Sunday, May 19, 2013

Getting Started


The second wave of beta went live this past Wednesday, congratulations to all who got in! Make sure to give it your best! Also, if you want some tips on beta, check out my article here.

For those of you who did not get in, don't worry the fun isn't quite over yet. As originally explained in this article here, there will be a stress test weekend coming up in the near future. This will net another 15,000 or so invites for this weekend and the invites should arrive a bit before that weekend. Anyone who participates in this event will then also be rewarded with a more official beta invite. Good luck to everyone on that!

Oh, and this little bit released from Carbine here: what does it mean? We don't know yet. Could mean new classes are about to be released! What do you think?


Also there is a fun adventure thread going on in WSRP called Waypoint Down. It details the escapades of a group of Exiles and their struggles in making themselves a settlement outpost against the brutal Nexus wilderness, criminal elements and one very scowling Cassian who came along to the wrong place at the wrong time ;P A dozen or so roleplayers are participating under the impressively organized thread by our very own Sushi. I recommend to go check it out sometime if you would like to see an example of some good forum rp.


This blog topic was from Ceridwen, who sent me a shout a little while ago asking this:

I have always been curious about Roleplaying and the Wildstar RP community looks robust and exciting but haven't been able to take my first step in. No one I know personally RPs and I'm nervous about joining a RP guild or site without have dipped my toes in a little before. 

What I'm wondering is if you could write a post in which you explain how to get into RP (having little to no prior experience) for those of us who are interested but not sure where to start or how it works.”

First of all, this is an EXCELLENT topic Ceridwen and I have actually had quite a few people ask me about this since. So for today I will do my best to explain how to get started in roleplaying, especially with WildStar.

WildStar is an excellent place to get started with RP, in my opinion. A great new IP with a great community!

1)The Basics:

Why Roleplay?

So to begin, we start with a few important questions before you get started.. What is roleplaying?

Role-playing refers to the changing of one's behavior to assume a role, either unconsciously to fill a social role, or consciously to act out an adopted role.

In terms of roleplaying within the MMORPG community it refers to creating a virtual avatar and formulating a personality, job, speech pattern, background, etc for this character and playing them out as though you were them. Then, in turn, acting these characters out with others both in-character and potentially out of character as well or even with non player characters.

So why roleplay?

This was actually my first blog topic. I recommend that you take a peek at it here if you'd like a little more in-depth discussion. But I'll have Hawkens here repeat his conclusions:

Again? Can they not just go read for themselves?

Hawkens! We are being helpful!

Hmph. Fine. I believe I stated “Limitless Potential.”

Limitless potential! That's it! You can do SO much with the creative tool of roleplaying. And that's really what it is. Despite some of the more unsavory definitions the ignorant might portray us as, we are not insane sickos. We are all creative artists and this medium is our tool: our paintbrush or blob of clay. And the best part is that there are so few restrictions with this tool. Most of the limits lie only within our own imagination, leaving us free to explore and create with wild abandon. Limitless potential.

Consider Your Medium

      This?                        or                      This?

Are you playing a pen and paper game or an mmorpg? While the differences are not tremendous, there are some things to consider. For instance in an mmo you have the advantage of a physical avatar. Whereas in a pen and paper game you have the advantage of describing whatever you wish without the limitations of the character creator.

For the purposes of this blog we are discussing getting started with WildStar roleplay. This defines the systems you can use for character creation, races and lore. Though this slightly limits some of the things you can do with your character, it also provides so much more. Physically moving and animating your character is so very rewarding. Having them walk around, drive, fight and interact with others is one of the most powerful aspects of mmo roleplaying.

This also means that you can let some of the game decide certain aspects of your roleplay. Perhaps you get a mount or pet in game? You can work it into your story! Or perhaps you can roleplay as your character slowly and lovingly builds and decorates their own domicile.

Personally I just find having this attachment to your character, even when you are just randomly farming crafting goods or exploring is also fun. It makes the game mean just a little more and it's sometimes fun to make up little stories in your head while you wander around.

Make Your Character

Just like the character creator, there are steps to go through when starting a new creation!

