<center></center> What does it mean to roleplay? By definition according to the wikipedia: A role-playing game is a game in which the participants assume the roles of characters and collaboratively create stories. Participants determine the actions of their characters based on their characterization, and the actions succeed or fail according to a formal system of rules and guidelines. Within the rules, they may improvise freely; their choices shape the direction and outcome of the games. To give a good foundation and background I'm going to explain the basics of roleplay and some of its definitions. The reason I am doing this is to better explain the fundamentals: Names Just because you see someone's name on screen DOES NOT mean that your character can automatically assume their name. If you do this, you will have to think up a nutty reason off the top of your head as to how you know who they are. What you want to do, overall, is wait for the character to introduce themselves to you. That is like giving you permission to call them by their name, and the same goes for any title they might have. Your character only knows WHAT HE/SHE HAS BEEN TOLD, so keep that in mind. Titles The very same rules apply to Guild titles as well, you don't know unless you are told, so don't start assuming that about them as well. Also, DO NOT make some crappy idea up like "it read so on your badge". You do not know if theya re wearing a badge or not. It is not only crude, but godmoding. Metagaming You are surrounded by bad guys, and you need help. Calling for help with ICQ or using guild messages shouldn't and isn't a legit reason for help to come find you. You can try and have your character "scream" and then ask anyone in your local area if they "heard" your scream. Other than that, those are your only options. You want to do most of your roleplay in game. Also, you can not use OOC information with your character. So if someone warns you that the enemy is coming over ICQ, your character can't start getting prepared IG, because they would have no way of knowing that. Pigeons are a light exception, if all they are used lightheartedly. Godmoding Someone is horribly hurt and screaming in agony, you cannot just walk up to that person and "heals her/him and he/she feels better" and then just walk away. That is forcing actions upon another and taking control of situations that he cannot have control of. Godmoding, also, is failure to cooperate with fellow role players and having your character do whatever they seem to please. Nobody is a god in this community, and if you want to have fun with roleplay you will respect your fellow role players. If you respect them, they will respect you.* With the above definitions in place one can see there are guidelines of what is acceptable and what is not. Of course people make mistakes as we are human and humans are the characters, mishaps do occur. When a character makes numerous mistakes and disregards these guidelines it tends to show a lack of respect for their fellow roleplayers. As we know in Ultima Online this is an ever changing and evolving process. There are communities for such things so like players may interact in this way. However, over time there has been a shift. A lack of focus on roleplay and an increased focus on player versus player or PVP. As to why this is happening, much would be speculation. In my opinion it is the dwindling amount of players. The shard is shrinking and there are less and less people to interact. It could also be the lack of creativity, after ten years it would be hard to come up with new ideas for plots. The other disturbing change is the increased amount of what is called "forced" roleplay. This is when a group or individual, takes a plot or idea and disregards previous roleplay, lore and history and forces it upon others. In most cases it is frowned upon, however the trend has been increasing. With no one out to prevent it,or at least be willing to do so, it perseveres and tends to create animosity within the roleplay community as a whole. This, is not a good thing, especially as the population shrinks. Due to thing sof this nature, many good role players have left, annoyed and disgruntaled. To quote Halister "After all, as you said, the foundation is set and the community is whole again, it's in everyone's hands now, and how they choose to take advantage of this rare state of affairs is up to them, this can be a rebirth of the greatest roleplay community in UO, or it could end up like the many scorched communities on other shards, stagnant and desolate." Unfortunately, the community overall, is splintering. The lack of respect for years of previous role play and the feuds from what is referred to as out of character have left wedges. All the energies being used are not being put to the best use, instead of creativity and unification, it is being put towards undermining and besting other people. This is a change that I feel will ultimately destroy role play on the Atlantic shard. The community is more like high school it has it's cliques and groups. Though they preach that people should be respected and welcome, it is not so. There are nobles, evildoers and even outcasts. As in school we had the popular kids like the jocks and cheerleaders. We had the bad boys and girls, that cut class and were always out to make their place known and a statement by being the light of adversity and finally the outcasts, the kids that didn't quite fit in anywhere and were mocked, abused and ignored. Now of course, not everyone will always get along, but for one to preach unification and acceptance there should be just that. Personal feelings aside and mutual respect. That is not occurring in the role play community as a whole. So what will it take to repair this, honestly I am not sure. In my opinion, it may not be salvageable. For some players the damage has been done and has left a huge rift. The out of character animosities are irreversible and have bled into people's roleplay to the point where they are now inseparable. There is a lack of personal accountability, and rules that were created are no longer being enforced. The standard has been lowered to the point that there is little if any quality role play left. I feel the biggest issue is though we portray characters in role play, people forget that the players still have real feelings. Things sometimes sound great on paper so to speak, but when implemented the effects are not always what is best for everyone. People do not always put themselves in another's shoes and ask themselves, "How would I feel if this was done to me?" In many cases I can guarantee that they would not like it, yet, they forge ahead regardless and it perpetuates the vicious circle of hatred and animosity. Even myself, being a long term role player have made decisions I regret and have tried to move forward. The most I can do is learn from my mistakes and carry on, I hope others learn this lesson as well. As if we do not follow or study history we will always be doomed to repeat it. In my years as a role player I have seen this occur like the tides, it ebbs and flows and is always moving yet still constant. Though the above are my opinions and not those of Stratics, I know many may not hold to the same ideas and opinions as I have, and others may find these words as a beacon of light, that someone understands what is going on. My only hope is that it perpetuates a change for the better, a new growth, a rebirth as it will. It would be a shame to see years of work, hopes and dreams destroyed by the lack of willingness to put differences aside, right wrongs and begin anew. My next question is this, "Where do we go from here?" I set that before all those who roleplay on Atlantic, to dig deep within themselves and ask that. Think about it, digest it. Take to heart your character's history, trials and tribulations. In doing so, may the light of role play not die on Atlantic like is has in other places. *Taken from Dan's RP 101, 3rd Edition.