Those of you who browse my blog list may be aware that Tamarind and Chastity of Righteous Orbs have started a new bloggers guild on the Argent Dawn server, Horde side. The guild is <Single Abstract Noun> and pretty much all are welcome, bloggers and blog readers alike. Finding myself booked into a hotel for the weekend with my trusty laptop and broadband wi-fi, I ventured over to see what all the fuss was about.
I have a couple of low level toons scattered about various servers from experiments playing Horde or just out of something to do when Hellscream was down, so I quickly transferred Shasti and Jessicani from Eonar to Argent Dawn and did a quick /who single to see from whom I could bum an invite. Luckily for me, Larisa, she of the fabled Pink Pigtails herself, was on and pretty soon I was a proud member of <Single Abstract Noun> along with Redux from Dwarf Deathknight, Kurnak from The *urnaks and many others. A couple of things became immediately apparent.
Roleplaying servers are wierd. Oh did I not mention Argent Dawn is an RP server? Even their economies are wierd. Stacks of linen cloth go for less than 2g per stack. Yes really. I can’t remember low level crafting gear selling for that low a price since… well, I can’t remember low level crafting gear selling for that low a price! Also, Silvermoon City isn’t deserted on an RP server. It’s full of people… you know.. roleplaying at each other. If you’re not used to the social conventions (and I’m really really not) it can induce a low level state of panic. On Friday night I was at the Inn and I pretty desperately needed to get to a trainer. The only problem was that a bunch of Roleplayers were all standing around the bottom of the stairs saving the world from the taint of infinite evil. Or something. What this entailed was talking a lot and emoting moodily and haughtily at each other. I dunno, it’s RP stuff. The problem was that I really don’t know the protocol for interrupting an epochal lore-defining moment in someone’s carefully scripted RP session by my rather urgent need for them all to get the fuck out of the way so I could see my trainer. Do you just barge through with a “Sorry for interrupting, please don’t mind me, carry on saving the world, just pretend I’m not here”? Do you ignore them? Do you wait while they finish and hope they’re all fast typers?
I just don’t know.
And it’s this not knowing that can create all sorts of problems. People walk everywhere on RP servers. And I don’t mean they don’t use mounts. I mean they walk. Not run. Now this is all well and good but I’m level 10, I don’t have a mount, the Sunspire and the Priest trainer is on the other side of the damn city and have you seen how big Silvermoon is and I’d prefer to get there tonight so I’m not walking there thanks very much. But is my running about the place like a thing (a very pretty thing, but a thing nonetheless) possessed offending people and I dont realise it? I don’t know these things!
Another hazard associated with RP servers is that you always run the risk of someone RPing at you completely out of the blue. It would be great if there was some sort of visible “I’m just not that into you” flag that we could all pop on. There very well may be, once again, I just don’t know. But when Edward Connelly of the Undercity walked up and started chatting to me outside the Silvermoon Bank while I was disenchanting some tailored gear I’d made earlier, I had a brief panic attack. I felt like the shop assistant who’d just been confronted with the very transvestite Eddie Izzard walking into his shop:
Me: Aaargh, RPer talking to me, what do I do? HALP!
Edward of the Undercity: “Good evening, my lady.”
Me: No idea what to do, quick brain, suggest something!
My Brain: Sellotape all your gloves together!
Me: Brilliant plan!
Edward of the Undercity: “My lady, why are you sellotaping all your gloves together?”
Me: “What do you want with me? WHAT? AARGH!!”
Shortly before that a bunch of us were hanging out in Murder Row (I think it’s called) and an undead Rogue stopped to chat. We played along as best we could but it was like the school drama club being thrust onto stage with the RSC. Apparently I committed an unforgivable social faux pas by referring to the Rogue by his name, before he’d introduced himself to me. I mean, how could I possibly know what his name was if no-one had told me? Oh yeah, perhaps it’s because it’s floating over his head in letters a foot high? Oops, RP server. Different rules. Damn! I think I recovered quickly though:
Klim of the Undercity: “How do you know my name?”
Me: “Saw you on the wanted posters.”
In retrospect, probably not the smartest thing to say to a level 80 Rogue. Yeah, I probably need to do some research. The onus most definitely rests on me, of course. No-one’s forcing me to play on an RP server, the least I can do is learn the house rules.
On the other hand, the RPers do some amazing stuff. One of our guild was questing in the Barrens and ran into a group of them “defending” Northwatch Hold, dressed in proper Imperial Plate Armour and everything. On the other hand I had a slightly similar issue while doing the Battle for Hillsbrad quests. Just what exactly are you supposed to do when you chase a quest npc into Hillsbrad town hall and find it stuffed full of level ?? Alliance RPers in full Grand Marshall pvp gear emoting furiously at you? /cower doesn’t seem to cover it.
Oh, and female fruit elves are inexplicably popular. Counting just those over level 10, <Single Abstract Noun> has 26 of the flighty little buggers!
It’s fun though. We ran Ragefire Chasm and Shadowfang Keep with guild groups, mostly well under the level requirements, so low that we couldn’t use the summoning stones and had to, you know… walk to the dungeon entrances. Uphill both ways in the snow etc. Funnily enough, despite Shadowfang Keep in particular being one of the more bastard-hard of the low level instances, not a single guild group failed to clear. Of course we all have level 80 mains on our “home” servers and as bloggers tend to have an active interest in “how shit works” so it shouldn’t really be surprising. But several things about playing on a new server as a new faction leap to mind.
First, there’s no safety net. I can’t twink any of these alts with gold or crafted gear and BoEs or heirloom items because I don’t have any level 80s on this server. Secondly, these are Horde toons and I never had a Horde toon over level 20 before, so I don’t know where anything is. Oh sure I know where Hillsbrad is and how to get to Thunder Bluff etc, but I don’t know where anything is in Thunder Bluff, who the quest givers are, even what quests I should be doing. Getting around Undercity is always going to be confusing. This isn’t actually a bad thing though. In many respects it’s like playing my very first toon again, and it’s really quite refreshing.
Miner Hackett is a complete and total bastard though.