World of Warcraft:
Roleplaying Servers

By Shamus Posted Thursday Jul 3, 2008

Filed under: Game Reviews 58 comments

Kirin Tor – the server I inhabit in WoW – is a “Roleplaying Server”. I’ve mentioned before that RP servers have a much better ratio of idiots to normal people. There are a lot of rules regarding how you’re supposed to behave on an RP server. While I like the result (less idiots) I don’t actually think you can get several thousand disorganized strangers together and call anything they do “roleplaying”.

Three naked female characters hanging out in (where else) Goldshire.  I should make one of those motivational posters out of this.  The caption would be: ROLEPLAYING: ur doin it rong.  Actually I could have it say ENGLISH instead of ROLEPLAYING and that would work too.
Three naked female characters hanging out in (where else) Goldshire. I should make one of those motivational posters out of this. The caption would be: ROLEPLAYING: ur doin it rong. Actually I could have it say ENGLISH instead of ROLEPLAYING and that would work too.

Everyone has a different idea of what roleplaying means or how it works. Everyone has their own taste for how much roleplaying they want. Is it okay if we just avoid talking about cars and the internet, or do we need to speak in arty language? What about game mechanics? Do we need to talk around things like what level we are? In a tabletop game you might have a character who is terrified of spiders, or a Dwarf who has a deep hatred of Elvenkind. Those are fine attribures in a game with friends, but in an online game that guy is just going to be a pain in the ass to play with.

Roleplaying itself is very subjective. Bryan left a comment the other day that described his idea of roleplaying:

I remember seeing someone named “druiddidurmom” I think it was. Yet they made me rename my character whose name was “Sickbag.” I didn’t roleplay him a lot, mostly through coughing/hacking/wheezing emotes. But he had a personality. So I renamed him Generic. Personality gone.

Now, a character named “sickbag” wouldn’t fly at my table, but some tabletop games have all sorts of outlandish names. But you can’t get serveral thousand people around the same metaphorical table and expect everyone to be on the same page about how we’re going to play this. Insisting that people “roleplay” is impossible because you can’t ever prove they aren’t.

In fact, by my own definition I don’t really roleplay my character at all. Ask me about my character’s personality. History. Background. They don’t have any. I’m not going through the game, trying to weave all the other things people are doing into a story about my little Hunter.

So, Bryan roleplays his character, and I don’t.

I think this focus on “roleplaying” is misleading. What they should really be striving for is just a system where players try to fit into the world. The name Druiddidurmom doesn’t belong anywhere in the world of Azeroth. If you saw an NPC with that name you’d think it was a prank. Same goes for Sharpfart and Fullofcrap. (Both of which I saw yesterday.) I don’t care if Fullofcrap is roleplaying a character who is always full of crap. Roleplaying is irrelevant. His name is stupid, infantile and (most importantly) it doesn’t fit into the world. When I see names like this it cheapens the setting and breaks immersion.

So when I play I strive to avoid breaking immersion for others. I choose plausible names (as best I can, considering the huge population and the requirement for unique names) and I don’t blather about real-world stuff in open chat. I mostly communicate with strangers via waves, bows, claps, and laughing. If we need to talk game mechanics (these guys will wipe the floor with us at our level, let’s go around) we keep it in party chat.

I wish there were an even more exclusive server available out there where they actively policed this sort of thing. I’d pay a couple of bucks extra a month if I knew it would wall off people like Sharpfart, Bangurded, and other clowns. If anyone decides they don’t like the exclusive server or the restrictive behavior policies, they could stop paying the extra fee and be moved to another server.

The population would be low, which would mean good names would be easier to come by. It would make the game a little more grown-up and a little more low-key. There would still be people who would want to take the roleplaying more seriously than I do, but I don’t mind dealing with those folks on their own terms.

I don’t expect Blizzard to actually do this. I’m not even sure the idea would appeal to anyone else, but I know it would work for me.


From The Archives:

58 thoughts on “World of Warcraft:
Roleplaying Servers

  1. Blurr says:

    There are always private servers, which you don’t have to pay for, but most of those are full of idiots too. (The Runescape crowd, mostly. bleh)

    Edit: Not to mention that they violate the EULA. Forgot that part. >.>

  2. Drew says:

    The Sharpfarts of the world used to bother me a lot. Now I laugh every time I see them. Not because “Sharpfart” is particularly funny (though I’ll admit I’m childish enough to giggle about just about anything), but because there’s someone out there who thought he wanted to be represented by a character named “Sharpfart”. What happens when he makes some friends and they decide to play together? They’ll ask him his character’s name, and he’ll say “Sharpfart”, and in just about any reasonable crowd, he’ll be a little embarrassed about it. One day he’ll try to get into some groups, and they’re simply not going to invite Sharpfart, because it’s clear he’s some kind of idiot. So I laugh. Because somehow, it’s amusing to me to realize that I’m spending lots of time playing a game that’s also being enjoyed by a guy named Sharpfart. And maybe I learn a little something about not taking it too seriously.

