Traveling the Multiverse

Aka Ironyca Stood in the Fire – gaming blog

Spending New Years Eve in WoW

What is the worst thing a WoW-player can do that will prove them exceptionally no-life’ish according to the forum police? Yes, the title said it: Spending New Years in WoW… although I believe Christmas Eve probably ranks highly too. (Did I hear someone say WoW-stigma?)

Well, I did it! …almost, I logged out around 22:00 CET (which is also the EU time in game) so it was a close call.

Me and my boyfriend actually had a party to attend, but he had become ill the day before, and felt too unsettled to go that night. I think the fact he was going to meet a lot of the people I study with for the first time, made him even more insecure about going while not being well, and I understand that.

The consequence was that it put me in a dilemma – do I go? Or do I stay at home?

I chose the latter, as I would have been grateful if someone had kept me company, if the tables were turned.

I figured this could give me an opportunity to venture into online worlds to see how New Years looked on the virtual side. I planned to  go to Second Life to see what they might have done, as they can create their own stuff, but then I remembered how Second Life is so international that New Years couldn’t be pinpointed as accurately as it can on my server, so I stayed at home both online and IRL.

Argent Dawn was relatively lively, as you can see below.

Horde is the crazy side of the coin, right? And they did indeed seem to have more of a party going on. Their auction house was also full, probably the goblin auctioneers being forever busy.

As you can see, I faffed around on Argent Dawn a bit, I didn’t have to stay at home on my own server though, I could have visited the parallel universe realm of the Sha’tar, where a whole New Years party was planned out:

They did it last year too:

In fact, if you’re interested in how their party played out, here’s a video from the 2010 Sha’tar New Years Bash:

Their party this year lasted from 21:00 till 3 at night hosting around 60-70 party people. They even had someone from the American servers who fired up their extra EU account, made a level 1 alt and ran most of the way to get to the location in Un’goro Crater!

The video below is another in game party from Stormwind. It shows how, despite no party being planned as meticulously as the Sha’tar Bash, players will still routinely celebrate New Years.

Every hour for perhaps six hours, automated fireworks will shoot up into the sky, which can also be seen in the video. This doesn’t only show that the video is authentic because it displays the technical  New Years Eve in game, but also that Blizzard has created a game space where New Years is celebrated in a virtual state parallel to our real time events.

They could have thought to themselves “Why shoot fireworks and serve drinks to players who won’t be there to see them?

– Because online worlds are inhabitated even when you thought they would be deserted, people inhabit them even when cultural norms preaches to us where we should be and what we should be doing. Anyone can finish those two last statements: At a party – getting drunk. It’s the formula of New Years Eve, and mercy to the ones who don’t conform!

I still remember last year, I was following the wave of discussions, or should we say preachings, in the aftermath of the Sha’tar Bash. I remember it as close to an outroar, going from “LOL losers” to some commenters almost throwing a hint of blame at the organizers for giving the impression that celebrating New Years online was a good idea at all. As if the invitation should come with a disclaimer saying: “We all suck, and this party will suck, the experience can never (EVER) meassure up to anything IRL, even watching TV tonight is better and less pathetic“.

Actually the invitation this year did come with a disclaimer, not like the one I made up but instead, I believe, very much inspired by last year’s discussion:

“If you’re one of those people who think people don’t have a life if they have nothing better to do than play WoW on New years eve, then you’ve never had small children who are sleeping in bed, never had a broken foot which keeps you at home, never been 9 months pregnant, never been sick, never lived in a secluded area, never been babysitting, never been broke or never been utterly bored with the concept of going out partying amongst drunk and rowdy people in the freezing weather. :-)” (The Elders New Years Bash)

I hope it doesn’t come as a surprise to anyone, that not everyone spends New Years Eve the same way, nor do they want to. But yes, yes of course it did, last year it did, this year it did and next year it will.

I wrote earlier that I logged out around 22, but all we did after 22 till mightnight was to watch the TV shows, make drinks, eat toffee apples (don’t ask why..) and admire the fireworks outside. Spending it online with a portion of the WoW community could have been a decent alternative for us, a virtual extension of real life.

I would have preferred to spend my New Years Eve differently, but I also think I could’ve enjoyed an online party like the New Years Bash on The Sha’tar.

Would I ever consider celebrating a larger event like New Years Eve in real time in a virtual world under normal circumstances? – Probably not, but at the same time, I’m not out to shame flame the people who do, nor the ones who prefer not to celebrate it at all (online or not).

Each to their own, right!

Judging from the pictures, it looked like they had fun, which is indeed possible online – even on New Years Eve.

7 comments on “Spending New Years Eve in WoW

  1. Zinn
    January 3, 2011

    It’s interesting because the initial feeling you get is “aww, spending New Years Eve online, that’s so sad!”. But it really isn’t. What is the difference between spending NYE with friends irl or online? Nothing really. You can obviously have as fun dancing, talking about nothing and getting drunk (if that’s your cup of tea). And best of all, you get to listen to your own music all night long ;)

  2. ladyerinia
    January 3, 2011

    Meh, I worked till 11 pm on Friday and had no desire to go out amidst the drunk people. So I went home, pet the kitties, and logged on. Yes, I spent new year’s eve on WoW and you know what? I was home safe, sound, and happy. Let people go be crazy outside and I’ll remain inside, where it is warm and safe. And then I got drunk off my bottle of champagne (IRL) because hey, it was new year’s!

  3. thegirlwhoplayswow
    January 4, 2011

    I was on last year, because I live in a time zone where we are an hour before my realm’s time. So I celebrate at midnight, do the whole “watch the ball drop” thing and drink cider, then watch fireworks over SW. And I’m totally cool with that! I like this post!

  4. Greetings! I was googling something about our guild, trying to find a pre-cata forum post on the old forums when I stumbled across this blog post! All I can say is wow! Nice article and coverage! I’m really impressed that you even found the two “party flyer” images from both last year and this year. :-)

    An interesting topic to blog on, and one that I am sure some game researchers out there would be very interested in. I have several friends who are game researchers, so I’ll point them here :-).

    • ironyca
      February 2, 2011

      Hey Brambline. It’s an honor to have you post here, as the post is basically centered around your party.

      And yeah, I saved the party flyer from last year. I liked the artwork and found the whole concept interesting and I was happy to see you and your guild repeat last years success. This New Years eve then proved to be the perfect opportunity to turn it into a blog post, based on my own situation – and I’m very happy the organizer approves ;)

  5. Aw, well I’m the one that’s honoured! Our wee little guild party being in the spotlight an’ all!

    As for next year, we’ll see if we do it again…

    As successful as the party was first time round, I found myself utterly exhausted and vowed “Never again!” but then gave in once December rolled around. Same thing happened the day after this second party. I was so poopered. It’s not like there was that much to prepare in a concrete way, it was more about being emotionally drained from being so anxious as the weeks, hours and days counted down to the big moment.

    However, as one gets some distance from the event (like now it’s been a month) only the good stuff shines through and the memories of stress fade away, so come next December – we’ll see :-).

    Oh and by the way I had a look through your other posts, very nice blog! I’ll have to come read again some time :-).

  6. Pingback: 2011 in review | Ironyca Stood in the Fire

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