Missing you, Moon Guard

Last year in late September I realized that my current server couldn’t suit my specific needs when it came to raiding. I wanted a very focused type of guild to belong to – a strict ten-man guild, and I set out to find one. Prior to that, I’d been playing about two years – and all of those years, I’d been on the Moon Guard US server.

Perhaps you haven’t heard of Moon Guard at all. Or perhaps you’re hearing about it now, in the form of a WoW.com article that details Blizzard’s plans to “police” the Goldshire area for inappropriate and harassing behaviour due to complaints that they have received. Perhaps you had heard of Moon Guard, and you heard that it was “the place where all of the naughty roleplay goes on,” or whatever.

First of all – yes, a lot of unsavory things happen in Goldshire. I only passed through on rare occasion (when I was doing Loremaster quests) and there were a lot of shenanigans there. It was a relief on my new server when the new “thanksgiving” type event came out and I realized that I’d have to go to Goldshire…but on my regular old PvE server, Goldshire is a ghost town. I did not enjoy Goldshire on Moon Guard.

However.

There is no other place in the game I have been (and I’ve visited quite a few servers, including roleplaying servers) that was as friendly and welcoming as Moon Guard. I mentioned that I was relieved at the quiet Goldshire on my new server. I’ll confess that I was also a bit relieved the first time I had to go to the Stormwind Cathedral on an alt, and there was no one there. Likewise, the place in Stormwind where the warrior trainers are was deserted. On Moon Guard there were usually people roleplaying in those places – the Cathedral could sometimes feel like running a gauntlet of religious types, beggars, and other oddities. I was relieved – and then I was a bit sad.

The people that populate and congregate in these places are what give the world a sense of space, an environment you can immerse yourself in. Hanging around with “Ipwnu” the DK bouncing around on his spectral tiger mount in front of the bank is not the same thing. On a normal server, you can have crowds, but you seldom have gatherings. I never see anyone walking any more. The world has become a place where people are in perpetual, frenzied motion – unless they happen to be AFK.

Moon Guard has a massively large community of people who truly care about their server. It’s so vast that there is bound to be a place for everyone. There are long-established guilds there to provide homes for people with innumerable divergent interests. There was a gnome in Stormwind who used to cry the daily “news,” there was a bizarre Night Elf giant woman, there was gossip and backroom deals and drama. It was an exhilarating place.

For me, the server transfer did involve some sacrifice. On my new server, a dwarf isn’t going to sit down next to me while I’m doing a fishing daily (hoping to get a crocolisk!) and wind up chatting for over an hour about how he used to be a pirate, and got chased out of town because of an inappropriate involvement with another pirate’s daughter.

On my new server, I’ve had someone chase me around a zone whispering profanities at me for “stealing his mobs.” I messed up in a pug run (before LFD was introduced, so this was all “local” people) and I got hit by the ghoul explode in the ToC 5-man. A warlock in the run started ranting at me, “Why would you do that?” etc. I whispered to him and told him that I realized I screwed up, there was no need to be so rude, and he told me I should be thankful, because “It could have been worse, I could have been swearing at you.” (This has since become a running gag for me, “Well it could be worse, I could be swearing at you! You should be thankful!”)

In the two years that I played on Moon Guard, I never had anyone say or do such things. Sure, it’s anecdotal evidence, but isn’t any server experience that way? You either have good experiences in a place, or bad ones. And don’t get me wrong… I love my guild. I wouldn’t trade them. But I feel absolutely no loyalty to my server whatsoever. I’ve met some neat people there, but in general people are more impatient, ruder, less helpful, and less friendly.

It took me over an hour to find enough people to sign my alt guild bank charter on my new server. I accomplished the same task in ten minutes on Moon Guard. On the new server, I was offering TEN gold per signature and people still wouldn’t help me. It was boggling, and I wondered if I had made a mistake in coming there. I don’t feel that I did at all – the community of people we have in the guild is also awesome. But the community in general is not. It’s pretty much non-existent. I have friendly relations with another tens guild on the server, but I don’t post on the realm forums because it’s more trolls than anything.

On the Moon Guard forums, people organize realm events, or talk about RP, or whatever. Sure, it has trolls. It’s the largest RP server in existence, that’s bound to happen.

I knew people who weren’t roleplayers, had no interest in roleplaying at all, and still played on Moon Guard. When asked why, they said, “Because the people are just really nice.” It’s true. I left because I wanted a different form of play – more intense raiding, and I found that. But my leaving doesn’t speak to the server itself. If I were looking for a roleplay server, I’d go back happily. Now people who have no knowledge or interest in RP servers whatsoever are hearing about Moon Guard’s infamous Goldshire, and I find that unfortunate. Just remember what with any story, you’re going to hear about what’s “news,” but it isn’t the whole or even a fraction of the truth.

