The Inherent Problem

123
Comment below rating threshold, click here to show it.

TotemsTea

Member

10-07-2012

I’ve been a champion, twice, and a lurker since these boards began, and honestly I think it’s time for the community at large to address the problems that keep coming up, but no one discusses. There is a serious, inherent problem with the roleplaying forums as it is. People keep making big threads about it, and ones with solid points (such as this one http://na.leagueoflegends.com/board/....php?t=2634589 ) but they all take the form of rants, and don’t actually facilitate discussion or improvement, even if the mean well. Everyone nods along and upvotes because it’s the socially acceptable thing to do, and next week we’re back into the same mess we were before with drama, hurt feelings, and expectations.

So here’s where I get to my main point;

The inherent problem of the roleplaying forums is they aren’t attractive to new people, and roleplay communities require new ideas to keep from becoming stale.

There’s some major sub points to this big one, but I’ll address those one at a time.

1) The ‘closed-ness’ of the Ask threads and ‘Board Canon’.

The ask threads started as a hub to interact with a specific champion, or as a specific champion. These days they have grown into the ‘official’ roleplay of the roleplaying boards and the ‘official’ canon. I seriously feel this limits what our RPing boards could be doing for League roleplayers as a whole.

Say you really have an awesome storyline in mind for champions X, Y, and Z. It’s one that you really wanna handle as an RP story, not a fanfiction. Maybe you’ve got an extra cool villan you want to spring into a specific environment. Roleplaying boards seem the place to do it!
Except, if you can’t pick up one of the ask threads for the champion you want to involve, tough luck. And even if you do, chances are the others you might want to involve, aren’t interested, or aren’t active. Instead of being able to find roleplaying partners interested in the same things as you, you need to chose to mingle in a group that already doesn’t play nice and hope for the best. Closed RP threads, held in their own canon, seem to be the answer to this, but I have found that nearly 90% of the time those threads still follow ‘Ask Thread’ canon.

The fact of the matter is, not everyone is going to want to roleplay the same way. The best and most enjoyable roleplay happens when you have like minded people all in one place, and don’t try to mix people with vastly different expectations and desires for roleplay. This brings me to my next point;

2) Board Expectations and ‘mob mentality moderation.’

How many times has someone else marched into a thread and made a fuss out of how someone else is roleplaying? How many times has it exploded? How many people have been hurt, or quit, or stopped roleplaying because of it?

One of the most insane examples I recall was when people weren’t fond of the Mordekaier ask thread, and after pages of tearing into this person OOCly, encouraged the creation of a new Ask Mordekaiser and forcibly kicked the old one out. You could spin this as the masses rising up against a ‘bad roleplayer’ but the fact is a mob justice act happened, and the victim was swept aside because their writing wasn’t good enough. This alone shows an extremely unhealthy elitist attitude that drives people away. Over time, this aggressive side seemed to narrow into a list of expectations based on personal preference;

- Your writing must be good.
- You must portray a champion in a way I feel is canon.
- If you violate either of the above, I may rouse an army of like minded people to harass, downvote, and push you out.
- If you do the same to me, it will turn into a flame war.

This doesn’t create a better roleplay environment. Beating other people up doesn’t make your writing magically better. This is a byproduct of people with different expectations and different opinions all being forced to interact and feeling that they, as peers to one another, have the right to judge each other.

3) The Ask Threads in general, become somewhat of a popularity contest.

I’m not really interested in going back to high school and playing cheerleaders and jocks. This sort of mob mentality we’ve seen elevates particular people (whom are sometimes fantastic people) as role models and ‘popular kids.’ Those people get away with anything they desire until someone with a bigger standing takes them down. This sort of artificial pecking order leads to people feeling ignored, lesser, and otherwise run over. It leads to people doing dramatic things like posting ‘I’M LEAVING’ threads or ‘IF PEOPLE DON’T PAY ATTENTION TO ME, I’M GONNA LEAVE’ posts. You see upvote/downvote spam, and seemingly petty fights spawned. Both sides of this coin are annoying, and further enforce a bad community.

Getting back to my main point, you might think I’m ragging really hard on the ask thread model, and I’ll be the first to admit I’ve been very critical of it. I don’t feel the Ask Thread model of RP has really done us any favors, but I also don’t think it needs to be abolished or anything else so drastic to improve our boards in general or make way for new RP. I feel people need to think outside of it, however, in moving forward.

Here’s where I’m useful and propose changes that might help make these boards a better place for everyone.

