IC/OOC Separation

It's definitely a thing. But I kind of feel like Lusternia kneejerks it, like it's supposed to be one or the other. Black and white. Where is the grey?

In most MUSHes I play, we have a half-hour conversation about what we expect from each other before any RP even happens.

And there's a lot of hurt feelings here, because people don't understand each other's RP.

What are your thoughts?

Mayor Steingrim, the Grand Schema says to you, "Well, as I recall you kinda leave a mark whereever you go."


  • There isn't any. 
  • QistrelQistrel the hemisemidemifink
    I tried the whole 'having an OOC conversation about what we expect from each other' once, and then the person went and broke everything we had discussed, which hurt really, really badly. So I try to keep my interactions IC now.

  • Qistrel said:
    I tried the whole 'having an OOC conversation about what we expect from each other' once, and then the person went and broke everything we had discussed, which hurt really, really badly. So I try to keep my interactions IC now.

    What broke?

    Mayor Steingrim, the Grand Schema says to you, "Well, as I recall you kinda leave a mark whereever you go."
  • QistrelQistrel the hemisemidemifink
    We had agreed on a direction our characters were going to go in, very tied into the lore and so on, and I spent a lot of time and effort moulding my character in this direction. And then suddenly the other player changed their mind, and went in a different direction, and didn't even come to me and explain what was going on. I just got cut off until it was far too late for me to do anything about it. And that hurt.

    Now I have a large amount of RP attached to my character that no longer makes any sense. I don't know what to do with it, and feel like I wasted a lot of time and effort on it. My character made some promises, even one to a god, that she can no longer keep.

    And looking back, the best rp interactions I've had are with people who I've actually had very little ooc-interaction with. Everiine, Azus, Solange, Portius and others.

  • edited December 2015
    There's no middle ground there, @Qistrel. It's just white instead of black, and both lead to problems. "What we expect" is a foundation, not the entire story.

    Some of the worst encounters I've had are when people (myself included) think there is anger, frustration rage, where none exists in the first place, and we have no way to tell each other how to OOC calm down.

    We can't read each other behind this screen. How do we communicate?

    Mayor Steingrim, the Grand Schema says to you, "Well, as I recall you kinda leave a mark whereever you go."
  • There's a very big difference between RP-enforced MUDs and RP-encouraged MUSHes.

    Of course, there are only a number of MUDs/MUSHes out there that are played by a respectable amount of people to compare between, and each game has their own idiosyncracies in establishing and enforcing their "rules" or norms.

    But in Lusternia's case, it is clear that we're not really a "plan everything out beforehand" kind of RP environment. It's definitely still possible to "power-play" here in Lusternia, and what Qistrel explained is one example, but the mechanical frameworks in place trump pre-determined or pre-planned RP every time. In IRE MUDs, mechanics > RP, not in the sense that RP is less important, but in the sense that what mechanically happens translates to lore, period. While players have a huge amount of control and ability to create lore in the absence of hardcoded mechanics, once the game framework comes into the picture there is no room for RP to create deviant circumstances. It's one of the reasons people were up in arms about the racial stat changes - the mechanical aspects of the stat pros and cons DID have a huge impact on the RP of many players.

    This also translates into player interactions. Because players have the ability to make actual, undeniable marks on the game world, (if they can do it mechanically, then it will become literal fact if they actually do it) there is far less incentive, and far less need, to plan out RP storylines. Because something that is not actually mechanically performed would become impossible to objectively prove. This is also seen in "persistent world" MUSHes, but some MUSHes do allow their players the ability to bend the mechanical rules a little - no such case in IRE MUDs. This also lends itself to a situation where IC and OOC separation can be fairly black and white at some places. You can't say you mechanically kicked someone out "OOCly" - it is an IC action, once it is done. Reversing such actions, whatever the actual motivation, is usually not done - even the admin very rarely retcon stuff (though they've been known to do it?) but players? There's no way a player can "retcon" such an action. The IC/OOC lines are very clear here.

