Paragraph Roleplayers.

90 Night Elf Druid
13590
RP platitudes that get tossed around in threads like these. "If the story calls for it" is another one high on my list of teeth-gritters.


I'm all for the 'live-and-let-live' mentality when it isn't taken to a ridiculous extreme, but really, same could be said for any mentality--including that one. The "story calls for it" idea is a pretty sweeping generalization in of itself, but sometimes it does apply--such as combat RP, where being highly descriptive is immersive and helpful to your partner and any onlookers. On the other side, being highly descriptive in a casual setting, more often than not, is nigh immersion-breaking and often disruptive to a partner or onlooker.

Sure no one should be able to say with a straight face that you don't need to spend 10+ minutes crafting a soliloquy about your immediate area, the ambiance, climate and your characters appearance, general attitude and/or present thought process, but, does anyone really find that entertaining, productive or conducive to the continued ebb and flow of X many different happenings in an open, real-time forum like in-game?

ETA: I genuinely am curious about this. From what I have witnessed on many different occasions, most often it came off as a heavy-handed form of self-flattery and one-upmanship, not so much a creative expression, or like, "I can't say this with any fewer words" sort of situation, (which I get in a lot).
Edited by Astrid on 11/12/2012 11:33 PM PST
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90 Worgen Priest
14435
Don't do it in public spaces. If you feel like your posts are going to exceed two paragraphs then take it to party chat and do everyone around you a favor.
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90 Blood Elf Rogue
7720

I'm all for the 'live-and-let-live' mentality when it isn't taken to a ridiculous extreme, but really, same could be said for any mentality--including that one. The "story calls for it" idea is a pretty sweeping generalization in of itself, but sometimes it does apply--such as combat RP, where being highly descriptive is immersive and helpful to your partner and any onlookers. On the other side, being highly descriptive in a casual setting, more often than not, is nigh immersion-breaking and often disruptive to a partner or onlooker.


Save, of course, for all those instances where being highly descriptive in a combat scene is problematic, such as when onlookers attempt to engage within the combat and cannot find an opening amidst the description. Likewise in a casual setting, being descriptive can be useful when it's a casual setting that's not happening in the "immediate" public where there's a high chance of onlookers getting involved and all other players are on board with it.

It's not just that sweeping generalization. It's any sweeping generalization. What people "should" do in roleplay is so highly contextual and reliant on the tastes of the players and the situation that I find any such "This is what you should do" to be troublesome. The ones that are vague and unhelpful and oft-repeated like "Omit needless words" and "If the story calls for it" and "It works if it's done right" are just the worst offenders.

(There's a bit of a semantic thing for "If the story calls for it," I must admit; the phrase is . . . uh, phrased in such a way that it seems like the story is some sort of third construct that exists outside the players themselves, and can make demands of them. Irritating.)

Sure no one should be able to say with a straight face that you don't need to spend 10+ minutes crafting a soliloquy about your immediate area, the ambiance, climate and your characters appearance, general attitude and/or present thought process, but, does anyone really find that entertaining, productive or conducive to the continued ebb and flow of X many different happenings in an open, real-time forum like in-game?


Yes, apparently they do find that useful, according to this thread; somebody's got to be offending the OP with it to the point that they're posting about it.

ETA: I genuinely am curious about this. From what I have witnessed on many different occasions, most often it came off as a heavy-handed form of self-flattery and one-upmanship, not so much a creative expression, or like, "I can't say this with any fewer words" sort of situation, (which I get in a lot).


Potentially they find it interesting. It's not necessarily flattery, but they simply enjoy writing in that way. There's also the possibility that by advertising that they post in this fashion, they're making themselves noticeable to other RPers who post in the same way, and they can go off and have awesome many-post RP adventures. That's hard to do if they constantly restrict their posts to the usual bare-bones dialogue and actions style of play.
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90 Goblin Warlock
13115
i think we should all just roleplay in /y
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To me, forum/small group/IM roleplay is like writing a story. All participants have more time to thoroughly read and reply. In settings like that things like the glinting of weapons, sun shining on hair, etc. is fine.

