What does it take to have a genuinely good RP? When one thinks of great Survivor roleplays that we've ever had, people tend to think of Ovivor All Stars, Finale All Stars, Dravivor Tahiti, Redvivor China, or even Epicvivor: Midway Island.
But what really makes a good RP? It's always the cast, right? But what other factors make a good RP experience for everyone in the game? There is always the chance of having a mediocre cast, but there are always gems in every bad situation.
Take a look at Dravivor: Seychelles. One of the worst RPs to ever exist -- but the cast itself was not that awful. It was the boot order that killed it.
Take a look at Spiritvivor: Costa Rica. This RP had a horrible boot order and a mostly horrible cast, but in the end there were some good characters left, like Goddess to name one.
So, what made the amazing RPs amazing? For some, like Ovivor All Stars, it has iconic features to it that made it outstanding as a whole. Ovivor AS was the first All Stars competition ever, and it was a unique experience for everyone in it. Looking back, the cast is really not that amazing but not bad at all -- the fact that it was an All Star season was the thrill of the game.
There was no way anyone could have known what would happen. There was no chance for pre-game alliances or anything of the sort to cause the RP to spiral down. Everything happened in the RP, causing it to be good no matter the outcome. It was a fun and new experience for everyone.
And yet, years down the road, we have had other All Star RPs that have been relatively good or relatively bad. Epicvivor: All Stars was riddled with okay cast choices and a relatively bad boot order, and not to mention, pregame alliances that caused some people in the cast to become paranoid and go out of character, myself included.
So, the idea here and now is to find out what kind of RPs fit in with what types of casts, and how those RPs were received among the wiki.
What can we gather from some of the most stellar RPs that we have ever been in?
Let's begin with Redvivor: China, since it's at the top of my list. Redvivor: China had a 14 person cast that was mostly stellar. Like every cast in an RP, there are the bad gems. There is rarely ever a time where everyone in the cast is likable. This season of Redvivor was incredibly liked because of the many gimmicks and memorable moments that it had. Cole receiving 25 votes, the ironic ending where Mercy beat Dark Horse, and even the fact that GinaMarie played her idol on Sarah and sacrificed herself were the more memorable moments out of the RP.
Now, would the RP have still been amazing if the early boots, such as ItzGoAtz, Toddler, or Lavender had gone farther than they initially did? If we look back and think about if the OTHER person had gone home, the first person eliminated would have caused a tie between Veruca and Probst109. In the end, it would be predictable that Veruca would have gone home. Even if Probst109 had gone, he is eliminated pre-jury as it was and still left his impact on the game as a likable character.
Lavender's elimination, if flipped, would have caused Cole to go home instead, which would have tarnished his legacy and replaced it with Lavender, who was a relatively okay character. ItzGoAtz's elimination would have sent Probst109 home in her place, which would have never had too much of an affect, considering Probst goes home in the same episode. Even if both of their eliminations were flipped, GinaMarie would have gone home and caused her legacy to be tarnished.
The first real point to make is that the RP would not have been changed that much if the boot orders pre-merge were flipped. Some legacies would be tarnished, so for the most part, we can gather that a good boot order is what keeps an RP afloat.
Another RP, Dravivor Tahiti, had a stellar cast, but was the boot order what saved it? Character such as Yazmin or Mikala that went pre-merge would have probably ruined the season if they had gone far. Whilst the RP did not have that many bad characters, such as Redvivor: China, the RP would still have been affected if the earlier boots had gone farther.
Epicvivor Midway Island was also a stellar RP. However, this cast had several bad gems that did go far and some that didn't get so far themselves. But what really made the RP great? The partial answer is that it was hilarious for the Midway Island twist to be executed every episode, causing the tribes to change and force an earlier merge. The hilarity in it caused drama in the cast and caused more interactions to occur from within the tribal chats.
Finale: Oaxaca was an incredibly fun experience. But why was it fun? Several characters kicked off the fun by showing the uniqueness of Finale. As a whole, Finale is an RP series where everything you do is recorded. It proves for a funner experience overall when everything you do is recorded. So, with an ejection right at the start of the game, it became a unique experience to be a part of for everyone. The RP was great because of the cast of characters and good boot order.
