So this has been a hot topic today and has been seen on reddit
, and the official forums
. Given that it affects myself and many of my friends. I want to review and talk about how SE have the potential to solve things.Hyperlinks to the Official Forums are shortened to bit.ly links for character space throughout this post.
Before I can begin, I cannot emphasise enough that roleplay has many different facets; ERP is only one of them. Whatever kind of story you want to tell, there is an aspect of roleplay that can cater to you if it interests you. You want to roleplay a quest, there are people who can do that. You want to spend a quiet afternoon in a café, or an evening in a tavern and have drinks with some friends? Many people have worked hard and decorated their plots to provide such a service, which, in the current climate of a global pandemic is a genuine godsend to many who would otherwise have limited social contact (Isturma
highlights this too). You just need to know the right places to look (which currently is a lot easier said than done). There is a large number of individuals that remain subscribed near constantly so they can roleplay with their friends, even through content droughts; it is a number that SE cannot afford to ignore as Saefinn
As an RP community leader, the fact that people are receiving warning or suspensions for trying to promote roleplaying events through Party Finder worries me, though I am glad that the related issues are being bought to light. I understand that not all content is for everyone, but there are a lot of us that are finally finding connections and some of this is coming through roleplay advertised on PF for several reasons. It updates in real-time. It is easy for everyone to promote what they want to. It reaches across the data centre. However, these very factors also make it attractive to those looking to RMT, which does not appear to be being targeted in the same way. There are still individuals using roulettes to push themselves to the top of the listing, and setting the iLv high enough that no one can join. Surely there is more of an issue in this false advertising that there is in someone who had a PF up saying "Fisherman looking for friendly company while I fish" (as Aslae
mentions in their post) in the “Other” category that is always at the bottom and you need to actively look for in order to find anything there?
It should be noted that all of these screenshots in the OP feature only one GM, which makes me worry there may be individuals on the GM team that “have it in” for individuals who enjoy RP, or are of the mindset that “all RP is ERP” (which is far from the case, as I highlighted before), where other members of the team may have just ignored such reports. Inconsistency breeds confusion and people still do the thing that others have been warned for because someone else said it was okay. There are people getting marks against their accounts as a result of this; this is not okay given the lack of clarity. It would be helpful to have a blanket ruling on this from people higher up to eliminate this sort of confusion. If possible, it would be a kindness to clean the slate of those who were miss-targeted in this. If there was a policy change, as Dustytome
notes, it would have been much fairer to make this clear to everyone with some form of announcement.
I echo Rei_Host
and cannot do so enough at this point:Is using the Party Finder "Other" tab acceptable for roleplay events and venues?
And would add, if this is not the case, can we please look into a way to compromise? What we have is not enough. Some people do make use of the party finder to find roleplaying content. I am not the only one that looks for new places to share with my friends, and I am clearly not the only one asking this question (I found wolfp2
asking the same thing).
What is RP if it is not some kind of content? SE recognise its existence; they even gave us the RP tag to use next to our character. The range of housing items, glamour options and lore details offers a strong grounding for roleplay to happen – and those of us that do are very grateful for it. I don’t understand how it is not viewed as content; is it because we create the stories ourselves?
This does afford us the chance to consider the restrictions that we currently face when trying to promote are ToS-abiding Venues.
- Fellowships – Though the current incarnation has served to help my own community grow, it does not offer me an effective way to interact with the members, nor for the members to interact between themselves. There is no chat function, and the message system has no means of receiving a reply. On top of this, notifications to the messages on the front page only occur when a player logs in; this is not an efficient means of letting people know that a venue has just opened. There is also a limit to the number of fellowships a person can join, which means, after a certain point, they cannot join and learn about new venues without giving up what updates they can gleam from another.
- Crossworld Linkshells – Although these offer the ability to communicate in real-time, the member restriction is a real limit on how effective they can be to reach the right people. Furthermore, you must be invited to a linkshell, and it can be tricky at times to find someone who has the ability to do that if you can even find a linkshell that provides what you are looking for.
- /shout - As BunniEclair
quite rightly states, it is very easy for such things to become spammy, or as Dagny
also points out, it can come across as ‘desperate’. I have known individuals blacklist someone I had doing a shout-run for my own venue who then was invited by another friend to come to said event. This caused an issue because they blacklisted the staff member who was assigned to help them. Were there a means to more efficiently advertise, such an issue would not have occurred. Furthermore, it requires people to be in the right place at the right time to see your advert, so it is very hard to be sure that you are reaching the right people, even if you go to every single zone in every single world on your datacentre. There is a genuine risk of what Aslae
mentions below coming to pass.
- Methods outside of the game – Social Media and discord are wonderful resources for sharing what is going on in the RP scene, however, new players will often not know where to look. Sirri
’s post however highlights that all content should be accessible without third-party tools. This should include in-game roleplay.RickmanUK
suggested a Social Finder, though my concern would be that they then have to maintain two systems. Perhaps an RP (as Saefinn
suggest) or a social tab on PF might make this easier to maintain, since it then would be part of the one system.Glaschuu
also makes some very good points in their post.
Roleplaying is a social thing and enables many people to make friends as GrassCuttingAuRa
have noted in their posts too. Given that there are a good number of people who have been known to get support from playing this game (as can be noted in this article
) surely we should be looking for ways to help people connect better instead of telling them that they should be using less-efficient features?
So, in summary:
- There is a vast amount of (very undeserving in a lot of cases) prejudice towards roleplayers in FFXIV, and it is something that honestly needs to be addressed as best as possible.
- There appears to be significant inconsistency about the way that some of the GMs have handled things, and it is something that needs to be reviewed and addressed for the benefit of everyone involved.
- The methods of promotion for RP in-game are not sufficient and out of the game cannot always be counted on as it isn’t always easy to find. We need a better solution.
Square Enix, can we please have a more effective means of sharing our passion and creativity, and allow people to continue to make friends through the hard work we put into this? The methods of promotion currently available that are not party finder are not as effective as reaching people at the right time as party finder can be. Preventing us from sharing will also encourage ignorance of what goes into such creativity, and further encourages harassment through this lack of understanding when roleplay is visible. You have the power to change this. Help us.