In game however I see more as improv acting, it needs to have a certain speed to it to keep everyone engaged and needs to be malleable in ways that very long emotes often can't.
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90 Night Elf Druid
13590
11/12/2012 11:46 PMPosted by Areng
Save, of course, for all those instances where being highly descriptive in a combat scene is problematic, such as when onlookers attempt to engage within the combat and cannot find an opening amidst the description


I think I'm envisioning "detail" as, well, a solid easily-understood explanation of what's occurring presently, whereas there's a misconception that detail requires volume, and it's the unnecessary volume that's always put me off--I guess it's like being in a room full of conversational din and screaming at your partner so you're 'above'.

11/12/2012 11:46 PMPosted by Areng
Likewise in a casual setting, being descriptive can be useful when it's a casual setting that's not happening in the "immediate" public where there's a high chance of onlookers getting involved and all other players are on board with it.


Being descriptive--even flowery--in a casual RP isn't so terrible, I tend to be rather verbose with people I don't know in RP to facilitate their noticing nuances, people I've RPed with numerous times tend to have those little things more or less understated because it's familiar territory, yea, that's well and good. I just... I get flabbergasted when I walk-up and go a-fishin' and get a steadily escalating dissertation in response--sometimes I find myself attempting to respond in kind almost like I'm trying to prove I know just as many ways to describe a certain gait that they do.

It's not just that sweeping generalization. It's any sweeping generalization. What people "should" do in roleplay is so highly contextual and reliant on the tastes of the players and the situation that I find any such "This is what you should do" to be troublesome.


I think that falls back to my 'live-and-let-live' ideal--there really isn't any one right or wrong or true or taboo way (barring any legal ramifications, ofc) to roleplay... There's just how Person A prefers to banter and how Person B prefers to banter. I always bite my tongue on topics like this, (previously stated curiosity about the self-styled 'para rper' prompting my inclusion), because I don't think there's ever anything that makes me roll my eyes harder at a wall of text than when it's peppered or signed with 'do it this way', because all it says to me is, 'do it my way and I will approve of you, and that's just what everyone wants, isn't it?'.

Yeah, it's OKAY for certain habits and styles and mess-ups to annoy you and turn you off from RP--you* don't HAVE to RP. With anyone. Ever. Or you can RP with EVERYBODY!! That's kinda your freedom here. Don't like X? Don't deal with it. The end. I'll never understand the mentality of someone who thinks it's okay to crap all over another style of play like it's somehow adversely affecting their existence. Express your distaste? Okay, that's fine. But for the love of happy shas...what makes you think it's okay to tell a total stranger how to act?
(*gratuitous use of the general 'you')

(There's a bit of a semantic thing for "If the story calls for it," I must admit; the phrase is . . . uh, phrased in such a way that it seems like the story is some sort of third construct that exists outside the players themselves, and can make demands of them. Irritating.)


I get it, yea, I think that might be a special-English-circular-logic thing we get to deal with.

'murica.

Potentially they find it interesting. It's not necessarily flattery, but they simply enjoy writing in that way. There's also the possibility that by advertising that they post in this fashion, they're making themselves noticeable to other RPers who post in the same way, and they can go off and have awesome many-post RP adventures. That's hard to do if they constantly restrict their posts to the usual bare-bones dialogue and actions style of play.


I can see that, I'm not saying I haven't seen nor interacted with people who crank out giant emotes that were always obnoxious or somehow left me with a negative impression overall...Apologies if I seemed to, I just see more of the people who wear their style like a badge, kind of... throwing it into passerby's faces. And that kind of attitude is a rather huge turnoff, it's just that for every one person I can recall that RPed very heavily descriptive and wasn't in-your-face over it, there's a handful more climbing on a soapbox over it-not only that, but there's even MORE people clambering onto even more platforms to whinge about that! It never ends T_T.

As for the advertising...meh, I don't really care so much about that.

The ones that are like "I'm a para-RPer!" s'cool I dig it. The one's that are like... confrontational, make me sit back and go, "WOW wonder what prompted that pre-reaction?".
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90 Tauren Druid
6710
I generally agree with Thane, Dinthoqaf, and Astrid's highlights.

