These were originally written while role playing in WoW, but all of the general concepts and advice still very much apply. Even if you've been role playing for years, there are some things in here will likely help you develop even further.
While I take no credit for writing this guide, I cannot actually name the person who wrote it. It is a handbook that has been passed around for a little over 9 years now, the authors have changed (or at least user names) many times over. Though I thought it would be good to share for those who do actively or are interested in role playing.
Role Play 101: Emote Crafting
Emotes are an integral part of role play. Without them our play would be pretty dull and flat. They are used to convey moods, actions, and many other bits of information about our characters. While they may seem simple enough, it is quite surprising how many role players do not quite understand what is a correct emote.
Today weâ€™re going to talk about crafting emotes in WoW. I will keep it as relatively painless as possible.
I am going to talk briefly about the default emotes created in game by the developers. Overall, these emotes are not very good. Sometimes the animations or voice effects that go along with them are, letâ€™s face it, particularly lame. If you rely on the existing emotes, you are severly limiting what your character can convey and sometimes the exaggerated animations that go along with them are not at all in keeping with the personality of the character.
There are a few that are not too terrible though. Generally they are the simpler ones such as /wave, /blink, /belch and so forth. A complete list of current WoW emotes (which will have more added when WotLK comes out) can be found on WoW Wiki at this link.
While the list may seem big, it doesnâ€™t even come close to covering everything that can be conveyed in an emote. And users beware! Just because it comes from Blizzard, does NOT mean it is a correctly crafted Emote.
What Is A Correctly Crafted Emote?
So now it is time to delve into the meat of the article. How to correctly craft an emote. It doesnâ€™t require lots of skill but it does require some thought. Donâ€™t worry though! After a while, crafting a good emote becomes second nature.
The most important thing to remember about the proper emote is it conveys something that can be observed in some manner. Something we can see or hear, generally. If you are trying to convey something that cannot be observed, you are not correctly crafting the emote and many role players will simply ignore it.
Here are some examples. See if you can spot the incorrect emotes.
/me stands up and waves.
/me wants a glass of water.
/me sits down comfortably.
/me spits on the ground.
/me thinks %t is a sexy devil.
/me reaches out and pokes %t in the arm.
Okay so thereâ€™s our list. Iâ€™m sure most of the incorrect ones are easy to spot but lets run down the list real quick to be sure you got them all.
Most of them are pretty obvious, but Iâ€™m sure some of you are confused as to why I labeled #3 incorrect so Iâ€™ll explain. Indeed, #3 conveys action. It conveys the act of sitting. However it also conveys something we canâ€™t see or hear. We are not the butt of the emoter so we have no idea that the way the person is sitting is comfortable or not.
#1, #4, and #6 clearly convey actions we can see and interpret in our own way. #2, #3, and #5 convey elements we cannot observe. And in case you didnâ€™t catch it, #5 is one of the Blizzard crafted emotes.
Proper Addition of Information in Your Emote
Now you can add additional information into your emote to convey a message without fouling the emote. Through adding sounds, facial expressions or even speech you can convey more than simply sitting down.
A correct variation of #3 could read something like this: /me sits down with a sigh and smile. That more accurately presents elements we can observe as it relates to what the character is feeling. A sigh as used in this context often implies relief and the smile indicates a mood of pleasure.
If you wished to take it a bit further, you could even present it as /me sits down with a sigh and smile. â€œWow. It feels good to sit down.â€
As with anything, creativity is the key. Just remember that what you convey needs to be relayed in such a way as to be something that can be observed.
Emotes can be a great tool if used correctly! If your emotes are as carefully crafted as your character, you should do just fine!
Here is a link for the current list of emotes for Rift: