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Yeldir Melfusor

RPing in hostile territory: A field guide to looking good and rolling with punches.

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[align=center]Foreward:[/align]

 

This guide is specifically intended to the benefit of the Gilgamesh community, who have the heavy task on their shoulders of finding acceptance and a balance of quality and accessibility on an (over)populous server with no shortage of trolly types.  In its writing, I am drawing on the experience of being both a roleplayer and a troll.  (You won't catch me doing the latter in FFXIV, because it's got a great community, one that'll never replicate the terrors of Goldshire.  And anyway, I'm a little old for that kind of shenanigan.  Honestly.  Promise!)

 

But I've been on both sides of this fence, and I'm going to tell you exactly how to defuse the ticking misconceptions regarding roleplayers here, and how to best desensitize trolls to their own sense of amusement at what they do. 

 

This little field guide in videogame psychology may be directed at Gilgamesh, but it could be useful to just about anyone.

 

 


 

[align=center]Chapter 1:  Avoid bad by looking good.[/align]

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There are four major negative stereotypes that your average player holds over people who like to roleplay.  They are all real, and they all started somewhere.  I'm going to go over each one of The Big 4, and how you can present yourself (and by proxy, your community) in a light that banishes the negative expectations some people may have of us. 

 

By breaking the major stereotypes over our knee, we will find ourselves increasingly accepted, and by doing this, our community will grow in size from new recruits, and in quality from a reduction in hostile encounters.  On Gilgamesh, especially, the burden of proof is on us, not them.  As Spock always said, "The needs of the many, outweigh the needs of the few."  Like it or not, if we're going to have a good time on Gilgamesh, that's how we're going to have to think.  On to the stereotypes, and what you can do to erase them!

 

 

Stereotype #1:  "Roleplayers get in the way of how I want to play."

We've all heard the stories - mixed raid groups disrupted by in character chat, group members wearing the wrong gear, or refusing to use certain abilities when they're needed most.  We all know these cases are an extreme minority, but they happen, and that's got to stop.

 

What you can do to stop it?  Understand when your immersion cuts into theirs.  When you are in a "mixed" style party, with roleplayers and non-roleplayers, drop your character.  Completely.  When you are in a dungeon, raid, or fate, every other player is counting on you to play the game as rapidly and efficiently as possible, with a minimum of thees and thous.  Every single act of roleplay in these environments slows their efforts, and in extreme cases (such as raids), actually endangers groups and patience with wipes.  If you want to experience gameplay content in character, form groups exclusively for that purpose.  Never, ever roleplay when it can detract from the experience of the people you're with.  Do not expect them to understand what you are doing.  Yes.  I am asking you to sacrifice your immersion and present yourself with humility.  You will be rewarded for it when the people you do this for don't show up at your character's wedding for a surprise Blizzard 2 snowstorm.

 

 

Stereotype 2:  "Roleplayers are cybering weirdos, and ERP grosses me out."

I'm not going to weigh in on the vices and virtues(?) of ERP.  That's not what this is about - rather, it is necessary that we recognize that a sizable body of people view this facet of roleplay with extreme contempt, and that there is nothing we can do to change how they view this form of RP.

 

What can you do to alleviate this contempt, then?  Do not ever engage in any kind of sexually-charged writing or action in public channels.  Keep it behind closed doors under all circumstances.  This does not merely apply to actual character-on-character intercourse, but any form of content that could be taken as sexual, or a prelude to, in-character sexuality.  Do not publicly describe your character's sexually enticing features in public channels.  Do not make sexually exciting advances on other characters in public channels.  Even limit casual affection, like hugs and friendly pecks on the cheek.  The most innocent of gestures can and will be perceived as the actions of a demented community.  That is unfair, yes.  There is no way to convince these people to respect your right to play and write as you see fit.  There is only damage control.  You can still play how you want to, but it must be seen only by people who want to see it.  If people who don't like ERP don't see it, it can't irritate them.  That's the bottom line.

 

 

Stereotype #3:  "Roleplayers spend so much time RPing that they never learn the game."

This one is used as an excuse to moan about roleplayers even when they show up to progression-related events out of character.  If you're a known RP'er, some knuckleheads are going to assume that you're bad, with absolutely no inkling of your true hidden power to be good at videogames.

 

What can you do about this ridiculous presumption?  Heh, well.  Be damn good.  Know your classes, come to raids with all applicable consumables, ask about how to beat any encounter you haven't done yet, and, when the people around you are struggling, be a leader.  If you're not the kind of person who likes this kind of powergaming, don't attend progression oriented raids and dungeon runs.  Gilgamesh is going to have a big and somewhat snotty progression community.  There's going to be a few firestorms.  Don't get involved unless you like to play their game exactly how they play it.  If they don't feel like we're holding their progression back in some way, they have less motivation to come after us and spoil our fun, and they will be more welcoming to those of us who want to raid with them. 