    Edit: Wow, I just re-read this. I just used the word “Sharpfart” 6 times in a single post. I guess we can make that 7 now.

  3. ravells says:

    The only MMORPG I ever played over a significant period of time was Everquest. One memorable event where the ‘role playing’ spun itself, was me a very low level character, attempting to draw a map in photoshop of the area I inhabited. This followed a very tedious routine of running for a few hundred yards to a prominent feature in the landscape and typing ‘loc’ which would return a grid reference which I would draw onto squared paper for later transposition into PS.

    It took ages, but quite often I’d pick up a following of the curious who, when they learned what I was doing, followed me as ‘bodyguards’ to protect against any nearby monsters in return for me emailing them the map when it was complete. That worked quite well. I think it was because it gave the other players some greater sense of purpose than just following the usual level grinding routine and as you pointed out – it fitted with the world -they were there to protect the cartographer and a story of sorts began to build around that.

  4. Shawn says:

    One day he'll try to get into some groups, and they're simply not going to invite Sharpfart,

    This reminds me of something. One great piece of advice for you Shamus: As you get higher level, and want to do dungeons, you may find yourself in LFG trying to organize a PUG. If someone is named Sharpfart, or Lazerturkey, or Urmom, or Leggolas, or Sefirothh, or Drizzzt, this is a giant neon blinking sign that chances are they’re a moron. Save yourself the headache and do not invite them in to your party; lest you be plagued by Need rolls on BOP stuff they can’t even use, tanks tanking with no shield, pets charging off at stuff in the middle of another fight, etc etc.

  5. Drew says:

    Shawn is correct. It’s probably also worth mentioning that while I hate perpetuating stereotypes, the above goes double for hunters. I can’t understand the dynamic, but it seems to be the class that’s attracted the highest share of idiots. It’s a real shame, too, because a good hunter is a great thing. There are just so many morons it really brings down everyone’s opinion of the whole class. Be on the lookout. The word “huntard” wasn’t just created because it rolls off the tongue so easily.

  6. Kalle says:

    This is one reason I loved City of Heros. Even the idiots fitted in because of the modern setting.

  7. Annon says:

    You have seen the Leeroy Jenkins video right? If not, go to youtube and find it. Hillarious…

  8. Eric Rossing says:

    Just remember, that “huntard” may not know better. My experience suggests that hunters are the easiest class to level quickly, (nice DPS and a built-in damage sponge) so he may just not have as much player experience as one would expect for his level.

    I fortunately had a patient tank in my hunter’s first run through Zul’Ferak, who, rather than just call me “huntard” and boot me from the group, explained that my having my pet’s “Growl” ability on was a problem for him. So now I know to turn Growl off when running an instance.

    I admit I’m touchy about the huntard term, since I just had some jerk call me a huntard because he saw me melee-fighting something that ignored my pet’s growl and it wasn’t worth the effort to try to get back to range.

  9. Kevin says:

    We’ve refused people into our guild because of a stupid name. (Which I am not going to repeat here.) There was a general assumption, rightly or wrongly, about the type of personality that would want to be associated with that name. A personality we didn’t want in our guild.

    In general however, I just don’t see them anymore, It doesn’t hit my immersion in the game because they no longer ping my radar. After a while you’ll probably stop noticing them too.

  10. Shalkis says:

    Blizzard’s RP servers were supposed to be exclusive communities where the rules were strictly enforced. The problem is that not even Blizzard cares anymore. The RP servers are policed by the exact same outsourced and untrained GMs as the rest of the servers.

  11. krellen says:

    Back when I played WoW (over two years ago, now, back in the Dark Ages), I would most definitely have paid extra – up to twice as much – for a well-policed server that actually enforced naming conventions and chat rules. It would have been a godsend.

    My worst experience was with the character “UncleSam”, an orc. I reported his name, and it was changed: to “UncleSamuel”. Because apparently Sam refers to a specific real world national spokesfigure, but Samuel does not. And this is ignoring the reality of “Samuel” as an orc’s name.

    (Of course, I got the option of reporting because I did play on an RP server. A name like that isn’t even an offence on regular servers.)

