Thursday, June 20, 2013

It's all in the Details: Humility and Respect


It has been a very busy this week, so I apologize that I haven't been able to keep up much on news this week! I will most likely be posting a blog once a week on Thursdays for the next few weeks until my schedule clears up a bit. Thanks for the understanding!

This weeks WildStar Wednesday covered their Main Events Calendar for where you can catch Carbine next! Be sure to check it out.


A good agent is self sufficient, able to succeed at a myriad of challenges. A wise agent still turns to others. They do not waste their energy on petty arrogance, believing themselves beyond the help of their fellow Imperials. Each has a role to play in the grand machine of the Dominion and only a fool wastes precious time and energy putting themselves above this.

In the end, all serve the glory of the Empire.

Back in March, I wrote the blog “It's all in the Details: Respecting the Chain of Command” which discussed how respecting a command hierarchy within both the gaming community and within roleplay was a key part for them to succeed and thrive. I also went on to note how this was a respect freely given, with little sincerely critical punishments that would drive such incentives, but rather a respect for one's community members and our mutual happiness instead.

Today I want to talk about another aspect of this idea: Respect and Humility, specifically in roleplaying with others.

There are very few aspects of roleplay that a roleplayer enjoys more then their character: the expression of their creative genius and an avatar for interacting with a fantastic world beyond their own. With few exceptions, these characters represent a significant investment of time and effort on the part of their creator and are often a source of pride.

So it should come as no surprise that one of the best ways to befriend a roleplayer is to engage them about their character. I know for myself, I personally enjoy when people ask me about Hawkens, make jokes about him, ask to roleplay with me and even create fan art. To me this shows appreciation not just for my character but for my efforts in creating him and it is humbling and flattering each time!

Seriously. I love it. <3 (Art by Himmel)

Now with all this time and effort we put into our characters, it stands to reason that we try to make them exciting and interesting! Perhaps we want them to be a great and powerful warrior or a wily rogue. Maybe they are a flying ace or a clever hacker. They can be charming and witty or perhaps they are kind and caring. Often, they represent something we are interested in or something we might like to be.

With so many well rounded and interesting characters, what happens when you place them together? What happens if two people wanted to be a scientist or multiple players thought the idea of a hacker was pretty cool? When writing with others, you cannot be the only star of the show, but then how do you show that your character is still awesome?

Interestingly enough, the best way that I have found to show how cool your character is, is what I have written this blog about: Humility and Respect.

Humility: Roleplayers with humility recognize that they are not the only character playing and do not attempt to take over every scene by 'acting out.' Now, don't get me wrong, you shouldn't be afraid to have your character do 'cool things.' You can still show off and even be the star of the show now and then. What is important, is that you still remember the other players and you take into consideration that they too wish for their characters to appear useful and competent!

Even if you know that you are in every way superior to those arou---

Hawkens! Not now!


Ahem. For example: Let's say you are playing an Aurin scientist and you and your band of Exiles are wandering one of the jungles of Nexus, looking for some Eldan ruins. The first step is finding them, which means successfully getting through a jungle full of dangerous flora and fauna. Now, as an Aurin, you figure that your character has a natural affinity with the wild and traversing such environments. However, you also have a Human tracker in your party. Even though you would love to show how wise your Aurin is in the way of the wild, you know that you will definitely get another time to shine when you find the ruins themselves. The ancient Eldan technology will be a veritable playground for a scientist, whereas the simple, but honest tracker will probably find them confusing or even boring. So instead you step back and focus on preparing for the ruins and let your companion shine for awhile and lead the group. Maybe you pipe up now and then to let others know you certainly know your stuff, as there is no shame in showing your character is skilled in something. Just in this case, your character offers help, encouragement or maybe even a little sarcasm to lend to the adventure without needing to take the lime light.

Once you reach the ruins, then you can have your time to shine!

Respect: Roleplayers with respect show that they appreciate the characters created by others. This can be very similar/overlap with the aspects of humility, but here I want to point out a particular aspect of respecting the characters of other players: pointing out the skills and/or qualities they themselves might wish to show off.