I'm kind of middle of the road on the whole thing myself, though, and that's probably because I'm a long time forum RPer. I personally don't like reading walls of text where people go on about pointless stuff, like two long paragraphs about what the person had for breakfast, when it in no way relates to what's going on in the moment. But when it's relevant information that actually helps with the mood, setting, feel of the character, or progression of the plot, I'm all for it.

I believe in quality over quantity, but if quantity holds quality then DELISH. I think what people tend to give in-game usually lacks in detail for my personal tastes(certainly not saying anyone's doing it wrong, and I understand where brevity is valued in a more real-time medium).

I'm probably kind of slow and detailed when it comes to in-game RPing, which is another reason I avoid it. I've wanted to try it out again, and I still have that itch, but I'm just not fast enough to get something in edgewise, and I'm left as a spectator. I also don't want to make people wait on me, though, mainly knowing I have plenty of RPs to keep me occupied on my RP forums.

I guess, for me, there's too much and then there's too little. It seems hard to balance in in-game RPs.

I guess my views on this don't weigh too heavily, granted my means of RP. I'm probably not the only person who started out with forum RPing, though. Other RPers may be coming from RP backgrounds that demand more detail. People tend to adapt to what's around them after time, though. RPing with these lengthy posters may actually be one of the best things you can do for them, if you feel their methods are really so horrendous. That, or you could try the age old friendly and polite PM.
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90 Human Paladin
9325
11/12/2012 06:58 PMPosted by Ardrenn
If you're a paragraph roleplayer, please inform me why do you choose to post 8 paragraphs to emote you lacing your shoes...or scratching your butt?


I'm a paragraph RPer, for the most part. Generally I separate dialogue and description in my posts, and reserve /e for when my character is actually doing things that are noteworthy. I don't search for an excuse to post - which is all lacing shoes and scratching butts really is. There's nothing of substance to that, and it's usually a problem with the writer's prose and not the post length itself.

My thoughts on it are this: Go to your bookshelf and take down any novel that you have enjoyed. Open it up, have a good look at the structure and language used. Unless you're fond of literature commonly given to those in 2nd grade or younger, you're likely going to find that it is done in paragraph form with a moderate amount of description.

When I RP, I seek to emulate this as best as I can. I want to play with people who can make me feel like I'm involved with a story, not just shooting one-liners back and forth.

11/12/2012 07:25 PMPosted by Ardrenn
People were getting frustrated, waiting for their turn to fight. Then after a while a post came up. A HUGE POST. At least 8 paragraphs.


I'm just going to throw this out there, but what exactly did you expect from an RP fight? They are long and tedious by nature, and you got exactly what you came for in having to wait out obnoxious posts. If you don't like it, put down a duel flag and settle it that way.

Edit : Thane and Astrid have some awesome points. I agree with most of what they said as well.
Edited by Nathaen on 11/13/2012 1:58 AM PST
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85 Goblin Mage
8435
I think that a lot of people who do it are used to roleplaying on forums which tend to put a heavy emphasis on word count. That or they're writers who, instead of rping as if their character is having a conversation, tend to rp as if they're writing a story about their character having a conversation. When I think of why they play that way, it makes me less annoyed.

Though it's not my cup of tea, paragraph rping doesn't bother me in itself. It's just another style. It bothers me if I have to wait 5+ minutes per response every post (slow typers, in general, are excluded from my annoyance, but you can usually tell the difference). It bothers me if it's done in a very active public setting and I have to open up elephant and hope to God I didn't miss anything important because someone had to take 5 paragraphs to sit on a bench and sip some tea while reading a book. It bothers me when there's tons of detail about insignificant things, but there's nothing in the emote I can respond to, comment on, or use in any way. It bothers me when people act superior because they prefer paragraphs and others do not.

I will admit that I will not initiate RP with anyone who has ParaRPer or the like in their mrp. I'll rp with them if they come to me, of course, but I avoid them otherwise just because they won't like my dialog driven roleplay anymore than I'd like their style.
Edited by Jatha on 11/13/2012 2:54 AM PST
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If it's taking you 5+ minutes to come up with a reply to something that a person has said or done, that becomes an issue. It's a matter of consideration for the other party at that point.


