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 Post subject: The Dummies Guide to Roleplaying [UNDER CONSTRUCTION]
PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2011 11:53 pm 
THIS GUIDE IS UNDER CONSTRUCTION, I WILL BE ADDING MORE RESPONSES AS "CHAPTERS" AND WILL BE MODIFYING THEM MANY TIMES SO PLEASE DON'T COMMENT UNLESS YOU DON'T MIND ME DELETING YOUR COMMENTS TO MAKE WAY FOR NEW CHAPTERS. IT'S BETTER TO WAIT TILL IT'S FINISHED, THANKS!


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Introduction
If you have joined the Elders coming from a non-RP server, or are new to roleplaying and would like a few tips, we're here to help you out! People on RP servers enjoy the game in all the same ways you do. We like to quest, level up, go to dungeons, do raids etc. But in addition, we add a new layer to our game play which enrichens the experience in volumes. While we're doing our quests, crafting our gear, walking through town and interacting with others, we're trying to imagine being those characters that we play and that the world of Azeroth is our home and that we know of no others. Sometimes we can get really involved and immersed in that fantasy and the experiences we have can be magical - leaving vivid memories imprinted in our minds forever. People coming to roleplaying servers should understand and respect this aspect, even if they do not partake in it themselves. For this reason, players should not do things which break the illusion when they're out in "public".


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 Post subject: Re: The Dummies Guide to Roleplaying
PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2011 11:55 pm 
Chapter XX: Respect thy Roleplayer
When chatting in any circumstance where you can be publicly heard, keep the conversation IC (In Character) and avoid:
- Talking about and referring to real world, modern day things that have nothing to do with the way life is lived in Azeroth.
- Talking about countries, nationalities and religions which have nothing to do with Azeroth.
- Using any types of abbreviations (LOL, I C, Y, )
- Talking about your personal issues, goals in the game etc. If you somehow wanted to express that you will reach level 85, you could do it in an IC way such as "My friend, I feel like I shall finish my education in the priesthood tonight". Remember, your character has no concept of skills, levels, classes etc.

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 Post subject: Re: The Dummies Guide to Roleplaying
PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2011 12:31 am 
Chapter X: What your character does not know
Even though you as a player are capable of checking someone's name by either reading the floating name tag above their head (personally I have all name tags turned off in my options at all times, I find it kills immersion greatly) or clicking on them to see their status bar, that does not mean that your character sees such things! So if you approach someone, remember you only know as much or as little as they have chosen to reveal to you.

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In the picture above, our little gnomish friend has seen that Lucille is a level 85 mage and is asking for a boost. This is how NOT to do it. Instead, ask via whisper using double brackets such as:

/whisper Lucille ((Greetings, I'd really need some help, would you mind boosting me?))

Or if you want to stick to the RP atmosphere, ask her in character either face to face or in whisper:

"Greetings miss, I could not help but notice how wise you look. Would you by any chance be able to guide a young gnome as myself through the fiery streets of Stratholme? I fear I would not last long there alone!"


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 Post subject: Re: The Dummies Guide to Roleplaying
PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2011 12:46 am 
Chapter X: Using chat channels on RP servers

What is IC?
IC means "in character" which means you would act and talk like you were that orc, dwarf or whatever character you're playing. Your character has no idea about your real life, all they know are the towns and villages of Azeroth and the people and folklore within.

Here is where you need to stay IC:


/say
/yell
/emote
/officer (our guilds IC channel)

You will often see amateur roleplayers use the double brackets also in /say and /yell. Such as:

[Jezeba]:((Sorry, was AFK did I miss anything?))

But I don't recommend doing this. It has a nasty way of deflating and ruining the atmosphere of a RP moment. A better way to handle this situation would be to do something like this:

Jezeba perks her head up, realizing that she had nodded off during the conversation.
Jezeba wonders whether she missed anything important


What is OOC?

OOC means "out of character" which means you are free to talk just normally about anything. You are representing you as the player when in this mode.

