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PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2006 10:43 pm 
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The Uru Live IC/OOC Standards Article is written by the D'ni Restoration Council Liaisons (DRCL). This article was drafted on the recommendation of explorers/fans/players to clear up a very long and on going issue regarding IN/OOC playing. Currently this article is not endorsed by Cyan or the DRC. We would also like to mention that this is version 1.6 of the article and future updates can be expected.

First off, we would like to just give a simple definition of the two sides commonly found in RPG environments: IC (In Character) and OOC (Out Of Character). In Character players are people who treat the evnvironment as real, as if they are actually there in real life; more often than not, these people are very involved in the environment and do not appreciate OOC side of things. Out Of Character players are the opposite; they see the environment as a game and so will treat it as such.
Whichever category you fall in, please be sure to remember this: Others do not have to play the game the way you do. All have a right to play the game how they wish (within the rules and regulations set up by Cyan Worlds). Please respect other players in regard to how they play -- flaming and other abuse will not be tolerated by Cyan Worlds, the fans, or others involved.

Uru is not quite like most RPG environments, due to the "you-are-you" attitude prevalent in it. Thus, "IC" and "OOC" cannot fully express the different styles of play in Uru. Adding the term "RP" may help clarify certain issues.
With Uru, IC does not mean "In Character;" it means "In Cavern." In Cavern players will treat D'ni and Uru as a real thing, as if they are actually there in the Cavern.
In Uru, "Out of Character" becomes "Out of Cavern." However, these terms are more interchangable than "In Cavern/In Character," because being Out of Cavern is very similar to being Out of Character in other RPG environments. Out of Cavern players treat Uru and D'ni as a game and not a real event.
Perhaps the most controversial type of play is Role Playing (RP). Role Players are IC in that they treat Uru and D'ni as real, but they also play a character significantly different from themselves. Acting in a new character may change the way people interact with others. Also, some Role Players create "fan storylines" with scripted events and overarching plotlines.

It is important to remember that, for most people, these divisions are not so clear-cut. The majority of players shift between IC and OOC, depending on whether those around them are IC or OOC. Others are more adamant about the divisions between modes of play; Role Players (and, to a lesser degree, In Cavern players) may frown on being OOC, as they feel it destroys immersion. And OOC players may feel uncomfortable with Role Players (and, to a lesser degree, In Cavern players), because they feel that a storyline is being forced on them.

Below we have some simple bullet point characteristics of the three main methods of play: IC, OOC and RP.

In Cavern:
In Cavern players treat Uru as a real event. They see themselves in the Cavern instead of playing a game. They play as if they themselves are in the Ages of D'ni. This type of player tends to treat all events within the Uru environment as a real thing. Some IC players do not mind being involved to a small degree with OOC aspects however, some do.
  • The DRC/Zandi/Douglas Sharper/Phil Henderson/Yeesha/Bahro are real people and not an offshoot of Cyan Worlds.
  • Cyan Worlds is a game company who made the Myst games from information given to them from the DRC.
  • Ubisoft was the former funder of the DRC restoration process, and GameTap is the current funder of the DRC restoration process.
  • D'ni is real -- it exists under the New Mexico desert -- and the Ages of D'ni are also real.
  • You are actually there in D'ni in real life. Your character in Uru is essentially yourself. The way you act in Uru tends to be the way you would actually act in that situation.
  • The DRC website is the official forum designated for In Cavern discussion

Out of Character/Cavern
Out of Character players treat Uru as a game. They are not actually in the cavern, they are playing the D'ni Age, for example. This form of player will treat all events within the Uru environment as a game. Some OOC players do not mind being involved to a small degree with IC/RP aspects; some, however do. They may feel uncomfortable with fan storylines by Role Players, because they perceive it as a story being forced on them.
  • The DRC/Zandi/Douglas Sharper/Phil Henderson/Yeesha/Bahro are not real people and are actors hired by or from Cyan Worlds.
  • Ubisoft was the former publisher of Uru, and GameTap is the current publisher of Uru.
  • D'ni is just an area in a game, not really located under the New Mexico desert. The Ages of D'ni are also areas in a game.
  • D'ni is just a game, your avatar is your representation of you, it is not you for real.
  • The UruLive.com website may be more suited to OOC discussion than the DRC site

RP/Role Player (RP)
Role Players treat Uru as a real event. They play a character significantly different from themselves.. They play as if someone else is in the Ages of D'ni. This type of player tends to treat all events within the Uru environment as a real thing. Some Role Players create fan storylines which contain scripted events and overarching plotlines. They may or may not disapprove of people acting OOC when they are role-playing, because they feel it destroys the immersion of actually being there.
  • You act much like In Cavern players do, except:
  • You tend to play as a completely different person, or someone who would react to events differently than you yourself would


Last edited by Tweek on Fri Nov 10, 2006 12:21 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2006 11:04 pm 
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Thank you soooo much everybody who was involved in writing this up.