 

But there's one more stereotype that needs eviscerating, and it may be the socially destructive of them all.

 

 

Stereotype #4:  "Roleplayers are isolationists.  They don't play well with others because they look down on them.  They think their RPs make their gameplay more meaningful than my own."

 

Root of the other three, I'm convinced.  The core of all our struggles, I am convinced.  Allow me to explain:  those first three stereotypes all have one thing in common.  They hint at perceived lack of respect, on behalf of the roleplay community, towards everyone else.  I know that must of us don't feel that way, at least not consciously, but, after an enthralling three hour session of creative writing where new friendships are forged, old enemies are unearthed, and you and your friends are taken down a corridor of twists and surprises, how would you really see Joe Average sitting down with a six pack and spending exactly the same amount of time killing the same boss over and over again with his bros, just to get a footgear item that pushed his stamina up three points?  A footgear item that he was going to replace in a few days, anyway?  When you compare what you're doing to what he's doing, do you find what he's doing just a bit banal or wanting?

 

If you do, please don't.  We're here to have fun.  What he does for fun and what we do for fun  - these things are beyond, even removed from, merit and validity.

 

So there it is.  If you respect the people you're playing with, regardless of motivation or interest or even intelligence, and respect their right to decide what is and isn't fun for them, suddenly it becomes unethical, or at least deeply impolite, to break out into a soliloquy mid-raid about the dragon that killed your father, if you're with people who are just there to get loot.  There's a lot of people like that on Gilgamesh, and you can expect to play with them.  Expect to have to give a lot of respect to them before they realize they should be returning it.  Don't expect to be respected first.  There's a lot of bad blood that need scrubbing.

 

 

That's the big four.  Remember that we are being collectively judged based on the worst actions of a few of us.  When one person behaves like their roleplay owns the place, or what have you, the entire RP community looks bad to everyone involved, the friends they tell, and their pet dog.  Your actions as a single person have a rippling impact on how much fun we all have on Gilgamesh.  Speaking of "we"...

 

 


 

[align=center]Chapter 2:  Inclusive includes everybody.

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[align=left]We've got a lot of events planned for Gilgamesh.  A lot of us going there are fans of what they call "tavern rp" nowadays.  Show up in character, interact in character, and then go home with or without becoming involved in a complex or specific storyline.  This is going to serve an incredibly vital purpose on Gilgamesh - it gives curious Redditers and the like an opportunity to poke their head in the door without having to worry about becoming invested in anything, or being condemned by us for just goofing off in the "tavern".

 

Now, if you're not a fan of tavern RP, and you like strong, directed storylines without distractions and goofing about, what you do for fun is your business.  Look at these public events as entry level RP.  You'll eventually find people who have the interest and the time for the stories you want to tell and hear.  To that end, tavern events are valuable.  They produce recruits, a small few of which you're going to want in your linkshells.  This is just one reason to support these events, by supplying yourself or your time, even if you don't personally care for them.

 

There is a much larger reason that we should all care deeply about public roleplay events with no entry requirements.  These events will be our "face" to the server.  This is how new players are going to see us in action.  If they see us banging out amusing events like beach parties, auctions, bazaars, exploration expeditions into seldom toured-territory, theater presentations, and all that other good stuff that is fundamentally public in nature, and they feel like they're welcome, in or even out of character, we have successfully provoked their interest, while making them feel comfortable.

 

Let me go over that again.  I said welcome people out of character, to publically arranged events for which we will all be in character.  Let that sink in for a moment. 

 

Consider the Renaissance Faire phenomenon.  Ask yourself where the good ones get all their shining knights, splendid lords, beautiful ladies, capering jesters, and many lovable peasants.  All in character to some extent, and most of them enjoying themselves, even as they're surrounded by screaming children and discarded smoked turkey legs.  You'd think at first glance, that event would be so much more enjoyable if everyone had to be in character to attend.  But where did the people who are in character (and enjoying it) come from in the first place?  They came from that laughing, belching crowd of tourists.  You take them away, and there are no more knights, no more lords or ladies, no more jesters, and the peasants will all be talking like "hey dood wtf", again.  We all started in that crowd, in some shape or form.

 

And that's why I'm asking all of you to seriously consider welcoming and interacting (in character) with people who are there to gawk.  If we're fun and inclusive, we will be pulling fresh stories, new characters, and longtime friends out of the crowd.

 

The alternative is to ignore them, or tell them to get lost.  (Same thing, really.)  This is an automatic declaration of internet war.  It's not one we'd win.  Public events would need to be private, and making private events public would quickly become a popular sport.

 

So I say to you, make public events truly public.  I mean John Q Public.  Require nothing of the people who attend, and offer them your best.  Treat them in exactly the same way you treat others in character.  Be creative, be humorous, and be fun.