  12. Retlor says:

    I was kicked off an instance run for ‘tanking without a shield’. Admittedly it was the first instance we did, that one under Orgrimmar. I had no idea what I was doing wrong. I mean, I was an orc, the game started me off with a axe and no shield, which I kind of got used to using, and made part of my character’s background. So when we ran the instance the others complained and repeated told me what a crap player I was.

    When I realised that I would have to compromise my idea of my character so as to appease some random number generator, on an RP server no less, I kind of lost the will to play and went back to tabletops.

  13. Alexis says:

    They tend to die out as you level up. Goldshire is full of L1-10 alts people intend to delete, so a stupid name is a quick gag.

    The naming policy is enforced on request. That is, no one has reported DDUM yet. If he’s over L20 or so, report him. It simply isn’t worth the time before that. If you’ll allow me a moment of elitism… in my world, characters don’t even count before L40.

    I hear of very few raiders with dumb names. No matter what type of server they rolled on.

    You play how you like, s’cool. Just don’t join a team, saying you can do a thing, without being able to do it. You wouldn’t play football in a corset right? Not unless you had some very tolerant or specialised friends…

  14. Shawn says:

    Ret: Admittedly the likelihood of a 14th level first time player knowing the difference is pretty slim, but when you signed up for the group, you should have said “nope, I’m not a tank, I hit things with my axe.”

    Now they might have booted you in search of someone who would stand up front and take the beatings, but there’s far more for Warriors to do than be tanks.

    (Well ok, a bit more. You either hit things with a big weapon, or hit things with two small weapons.)

  15. City of Heroes does have its share of morons, too. But it’s really neat how someone using l33tsp33k in his name acts as his own self-filter. (Depending on my mood, I may extend that to people who substitute capital “I” for lower-case “L” and vice versa, or who tack on apostrophes, periods, or other punctuation, in order to get themselves a version of a name someone else has already.)

    City of Heroes also has a “roleplaying-preferred” server, though it’s considerably more unofficial than World of Warcraft and no attempt is made to enforce it. Although I make up characters, I can’t help but find it a little hard to roleplay them sometimes. You just get in the habit of playing it like a game, and forget to have your character act or react””and by the time you’ve leveled him or her up, you entirely lose touch with what the personality of your character was supposed to be.

  16. Derek K says:

    It’s even better for me, when I imagine Sharpfart. Because I game with real people, who I know. And recently, I’ve met several people at my job, or at the local ice cream store, who play. And we’re going to get together in game.

    I can just imagine one of the local supervisors revealing his character name to be Sharpfart. I’m pretty sure he just wouldn’t play.

    @retlor: MMOs are games first, and roleplay second, for the most part. I don’t mind roleplay, but I’ll admit that I would have pushed you to take out a shield as well, *if you were going to be the tank in my group.* I respect your right to be the valiant warrior with an axe, and even to tank without a shield, if you want to play someone that feels he is good enough without one.

    But if you join my group, and you want to be a tank, I’m going to expect you to be able to tank. If you can tank without a shield, and be effective, more power to ya. If not, then you need to either adjust your RP concept, find a group of dedicated RP’ers, or, as you did, realize that WoW is not going to fit you, and go back to the (superior) world of tabletop.

    Even in tabletop, there’s inappropriate character concepts, though. My group tends to play a fairly epic campaign. We’re big time players. So when one of my friends joins, he has to make someone that’s horrible ineffectual, cause that’s the kind of guy he is. His last mage was paralyzed from the neck down, and had a servant who dressed him.

    Fine, rp it away. But don’t expect our heroic party of adventurers, who routinely face deadly and dastardly foes, to accept you. Because they *wouldn’t*.

    @robotech_master: My *daughter* does that. I cannot tell you how painful it is when I see her make a character, see the name is not taken, and see her just add an X at the end, or put a couple ‘ on it. She doesn’t understand why it offends me, or why it is AN AWFUL THING TO DO. I feel that I may have failed her as a parent.

  17. Fenix says:

    On my freeserver we have a roleplaying policy. If you step out of character someone will report you to the “Overseers” (Admin/GM guild) and you will be shrunk to 1/5 size for 24 hours. It’s fun being the admin.

  18. Dev Null says:

    When I realised that I would have to compromise my idea of my character so as to appease some random number generator

    Well yes, and yet I can hardly blame them for it (the game mechanics. The other players in your example were definitely being pricks instead of politely pointing it out – especially in the beginners dungeon.) I mean WoW isn’t exactly a paragon of realism, but if your idea of your character is a barbarian in a loincloth with an enormous axe who “somehow” never gets hurt, then yes, you’re going to have to modify that idea to fit within the mechanics of the game. Fighting stuff in melee without armour doesn’t work well in the game, for reasons that actually make a fair amount of sense. Likewise, fighting stuff in melee without a shield is perfectly possible, but you are certainly going to get hurt a lot more when stuff hits you back.