This will be the avatar of your creative genius. The clay of creation waiting for you to mold and give the breath of life. Now that you have decided that you wish to roleplay and that you wish to specifically roleplay in WildStar, you need to create your first character.
I've found that simple 'character sheets' are the best to use when you start off. There are some with many, many questions that are great activities for further fleshing out your character, but too much when you begin with can be very overwhelming.

I am actually going to pull the character sheet from WSRP in for this one complete with a brief walkthroughs with each section. It's short, sweet and covers all the basics for a good start on a character.

Credit to Ender of WSRP for this excellent piece! Here's the link. I HIGHLY recommend to stop by and fill our forums with your characters! And if you would like to see some examples, check out the section for the Exiles and the Dominion!

Name: What is your character called? Do they have any nicknames?

Species: Is your character a purebred Cassian, a savage  uncultivated Draken or an efficient, no-nonsense Mechari? Is your character a stubborn (definitely not inbred) human, an unbreakable Granok or a fierce tail-hugging Aurin?
Gender: Male, female or anything in between.
Age: How old are they? How old do they appear?

Class: How does your character dominate the Exiles or lay waste to the creatures of Nexus? How does your character defend themself against the Dominion or the dangers of the Nexus?
Path: Is your character a kill, explorer, socialiser or collector?

Overview: Give us an elevator pitch of your character

Physical Description: What does your character look like? Skin color? Hair color? How is their build? Do they have any scars or physical marks?

Aesthetics: What is your character's taste? Do they like colors, or do they always wear black? Do they love jewelry? How do they prefer to keep their hair or massive and impressive beard?

Personality Profile: Describe you character's personality. Are they an optimist or a cynical loner? Do they have a temper, or are they like a mother to everyone they meet? What are their positive and negative personality traits?

History: What has your character been through until now? What shaped them to be who and what they are?

Talents and Weaknesses: What are your character's strong and weak points? Are there areas they are specifically skilled in or have particular knowledge about? Is there something your character struggles with?

Motivations and goals: Goals can help, giving your character a purpose to work towards. What do they strive for, both in the long and short term

Honestly I was going to go through and point out each section, but Ender really outlined them perfectly here. However I do want to stress one important point. It is okay not to finish this!
Also if you would like some more ideas, check out this nice thread of WildStar lore links from Starspun!

Not everyone knows exactly who their character will be from day one. And even if you think you do, they can change and grow in unexpected ways. So if you need to leave a few things blank or just want to see what comes to you later, that's fine. Don't sweat it. The basics are just here to help you get started. Keep in mind, though, the more thought you give to it, the easier time you will have roleplaying them!

2)Getting Started 

Finding Roleplay

Climb one mountain, defy gravity and leap through the crazy tech hoop, then you will find the sacred realm of the roleplayers...
This is honestly one of the hardest parts when you are beginning for the very first time. Sometimes it is difficult even for veteran roleplayers moving to a new medium or group. It really requires a lot of patience and courage on the part of the player really.

Now there is really nothing you should be worried about. Most roleplayers are friendly enough to their own and for every rude player you can typically find dozens of wonderful people out there. But there is always a bit of nervousness of whether your character will be accepted or understood where you are going.

Sad to say, there is no magic fix for this. If you want to roleplay you are going to have to be willing to take that first step. But I do have some advice that might help a bit.

-Be proactive
    Find a community that is active in RP for your medium. I personally recommend WSRP for WildStar. This is a phenomenal site frequented by some absolutely fantastic people. I really cannot rave about them enough. They are welcoming, friendly, willing to help, fun etc etc. They are awesome. The end.

-Get to know people
    It is much easier to play with people you know than total strangers. Find the introductions threads and say hello. Poke you head into the chat and speak with others now and then. Post your words and opinions in other threads. These are great ways to slowly piece together a personality over time. Oh and the best way? Post your character and read over others. Leave them with a compliment and maybe some constructive criticism or suggestions. Our characters are our pride and joy. Having someone take a look over our hard work is one of the greatest joys of rp and a good way to make friends!