 

Yet we all know that there's just no pleasing some people. 

 

 


 

[align=center]Chapter 3:  Beneath the bridge, they wait.[/align]

 

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[align=left]You've been inclusive, you attend raids with a well-known progression guild, who are glad to have your skills, you're been respectful to everything that can blink, and you've forced your character and your wants on no one.  And now, here comes ten guys who don't give a crap, to treat you two three solid hours of Blizzard 2 and personal harassment.  That is as bogus as it gets. 

 

It's on the horizon for each and every one of us.

 

Dealing with the kind of person who can press their 5 key and nothing else for three straight hours, and derive some kind of satisfaction form this, really requires some kind of hitherto unknown psychology degree.  Jerkology, or something.

 

Good news!  The Doctor is in.  I am a Jerkologist.  I was born a jerk, and made a career of self-study out of it.  I've done some extremely jerky things.  I've macro'ed quite a few rude emotes, and pressed their buttons many, many times.  I know exactly why I did it, and I know exactly why our hypothetical ten bullies are doing it, and what will actually cause them to stop.  And that isn't an easy thing to muster up, unfortunately for us.[/align]

 

[align=left]We must discuss their motive.  There's only one, really, and it drives everything they say and do.  They want to make you unhappy.  This makes them happy.  Worse still, roleplayers have a reputation for being among the internet's most enjoyable targets, as how highly they value immersion and community makes them deeply susceptible to distraction and alienation.

 

Beyond that, there is no hidden premise, no event in anyone's past that drives them to bully.  This desire is a primal weakness of the human species, and it has no cure, and no solution.  There is only damage control.  There are three main ways to go about this.  The most effective method is also the most difficult and requires the most patience and good humor.

 

The Primary Strategy:

Effective damage control against trolling sounds a little bit like the after-school special nonsense that bullies the world over love for making passive, easily abused targets.  It's simple in theory, but very difficult to put into practice - don't let them think they can get a rise out of you.

 

It's all about what they think, in this case.  How you actually feel has very little bearing on their actions, when you compare it to how they see you react to the harassment.  Habitual troll communities only become dislodged when they become bored.  Your goal is to cultivate a sense of disinterest by presenting a very specific set of reactions towards trolling, that I have designed based on my own experiences as an RP-crashing dirtbag.  Here's how it goes down:

 

When a troll initially approaches, one or two of your number must neutrally acknowledge him (or them) as an equal and a bro.  Drop character and say hello in an informal or humorous manner.  "What up" or "Howdy" or "How's the loot table treatin' ya'?"  or one of my personal favorites "Is it cold in here, or is it just me? lol" (which is a response to ten guys casting blizzard 2).  Do not use brackets or any "OOC' modifier.  Talk like they do when interacting with them.  Do not talk in any manner that could be construed as angry or unhappy.

 

This demonstrates two extremely important things.  Firstly, that you are not intimidated by their presence, and secondly, that you are not afraid of dropping character/having your immersion broken.  If they think you're upset that they're there, they automatically win, and they will follow you all day, every day.  If they think you're upset that your precious immersion was smudged, they'll smudge it some more.  They cannot think, even for a moment, that you're bothered by them. 

 

This is why you must not ignore them until after the greeting, and after that, one or two of you need to still demonstrate a casual awareness of their presence from time to time.  If you can't even be bothered to say hello, they know their presence is unwelcome and upsetting.  You must also never, under any circumstances, ask them to stop what they are doing.  Do not say please.  Do not threaten, do not attempt to intimidate or reason with them.  Asking in any way for them to stop is a sign that they are hurting you, and a single instance of this from a single member of your event or rp is all they need to sustain an all-day trollathon.

 

At this point, after the crucial informal greeting, proceed as if absolutely nothing unusual is going on.  If they ask any questions or take any actions that would under normal circumstances grab your attention, react normally, out of character.  Act casual, answer questions.  Then seemlessly slip back into character, as if nothing had happened.  (Yeah, I know going without OOC symbols is a technical hassle, but your friends will know what goes where.)  If you are insulted, respond with either amusement or "eh'?"-style bewilderment.  Don't bother insulting back, even if you have a really good quip.  Taking insults in a way that makes you seem not merely impervious to them but disinterested as well is a bit of an art, but it is the conversational equivalent of one of those scenes where somebody punches Vegeta clear on in the face, and he very nearly fails to notice.  You can't merely declare the old sticks and stones line.  (Indeed, that would acknowledge hurt, and therefore ruin the entire strategy.)  You have to act out how it would look if it were actually true, even if it isn't.

 

Now, they're not really going to believe what they're seeing, at first.  And I mean that literally - they're going to think (perhaps correctly) that you're just pretending to be tough.  You've got to keep pretending in a way that seems disinterested, and does not challenge.  Trolls love a challenge.

