GP Covers the Ron Paul World of Warcraft March

January 2, 2008 -

GamePolitics was on hand last night for a unique combination of MMORPG and grassroots presidential politics, the Ron Paul march within World of Warcraft.

I arrived at the Alliance city of Ironforge at about 8:10 PM Eastern time, 20 minutes ahead of scheduled jump-off. I was using an avatar named Gamepolitics (what else?), a gnome mage that I created just for this event. I play WoW, but not on the Whisperwind server where the march was being held.

Upon arrival I wandered around IF near the auction house and bank, but didn't see any sign of the Ron Paul crowd. A character named Xionn recognized the GP name and we exchanged greetings.

Still in search of the march, I wandered out the front gates of IF and found a couple of avatars sporting "RP Revolution" guild tags. This must be the place! The bulk of the marchers were assembling on the hilly road leading up to IF. I estimated 200+ characters in line. Many bore names that related to Ron Paul in some way. The organizers seemed to be at the head of the line and were trying to get everyone into single file.

I didn't join the march line for a couple of reasons. First, I've not yet made up my mind about who I'm voting for. Also, I was there to cover the event, not participate in it. So I stood off to the side and followed along as the march jumped off about five minutes behind schedule. That's not bad when dealing with so many event participants.

I took some screenshots as the march proceeded up the hill into IF and paraded around the interior of the city a bit. Next, everyone lined up to board the underground tram to Stormwind. While on the tram to SW I asked a character named Allfree why she (or he) is for Ron Paul. Answer: "I'm a longtime Libertarian and against the war in Iraq."

There was a lengthy queue to get through the tram portal into Stormwind (see pic at left). Once into the city, I followed the march for a bit longer, but then had to bail before they headed for Westfall, their next destination. At that point I felt like I'd gotten the flavor of the event and seen what I needed to see.

Based on what I observed, the march participants were well behaved. I noticed that some members of the RP Revolution guild wore a tabard with a scroll design on it which I believe was intended to represent the U.S. Constitution.

Many non-marchers were not so thrilled about the event, feeling that it detracted from their enjoyment of the game. Many seemed surprised that it was taking place, despite the advance publicity. Complaints were voiced that the march was causing lag. Indeed, the Whisperwind server did seem a bit laggy. There were some calls to ban further political activities on WoW. Some anti-Ron Paul griefers spammed rude messages. A character /spit on a paladin marcher named Ronpaulidan. Someone else threw a snowball at the marchers. None of this was too surprising and it didn't really detract from the march.

While some may have found the Ron Paul event silly, inconsequential or simply annoying, my take is that it was a most unique way to harness the social and political potential of the game space. Such activities have primarily been confined to Second Life up until this point, so it's good to see gamers pushing the envelope in other gaming venues.


Comments

My brother plays WoW. I wonder if he was a part of the march.

surprised no infernals were set loose. ron paul must be pro-warlock

Very interesting. Very interesting, indeed.

I wish I wasn't so addicted to Crackdown right now.

Otherwise I would of joined.

Did it make it to crossroads and did the alliance get killed by the horde there?

I have to agree with those who objected to it. WOW isn't a public service, it's a paid for game and doing something of this magnitude would indeed lag a server, thereby detracting from others' paid for experience and in-game time. The principle simply isn't sound for something like WOW. Take is back to SecondLife, people, where this kind of stunt is to be expected.

On the same note, all of those who participated also pay for their service, and as such should be able to do as they wish within the TOS put forth by Blizzard.

broken scope: apparently, Whisperwind is non-PvP, so there was no chance for a repeat of the funeral raid. Pity, that would've raised a lot more awareness.

The tram queue reminds me of that TF2 griefing vid that was on Joystiq about a week ago. "I'll let you through the portal if you promise to vote for Ron Paul."
---
Fangamer

"Such activities have primarily been confined to Second Life up until this point, so it’s good to see gamers pushing the envelope in other gaming venues."

This text incorrectly implies that Second Life is a game[ing venue].

I told you that greifers would show up.

Not participating does not detract from the experience of those who do, but those who do, detract from them. Just a tiny bit one-sided there. I wouldn't know about the TOS - I don't play WOW, but the principle of the matter still stands. Do we really want to open the door for everyone else with a political agenda to use WOW and other games as a propaganda/advertising machine?

@Simon Roberts

"apparently, Whisperwind is non-PvP, so there was no chance for a repeat of the funeral raid. Pity, that would’ve raised a lot more awareness."