    As a result, there usually aren't many "half IC" kinds of activity in the game, because it becomes that much more empowering to actually use the mechanics than to cobble something together based off goodwill and only verifiable by the participants.

  • Even within the mechanics, the same nonsense happens, @Lerad. PKers don't seem to be able to step back and breathe, and get wrapped up in the trash talk (less from my experience, but we've all heard it). Because we can't take a step back as players. It gets right to a lot of the core of a lot of people, because we only see each other's characters.

    Mayor Steingrim, the Grand Schema says to you, "Well, as I recall you kinda leave a mark whereever you go."
  • edited December 2015
    I have a very strict personal rule that I never take OOC information IC, and never give any information over OOC mediums that would affect IC events.

    I prefer my RP interactions to be spontaneous and natural, not a pre-planned endeavor where I'm just going through the motions.

    I can understand why people would certainly want to plan things ahead of time, and I respect that; I just can't do it without feeling like something is amiss.

    Edited for punctuation because I haven't slept in far too long, and won't be any time soon.
    I occasionally like to pretend that I'm replanting all of these herbs to attract bees, and might one day form an alliance with the bees and take over the Basin. Then we could have a wonderful tea party with plenty of honey and the best tea blends.
  • QistrelQistrel the hemisemidemifink
    Well, there are some areas where my ooc tendencies show through...like, if I go to an area to bash and realise someone else is already bashing there, I leave. Whereas my character should probably not actually care and just hunt stuff anyway. And I tend to tone down the gnome-hate when meeting an actual pc gnome.

    But then, my character is doing that stuff, so like Lerad said, it is an IC action, so maybe my character is not quite as nasty and selfish as she claims to be?

  • Oh, right, we're actually talking about people who are unable to separate themselves from their characters.

    Sorry, I got the topic sort of wrong.

    Well, it comes with the territory, I'm afraid. Some people simply cannot maintain a degree of separation of themselves, much less of the other people who they are playing with - and this isn't just limited to IRE MUDs. It's also seen everywhere else. The reason it might feel a little more prevalent in IRE MUDs is because, well, the IRE MUDs are more immersive. It's easier to step out of character and separate oneself from the character (and to perceive the other players as two entities) if you have immersion breaking devices everywhere. Like built in OOC tags or global OOC chat channels, the ability to remort or reroll at will, the ability to affect the game grid etc. The more of such immersion breaking devices exist, the easier it is to separate IC from OOC. The lack of consequences that many MUSHes have also contribute to that - some don't have experience points to lose, don't need to have membership in societies or communities, and can generate gold or resources without grinding.

    In IRE, however, if you get kicked out of an org, it feels personal, because it's permanent and it's real and it has implications for the future of your character. That's what causes a lot of IC/OOC lack of separation.

    Also, obligatory inb4 Celina comes in to comment that this is true for RPers as well.

    In fact, there have been major meltdowns that are caused by non PK drama. Or perhaps it would be more accurate to say, most of such meltdowns come from RP drama than PK drama. PKers who are obnoxious are hardly the leading cause of that infamous period of rubbing away everything. And that actually makes sense, because compared to the consequences of a PK death, RP'd mechanical consequences can sometimes be a lot more far-reaching, especially when it comes to org membership and the punishment of removing such.

    There's not really any way to resolve this in IRE MUDs unless you're willing to compromise on the RP-enforcement and immersion, at least, in my opinion.

  • True story. There's also less outlets for people in RP, if it must always always always be RP and nothing else ever.

    Can we compromise?

    Mayor Steingrim, the Grand Schema says to you, "Well, as I recall you kinda leave a mark whereever you go."
  • I am much like Kurut in the way that I like RP to develop naturally, but certain things I do like to plan out, just in case someone isn't prepared to RP that way, especially with some of the more aggressive RP that involves somewhat abusive characteristics to be portrayed.  

    And, sometimes players are pushed to drop certain plans because of ooc events/interactions. And sometimes life interrupts and causes you to act out of character in the sense that you might make decisions for your character that you wouldn't normally for various reasons. 