 

But they also bore easily.  They will eventually move on.  This could be in ten minutes, an hour, or a month.  You're in it for the long haul, but when you pull this off, you legitimately surprise them.  (I only ran into this two or three times back in my old stomping grounds, but when I did, I was forced to conclude that those guys had real balls.  There's no trolling that.)  Remember that this is essentially a battle of psychology and presentation.  You're doing everything in your power to make them feel like you don't mind their presence, and that they could spend the next month of their FFXIV gaming harassing your group without without ever once feeling in control of your game experience.  When that really sinks in, they often don't merely hit the road - they start to think of you as "all right".   That may be worthless to you personally, but people have got to admire moxie, y'know?

 

The second means of dealing with party crashers: 

If you and your companions don't have the time or the sanity left to appear as untouchable coolguys, leave without a word.  Don't ask them to stop, not even once.  Don't express anger.  Disperse and re-form elsewhere.  Do this as often as necessary.  Unfortunately, this method is not applicable when it comes to public events, as dispersion = destruction.  But for individual or private roleplay groups, this is a good way to eliminate intolerable distractions.  If they follow you, consider moving to an instance that is locked to your group.  With the whole lot them blacklisted, and with your group off in another dimension, so to speak, the fight is over.

 

They'll be waiting for you, though.  It is better to be seem untouchable.  Better still to be untouchable.

 

 

The third means of dealing with trolling, harassment in particular:

It's simple, elegant, has no downside, has no special requirements of endurance or psyche, and it takes the fight to their turf, and puts them on the defensive.

 

Screenshot and report every single instance of harassment.  Have everyone in your group do this, every time, all the time.  Never let the people you're reporting know that you're reporting them, as that would be a sign that they're bothering you.  We've all seen "reported" and laughed at it hundreds of times.  Reporting seldom works in a way that we can feel a sense of satisfaction from.  Moderators and gamemasters almost never tell victims of harassment cases anything beyond that it is being investigated or that appropriate action was taken (which can mean no action was deemed necessary!).  But when it does work, you take people out of the game.  In a pay to play mmo, they're forfeiting money invested as well as time, when they're temporarily banned.  If they're nasty enough, and insert racism or that kind of thing, they risk losing their characters forever.  This does not improve the community's perception of roleplayers, but it it will occasionally snare an unfortunate troll with consequences to their actions - something they're never ready to deal with.

 

Do it!  Report harassment every single time it happens.  Never shrug your shoulders and "meh", because you don't get to see the results.  When a flood of ten or fifteen harassment reports regarding a single event hit a gamemaster, from individual paying accounts, they will investigate.  When the same individual(s) implicated in these reports begin to rack up harassment reports, they (the trolls) become a perceived threat to the ultimate bottom line in any MMORPG community:  money.  That's when the bans start.

 

...

 

You'll note that at no point do I mention usage of the ignore feature.   This is because it is imperfect.  Ignoring someone is a valid way of eliminating conversation, but it does not stop harassment.  Ignore can't stop the visual consequences of emote or spell spam, nor against a posse of five or ten or thirty men who underpants dance through somber occasions, or arranging characters to depict crude nazi signs, or any of the other dozens of ways I can think of to aggravate people who have me blocked. 

 

 


 

 

[align=center]So concludes my little manual on being good and dealing with bad.  I hope you find it useful.[/align]

 

[align=center]TL;DR?

BE NICE. BE WELCOMING.  BE TOUGH.

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Great post to help people cope with being bullied online I think. :)

 

I definitely agree with ShadowRyuu in saying that the best way to deal with trolls is to straight up ignore them and continue roleplaying. Don't respond. Don't even act like they're there. There's nothing they can do to actually mess your roleplay up, aside from spamming chat perhaps. But even that can be countered by blocking and reporting. You can't stop them from dancing in their underwear, but 90% of roleplaying is text based anyway. Who cares!

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I definitely agree with ShadowRyuu in saying that the best way to deal with trolls is to straight up ignore them and continue roleplaying. Don't respond. Don't even act like they're there. There's nothing they can do to actually mess your roleplay up, aside from spamming chat perhaps. But even that can be countered by blocking and reporting. You can't stop them from dancing in their underwear, but 90% of roleplaying is text based anyway. Who cares!

 

Lack of acknowledgement is frequently seen as both an admission of being troubled by their actions and a challenge to be more intrusive.  I hope you don't mind me saying so, but we've all had it good on Balmung, in regards to trolling.  1.0 was seen as so bad that it couldn't hold the kind of players that really organize their efforts when it comes to disrupting roleplay.

 

The people joining Gilgamesh contain a social element that is for more persistent, toxic, and aggressive, than anything we've seen in FF14 so far.  They will find ways to escalate any encounter they see as challenging, and there will be far greater numbers of them than we are used to coping with.  I genuinely believe the stone-wall strategy will prove largely ineffective in dissuading these individuals.

