World of Warcraft (WoW)

Me, Hyjal and Darrowshire. And a little bit of turtles.

Hello everyone, welcome to my first reddit post. Allow to introduce myself: my name is ClassicObserver, an old-timer average player who currently enjoys playing our favorite game in some p.servers. Before you start reading this post make yourself comfortable, play some cozy music:


and grab some tea/coffee/drink depending on your timezone and age. I apologize in advance for the length of my post, so I’ll try to make it worth your time and entertain you a little bit.

As a wise player once said: “The plot thickens as the private server lore is better than the actual World of Warcraft lore” – Bender (Darrowshire’s Discord, 8/6/21). And I couldn’t agree more with that statement. Behind the scenes drama, laborious self-justice trolling, intense debates in discord channels by polarized participants for various topics, internal dev politics, server fires, admins being accused for their (so called) scrupulous management, etc. A mix of toxic and benevolent environments that forge friendships, rivalries and enemies.

Many of us have deemed these kind of situations as too arbitrary, unsocial and to some extent harmful to our mental balance, with the latter one maybe being a little bit too melodramatic. But I begged to differ by offering you my point of view to various scenarios, and while focusing on my last experiences with Hyjal, Darrowshire and Turtle servers, I will make an attempt to persuasive you: This odd mixture of intrigue, all those feelings that this scene creates and the interactions we have with other fellow gamers are part of what WoW’s culture is. And it always was (and hopefully in my humble opinion will be) a part of what made this game one of the greatest MMOs of all time.

I will begin by describing my first interactions I had in Hyjal’s discord, back at late November of 2020. With a first glance the server appeared to be a little bit bizarre, to my eyes at least: Lot’s of people, which counting by memory there were around 9 of them, seemed to be trolling hard for no apparent reasons to me. I was a little bit perplexed with their behavior but I was too timid to say much about it. So I sit at the back, observing in silence while I was waiting for the server to launch. A few days later some people started angrily pointed fingers on those trolls, telling them that their presence was detrimental for the server’s outlook.

The mighty Hyjal mods listened to those reports and slowly those offenders started to get either banned or kicked as a warning. That triggered a lot tension and the trolls returned with new IPs and reinvigorated appetite to continue their mischievous work. To this day none knows what motivated those trolls for certain. Some speculate that their intentions were pernicious cause they didn’t want more new servers while the playerbase was already too small and thinned out between the rest of the p.servers. Others say that they wanted for Hyjal to fail as they were either working on their own projects or already having stockholding interests in other servers. In my eyes though one thing was certain. Most of them, if not all of the deliquents, had an agenda. Sometimes they would accidentally fail to maintain their persona only to delete their comments a few moments later on. Needless to say I started to feel amused by beholding the theatrical play which was unfolding infront of my eyes.

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Server started to clam down as Hyjal was getting closer to its launch. But suddenly something happened and all the laments, cries for attention and condemnations for shortcomings resurged and started to spiral out of control. A 3 hour cap of ~930 players on launch has locked hundred of players outside the ‘golden hour’ of the fresh start, which was the trigger that the infamous <9> trolls needed to come out of their caves and start instilling chaos, exerting influence to those players who genuinely didn’t know what was going. To summarize all the problems that the server had I will post a list of intriguing misconstructive, yet amusing, facts that the user u/Jameys23 was so kind to gather and share with us:

  1. Decided not to do a stress test before launch predictably leading to launch day issues
  2. Saying the current admins are incompetent probably isn't too much of an overreach. They didn't know how to change the OS settings that caused their population cap during the initial launch. They just recompiled old commits for 6 hours on launch day like a monkey with a rock trying to start a truck hoping to stumble into a fix with predictably ineffective results. When they were finally given the solution by a person who had left the project a week prior, they didn't even bother to thank him and kept calling it a "threading issue" to cover for their own incompetence.
  3. Closed their entire discord on launch day because they didn't like people calling out their fuckups.
  4. Had 5k+ in discord before the initial launch but couldn't get past 900 peaks and had sub 200 peaks a month later before the server literally exploded in flames. In contrast, Whitemane had 3k in discord and launched with well over 3k+ peaks.
  5. Relaunched their dead server claiming it was "fresh". They could have disclosed the character merges from the dead server in their last reddit announcement, but they didn't. The Hyjal admins are so hungry for population that they're willing to misrepresent what they're offering, it kind of reeks of desperation.
  6. Original 3 founding members have since left.
  7. First tried to turn it into a fun server before quickly backpedaling after they realized how out of touch they were.
  8. They're not particularly keen to hear when people disagree with the direction they're going. Any kind of criticism is dealt with pretty sharply. Their discord has gone from 5k+ during the initial launch in February to around 3k now.
  9. Purposely hide important information like population numbers to get more suckers to join their dying server.
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But do those accusations, or ‘facts’ as they were pointed out to r/servers, stand correct or its an example of a ‘Strawman’s fallacy’? Let’s take a closer look:

