We interviewed GM Ravkha to find out how such a specialized guild swings easily with such a wide-ranging approach to the game. For the herd!
Main character Ravkha, tauren feral druid
Guild Thunderhoof Clan
Realm The Venture Co. (US-RP-PvP)
WoW Insider: So it's pretty unusual for a race-specific guild to be as active as Thunderhoof Clan is in so many areas of gameplay. What's the appeal of TC as an all-tauren guild? What do you think has drawn most of your members to join?
Ravkha: Well, I think the biggest appeal of our guild has to be that we're all-tauren! It's not every day you see a one-race guild that has lasted as long as us; tackling each expansion consistently with the mentality of a casual playstyle, all without demanding time from our clansmen. Our members are at liberty to pursue what they wish within the game without consequence.
What's drawn most of our members to join the clan would probably be seeing us out in the world, doing things as a big group of tauren. We enjoy participating in community-created events, so a lot of our publicity is from attending those.
Does the guild accept non-tauren members? What about alts?
We are truly an all-tauren guild, meaning our members and member alts are required to be tauren.
How much does game lore factor in to your approach to the game? Or is being tauren more of a point of commonality, a brotherhood?
The game lore has actually factored into a few of our events! When Cairne, former high chieftain of Thunder Bluff, died, we held an in-game service for him. We correspondingly welcomed Baine as the new leader of the tauren after the service. Also when Camp Taurajo, the small tauren camp just outside of Mulgore, was attacked and burned by the Alliance, the Thunderhoof Clan tried their best to pay respects to the civilians that lost their lives.
The Thunderhoof Clan does have a point of commonality. Being all-tauren is a huge factor, but we share the same beliefs of respect and honor as most tauren of game lore follow. We collectively strive to provide a fun and family friendly environment for everyone.
Does the guild mark any particular tauren or Thunder Bluff-based traditions?
We do! There's actually an event planned for tonight called the Renewal of An'she (the right eye of the Earthmother), or Renewal of the Sun. It's a tradition to celebrate the continued rising and setting of the sun. It's usually performed at the height of summer, but we're doing at the beginning of spring, a season that represents renewal in and of itself.
In the same respect we also celebrate Mu'sha, the left eye of the Earthmother. Mu'sha is the larger of Azeroth's two moons and is also referred to as Elune by the night elves. So as you could understand, Mu'sha is a rather important deity to many beings on Azeroth.
Another one we enjoy doing is the Kodo Run. We don't do it as often as we'd like, but it's fun when we do. The clan usually wears nomadic clothing and wields heavy weapons, going out to the plains of Mulgore to hunt kodo in order to provide food, fur, and accessories to the denizens of Mulgore.
Do you require any specific character behaviors ( such as using one form or the other at specific times) or player habits ( such as hearthing in a specific city) from guild members?
Our members are free to set their hearth to any home they desire. Regarding specific character behaviors, we occasionally ask everyone to mount their kodos for some cool screenshots and epic entrances to RP events!
How does being tauren affect your official relationships with other guilds on your realm as roleplayers?
Within the Horde, there really aren't any guilds that have beef with us, although I can't help but to suspect that a few gnomes have a seething grudge against us ... Something about not watching where we walk. Udder than that, our guild gets along with the majority of the guilds on the server! A lot of it has to do with our code of honor when approaching members and players of the public. Luckily, The Venture Co. has a great community as well; we often contact the Alliance to organize RP/PvP events. They commonly have no problem with doing so.
Let's remind readers what classes or roles you might be missing out on by having only tauren in the guild. How has that affected your guild activity?
We have access to a lot of the classes in game, but we miss out on pure DPS classes aside from hunters. That doesn't put the herd out to pasture, though! Rogue, warlock, and mage are the only ones that we don't have admittance to. Apart from not being able to travel as easily as other guilds, our activity is no way affected by the limitations we face as an all-tauren group.
We understand you're hoping to move into more organized Mists raiding soon.
If we were to get into raiding, it would still be a casual venture. We don't like to demand time from our members, as it creates a "second job"-like atmosphere. In the past, during Wrath and Cata, we had a handful of tauren that really took an interest in raiding. The great thing is that they truly wanted to use their game time to venture into these raids. It wasn't mandatory, and you weren't going to get kicked from a roster if you didn't show up, but it was really well done! And for a casual raiding group, they really kicked some hide.
We went into Mists without a raid group; most of our members with the thirst of PvE take advantage of the raid finder. The interest in clan raiding has been brought up in a recent forum post, and a few members showed curiosity. It's like anything that occurs within the guild; if it happens, it happens! If not, I'm sure it will find its way soon if enough members show interest.
What might a typical week's worth of activity for the guild include?
Monday through Friday, we take the time to run dungeons, battleground, arena, and possibly socialize by the pond in Thunder Bluff. Saturday and Sunday frequently promises the most activity from the guild. Saturdays are popular for guild and community events, and also for world PvP and other fun activities. Sunday, though, is the most active day for the clan. Each Sunday, we hold a meeting in Thunder Bluff just outside of Baine's tent. It's a prime opportunity for our members to get caught up on upcoming guild and server events, WoW news, and a great way to confront the clan about your own news. Most of our members enjoy coming to the meeting, so the time after the meeting is a hot time for events and activity.
Humor me (literally) by helping us end on a beefy note. Most tired tauren joke ...
What do you call a tauren with no legs? Ground beef!
Tauren joke that never gets old ...
Mess with bull, and you get the horns!
Catch up with the Thunderhoof Clan on the web.
Read our other interviews with race- and class-specific guilds:
"I never thought of playing WoW like that!" -- and neither did we, until we talked with Game of Thrones' Hodor (Kristian Nairn) ... a blind ex-serviceman and the guildmates who keep him raiding as a regular ... and a 70-year-old grandma who tops her raid's DPS charts as its legendary-wielding GM. Send your nominations to firstname.lastname@example.org.