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I definitely agree with ShadowRyuu in saying that the best way to deal with trolls is to straight up ignore them and continue roleplaying. Don't respond. Don't even act like they're there. There's nothing they can do to actually mess your roleplay up, aside from spamming chat perhaps. But even that can be countered by blocking and reporting. You can't stop them from dancing in their underwear, but 90% of roleplaying is text based anyway. Who cares!

 

Lack of acknowledgement is frequently seen as both an admission of being troubled by their actions and a challenge to be more intrusive.  I hope you don't mind me saying so, but we've all had it good on Balmung, in regards to trolling.  1.0 was seen as so bad that it couldn't hold the kind of players that really organize their efforts when it comes to disrupting roleplay.

I have got to agree with this.

 

Ignoring the trolls is easy, yeah, but it's hardly effective at getting them to leave, and it definitely isn't as satisfying as making them lose.

 

I've ignored my share of rp trolls, but I've never had so much fun with getting rid of trolls as when I turn them into my personal waifus.  I've even made a few friends out of said trolls that way. :3

(Super nice to see I'm not the only one to use the more aggressive tactics. ;D)

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Nothing wrong with having a different view on how to deal with them. :)

 

I just personally don't want to stop to take the time to screenshot/talk with them in any way since that does allow them to win by disrupting my roleplay. I haven't been able to play in any of the betas on Balmung yet, so I'll have to take your word for it! This is coming from my personal experience with trolls on other games. And in my experience, completely ignoring them does make them leave. As far as making them lose, meh. Like I said. I'd rather roleplay than go through the hassle of pausing and starting up a conversation with them or screenshotting stuff.

 

But then again, I have pretty thick skin! Spell bombing and whatnot doesn't bug me.

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Wow, what an excellent thread! :surprise:

A thread about proper cobra venom's antidote written by a former cobra turned cobra-tamer, how cool is that!

 

I've ignored my share of rp trolls, but I've never had so much fun with getting rid of trolls as when I turn them into my personal waifus.  I've even made a few friends out of said trolls that way. :3

(Super nice to see I'm not the only one to use the more aggressive tactics. ;D)

 

Interesting, please do enlighten us in more details with this passive-aggressive technique of yours!

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Just wanted to touch on the events and tavern rp part.

 

 

Sir you hit it right on the head. The very reason why I like tavern rp and am running lighthearted events. Bottom line is that unfortunately we will have to do the majority of our recruiting from the server itself, with people who don't come here and many who are trying roleplaying for the first time, so I absolutely agree about the more accessible events that you can come along to even if you are not in character. I've also found that if you gently pull people along while in character they sometimes (not always) will make an attempt at being in character themselves. Anybody can play in character taking a plate of food, getting a prize from a competition, having fun on the beach and getting a glass of orange juice or doing quest rp that benefits them. Those little things help make it not too hard to jump into rp and its always easier to show them instead of telling them.

 

One thing I also want to add everyone from my experiences on Gilga during beta is that you will run into ALOT of lurkers. some of them with names that rpers will automatically block - please please please don't do this.

 

    During the last phase I had a group from a very non rp guild engage in rudimentary roleplaying it was honestly adorable. The situations was a group of friends and some new people we just met were rping in the Quicksand during this time I realized we built up a sizable following of Lalafell who were literally watching us like a bunch of kids watching a show. One of them made a comment "this is better than television!" and right there I knew I had my chance. I offered that one a chance to join in if he wants and he said "um maybe next time" and I told him "sure".

       

     Eventually some of our group had to leave, so he joined in along with some of his friends, my character got him some drinks and his character eventually got drunk, another one of his friends began to rp as the waiter and brought my own character KFC. Now at this point some rpers would give them that nudge of not playing to lore or something (that Is if they got that far). The waiter put up one of the chocobo hatchlings on the table and talked about how the KFC was ready to eat. My character reacted "you said this KFC was freshly fried, did you mean that it was fried fresh cause its still alive! I don't know what this KFC is but I'm not sure I want it anymore".

 

Now again I want to reiterate that this group had the names that roleplayers would absolutely cringe at. Many would probably have blacklisted them upon seeing them. I recommend not doing this. By giving a fun entry level rp experience you do several things:

 

A. Take off the stigma of roleplayers being exclusivist jerks. We have so many problems both real and perceived on a server like Gilgamesh already that this one is not one that we need to have. The more people think the rpers are cool, the more people are willing to leave them alone as mentioned in this thread, and the more people are willing to give it a try, and that is exactly what we want because as I mentioned the majority of our recruiting from Gilgamesh will be from the server itself with people who just don't come to this site. I know many roleplayers are not teachers by nature, but if you are going to Gilgamesh guess what? You may have to be a teacher at one point or another if you are a veteran roleplayer so you may really want to think about your decision.