Here is where you can talk OOC:

/guild
/party
/whisper ((some prefer to use brackets when talking OOC in whispers if they're the kind that prefer to stay IC as much as possible, even in whisper))
/raid
/1. general (however keep topics related only to wow)
/2. trade (however keep topics related only to buying and selling)

As well as looking for group, recruitment etc channels.


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 Post subject: Re: The Dummies Guide to Roleplaying
PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2011 2:15 am 
Chapter XX: Naming your character
When people roleplay their characters, the aim is to become as immersed as possible, transferring themselves into an almost trance like state in which they try to really believe in the world their character lives in. It takes some effort getting into this "trance" and a certain mind set is needed to try to "forgive" flaws that ruin the sense of reality, such as the obvious signs of 3d models with their sharp corners and mushy optimized textures. But once in that emotional place, the experience is truly rewarding.

That is, until a dude named DeathSlayer, DarthVader, PoopiePants, EpicShaman or BritneySpears shows up. :-(

So to respect your fellow roleplayers (and to gain their acceptance and respect), aim for a character name that fits the lore and setting of the game you're playing, be it WoW or any other MMO. Study the names of the NPCs and read some guides on the race you've chosen. In addition, try and imagine in your mind that magical moment when the parents of your character (remember, your character is "real" and was born into the world not through the click of your mouse but from living breathing parents that are inhabitants of that world)

What you should not name your character:

- Anything that breaks the naming policies of the game you are playing. Links provided at the end of the naming section.
- Anything that refers to people, places, languages, stories, movies, concepts etc that are outside of the world of the game you're playing.
- Anything that refers to famous people or fictional characters. It's just as bad if it's a name that tries to sound similar.
- This also goes for fictional characters which are actually within the game you're playing. It's just bad taste to proclaim your character to be so and so or belonging to such and such a famous family. You'll be the laughing stock of the roleplayers, believe me.
- Anything that refers to the race or class you're playing. Remember that we humans do not name our babies "HumanDentist" either :-).
- Anything that's more of a word than it is a name. For instance "Sword" or "Kettle". However there are some exceptions, for instance it would be completely believable that someone named their daughter "Flower" just because they felt their daughter to be so precious and beautiful.
- Anything which is clearly from a modern day foreign language.

Ideas for successfully thinking up a good name:

- Use your imagination to go back in time and picture the parents of your character. What were their lives like, what sort of environment did they live in, what things did they admire.
- Read up on the lore of your race and use name generators to find some ideas. However it's a good idea not to choose any generated name directly since they will most likely be names from famous fictional characters. Instead look at how the names are formed and add your own twist.

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Blizzard Naming Policy
Blizzard RP server Naming Policy (yes there are additional rules for the RP servers!)
STAR WARS™: THE OLD REPUBLIC™ RULES OF CONDUCT
LOTRO Character Naming Policy
Rift terms of use


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 Post subject: Re: The Dummies Guide to Roleplaying
PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2011 3:32 am 
Chapter XX: Emotes

Emotes are an excellent way to enrichen and enhance roleplaying. For those who don't know what emotes are, they are textual descriptions written in third person of what the character is feeling, thinking or doing. The amount of information revealed in emotes varies according to how hard core the roleplayer wants to go. I will start by talking about a more casual approach.

Most of you have noticed that WoW has some ready made emotes which can either be written as commands or chosen from the chat window tool. In addition, one can also emote using the /me command. For instance /me flashes a smile at Lucille

To give you an idea, let's say Lucille is alone at the inn, waiting for some action.

Lucille sighs, feeling bored and alone.
[Lucille]: Where is everyone?
Lucille picks at a loose bit of thread on the hem of her skirt.
Lucille sees Jonathan walk in and feels her heart skip a beat.
Jonathan flashes a smile at Lucille, brushing past her lightly as he strolls to the bar.

[Jonathan]: Bartender, the usual please!
Lucille glances nervously over her shoulder, hurriedly smoothing out the hems of her skirt.
Lucille wonders whether Jonathan finds her attractive.
Jonathan senses Lucille's eyes on him and instinctively puffs out his chest.