Key words: Boot Order. It has been proven now that any good RP will have a good boot order. You know your RP is bad when the horrible characters go far. But what else makes for a good RP? We have had several other RPs with good boot orders that weren't amazing.
Take an example from Firevivor: Redemption Island. Without the aspect of Redemption Island, which had never been done before, the RP probably would not have been that good. However, because Redemption Island was new for everyone to try out in an RP, the game was actually stellar and really fun for everyone.
So, take note. A good RP will always have something endearing for it. If the RP has a good twist that doesn't fall flat, it might potentially be an amazing RP. Epicvivor Midway Island had the Midway Island twist, and Firevivor Redemption Island had the Redemption Island twist.
There is, however, another defining element that seems to always create a good RP environment. Althought it is draining to play in, the one type of RP that never has a bad cast is the:
Blood vs Water RPsEdit
The idea of Blood vs Water seems draining to those who have never experienced it. For Firevivor, it was an all new experience for everyone. Those who wished to be in it got a taste of what it was like to legally play two in the RP without anyone getting mad.
Firevivor Blood vs Water had an incredible cast and an incredible gameplay mechanic that made everything interesting. It was a unique experiment. How does an RP work when everyone in the game plays two? Will one tribe be completely ignored?
The answer was simple -- MAYBE. Depending on the player in the game, the loved one character may or may not be ignored. For Firevivor, everyone tried to make an effort to play two efficiently.
Epicvivor Blood vs Water is notorious for the loved ones, Badhana, being ignored. Several loved ones were completely ignored with the exception of Beth Darko and The Whale, along with players like Sydney and Samuel who only got focus because the main players, Jade and Xavier, were out of the game. The loved ones only ever got attention when attention was needed. However, this still managed to be a good RP because it had Redemption Island. People still managed to get focus.
Dravivor Blood vs Water was the first Blood vs Water RP to have Redemption Island through the merge. Because of this, not every loved one was completely ignored. Most players payed attention to their loved ones, but the majority of time was spent on the returning player and their interactions. BUT, with Redemption Island constantly being there, the players on Redemption Island interacted together while the loved one still in the game interacted with others in the game. By separating the two players that one person is playing, they both got equal amounts of interaction, which is the probable cause that TootieTurner was higher than several other loved ones who got out almost immediately without having any interactions at all.
So, the problem with Blood vs Water: the loved ones are ignored, causing a half good RP and a half bad RP. How could we fix this?
One such experimental RP, Dravivor San Juan Del Sur, featured an all new cast in a Blood vs Water scenario. There was no Redemption Island, but without it, everything was still fine. Nobody was ever completely ignored -- in fact, most people in the RP focused on both characters equally because there was nobody to give a main focus to. There were no returning players to give the most focus to, and therefore, there was no truly ignored loved one. Despite it being annoying, Fanny managed to give attention to both of his players that ended up failing in the end game in a hilarious fashion. Because nobody was ignored, it came down to the fact that because someone was a bad player, it was because BOTH players were bad, and not the fault of one.
So, with the idea of one half of the cast being focused on the most against the other half which was ignored, how does this compare to seasons with Fans vs Favorites?
Fans vs FavoritesEdit
Fans vs Favorites RPs do not always have the issue where the cast is ignored. For the most part, there are different users on each tribe of characters.
For Epicvivor Fans vs Favorites, it was the first FvF RP to ever exist. The focus was mainly given to the Favorites, but soley because most of the Fans were not the most stellar RPers to come to the wiki.
For Ovivor Fans vs Favorites, a larger cast was used with a larger amount of Fans and Favorites. However, with the likes of Toad and Mana in the cast, the Fans actually got attention and weren't all horrible.
For Dravivor Fans vs Favorites, the entires Fans tribe managed to be stellar with the relatively bad RPers in it. So, what makes this Fans tribe different than the other Fans tribes?
The answer -- good character choices. The characters managed to be funny and managed to all fit in together. So, to have a good RP in a Fans vs Favorites OR Blood vs Water format, you need to have a cast of good characters that blend together well and have good interactions.
It sounds simple, right? Sometimes simple is the hardest thing to do.
The initial buildup of the true first Fans vs Favorites, the cancelled Firevivor: Fans vs Favorites, was amazing. Everyone looked forward to the RP -- it was incredibly exciting for everyone involved. However, the pressure got to be too much, and the RP collapsed along with Avery himself. With that RP cancelled, other hosts became open to the idea of Fans vs Favorites.