I was RPing with someone who was taking on average 10 minutes to respond, and I'm almost certain part of that time included using a dictionary/thesaurus. There's nothing wrong with that (I have a dictionary, thesaurus, and Wowpedia up for reference), but when you're treating your responses like a term paper as far as how long it takes to write and there are others waiting on you ... I don't care how well written your responses are, having to wait exceptionally long is frustrating and can turn others off from the RP.

My RP flow tends to vary. Sometimes they're quick responses, sometimes they're paragraphs (I think the max I ever wrote was five or six xD). A lot of it depends on the people I'm RPing with. It just depends on the situation, really. I'm constantly adjusting.

I enjoy brevity, myself. If you can pack "flavor" into an easily digestible form, I'm all for it. Unfortunately, my experience with the majority of para RPers has been tiring. I enjoy a "conversationalist" style of RP. If I want to write another story to add to my blog, I'd turn off the game. It comes down to a matter of preference - I'd never say another person is "wrong" for writing in a style that they enjoy.
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One thing about "para-RPers" that I have also noticed is that they tend to add in... descriptions of themselves in their MRP profiles. Not just their characters, but their own preferences or whatever. "RP style: paragraph - literate!"

Things like that put me off before I even see the 6 blocks of text. It just seems so... arrogant.
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90 Tauren Paladin
6890
I will now approach all all RP with TL;DR.

People are really reaching to find something to complain about.
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11/12/2012 08:10 PMPosted by Thanë
Put them on ignore until you leave. It's not like you need to keep them on ignore. You can place them on and then take them off afterwards. Or place your own RP in Party/Raid chat if it's difficult for you to keep things separated. (Speaking of "you" in general.)


Meant to address this earlier. This is a good suggestion, and one that I've implemented in the past so I wouldn't lose my RP in walls of orange text.

There are two problems I see with this. One, a lot of players don't want to compromise, OR their idea of "compromise" means whispering the offending player and demanding they stop (which nine times out of ten, devolves into an argument over why the person was a baddie for choosing to RP in a lengthy manner).

The second problem is ignore itself - some don't know how to use it. Put the para RPer on ignore until you leave the scene, then take them off the list. Simple as that. I'd suggest NOT whispering the person beforehand with, "I'm putting you on ignore because I'm tired of seeing your emotes" or something equally not-polite. Just ... don't. On the flipside of this, players need to understand that an ignore in this situation isn't necessarily a personal insult, it's a means of providing "quiet space" around their RP text.
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90 Pandaren Monk
10295
The length of my posts is directly dependent on how many people I'm RPing with. If I'm RPing with one or two people then my posts will be a couple of paragraphs, and usually so will theirs. If more people come to join the RP, my posts will gradually get shorter. If there's a lot of people then I'm posting one-liners and /say. I don't do it intentionally it just happens that way. The more people there are, the harder it is to keep up with the RP if I'm posting paragraphs. In a REALLY crowded environment like the Wyvern's Tail at peak time I might not even post at all until I need to, or am spoken to directly, just because sometimes it's so hard to keep up.

But that also doesn't mean I'm going to bash on someone else's RP style like I think I'm somehow better than they are.
Edited by Shinliu on 11/13/2012 5:27 AM PST
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90 Human Rogue
7665
I try to be considerate of others' time and chatbox space when I'm RPing publicly. Unless there really is a need for a huge emote (and those times are usually describing complex situations in an action scene, which I don't do very often), I try to stick with less than one paragraph worth of text, especially publicly. If I'm RPing via GTalk or GDocs, I'll possibly add more, but I'm a big fan of concision. Never use a paragraph where a sentence will do. Never use a sentence where a phrase will do. Never use a phrase where a word will do.

When it comes to others, I don't mind paragraph RP if it's actually necessary--if you're describing an action that's more complex than "lights a cigarette" or "smiles and blinks." Generally speaking, though, "para" RPers aren't writing that length of RP because it's necessary; they're writing that length of RP because they somehow think it's superior to concise emotes that say only what's necessary. The resulting emotes are tangled webs of purple prose that are both difficult to interpret and clog up people's chatboxes unnecessarily.