  19. Retlor says:

    I didn’t mean my comment as an attack on people who like the tactical aspects of the game. I just meant that it’s not for me.

    I was a pretty new player at the time, and to be fair I still like the hack-and-slash elements of WoW, when I occasionally sign up for a month or so, but I’ll never be a hardcore player of the game simply because of the fact that it’s really not centred around my tastes.

  20. The one failing of MMO’s… the players. I’m sure theirs many others, but it really is the players that cause the biggest game play issues. Everything from names, manors, and grammar, to disagreeing on how the game is “supposed” to be played.

    We all have different ideas, and unfortunately we can’t come to any form of agreement on the issue. Not to mention those that simply enjoy being asses.

    Guilds are nice as it gives us a certain amount of sanctuary and common thought.

    What I’d like to see though is a system in which when a name is submitted to the server for approval; not only is that name checked against any other existing name, but also against any name that has already been forced to change. Rather than simply disallowing that name, the game automatically allows that name but forces the character onto a specific server that collects all those names. The player gets his name as he wants it, but if anyone else is currently logged on with that name, he can’t log in.

  21. Blackbird71 says:


    A lot of the policing in the game of these names and other things is done by players. There is a “report” function, I suggest making use of it. Blizzard reps won’t generally go out of there way to find someone breaking the rules, but they’re usually decent about fixing the problem when it’s put right in front of them.

  22. Sean Hayden says:

    It really doesn’t surprise me at all that the Roleplaying servers for WoW don’t actually have any roleplaying. To be honest, it’s rather impossible to immerse yourself in the ‘world’ of Warcraft; this is because the game itself defeats any attempts at playing any sort of reasonable role. This is because nothing in the world is at all believable. Your hometown is pretty much engulfed in random, pitiful, edible animals from day one. You can kill 20 boars walking back and forth about 10 feet away from the starting point, and the next few minutes and they’re back. Abitrarily, these boars are level 1 or 2. Whereas in some other ‘high-level’ area, the DEER are infinitely stronger than any boar. A single crocodile is far stronger than a dozen giant, poisonous spiders, and so on.

    Anyway, I’m rambling. My point is that WoW discourages roleplaying by its very nature. It’s not only the idiots therein that restrict it.

  23. Neil says:

    I was always under the impression that MMO’s are best when RP is left out altogether. I quite enjoy my tabletop RP because it suits it and we (me and the other players) are free to modify the rules and the situations in favor of the RP.
    WoW, on the other hand, has certain realities coded into the game that cannot be avoided without bending over backwards. Even disregarding the ubiquitous idiots, one cannot RP out discussing tactics, abilities, equipment and statistics without at least tripling the amount one would have to type.
    I agree with the guys over at Fear the Boot that MMOs are for hack-and-slash dungeon crawls, tabletop RPGs are for roleplaying. If you try to combine the two very much, you have to sacrifice so much that it does neither effectively.

  24. Danel says:

    Well, I think there’s a level of balance to it – at the least, Roleplaying should mean not talking about cars and what have you. I skipped to a RP server after trying a normal server in an effort to avoid the extreme stupidities I saw there.

    It’s weird, but I find it far harder to create a personality or background on WoW than I do on CoH – probably because with WoW you just choose a race and class at the start, while a new hero/villain will have a class, an origin, starting powers, and an entirely designed costume. This just seems to go really well with the whole superhero thing, since it’s really easy to link it, giving ’em a quick “how they got their powers, and why they use them to fight/commit crime” – a fair few of my characters just started with me having a brainwave, liking the look and powers of the result, and playing them for a good few levels. At the moment, my main hero is “Solar Samurai”, basically created when I designed to combine the new (for scrappers) fire defense set with my newly received veteran reward samurai armour costume. I guess it’s just something about the process of creating a character in CoX that encourages me to create a background and origin story for them. After all, superheroes tend to have an origin story of some description (which isn’t so true of fantasy heroes), and I tend to find a personality just emerging from that.

