Server canon?

Wyrmrest Accord
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11/08/2018 12:54 PMPosted by Xaolio
This doesn't mean Server canon is something we must adhere to
Technically, the definition of canon is "a general law, rule, principal or criterion by which something is judged."

To me this means law, which is inflexible and set in stone. That is the antithesis of choice and personal freedom.

Hard no.
11/09/2018 08:56 AMPosted by Idun
I think server canon is best for small, daily life ideas that don't claim or give authority to characters. Like... Ironforge actually has small, thin bars with perforated squares that can be broken off; square carries a set value. That peacebloom is a favored scent for soaps. Even superstitions or courting/flirting customs.


I think we all do this a little bit among friends. Shared headcanons and the like. It's when it starts getting forced on people that's the issue.

11/09/2018 09:19 PMPosted by Zandrae
11/08/2018 12:54 PMPosted by Xaolio
This doesn't mean Server canon is something we must adhere to
Technically, the definition of canon is "a general law, rule, principal or criterion by which something is judged."

To me this means law, which is inflexible and set in stone. That is the antithesis of choice and personal freedom.

Hard no.


Extending on this, there should only really be three rules for RP.

1) Have fun and enjoy yourself. We all find different things fun and that's okay. You do you.
2) You are not obligated to RP with anyone. And nobody is obligated to RP with you.
3) Be nice and respect others in their RP.
Closest thing I can think to server canon are big events like the Civil Unrest or the Dragon Festival. But even then, that's subjective.
A majority of the time 'server canon' is presented as something innocent that acts as a centrifuge and lexicon for anyone and everyone in a community to gather around, share stories, and make their mark as they etch themselves or their guild's actions in the pages. And in the end, it's always something that becomes both a mockery of itself and a tool used by others to try to enforce pressure on "malignant" people who don't wish to conform to the roleplay standard.

In any given setting where the medium is moderated by a handful of people and it's relatively closed it would be nigh essential. However World of Warcraft isn't that; roleplay here is often random, unorganized (in essence to the story) and not having any lasting impact on the world.

When server canon is introduced it becomes something of an amalgam that allows sociopaths - and in general, bullies - to start turning it to their own end. If said people can get a good following within their own guild it gives them the influence to start to try and encode what they wish; their perspective into server canon. Once that's done they can then start pointing towards it and saying "X people follow this line of thought, why don't you?"

An even worse example that's happened, albeit a few rare times, in Moon Guard history was when a guild's influence was gigantic that they were capable of bringing other guilds into following their line of thought. What ended up happening was that it became a norm to follow roleplay and adhere to things a certain way. However the darker counterpart was that not following the cultural trend led to people castigating you both In Character and Out of Character for daring to give your own headcanon or roleplay a different thing. Which meant that blacklisting wasn't not only reserved for inherent toxic people, but it allowed toxic people to blacklist and encourage others to blacklist those who weren't adhering to their standard.

Overall server canon has left a very, VERY sour taste in my mouth since my time on Moon Guard. I'm often glad I dropped and came to Wyrmrest Accord; this place is much nicer than where I used to roam.
I've never run up against server canon in WoW, maybe because I've never stuck around long enough or RPing publicly enough to notice. Server/and-or/RP-Community Canon however is something that isn't always a bad thing though, depending on how it is. In ESO or BDO for example, I've seen community gatherings/RP Plots/etc. that were impactful enough that to this day and years after they were run they're still referenced in every day RP, including by RPers that weren't even in the game.

THAT is server canon to me. Not when someone forces it on you, but when it's an awesome enough (or perhaps it wasn't awesome on an OOC level, but the RP aspect of it was impactful enough) event that people talk about it and choose to incorporate it. If a guild is influential enough that years after it was disbanded it's still brought up in character, that's true server canon. And that's something I whole heartedly approve of. Obviously WoW is so big that's a hard sell for anyone to be that memorable, but it is doable.
I remember when I first started playing WoW in MoP, a bunch of folks were RPing like the Cathedral had been blown up.
I dunno what kinda stuff goes on in Moonguard with the whole server canon thing, but WRA doesn't really have much of it on a large scale. Smaller in a way, kinda? Maybe I've got the definition wrong, though.

Like, there's still the whole 'oh, there's this festival going on soon' thing, stuff like Hallow's End festivals, Illuridei back in back in September. Stormwind University (I think it was them? I know it was one of the scholar themed guilds) holds little storytelling stuff. I've seen a decent amount of people talking about it idly like that. Oooo, and Mr. Smite's Improv. That was always one of my favorites. Dunno if they still do shows, though...

Anyway! Back on the topic. There's that kinda stuff, a decent amount seem to acknowledge it in their general IC lives. On a lesser scale, too, there's the whole 'which guild operates where thing'. Maybe it's just me, but I know where a decent amount of guilds operate around Stormwind. I don't acknowledge it as much, but sometimes a reference here and there can spice up the aesthetic.

There was this one time that a bunch of scarlets were trying to do some kind of... rally? Support group? I dunno what it was, but they were in front of the cathedral. I think it might've been them, but someone burned down the cathedral. (Which technically would be a little impossible, it's entirely made of stone IIRC...) That kinda became server cannon amongst a small group, but most ignored it.

