Back when I first started playing WoW, I started a character on a server that a group of my friends told me to: Cenarion Circle. They had already been playing the game for a week or two before I got my account, and they wanted me to come play with them (or, rather, I was getting totally ignored because all of them were too busy to play the game).
So, I started playing my druid, and I really liked it. However, there was one drawback, because Cenarion Circle is a Roleplay Server. That means it has different rules than either a PvE or PvP server, and understanding those rules can be an important part of joining the larger server community. Being part of the server community mattered an awful lot back before the days of server transfers. I’ve since transferred off that server and ended up on a PvE server (Elune), however I had a lot of positive (and not so positive) experiences playing on an RP server. So, with a handful of bloggers starting to re-roll characters on Argent Dawn (an RP server), I wanted to pass along some advice and stories about what playing on an RP server was like for me. Also, for new players who are thinking of starting up on an RP server, you should think about whether or not it is the right kind of “fit” for you.
The fun of RP servers:
- Not everyone on an RP server enjoys roleplaying. However, while I was there, I did participate in some RP events. I have see people in groups & raids that tried to do it all in-character (some with great success that made the run more fun). It was fun to be part of a world that (sometimes) felt more engaging in some ways.
- Most RP tends to happen outside of instances & raids. We had an event where we were going to rescue a horde player who was trapped inside Gnomer (who was also in love with a gnome). A group of alliance players escorted some horde players (on foot, without communication tools other than emotes) as we went on a long journey to rescue him. While it sounds cheesy, it was really one of the favorite things that I did on the server in the entire time I was there. I didn’t role play on a daily basis, but I liked doing these kinds of events and interacting with people who were really good at role playing.
- If someone had come and interrupted one of the server’s RP events, it would have made everyone who planned it really sad, and you need to keep in mind that your happiness shouldn’t come at the expense of other people’s happiness.
- If you want to learn more about how to be good at RP, you should check out the Too Many Anna’s blog. She is usually pretty good at helping people get better at making RP servers a fun place to be part of.
So, below are Blizzard’s rules & guidelines that you should be aware of when playing on an RP server. Not all of them are well enforced, but you should still be aware that these rules CAN be enforced. The naming guideline tends to be the most often enforced RP-server rule. I actually did get mad at people who broke the naming guidelines on my RP server, and I miss not being able to report silly-sounding names on a PvE server.
- The full list of RP server guidelines can be found in Blizzard’s support page.
- The biggest difference on RP servers is the naming policy. You should read the RP naming policy before creating a character on an RP server. In addition to the normal naming rules, you also can’t create: “Any Non-Medieval or Non-Fantasy names (i.e. Slipnslide, Robotman, Technotron).” If you need help finding appropriate names for an RP server, you can try a Medieval Naming Guide that is available online.
- The rules actually outline policies for how you aren’t supposed to say out of character things in /general, /say, /yell (ie. public channels). Now, general chat still tends to be like any PvE server. However, you can get reported based on what you say in public channels, so you should be aware of this rule, even if it isn’t commonly enforced. They don’t police your guild chat at all.
- ((Out of character speech would be typed inside parentheses when talking to other people who are role playing)) – while not a rule, this is a handy convention to know.
- They also take harassment of Role players very seriously (regardless of what kind of role play they are doing). So, harassing people who are partaking in RP sessions is against the rules.
- If someone is partaking in a type of RP that you think breaks the other game rules, the correct solution is to report them using an in-game ticket (or the “report spam” feature if they are spamming a public channel). For example, any type of chat in /say or other general channels that is even a mildly inappropriate reference to “human anatomy or bodily functions” can be reported to a GM. The rest of the normal chat rules can be found here.
- It’s better to ignore someone who is doing something you don’t like, rather than starting drama with them.
- One misconception is that everyone there RP’s all the time. This isn’t true. Most of the people on RP servers don’t actually follow the RP rules of the server, and tend to make it difficult for people who DO enjoy the RP aspects of that server. SO, you can surround yourself with non-RP people and be perfectly fine on the server. However, you need to be respectful of the people who are there to be part of the RP environment. There are people who are GOOD at RP, who make those servers more magical, and who made my experiences on Cenarion Circle so much more fun.
Like any server, it’s better to treat all the fellow players with respect, and to /ignore people who you don’t like, and to report inappropriate behavior to a GM if you believe what they are doing is breaking the rules (whether they’re doing it in or out of character).
If you don’t like the RP server rule set, then your best option is to just not play on an RP server. However, it can be fun if you give it a chance. I personally miss playing on an RP server some days, though Elune is a better fit for my current play style, schedule, and group of real life friends that I met after my move to grad school.
Also, don’t forget to have fun! This is a really great game, and you have lots of opportunities to enjoy playing on an RP server if that is something that feels right to you.