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Open Letter From The RP Community To ArenaNet.


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There's one important thing to say right off the bat; no 'part' of GW2's community is more important than the other. Whether you are a PvEr, Raider, PvPer, WvWer, Crafter, Role-player, etc. Everyone has an important role, and is a part of this community who support ArenaNet and Guild Wars 2. I want to make that very clear, despite the fact that I'm going to be discussing Role-players specifically. As someone who loves WvW, believe me, I know we (Role-players) are not the only ones with questions/concerns for ArenaNet.

With that out of the way, my main question for ArenaNet is based on their mention of cornerstones. WvW, PvE, PvP, all important pieces that make this game what it is.

My question to ArenaNet, with genuine inquiry; how do you view the role-playing community in GW2?

I can understand this question is hard to answer, because most of the time, Role-players also tend to be <insert gameplay preference here>. I don't know/think there's any concrete numbers.

Are we a cornerstone though? I personally like to think we are. Again, this is not about being more or less important than any other player-type. I do however believe it's often under-estimated how much the RP Community puts in to this game though. We're dedicated lore enthusiasts, we're often the ones who are playing during lulls as we write our own stories within the world. We definitely put money in to the gemstore for aesthetics at a high rate. (I would reasonably guess that a lot of 'whales' are role-players.)

For fellow role-players; do -you- think we're a cornerstone of the community? Should we be? If yes, but it doesn't feel that way, why?

I'm curious to know what people think.

Obligatory reminder that we're still waiting for swimsuits. Summer's coming.

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Posted (edited)

I'm genuinely curious about ArenaNet's perspective on this as well.  I of course have my own: There are roleplayers active in the community today who have been around since the early days of Guild Wars 1.  As you've said, we care about the lore and the storytelling; we invest in many different aspects of the game; and many of us do tend to spend an embarrassing amount of RL money at the gemstore.  Like you, I don't know how many of us there are in-game who fit this description.  However, it seems to me that there are enough to matter, and that ArenaNet only stands to gain by considering this community's wishes.  For example, a-net, if you loaded up the gemstore with items like NPC common clothing armor sets (so we can mix and match!) and swimsuits, and additional communal seating (like campfires!), I think you guys would see big returns on that investment.  A lot of us are just struggling to make our characters look like normal people in the game, and would probably fork over the $ to do that.

I do think a-net cares about the RP community.  From adding toggle walk and usable chairs, to conducting lore interviews, they have shown up for us.  I just also think (wink wink, a-net) that there are additional things they could integrate for fairly minimal effort, that their RP base would be excited about and would pay money for.

(And if they wanted to put in less minimal effort and give us player housing, they could totally load up the gemstore with furniture and make bank, just saying.)

Edited by Ladybug.3052
Removing double enters
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Posted (edited)

I wrote way too much trying to answer this and have tried to cut it down - basically, no, I don't think Anet sees RPers as a cornerstone. We're too spread out and we make our own content based off whatever anet happens to be doing at the time - personal story, fashion additions (can we have more light armor pants, please), environment (making houses we can go into and sittable chairs). Things RPers want are scattered around and tend to come about, or not, as a part of other things - completely satisfying a RPer is much different, and imo more difficult, than keeping PvPers and PvErs happy.

 

There's also more wriggle room since RPers make their own content and generally don't need much to work with. I doubt GW2 specifically targets RPers as a customer base - people who like the Star Wars setting are going to go RP in SWTOR, regardless of how many sittable chairs or trenchcoats we get. Things that make Rpers specifically happy are also things that make most other people happy - skins, cosmetic options, ease of use cosmetic options, that sort of thing. But those can also all wrap up under PvE and PvE content where you have to go to get the cosmetic items (or the cash shop). 

 

We have requests for Anet - more skins, more cosmetic options, more efficient cosmetic options, certain environmental stuff (more houses we can actually go into). But I don't think there's any one sort of thing they can do to support the RP community - it's very mixed in. Skins, cosmetics, etc can generally be found in PvE areas. The houses we can go into are in PvE areas, and I doubt there's a specific team, person, or something assigned to do these things because the RPers would like it - but rather, it's making an environment for PvE content.

