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  • [Guide] Maintaining RP atmosphere

    While this guide will mostly cover very basic things, many players still lack these feats. I emplore all players struggling to "get in the mood", both new and old, to read this guide.

    One of the most important details in creating good roleplay is having a suited atmosphere.
    In order to roleplay, you must want to do it. You need to feel as if you are playing a character or writing a story, not like you are playing some random game.

    The first impression lasts forever

    You may say not to judge a book by its cover, but a good cover is better than a misleading or generally bad one.

    Picture yourself entering an underground Resistance camp. You look around, and what do you see?
    There's rebels walking around, patrolling the area. Some of them are talking to refugees and guiding them.
    You can see some trading going on over in a corner, probably a new rebel buying gear.
    The neighboring room is most likely being used as a medbay, where injured rebels and refugees alike are treated.

    This is a calm, but realistic scenario. Half-Life may be a fictional universe, but there must always be a level of pseudo-realism within a story.
    If you were a new player walking into a well-maintained scene like this, it should be quite easy to begin proper roleplay with the other players. It would be like a scene out of a well-written story; the protagonist enters the underground base, seeing the new area and preparing to make new associates.

    However, if the scene is poorly kept by players, it will probably spiral into quite a mess. It shouldn't be too hard to imagine players with physguns running around, jumping on the props and eachother. Maybe someone knocked out his friend as an "OOC joke".
    This, however, is not acceptable. Any player walking into this scene sees absolutely minimal potential for roleplay. It is a sad excuse a "roleplay" server.

    As players, we must all work together to make a good roleplay scene. You, me, and everyone else present must act in-character. We must make rational choices to write a good story together.

    With that out of the way, let's go over some ways to make sure we do that.

    Out-of-character or in-character, there is no middle ground

    The absolutely worst way to derail a roleplay situation is incorporating the OOC chat into it. A combat scenario, for one, would get nowhere if the participants have to constantly argue concerning what happens. A character selling an item to another would also be stalled if they constantly have to ask OOC questions about it.

    When you are in a roleplay situation, the best course of action is to let it happen. If a character tries to make an improbable attack or a trader offers a shady deal, that's what's happening. When in combat, let the rolls decide most of the actions, just like a game of Dungeons and Dragons. You could add modifiers or advantages if you must.

    If a player does do something you believe violates a rule, just contact a staff member with the /a command. This command will only be forwarded to staff members, meaning you can easily carry on with your roleplay while an admin looks into it.

    Speaking of non-disturbing communication, another common issue is a roleplay scene covered by LOOC communication. It may seem like no big deal to crack some jokes or talk about real-life things there, but you should keep in mind when and where you do it.
    You should never approach anyone for the purpose of writing in the LOOC chat. This is considered failRP, as all character movement is in-character. Your character rarely has a reason to walk up to someone and stare at them. If you wish to contact a player for OOC purposes, please use the /pm [name] command to send them a private message.

    If you ever find yourself plagued by random LOOC communication, you can freely ignore these messages and take their actions IC instead. Should a person walk up to you just to talk in LOOC, try to ask them in-character what they need. Do not feed the LOOC chat by responding in it.

    The best roleplay is the situations that have absolutely no LOOC interruptions.

    If you don't like your role, play another character

    Some players complain about not having things to do on their character. Most of the time, this comes from Resistance members and Combine units on duty. Some players feel the need to play a specific character or role constantly, but you do not need to if you find it boring.
    If you are a rebel with nothing to do with your fellow freedom fighters, perhaps you could stash your equipment and have a look at the surface? If you really can't find anything to do, try to create a new character.

    We offer many different flags for many different preferences. If you always play as a rebel, maybe having a Vortigaunt character could help you create more interesting roleplay with the other rebels? If you want change, playing the opposing side is always interesting. Something relaxed like a Civil Worker's Union member or a Combine Stalker can be a change, while you can also seek into the Combine Civil Authority or the Overwatch Transhuman Arm if you seek action.
    Even without applying, being a simple citizen has many opportunities. Loyalists and their benefits can make for interesting interaction with other citizens, and criminals who lurk in shady areas are a pathway to many serious encounters.

    Only play a role if you actually like it. It's just too stressful for one person to maintain a horde of flags at once. If you no longer want a character, don't be shy to apply for a different flag on it or outright delete it.

    Most importantly, playing a flag you like will often lead to a better roleplay atmosphere. You will be able to take the role more seriously and create interesting scenarios.

    Be physically realistic

    Talking in-character is one thing. Moving your character in an immersive and believable way is another.

    As I mentioned before, you want to enter a room and see characters acting realistically, like a movie. Too many players have different OOC quirks in their character control which hinders this.
    For example, many players like to jump across the props, or even jump on other players when they feel bored. Others like to sprint erratically or take onorthodox shortcuts.
    Not long before writing this guide, I encountered a player in the Outlands who attempted to pass by a rebel in a doorway by bunnyhopping on a fence. This is a shameful display of unsuited movement that makes little sense in-character. Avoid doing such things. Should you ever find yourself blocked by another character, you could simply ask them to move aside.

    Think about your character and how they move. How do people normally move? You're not running for your life, so calm down and have a walk around the area. If you see a railing, don't just jump over it. Walk around it, take your time.

    It's the little details that makes the world all the more believable.

    Final words

    We, the Combine Control staff, wish for all players to have an optimal roleplay experience. However, the vast amount of different players bring an ever-expanding amount of opinions, which often end up arguing against eachother.

    We hope to support as many views on details as we can, but in some cases, we must take a stand against certain opinions which are considered illogical or unsuited to us.

    This is a SeriousRP server. We aim to provide players with a realistic experience as a person or other creature living in the Half-Life universe. To do so, we must enforce certain rules and standards, such as the deaths of characters or the fear of others.

    We hope you take this guide to heart, and we always aim to improve the condition of our roleplay on the servers.

    Thank you for reading. This guide was written by the poster; Picodreng.
    Last edited by Pico; 16-04-2017, 00:10.