Tucked away in the vast 420,000 (estimated) active population of Guild Wars 2, on the designated “RP” servers of Tarnished Coast in the United States, and Piken Square in Europe is a community that’s often overlooked and in many MMORPGS. In the shadow of the massive fans of PvE (Player versus Environment/AI) and PvP (Player versus Player) combatants, there’s an entire “RP” (Role-Play) Community filled with players whom control the day-to-day activities of their avatars. These daily activities include battles, visiting taverns and inns, and just conversing with other players, even progressing in player-made characters arcs similar to jointly writing a novel. Close to the LARP (Live Action Role Playing) Community, these gamers live by a strict set of rules, both set in the history and context of their worlds, and out of respect for the fellow players, with players who violate these rules being “Blacklisted”, or in other words, shunned by the community for not getting along well with others. However, the world of “imagination” and “pretend” is much more complex than somebody looking on the outside could imagine, with something close to an actual social hierarchy. At the top of the social ladder is the leader of each Race whom resides in their home city, the leader is always controlled by a computer or AI for short. Next, for the Human Race, is a form of parliament or Congress, known as The Ministry, which is comprised of “nobility” decides the laws to restrict upon role-players within the confines of major role-play hub Divinty’s Reach (or sometimes even GREATER). The Ministry is enforced by a police-like city guard and military group known as The Seraph, known for enforcing the rules within the community and arresting players, resulting in inability to play a certain character for days. Beyond these two in the social hierarchy are “Commoners” a step above slave-characters. These include soldiers, work-a-day peasants, shop owners, the elderly, professors, inventors, and even chemists, whom can actually invent to create new technologies for the “society”. These characters are hardly “passive”, engaging in skirmishes, campaigns, tournaments, heists, muggings and robberies with battle systems that usually involve generated for physical die. Even through the endless fantasy battles, and imaginative laws, players in these communities still face struggles similar to real-life wealth inequality in the fictional land of Kryta is at an all-time high, leading to conflicts between groups such as the Ministry and the Krytan Republic. An epic battle of oppressed versus the fortunate is a major underlying theme to most of the role-play community, that constantly seems to keep the city street’s alive. Often hidden behind the core of MMORPGS is a vibrant, strange, and surprisingly complex game all in itself, one that seems to mirror the real-world.
March 18, 2014