Perhaps they were testing the waters, so to speak, to see how chaotic it would be, before trying it on a PvP server. It's too bad they took the tram, otherwise Horde players could have joined in the march too...
-- If your wiimote goes snicker-snack, check your wrist-strap...

The queque at the tram was largely because everyone was /follow ing the person infront of them, but /follow doesn't zone someone into a portal (or is is afterwards?). That part was badly planned, but they regrouped in Goldshire. I was the lvl 1 dwarf, Novoteforron, and lvl 7 BE, Nochanceron. I didn't /spit, /rude, or anything. I did shout a couple things, like, "I won't vote for for an isolationist!" Which got me flamed (and then ignored before i could respond - which is cowardly, BTW). One RP supporter was kind enough to have a civil back-and-forth, so it wasn't all bad. I did get a few HK's from the fellow low-levels that were flagged. A flagged lvl 7 BE female /dancing is too tempting to pass up, and several people met the sharp end of an undead rogue that was following me around.

All-in-all it was a good event, but I can't see what kind of positive impact this would have, because Whisperwind people just largely were mad because we quequed up their server. Anyway, I have a ton of screenshots, and I will find somewhere to host them later this evening.

~~All Knowledge is Worth Having~~

According to ~the1jeffy on the previous thread on this...

"... I saw wave of low level alliance characters die from hunter snake traps. Also, tricked a few 70’s into flagging with me as bait, and had an undead rogue in tow..."

Those low levels who died to traps were not flagged. It is a bug with snake traps. I have to agree with SlyFox as well "... WOW isn’t a public service, it’s a paid for game and doing something of this magnitude would indeed lag a server, thereby detracting from others’ paid for experience and in-game time."

All those RP-bots lagged the server and caused other people who pay their money to play a less than enjoyable experience. So, a couple hundred people who pay their $15 a month, the majority were probably not even from that server... are more important than those that pay their $15 a month to go relax, enjoy themselves, and get away from the stresses of reality?

The bot whose comment was... “I’m a longtime Libertarian and against the war in Iraq.” So this person may very well be what... 20, 21? What is the average age of a RP supporter? From the gamer comments, younger than most other candidates. Now, GP might have gotten a 40 year old... but I have my doubts.

Glad this wasn't on my server so I could enjoy my time without lag and in peace.

@Mort

Mort, Mort, Mort... I've heard that name before. Planescape Torment! The floating skull character, right? Am I on the right track?

Mort,

Jalana, Medivh (not my main). I know the snake trap bug. I overly compressed my story. I tricked a few people into flagging themsleves (gank bait) in another location.

~~All Knowledge is Worth Having~~

Funny thing, last night my server (Lightbringer) was full and qued up for the first time I have ever seen. Could people from the server, annoyed with the que, have come to my server for a visit till their server was up again? The world may never know.

(Note: The name on Lightbringer is Kled, pally, human. Say "hi" if you are there. I will most likely say high back.)

while i dont really care for ron paul, and dont plan to vote for him, i do like this kind of thing. unfortunately, i dont play WoW T_T. if it came to guild wars i would attend; i like to see political awareness and events like these on the internet.

My draenei unfortunately was late and could not get there in time.

I standardly play horde on Tortheldrin.

PVP servers ftw.

I got a lot of odd questions when I joined the march. My name was "Imcanadian" and I followed along.

@SlyFox

While that is the floating skull's name if I recall... this is from Terry Pratchett's wonderful series Discworld. 'Mort' was the first book of his I read and fell in love with him as an author. The recent announcement concerning his health was a sad day for me.

Personally I have nothing to say against this. I think it is great that people are using the social aspects of MMORPGs this way. It really helps get the message across that gamers are voters too and should not be ignored.

To all those complaining that the march interfered with their gaming, I say, "Get a life and read a book for the night."

Good Day.

EZK,

Get a life? What if you have a life, and Tuesday night is the only time you have to play each week? Or you had 25 people clear their schedules to raid Gruul's lair? Which again, is nomally done only once a week.

So perhaps you are being unfair to people who would complain about this, can you say you know their reasons? I'm not saying they shouldn't have organized this event, because they aren't breaking the ToS or other rules. But I am saying that this message, statement and march comes at a price for the normal players of Whisperwind. To whom I apologize to. Because even the "report as spam" function stopped working, so they had no avenue to report people who may have been spamming, or breaking other ToS rules. But like I said, overall, I like the idea of this event. Even though I don't support RP.