This is my mage learning how to polymorph things into pigs. She was still wearing her super Outland clown gear at the time, because the drab browns and greys of Northrend didn't exist yet! This is related, because it was taken on Moon Guard, with a pig. They are proud and noble animals.

22 responses to “Missing you, Moon Guard

  1. I completely agree with you. I’m more performance oriented than you and I was sometimes rolling my eyes about the quality of the pugs found there, that’s true.

    But you are completely correct in saying that Moonguard, from a community point of view has no equal in all the servers we’ve been on. Helpful people can be found everywhere and yes, there’s Pornshire. Everything that’s written about it is true. But it’s a small dot on a map that’s avoided by the vast majority of Moonguard’s citizens themselves.

    Moonguard is a great server and as I’ve told you before, I sometimes miss it.

  2. I wonder if there was a Horde equivalent of Goldshire in Moonguard.

    When people are in the zone RP-ing, it can be awesome. Just go to a good Renaissance Festival and you can see that up close and personal. I’ve toyed around with the idea of creating an alt on an RP server, but I fear the time sink that I’d end up creating. (As if WoW isn’t a big enough time sink all by it’s lonesome.)

    I’m sorry to hear of the sacrifices you made, but as you said, it was a free choice and you’d still make it.

    Do people still get on the server that SAN is on? Isn’t that an RP server?

    • Yup! I don’t write to bemoan a choice I made. I’m happy with it, ultimately. I just hate to think of people hearing only bad things about a place that I think is a great one. I haven’t logged into SAN in ages. I’m sure people are still playing there! Argent Dawn is an RP server, coincidentally one on which my Horde characters used to reside. I can’t speak to Alliance-side, but I didn’t see much RP there. A friend from there told me that there IS rp, but it’s more “underground,” in guild channels, party channels, and whispers. He cautioned me “Not to RP publicly because you’ll be griefed.” My experience on MG was the opposite – RPers tended to be in the majority and were seldom harassed or bothered for doing their own thing.

  3. I’ve never played on Moon Guard, but from what you and @shecantdps and others have said, it sounds like a really special community. Not just any RP server has that — I’ve played on one of the oldest RP servers there is (Cenarion Circle) since I started, and my experience has been that whatever RP there may have once been there is now almost entirely dead.

    Indeed, there is a lot of open hostility toward RP and the players who enjoy it. It makes me kind of sad, because even though I myself don’t prefer to RP, I’ve always enjoyed seeing the fun events that RP groups used to put on, and the cordial civility of players in character toward peaceful bystanders.

    Although there are lots of players who, to paraphrase Neal Stephenson, either are or are indistinguishable from self-righteous sixteen-year-olds with unlimited free time, I’m glad to see that there really is still a place where people can play the game the way they want to. I hope this present kerfuffle will not disturb that freedom.

  4. Aww, I know what you mean. I play on 3 servers, one PvP, one PvE, and one RP. Just by watching trade chat and such I know which ones I prefer, and Vashj’s official server forums are full to the brim of trolls now (I used to frequent them back in TBC when it was a bit more of a community). On the PvE server the other day I think it took me 2 hours to get my guild charter signed, and only then because a few lovely people saw my whining on Twitter and made level 1 humans to help me out. I had 2 people sign the charter, take the 5 gold I gave them for it, and join other guilds before the guild was even created, one wouldn’t sign until I gave him the money.. It’s also nice to be walking around low level areas, usually empty and devoid of life, and see people conversing! I found that so lovely when I started levelling my Rogue on Argent Dawn.

    PS. Pigs are awesome.

  5. It’s sad to not see this subject not get the attention it deserves, or that RP in general is reviled as some sort of “perverts toy” because of Pornshire – if you’re playing a character in a world, wouldn’t you rather the world was alive, was breathing?

    Levelling on Medivh, there were entire chunks of levelling where I’d enter a quest zone and be the only player in a zone for hours at a time – servers really don’t feel like a “world” of anything (war, crafting, or some quixotic amalgamation of the two) if everybody is busy sitting on their shiny mount in Dalaran and babbling in Trade about whatever.

    now I wanna play on an RP server. =(

  6. I’ve had a similar experience except I moved the other way around. I started out on a PvP server when I started playing (because a friend was on there, although in the end I never ended up playing with that person because I never caught up to them in level) and although I enjoyed the game mechanics, I didn’t really feel a sense of belongings. People generally weren’t very friendly and the ganking.. it drove me bonkers. And this was back in the day when I was levelling my first character and had very little knowledge of the game.

    Then in a fit of rage I transferred to Steamwheedle Cartel (one of the most active EU RP realms) after being ganked one too many times and wow it was such a difference! I mean, both servers have their share of assholes, but overall I’ve found the people who populate RP servers to be much more friendly, welcoming and helpful.