  25. Radio Babylon says:

    ive tried and quit many mmos in the past for exactly this reason. the dumbass factor, i mean, not the lack of RPing. i couldnt care less about RPing, but the glut of dumbasses makes the prospect of playing any mmo utterly unappealing.

    ive lobbied more than once with different mmos to put in some sort of age-limited server. i would cheerfully pay double to play on a server where ONLY players who 35 years old or older (verified by two forms of ID) were allowed to play.

    im sure there are some 35+ year old asshats (i know a few, actually) but i still think such a server would almost completely eliminate the dumbass factor… or at least reduce it to a level i would consider tolerable…

  26. @Radio

    Age does not equal Maturity. Some of the most immature people I’ve ever met were people who should have been old enough to know better.

  27. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Why is sharpfart an implausable name?My father knows a guy whos surename means cunts when translated into english.Now if someone in real world wants to name not just themselves,but all their future offsprings cunts,why would fullofcrap be so reality breaking in a fantasy game?In india(I think its in india)there is a politician named hitler.Yet if someone chose such a name in a MMO game,theyd probably get banned.Reallity is so much more silly and unbelievable than any computer game.

  28. Nixorbo says:

    I’d just like to point out that the speaker in the above screenshot used “your” correctly. So for him that probably involved quite a bit of roleplaying.

  29. Factoid says:

    I used to play an online text-based RPG, which was based around the Amber Diceless Roleplaying game. It’s the closet thing I have to tabletop gaming experience, though I didn’t know it at the time.

    Since it was essentially a telnet environment, there were various different commands used to interact with the players. You had “acts” and “says” and “tells” and “whispers” which could all be seen or heard by varying degrees by those in the room with you, and then you had Out of Character chat such as private messages and groupchats.

    You could have a conversation about character stats and metagame talk, but it was usually apparent to everyone what the in-game characters were aware of vs what players were aware of.

    That was a much different environment, though. There was no real combat, or monsters, very few NPCs. You have character stats and abilities but they simply informed how you would roleplay your character. If you got into a fight with another player character, you could compare stats to see who would come out on top, but roleplaying was always the focus.

  30. Dreamer says:

    I remember that I roleplayed a gnomish drunk in World of Warcraft back when I was 16ish – I don’t think people believed me when I told them my age because of my etiquette and roleplaying skill (I’d had plenty of experience). I think that was the most fun I ever had roleplaying, but the biggest problem with trying to roleplay was the RP cliques. If you aren’t in, you won’t be. It still makes my blood boil.

    Bad experiences aside, I found some good people to hang out with somewhat regularly. It was what I did most of the time, beside try and get a horse (Never did, but I was half-way to exalted). There’s good roleplayers around, you just have to be lucky and find them – It also depends a lot on the server and the city you’re in.

    Good luck finding any.

  31. Cineris says:

    Tabletop Roleplaying: A group of friends and acquaintances playing a game collaboratively, bound by a social contract with the goal of having fun and telling an interesting story.
    Problem: Not everyone has the same ideas on what’s fun or interesting.

    MMO Game: A group of individuals sitting at computers interacting with an automated system designed to get you to continue playing, bound by no common goal or aim except to increase their power in the system by becoming more “leet” from “loot.”
    Problem: Other people.

  32. Jeff says:

    Superhero/villians are easier to RP than fantasy characters.

    Fantasy characters are just people. In a fantasy world.

    Comic book characters, you can easily get in the habit of proclaiming “AHA!” or “SPOOOOON!”

  33. Shamus says:

    Daemian Lucifer: True, you could construct a world where Dwarven names just HAPPEN to translate into infantile nonsense in Common, although that’s not the world Blizzard crated.

    And if you’re going to go that route, then we might as well abandon the whole RP server idea and make them all regular servers, since their rules would be meaningless.

    “Oh you’re named IEatDung?”

    “Yeah. It’s Dwarven for ‘Awesome’.”

    Yeah. I’d just as soon not play with those people.

  34. Sarah says:

    Technically, you’re supposed to report names like that, and in short order, the GMs will force them to change their name.

    In practice, and with the huge number of people playing on any particular server at any particular time, it’s not really practical to go around deleating every lvl 1 idiot, especially if being named “Sharpfart” and hanging around naked in Goldshire is all they’re doing. Most of the time they just rename themselves something arguably worse and call it a new day.

    It’s when they start using the same basic conversational level in /yell in Shattrath that it starts to piss me off. Goldshire is a recognized stupid zone, and everyone knows that. In exchange for not reporting them, I expect them to stay in Goldshire, as much as they can.

    As for RP!

    I build my characters through actual gameplay as well. But, as you play, interesting things happen, that would ordinarily be meaningless. They sort of…translate.

    When my hunter was still in Teldrassil, maybe level….oh, eightish, I think, a Warlock thought it would be hi-larious to set free his only semi-tamed Infernal on the newbie spawn zone.