 

B. Give them the benefit of the doubt.

 

C. Pull more potential roleplayers into the fun of rp. That day there were about fifteen Lalafell in that group. Even if -one- of them became a light roleplayer you've done your job and people are more willing to participate in something if one of their friends is doing it.

 

That day I told the group that if they want to try it out again in phase 4 just to hit me up and we can.

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I've bookmarked this topic. Thank you for the suggestions. This has been my primary road block with wanting to RP in MMOs. I'll be blunt, I'm spoiled when it comes to immersive RP environment because in NWN2 you could dictate the environment and simply server ban someone who suddenly decides to think the rules of etiquette doesn't apply to them or cheat, godmode etc. That's why we were so protective of our server password. Again, appreciate the effort.

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I just personally don't want to stop to take the time to screenshot/talk with them in any way since that does allow them to win by disrupting my roleplay.

 

This is my attitude, though if the griefing is particularly bad, I'll make note of the date/time and location of the occurrence and file a ticket later. Screenshots are generally not useful, as the GMs have all the information they need as long as you give them the proper date/time/etc to search the logs for - and screenshots can, of course, be doctored, so GMs tend to not pay any attention to them even if they are provided.

 

A simple /block and then I go on about my business. Turn down the sound if I have to, and I'm very skilled at just flat out ignoring spell effects and stuff.

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Random trolls are always people driven by instant gratification. As such, if they get no quick acknowledgement that they are being bothersome, they will leave.

I have yet to run into an instance where a troll decides to stay because we aren't paying attention to him, because that's their only goal: to get their disruption acknowledged. If you acknowledge them, they will continue to be disruptive, creating a terrible never-ending circle of 'I'm disruptive because I'm acknowledged because I'm disrupitve!'.

Even trolls with a 'personal grudge', so to call it, will stop their actions when their actions get no feedback.

 

The first method described in the OP to deal with them is a form of 'damage control'. While I cannot say how useful or useless it is in practice, I think its akin to taking a hammer and hitting the walls of your house because some vandals were about to. It might drive them off or it might not. But in both cases now you have a damaged wall.

The second method is a tactical retreat. That can work if trolling is particularly obnoxious for some reason, but by retreating you are basically allowing their disruption to affect you. They 'won', in a sense.

The third method is the best, but doesn't deal with them on the moment which is, I think, the real issue people have with trolls: how to deal with them on the precise moment the trolling is happening.

 

At the end, I find the first two methods ineffective: they are allowing the troll to succesfully disrupt your roleplay. I think it's best to just ignore them completely. I have yet to personally see random trolls to stay for more than a minute after blocking them.

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Very useful guide for any newbie starting on any server, as Bal and Gil both have their own griefers. Honestly it's the same in all servers, but from what I've found it's not too bad.

 

Not to say you won't come across all these examples, but they do tend to leave you alone once in a while. I prefer /group chat right off the bat in high population areas and I suggest using it for the first month when you're around the cities, particularly around Aetherytes and such. The game is going to be so full, and people will be SWARMING, as they always have in Alpha/Beta, around these areas.

 

I'd say after a month, not only does population go down, but people start dispersing and doing things. In 1.0 it was always busy around Ul'Dah's Mercantile area, but that's generally because there was nothing to do but LFG for three different primals or three different dungeons, depending on what you needed. With ARR, the Duty Finder makes it so you can be anywhere lfg, and not have to be in a central location to shout what group you're looking for. The trolls should be more out and about, doing things a bit more often.

 

Or...I could be lieing =X. It's really hard to tell what they'll do, but never be discouraged by them!

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I'm not sure I agree with any of this. It makes RP seem like some back alley shadow thing we have to hype up and make seem cool so the big kids don't pick on us.

 

The whole thing could be summed up as "HIDE (unless your being a bro and your rp is for the lulz, then it's cool)."

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Those of you who express distaste for, or don't think the problem will be serious enough to require these kinds of measures, you have chosen the right server for you. I don't think Balmung will see a whole lot of trouble.

 

I'm quite certain that Gilgamesh will, which is why I wrote this with Gilgamesh in mind. And I stand by every single one of my statements as both tactful and necessary in the coming environment. If you don't believe that, that's all right. You don't need to, if you won't be playing primarily on Gilgamesh.

 

If you will be playing on Gilgamesh, and you don't like what you've read here, I implore you, give it a week, or a month, and then read this again. This document might suddenly make a great of sense, particularly after you've encountered the variety of troll that has hitherto been unwilling to play FF14.

 

There's a certain psychological profile - selfish, vain, impatient, mostly - that couldn't stomach 1.0 longer than a week. This kind of person has been responsible for the perpetual souring of roleplay communities in certain other popular MMO's. These people are going to enjoy 2.0, and when they crash RP's, they are both organized and persistent in a way that, if you haven't been in TERA or WoW or the like lately, will shock you.