For example: Let's say this time you are playing a Draken Huntress. You may not possess that many booksmarts, but /no one/ wants to cross blades with you. You have proven yourself loyal and dedicated, eager to crush the Exile rebellion beneath your feet and yet somehow you have found yourself trailing around with some Cassian scientist who is infuriatingly inquisitive about everything and sooooo slow. Now your friend playing the scientist doesn't just want to stomp around throwing around tons of “smart words” and try to make your character feel stupid, they feel it would just push stereotypes or perhaps be rude. Instead, you point it out for them! It isn't that your Draken isn't smart enough to learn if she wanted to study, she just chose a different life path. So instead of being angry at her companion for their intelligence, perhaps she remarks on it either internally or aloud. Maybe she notes to herself that she is impressed by his ability to make sense of obscure technology while he notes that her skills in battle and the Hunt allow him the luxury of being able to explore and learn without fear. Not only did acknowledging each others strengths make you both feel good about your characters, it also helps to make you more relaxed roleplaying together! You don't have to be worried that your character will be ignored or downtrodden. The other player thinks they are cool as well!

Keep in mind you can compliment someone without necessarily being "nice" Like this meeting between Reyes and JC Denton in the first Deus Ex game. They are actually joking and further conversation gives you the feeling that this dialogue was more in recognition of their accomplishments than an insult.

So you can see how critical and how powerful these aspects can be in roleplay! They don't just make the player feel good, but they also open up comforts in interacting that everyone can enjoy!

I really wanted to talk about this because of the phenomenal experience I have had roleplaying with Hawkens alongside all the super talented people of WSRP and how much their display of these aspects has meant to me.

I tend to always be nervous about making Hawkens into a Mary Sue. Like many of the agents he was based on, he is skilled in many areas and has a good set of hobbies to round him out. However, when playing with others I am always so afraid I will accidentally make them feel insignificant to his abilities or feel unappreciated. So when I write, sometimes I try not to go into too much detail how 'graceful' he was in combat or other such self appreciating descriptions. But the problem is, Agent Hawkens is arrogant and...well a loyal Imperial and he believes himself above others around him for the most part. On top of that, I'll admit, I think Hawkens is pretty cool. So I like him to do 'cool' things and try to look good doing them.

But this does not stop me from appreciating others, nor Hawkens, by proxy. For instance, Hawkens knows a bit of first aid. As he is often on his own, it is imperative that he knows how to keep himself alive in tough situations.

However, I only know enough to keep myself alive until I can get to a real doctor. Therefore I do not hesitate to show my appreciation of those who have dedicated themselves to the healing arts. Who knows when it may be them that tends to my wounds one day?

Exactly! And as for pointing out Hawkens' strengths? It is always a pleasure when someone makes a comment in or out of character that I was trying to make come across with Hawkens. One notices that, while outwardly grumpy and prickly, if you can manage to get close to him, Hawkens is actually rather kindhearted for those he cares about. Whereas others note that they respect and fear his abilities. Right there I didn't have to fear that they would somehow ignore his prickliness just because he was nice once or fear that, just because he wasn't throwing his weight around, people would not respect that he was dangerous.

By these people showing me that they understood and respected his capabilities I felt not only more comfortable playing him, but more comfortable playing with /them./ I have played with people who wanted nothing more than to be the coolest character in every scene and it can become tiring and sometimes depressing when you feel your character keeps getting shoved aside because you are trying to be polite. And the more comfortable people feel playing together, the better adventures they can build! When no one is wasting time posturing or feeling left behind, everyone can enjoy growing together instead.

So Humility and Respect end up being a win-win all around. By showing you care not only about the character you are roleplaying yours with, but that player as well you help create a sense of camaraderie that spreads throughout the community little by little.

In conclusion, respect me the most, and show ME the most humility, and we should all get along fine.

Hawkens! You wipe that grin off your face right now! ANYWAY, in the end, if you work together like this, everyone has more fun. Which is what this is all about! I cannot possibly emphasize that enough! We will have good days and some bad days, but in the end this is for relaxation and entertainment. So if we can help another have fun as well? Fantastic!


Thank you once again for joining us, dear readers! As always feel free to leave comments and suggestions to either myself or Agent Hawkens and we will reply as soon as able! 

Or you can all revel in his glory if you wish...;P


  1. Very good job! It's very true that the player's attitudes directly affect how fun the experience is. It's good to see it written and explained so well!

    1. Thanks! I have always found I have enjoyed playing with friends and making more friends than just by playing my favorite faction or the "coolest" character.