 

TLDR: Maybe? I don't think so, but the actual answer is probably more of a 'kind of, it's complicated', since everything a RPer could want is wrapped up in another game mode or customer type as well. Heck take housing. It always incorporates, in other games, some PvE benefit - GW2 has home instances for harvesting. Other games have crafting stations and other utilities. 

 

Of course, I don't have the metrics. For all I know there is a person on the dev team who hollows out houses specifically for us, makes pants, and keeps a leash on the people who try to make every medium armor piece a trenchcoat, and manages the majority of anet's income that comes entirely from RPers buying clothing and character appearance change thingies. If such a person exists by god I love ya, but I don't think this is the case.

Edited by Curennos.9307
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To expand on my earlier post - TLDR of which is I doubt anet caters specifically to the people who use /e a lot.

 

There's the other kind of roleplayer that becomes included if we expand 'roleplayer' to include anyone who has even the slightest participation in the story, world, or character design. I imagine few people play through the story without paying it the slightest bit of attention beyond the rewards granted, or indulges in fashion wars just to be the shiniest bit of eye bleed possible (though those people do exist and they have my full support).

 

Thing is, GW2 doesn't exist without the underlying story and the things supporting that story. This goes from the LS episodes to associated achievements, story writing (that has to actually be decent enough to get players invested), races, class design, armor design, weapon and skill design, the design of *everything* that fits into the world somehow. 

 

This, along with the players who 'use' that part of the content, *are* a cornerstone of the game because without it we'd just have a bunch of differently colored boxes with animations and character models distinct enough only to tell them apart for some sort of gameplay purpose - but we don't have that. We have a world with a story.

 

It's a bit odd to compare, but I think the /e roleplayers are actually the 'hardcore' subset of roleplayers similar to how CM fractal, raid pushers, high rank pvpers and whatnot are the 'hardcore' subset of their respective areas of the game. And they've never been a large chunk of the community - significant in some areas, to be sure, but not large. The roleplayers anet cares about, I imagine, are the ones who buy the outfits and spend the gems to get gold to get the legendary weapon because it fits in, somehow, with their idea of their 'character', no matter how vague that idea of a character may be and whether it be 'I kind of imagine my character as, actually, Aurene's champion so I want this legendary to compliment this other shiny armor I got' etcetc LS stuff, or some other level of story-related investment. 

 

GW2 has been very good about not having a gear grind, or level grind, etcetc <insert here all the horrid things WoW does to keep the treadmill going>. That being the case, 'for roleplaying purposes' can easily encompass large swathes of the playerbase. While I don't think anet invests much time into the /e roleplayers, I'd think they're very interested in the...how to say, 'casual' roleplayer who may not use /e to any degree, but plays the game, does the content, and buys the things because there's a sliver of 'I have a general idea of this role I want to play inside the world anet has built and that's partially why I do 'x'', regardless of how big that sliver of reasoning it.

 

Take your typical PvEr for example. GW2 has, effectively, no gear grind. I've been using the same set of exotic armor on a lot of characters since HoT. Nobody needs legendary stuff, or even ascended stuff for raiding or pvp - and getting those things can be a pain in the butt! Why, then, do people chase the 2000 gold sparklepony, or grind out the achievement to get the whatsit, or put a few minutes or however long here and there into the character's appearance while doing the story and reading the thing, or heck why play anything but a human. And, generally, the time/gold invested into a legendary far outstrips how much time and coin you'd need to get a slightly 'lesser' version of whatever it is you were after. I could buy so, so many exotic sets with the stats I wanted for the price of legendary armor, or a weapon.

 

Anywho I'm rambling now, but to wrap this up - I do think there is a sliver of roleplayer-ness in a LOT of players that, while it may not result in lots of /e usage is still a significant part of driving sinking hours and money into the game, and as a result anet is very interested in keeping it appeased. There just isn't, as another poster mentioned, a real solid, strictly and niche defined way to meet that need because it seeps into every other part of the game.