 

If you simply cannot believe this stormy forecast, you need to merely glance at the open beta thread in sig. That is the "lowest common denominator" of Gilgamesh, and if we do not immediately improve the perceptions those very people have of us, the Gilgamesh RP community will find itself adrift in foul waters.

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I've been RPing in TERA for like a year now, and all the griefers I have run into lost interest and left after a minute of me not acknowledging them. Even after it went F2P. I do not think your solutions to trolling in chapter 3 will do anything more than disrupt the roleplay.

 

I'm not disagreeing with what is told on the other chapters, mind. I particularly agree with 'don't roleplay in an instance/party unless everyone agrees to'.

It's just with the solutions with trolling that I have problems with.

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Indeed? I have done my best to design my strategy based on personal experience, and what attitudes myself and my peers found the least exciting to antagonize. I can say with total sincerity that myself - and the kind of people I did this with - took the silent treatment as a challenge to find novel ways of intrusion and disruption.

 

I'm hesitant to reveal more details about this, as it might paint me as a character who doesn't belong in any roleplay community.

 

Your problems with my method(s), I've noticed, all seem to stem from the belief that simply ignoring these characters causes them to go away. Perhaps our experiences have led us to believe differently, because we have seen different results to the same strategy.

 

If my countermeasures prove unnecessary, my reaction would be one of both relief and unmixed pleasure. I hope you're correct in your assessment, actually! It is so much simpler when they just go away.

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Those of you who express distaste for, or don't think the problem will be serious enough to require these kinds of measures, you have chosen the right server for you.  I don't think Balmung will see a whole lot of trouble.

 

I'm quite certain that Gilgamesh will, which is why I wrote this with Gilgamesh in mind.  And I stand by every single one of my statements as both tactful and necessary in the coming environment.  If you don't believe that, that's all right.  You don't need to, if you won't be playing primarily on Gilgamesh.

 

If you will be playing on Gilgamesh, and you don't like what you've read here, I implore you, give it a week, or a month, and then read this again.  This document might suddenly make a great of sense, particularly after you've encountered the variety of troll that has hitherto been unwilling to play FF14.  

 

There's a certain psychological profile - selfish, vain, impatient, mostly - that couldn't stomach 1.0 longer than a week.  This kind of person has been responsible for the perpetual souring of roleplay communities in certain other popular MMO's.  These people are going to enjoy 2.0, and when they crash RP's, they are both organized and persistent in a way that, if you haven't been in TERA or WoW or the like lately, will shock you.

 

If you simply cannot believe this stormy forecast, you need to merely glance at the open beta thread in sig.  That is the "lowest common denominator" of Gilgamesh, and if we do not immediately improve the perceptions those very people have of us, the Gilgamesh RP community will find itself adrift in foul waters.

 ^This

 

+200 internets good sir

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I think this is tremendously useful regardless of the server. Or game for that matter.

 

A lot of this would have been useful to me when I roleplayed back in FFXI on Sylph. We had our own flourishing troll community (Some of whom actually posted videos on youtube of some of their more relentless trolling of rpers). They tended to lack creativity (Most it was just elezens in subligars spamming whatever emote caused them to hip thrust) but it was frustrating. Very hard to rp a dramatic bedside medical scene (In party chat even) when just outside the door two male elezens are loudly having gay sex in /say and claiming they are roleplaying.

 

I DO think it's an important part of roleplaying to EARN your status by learning to play the game. Just like in D&D, you still gotta level up and earn that status as a badass. If you want to be a talented weaver, then put the effort into it. It's kind of what differentiates this from writing a story. I want to be one of the best Paladins around, and so I know I damn well better be able to back that up with in-game skills.

 

I had a friend that told me about her rp experience in WoW... or more importantly her ATTEMPTS at RP. She was a Paladin, and had worked hard to be as well geared and skilled as she could be in her role (She claimed she was probably the best geared Paladin healer on the server at the time). She was then actually shunned from the rp groups for being a 'raider', and being told having all her epic-tier gear on made her elitist and was 'unfair' to those wearing their level 30 stuff.

 

I think this is the attitude that people fear coming from us. I didn't see any of this in 1.0... In my experience rpls' tended to tackle the endgame content just as vigorously as the other linkshells. Most rpers I know tended to be rightfully proud of their in-game skills, gear, and accomplishments. I think if we continue this way, we will prove ourselves to the doubters.

 

... But I still am gonna work extra hard to find gear alternatives to Heavy Darklight. Ugh.

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This was a very good read. Thanks for doing this Yeldir. 

 

I agree that letting trolls know you aren't disturbed is the best way to react. Treat their remarks as you would any other player who isn't trying to offend you. At least for a time. We all know antagonism  has evolved into something quite "special" on the internet and the best course of action is to not be antagonized.