    If you’ve never had this joke played on you, what happens is that the formerly “friendly” demon, tamed by a warlock runs free, beating on things randomly, usually starting with it’s former master, the warlock. I’m not sure if the rules allowing this to happen have changed, but back then it happened every month or so, randomly.

    This took two minutes of my time, and would otherwise have been an annoying, but basically forgettable experience. But, since I was telling the story of South the Hunter, not just playing the game, this translated to a brutal demon-attack in her childhood.

    ….I guess that’s a long-winded way to say that it’s all how you look at it.

  35. Thom says:

    Shamus, I think your description of RP is quite good. It’s meant to give the players a way of immersing themselves in the world, and really being able to be part of it.
    I know Blizzard meant the RP servers to be something exclusive, but it’s sad that they don’t enforce it anymore. LotRo has a very strict policy on his RP servers, and it’s enforced very strictly. (you can find it here: )
    It doesn’t mean that everything we say is in-character, because that would be pretty much impossible, as you’d never be able to talk about levels, xp, damage, etc… But as a general rule, we keep the “say” chat (the chat that’s visible for all around you), in-character. The fellowship (LotRo equivalent for group), and the kinship (LotRo equivalent for guild) chat channels are almost alway out of character.
    I’m quite glad that Codemasters is so strict about this policy, since it prevents my hunter from running into people like Sharpfart and Fullofcrap. Names like that would probably be banned at character creation, or pretty soon after, as soon as that person walks into someone that reports him. And beware… that’ll happen in less than a day ;)

    Oh, something I haven’t seen you write about, but that came across my mind when reading the policy… The darn gold sellers… Had any experience with them yet in WoW?

  36. Miral says:

    Does WoW have /ooc? So someone can type an OOC comment and have it indicated as such?

    Even on an RP server, there are times when OOC questions are necessary (eg. to ask for help with the game interface, or to debate team strategy in gaming terms rather than RP terms), so something like this would seem essential, I think.

  37. Mengtzu says:

    I suspect that on Kirin Tor and other places there are small communities doing what any tabletop veteran would consider “roleplaying”.

    But they’re doing in /w, /p and /g, so you never see it :)

  38. J Greely says:

    I find there are two basic classes of idiots in WoW: those who can’t tell the difference between Lord of the Rings and Lord of the Flies, and those who insist that choice of character gender must represent either reality or psychosis. There is substantial overlap between the two, and of course they’re rarely capable of writing comprehensible English.

    I’ve found that the easiest way to scare off the inarticulate and the poorly named is to respond to them in another language: “summn 2 shat plz” “sumimasen kedo, eigo wa yoku wakaranai”. Seems only fair, since they’re not speaking English either.


  39. GAZZA says:

    As long as these sorts of ideas were confined to the roleplaying servers, I could see that as being OK. Personally when I was playing I was playing a game – basically Diablo with lots of other people around – and I couldn’t care have cared less what people decided to call themselves, or what nonsense they spouted over chat (as long as it was ignorable, which it was). You can’t break an immersion that never existed in the first place.

    But that’s cool – we’re just looking for different things, and the existing division of PvP, PvE, and RP could be easily utilized so everyone would be happy.

  40. ClearWater says:

    Choosing a name is always the most difficult part of creating a new character for me. That’s why I tend to use real words in a different, not-well-known language. For instance, my gnome is named Kecil, and my hunter is called Pemburu (his pet’s name is Kucing). I had to laugh though when I saw a girl called Kentut.

    As for role-playing, I never know whether my character can actually see those question marks hovering above people’s heads. Or does he just go around asking random people for odd jobs?

    Btw, in Stormwind, try saluting one of the (non-walking) guards.

  41. Glyph says:

    @ ClearWater:

    I’ve always roleplayed that the NPC quest givers don’t actually have ! marks over their heads, but rather that when you see them they maybe staring at you curiously or intently, or are gesturing towards you to come and talk to them. After all, each quest gains you experience and makes you stronger, but the quest givers themselves are aware of your deeds and able to pass on the word to their friends. “Hey, that guy did an amazing job killing all the orcs in the mountains for me. Maybe you should talk to him about that Black Dragon problem you’ve been having!” And voila, you have a quest offered to you.

  42. MadTinkerer says:

    If I recall correctly, there was a very interesting case of a guy having to change his XBox Live Gamertag not that long ago.

    The offending name? DickJohnson (or something like that).

    The guy’s real-life name? Richard “Dick” Johnson.

    One could argue that it’s really his parents’ fault in the first place, though.