This whole "conversation" took place with hardly any words spoke out loud, and yet it was a dialogue that efficiently conveyed the atmosphere of the moment. However, just because thoughts and feelings are emoted, it does not mean that others in the room are mind readers. For instance Jonathan would under no circumstances respond: "Yes, yes I do find you attractive". Lucille's player has merely wanted to emote the character's secret thoughts to help things along. Compared to real life human behaviour, a MMO is extremely restricted and stunted in how emotions and thoughts can be signalled. So with the help of emoting, we can help fill in the empty spots.

So no, Jonathan the character has no idea that Lucille is wondering about his feelings towards her, but Jonathan the player has been given a cue from Lucille's player as to where she would like to take this and he has the choice to either ignore the hint and play Jonathan as if he were clueless and uninterested, or respond and have him walk over and say something like: "What's a gorgeous girl like you doing in a dump like this?".

For more serious roleplayers, describing emotions and thoughts is a big no-no. Instead they prefer to describe actions in such great detail that the other person is able to figure it out on their own. This however requires a lot of concentration and little distraction from others. The way in which the above scenario might go from a hard core roleplayer's perspective:

Lucille sighs deeply.
[Lucille]: Where is everyone?
Lucille picks at a loose bit of thread on the hem of her skirt.
Lucille sees Jonathan walk in.
Lucille puts her hand to her chest as she lets out a little gasp.
Jonathan flashes a smile at Lucille, brushing past her lightly as he strolls to the bar.

[Jonathan]: Bartender, the usual please!
Lucille glances over her shoulder, hurriedly smoothing out the hems of her skirt.
Jonathan sees Lucille watching him and puffs out his chest.


In this version, it's up to us to understand the body language described (for instance if she's sighing, she's probably bored) and put two and two together on what the various actions symbolise.

And remember: Our character's are not mind readers. If only Gnomedude below would have understood that!

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 Post subject: Re: The Dummies Guide to Roleplaying
PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2011 4:41 am 
Chapter XX: Just because it's a RP server, does not mean that...

Often times, people will falsely assume that playing on a RP server is an open invitation to import influences from other fantasy based games, books or movies. One of the ways in which this shows is when they name their toons after famous characters from the aforementioned. When they do something such as calling their dwarf "Gimli" (from LOTR), they feel like they've "done their part" in contributing to the overall RP atmosphere.

Unfortunately, mixing up the lore of other stories into WoW, is just as bad as speaking OOC and referring to your mother's win in yesterday's bingo session. It is referring to stuff that is outside of World of Warcraft and has absolutely nothing to do with WoW lore. There is so much history and deep storyline involved in the Warcraft games, so why not look into that instead and find inspiration within the game.

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Another common mistake people make is assuming that it's "RP correct" to name a character according to it's class. First of all, WoW characters are most likely unaware of the term "classes" and a rogue for instance would most likely not introduce himself as a rogue since in actuality, a rogue is a common thief and this is the sort of thing one would tend to hide from others. Also warrior, well aren't we all warriors in one way or another? All fighting for some cause? The Blizz devs and we as players categorize them into classes for the sake of making life easier to handle game mechanics.

But getting back to names. No, it is not cool to name your rogue "QuickDagger" or your warlock "SoulHunter". Again, the aim on a RP server is to strive for realism so that the experience feels immersive and believable. Again stop to consider the moment the parents named their child (your character) and whether or not they would have known what line of work that baby would grow up to get into. And even if they had some uncanny vision, that yes our son will become a warlock, they would have still not named their child SoulHunter, but instead given a name suitable to the race.


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 Post subject: Re: The Dummies Guide to Roleplaying
PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2011 5:10 am 
Chapter XX: Avoid "Godmodding"

So you've tried some roleplaying and found it exciting. With each experience you're getting more bold and experimental. That's good!

Here's what's bad though: Godmodding, which basically means that you aim to control both your own and other players thoughts and actions selfishly, leaving little or no chance for other players to react or interact with your plan.