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On 5/7/2022 at 2:25 AM, Noshami.7621 said:

I see less vitriol in sPvP, frankly, and that's a fundamentally competitive chunk of the community. There's no reason for people who take part in the finer touches of GW lore and expand their (and their friends') experiences should get nasty with one another/other guilds when—at best—the activity's exclusively playing with virtual action figures on the internet. Anyone who's spent more than a week doing "Tavern RP" (I stay away from this for the most part for this reason) and have a shred of integrity about them can verify this.

In any case: Does A-net care for role-players? I think they do. There's plenty of miscellaneous content in the game that no exclusively PvE/P player would ever need to do to stand as evidence for that, at the very least. Ultimately: Can we call ourselves "cornerstones" of the community? We first need to define "cornerstone".

If by "cornerstone" you mean hard-cash-income for A-net? Absolutely. Plenty of us swim in an ocean of gems to pick out the perfect custom-build-outfit for our Barbie/Ken-Dolls.

If by "cornerstone" you mean a people who can represent a collective agreed-upon mantra in regards to A-net? Well, what constitutes as a "role-player" in the community? Can we consider someone who does raids and other end-game PvE content but role-plays once a week a role-player? I feel like the general role-play sub-community is the smallest of the lot (contrasted from PvE players, PvP players, etc.) but ultimately: Are we considered a "cornerstone"? I think the game would be just fine without us. Not quite sure anyone would notice too much if all of anyone who considers themselves a part of the role-play community up and left the game. There might be a week of "Oh, a few people left the game" in mapchat, and then everyone else would go back to business-as-usual.

This is a question that needs a few terms defined for a better answer but hopefully this one suffices.

I disagree in regards to the vitriol, somewhat. What I do think is absolutely valid is the idea that it does need a better definition. I guess it would be less what -we- define it as, and what ArenaNet does. I still think we're a worthy part of the community. Even if we don't fit the criteria of however ArenaNet defines 'cornerstone'.

As has also been pointed out, the fact of the matter is, most role-players are also <insert PvX>. I know only -few- players who play only because of role-play itself.

On 5/7/2022 at 2:27 AM, Kusumura.8642 said:

<insert reddit post>

One "M'lady" away from a real Fedodo of a post there.

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On 5/6/2022 at 12:26 PM, Altonese.6542 said:

Obligatory reminder that we're still waiting for swimsuits. Summer's coming.

 

On 5/6/2022 at 2:03 PM, Ladybug.3052 said:

(And if they wanted to put in less minimal effort and give us player housing, they could totally load up the gemstore with furniture and make bank, just saying.)

That they haven't yet implemented either swimsuits or housing should be a fairly good indicator of how Anet views RPers.  I always thought RPers to be a niche community and can understand why the developers would create content that would address the larger populations of players in GW2.  /shrug

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33 minutes ago, kharmin.7683 said:

 

That they haven't yet implemented either swimsuits or housing should be a fairly good indicator of how Anet views RPers.  I always thought RPers to be a niche community and can understand why the developers would create content that would address the larger populations of players in GW2.  /shrug

Thing about housing is that it's very, very easy to make relevant to basically every other game mode. And everyone loves swimsuits. Just look at every eastern MMO ever. For example, ESO imo has done a very good job of implementing housing - it's a dueling spot, has crafting stations, themes and customizability (different housing styles for different races, locations, etc). I always assumed there was some sort of technical limitation or that it would just take really, really, really long to actually implement with their engine/codebase as the reason behind why they weren't doing it.

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2 minutes ago, Curennos.9307 said:

Thing about housing is that it's very, very easy to make relevant to basically every other game mode. And everyone loves swimsuits. Just look at every eastern MMO ever. For example, ESO imo has done a very good job of implementing housing - it's a dueling spot, has crafting stations, themes and customizability (different housing styles for different races, locations, etc). I always assumed there was some sort of technical limitation or that it would just take really, really, really long to actually implement with their engine/codebase as the reason behind why they weren't doing it.

This, basically. Though there is no denying that RPers are a smaller population, and most would basically mold in to one of the larger 'bases'. I do stand by the idea that RPers also aren't as minimal as often said though. Smaller, sure, but still quite noticeable group.