    I have given up a few things in the past just because players had issues oocly and decided to attack my character icly, making it difficult to follow up with certain things. You can't do anything but shrug and move on. Because even when you make it very clear you don't want to RP with someone or continue to RP that particular scene with them they push it upon you which causes a very unfriendly environment. Which is what happened in Magnagora for such a long while. 

    There is also this thing that players seem to do here, where they take IC actions far too personally and turn it into something it isn't. Case in point: Marcella. A lot of her RP is really intense and is almost always taken as an ooc offence tactic, when really she is simply role playing. And sure, she the player could choose not respond to an event at that time, and sure it might be 'annoying' for you. But instead of improvising and working with her RP you shut her down and cause drama, or respond with the typical crap which doesn't engage her or encourage her to respond in a more positive and appropriate manner. But I am sure what I am saying is too much hard work and you would rather just have her be quiet so you can live out your events in peace right? Because being different is bad. Le sigh. 

    Then there is the trying to have conversation without someone trying to drag you into a manse. I mean come on!
  • I have no issue with Marcella myself, because I like the storyline she made for her character.

    However, it's also fairly clear that what she's doing is not "simply role playing" - there is a clear intent to provoke OOC reactions. I stop just short of saying there is malice in her intent, because I haven't personally interacted with her much beyond a couple of fights, so I won't say things I cannot objectively prove with logs or whatever. But there are very few things that rank below indiscriminate attacking of everyone, including newbies, in my opinion - and according to what I hear, that's not the worst she's done.

    Of course, the fact that she isn't permanently shrubbed should count for the legitimacy of her roleplay, but it should be noted that it does not lead to the conclusion that she is capable of separating IC from OOC - her actions prove it to observers.

    Integral to proper IC/OOC separation should be the awareness that RP streets run both ways - if anyone, not just Marcella, wants RP that is fulfilling and fun, they should act in a way appropriate to receiving it. If anyone is finding something unfun in this game, the proper action should be to disengage, not to act in a "roleplay approrpriate" manner (even if your character's role is a ruthless killer) and then cry victim. If, however, being ostracised and treated with scorn and disrespect is fun to a person, then playing out a role (within admin-mandated rules and limits) that would attract certainly is an option. Either way, a player who is able to properly separate IC and OOC should then be able to own up to their own intentions and motivations, and know which is OOCly motivated and which is ICly motivated.

  • QistrelQistrel the hemisemidemifink
    edited December 2015
    You can't RP in a way that goes against two entire divine orders and their gods, and then claim OOC unfairness when you get punished for it. I definitely OOC think Drocilla is evil, and Morgfye is completely insane. It wasn't that Marcella was messing up 'our event'. IC, she was actually hampering something our characters had been trying to do for years. We had finally gotten a possible way to fix our beloved Enchantress, and someone was stopping us. Did we turn a blind eye to the whole Morgfyre/Lavinya thing? Yes. But it wasn't because we hate Marcella, it was because our characters wanted their Enchantress to be ok again. We weren't about to let anyone stop it. Is Marcella right about Morgfyre? Probably. But it was in our characters' interests to ignore her. And we didn't come out of it unscathed either, we lost a prominent, high-ranked member of the order who went 'actually, Marcella is right' and left. And now my character has to somehow deal with (and conceal) the fact that she is actually more loyal to Drocilla than to Magnagora.

    Lisaera turned me into a maggot for...I think it was 5 days? Just for my character telling her she was a blind fool that was destroying the Serenwilde. (I love you Lisaera.)

  • TarkentonTarkenton Traitor Bear
    edited December 2015
    Edit: Celina's right. Disregard.
  • I think the inability to allow for change in people is also something that is lacking. But yes, Marcy, like many of us, will become oocly invested in certain situations. How people express themselves isn't always the most delightful of conversations. 