    On my server you’re better off avoiding Goldshire too, but I love the general RP that goes on in other places. And people tend to emote more to each other.

  7. RP is such a tricky subject.
    I wish that everyone would
    a) have a character and
    b) stay in character
    Naturally on a non-RP server that “character” is simpler than what you’d find on an RP server – its defined by class, race, and mostly by being a hero.

    My pet peeve is anyone with a bogus name (like Ipwnyou, or Healbot. We have a guy in my guild named “STFuppercut” and another named “Beargirl”). I wish nobody would do that but you know – it’s a free country.

    That said, I guess I’m glad there are places in WoW like Moonguard even though personally that’s a bit too much RP for my tastes.

    -Rocky the helping gnome.

  8. Oh I forgot to say:
    I help random people on Moonrunner when asked (and sometimes even if they don’t ask!)
    It’s all part of my ‘helping gnome’ schtick.

  9. Perhaps I just don’t know what’s going on because I don’t read articles on wow.com (I glanced briefly at the blue post and thought it was a joke.)

    And perhaps I’m also just not grasping what a “big deal” this is (or is perceived to be) because… this happens on every server. For some reason (I surely don’t know why) Goldshire is the haven of derelicts seeking erotica, violence, nudity and any combination thereof, plus add-ins of others (rather like a perverted ice cream shop, I suppose?)

    But, could Goldshire on Moon Guard REALLY be so much more horrible than any other Goldshire? Given that it’s an RP server and a largely populated one at that.

    I don’t know who’s done so much complaining that they’re going to do this… I’m just sorry that your realm is getting such bad publicity (and the publicity about it is actually going to work in reverse favor, I bet.)

  10. It took me over an hour to find enough people to sign my alt guild bank charter on my new server. I accomplished the same task in ten minutes on Moon Guard. On the new server, I was offering TEN gold per signature and people still wouldn’t help me.

    Under the heading of obvious only to those who know the deal, just what is the etiquette surrounding people who want guild signatures? You sign it, the toon hands over gold, and once the guild is created you leave the guild? I’ve had enough random requests to join guilds that I’m gunshy of anyone offering gold for a guild charter.

    • I can’t speak for all servers, but on ours the usual protocol is you offer some gold (right now the going rate is 5-10g) for a signature; once you’ve got your ten most of the signatories leave on their own. It’s more or less expected you’ll kick the rest, unless you told them they could stay.

      It sounds more friendly on Moon Guard, though I’ve never been there. :)

    • “Under the heading of obvious only to those who know the deal, just what is the etiquette surrounding people who want guild signatures? You sign it, the toon hands over gold, and once the guild is created you leave the guild?”

      If you sign a charter and then you:
      a) sign yet another charter (on any character); or
      b) join a guild
      before the first charter has been completed and the guild started up, your signature on the first charter disappears. The gold paid you to sign that charter was then effectively wasted by the person with the charter.

      This happened to me, too.. I was offering 10g per person since nobody ever signs charters for free anymore on our server. I lost a sig after forking over the 10g when the guy decided to join a guild right after.

      • I have never, and never will, take or ask for gold when signing a charter. Is it that big a deal to take 2 seconds out of your oh so busy video game playing time to sign a charter for somebody? If i’m on a bank alt or some unguilded lowbie and somebody pops up a charter for me to sign, or is asking for a signature, I just do it. Somebody was trying to give me 500 gold on beta to sign their charter the other day… I signed it and told him he didn’t have to pay me. He seemed so shocked by it, it was almost funny in a sad way. I realize gold is pretty meaningless there but, it’s beta… people are trying to test the new guild features, and this guy has to run around giving people 500 gold to do it? It’s just asinine. /rant

  11. I played for a little over four years on Scarlet Crusade (RP) before I transferred off (to another RP server) and I do miss it sometimes. I met a LOT of people and made a lot of memories over the years. Went from noob to raider. Had all my WoW firsts there. But I was feeling so low about things in game when I transferred that my new server has become my happy ray of sunshine. I think one thing I did that helped me not miss SC was make a new Endyme over over there that I’m working (slowly) on leveling, so I could visit and chat with folks I know. I didn’t just cut off all ties…well, I did at first, but after a few months I started coming around.

    And like you, I don’t regret my transfer one bit. Haven’t even had a doubt. I enjoy my new server so much, I transferred another of my SC toons to my current server and she just dinged 80 last night. Woo!

  12. Well this is interesting to me, because I think RP is ran by elitists at least it was on Feathermoon.

    The thing I have to ask is this going to be the deathknell to an ailing RP.

  13. Have you checked out Wyrmrest Accord as an RP server? I’m more familiar with Horde-side than Alliance but I can tell you that there is lots of RP guilds and random RP everywhere. Silvermoon, Thunderbluff, Stormwind, and Ironforge always seem to have roleplayers standing around at all hours of the day and night.