An example of godmodding:

Godmodder flexes his muscles
Godmodder is undoubtedly the strongest man in the world!
Godmodder sees a very skinny elf.

[Godmodder]: Elf you are so skinny that I'll bet I can break your arm like a twig in an arm wrestle!
[Elf]: You sir are mistaken!
Godmodder: No I'm not!
Godmodder inspects the elf's arm and sees that it's thinner than his wrist
Godmodder I challenge you to wrestle elf!

[Elf]: I really can't be bothered
Godmodder walks over to the elf and forces him to sit down, taking hold of his hand
[Godmodder]: Now we'll see who is strongest!
Elf yawns
Godmodder pushes down the elf's arm, snapping it in two and wins the match!


Godmodder not only decided on the elf's (and everyone elses behalf) that the elf was in fact skinny, but also forced the elf into actions that he was not interested in doing. In addition, he claimed to be the strongest man in the world in an emote. This is how it should have gone:

Joe flexes his muscles
[Joe]: I'm undoubtedly the strongest man in the world!
Elf raises an eyebrow
Joe: Elf you are so skinny that I'll bet I can break your arm like a twig in an arm wrestle!
[Elf]: You sir are mistaken!
[Joe]: No I'm not!
Joe inspects the elf's arm calculating it's thickness
[Joe]: I challenge you to wrestle elf!
[Elf]: I really can't be bothered
Joe walks over to the elf and stands before him
Elf looks up, frowning
Joe reaches out attempting to put his hand on Elf's shoulder
Elf ducks to the right, missing the hand
Joe growls and tries again with two hands this time
Elf feels the rugged hands on his shoulders and is unable to move
Joe tries to push the elf down
Elf feels himself sitting down and gives in

[Elf]: You brute, very well then!
Joe offers his hand to start the contest
Elf meet Joes' hand with his own

[Joe]: Now we'll see who is strongest!
Joe starts pushing his hand down on the Elf's
Elf makes a slight movement with his finger, releasing a small spike from his silver ring

[Joe:] Ow! What's that?
Joe let's go of the elf's hand
Elf stands up, grinning
Joe inspects the fresh wound on the palm of his hand
Elf walks away, laughing


In the second version, each player was given a choice on how the situation plays out, bit by bit. Like a dance. It leaves much more opportunity for creativity and is much more fun for both parties!

Remember that Godmodding is not always about doing something negative to someone, this is just as much godmodding and something to avoid:

Jack gazes at Lucy's perfect skin and her immense beauty.
Jack scoopes Lucy up into his arms

[Jack] says: Oh darling you are light as a feather!

Unless you are 100% certain that Lucy has flawless skin and is immensely beautiful (for instance if the character is described this way in an RP addon), it's very risky to say such things. What if Lucy's player has imagined her to have wrinkly skin and to be a bit homely looking. And could Jack really "scoop" her up into his arms? What if Lucy the character is big as well? How perplexing would that be to hear someone describe your character so differently!

What's worse is what if the player were imagining Lucy to be flattered from the attention she's getting due to the very fact that she's not much of a looker. What if Lucy is enchanted because for once a man loves her for her personality and is overlooking her visual flaws? The whole thing would be ruined for Lucy's player after hearing such compliments and all the emotions she'd have built up till that point would be deflated. This could be many weeks of roleplaying down the drain!

Just remember that you are playing and controlling your character and your character only.


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 Post subject: Re: The Dummies Guide to Roleplaying
PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2011 5:51 am 
Chapter XX: You don't need to be perfect!

Grammar, spelling and language
So your native language is not English? So you aren't an expert on dwarven slang? Not to worry, if you don't take yourself too seriously, you can use this to your advantage to make your character more interesting. Transform your constant spelling errors into something which seems intentional, as if your character has a strong accent from some unknown reach of Azeroth. Or perhaps his/her tongue was cut/deformed. Or perhaps he/she got knocked on the head as a child and has never spoken clearly since. There are many possibilities!

Knowing everything about everything (in WoW Lore)
Being a good roleplayer has absolutely nothing to do with how well educated you are on the World of Warcraft historical events, characters places and so on. Remember that every day "new children" are born into the world of Azeroth and they are just as clueless as you are as a player. What could be more fun that learning about the world in a natural and organic way alongside your character as she/he starts doing quests and learns bits and pieces of what's going on. Of course, our characters are not babies when they are born (created by us) so it would be natural for them to know at least something. But it's possible that they grew up on an isolated island, or in a secretive commune in the high mountains, or with their grandpa out in the woods, cut off from civilization. And remember that even though you as a player might know everything, your character certainly doesn't.

Throw in a few flaws to the mix
It's a natural tendancy for human beings to want to strive for things that will make us admired. To look good, to be successful, to achieve great things. However being too perfect is also extremely boring and pushes others away. So why not throw a few funny or embarrassing traits into your character which will keep others guessing as to what will happen next. For instance you might have a blood elf gentleman who struts the streets of Silvermoon with his nose up in the air and uses a lot of time to make himself look good, but once in a while he stumbles and falls flat on his face. Or perhaps you play a rogue who acts really tough and provokes others to fight, but when he actually does get in a fight he reveals himself to be a complete coward and runs away squealing.

It can go the other way around as well. Perhaps you're playing an evil villainous character that kills and pillages all day long. Why not stop to pick a flower and sniff it thoughtfully. Or just as your're about to cut off yet another head, your character notices a bunny rabbit hopping nearby and drops everything to go and pet it.

Dare yourself to be vulnerable!


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 Post subject: Re: The Dummies Guide to Roleplaying
PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2011 6:50 am 
Chapter XX: Roleplaying resources

http://www.wowwiki.com/Guide_to_roleplaying


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 Post subject: Re: The Dummies Guide to Roleplaying
PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2011 6:51 am 
Chapter XX: Do's and Don'ts

Do's

- If your English is good, do try to use polished grammar whenever you're roleplaying, the less flaws there are, the more people will focus on the actual content.

- If your English is not so good, then forget the above and just go for it. It's much more important to enjoy roleplaying and interacting than it is for the grammar to be perfect, so don't worry about it. Think of it this way, if the room were full of people too afraid to say anything there would just be silence! And remember that you can always use your flaws to your advantage and play like they're just your characters accent

- Do try to be sensitive to the atmosphere of the moment and listen to the vibes. So if someone has just explained something about the death of their loved one, it would be good to give that moment some respect and let it pass organically instead of suddenly changing the subject relating to something completely different.

- Do try to walk in places where it would be inappropriate to run or fly in

- If you see people in the middle of a roleplay moment, take a moment to stop and observe before you rush up to introduce yourself. Try and imagine that same scenario in real life. For instance if you saw a couple fighting, you wouldn't run up and say "Hi I'm Joe!". Instead you might call out from afar and ask them if everything is alright. If they ignore you completely they are most likely wrapped up in the interaction between each other so passionately and intensely that they don't want to see anything else in that moment. However if they react by calling back "No, we're fine, just a lover's quarrel" it may or may not be an invitation for you to interact.

- When using emotes, try to keep them emotionless and narrative.
Good: Lucy drops to her knees, sobbing loudly
Bad: Lucy feels so sad and falls to her knees. This is horrible! She sobs loudly and feels so violated!


Do nots:

- Do not stand on tables, bar stands or other people. You wouldn't do this in real life so don't do it here.

- Do not walk into people or NPCs, try to walk past them like they're real.

- Do not use smilies in your IC text. Instead if you want to incorporate a smile into your sentence use stars:
[Lucy] says: Oh how generous, thank you! *smiles warmly*

- Do not use abbreviations in your IC text.