    My point wasn't about Marcella or that particular event it was just the most recent one I could come up with at this crappy hour of the morning. There have been others in similar situations where I have wondered why we don't embrace it and use it to our advantage to liven up our RP instead of turning into a bitchfest. But that is just me. I understand though, some players do make it very hard to work with, I have been on the receiving end of that particular abuse, but Marcella just isn't like that. You can always get a conversation out of her. Enemy or not. She is always open to discussion and debate. Conversion is her thing and if you give her the opportunity she would talk with you for hours on why Mag is da bomb! Like a few other players I know. 

    Although I realise in this particular situation she was challenging divine and nobody likes that because you (collective) are so terrified they will leave. Which is sad. That is one of the signs you are in an abusive relationship. I am sure the divine want strong players who have a sense of identity outside of asskisser. 

    Also that player didn't quit because "Oh Marcy might have a point." So before you start throwing around accusations like that maybe find out the -why- or accept that the player might have had other reasons.
  • QistrelQistrel the hemisemidemifink
    I'm not terrified that the gods will leave. And that wasn't an accusation. I'm not even sure what you think it's an accusation of?

    I was pointing out that Marcella had valid points, and even some of Drocilla's followers thought so.

  • SynkarinSynkarin Nothing to see here
    Everything is personal - @Everiine called me ugly, so he must be a stuck up, half-witted nerf herder. -shakefist-

    (I actually just laughed at it and moved on, like everyone else should do)

    Everiine said:
    "'Cause the fighting don't stop till I walk in."
    -Synkarin's Lament.
  • XenthosXenthos Shadow Lord
    He called your character ugly, to be fair.
  • QistrelQistrel the hemisemidemifink
    People call my character ugly all the time!

  • I was just using that scenario as an example, I can think of a few situations I have seen directly which don't involve Magnagora or its citizens at all. Having been a part of an order and absolutely loving every moment I was a part of it I understand what it is like to want to please your god/goddess, and how much it can hurt to leave them. I spent more time being upset leaving my order than I did leaving my gf of 4 yrs. 

    This isn't about acknowledging the work they put into the game. We all know and appreciate it. As I do all players that put in the effort to make this place what it is. And I think that is what is lost sometimes. Players have as much value as divine. And when players are inhibited by the fear of losing divine or being ostracized by the community for going against the divine because there is more value placed on their ability to contribute more mechanically and whatnot (which is only fair in a sense), it creates an inequality within the relationship.

    Challenging the divine shouldn't be tied in with this misconception that as players we don't appreciate the work they do, or the human behind the screen. It is RP. Which is the point. Someone saying, no screw you <divine>, that <player> did something to hurt <org> and you want to play tea parties with them, well no thanks shouldn't equate to, 'That player is ungrateful for all the work we do for free, and so we are gonna <insert ic punishment of choice>.' and sure sometimes we can all go a little overboard. For all kinds of reasons. God I divorced someone and 'ruined' their life because I hadn't slept in almost a week, spent the first night ever away from my son, and needed some space and thought that was the only way I could get it. We all do stupid shit. It doesn't mean we don't freaking appreciate them or can't find a way to Rp it out civilly once some time has passed. 

    But I find things get escalated here on forums and with ooc banter and there is little room for forgiving and what not. I feel like when people do take things too far, instead of being able to say, "Oh crap sorry, here let's try and work this out." it turns into "NO SCREW YOU YOU NEED TO DIE AND I AM GONNA HATE YOU FOR ALL ETERNITY!! Rawr!"

    Which is where I think Riluna's point of being able to converse oocly about RP and yes even combat sometimes is helpful. 

  • Generally people are pretty terrible at separating IC from OOC and I know I'm guilty of it, but some people take it too far.  One player I know wishes the RL players of people dead, and voices that opinion quite a lot.  I had another player talk to me on another plane, switching from IC to OOC (in says) saying the game is shit and they're going to leave and take people to another MUD and whinge OOC for long time.  It's tricky to know how to deal with that.  
  • You need to be around more @Ellowyn
  • ShaddusShaddus , the Leper Messiah Outside your window.
    edited December 2015
    I'm going to take this off on a tangent and complain about myself. I'm going to apologise beforehand if what I type offends anyone, especially admin players. You know I love you.

