This will be a roleplaying philosophy on explaining three fundamental pillars of roleplaying that have been forgotten or overlooked. Detailing these three pillars: Storytelling, Simulation, Gamecraft. Some believe that one of these three have been forgotten and mislabelled by the World of Warcraft Roleplaying community. Specifically referring to Gamecraft, some believe all three of the pillars are deeply intertwined with supporting each other and that because Gamecraft is largely missing from WoW roleplay, it tends to lose interest quickly unless supported with events via in-game. This will be dissected further.
Every roleplayer should be a storyteller. Storytelling is an important skill to cultivate as one roleplays, it cannot be learned in a day, but rather over time. Continuously and rigorously examining stories and finding a more interesting way to tell a story. The way a story is told ties directly to how immersed a roleplayer is into the story. Immersion is defined by the Oxford Dictionary as “Deep mental involvement in something.” How does one generate Immersion in roleplayers? A couple of methods would include the setting, character attire, props, accents in character speech, but the biggest factor is when a roleplayer engages another character for a lengthy amount of time. It could be simple talks of rumors around town or planning a battle, being in-character is the most immersive factor by far in WoW roleplay. Staying in-character for long periods of time takes its toll on roleplayers, but staying disciplined and letting the in-character thoughts flow greatly increases Immersion. These subjects must be studied over time.
Simulation is a tricky horse, roleplayers can ride on its back to immersion or they can overdo simulation and have the horse buck them for being too harsh. Simulation can very easily sap the Immersion and Gamecraft out of a roleplaying scene by taking too long to calculate a certain value or the number of rules in place to barricade the roleplayer. Too much red tape around the roleplayer in the form of Simulation will snap them out of their suspension of disbelief. How to do Simulation just right then? Let the Immersive factors dictate the amount of Simulation in the roleplaying scene. Simulation needs to be carefully studied.
Gamecraft is the art of bringing roleplay to life, this pillar of roleplay is often misunderstood or scorned by most roleplayers. Some believe good Gamecrafting can lead to an increase in immersion and simulation. What is Gamecraft really? It is the mechanical systems by which roleplay occurs. It can be as simple as two players having an emote battle with rolling involved or it can be a fully fleshed out RPG system with roll checks on everything imaginable. The key to good Gamecrafting is setting the flow of time and hitting those story beats when you want your players to hit them. If one has a complex RPG system and they want an action packed event, these two things are at odds with one another. The complexity of the RPG system will significantly slow down the speed of roleplaying events and not deliver that quick action that was desired. The inverse is also true, having such a simplistic emote with roll system will take away from the impactfulness of a storyline that someone wants to be an epic setting.
A big problem on most WoW RP servers is their population is constantly living for the next event. Their populations don’t log on often for casual RP unless prior or just after an event. It’s a problem every GM or DM has faced before through experience. One possible solution is to have a RPG system that confers casual roleplaying encounters. The more casual roleplaying interactions that happen the stronger the connection the roleplayers feel to their character and other characters around them. Roleplayers need something more than just in-game events to motivate them to log on their characters. This must be studied further.
Every roleplayer should also be storyteller. All three of these pillars reflect a specific roleplaying philosophy, agree or not. Some believe that these fundamental pillars are often overlooked or forgotten. Storytelling, Simulation, and Gamecraft are all key to generating immersion in WoW roleplaying, these three pillars being deeply intertwined. Gamecraft missing from most WoW roleplaying communities and hopefully will rectify this for their respective populations.