The first thing you decide when you roll a new character is which server you’re going to play on.
Now, that decision can be pretty meaningless (eenie, meenie, miney, moe), but it can have a lot of later implications on your play style. Before cross-server battlegrounds, for instance, rolling on a PVP server meant knowing which faction was stronger on a particular server, so that you didn’t sign yourself up for repeated failure.
On an RP server, however, things can be a little different.
I’ve played on Feathermoon essentially since I started playing (I had two short-lived characters on PVP servers with a jerk of an ex-boyfriend, got over THAT, and rolled to play with my best friend from high school here on Feathermoon). During that time I’ve been a rookie member of a lot of failed guilds, an integral member of a few guilds that went under due to real life issues, expansions, and splits in purpose and personality, and a contributing member to a couple of really awesome guilds. Throughout most of that, I’ve participated in various RP events – some on the realm forums, some from guilds, some spontaneous.
But one of the things that makes RP servers particularly interesting is that they develop a kind of “server lore.”
Obviously this isn’t the same as Blizzard’s lore, but for the people involved it can carry a similar weight. Some of those lore events are, of course, sillier than others, but they do bring a kind of connection to the people that are involved. That connection then shapes further interactions on that server.
Now, let me disclaimer this – a lot of server lore (at least on Feathermoon) happens or is initiated by forum events and RP. If you aren’t interested in what happens on your realm forums, then you’ll probably miss out on some of these kinds of events – and that’s OK. Not everyone really wants to be involved in large-scale RP or PVP type things, and some people prefer almost-exclusively smaller scale RP. That doesn’t make this lore more important, it just means more people have probably seen or been involved in it.
Having only played on Feathermoon, I can only speak to our individual lore, but some of the things that I remember include:
- The Battle of Hillsbrad Between the advent of the Honor System (April 2005), and the introduction of better-functioning battlegrounds (October-ish 2005), Hillsbrad became a war zone. Noted particularly because at the time Alliance outnumbered Horde on Feathermoon by more than 2 to 1, several guilds and the long-standing PVP rivalries started up during this time. As a leveling hunter, I didn’t even properly understand how PVP flags worked, but I knew that there wasn’t any amount of money that would make me ride through Hillsbrad. Several well known – and utterly feared – Horde rogues made names for themselves during this event (Particularly Nimjhal and the guild Low Red Moon).
- The Rose Ball A server-wide RP event that happens yearly, and gets a lot of people to show up and have a good time. Run by The Order Of The Rose, this event includes games, prizes, trivia, and all kinds of other assorted silliness. An ongoing event, I always try to make it to the Rose Ball, if only for a fun excuse to get “dressed up” in game and hang out with people I might not normally get to RP with. It’s open to new RPers too.
- The Deeprun Tram Incident A dwarf, running through the Deeprun Tram, discovers two naked night elves, engaging in … risque behavior. Interacts with them, screenshots it, and posts it all over the internet. Feathermoon becomes synonymous with RP Cybersex. Mentions of “yar yar hump hump”, dwarven hand cannons, and acting like trees while making crow noises all stem back to this particular little juicy tidbit of server history.
- Guildwatch and the Tri-City Assault Arranged by an Alliance guild known for defending (and attacking) cities in World PVP, three horde cities were attacked in one night – Orgrimmar and Thunder Bluff as diversions, with the Undercity as the main target. The RP that stemmed from this (including the trial of an Alliance rogue suspected of treason for warning the horde cities) was relatively legendary at the time. This, combined with the Battle for Hillsbrad, has gone a long way to sustain general hatred between the Alliance and the Horde.
- Boomsticks Pub Night – one of the oldest Alliance side RP events that is still ongoing, the Boomsticks Gang hosts a fantastic pub in the Dwarven District of Stormwind every Wednesday. (Similarly, Noxilite hosts a fire night for storytelling and RP on Mondays, and other guilds host or have hosted ongoing RP events like this. I think the Boomsticks pub is the longest running on Feathermoon, but I could be wrong!)
- Uthas, Plaguebringer, Absolution – Uthas Wordweaver, priest, preaches peace and community to both the Alliance and the Horde, starts a cult, and then gives them all the plague. The resulting chaos from this story created one of Feathermoon’s best known villains (who has guest posted here even!), and a server wide, cross-faction RP storyline that extended for months. His name is spoken still with reverence, with such epithets as “Sweet Zombie Uthas on a Pogo Stick”.
- A whole bunch of Forum Silliness – Hail Kull, Soulblade 178:7, Kill yourself and join the Sidewinder Band, /waffle, Cheese is not of the Forsaken, Pantsless Wednesday (more on that particular event soon!) and other such nonsense that bleed into general chat, forum conversations, and generally show up in random places, taking on a life of their own.
Within individual guilds, lore builds up as well – things like The Bloody Long Story (which is both bloody and bloody long), The Longest Night and The Wrathgate are recent events that have shaped, and will continue to shape, the Wildfire Riders. Current storylines will get folded into guild lore as well. I’m not sure if there’s even an official name for the story that has us wrapped up currently, where Tarquin is exiled from Stormwind (to avoid being hanged), SI:7 is causing trouble, some old god followers are generally wreaking havoc, and we’re finding bodies in the Stormwind Canals, but I’m quite sure it will be remembered in stories in the Pig and Whistle for some time. (I suspect Arthas’ death will also become part of WFR history, with as many exiled Lordaeron characters we have.)
So, to lasso this back to my original topic … of course not everyone on Feathermoon knows about, cares about, or remembers these events. Some of them happened quite a long time ago, before a lot of the current players were even thinking about rolling characters and trying out the World of Warcraft craze.
But these kinds of events (even the silly ones) provide each server with a sort of cultural history, a background that runs between the forums and the game, between factions, between guilds, that anyone can tap into and build from.
Which, of course, turns this post into a sort of Friday challenge.
What servers do you all play on, and do they have events and stories that pop up again and again? Are there major server-wide RP events that shaped how you play or how you see certain aspects of the game (I know I still, to this day, skirt quickly around Tarren Mill)?
If you don’t know, your server’s wowwiki page is a good place to start (this is Feathermoon’s), as well as looking through your realm forums or asking around in your guild. Getting people talking about old stories is fun, and you never know, you might learn something new about your server. If possible, you might try asking about these events in-character too, since an in-character retelling of a long-past event can be really interesting.
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