  43. Dys says:

    Funny thing is, I know a lot of endgamers, with many alts. People who’ve played the game in depth on half a dozen characters. After a while, you stop thinking very hard about names. Then you get people who name themselves ‘bobslock’ and such.
    As for tanking without a shield, it’s one of those things that really riles me up, because it’s people acting without thinking. Not the tank, but the ones who kicked him. You’re level 14, a shield will have around 5% chance of blocking maybe 5 damage. It’s next to worthless, and yet the ‘tanks must have shields’ mentality prevails regardless. Stop and think before you tell others how to play.

  44. Daemian Lucifer says:


    The name I mentioned doesnt translate to anything awesome in serbian either.It has the same meaning.There are examples of names that translate to something different(pedersen tranlates almost into fag in serbian),but those names you get used to and you probably do see online(dick,for example…Hmm,imagine if you were robert bolls…)

    As for reporting those names,Ive moderated a browser based game once,and we had a habit of monthly sweeping for insulting names.Names similar to fag,usuck,etc,were just warned to change,but harder insult like mikeisanass were banned without warnings(for different periods of time,of course).But names like idiot,moron,etc remained,because they didnt insulte anyone(except the creator,of course).Im sure WoW has similar treatment,but considering the number of players and different ethnicities of them,there are so many different ways to get away with an insulting name,thus you sure will witness a lot of them.However,that doesnt mean that you shouldnt report such names,because its not futile.Sure,there will be loads more,but at least you will help to clean a portion of them.

  45. Cthulhu says:

    A few of the guilds on my server:
    For Her Pleasure
    Dont Drop the Soap
    Giant Throbbing Clock

    I would hate to see their guild chats…

  46. Zukhramm says:

    Roleplaying in WoW can be alot of fun, but the problem is, there is allways people disagreeing with your ways of roleplaying. In a tabletop game this would be easy to solve since the number of player is so low that issues can be discussed and agreed on, with a guild of 40 players it is harder, and on a server with hundreds of players impossible.

    Derek K manages to point out one interesting thing, that MMORPGs are games first and roleplaying second. Does it have to be like this? Actually, is there an MMORPG that does away with the tank/healer/DPS completley? I would like that.

  47. Bryan says:

    Yeah, Sickbag was mine. Funny thing is, he’s the only character I ever roleplayed even a little bit, and that little bit was limited to a few funny emotes I’d use mostly when running instances with my buddy. I realize Sickbag isn’t exactly a classy RP name, but there are much worse offenders out there. I found it ironic that he was both the only character of mine I had any sort of personality for and the only character Blizzard made me rename. His name became Generic and his personality became that he didn’t have one. “Generic stands idly by and does nothing. He yet to say or do anything memorable.”

    I chose an RP server because it was as far removed from the PVP servers as possible. PVP servers are peopled by competitive folks, a group of people who seem to have a higher concentration of asshats. I’m a D&D player, and I think trying to actually roleplay in a mmo is pretty lame. My wife, however, runs a RP-oriented guild that has existed for more than a year and been pretty successful.

    Coincidentally this is all on the Kirin Tor server as well. Horde side.

  48. Jeff says:

    That would be a graphical chatroom… Second Life?

  49. Zaxares says:

    Ironically I’ve never, ever had a satisfactory RP encounter on any MMO game. By their nature, most modern MMOs center around repetitive actions of going out, killing monsters, getting loot, buying better gear, and repeating. They tend to be fast-paced and action-oriented, which makes it quite difficult to actually get good roleplaying in outside of towns and taverns. This means that I only ever get to roleplay during ‘downtimes’ back in town, which makes me feel like I’m missing out on half the experience.

    I’ve basically given up on actually trying to roleplay in MMOs. I just enjoy them for the fantasy action mayhem that it is. (As well as getting a good laugh at the infantile behavior of various morons and retards filling places like Goldshire.) When I REALLY want to roleplay, I turn to my tabletop gaming group, forum-based roleplay groups and games like Neverwinter Nights instead.

  50. Picador says:

    What’s wrong with “Sharpfart”? Am I the only Mervyn Peake fan here? I prefer the world of Gormenghast to any other medieval-fantasy world in literature, Middle Earth included, and I don’t think I’m alone in this regard: I think it’s a safe bet that the Shivering Isles in Oblivion are strongly influenced by Peake, as are the Harry Potter novels. And it seems to me that a character named “Sharpfart” could easily find a home in the same world as Steerpike, Titus Groan, Flay, Prunesquallor, and Swelter; or, for that matter, among Dumbledore, Cornelius Fudge, Hufflepuff, and Neville Longbottom.