In think this is really really important for everybody to understand so that all players can act respectfully towards each other and each one of us can understand where another may be coming from.

For a more in depth explanation of the In Cavern approach, check out this thread on the DRC Forum, OOC section.


Last edited by ireenquench on Mon Apr 30, 2007 12:47 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2006 11:51 pm 
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For the benefit of the 3,500+ members here, who are you to be giving us “Uru Live IC/OOC Standards”?

Also, who is “we” in this post?

I have a major problem with the last sentence under RP. “They can disapprove of people acting OOC when they are role-playing, because they feel it destroys the immersion of actually being there.

OOC should be able to disapprove of people RP’ing. Tis only fair. Are we all not equal here.

Is this an Official Cyan statement?


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2006 12:10 am 
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semplerfi wrote:
For the benefit of the 3,500+ members here, who are you to be giving us “Uru Live IC/OOC Standards”?

OOC should be able to disapprove of people RP’ing. Tis only fair. Are we all not equal here.


The article doesn't seem to be a directive or a set of rules. It seems to be a set of classifications. It's there to help people understand what people mean when they talk about IC/OOC/RP, based on how our discourse community uses those terms. This use was developed by the community over several years.

You don't have to act exactly like one of the categories, or live by the categorization. However, from what I read, the categorizations are accurate to how many people think of these terms. You are, of course, allowed to disapprove of whomever you wish. The definitions are not mandatory or exhaustive.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2006 12:12 am 
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good point proberbly should mention who this is issued by heh, will add that.

As for the “They can disapprove of people acting OOC when they are role-playing, because they feel it destroys the immersion of actually being there.” I see you think that the "They can" is us saying we are giving them permisson to do as such, that is not the case (we have no power to tell them what or what not to do). It is more of a case of "if they do not like OOC playing then they will not tolerate it" All the other sections state that they players in certain player modes might or might not tolerate the other modes people choose to play in. I think I have edited that line to reflect that, hard to see with the forums throwing up errors left, right and center.

Thanks semp I'll make the nessicary changes now.


Last edited by Tweek on Fri Nov 10, 2006 12:28 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2006 12:12 am 
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It's just a set of guidelines.

Quote:
Is this an Official Cyan statement?


It would seem not. Tweek is not a Cyanist, and GD hasn't popped in and said, "yes this is really what it is" etc etc.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2006 12:15 am 
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Its cool lego, semp (who was the one who suggested this idea) was just point out some things that we neglected that really should be on there. I have spoken to Rawa about this to see if we can get some sort of offical endorsement, guess we will have to wait.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2006 12:16 am 
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semplerfi wrote:
For the benefit of the 3,500+ members here, who are you to be giving us “Uru Live IC/OOC Standards”?

Also, who is “we” in this post?

Looks to me like it is a simple matter of the elected DRC Liaisons trying to define terms to enhance communication. Communicating with explorers is their job. If it was an official Cyan statement, don't you think it would come from someone at Cyan?

semplerfi wrote:
I have a major problem with the last sentence under RP. “They can disapprove of people acting OOC when they are role-playing, because they feel it destroys the immersion of actually being there.

OOC should be able to disapprove of people RP’ing. Tis only fair. Are we all not equal here.

Where in that statement does it say that OOC players are NOT allowed to disapprove? I don't see any value judgements there -- just a simple statement of fact telling non-RP'ers that some RP'ers may express disapproval of their style of play, just as it warned the RP'ers that others may uncomfortable with the RP style. There's nothing normative in that, so why do you have a problem with it?

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2006 1:51 am 
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Tweek wrote:
Its cool lego, semp (who was the one who suggested this idea) was just point out some things that we neglected that really should be on there. I have spoken to Rawa about this to see if we can get some sort of offical endorsement, guess we will have to wait.

Thanks Tweek. :wink:

The DRCLiaisons have been doing a good job. I know you all put a lot of work and thought into the statement. We all are hoping for a level and equitable acceptance. This is a good start.

And sorry folks, I was not attacking or berating Tweek or the Statement. Tweek and I can and do talk very frankly together which can sound rather coarse from the sidelines. What better way to fine tune stuff. Openly dialog about it.

BrettM wrote:
Where in that statement does it say that OOC players are NOT allowed to disapprove? I don't see any value judgements there -- just a simple statement of fact telling non-RP'ers that some RP'ers may express disapproval of their style of play, just as it warned the RP'ers that others may uncomfortable with the RP style. There's nothing normative in that, so why do you have a problem with it?