Change starts on the individual level, but if everyone could keep to these main points, we’d have a much more peaceful environment;

- If you don’t like someone’s roleplay, don’t roleplay with them.
Roleplaying with someone who you don’t like is frustrating for both of you. No one has fun.

- Be polite to one another.
No one is telling you to love everyone. False kindness and smiles is almost just as bad, but you can be polite to everyone.

- Unsolicited OOC ‘feedback’ is generally never a good idea.
Going into someone else’s thread and telling them what they need to fix, without first being asked, is usually just an attempt to lure out drama. It’s not coy, and everyone knows you’re just being insulting.

And here the other changes I’d like to see in order to bolster and flesh out the RP here, so we can have a more robust and healthy roleplaying community.

- More ‘closed RP’ threads outside of the Ask canon with their own internal plots, canon, and storylines.
Be creative, and don’t be discouraged easily. Not every thread will take off, but when they do, you’ll have the time of your life. If one idea fails, try another.

- A thread of roleplayers and how to contact them, what characters they like to play (both OCs and Champions), and their preferred mediums (forum posting, messengers, etc).
I may seriously consider doing this myself, if people think they’d use it.

In closing...

I don’t really want to see replies of ‘I agree’ and ‘I disagree’. I really ask people to reply thoughtfully, and explain what they do, or don’t agree with.


Comment below rating threshold, click here to show it.

Ask the Herald

Member

10-07-2012

The problem with your logic is this:

The Roleplaying FORUM was only created as a means for the Reds to "lock out" us "Ask Champion" Roleplayers from the Lore Discussion Forum, giving us a place to run rampant in our Roleplaying while ensuring we don't detract too much from vital Lore Discussion.

The Roleplaying Forum was only created because a small group of nutcases dedicated to portraying Champions from the game gave rise to a growing sensation that everyone wanted to become a part of, which escalated to the point that the majority of threads listed on the first page of the Lore Discussion Forum were "Ask Champion" threads.


Comment below rating threshold, click here to show it.

TotemsTea

Member

10-08-2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ask the Herald View Post
The problem with your logic is this:

The Roleplaying FORUM was only created as a means for the Reds to "lock out" us "Ask Champion" Roleplayers from the Lore Discussion Forum, giving us a place to run rampant in our Roleplaying while ensuring we don't detract too much from vital Lore Discussion.

The Roleplaying Forum was only created because a small group of nutcases dedicated to portraying Champions from the game gave rise to a growing sensation that everyone wanted to become a part of, which escalated to the point that the majority of threads listed on the first page of the Lore Discussion Forum were "Ask Champion" threads.
The Ask threads aren't the only large scale groups of Champion roleplayers, (Runebook, Tumblr, Twitter, League of Draven, Shadow Isles Roleplayers, and others I could name) so I don't think that these forums needs to only cater to one subset. I think we honestly have the ability here to make a much more rounded RP community- it's far more than a few isolated nutcases, it 's just been previously troublesome to get communities to come together because all of them suffered the same 'inherently closed' problem.

The main difference here is we are a public, Riot run forum, and the first logical stop for anyone who wants to roleplay as a part of, or in the League of Legends setting. This forums aren't just for people in the Ask threads, they're for everyone.


Comment below rating threshold, click here to show it.

Pandachord

Junior Member

10-08-2012

I think this is a good idea, and particularly agree with the elitist points. This board definitely uses the mob mentality to pick and choose who can and can't RP, not always based off of the rules that have been set and mostly agreed upon by everyone, but by who happens to be friends with who. It's sort of frustrating seeing a champion lie dormant, but being hesitant to try and take over that champion for fear of a backlash in the manner of "NO THIS PERSON SAID TO ME THAT THEY WERE BUSY SO YOU CAN'T TAKE OVER."

All in all, OP seems pretty well thought-out. Hopefully people notice.


Comment below rating threshold, click here to show it.

Iron Ambássador

Senior Member

10-08-2012

Not everyone around here has an elitist/mob mentality. Yes at times some of us... "encourage" someone to leave, which is not something any of us want to see. And yes, there are arguments at times unfortunately but those of us who know how vague and pointless they are stay away from them.

You raise fair points, but I find your "Popularity contest" and "Expectations" personally a bit too... generalized.


Comment below rating threshold, click here to show it.

TotemsTea

Member

10-08-2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by Iron Ambássador View Post
Not everyone around here has an elitist/mob mentality. Yes at times some of us... "encourage" someone to leave, which is not something any of us want to see. And yes, there are arguments at times unfortunately but those of us who know how vague and pointless they are stay away from them.

You raise fair points, but I find your "Popularity contest" and "Expectations" personally a bit too... generalized.
Generalized in what way? I'd love if you could expand upon them in ways I didn't.