-Be patient
    Not everyone will dive into rp with you right away. Sometimes a new face can make people a little tentative. It is nothing personally against you and you MUST remember that. Sometimes people have been burned badly by past rp and not knowing who you are throwing your character in can make some uncomfortable. And with no better way to put it, those who have rp'd longer are typically better at it. They have practiced, grown, refined and shaped their style over time. Sometimes playing with someone new is difficult as they learn and grow and evolve too. Don't take it as an insult. Take it as a challenge. It also helps when you get to know people and talk to them. Friends on the forums are much easier to play with then strangers!

-Be honest
    Let people know if you are new and wanting to find some people for advice or a chance to roleplay. Though some may be a little cautious, you will find most will be very excited to talk to you about it and there are usually quite a few opportunities to get started in the different threads on the forums. Roleplayers more often then not, greatly enjoy new and enthusiastic people looking to join alongside us.

In the end, finding roleplay can just be hit and miss. Sometimes you will find in easily and there will be tons of people looking to hang out and have fun. And sometimes you will find there is a dry spell of rp and no one wants to play much or they all seem to be doing something else. That's just part of the deal. Once WildStar launches, it will be easier to find rp with guilds, active environments and the ability to just walk up to others (forum rp isn't for everyone) So just hang in there and be patient. Have fun with the journey and good things will come!

The Do's and Don'ts

Stay respectful of others or prepare for some diplomacy that is no laughing matter!

Now that you've found somewhere to roleplay there is some unspoken etiquette that I think is only fair to share. Most of it is just common sense, but not always. These are good things to keep in mind when you play with others and will help make sure everyone feels appreciated.

-Be respectful
    These characters are other people's creations. And they are run by real living and breathing people behind that digital avatar. Be respectful of their opinions, emotions and their enjoyment of the game. This does not mean do not ever disagree or never hold conflict roleplay. This means do not take their character and dictate their actions on your terms without their permission. This means do not insult them and use poor criticism for their efforts. This means if they ask you to stop something, you STOP. At the end of the day we are all people trying to have fun. Remember this and respect that.

-Be humble and be realistic
    Does this mean never boast about your character or never speak highly of them? Not at all! What is does mean is don't always talk about your character as though no one else's matters. And be reasonable. While you might think your character is the greatest thing to come since sliced bread, not everyone will share that. And it is rude and often times uncomfortable to be told that you are expected to be enamored by someone's character. This also works when you are describing your character's abilities. Be reasonable. If our characters could all do everything all the time, what need would there be for other people? No one can do everything and everyone specializes in some fashion. While you may wish to be poetic in the descriptions, be realistic. In combat, characters take hits and wounds. Sometimes you lose (which can be a good thing! Check out my article on that here) And sometimes other characters will be more important than you for a bit. It's okay! When people work together, everyone gets a chance to shine and be “cool” It's also just plain nice. Perhaps your character is a decent hacker but is also an extremely good marksman. Your other teammate is also a good hacker, but a complete wimp in combat. This could be a wonderful opportunity to let them do the hacking even though you know you are good at it and letting them feel useful. Instead you can take the opportunity to work on the battlefield and let the hacker give you some intel.

-Be willing to learn
    Part of the pleasure of playing with others in roleplay is the fact that you never quite know what you will get next. This means that you will always see new and exciting things that will challenge your skills as a roleplayer. These are the things that help shape and change, not only how our character learns and grows, but how we learn and grow as roleplayers. But only if you are willing to do so. Be mindful when people offer you ideas or constructive criticism. Don't let them be rude and bully you. No one gets to tell you how to play. But that doesn't mean their ideas should hold no weight to you. Just take them with a grain of salt. You never know who will end up helping you to learn and grow in your roleplay!

3)The Future!

Much like that new trail in the horizon, the future in your rp can hold many wondrous surprises!


It never hurts to think of the future of your roleplay. Having a loose long-term plan can help a lot with not just your roleplaying but can also be a fun thing to look forwards to. So keep these things in mind when you are looking to get started but don't worry, you don't have to rush into these things!