    I was on Moon Guard myself before I transferred with my guild to WRA and we’ve never looked back. Sure it has its share of griefers and such but nowhere in the amounts that Moon Guard has. At one point, my boyfriend and I ventured into the Goldshire inn and it was…civil.

    I’d really recommend checking WRA out. :)

  14. Pingback: But It’s Not Even Friday! « Falling Leaves and Wings

  15. I’ve been on Moon Guard for quite a while – shortly after it opened in fact. It has changed a fair amount in all that time. For one thing – it’s almost too big. With all of the users that have migrated to MG we’ve inherited a fair number of @$$-hats – trade chat heroes and Goldshire Expert Romance Players. We’ve gotten enough of them that it’s really easy to see how folks can get turned off of the place in hurry. If you scratch the surface a bit – it’s still a fine place with reasonable (if not cutting edge) progression and quite a few good people. All in all though – I liked the place (and the game) better before cross server battlegroups. It seems like all of the “crap” you go to an RP server to get away from just followed us home through the cross server links.

  16. I was on google and found this interesting article. I apologize in case I happen to ‘bump’ it up since it was posted quite a while back. But, reading and sifting through the contents made me want to add my own experience on MG and other realms that I have been on.

    I’ve played Wow for over 4 years now. Been on plenty of PVE realms. PVP realms as well. The communities you speak of are indeed very self-focused. Self-intent and self-preserved. You might find a community within a guild. But, that in-itself often relates to a lot of drama. “Drama happens”. Long time connotation given to PVE and PVP guilds alike. Whether its because of loot. Someone’s hurt feelings. Or just random, out of the box issues that just seem to happen.. because they must.

    • Hi Gyan and thanks for your comment. No need to worry about “bumping” the article – although I’ve moved on to blog elsewhere (manalicious.wordpress.com) I still maintain this site as an archive of what I had to say a year ago. I had to re-read my own post before I was ready to respond to your comments!

      I’ve now played for over a year on Moonrunner, in October I’ll have played as long on Moonrunner as Moonguard. Of course there are pluses and minuses. I still feel (unfortunately) that MR in general is a wretched hive of scum and villainy. I was saying only yesterday that if I could mass transfer my guild and all the characters in it, I’d happily move elsewhere. It’s populated by kiddies, trolls and other ne’er-do-wells – but we mostly leave each other alone. Due to the nature of the guild, every single one of our players server transferred to be in the guild. Many people have transferred up five-six characters, representing a pretty significant monetary investment. We couldn’t move. Would I be happier if our guild were on a nicer server (such as MG?) Yes, but it’s still a sacrifice I’m willing to make.

      Like you said, the fact that you are still on MG is a choice you made, and I made the opposite one. I’m not unhappy with it. I’ve got a few RP characters on an RP server (Earthen Ring) and another character in a friend’s casual guild on another server. Unfortunately I think to have the best of both worlds you have to invest more time, which isn’t always possible. I also find it sadly ironic that I’ve continued to meet nice people such as yourself from Moonguard long after I left! ;)

  17. (Continuation to what I wanted to say. Wish there was an edit button!)

    On the whole, PVE and PVE realms are more ‘driven’. I hardly enjoyed chasing after epics which were going to be replaced by content in another couple months. A rinse and repeat fashion. Challenging people and killing them in a random spot testing your on the spot abilities to handle something unexpected was fun at first. But, it got a little frustrating when you would be ganked by their mains. Or if you were just trying to do your own thing and still be killed. After noticing and letting them go in the first place. Not taking advantage of the opening shot.

    I currently reside on Moon-Guard. Needless to say, raiding isn’t the top ‘priority’. We organize runs and there are no-shows. Its hard to find replacements on MG. People with skill and gear are a minority. That is NOT to say that these people are not smart or we don’t have ‘raiders’ in the community. But, that raiding takes a backseat here. And, people tend to try and enjoy themselves. If anything, I’m glad that there is no drama about ‘loot’. Which was rampant in my older realms. If any, it would have to do with “RP loot”. Black Temple, Glaives. Staffs. Blindfold (Illidans). Which is amusing and doesn’t last long. Since if people really want something, they usually trade gold for it or reserve it the next time. It doesn’t last. Bad feelings or resentment.

    Having said that.. I sometimes wish that I could move my character. Magically.. to a PVE intense realm like Lightbringer. If only for a couple hours and back again. Just so I could finish up a raid. (Since we could not owing to a no-show) Or do something enjoyable. Raiding had always been an integral part of me. But, as sad as it may sound.. its not possible to have the best of both worlds. And, if I had to choose.. the fact that I’m still on MG proves what I’d pick.

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