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 Post subject: Re: The Dummies Guide to Roleplaying
PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2011 6:52 am 
Chapter XX: The Border between reality and fiction


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 Post subject: Re: The Dummies Guide to Roleplaying
PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2011 6:54 am 
Chapter XX: RP clothes - Wearing the part



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 Post subject: Re: The Dummies Guide to Roleplaying
PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2011 10:15 am 
Wow this looks like a keeper, I'm always amazed how much work you put into this stuff Brambline. Looks great so far, there was just one little thing, and that is that you write that whispers should be IC, when in fact they are generally OOC. (Although I do know somebody who is always IC, whether roleplaying, whispering or talking in the OOC channel.)

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WoW characters on The Sha'tar:
Horde (The Elders): Lahu, Abigorwyn, Zigglix, Shroc
Alliance (not in Elders): Myralean, Nelkor, Nevdil
Main Alliance character Laemadae on Argent Dawn


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 Post subject: Re: The Dummies Guide to Roleplaying
PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2011 10:20 pm 
Chapter XX: Problemtic situations and suggestions on how to handle them

You're in a RP situation but you suddenly need a bio/afk time
Instead of explaining in brackets or whispers that you need to go, roleplay it!

Grunilla crosses her legs, wincing
[Grunilla] says:"Ah've got tah go fer a piddle! Where's tha lassies room 'round here?"
Grunilla walks awkwardly in the direction of the bathroom

After which, you'd actually move your character into another room or behind a bush, what have you. Keeping your character out of sight for the duration that you're AFK is a great way to make it clear to everyone what your situation is and gives a little variation to the course of the roleplay (versus all sitting around a table all night long)

Grunilla returns to her seat with a look of relief on her face
[Grunilla] says: Aaah Thass better! T'was a strange toilet that, full o' carrots an' potaters an' bubblin' hot!
Grunilla plops herself down at the table with a grunt

A non-roleplayer interacts with you
Someone asks you in /say something OOC:ly. Such as "Hey can u give me a boost?" "Hey do u know y my buttons aren't working?" "Hey what country r u from?"

There are several ways to approach this, depending on what your goal and mood is like.

a) You can completely ignore them. Here is a player that has come to a RP server and is ignoring the policies, in which case they deserve to be ignored as well.
b) You can "make a statement" and "guide them" by completely ignoring the fact that they are talking OOC to you and react IC:ly as if your character actually heard someone say such odd things: "Sir, ye really should get some rest, yer not making any sense!" This will definitely give them a hint and will show them that asking stuff in /say is not going to get them very far.
c) You can be the nice guy and whisper them your answer. However this will also encourage them to keep on doing what they're doing, so be sure to explain that this is a RP server and that they should not be asking OOC stuff in /say like that.

A lot of the time you get a "feel" for whether someone is being an arse and is completely disrespecting the server, other times you get the feeling that they're just genuinely clueless, so react accordingly. Whatever you do, don't answer their questions in /say, otherwise you'll just be promoting the very thing we want to avoid!


Someone is "Godmodding" you
If you don't know what Godmodding is, check the chapter above to read more.

So there you are, just minding your own business when some dude comes along and goes:

[Godmodder] says: Hey you! You're sitting in my chair!
Godmodder punches you in the face and you fall to the ground

When someone does this I react in a couple of different ways. If I really can't be bothered to acknowledge them I carry on as if I didn't even notice. But sometimes when I'm bored I like to teach them a lesson. Reverse psychology can do wonders in making them think twice the next time and evoke some sense of shame. He wants to abuse you? Then let him!

Brambline writhes in pain, eventually passing out

At this point, the other roleplayers are most likely to rush in and take it from there, questioning the Godmodder and making a fuss about me, the victim. He has now become the bad guy and has to explain himself while I'm the one they're pampering. Win win!


A griefer is ruining your RP moment

So some fool comes to spam lots of gibberish or jump in front of you, or perhaps starts casting buff spells on you over and over.

A common reaction would be to sigh at them or shoo them away, however that's exactly what they want, a reaction. So the best thing to do is act like they're air to you and instead send them a short and snappy whisper telling them you've reported them to Blizzard for griefing behaviour. Then put them on ignore before they have the chance to start whining. That will stop them right in their tracks every time regardless of whether you actually reported them or not.


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