When we say that we are a roleplay (RP) alliance, that our alliance chat is In-Character (IC), that our fleet chat is IC, people often get confused what we actually mean. There are dozens of different ideas out there what “RP” actually means. None of them is “more true” than the other, but it's important to understand what people mean when they use the term.

Our RP is immersionist, about the daily life and interactions of our characters, based on their opinions and motivations.

Immersionist?

For us, RP is immersionist - we try to “immerse” into the game world, to play a character that lives inside the world of EVE.

You know this feeling if you have ever read a good book or watched a good movie. It's the feeling you have when you are right “in” the story - when you feel with the characters, when you feel yourself “in” the story. When your emotions are high because of the actions in the book, when you are totally thrilled at whether the character will achieve what he does, and have totally forgotten that you are in a movie theatre - that is immersion.

Daily Life?

Our RP revolves around the daily life of our characters. My character “gets into pod” in the morning - i.e. I log in - and then starts his daily tasks. He might be trying to earn some ISK today because he's a bit low on funds, or go to hunt some hostiles because he's a combat pilot. Or he might go and mine something, or go about other duties for the corp. I might curse a bit on corp chat because my agent hates me today with these stupid missions, or ask corp mates about their daily activities.

While I am playing the game, I play it as my character. My character interacts with other characters, and this way, learns to know those characters.

What makes it different from “non-RPers” playing the game is that my character has partly different opinions and motivations from me. He does things I probably wouldn't do if I would be playing this game without RP. In the interaction with other characters, my character develops in his own and sometimes unexpected directions. That is part of the fun we have in this game.

The RP of the daily life is important. This way, you can feel immersed into your character, and start to learn other characters. This helps with further RP. Most of the good RP sessions I have had have not been set up beforehand, but emerged out of a very normal interaction based on daily life.

Opinions and Motivations?

Let me give an example about the differences in opinions and motivations that actually has caused confusion in the past: I, as a player, think pirates are great. They enrich the game world and are necessary in EVE to make the game good. There should be more of them. My character disagrees strongly with me, because pirates kill citizens of the Republic and harm trade and development of low-security space.

If I weren't playing a pro-Republic loyalist, I could very well play a pirate. My motivation is different from that of my character, but I play the game as my character. The end result is that I go and shoot pirates because my character has an in-character motivation to do so.

Common Misunderstandings

RP is Just Flavor Language

For some people, RP means “I talk in a weird language” - like, “let us burn the shackles the slaver scum has cast upon us and bring pain to their children and children's children!” While some characters might talk like that, there is no reason why all characters would or should. Most people in the EVE universe talk quite normally. RP for us is about characters, not language.

RP Only Happens Outside of the Game

For some reason, a lot of people think that you either RP or play the game, but not both at once. For those people, RP usually happens mainly on the forums, where they participate in heated discussions, or in chronicles where they describe certain events in their character's development. But they stop to RP when they enter the game. This might be from RP in certain other games, where the central game mechanics do not fit into the game world. EVE is awesome for RP because the game mechanics (mostly) fit very well into the game world. The mining, hauling, production, and PvP we do is our game world. What we do in the game is RP.

Fantasy World Mindset

Especially people coming from fantasy MMOs have certain ideas about RP that are necessary in a fantasy setting, but not so in a sci-fi setting. A sci-fi setting allows you to talk about most things of the game very naturally, because our characters live in a world that is more advanced than ours, and as such, includes most of the technology we have.

For example, the chat channels in the game are just that: Chat channels through which characters communicate. There is no reason to treat them like places on some planet. You can of course use the game mechanic of chat channels to enact certain places (and we do in some very specific channels, like bar channels), but that is absolutely not necessary for the majority of channels.

Similarly, these forums (at least the IC parts) are forums for our characters as well. If we, in our current “real” world, have forums to discuss things on, why shouldn't our characters? Of course we can use the forums to describe events in certain locations, but by default, a discussion on the forums is just that for our characters: A discussion on forums.

RP is About Your Race

For some people, RP is about being loyal to the character's racial faction (or sometimes another faction) by for example only flying that race's ships or only using that race's technology.

Our characters are personalities. Some may be fierce nationalists that look down on “inferior” technology or on working for foreigners, while other characters have more relaxed views. In our RP we enjoy the IC interaction of different personalities with varying temperaments and opinions.

RP on Fleet Chat Makes You Bad PvPers

Some people seem to think that fleet chat has to be OOC so you can concentrate on the “important things.” I think this is related to the misunderstanding mentioned above that “RP is Just Flavor Language” - and I agree completely that “heat your barrels and aim them at the scum that calls himself Rodj Blake to erase him from the face of the world!” is not a very good way to call a primary, but there is no reason why your character should do it that way.

All of the interaction on fleet chat and on voice can be just as concise and pragmatic “IC” as they would be “OOC.” What we mean with “fleet chat is IC” is that you are flying with our characters, their motivations, and their opinions, and not with the players, whose opinions and motivations can be quite different.

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