    These are excellent places to find a community to play with. Guilds are collections of people who unify under a specific goal and work together to achieve it. Whether they be for PvE and raiding or PvP and warplots or many other ideas, they can be very rewarding to be a part of. Roleplaying guilds tend to have a theme for their rp, such as 'military based' or 'mercenaries' or even 'tribal clan.' These will give you an idea of what they are about and are meant to appeal to certain player's roleplaying styles who are looking for these types of things. So feel free to take the time and do a little research.

    The big thing to keep in mind that guilds are a commitment. This does not mean you can never leave or that you must be active at all times or else...only bad guilds will be rude to you like that. But it does mean that if you don't really feel like it, don't join. Don't waste others' times and effort just so you can get a little dungeon help. Be polite and be honest with them if your schedule is busy and most people will work with you.

Character Relationships
    Not everyone will end up in these, but for those who do, a word of advice : relationships, even virtual ones, take commitment. This means do not gun for someone or agree to these rp roles if you do not intend to follow through. Don't be afraid to end it if it is no longer fun or you just don't have the time, be honest about it, but don't ignore it either. Also remember that a relationship in-game is not a relationship out of game. You are not dating that person even if you character is dating their character. That is a separation you should consider and if you do not like it, don't play a relationship. On the flip side two talented roleplayers working together can make for some fantastic relationship roleplay that can be very rewarding!

    And while we are on the subject, a quick sidetrack into something most people don't like to talk about: ERP.  ERP or erotic roleplay is for those wishing for their characters to interact in a sexual nature. Before we get any further I want to point this out. This is perfectly okay. It really is. It's a part of human nature and not evil. If you want to do this and your rp partner is okay with this, then all the power to you! HOWEVER! ERP is between you and your partner(s) and not the rest of the community. Keep your private moments to yourself and respect that others don't want to hear/see it. Post your rp in private or party chat and be polite. There are enough people out there that assume that all roleplayers are horribly nasty perverts who only want to talk/play sex. This is hardly true and is so frustrating to be shunned for being a roleplayer because others immediately think ERP. If you wish to participate be respectful of others and keep it to yourself.


When you begin roleplaying, you open the door to a lot of potential fun and adventure. I have made so many wonderful friends and told the most fantastic stories throughout my years of roleplaying. Sometimes it grinds to a halt or sometimes bad things happen, people move on or plot lines end. But the nice thing to know is that there are always more opportunities just around the bend. You just have to be willing to look.

Be open, be malleable and watch as your characters take on real personalities and emotions. You might be surprised that what you begin with looks far different than what you end with!

And prepare for the day you finally set your feet upon Nexus!

This is just small bit of advice simply for getting started. I have much more detail I could go into for Character Creation, Guilds or many other subjects and if you want to hear one of these sooner rather then later, feel free to drop me a line! Otherwise I will get to them in time.

For now I do have these posts that you might find interesting:

Otherwise above all else, if you enter the world of roleplay with an open mind and remember that you are there to have fun, you will!

Hope this helps!

As always, feel free to ping me here, on enjin, twitter or my email if you have any ideas or topics you would like me to talk about! I love hearing from you guys <3 (And so does Hawkens, even if he won't admit it)

In fact, I think Hawkens might be a little put out that no one has asked him anything yet... wink


  1. A great article right here. It covers many different angles, and is very constructive to the new RP'ers, while also having some good advice for the veterans to think about.

    Overall I enjoyed reading this, looking forward to the next!

    1. Thanks much! I am really hoping this helps out people with just a nice general starting guide. I am planning on doing more in the future such as more in-depth character creation ideas, guild building, forum vs in-game rp, etc etc. So be sure to stay tuned!

      Also some other good points were raised here on the WSRP forums where lots of comments for my blog end up on:

  2. Great article! This kind of thing is exactly what new Rpers need. It can be a little intimidating coming into any new community, but your article is certainly going to make it easier for people!

    Say, Hawkens, what do you do in your down time when you're not advancing the glorious destiny of the Dominion through the all seeing eye of the ICI?

    1. Thanks much! Yeah I remember how hard it was getting started my first time and how nervous I was to rp with people. So I certainly hope this helps!

      And I will be sure to ask Hawkens about that for next time ;)