  1. Why would the Hyjal staff do a stress test when the interest on BEAT testing was kinda low? What would +100 people change? Did Jameys23 had somehow internal information about the numbers and reasoning of that decision?
  2. All those could be viewed as speculations as most of us didn’t have a clear view of what was going on behind the scenes.
  3. They closed the comments for some hours cause the chat start getting out of control thanks to the trolls.
  4. Discord pop means nothing, people come and go and most of those +5k people never wrote a single phrase. As for the wonderful Whitemane and its dodgy population number that would be a post for another time.
  5. That was some weak PR, I agree. They should have label the server as a relaunch, though they didn’t hide that in ruleset in their discord.
  6. A plain up false claim at that time. 2 original devs left, for their own reasons.
  7. I agree to that statement, though the words “fun server” and “backpetaling” are not what we could describe them as objective. The term “fun server” is also not defined, so everyone can use their imagination about it.
  8. They were VERY kin on listening to their playerbase, an example is why we had numbers 9, 7 and 5. Those decisions were made after some players suggested them.
  9. A bad call, but can you do. That decision was made after players suggested them on doing so.

Many more accusations were made against Hyjal and after the big fire, some mismanagement and declining pop numbers the devs decide to give up and merge with Turtle. And then you couldn’t believe the happiness and joy those <9> mysterious entities had. But why would they celebrate the downfall of one of the most promising vanilla project of that time? What were their intentions? Who is Jameys23 on discord? Maybe we will never know.

But, during the Hyjal server fire and the doubtfulness it brought uppon us, a rising star emerged into the vanilla scene. Darroshire, a server created by one of the most critical Hyjal censurers, arised as a shinny new hope for all the players who fall victims to Hyjal’s misfortune. Darrowshire discord provide a new home for all the refugees, including the doomers, racists, homophobes, mysoginsts, deranged alchemical trolls and many more. Their moto was: “If you can’t handle internet toxicity you shouldn’t be on the internet.” A bold claim.

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Eventually, especially after the Hyjal shutdown, bans started to roll in. Prominent, high-octane sperging was shut down, the meme channel got purge and all video/gif embeding was forbidden. During those dark times (ironically) nine brave members decide to venture into Darrowshire’s PTR and make the first raid in the most “pepega” fashion possible. Hillarity was insured and memes started to flood the chat rooms once again. A product of that era was this short video: https://www.captiongenerator.com/2236141/Interview-with-Darrowshire-Dev created by Basedleaf, the guild master of DOA ( DOA stand for ‘Dead On Arrival’ and it’s a serious raiding guild ).

Darrowshire promised us everything that Hyjal couldn’t deliver: forums, stress tests, ‘competent team’ working behind the scene, self-funded project, paid ads, no excessive bans/kicks – like Hyjal did, no relaunches, backup service and many more. If you want to ask if those promises have been delivered then head into their discord and ask: https://discord.gg/SqZs2sJ2tD . It’s free of charge. You’ll get a mix bag of reactions, but I can promise you that your visit will not go unnoticed. For better or worst at least. 🙂

I could write a little bit more in detail and add quite a few lines for Darrowshire and Turtle but that a story will be told another time. Hopefully you took a glimpse of why I find all this locomotion and intrigue entertaining. Until then stay safe in Azeroth, watch your backs when leveling for gankers and use your consumables in raids. Take care all!

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