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How Guild Wars 2’s living world can liven up roleplay

Scarlet Briar is planning an attack on Lion’s Arch, the central hub city of Guild Wars 2. L.A. is the city where all of the playable races — and plenty of individuals from others — live together in one big, piracy-flavored metropolis; despite the theme of ruthless capitalism, it’s also a place that symbolizes peace and camaraderie. Humans in Kryta may view diversity as an astonishing novelty, but the people of L.A. chortle at the hayseeds and go about their business.

Among the GW2 roleplayers I know, several have characters who live in Lion’s Arch. A few of them were born and raised there. After watching some of us chat about the massive upheaval the city’s destruction will create in the lives of those characters, one of my favorite people ventured that this was probably a bad time for her to dip her toes into GW2’s RP scene, right? Nope. In fact, there hasn’t been a better time to jump in since, well, ever.

Starting out in MMO roleplay as a social activity can be pretty daunting, especially in games that don’t do much to support RP. You can spend hours perfecting your character’s backstory, polishing up their habits and personality, and making sure they’re the sort of person who isn’t a complete drag to be around, only to get stuck on possibly the biggest hurdle: going out and meeting people. Most of the time, this is an out-of-character concern, rather than an in-character one; you can probably find any number of other characters and groups that might be a good fit for the character you’d like to play, but newcomers often have to find ways to work themselves into existing storylines and established character relationships. Just being “the new one” in a tight-knit group of people requires some intestinal fortitude.

For a new RPer, it’s totally understandable that a situation that causes intense emotional and psychological conflict for established characters and plots might look like a bad time to get involved. After all, when things are calm there’s plenty of time and space to ease in and find a niche, and characters in turmoil might not make for the most stable of companions.

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