(Kudos to Garliah Rholak Lightblade for suggesting the topic.)
I see a reasonably common complaint about the availability of roleplaying and the ease with which someone can work their way into a scene. It's neither faction nor server exclusive; one can have difficulty finding the frequency and type of roleplay that they would like, and attribute the reasons to circumstances or perceptions that aren't really responsible for the dearth in question.
Every server is stylistically different, with the various realm cultures brewing up as guilds and plots come and go. What we do here on Earthen Ring is often mocked and derided on Moon Guard as "not real roleplaying" while we often roll our eyes and hop on the bandwagon to make fun of them in return for being overly dramatic or focused on ERP. While it's not the point of this article to contribute to such flaming, it is important to realize that what we see as normal roleplaying behavior here at "home" is not always going to be perceived in the same light on other realms.
It's easy to make some of the common mistakes when scoping out a new roleplaying scene or trying to get involved with a specific group of people. It's even easier to feel slighted or ignored when you manage to approach at the wrong time and can't quite find an "in".
First, you need to find the roleplaying. Wandering around mousing over hundreds of people looking for an RP mod may eventually net you something, but it's a very inefficient method and will frustrate you more often than not. As any veteran will tell you, the best way to find roleplay is to create it.
Easier said than done, you say? Not at all. You can get a lot of mileage and satisfaction out of involving others around you and utilizing the game itself as your vehicle. If there's a particular person you would like to roleplay with, it never hurts to send them an in-game letter asking them either for assistance ('I've heard stories of your prowess, perhaps you would be willing to aid me in doing [quest].") or for a simple meeting. This works best with busier roleplayers who you know to be inundated with stuff going on regularly.
Maybe you're just looking for broad contact. Using the walk toggle is a fairly universal sign that you're in no hurry to get somewhere and you're open for roleplaying contact. Again though, as people do not generally stop other pedestrians on the street to chat, you'll want to be doing something that garners a small degree of attention. On Earthen Ring, several years ago, we had a Stormwind town crier named Herbe. He was a simple low-level guy wandering around the city and calling out news stories. He added tons of flavor and immersion to the game and he was a blast to talk with. It's a great schtick to try if you're feeling saucy.
Perhaps your character has a service they wish to peddle (get your mind out of the Goldshire gutter... or not, if that's your thing, I don't judge). Set up shop on a busy corner or a well-traveled route and announce your business! Again on Earthen Ring, there was a locksmith rogue who ran a strongbox opening racket in the alley between the Orgrimmar auction house and the ammo shop. He roleplayed all his dealings and came away with some sweet (for the time) tips in the process.
These things can take a bit of setup though, and maybe you're just testing the waters or see a group already in progress that you'd like to edge in on. There's ways to deal with that too.
Most often are the shy sorts who approach circles or other roleplayers and sit to watch or wait to be included. This is an awkward situation for both parties, and the ice is easily broken by sending a brief OOC tell denoting interest or asking the person waiting if they wish to be included. Some folks are completely comfortable just watching roleplaying happen, and they should be allowed to do so in peace.
The biggest mistake you can make here is sitting there like a stone doing nothing. Much like how someone does not include a random stranger in a conversation with a friend, it can be difficult to justify including a bystander unless they make an attempt at communication. Something as simple as "I couldn't help but notice you were talking about [thing]," or "Excuse me, you don't happen to know [person]?" (even if that person is fictional) gets your foot in the door.
If you're the more extroverted type and you happen to be in a tavern atmosphere, offer to buy a round for the house. Instant recognition, and you've just made a few in-character friends (particularly if you actually buy the drinks and trade them around). After that, it's smooth sailing; chat about any old thing, from the sword on their hip to the smell of brimstone on their clothes to the latest local sports interest (okay okay, but you know what I mean).
What's critical to know here, however, is how to handle rejection. Sometimes there really is a private conversation to be had between two characters, and it can be tremendously rude (as it is in real life) to walk up to people in heated discussion about something personal. You should never take this personally and then become thorny about roleplaying with those people in the future. You'll burn bridges you've yet to cross and give yourself a reputation for being petulant.
It's also important to realize that some nights are just quiet and people are going about their business. We all know that Earthen Ring is a big old sofa with comfy cushions and more than a few pretzel crumbs in it. People are comfortable here and have settled into their subcommunities and circles, erroneously referred to as cliques (a phenomenon that bears its own article). It's natural human behavior for folks to prefer the company of those they are comfortable with, but don't give up after round one of the match if you don't find an "in" with those people right away. Good things come to those who wait, if at first you don't succeed try again, et cetera.
Additionally, the understanding that not everyone roleplays like you is key. There are groups and individuals who prefer to use the happenings in the game around them to drive their roleplay, and use things like PvP, dungeon runs, and world events as an integral part of their enjoyment. Then there are those who shun everything about the game except its chat interface, scripting intricate plots and preferring emoted combat over using the game's actual system for it. Both of these (and all points in between) are valid methods for seeking roleplay, and condemning a group for preferring a method different from yours is not only rude, but foolish, as it closes off possible opportunities in the future.
Finding your place in roleplaying, or finding it at all, requires a bit of patience and a great deal of understanding the culture of the realm on which you play. Don't be afraid to ask around, test the waters, and ultimately move on gracefully if a group or a realm is not for you. Conducting yourself gracefully will net you a far better reception should you choose to try again than making a scene and starting a flame war.