, not what is best in the context of the game. And I'm not talking about using IC or OOC tags (that's window dressing). Instead, it would be hard role-playing if I rejected a ransom offer from a pirate because he's a sniveling Caldari low-life not worthy to lick my steadfast Amarrian boots, even it that meant that I lost a multi-Billion ship in the process.

    (Powergamers at that point get confused because they are used to seeing games solely in terms of winning some numerical statistic :) )

    On the other hand, Ender is right: I wager that most people in EVE are not truly themselves. They may be living out a side of their personality they can't or won't live in real life - nice guys playing evil can-flipping pirates, landscapers dominating markets, CEOs having fun being mere line grunts - thus they are still 'themselves', but it's not their public selves. I don't know if there is a good term for it - 'role assuming' maybe, or just 'wearing a different hat'.

  9. Oh Mr. Teg, what a can of worms hast ye opened!
    Are you role-playing an EvE blogger, a Fox News style Investigative Reporter, or possibly just enjoy the sight of page-hits as much as people like to see a wallet flash? Of course I mean no personal disrespect, I only read your blog after all (and do thoroughly enjoy it!), but as Big Willy Shakespeare put it:
    All the world's a stage,
    And all the men and women merely 'players':

    I think the term Role-Play serves only to muddy the waters of what is arguably the penultimate question; Who are we? Why are we 'playing' the way we play.
    The extremes could be to test ones self. The other to the counter wise, to lose ones self, and everything in-between.
    Role-Playing, is an ill thought out concept which exists to market a product and appeal to a broader audience.
    [Hero/Villain Character in a Can] - No imagination necessary, could have been a valid tag line.

    It could be said that Role-Playing is an agreement of sorts to follow an author's particular vision of a people and a landscape.
    Although, Where does that put us when our general attitude is one of not caring who writes the history anymore, just that we're getting our piece of the action? McDonalds anyone?

    The term serves no good purpose to describe the player base, and even though Sandbox is the supposed counter to Role-Play, it too is cashing in on a buzz word to allow CCP to keep things as open ended as possible, that more Authors can contribute to the collective story. The people buying into those buzz words? Well, you tell me.

    Role-Playing is Dead.
    Long live role playing.


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