Why did it fail? The pressure of having a good RP with a new concept was too much -- causing a breakdown, essentially. With too much pressure, an RP can still fail because of the host.
There are plenty of bad RPs with good characters in them. RPs such as Dravivor Seychelles have actually managed to have pretty good casts, but the cons were outweighed by the pros. For example, characters like DyingVirgin managed to go far while eliminating the good players like Sugar and Forrest.
Dravivor Tocantins also managed to have a meh-ish cast. There were two good characters in it -- one of which that got out very early and the other that got out at the final three. It was here that the horrible cast managed to remain horrible throughout the game and never repair itself. At the least, Seychelles could have been good if the horrible characters went out early.
This type of casting is shown again in Epicvivor Antarctica, which shows a nice cast that goes far while the bad eggs are dropped early. Firevivor Namibia also shows this type of casting.
So, in short, what really made these RPs so terrible? The fact that the casts managed to be really okay to good seems positive. However, this calls back to the point we made earlier about boot orders. Boot orders are what make your RPs good or bad.
But, with good or bad boot orders, some RPs still manage to be good. But why?
All Stars RPs have always been exciting. Regarded as the best RP ever, Ovivor All Stars managed to be an exicting RP with a relatively okay cast. There were some amazing characters and some okay characters. Both of which, however, managed to make it far.
Redvivor All Stars was also exciting as an RP, but it had several alliances in it that kept in some of the bad characters to be goats in the end, but in the end they still managed to get out of the game.
Epicvivor Heroes vs Villains was riddled with pregame alliances. Riddled. It was the cause of the blindside of Larissa and several other eliminations in the pre-merge section of the game. The players that were not involved in it did not stand a chance at all -- and even caused grudges to be held against other players in future RPs.
Finale All Stars, an RP that I regard as the best RP ever, had an incredibly fun cast with very few bad casting choices. The main reason it was so fun is because everything was recorded and everything ever done was kept in a record to be added to the page at a later date.
However, not all All Stars seasons have been amazing and fun like the others. Dravivor All Stars was done at random with no pre-made cast. The reason it was so bad? The bad RPers who managed to go relatively far and a bad winner. The ending fell apart because of an alliance of bad characters.
But, what about Epicvivor All Stars? The fact that it had a massive cast and really okay casting choices was the reason it fell apart. The ending was full of bad characters with the exception of one. So, that being said, what really caused it to fall apart?
We have to look at the size of the RP to find out what could possibly make an RP with a good cast turn ugly.
18 Person RPsEdit
These rare RP types have massive casts. First seen in Ovivor Turkey, several good characters went far and several good characters went early. But, with this being said, many people ran out of material too fast and too soon, causing it to drop in quality near the ending of the game.
During the string of 18 person RPs, it was fairly evident that the games kept starting off great but ending badly. Ovivor Faroe Islands was a massive RP, but in the end, all the good characters were gone and the ending fell flat. Everyone ran out of material for their characters.
Redvivor Sweden, like all Redvivors, was fun for everyone. But of course, in the end of the RP, everyone ran out of material. One such character, Dexter, became a gamebot -- not typical of Bruno -- because they ran out of material and wanted the RP to finish.
Epicvivor All Stars fell to this curse of the 18 person RP. That was the main reason it fell so flat -- the okay casting choices and the longetivity of the game. There weren't many double eliminations to speed it up -- and with too many double eliminations, the game could become too confusing and cause people to quit.
But, why is this different from Blood vs Water? The fact that, with 18 person Blood vs Water RPs, only 9 people are actually playing causes the game to finish faster because it's okay to do double eliminations there. Nobody is ignored in this game, while in the other 18 person RPs where everyone played one character, someone got ignored because of the abnormal size of eliminations coming at one time.
16 Person RPsEdit
There are very few 16 Person RPs, but they all have ended up fairly well. Ovivor Fans vs Favorites was mostly stellar, but it had the twist of Fans vs Favorites to keep it afloat. Toadvivors Greece and Michigan both got 16 people -- and the fact that it had quick challenges and quick eliminations kept them both from failing miserably.
That's the key to having a good RP -- make sure it starts at a good time and make sure it ends at a good time. If the RP ends at 2:30 AM, it's not a good RP.
14 Person RPsEdit
These seem to be gems for everyone. Ovivor All Stars was one of the first RPs to ever get 14 players. It is a sizable cast, but it is also manageable for everyone in it. Not to say that they always turn out good -- Epicvivor Japan had 14 people and it was a 6/10 rated RP. Other games, such as Dravivor Tahiti, also had 14 players.
I believe, personally, that the 14 person cast is the most ideal. There are enough players for everyone to interact with AND it's not too many people to manage at one time.
12 Person RPsEdit
As always, 12 person RPs are the normal types for mostly every host. Whenever someone hosts, they always look for 12. It's a nice cast that is easy to manage. There are enough people to play with and not too many to deal with. However, the cast that has 12 players needs to be cautious, because if there are too many bad apples, the game could be turned upside down and become horrible.
10 Person RPsEdit
10 Person RPs always seem to have good casts. Dravivor Maldives is known for having an impressive cast with few bad gems in it along with a very impressive winner. This is seen again with Dravivor Cambodia, Epicvivor Cambodia, Redvivor Panama, Ovivor Costa Rica, Ovivor El Salvador, and Ovivor India. Each had an impressive cast with a good winner in the end. However, with 10 person RPs, it is worse than before and possible to have a bad cast.
I feel as if it could potentially be better to have a 10 person RP -- the reason you would ever have 10 people is because a select group of people want to RP and all have good characters in mind. It would be different with a larger RP where some people RP just to be a part of the crowd.
9 Person RPsEdit
These always seem to be fun as well. Many older RPs managed to have 8 or 9 people in them which ended very quickly, but are often complimented for being so much fun. Early Firevivors are notorious for very tiny casts that ended within one or two hours of the starting time. The only known RP to still get 9 players was Dravivor: Croatia and a few others in the mix. Croatia managed to be a really fun RP.
But, like the 10 person RPs and 12 person RPs, too many bad eggs can create a bad experience, as seen in Dravivor Tocantins.
So, in conclusion to all of this writing that you probably completely ignored, most of what makes a good RP is common sense.
To make a good RP you need to have a manageable cast. 18 person RPs can be fun, but they tend to take way too long and cause a bad ending and a bad decline in character quality.
You need to have a good cast with very few bad gems. Consider cancelling the RP if you notice too many bad characters that could potentially break the game or ruin it for everyone else.
You need to have a good boot order. If your boot order starts off poorly, the ending will probably be poor as well. This can only be avoided by the good cast. If the cast is poor, the boot order will be poor, causing a poor quality RP.
A nice list of RPing users also makes for a good RP. If the users in your RP tend to explode and become volatile (like me!) you might end up with an issue at the end involving some drama on chat, causing some characters to be neglected. By encouraging people not to have an explosion on chat when you are eliminated, as seen with the Ovivor All Stars and Ovivor Heroes vs Villains acceptance forms, you could potentially have a good RP with little problems. Especially, if the volatile players face expulsion from future RPs, the issues could be fixed.
To have a good RP, you also need to have a fun format. If the game has no twists, it could be fun to see how it all turns out with no assist from twists like idols. However, twists like Midway Island or Redemption Island add fun spins to the RP and create a more fun environment which ends up making for a good RP.
So, if your RP has a good cast with a good set of RPers, along with a fun twist that you know works out entirely, a manageable cast that isn't too large or too small, ensures that everyone is playing only one character unless you have specifically called for it, and lastly, a cast with a fun and good attitude that will not cause drama or any other issues on chat, you will probably have a stellar RP.
Most of this is common knowledge -- I just wanted to write this out and see what I found through studying various RPs we've had in the past years. But, as surprising as it may seem, the simple things can often be the hardest things to accomplish.
So, in order to make sure your RP series has a good run, make sure that every tip is followed and that your game runs smoothly. Riggage will break the game and ruin the experience for others. The course of the game is influenced by the cast -- you're just there to make sure it runs properly. To make the game run smoothly, you cannot encourage anything -- you can only make sure that your cast is good and that the users are good RPers.
To make your RPs good, you need to rely on your cast of characters and your cast of users. A bad RP will consist of bad characters and bad users.