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In-game character progression vs Roleplay?


biostem
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I've tried to RP on a few occasions, and one thing that's always turned me off from the experience is that we'd basically just hang out somewhere and chit-chat, instead of actually running missions or what-not.  I'd role up a character whose concept I really liked, joined a group/SG, and that character would basically stagnate, as we'd hang out in the SG base or at some location, just chewing the fat.  How do you folks balance these things?  Do you just level up to where you want your character to be, power-wise, then find the group(s) you want to RP with, or am I just looking for/joining up with the wrong types of RP-ers?  Thanks for listening!

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I view level as just a game mechanic, not something that actually exists in universe - especially now that zones aren't level-locked anymore.

 

From what I've seen of the few groups I've had/have characters in, a mix of in-base and in-mission RP seems like the norm. Some people like one, or the other, or both, so give 'em a mix.

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2 hours ago, Magairlín said:

I view level as just a game mechanic, not something that actually exists in universe - especially now that zones aren't level-locked anymore.

 

From what I've seen of the few groups I've had/have characters in, a mix of in-base and in-mission RP seems like the norm. Some people like one, or the other, or both, so give 'em a mix.

I get that, but what if I want to actually make progress with my character?  Maybe I'm working toward some key powers that help define/realize my character...

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It sounds like the people you've been playing with just prefer the slice-of-life side of things.

 

I haven't RP'd much since coming back to Homecoming, but I remember one group I hung with for a little while on Live that were sort of similar. They mostly preferred just hanging and chatting, and when doing content would want it as easy as possible, because they would measure their IC power based on OOC performance. They'd quickly power level, farm, and fully IO-out their characters, so when RPing with them they'd have you believe that, IC, Recluse was a chump to them. TFs with wide and world-ending stakes were just another form of casual outings for a bunch of super-friends. 

 

As a result of those experiences, I'm actually partial to the idea of only getting my characters into the mid 30's, or only using SO's, because I typically prefer playing "weaker," street-tier characters that often struggle against higher level groups, and having that reflected in gameplay can enhance the experience for me- just maybe have a seperate build on hand if you're doing OOC content and need better performance.

 

I'm not trying to bash anyone here- everybody has different ideas of fun, and that's okay, but my point is that I think its just a case of finding the right folk for you. It can be frustrating and maybe a little easier said than done, but I think you just need to look around for players that can work with the sort of themes and stories you want to make; if you want more action-focused stories where you character gradually grows and discovers new powers as they also grow OOC, then that's what you need to advertise and discuss with people you're thinking of RPing with :)

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3 hours ago, biostem said:

I get that, but what if I want to actually make progress with my character?  Maybe I'm working toward some key powers that help define/realize my character...

 

Could you tell us a little more about your character? Maybe someone here could point you toward an SG that would fit them.

 

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I've stumbled on to something with a bit of both. I'm not a heavy roleplayer, and I do enjoy the content (over and over). after so many OP 50s, I've started to look for something that would kick the excitement/difficulty up a notch. Enter this group in Everlasting. We started out with agreements on how to level up (i.e. Issue 0 settings such as take fitness and health at level 14, none of the new pool powers, no P2W, no IO sets--IO procs are fine, etc.) As expected, our toons were not as strong, hence it forced us to work together as a team, to rely on particular ATs. Of course there is the RP part, but not too strict. 😃 

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My answer is "it depends."

 

My RP now is really spread out - some of it in game, some of it over discord or (as far as *character* progression) writing.  And I need that variety, because (a) I like having the characters have *lives,* which means BSing about school, significant others, etc. and (b) there are things I'm having them do and places I'm having them go that just can't - either conveniently, or at all - be done in game.

 

That said, I also have a group that's repurposing the Warshade/Kheldian arcs for something going on with one of our characters.  Another group (not an "SG," but a group from all over) RPs a bit on discord, arranges events and sometimes has an AE to designate significant points or play through certain events.