And therein lies my complaint with publicly doing paragraph RP. When you're RPing privately, do whatever you want. Talk about "her eyelids lower then rise" instead of "she blinks" or "the corners of her mouth twitch upward slightly though her sapphire orbs remain impassive" rather than "she smiles, though it doesn't reach her eyes." Go nuts. But when you're RPing publicly, please PLEASE try to have consideration for your fellow RPers. Not everyone in an area is RPing with you and not everyone is okay with losing the emote they were waiting for because you took three emotes to say that your character is smiling. Similarly, keep in mind that you can lose a lot of meaning if you purposely inflate your emotes beyond what they need to be. We know what blinking looks like. We know what smiling looks like. And there's nothing wrong with saying "[character] blinks" or "[character] smiles" instead of some convoluted mess of thesaurus fodder.
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86 Blood Elf Mage
4800
This thread makes me want to paragraph RP in a populated area.
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90 Undead Priest
5655
I'm a paragraph RPer. Some people describe !@#$ uselessly like:

11/12/2012 07:28 PMPosted by Liotuse
2 - 4 blocks in the chatlog describing how mundanely your character sits in a chair or looks around is too much.


Ari's a paranoid schizophrenic, the random twitching and stabbing at shadows is to be expected and pretty much needs to be described because it's a big part of who she is and what she's like. I can type without paragraphs without a problem, and do, when I'm in a city because people are all around me and it can be awful to scroll through walls of text.

I can't bring myself to RP fight without paragraphs, though. As a general rule, I /duel people I don't know/trust to not be stupid.

TL;DR: Some people are stupid with it, some people aren't, it's to your discretion who does it in an irritating well and who does it in a way that makes you nod and appreciate someone else's writing style.
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90 Blood Elf Rogue
10695
I don't think I would call myself a paragraph rp'er. I use emotes to emphasize something important or to set a certain atmosphere. My emotes are long when I'm describing something that is important to the setting, for example - Tenebraeus describes how he crafts ink, because I love to describe the process. But I'm not doing it all the time. Only if the setting asks for it.
And even then it's a three to four paragraph emote, followed by a say and a short emote in the end.

I don't think paragraph RP is a bad thing, though. If done well. I don't think it is necessary to spend 10 minutes describing how someone's hair is flowing in the wind when it has nothing to do with the RP at hand. But if it fits, go ahead.

Granted, I don't do tavern RP. Which is probably the reason why I don't see the big problem.
It is possible that it is disturbing to people if someone is filling the chatbox with three very long emotes, describing how he enjoys his beer. That's a bit... too much of the good. But it must have been important to the RP'er writing those novels about drinking beer in a tavern... so - I just shrug and think, HOORAY! RP!

I don't think it is necessary to make a witch hunt out of it. I wouldn't be happy if everyone on WrA would RP exactly the same way. That's boring, too - and sometimes, yes sometimes I enjoy running through a city and see a long, descriptive emote coming out of a tavern. It makes me smile childishly, IRL and I usually hit mumble to tell my husband, "LOOK! People Rp'ing! I want to RP too! Let's RP!"
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90 Blood Elf Rogue
11015
I don't mind paragraphs.

It's slow typing I can't stand.

Disclaimer: I don't actually RP.

But really, this slow typing thing is serious.
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90 Goblin Priest
9935
I think, in the end, it pretty much comes down to courtesy, doesn't it?

If you are in a high-traffic area and are filling things up with long paragraphs, that's going to prevent others from RPing properly.

If you are taking ten minutes to reply because you are typing out long descriptions of how your hair looks, the specific twinkle in your orbs, and other things which don't have much if anything to do with the RP, you're taking up other's people time and crippling their own RP they want to get done.

When I RP with someone new I tend to keep my emotes shorter than average, because I want to make sure they get a chance to RP their own character. When I am RPing in a group, even when Snuffit's personality is the kind to dominate and monologue a bit, I reign her in so that others get a chance to shine.

So, basically, I think the rules change depending on how well you know a person, what you know they are okay with, and what setting you are in.
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