~~All Knowledge is Worth Having~~

If I was there, i'd have done the griefing. I hate Republicans.

@ Zachary Knight:

"To all those complaining that the march interfered with their gaming, I say, “Get a life and read a book for the night.”

Consider that next time you pay to do something and are prevented. It's no different from someone parking on a toll turnpike and backing up traffic behind them. Oh, you paid to use the road too? Sorry, your date/movie/whatever will have to be postponed. Go read a book. Sorry, that's just hugely obnoxious of you.

Anyway, I think this was the wrong venue, and a badly misguided idea, if for no other reason than Ron Paul is already regarded as the crazy candidate, and having a bunch of warlocks and mages and gnomes marching in support doesn't make him look any more sane to the mainstream. Ordinarily, I don't care what the mainstream thinks, but when it comes to presidential elections, no one's getting anywhere without them.

@BlackIce

I'd have done it simply because they're political activists. Not worth $15 a month IMO though.

I wonder how many of the marchers are of voting age, and would get out of their houses (and WoW) to vote...

I'm a guild officer and raid leader on Whisperwind, and it was extremely annoying that we had to start SSC very late due to all this crap. I know it may seem like another "go read a book" thing, but I enjoy bringing together 25 people to do this. I also went along with parts of this march (since my raiders were stuck in queue) and I have to say that there were quite a few RP supporters who were not polite, spamming a LOT, not following the TOS, and generally trolling, moreso than the griefers from Whisperwind.

Though I do admit that watching them crash in to the gates of Orgrimmar was pretty amusing.

I don't have much to say against this, but I can't help but suspect the whole march might have been preaching to the choir. I doubt anyone who was on the fence on who to support would have been turned into a Ron Paul groupie because of WoW characters. So it's basically a bunch of RP supporters getting together to say, "Yay, we're RP supporters!"
It might have called attention to the fact that RP has a surprising amount of internet-based support - but that's not a surprise to anyone paying attention to the election, and the media has acknowledged that RP's stayed in the race thus far almost entirely because of a strong network that uses the internet wisely.

Jonas,

I agree. You didn't happen to gank me or see me running around there? I saw a few lvl 70 allies around there.

~~All Knowledge is Worth Having~~

Surprisingly large turnout. Wonder if they were all promised an item or something.

To turn the RP arguement. WoW is not RL (regardless of what the players might think at times). They do not have politics, well as we know them. A sword tends to make a debate or campaign short. (Hordes!!)

They were their to show support of a RL persona running for an office outside of WoW. That is not RP. RP is in lines with the world you are playing in. Did they have the "right"? Yep since it is not a barred activity and they are paying members. Did the griefs have the right to complain? You betcha.

oh what a surprise, people gather in an MMO and asshats grief them.

political or not, most of you who were griefing (or wanted to) would have been griefing regardless of the reason for the gathering.

I wouldn't read too much into the snowball thing, many of them are thrown this time of year whether or not someone likes what your doing. My guess is it was just done to be funny. The rude comments and such, eessh, people need to calm down, we may not like each others idea's, but we damn sure have to respect them, or at the very least tolerate.

[...] Read GamePolitics’ account for the full picture of the first and what may be the last political event in WoW. [...]

@Admins: Please delete the above post by "UR MR GAY", which is obviously and blatantly offensive. And then delete this post, which serves no purpose but to point out the above post.
Not telling you how to do your job, just trying to help.

@IceHawk

"RP" in this case I believe (don't quote me) stands for Ron Paul, the candidate not Roleplaying, what WoW is for.

UR MR GAY,

I assume that you are one of the ones who is annoyed by reality enough to prefer escaping to WoW where consider yourself to be 'Uber.' I believe that EZK's assertation of "Go read a book" fits your bill, but perhaps "get a girlfrend/boyfriend" is needed more. I am sorry for lagging your server, but losers like yourself give WoW players a bad name. There's a fine line between "Healthy Escape," and, "My Real Life is so shitty that I have no will to better it, so I work only to pay my internet bill and WoW fee." If that last line stings a bit you might consider hanging up your riding crop for a few months and lvl up irl.

~~All Knowledge is Worth Having~~

@IceHawk,

I meant Ron Paul by RP, sorry that's my mistake.