 

Generally, I disconnect "My character is at level ##" from the RP/"Character development" side.  One of my characters, for instance, should *not* have access to incarnate powers, is certainly not aware of a "well" or anything, never talks about such a thing - but I still play incarnate content with that one when not on SG nights.  They've gone back in time, fought in Cimerora - but the *character* hasn't.

 

 

As far as the situation with your group?

First thing is bring it up with them. Is there some common theme to the group? Even if it's just "we're heroes" (or villains,) you can "patrol" (missions, newspapers/radios/tips) and still RP. Work up a plot, have people contribute to an AE arc about it, even if it's just ideas, or someone can't write but is great at figuring out a look for a character - they can contribute that. I'd say make sure you don't have just one person doing it continually - I did that, with few breaks, and it's a fast path to burnout. If you talk outside of SG meetings (I'd hope you do!) I'd probably broach the subject of "Hey, can we go out and *do stuff?* then, instead of having it break into social time - some people do need that time to be *that,* honestly.  But communication is important.

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Primarily on Everlasting. Squid afficionado. Former creator of Copypastas. General smartalec.

 

I tried to combine Circle and DE, but all I got were garden variety evil mages.

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8 hours ago, Magairlín said:

Could you tell us a little more about your character? Maybe someone here could point you toward an SG that would fit them.

I'm speaking in generalities, but I thank you for the offer.

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I have met some people that stay 'in character' as we run missions, but the RP does tend to take a back-seat to the gameplay.   The game mecahnics here are too swift to do more than act in-character in brief moments between missions- something that can be frustrating for the RP'er seeking more substance while the interludes frustrate the gamer hoping to level, but feeling slowed by the RP.  It's a difficult balance to reach for the whole team of strangers- far easier when you're in a supergroup with known people and set expectations, but still a challenge to manage. 
 

I play a lot of folk still in the midst of figuring out hero-ing, but I tend to burn leveling into the late teens or 20's just so I "flesh out" the powersets a bit and really define the characters.  Once there, I try to RP out and level as the character grows, but I have to get better at turning off XP.   I've had a few characters concepts that no longer mesh the character's "feel" in battle when they level too far.

 

That's one factor that affects roleplaying during battle.  For some of us, the more gameplay drives the narrative, the less the character feels like yours.   I may play the game on +4 x8 to make a challenge to my SR scrapper, but I envision her as more intelligent than leaping into a fray like that.   I've always preferred the hero stories where it's not so much the hero's powers that let them brute-force the enemy, but a degree of cleverness, desperation, good fortune, and sometimes-very-un-super decisions that win the day.   That's not going to match how the "gameplay" suggests the event pans out, and sometimes the  more distance between that gameplay event and the rp, the easier it can be to handwave away the differences into a narrative that better fits your feel.

 

I have met people in-game that really use character level and powers to define what that character should be capable of, kinda like how you'd limit yourself to a character sheet in a pen and paper game.  If you're a level 10 with TO's, don't even imagine facing off against a level 50 in RP-PVP.   I can see this being reasonably used to curb others' potential gode-mode behavior, but some use it to justify their own godmode as well.   Many RP'ers do want to focus on roleplaying without spending hours on gameplay or Mids min-maxing BEFOREHAND to justify their concept.    Just because I haven't spent as much time leveling and investinging in every +psi option in my invul tanker doesn't mean I want to be a meat puppet for your maxed out incarnate mind-controller.  

Ultimately, if I had a choice, I'd go with narrative over gameplay, but I do enjoy playing through the game and would always respond IC-ly if encountering it in a mission and respond favorably to invites for such encounters.   I just may not be adding those events to my caracter's own "meta-story" in the long run if the way the gameplay pans out doesn't mesh with my character.   I really enjoyed the balance that City of Roleplay's Community Story Arcs allowed- even if my availability didn't allow for full participation through a whole arc.  While the offline forum-RP was more accessible to me, I did get to hop on to team with others in the custom AE arcs, some of the exploration-based missions, and even a community social event that all stitched togeter into a much larger narrative.   I haven't seen one running recently- understandable since they obviously take a LOT of work, but I'd strongly endorse trying those when they come up again.
 

 

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