Speaking of the cathedral! Back when Teldrassil first got torched, the cathedral lit up again! ...Not literally this time. That would be a cruel joke. But it just started to really get filled up. People who needed healing, people who were healing, people dropping off supplies for the survivors, people handing out food, all kinds of stuff. Kaldorei, worgen, draenei, gnomes, everyone was there, doing their part or having their wounds tended to. It went on for about... a week after the burning, some guilds even held charities ICly to donate to the survivors. Heck, there was a date auction Thursday that the funds were going to them. The entire thing is still referenced now.

Again, I have no idea if any of this counts as 'server canon', but this is mostly what I ended up thinking of.
There is a difference between people running temporary festival events and things that are there to entertain and server canon.

You can choose to go to these fun optional things or not, acknowledge them or not, and face no real consequence for not doing so.

For a while people were trying to push certain events with unsatisfying outcomes on everyone as canon, expecting everyone to opt in or acknowledge that they happen—With one such event, I personally think what happened was unrealistic and had opted out a long time ago and no one has the right to tell me I must acknowledge it.

Things that are a problem are events that assume consent of every player, usurp public hotspot spaces, or events that are "opt in" but aren't really.

Plague plots assume everyone consented by default. It is basically forced on others if those people play in a public space—people will try to infect your toon with plague #8675309 without consent. At times this has been bad enough folks have retreated from public spaces.

Usurping public spaces is another problem. The failed House of Nobles decided to use a tavern for a debate for elections (beware of groups whose series of first actions include electing people). They displaced and RPed over others who were there minding their own business. That's not really okay.

There are also "opt in" events that are not really "opt in." If an event is "opt in" in public hotspot spaces and those who have opted in basically ignore everyone who has not opted in, it makes more people opt in because they want their casual RP, and as more join in the more others need to join as well. The choice is really an illusion.

House of Nobles had the potential to be like this: You couuuuuld play a noble and not join but no one else will acknowledge you. Is that actually freedom of choice?

I recall hearing something about people refusing to play with unopted people with the civil unrest event but it was a long time ago so I could be remembering wrong. (The person posting the ads/info for the event was someone who had very heavy influence over Belf RPs pseucocanon in MoP. I may just remember they are no mas. The person was driven off for being a party to other popular and well-liked people (the only reason people noticed) being bullied off the game.)

Yes, server canon stuff may work on ESO and BDO but I'm willing to bet those communities are pretty small. Wyrmrest is a different animal.

My point is the freedom of choice in RP communities can be very fragile and easily eroded by bad actors with bad intentions. Freedom of choice means not being forced to acknowledge things that make no sense, it means not being bullied and pressured into something like plague plots, or being ostracized for not opting into something, or having their regular hotspot usurped.

We also need to consider what barriers would be created with a server canon after x years. An ever-growing laundry list of things people must know about and acknowledge in their RP to be accepted. A huge barrier to entry for new players. Should people be forced to acknowledge past events? How many years of history should people know?
Like i said before fondly remembering or looking forward to public roleplaying events is not server canon.

The people running these events and festivals don't expect everyone to go "These events happen and everyone has to accept that they happened in their own roleplaying."

They're just public events for people to have fun in and enjoy you're not going to be shunned or harassed for respectfully bowing out of these events and pretending they don't exist.

Not if the people running them want to keep a good reputation at least.
11/10/2018 05:48 AMPosted by Sydessin
I dunno what kinda stuff goes on in Moonguard with the whole server canon thing, but WRA doesn't really have much of it on a large scale. Smaller in a way, kinda? Maybe I've got the definition wrong, though.


In a nutshell it's kind of normal to assume that seasonal festival's happen and things happen there.

Karma being the apple-bobbing champion 5 years running is head-canon.

Everyone being bent out of shape because someone suggested someone ELSE is the apple-bobbing champion in those 5 years would have been server canon.
My steamy romance novels are absolutely canon and everyone should buy them so I get more royalties.

Please, I'm running low on money that I can pull out of my hat.
11/10/2018 12:05 PMPosted by Karmas
11/10/2018 05:48 AMPosted by Sydessin
I dunno what kinda stuff goes on in Moonguard with the whole server canon thing, but WRA doesn't really have much of it on a large scale. Smaller in a way, kinda? Maybe I've got the definition wrong, though.


In a nutshell it's kind of normal to assume that seasonal festival's happen and things happen there.

Karma being the apple-bobbing champion 5 years running is head-canon.

Everyone being bent out of shape because someone suggested someone ELSE is the apple-bobbing champion in those 5 years would have been server canon.


Eh. See that's where I'll disagree.

Guild X runs a festival. Person A wins a contest five years in a row. Person B shows up and claims to be the actual champion of that contest. Also he's never participated in said festival but claims he actually was "off screen." I'd say that's more powerplaying/metagaming than anything because Person A was actually there and did the RP to win.
Disagreeing is fine. That's headcanon.
Well we must be in the clear. No BoL showed up except that one. Maybe they decided to RP someplace else since Lordaeron has been blighted to hell and back.

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