How about some balance:

IC'ers may feel uncomfortable and express disapproval –
RP'ers may feel uncomfortable and express disapproval –
OOC’ers may feel uncomfortable and express disapproval –


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2006 4:32 am 
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The challenge is going to be (and seems to be in every game) all of us are going to be paying to be in the Cavern. To use a real world analogy, there are places in the game (the City mostly) that are shared by everyone, the public square or playground full of kids. Some kids are playing a ball game, some kids are playing 'cops and robbers' or 'cowboys and Indians.' And other kids are doing things I can't even explain. But it is all happening in the same place at the same time.

A lot of other games have much stronger frames of reference (fantasy or tech or future settings very unlike reality) than Uru does (U-R-U, today, just 3 miles under the NM desert). This is one place where the U-R-U concept can actually work against the community—when the IC/RP & OOC groups find themselves in the same area competing for the same resources—chat, locations, kickables, switches, ligh. What happens when an IC/RP team running a story/recording/whatever only to have OOC people show up and start making changes that the first team didn't account for after the action has started. What happens when two mutually exclusive player IC/RP events happen at the same time, in the same place? (This last one might actually be worse.)

Does the standard provide a guideline for those of us who are already here? I would say yes. We transitioned from the shards to D'mala without too much mess. We've help two elections for what nominally speaking are IC roles (players working with a fictional entity) but have since mixed IC and OOC conversations into the whole. We can come to agreements and honor them. I don't see anyone running recall polls. But I don't think any of us want someone running around the city saying “Quiet on the set. Your dark lord and master is about to do his RP. May the Maker have mercy on any who get in your dark lord's way.”

Does the standard provide a guideline for those who have not yet even heard of us, but will be joining us here someday? The uber-power-gamer coming in from GT who finds us here, but doesn't get our desire to do IC, RP, or OOC play in this setting that's as old as DIRT?

At some point, we are all going to be paying customers.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2006 6:08 pm 
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Tweek is working with a small group of people to define the different ways that people will play Uru Live, based on how people played the previous online version of Uru. I think that, for the purposes of emphasis, they put playing styles in very distinct categories. Yes, this is a volunteer effort. In my opinion, they have done an excellent "first step" in defining different playing styles.

In reality, I think that the playing styles are a lot more fluid. "OOC" is one example. In my experience, most OOC players do not treat the virtual environment as if it is "not real". They have a fluid adaptable style of play. People talk about "what did you see" and "is that gate open", but they also talk about their real life, about game issues, all that. If other online games are any indication, most players will not be roleplaying - they will be (sort of ) "out of character". I realize that Uru Live is different from other MMO games, but virtual worlds and online games have been around for awhile. I'm assuming that some aspects of playing styles will be the same as other online games.

From what we know now, Cyan will not be having separate servers (shards) for strict roleplayers. For most (though I'm sure not all) other MMO games there are roleplaying servers. As far as I know, Cyan does not want to have separate roleplaying shards, so in the common areas, we'll be together.

The challenge is to figure out how to play together so we all have a great experience, while keep it relatively uncomplicated, friendly and fun. One of the first things that Tweek and his group are attempting to do is to define different playing styles.

This is a good time for all of us to be thinking about how we want to do it - how can we come up with guidelines for play that aren't too complicated, and can help us get to a fun and friendly playing experience for everyone.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2006 8:40 pm 
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When we wrote up this document, we tried very hard not to make value judgements on styles of play. We did not want to make RP seem "fringe" and IC "moderate," for example. The terms we ended up using were, I hope, simple, because even though we had some other interesting terms, we didn't want to be pushing our own pet terms onto you all. Basically, the purpose of this document was to help with communication, because some of us saw that there was some confusion when discussing how we play the game. We made a distinction between IC and RP because, even though they are sometimes both referred to as just IC, the differences between them have caused issues in the past.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2006 8:54 pm 
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It's a question of interpretation, isn't it, semp? "Can" wasn't intended as "are allowed to" but "may / might". Perhaps "could" would be better?


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2006 9:14 pm 
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It's a very good write-up!

I do have a couple of suggestions, with regards to terminology.

Instead of using terms specific to Uru Live, I suggest that you use terms common in the industry. I think that you can get your point across better by using the following terminology

Two types of Roleplay - RP
- character roleplay
- simple (or standard) roleplay

I'd call both of the above examples "strict" roleplay. As I noted before, most people roleplay in MMO games. Whenever you talk about something such as "running up the stairs", asking people if the stairs are blocked, asking about a character - then you are roleplaying. I think that when you refer to roleplay, you mean "strict roleplay". If there is another term in the industry for "strict roleplay" - let's use that.

Non Roleplay - NR

That's my recommendation.

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Last edited by mszv on Fri Nov 10, 2006 10:25 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2006 9:39 pm 
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Thats a good idea


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