~~All Knowledge is Worth Having~~

"The bot whose comment was… “I’m a longtime Libertarian and against the war in Iraq.” So this person may very well be what… 20, 21? What is the average age of a RP supporter? From the gamer comments, younger than most other candidates. Now, GP might have gotten a 40 year old… but I have my doubts."

FYI: Allfree is my toon on Whisperwind. I'm actually 28 years old and just finishing law school in May.

I'm sure there are young supporters, like the people vacationing in Iowa for the candidate, but I'm not one of them.

Don't blame these people for lagging up the server, blame the server for not being able to handle them.

I didn't know you could get 200+ people on screen at once in WoW.

Another question I had was, could the march have been attacked by another large group? Maybe an ambush waiting for them?

I think this would have been interesting to watch, like GP did.

@ All those who took offense at my "Read a book" comment

Sorry. I knew it would offend. I simply cannot understand why anyone would want to pay $50+ for the game disk and then another $15 per month to actually be allowed to play the game. (Then again, plenty of people pay $30+ a month to watch TV and be bombarded by advertising)

I think I understand the position of those who may have had plans made long before the march was announced, but really is it that important that a little lag is going to totally screw up your life? Is it something that simply could not wait another day or perhaps another week?

By the way, could anyone actually describe the level of lag caused by this march? I am familiar with LAN games of Unreal 2003 and the potential lag in that.

By the way, could anyone actually describe the level of lag caused by this march? I am familiar with LAN games of Unreal 2003 and the potential lag in that.

Unreal 2003 supports what, like 16 or maybe 32 players per game? And those games are hosted locally by one of the players, rather than at a central server for all the players. Lag in an MMO is far worse than any lag in a shooter, simply because the amount of data each server receives and sends out and the amount of data each client must receive and render is exponentially higher.

Another point I would like to add to my above post is this:

If these Ron Paul Supporters were planning to do this for more than one night, I could see a reason to complain. But because it was only for one night and only a couple of hours at that, it does not seem to be anything of consiquence to get your panties all twisted about.

@ point09micron

So are we looking at jumpy animations or are we talking about the screen freezing and as soon as you start moving again you are 20-30 meters away being eaten by a bear?

EZK,

There are 3 issues: Lag, Latency, and Server Queque.

When you get that many people logged into a certain area, your PC client has trouble rendering that many avatars, this causes lag, and is an issue when in a major city, because you are lagging while managing inventory, gold etc. and can cause issues. This is mostly an issue on the users computer, but a system with well beyond the recommended specs will see slowdown, unless you are cranking out over 60 fps.

Latency issues can occur with that many people, but this is due to the server being underpowered, and is generally not an isse anymore, because Blizzard upgraded their hardware with the release of the BC expansion.

The main issue is the server queque, which prevents people from logging in once a realm gets to "full" capacity. This ameliorates server-side latency issues, see the above paragraph. This person must wait until a certain number of people logout, and with a 400+ queque, where a bulk of non-normal users are not logging out, can mean waitng indefinitely. For example, on Medivh (once a premier raiding guild server) when the BC expansion was released only saw 250 peak queques during it's peak usership. So a 400 plus wait time is absurd. This can upset people's plans, especially when you are talking about coordinating 5, 10, or 25 people all from different timezones, work schedules, etc.

"I simply cannot understand why anyone would want to pay $50+ for the game disk and then another $15 per month to actually be allowed to play the game."

For an MMO, there is cost of service. Any game that is constantly changing has to get money someway. Blizzard gets this in a monthly access fee, but give away content patches fairly regularly (at least quarterly). Other MMOs have no fees, but you must buy updated content patches.

~~All Knowledge is Worth Having~~

@ E. Zachary Knight
As an ex-WoW player (not ex by choice), trust me, you have no idea what its like to lose that game. Its been seven months now, and it still hurts a little (doesnt help i have to watch my dad play it every day). That may sound a little sad and pathetic, but honestly, it was possibly the greatest gaming experience i ever had. Seeing as ive attempted to put together large man groups, or even 5-mans before for the higher end instances (dungeons), it can be incredibly difficult to get together enough people who can survive it long enough. Ive actually seen a 25-man planned out a month in advance before, so it is with due cause for those individuals to complain about lag. By the way, lag is a fact in WoW, so if their complaining about it, it must have been something terrible, 2-7 FPS (frames per second), for them to complain about it.

P.S. It is so, so, SOOOO worth the $15 a month once you understand what you're doing.

~the1jeffy

Ah my bad took it out of context.