Comment below rating threshold, click here to show it.

Iron Ambássador

Senior Member

10-08-2012

This might be just me, but I find it that you seem to claim that every single Ask thread is as closed in and tightly holding their role throughout the whole forum. Personally, if there is a thread I am not interested in but it requires Poppy to be a part of it, I would allow someone else to do her role in that thread.

And about the popularity contest... most of us dislike the "PAY ME ATTENTION OR I LEAVE" type of people and rather just wait for someone new to come along who isn't as obsessed about getting attention. Your points are good, but you do not seem to pay any notice to the fact that there ARE deviations in how tightly the roles are held in and how people think of the leaving posts and such.

Sorry if this doesn't make too much sense... I feel a bit torn having to also pay attention to a class at the same time. Finnish time zone hoooooo!


Comment below rating threshold, click here to show it.

Ask the Kumiho

Senior Member

10-08-2012

It's basically how people act. It's like asking GD to change, or asking a classroom full of Asians to show more respect to the poor people still doing Math levels beneath them. It's not going to happen. While it's nice in theory, you're attempting to change the behaviors of, essentially, League players. Even if they may be writers first and foremost, there is definitely a bit of GD mentality mixed in with some of the people here.

I agree with your elitist point, but what else can you do? One has to forcibly insert oneself into the community. Sure, all members are welcome, but why should a roleplayer stop themselves from making exclusive threads because they want to RP with one person in particular? Though I thought the Ask Threads were mainly for questions, a lot of them have devolved into senseless one-line RP where people open and close doors. Though it adds to the 'reality' of the roleplay, it is still largely unnecessary. I suppose people don't know where else to do things, but still. It can get confusing.

Your point that "your writing must be good" is essentially true. Of course you do not have to be the best, but using your Mordekaiser situation, people were clearly not happy with the roleplayer's rendition of the Champion. While you can claim creative liberty, the fact that there were many people (I'm assuming here) involved in the kicking just shows that if you aren't happy with something as a collective, of course you would do something to resolve it. People are expected to accurately portray their Champion, and it just reflects poorly on the boards when they are unable to.

For example, I first came in when Shyvana/Jax were a couple. I heard of Orianna/Draven. I heard about Katarina/Lux and Katarina/Leona. I heard about Lulu having a baby (yes, yes, I know it wasn't hers technically or whatever it was). I heard that Talon/Fiora was a thing, etc. etc. Do I agree with these? No, not really. Do I care? No. But again, my first reaction to hearing this: the RP boards either allowed anything to fly with absolute disregard for canon lore, or people just enjoyed pulling such situations out of their imaginations for funsies.

I agree with your no OOC comments. Immensely provocative and just plain rude. Probably one of the main offenders which starts most of the arguments and drama-llamas. Problem is that your thread is just going to be like every other one that attempts to point out what people should attempt to fix. You can't make this place a haven for roleplayers, and you will certainly have people who will continue to do what they do.

It's unfortunate for the newer people who wish to join, but maybe there should be a stickied thread for 'Newbies', where they can discuss potential characters and introduce themselves? That way they don't have to start a new thread.

tl;dr: idk chopsticks


Comment below rating threshold, click here to show it.

TotemsTea

Member

10-08-2012

@Iron Ambássador

You're very right in that I can't lump the whole board into one elitist bubble. The biggest issue just comes with the idea that the Roleplaying forums are only for the Ask threads and offshoots of that. (Viktor's post gives an example of where that thinking might come from.) My intention wasn't to claim that every ask thread has that issue- and I certainly don't want people to think I'm aiming to abolish them.

@Ahrí Kumiho
I don't think it's impossible to change how the boards as a whole act. I'm not looking to have this thread too deeply analyze the quality of RP already here, as there are tons of other threads already doing that. I'm not trying to claim ultimate creative liberty, but more than mob justice is an extremely poor means of creating a good community.

My hope is that pointing out options to help fix the problems I see at the end can get some people on board with small changes, because small changes can become big ones. Even harsher communities can change.


Comment below rating threshold, click here to show it.

Iron Ambássador

Senior Member

10-08-2012

But yeah... as I said there, if there's a thread I'm not getting involved in personally, I will most likely allow someone else to do Poppy's role there if they ask me. I will be following that person's posts however to somewhat make sure they don't butcher her character ;D

And yes well... Viktor is known to be a bit of a hothead at times. He doesn't exactly think before he writes at times which causes some... complications. :3

But... I'm curious. You said you had been a champion here, twice. What champions might those be, if you don't mind me asking.


123