To start off the new year around here, I thought I’d go digging in the mail bag for an Ask Anna question (as another reminder, the contact form isn’t working, so please email me – toomanyannas [at] gmail [dot] com if you have a question!). As usual, I was not disappointed, so let’s jump in and tackle this excellent question that was sent to me by Aeone, an officer in another RP/Raid group:
Dear Anna –
I’m currently an officer in a Hordeside heavy RP guild, one whose chief concern, like much of Azeroth, has been the defeat of the Scourge. As the confrontation with Arthas looms closer and closer, members have more or less been on a perpetual loregasm, and we’ve readily encouraged roleplay and writing on the topic.
The catch, though, is that there seems to a lot of uncertainty over what can and can’t be deemed ‘canon’. So far we’ve not run any of the content ICly as a guild, and so there’s really no solid story regarding the guild’s involvement as a whole in Icecrown thus far. Each character has more or less developed their own story , and while things are early enough now that that hasn’t posed a problem, I worry that as events become more concrete and omfglife-changing, these stories simply won’t be able to mesh anymore, undermining any sort of ‘rp continuity’ within the guild. Should we place limits on what players can and cannot deem canon (aside from the obvious no-nos of claiming to have personally killed major lore figures)? Is it possible to maintain one, synergistic story within the guild without stifling each character’s individual experiences?
It is absolutely possible to have a “guild story” that doesn’t clash with or squash individual story lines. The key is to keep the individual players involved without being overly strict about time lines/dates and times.
In general, I’d try to keep your basic guild storyline consistent with your raid’s progression, if you’d like to have IC interactions with the major boss fights (like Saurfang). Whether or not the people in your guild will hold to that storyline needs to be up to them (A dictate that “thou shalt not do anything that the guild raid hasn’t done” is likely to go over poorly, regardless of how it’s worded), but I think that if you are intending to have major IC boss kills, people will generally stick to where your raid progression is.
This isn’t to say that you all have to have been there at the same time, or that everyone has to have been there at all.
But feel free to ignore “world firsts” and such, and work through Icecrown at your pace, considering your pace as a guild to be the pace of the Verdict and Horde forces as they progress through the Citadel. The 5 man content is pretty much “public knowledge” now, so I’d not worry if people are using that content in their personal stories. (The other option is to consider your server as “the world” and go by where your Hordeside server progression is, but that kinda takes away the ability to have IC boss kills)
I don’t think this is something that you’ll need to be overly concerned with, since the major events will likely factor into each story – the opening of the hall, the escape from Arthas (5 man), the death of Saurfang, the eventual death of Arthas (maybe? >.>). Keeping those “major” events within the guild consistent, all the minor story development will line up enough to not cause continuity problems, I should think.
If you want to do a major, extended, written storyline, like the Riders have done with Wrathgate (you can read a good chunk of that over at WTT:RP – look for Wrathgate Wednesday) you’re going to have to allow for more timeline flexibility, since getting everyone writing at the same time takes a lot of time and whip-cracking. I’d highly recommend allowing for a few weeks after each major kill to let people write up what’s happened, and then “officially” move on. Letting people post placeholders is a good idea as well – something that says “JoePally is going to do something here, but I can’t write it until after midterms”, or whatever. That lets people “fill in the blanks” later on, while still keeping the guild’s overall Icecrown story moving forward as each wing is opened up.
I’d love to hear any suggestions that the rest of my readers have for Aeone as well, so go nuts in the comments! I know several of you are in RP/Raid situations (or were the orchestrators of the Great WFR Wrathgate Epic), so I’d like your take on this.
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