I want to clarify a few things before I voice my opinions. I am not saying anything bad about the server, I love it here! Furthermore, I am not trying to offend anyone, rather provide constructive criticism. Yes, I am new, my current character only has 10 hours, and I know that some people will try to discredit my opinion because of this. Like I said, I have loved my time here on the server, and I don't want that to end anytime soon. I don't think I'm going to be leaving the community anytime soon, so know that this post comes from an appreciative place. With that, I am playing a long wolf style character, whose weary of strangers, but has good intent. The play styles I mention here are simply for the sake of the example. Oh, and this is a bit of a rant, apologies for that, so buckle in lol. (Skip to the ninth paragraph for a summary)
With that out of the way, here we go...
Concerning one of the rules on the server, I feel one of the major aspects of DayZ and the idea of Apocalypse survival has been either taken away or watered down significantly. I ran into a lovely couple yesterday who nearly stole my car, but I managed to help them out and we went our separate ways. They had begun to take my car when I ran up to them, pistol drawn. I had planned to shoot a warning shot in the air IF they took the car, otherwise I was going to hold them up simply out of my distrust for other survivors, not for loot or other gain. They had a third geared friend who approached us after our initial introduction. I never did shoot, nor did I hold them up, we had a great friendly experience, and that was that. After the fact, I thought to myself "what if I held them up? What would have happened?", and my conclusion kinda concerned me, which is why I am here.
If I had proceeded to hold the two up, and their friend approached the situation, most likely I would have either had the roles reversed and would have been held up instead, or we would have all gone our separate ways, no harm done. My problem with this situation is this: even if all parties had played as sincere as possible, there would never be any real tension, no one would be afraid of dying. Worst case scenario, one party loses some or all of their stuff, and that's that.
One of the main reasons I got into DayZ (and DayZRP) is because of the fear of being able to lose everything, having to start over, and having to make decisions with this in mind. This is a feeling that is relatively unique to DayZ, and when mixed with RP you get something great. However, I have been able to walk through open fields, loot cities, and do just about anything with relatively low risk. I know this is borderline meta-gaming, but I can’t seem to shake the idea that if I die it's because of either the elements, or my failure to provide good RP in a hostage situation. Due to this, I am comfortable when I play, which I have never been on any other server, and I’m not sure that I like this…
I’m not supporting KOS, I personally hate the idea of just killing for the sake of doing so, you get nothing out of that. However, I feel that there needs to be a more present danger that comes from other players. If the world did collapse and the dead started to rise, not every survivor would be friendly nor would you be guaranteed to make it out of a situation alive. “But the instigator can ask the hostage if they can kill them so it's ok”, well unless the hostage WANTS to die, who is going to give someone permission to kill them? I understand that there are some die hard RPers here who would, but I know that the subconscious meta-gaming in most players will make it almost impossible for other players to get permission to kill hostages or the like. Furthermore, concerning the hardcore RPers, I feel like my argument should resonate with you, after all I’m arguing that we should have this fear in mind, thus making encounters more authentic.
Furthermore, I think this determinants certain play styles such as a Cannibal, Bandit, or the like. I mentioned this in a previous post, but if I’m playing a Cannibal or evil character, how can I do so without getting a BIG ban? Someone playing as a Cannibal shouldn’t have to scavenge from bodies, I feel that if I was playing as a Cannibal, I should be able to actively search for victims. My point here is, that asking other players if they want to be killed or not adds an extra step into the RP process that kills a lot of interactions / play styles. If I wanna eat someone whose lookin mighty thicc, as long as I provide good RP, and do so even when I’m about to kill my prey, I should be allowed to actually do so, and my hostage should feel the clear and present threat of being in actual danger (in game of course). Same goes for a bandit with a hostage. If I’m being held up, I can act like I value my life to the best of my ability, but if I subconsciously know that my life isn’t in danger, I can’t do my character justice, nor can I provide the best RP possible for the other person.