    Something I've personally had a lot of problems separating is my interactions with gods. Not so much separation of the admin and their players, but in what I do for an order. When a god steps down/leaves/takes a break, I've always gotten oocly angry with them, to the point of reducing my time playing the character in their order because said order was often the main reason for my playing that character.

    Deep down we're all aware that most of the gods are filling their roles for free, being paid nothing except for the rp and feels. Despite this, I've personally always felt like the gods' players were a little beholden to their order, in that were they needing to step down/take a break, they would or should have the courtesy to let the mortals know through whatever means. It's depressing to have this heady rush of rp with a group of like-minded people as well as an omnipotent(ish) figure to guide us, and have it suddenly cut off without warning, or worse yet, have it cut off and we don't realise it. We just keep sending prayers to the god, wondering when we'll get a response.

    Almost as bad is when we invest in an order and it seems all for nothing. For instance, I might spend 40$ on credits to sell and essence - bomb a god. I can imagine a god logging on and realising that someone has offered offered a chunk of esteem worth quite a bit, allowing the god to take on some personal project or do something new. I realize it's not fully like that, but meh.

    Now imagine you're the same person who is spending money to hook up your god with essence, or you buy mass credits and buy a divine font/symbol/mark artifact and you realise that said divine has poofed overnight, and your special divine arties aren't getting their special touches, and your divine essence bomb is going to waste. It hurts. I'm entirely aware that I didn't owe that divine the esteem, and that nobody forced me to spend a thousand credits buying shiny computer constructs just to feel and look special, but that doesn't make it hurt any less that I've spent this money or devoted this time, and it's suddenly wasted.

    Maybe I'm an asshole for feeling this way. Maybe I shouldn't get so attached, but I do.
    Everiine said: The reason population is low isn't because there are too many orgs. It's because so many facets of the game are outright broken and protected by those who benefit from it being that way. An overabundance of gimmicks (including game-breaking ones), artifacts that destroy any concept of balance, blatant pay-to-win features, and an obsession with convenience that makes few things actually worthwhile all contribute to the game's sad decline.
  • ShaddusShaddus , the Leper Messiah Outside your window.
    Damn you, crappy forums software. /shakefist
    Everiine said: The reason population is low isn't because there are too many orgs. It's because so many facets of the game are outright broken and protected by those who benefit from it being that way. An overabundance of gimmicks (including game-breaking ones), artifacts that destroy any concept of balance, blatant pay-to-win features, and an obsession with convenience that makes few things actually worthwhile all contribute to the game's sad decline.
  • PhoebusPhoebus tu fui, ego eris. Circumstances
    edited December 2015
    Vivet said:
    There's been talk about people not being able to separate themselves from their characters, but there's a variant that is also significant: characters that really aren't much of characters at all so much as direct avatars of the player. The longer I play a given character, the lazier I tend to get with thinking them out as a character and moreso I tend to slide in this direction myself.

    This is so true, and I have to catch myself on it all the time. I'm sure it makes me sound a little weird, but I find it helps me keep the the divide between myself and my character by referring to Phoebus as an entirely separate individual when speaking of her thoughts or actions OOCly. Once I start saying I did this or I did that, I notice myself slipping up and getting lazy with her character more often. Which is a shame, because I spent so much time building her character up into something fun to play, I can't waste it by letting her turn into me of all people.  :P
    Shaddus said:
    Damn you, crappy forums software. /shakefist
    If you're typing in the show source box, you have to add the <br> in manually where you want line breaks. I find it interesting that the thing that'd been happening to me in my browser (can't see what you're typing in the reply box unless you click show source) is happening for people on mobile now, hmm. Mine took a couple months before it started magically working again. Ugh, I really don't know if I could survive on these forums without the show source thing! 

    EDIT: And now I just had to fix a broken quote box in this very post by using show source. Bless you, show source button, you beautiful creature.
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