You know, it was fun and amazing and I am sure we will never do anything that will mess things up again for other players.

It was AWESOME to see everyone even level 1s and 2s storming the blimp tower and some actually making it to the top at the end!!! =)



Do people get pissed off if their electricity goes out on a night they are going to raid and call their electric company to complain that they can not get on WoW?? Please take no offense to that, it was joke.

"Do people get pissed off if their electricity goes out on a night they are going to raid and call their electric company to complain that they can not get on WoW??"

Actually, I don't take any offense to that... however I do call them because I pay for their service and want it to work as intended. Now, I pay Blizz to support their server, when people log on and disrupt the server, it is akin to Nat'l Lampoon's Christmas Carol when Chevy Chase turns on the lights and blacks out the town. But not to such an extreme degree.

Long story short, if Blizz caused the lag I would be upset with them. However, under normal conditions, the servers work fine. This RP demonstration was not normal conditions, hence it was the problem. So I have sympathy for those who are upset at the problems caused.

@Mr. X

Didn't mean to insult, but it seems a lot of RP's supporters are not 28 year old law students. And to someone young, a couple years seems like a lifetime.

@ EZK

$15 a month, so think going to see two movies a month in the theater. However, for that $15 in the theater you get 3-4 hours. So roughly $4-5 an hour. Now, in WoW Say you put one hour a day, so 30 hours... $0.50 an hour. It is probably the cheapest form of "entertainment" outside of reading a book, cheaper still if you play to obsession like I used to. 6 hours a day, give or take. Now with that RL thing, that job thing, all that jazz, I am at less than an hour a week day.
 
Forgot your password?
Username :
Password :

Shout box

You're not permitted to post shouts.
E. Zachary KnightGot that same recommendation on Twitter. So I guess that is a good sign.09/15/2014 - 8:39pm
prh99Portlandia, though I don't watch a lot of sitcoms. Heard it was good though.09/15/2014 - 8:02pm
E. Zachary KnightSitcom recommendations for someone who like Parks and Rec but hates The Office: Go.09/15/2014 - 6:08pm
NeenekoEven if they do change their policy, they can only do it moving forward and I could see the mod/pack community simply branching.09/15/2014 - 12:50pm
Michael ChandraAs for take the money and run, the guy must have a networth of 8~9 digits already.09/15/2014 - 10:33am
Michael ChandraMe, I'm more betting on some form of mod API where servers must run donations/payments through them and they take a cut.09/15/2014 - 10:32am
Michael ChandraEspecially since they want it for promoting their phones. Killing user interest is the dumbest move to make.09/15/2014 - 10:32am
Michael ChandraGiven how the EULA actively allows for LPs, I'm not sure Microsoft is ready for the backlash of disallowing that.09/15/2014 - 10:31am
Matthew Wilsonthey wont do that, the backlash would be too big.09/15/2014 - 10:25am
ConsterSleaker: how is that a flipside? Sounds to me like that's basically what Notch himself said, except rudely.09/15/2014 - 10:18am
MaskedPixelanteOn the plus side, no more lazy Minecraft LPs, since iirc Microsoft has a strict "no monetization period" policy when it comes to their stuff.09/15/2014 - 10:13am
james_fudgeBut it continues to sell on every platform it is on, so there's that09/15/2014 - 10:09am
james_fudgeOh, well that's another matter :)09/15/2014 - 10:08am
E. Zachary KnightNothing against Notch here. I think it is great that he made something so cool. I just can't understand how it is worth $2.5 bil09/15/2014 - 9:59am
InfophileWhat a world we live in: Becoming a billionaire was the easy way out for Notch.09/15/2014 - 9:42am
james_fudgelots of hate for Notch here. I don't get it. Sorry he made a game everyone loved. What a monster he is!09/15/2014 - 9:37am
SleakerOn the flipside, Notch has been a horrible CEO for Mojang, and the company has grown on sheer inertia, DESPITE being mishandled over and over.09/15/2014 - 9:33am
SleakerI can understand Notch's statements he made to Kotaku about growing bigger than he intended, and getting hate for EULA changes he didn't enact.09/15/2014 - 9:32am
MaskedPixelantehttp://pastebin.com/n1qTeikM Notch's statement about the MS acquisition. He wanted out for a long time and this was the easiest way.09/15/2014 - 9:08am
ConsterEh, I can't blame him.09/15/2014 - 9:01am
 

Be Heard - Contact Your Politician