 

Henceforth, you will be known as Yeldir Goodall of the Trolls. :thumbsup:

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Your problems with my method(s), I've noticed, all seem to stem from the belief that simply ignoring these characters causes them to go away. Perhaps our experiences have led us to believe differently, because we have seen different results to the same strategy.

 

That is true. Ignoring and blocking the trolls has always worked fine for me, so of course I do not fully see the necessity to make alternatives. I do understand that, if ignoring doesn't work, then alternatives must be brought up.

But another problem I have with the two methods (the third, reporting, is perfectly fine) is that they require the roleplayer to disrupt his own roleplay, either by dropping character or by moving to a new location.

The moving to a new location is actually something I could get behind in some circumstances, like being trolled constantly by a lot of different people (probably caused by roleplaying in a high-traffic area). So I guess I don't really have much of a problem with that one if the circumstances are right.

But then there's the first one, dropping out of character to acknowledge the trolling. I still think this will encourage the troll to linger longer than he would if you simply ignored him. This wouldn't be a problem, ussually, but acknowledging their trolling constantly until they decide to leave is going to strain and disrupt your current scene.

 

Of course, as you have said, our experiences kind of contradict each other. It's kind of hard to form a 'unified theory' when that happens.

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I just want to say that as someone who will be playing on Gilgamesh and roleplaying, this is incredibly insightful.

 

I've played every MMO out there and, yes, if you ignore the troll, they might go away. They might also start dancing naked and slinging spells. Depends on the troll.

 

But what I take away from this thread is not a "how to get trolls to leave" but rather "how to get trolls to not bother you in the first place." The whole first chapter about how we (as roleplayers) are perceived by the rest of the gaming community is dead-on. I've had plenty of non-roleplayer friends tell me the exact same.

 

So I'm a bit disheartened to see all the dismissive, "Ugh, just ignore them" replies here. That's not what this is. Gilgamesh is going to have issues. Roleplayers will be a minority. (Reddit, hello?) Instead we need to realize we need to change how roleplayers are seen in the first place. I'll gladly take the time to include/address the rude ones if it means they'll leave me the hell alone for the rest of my FFXIV career.

 

Honestly I wish I'd been given this advice a few years ago. Would have made several games a lot more pleasant to engage in.

 

Sorry for the wall of text. TL;DR: Thank you for your post and insight.

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Ah, ha. You point out something quite true, Ildur. In the short term, the methods I have outlined are not at all effective in preventing disruption. They actually render one more easy to pull out of character, as most of my suggestions involve redirecting the one's attention in ways that are distinctly more time and energy-intensive than popping a few people on ignore and going about one's business.

 

I think I can give a little better context, here. The methods I drew up are not intended to protect one's immediate immersion, as an incident of trolling is occurring (with perhaps the exception of method #2). They are intended to create a lasting impression, and to change how trolls view roleplayers, perhaps quickly or perhaps over a long period of time, in a ways that will (in the majority of cases) disinterest the most tenacious and organized of trolls, not in an individual sense, but in a communal one.

 

They will find the act of trolling roleplayers less interesting in a total sense. This is the goal.

 

Said more simply, I am suggesting a short term sacrifice for a long term payoff.

 

I should probably credit Val for this particular post, too. Ildur, and then Valystia, were pretty dang enlightening to read, in terms of the two ways of looking at this.

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This was a really good read. Anyone with any experience of trolls in the past will be aware of what to do in this instances, but you took time out to explain why and that's what is going to help people deal with them. Well done, you.

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As somebody who has spent much time feeling like an outsider to the RP community, this is a great read. Especially the first part about how to break the stereotypes.

 

A quick welcome from a group of roleplayers can make a newbie's day when they've bounced from one RP "hub" to another and been ignored (or worse, told to go away) by other roleplayers. There shouldn't need to be some secret sign to bypass the "elitist" shell of a clique. In fact I think that's why you'll sometimes see people stumbling around into taverns while bleeding to death or other cliche "LOOK AT ME" things: they're desperate for somebody, anybody, to respond and haven't felt any success by acting more normal. Or they may just be trolling, but that doesn't mean they should still be ignored and proven to that roleplayers are as elitist as always.

 

The only other thing I've also run across is the ERP thing, to which I have this to say: There's more to life than relationships IRL, so why make your character's life (at least in public) all about who they are dating? A character who is fused at the shoulder with their significant other can give off Overly Obsessed Girlfriend/Boyfriend vibes which can be very unpleasant for those who've experienced it IRL. Not only that, but it ties into the elitist stereotype if the only people the couple will talk to are those deemed "safe" and play along with how cute they are all the time.

 

That's enough rambling for now. Feel free to blast me for missing the point or whatever. :bomb:

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