This guide is for people with little or no prior experience with RP. It is based on all the questions I had when I started out, and what I discovered by throwing myself in the deep end. The one thing I want to say to people who are just starting out, is don’t worry too much :) People will understand and most likely be helpful if you explain that you’re new at this. The best thing is to ask lots of questions and take the advice of others.
What is RP and what does IC and OOC mean?Edit
RP (Role Play) is like improvised acting. You create a persona within the limitations of WoW, and whenever you are on that character, you talk, move and emote according to their personality and background. This is what it is to be In Character or IC. Some people stick to this even when questing or instancing, kind of like method acting; never going Out Of Character, but most people find their own balance between IC and OOC.
For help creating an RP character see the Character Creation guide.
Guidelines for RPing in WoWEdit
- Keep IC and OOC separate. It doesn’t matter what the situation is, this always applies and it’s really important that you stick to it, as most drama starts with mixing the two.
- Stick to your character in /s /y and /e and refrain from talking about the real world in any way. If you do it breaks immersion for yourself and everyone else.
- Don't use smileys or abbreviations. It's impossible to pronounce thx or :) so it makes no sense for your character to say it. Instead use the emotes or /e to show their expression or mood. Emotes should not be used for thoughts or feelings, but instead representations of that. For example: instead of Dominique feels like an idiot, it could be Dominique looks embarrassed.
- If you want to talk about real world things, you can use double brackets like ((these)) to clarify that you’re speaking out of character. It’s useful for whisper as it can be used for both IC and OOC. Some people use it in /s as well, but I personally think it’s a bit immersion breaking.
- Avoid using NPCs in your RP. It’s alright to have a little chat with the banker or the innkeeper, and pretend they’re answering, but it is not accepted to be the bastard son of Arthas :P
- Be logical and realistic. It’s good to think of how your character would say or do something or how things would work if Azeroth was the real world. Try to avoid pulling the big cartoon hammer from behind your back, and strive to explain everything you do. There are of course things we can’t know and things people disagree on, such as how long a ship journey takes, or where your mount comes from. Most people try not to draw attention to things they can’t explain. The joke is usually “A Wizard did it!” but that can actually work. Magic can be used to explain most weird things, but if you just don’t know, it’s okay for your character to say that too.
- Don't power-emote / godmode. Godmoding means to be invincible and all powerful, and power-emoting means to do an emote involving another person, giving them no option to react.
- It’s not all about you. While you are of course most focused on your own character and your own story, remember that the other characters are played by someone just like you. Keeping the spotlight on you is alright if an event is about you directly, but otherwise it’s nice to let others have their turn.
- Try to keep chat and emotes short in large events. It can be really overwhelming with a lot of people and short is easier to focus on.
- Avoid taking over someone else’s event or story. It’s okay to contribute, but you have no way of knowing what the person has planned, so make sure you clear it with them before you do anything major.
- Keep the mystery. Just like in reality it’s a bit weird when someone you’ve just met starts telling you their entire life story. The best RPers tell just enough for someone to be interested and ask more, and only when the timing is right to do so.
- Let your character evolve from their experiences. Maybe your character develops a dislike for trams because you always miss those damn things, or someone cheers up your character by giving them a cupcake, and from then on your character always eats cupcakes when sad.
- Events and environment should influence and affect your character. It can be something as simple as taking cover in an inn because it’s raining outside, or maybe your character likes the rain and goes out to jump in puddles.
- Take initiative! RP is about interaction and you can’t always expect it to come to you, sometimes you have to be the one to start it. If you feel there’s a lack of events, make your own! If you are stuck for ideas, or you need help with it you can always ask guildies and other friends :)