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Beware the Heretic, the Mutant, the Metagame...

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Quote Originally Posted by Brando View Post
Due to recent events this bears discussing openly the viewpoints of the server administration philosophies that drive the decision making process and the greater idea of RP. Several years ago we coined the term 'Practical Roleplay' within the Kingdom of Hyperion and even more recently have begun using the phrase 'Immersive Play' since Roleplay carries with it certain connotations and limits what we're really trying to accomplish. Not only are we trying to build a functioning Republic, but a culture and a unique identity that adds depth to the games we play and makes an otherwise sterile environment filled with NPCs and terrain, come to life with players that are part of that world.

Unfortunately, Metagaming is another term that has always been a part of the stuff people are meant to ignore. Up until recently, there really wasn't any way to get around it because RPing solely through text chat in game meant you were waiting on the next guy over to finish his paragraph/novel of a thought akin to the combat system in EQ1 in which you initiated auto attack only to get up and have time to make a sandwich. Life is Feudal affords us so many many opportunities with the in-game, proximity driven, voice chat system. Now the Immersive Play happens in real time and the metagame is left to coordinating actors to be in the right place at the right time to make sure the narrative can keep up with the new reality of communication. It also helps cue individuals to communicate outside the in-character interaction in the game world.

As part of this, the traditional concept of Metagaming falls away and allows for more immersive environments. Historically, good RP was driven by the ability to ignore the metagame and led to a constant balancing act of unknowing what you were clearly aware of because someone at some point had to communicate an idea to you in some manner. Secrecy was generally a gentlemen's agreement not to acknowledge certain facts about a situation or great pains were taken to hide these facts from others.

Everything can now happen in-game and organically without a great concern for the Metagame. We've been fighting the Metagame for years and it never works. Someone, somewhere along the line can't separate the two and either feelings get hurt because they're expected to act a certain way or someone says something they're not supposed to in front of the wrong person and the whole things blows up. Life is Feudal allows something different and unique. We can now allow events to play out fully in the game world and record the events after the fact on the forums. The forums serve a purpose in recording information that should be driven by game events and all should acknowledge public information as being in the public arena. The forums should be for screenshots, recording stories as 'books' or written records, sharing lists of pricing/contracts/etc.

Blasting your inner thoughts on the forums and then telling everyone they need to ignore that because their character hasn't encountered it yet is prone to the issues that have plagued RP since it was born. Our goal is to transcend the typical RP server bullshit and strive for something better; next gen/level kind of stuff that makes the game that much more rewarding when people discover intrigue, plots and watch events unfold before them. Spontaneous immersive play will always be better than fully scripted, pre-planned, stiff, unwavering skits that serve us no better than a game trailer or cut scene.

The admin team here in Silver Sun Republic is about managing the server in such a way that we're creating experiences and memories for people to build upon. I have no problem, and I know my admins are well aware of, with stepping in to disrupt harassment of other players. We also will not hesitate to offer course corrections to individuals who are working against the creativity of server players or trying to disrupt the Republic itself (from within and within reasonable means of course giving latitude to sub plots and storylines). We've always tolerated secret societies and even hosted a Great House built around Necromancy that was practiced privately, via RP right under Prefects' noses until they were caught in the act and it made for awesome storylines. We even incorporated the suspicions into our lore and the Great House became notorious for evil ruminations whenever we encountered a new game. What made it so great was that it was done privately and only uncovered as a great and horrific scandal that was so well done. What we don't have time for are when things become personal or it transcends the game world to have wider RL implications.

Some may feel that this speaks directly to them and I hope it does, but it's not driven by any one event just as the Senate explanation was not aimed directly at anyone in particular. Those who have known me all these years know I go directly to the source if it's a big deal. I don't do passive aggressive, so this is not some socially awkward attempt at that. This is a result of a growing need to share the philosophy on why we operate the way we do and why we as a Republic leadership team and admins may try to point you in a different direction. It's not to break your toys and kick sand in your face (which may feel like it at the time), but to share over 15 years of operating an RP-PvP community that has been incredibly successful and is in the midst of a total rebuild after completely wiping our roster and resetting back to zero less than a year ago.

Written by Brando