Friday, June 22, 2007

New ROMA Roleplay Gadget Goes Beta

Citizens are invited to test drive a new roleplay gadget this summer in ROMA. Roleplay in ROMA will always remain a mainly player-driven pasttime. That means that the Citizens are expected and encouraged to conduct their own roleplaying. ROMA is full of attractions and amenities to facilitate roleplaying as ancient Romans, and the monthly festivals and events will also continue to be held.

Torin has scripted a gadget that can help roleplayers identify and find each other in ROMA's two sims, and provide 'events' for players to participate in if they wish.

Attach it. The gadget will give you a prim laurel wreath above your head. This will allow you to identify yourself as someone wishing to roleplay. (You can also turn the gadget off, or just turn off the wreath signal if you want to lurk or want to take a break from roleplaying, but we encourage that if you want to roleplay, turn the wreath on so others can see. See the gadget instructions for how to do this.)

Around every 20-40 minutes (it is random), a 'broadcaster' (shaped like an Omphalos up in the Forum) will broadcast a roleplay event. This will be a general event that will ask you usually to go somewhere in the sim and do something. Right now for the beta test the events will be very general, but in the future some will also be associated with specific items in the sim and even 'live' events, all controlled through the Omphalos.

Here are a few of the 45+ events in the beta test:

  • Time for the baths! Round up some people and try all the pools in the Baths of Caracalla. Towels only!

  • The cook at the Pompeii Tavern needs apples to make some apple pies. Can you help him by gathering some apples from one of the trees in ROMA?

  • The current crop of gladiators is hopeless. The Emperor would like the Citizens to show them how real Romans fight! Come to the arena!

  • Meet in the Plaza for hide and seek! Pick a person who is "it". They must turn off their Mini-Map. They then wait 3 minutes while everyone else goes and hides. Anywhere in ROMA is fair game. The game ends when the next roleplay event is announced.

If your gadget is attached and turned on, it will pick up the broadcast and relay the 'event call' to you. You can then choose to take part. If you wish, go to the place it mentions and do the action it asks. Hopefully, others will join you as well, which will give you a chance to begin roleplaying with them. The rest is up to you, which means you'll need to be proactive. It is your opportunity to meet new people, expand your character profile, and participate in some roleplay in ROMA.

The gadget will work whether you are in ROMA or the Subura. It will not work in any other sim.

If you do not want to wait for an event, you also can trigger an event yourself. Go to the Omphalos in the Forum (it is right near the Lacus Curtius). From one to four stars (*) will be displayed above it. The Omphalos counts up to the time to the next event. If you see one star (*), it could be anywhere from 20-40 minutes before the next event. Three red stars (***) means an event will happen within the next ten minutes. Four stars (****) triggers an event.

To trigger an event yourself, right click the Omphalos and pay it L$100. This will trigger one of its 45+ events randomly and reset the stars back to one (*). It will then be 20-40 minutes before the Omphalos triggers another event automatically.

ROMA Roleplay Gadgets are available free of charge in the Tablinum in ROMA (look on the wall of ROMA Essentials). It does not cost anything to participate in the roleplay via the gadget. It costs L$100 each time if you want to trigger the events yourself.

PLEASE NOTE that this is still in the testing mode (BETA). We will be testing this gadget through the summer. In August we will solicit responses and suggestions to improve the gadget, and release a fully functioning official gadget.

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