Everyone seems to think of RP realms as being these strange places inhabited by weird people that talk like they live in something Chaucer wrote.
We've had a few applications at Absolution recently from people that have server transferred from PvP and Normal realms to these RP realms and all of them have commented on how they believe the people on RP realms to be more mature. Sometimes I cant believe they're applying to join us if they believe there's more mature people on Argent Dawn...
Anyways. People who roll on RP realms are either:
a) Looking to RP.
b) Have friends on the server that have told them that it's not all Shakespearian and shit.
c) Are noobs and thought that RP stands for Really Powerful
d) Got the name mixed up with something said on Die Hard
(I fit category d, if you're wondering...)
But with people transfering from different servers to join more "mature" raiding guilds, I have to agree with Ereios that there's been a shift from RP to a more...PvE feel. Trade is now filled with LFG spam, trolls and just general chit-chat between players. Gone are the days you'd have people in Silvermoon going ((Keep Trade IC please)) when someone was spamming it with LFG messages.
I've been on an RP server for most of my WoW playing days and I've never once RP'd "properly." I truely cant. I had an "RP" set, which consisted of a pink dress, a really, really over-sized mace and a bouquet of flowers - I really dont take it seriously at all.
This is because RP servers are what you make of them. You can PvP until your hearts content, raid until your eyes hurt or you get wankers cramp from button bashing or, you can find others with an RP'ing interest and just enjoy yourself.
The RP on the server page is more of a huge banner saying "You can RP here! Seriously...you're not going to get ganked, we cant guarantee you're not going to get asked to cyb0r though..."
RP realms aren't full of mature people, every realm has about the same amount, you've just got to look hard enough. The only difference between an RP server and others is you can report the stupid bastards who're called "Arthazz" and "Lickkhing"