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"Shoot, move, and communicate". That's a saying I picked up during my Army tour of duty used to describe the most basic elements that make up what a soldier should do in combat action. It is also a very handy mantra for actions within an instance, whether you are roleplaying or not. However, for roleplayers, doing these actions in their own group and individual RP styles will I think have a great effect at keeping us from falling into the 'hush-n-rush' pitfall. "Shoot" is of course meant for melee and magical combat. Does the spellcaster intone any words of power or emote using her 'magic fingers' when casting spells? Does the warrior /charge headlong into the fray, or shout curses at the enemy to intimidate and confuse them? Does the rogue do the pokity-poke and stabbity-back-stab dance? Roleplayers should!
Move" is just that - move, in an RP manner befitting your character. Note that it doesn't mean run, or hurry, or draw aggro on an overpowering number of creatures. Take the action of scouting, especially in WoW. Stealth characters may be your first choice, of course, but what if you don't have one in your party? Have an engineer with a Steam Tonk? A priests' Mind Vision spell, or a warlock's Eye of Kilrogg spell may also serve this purpose. Moving is knowing both when and where to move, and when and where NOT to move. It also means that, as long as it's done safely, moving about the immediate area is okay. Game developers put in hundreds of hours working into the look and ambiance of these instances, and simply hurrying through them and not taking notice of the surroundings is a drastic shame! Maybe your character sees a book to read, or a beautiful wall tapestry or painting, or a tasty-looking 'shroom. Improvise, adapt, and interact with the surroundings, RP style. Every time I've done this, it's lead to something funny and memorable happening, and may also be an RP catalyst for another member of the group, or the group as a whole.
There is a disease running rampant amongst many non-RP players that causes them to look at nothing but your level and immediately conclude that you have been in so-and-so instance thousands of times, and that you should know beforehand exactly what to do every step of the way within said instance. This is to exclude them from fault in their mind when another character errors in some way. I found this out early through submitting my RP characters into pick up groups for instance runs with non-RP players. Their thinking follows that there is no time to talk. After seeing these types of groups instantly dissipate after experiencing a wipe that could've been avoided had they taken the time to simply talk about what may happen around the corner, I now only partner my RP characters with other RP characters. Communication is not only a vital part of RP, the chance to share and perhaps further your character's RP story and personality, it is also the most critical component for a party to engage in while progressing through any instance. I've harped on RP communication in other articles, so that should suffice for this one.
Roleplaying in instances only seems a difficult task, until you actually get into it and give it a chance. Practice, and it will become as easy as roleplaying in the middle of town, perhaps easier! Take the "shoot, move, and communicate" concept with you next time, and employ them to the best of your RP ability, slowly at first if need be. Don't rush anything, let what happens happen, and be ready to improvise on RP wherever it seems fitting. As always, I'd really like to hear from fellow roleplayers who take these tips and have their own successes or failures with them. Until next time, role on!