I have a background in acting, I have taken drama classes for years and I have even been able to compete in theatrical competitions (for the record, I’m not stating this to brag, just to provide context). In a play / scripted event, you [the actor] know the ending, and you do know that your character’s actions will not impact the outcome. However, this doesn’t hinder the work of the actor, because we have a script that we have to follow. On the other hand, with improv it is a different story. Yes, there are rules to improv, which are in place to keep a scene in check. There are a lot, but here are the main ones… 1) Try to keep the scene realistic (relatively speaking), 2) You can’t force the other character(s) into a situation (essentially power gaming), and 3) you can’t say no to another characters direction (special situations allow this). I don’t think that I’m wrong to say that the majority of DayZ encounters fall under the category of improv. The beauty of improv is that your character’s actions WILL impact the outcome of the scene, your actions can result in a bad ending for your character, and you have to keep this in mind while in a scene.
Currently, on the server, regardless of my actions as a hostage, I do not ever have to worry about dying. I *should* be worried that my actions can result in my death, and I feel the same should go for other hostages. I’m arguing for true improv, where the outcome is not ensured, where I don’t know if I’ll end up losing my stuff, or if I’ll even be able to make it out alive. Without this aspect, with the insurance of making it out alive, I can’t RP to the fullest extent of my character: I can’t be true to the character I’m playing.
The argument against what I’m suggesting is the use of in game emotes. The best way I can relate this, is if actors were to read out their stage directions out loud in the middle of the show, let me show you what a segment from the play “Julius Caesar” (Act 3, Scene 1) would be like if this were the case. The lines in *the asterisks* are stage directions, read them like they are lines an actor is saying…
(after a long segment of Caesar yelling at the others, one of the more important parts of the whole show…)
DECIUS: Great Caesar,--
BRUTUS: *I, BRUTUS, refuse to kneel*
CAESAR: *I am shocked by the actions of BRUTUS*, Doth not Brutus bootless kneel?
CASCA: Speak, hands for me! *Permission for me and the other conspirators to stab you, CAESAR?*
CAESAR: *Yes, you can stab me*
CASCA: *I stab CAESAR in the chest*
BRUTUS: *I also stab CAESAR in the chest*
DECIUS: *I also stab CAESAR in the chest*
CAESAR: Et tu, Brute! Then fall, Caesar! *Now I, CAESAR, am dead. I will now proceed to act dead*
You see how that ruined the show? I know that for the sake of DayZRP, it's the “best” we’ve got, but I believe that we should be able to act in accordance with how our character would actually act. If you read the above segment without the *parts in the asterisks*, you’ll see what the actual segment is like. I do suggest that yall read this part of the show if you want a more in depth explanation. If Brutus and the others simply stab Caesar, the show is a lot more interesting, as opposed to them asking for permission, and then acting as if they actually stabbed him. Yes, I know this isn’t the best example to use, but it's the best I’ve got.
I will admit, if my ideas were to be implemented, there would be some kinks to work out. For example, it would be a lot more difficult to moderate hostile encounters. Like I said, there is a lot that would have to be done if my ideas were to work well on this server. However, I feel that this is possible.
(Skip to here for the summary) I’d like to reiterate, as long as both parties provide good RP, the threat of death or harm should be a clear and present danger in hostile situations. I believe that if this idea of true improv were to be implemented into the game, everyone would have more tense and more real RP experiences. Once more, I’d like to say that I don’t mean any ill-will towards either the server or the community; I love being a part of both, this is simply meant to be constructive criticism and is my way of asking for the communities thoughts. If I have broken any rules by writing this, know that I did not intend to do so. I feel that with the current rules in place, players can not properly play out their characters. No, I do not want KOS to be allowed, no, I don’t want boring hostage situations, yes, I want to have to consider that my run could come to an end if I make the wrong decisions in a hostage situation or the like. With that, I am not advocating for the idea that other players should be able to permanently kill someone’s character, I like that only the player can end their character. However, I do think other players should be allowed to kill the IN GAME character, not the character the player has created. I strongly believe this would make RP on this server a lot better, and would give everyone a great RP experience.
With that, I’d like to both thank you for reading all this, sorry that it was so long, and I’d like to apologize if this seemed a little ranty; I didn’t want this to be a “rant”, rather constructive criticism. So what are yall's opinions about all this? I’d ask that this stay civil, so we can be as constructive as possible. Thanks!