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As someone who has been RPing in Guild Wars 2 for about three years now, let me start off by saying that I'd love to get features promoting and encouraging roleplay in this game. Tyria is a beautiful and interesting world that warrants such interests, especially if you're out of ideas of what to do next. That's how I eventually got into it.

The truth, however, is that that the RP 'community' is so miniscule in comparison to the rest of the playerbase that, even if Arena Net wanted to, there'd be no point to implement features boosting roleplay alone from a cost-payoff point of view (*gestures at the mostly empty Roleplay forums A-Net added not too long ago*). And I'm quite sure that there never have been such updates in the past (toggling walking/running is something I would consider purely mechanical to give the player better control over their character). On top of that, the 'community' that makes up the players is no actual community at all. Rather, it's a loose collection of small groups with varying interests. That, together with the total amount of maps there are in the base game alone spreads the already tiny population of roleplayers even more. There are no popular gathering spots besides Divinity's Reach either.

And, while I agree that player housing might remedy some of the above-mentioned problems, it'll need to do much more than simply providing living space since, otherwise, it'd be not much different from instances. Which is already a feature in Guild Wars 2. It'll need to be attractive to all of the playerbase. The same goes for probably about anything else you can think of.

One example would be the redesign of the social system (friends list/ LFG etc.) or granting access to actual libraries with the summary of all the information there is to know in the world of Tyria. Things that draw you in as a reader and a player. Small details that further improve hard world-building, as opposed to soft (as it's mentioned a bunch of times in the lore forums), that further help to make sense of it all (laws, traditions, social structures to name a few). I know of at least a bunch of people who gave up on getting into roleplay simply because it's very hard to get actual information about the world you're in. Plus, a big portion of the game is behind a paywall of gems that no new player can purchase through gameplay alone. At least not in a reasonable time frame.

So yeah, these are my two cents regarding this topic.

Additionally...

On 5/6/2022 at 6:26 PM, Altonese.6542 said:

Obligatory reminder that we're still waiting for swimsuits. Summer's coming.

 

I don't see any reason why Arena Net would want to implement this. Can you imagine going somewhere in a city map and you suddenly find yourself surrounded by half-naked characters in swimsuits? That's hella weird not only for the average adult players but also for anyone who isn't one. Plus, it offers nothing you don't already have in the form of some outfits or clothing pieces, so... yeah. No.

Edited by Darkstar.8016
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4 hours ago, Darkstar.8016 said:

I don't see any reason why Arena Net would want to implement this. Can you imagine going somewhere in a city map and you suddenly find yourself surrounded by half-naked characters in swimsuits? That's hella weird not only for the average adult players but also for anyone who isn't one. Plus, it offers nothing you don't already have in the form of some outfits or clothing pieces, so... yeah. No.

1. They already have swimsuits in the world, on NPCs.

2. It's an outfit option that can  earn them revenue for very little work.

3. Can I imagine walking through a city map  and seeing half naked characters? Yes, because it literally happens all the time. There's already options to do that in the game. So you might say, well, isn't that good enough? Nah.

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1 hour ago, Altonese.6542 said:

1. They already have swimsuits in the world, on NPCs.

2. It's an outfit option that can  earn them revenue for very little work.

 

That doesn't mean they should be made available for players, too. For the reasons below.

1 hour ago, Altonese.6542 said:

3. Can I imagine walking through a city map  and seeing half naked characters? Yes, because it literally happens all the time. There's already options to do that in the game. So you might say, well, isn't that good enough? Nah.

There's nothing good about it. There's nothing good about the oversexualized outfits and armor parts in the game, either (unless you're solely into a very specific kind of RP which is something else entirely). And further encouragement of this just doesn't seem right. It doesn't feel like it's needed at all. And, again, especially so considering that not only adults play this game (something I think a lot of players seem to forget about).

Edited by Darkstar.8016
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On 5/12/2022 at 11:29 AM, Altonese.6542 said:

This, basically. Though there is no denying that RPers are a smaller population, and most would basically mold in to one of the larger 'bases'. I do stand by the idea that RPers also aren't as minimal as often said though. Smaller, sure, but still quite noticeable group.

I tend to agree. I think part of the "how big even is the RP community?" question is that you can do a very personal RP without ever doing a single /e or participating in a broader community RP, which is what @Curennos.9307was getting at. Here's a personal example, just to demonstrate.

