Will the role-playing community unite on one server?
Adventurers who want to role play in Final Fantasy XIV will have a place to call home.
The question is: Where will that home be?
A large network of role-playing gamers called the Role-Playing Coalition of FFXIV – or RPC for short – will soon be voting on which server to designate as its home server. By publicizing the vote, RPC members hope other role-playing groups will adopt that server as the "unofficial" role-playing server of FFXIV.
The role-playing community was small and scattered in Final Fantasy XI because the game lacked a role-playing server, says Castiel, an avid role-player who founded the RPC. Without official support from Square Enix, the role-playing community failed to come together on its own, he said.
The RPC hopes to change that by attempting to unite the role-playing community early.
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Check out the RPC of FFXIV's Web site.
"A lot of people think role-players want to segregate themselves from the larger community, but this isn't the case at all," Castiel said in an e-mail interview. "We 'segregate' ourselves out of a need to survive. In comparison to the larger population, we are a very small minority and as such, we need to stick together in order to have a strong and flourishing RP community."
The RPC is a dozen linkshells strong with two more linkshells that have applied for membership. In addition, the RPC estimates having at least 150 freelance role players, giving the group a total of roughly 400 members.
Each linkshell in the RPC has its own unique lore, rules and style. The leaders of each linkshell sit on the RPC Council, which is tasked with moderating the coalition's forums, resolving inter-linkshell disputes and coordinating large-scale events.
All registered members of the RPC will be able to participate in the vote for a home server. The date of the vote will be announced on the coalition's Web site.
"It should also be mentioned that the RPC has designated a beta RP server, which happens to be Jecht," Castiel says. "However, you won't likely find much RP here yet since this is the beta test and the role-players are busy actually testing the game."
In addition to the vote, the coalition has big plans for FFXIV, including the launch of a newspaper similar to the Vana'diel Tribune. The coalition is also planning a server-wide role-playing event, as well as an "Eorzean Olympics" which would allow players to showcase their skills in battle, crafting and racing.
Writing contests, festivals and other public events are also on the RPC's to-do list for FFXIV, Castiel said.
"The level of immersion and the number of public RP events would add so much more to a role-player's experience than what they would get on a standard server," he said.
Founded in January, the RPC started off with members from FFXI's role-playing community. The group tried to organize role players in Vana'diel, but to no avail.
"By the time RPers had the capabilities to unite, it was really too late," Castiel says. "Nobody wanted to jump servers and start fresh after all of the hard work they put into their characters and due to the non-RP friends they made. There eventually was a FFXI role-play coalition for a brief period of time, but it was sadly too little and too late by that point."
Role playing isn't for everyone, and there are always going to others who give role players a hard time. However, there are people like Castiel who can't imagine playing an MMO without the ability to role play.
Fortunately for him – and for hundreds of other soon-to-be Eorzeans -- the role-playing community has been exploding with activity since the release of FFXIV was announced.
"In FFXI, very few people even knew that role-players existed," Castiel says. "This time, we want as many people as possible to know that we're here and completely prepared for an excellent future RP experience."