    What characters from Shakespeare or Dickens would get kicked off this server? Pistol? Bottom? Mistress Quickly? Hotspur? Fezziwig? Pecknsniff? The Artful Dodger?

    Yeesh. Give me a Sharpfart anyday before yet another “Eleandoranalanabingbong, Eleven Fairy Mistress”.

    PS – Ditto for “Sickbag”.

  51. RibbitRibbit says:

    Paying extra for no-silly-names-server? Why not the other way round, eh? Wanna be a “Druiddidurmom” then pay extra, kid.

  52. Mr. Son says:

    NO WAY. You’re on Kirin Tor? I joined WoW finally because you’d been talking about it, and completely by accident picked the same server you’re on?

    …If you see a dwarf hunter named Tyrgleu running by with a snow leopard pet, that’s me! I hope I see you in-game sometime so I can say hi.

    On names, I don’t get bothered by anything that’s not blatantly offensive. Something with a misspelled racial slur, for example. I mean, if someone wants to call themselves “Duckbuttaxechop” or whatever… It’s easier to laugh at the silly person who honestly wanted to use that as the first impression people would get of him than to get annoyed. Why get angry anyway over other people being silly in a game? *Shrug* Takes too much energy that I’d rather spend on getting to level 35 so I can get artisan level fishing.

    (Also, on turning growl off… Could someone tell me how to? It hasn’t been a problem yet since I solo using my pet as a tank, but I’ll need to know in the future…)

  53. Urzl Gurzl says:

    While playing Everquest my friends and I left The Obsidian Circle of Power on some rather bad terms. They were a roleplaying guild, supposedly, and as such my circle of friends kept their “Anon” tags up in the name of immersion. In real life people don’t walk around with nametags telling you their professions, so why would I do that in roleplay? Anyone who’s roleplaying and wants to know would ask in-character.

    It was, somehow, much more important for the Obsidian Circle to keep tabs on all of their members than it was to actually play together, know one another and have fun. After considerable discussion and trash talking on the part of the guild’s founder, we left and never looked back. It’s really shaped my view/approach to in-game player associations pretty strongly. I may never be a member of a high-level raiding guild, but I will never be subject to contradictory (and unstated) rules and policies either.

    As a side note, they apparently still exist. I just recently started in EQ 2 and ran into one of their members.

  54. Septyn says:

    @ Mr. Son:

    Any of the pet “auto” features, the icons with the glowing border, can be toggled by right-clicking on them.

    Turning off growl is good advice. Turning off Aspect of the Pack before pulling in The Eye is better advice. ::blush::

  55. Joe Cool says:

    I’m too busy lazy to read through all the comments to see if someone has already posted this information, so apologies if its redundant.

    RP servers have very strict name requirements. Anything that doesn’t fit is subject to being changed by a GM. That being said, the GMs don’t go around looking for inappropriate names””they’re far too busy trying to meet their 80-petition-a-day quota. However, if you report someone with a name that doesn’t fit, the GMs will most likely force them to change it.

    Something similar goes for the normal servers as well. While they don’t enforce quite so strict a naming policy, you could probably report, and get changed, “Druiddidurmom”, even on a normal server.

  56. FlameKiller says:

    on the topic of names i always try to have realistic names. of course i have no idea of proper olde age names. so i make it up as i go along. my best characters are all on the Magtheradon realm. on the goldshire post before, Yes the Barrens is the Goldshire of the Horde. you could say it is Barren of intellect. though on that realm the insanity seems to be declining. i have never played on a rollplaying server, but i think i might try, now that you said there are less idiots. good luck and enjoy. i might see you in september.

  57. Zerosignal says:

    I don’t like the idea that to find people who will actually roleplay on a RP server, you have to actively search for one. When i go onto a PVP server, i don’t have to look for a fight, the fight comes to me. So why do I have to look for people who actually roleplay on a RP server? this is, of course, 100% the fault of the players, not the game itself. I just find it ironic that a RPG has a separate servers for people who want to RP. It’s a RPG to begin with!

    I play on a normal server, where if you even attempt to stay in character, you will simply get laughed at and then ignored. It’s a strange thing to be laughed at for roleplaying in an RPG…that’s like being made fun of for shooting people in a WWII game.

    When it comes to names, most of the fantasy names i see are loosely based on existing fantasy characters anyway, so i treat them as if they were the character’s nicknames rather than actual names. After all, you can’t even give yourself a last name (let alone a middle one), so thinking of it as a nickname or code name makes much more sense to me.

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