I've never done the /e type of RP, written out a character bio to keep track of it, or done anything remotely close to taking RP seriously outside the game. But something about Bjora Marches/early IBS got to me - I'm not a particularly huge lore buff, but the prospect of coming into contact with the Spirits of the Wild was pretty amazing. That possibility inspired me to create a norn mesmer centered around a raven theme. I kinda went nuts on it, going so far as to have that character make Nevermore, just to fit the theme. She has the black raven mini out at all times, so between that and a stowed Nevermore she's always traveling with 2 ravens. She wears the "Archaeologist" title, and initially I had her visit all the dwarven-type ruins I could find in the game, which eventually just led to other cultural sites.... and culminated in yet another map completion anyways. I completed the theme by making her a huge priory nerd, maxed scribing on her, and she always carries a scribing backpack skin so she can do all the recording/etching/other field-scholar type things.

Given my normal gaming habits (i.e. not caring a whit about a character's theme beyond superficial fashion), I'm still a bit shocked that I went so far on that character. She's still one of my favorites, and for any "go and find/read/learn lore" type achievements, I still run those on her just to maintain tenure status as my resident scholar lol.

But this is all entirely personal, and I really don't share this thematic experience with anyone. I don't speak in character or anything when using the chatbox, and I have zero interest in doing /e type RP. I guess I'm just not interested in anyone else's in-game RP other than my own.

Does all my raven-scholar-RP still make me an RPer? I wouldn't say so, as I think there has to be that give-and-take, that mutual interest to really be part of the RP 'community', as it were. I suspect there's a sizable amount of folks who (while not going as far as I did), still make themed characters that could work as "RP community" participants... yet they made such characters just for themselves and don't participate in any overtly RP activities.

 

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12 hours ago, voltaicbore.8012 said:

I tend to agree. I think part of the "how big even is the RP community?" question is that you can do a very personal RP without ever doing a single /e or participating in a broader community RP, which is what @Curennos.9307was getting at. Here's a personal example, just to demonstrate.

I've never done the /e type of RP, written out a character bio to keep track of it, or done anything remotely close to taking RP seriously outside the game. But something about Bjora Marches/early IBS got to me - I'm not a particularly huge lore buff, but the prospect of coming into contact with the Spirits of the Wild was pretty amazing. That possibility inspired me to create a norn mesmer centered around a raven theme. I kinda went nuts on it, going so far as to have that character make Nevermore, just to fit the theme. She has the black raven mini out at all times, so between that and a stowed Nevermore she's always traveling with 2 ravens. She wears the "Archaeologist" title, and initially I had her visit all the dwarven-type ruins I could find in the game, which eventually just led to other cultural sites.... and culminated in yet another map completion anyways. I completed the theme by making her a huge priory nerd, maxed scribing on her, and she always carries a scribing backpack skin so she can do all the recording/etching/other field-scholar type things.

Given my normal gaming habits (i.e. not caring a whit about a character's theme beyond superficial fashion), I'm still a bit shocked that I went so far on that character. She's still one of my favorites, and for any "go and find/read/learn lore" type achievements, I still run those on her just to maintain tenure status as my resident scholar lol.

But this is all entirely personal, and I really don't share this thematic experience with anyone. I don't speak in character or anything when using the chatbox, and I have zero interest in doing /e type RP. I guess I'm just not interested in anyone else's in-game RP other than my own.

Does all my raven-scholar-RP still make me an RPer? I wouldn't say so, as I think there has to be that give-and-take, that mutual interest to really be part of the RP 'community', as it were. I suspect there's a sizable amount of folks who (while not going as far as I did), still make themed characters that could work as "RP community" participants... yet they made such characters just for themselves and don't participate in any overtly RP activities.

 

I really dig this. Actually, throughout IBS as the RP community was hoting RP-events based on like, the metas and whatnot - What I loved seeing was PvErs who, while they didn't type or /e post or anything, they went along with us, /cheered & /saluted and then said 'Had fun, see ya!'. It was really great to see.

So stuff like this, I very much approve.

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