Leave it to a player who attacks WoW with the ferocity and passion of his orcish character to rationally and objectively dissect the pros and cons of making a guild home in a racially exclusive guild.
"Pros of a one-race clan, tribe or house: Focus, intensity, and real sense of being dedicated and set apart, as well as shared lore that becomes a motivating force in itself," enumerates Stonzgrinda, the GM of what might be the game's only orc-exclusive guild on an RP-PvP realm. "The immersion is much more credible and intense for roleplaying purposes. Cons of a one-race clan, tribe or house: Some classes are unavailable for specific purposes -- for instance, a stealthing druid healer for a team of rogues. Some achievements are not obtainable. The narrow niche makes recruiting difficult. ... Players have to know some lore and be able to present it to a standard."
So what makes it worthwhile for the Bloodfury Clan of orcs? "Our sense of camaraderie, shared culture and purpose gives our roleplayers something that no general RP guild could ever attain," Stonzgrinda answers without hesitation. "When we say 'Strength and honor,' it means something. When we mourn the passing of a player who has quit the game, we truly mourn them and remember their contributions and the unique light they brought to our warband."
Ready for some industrial, orc-strength opinions of Garrosh Hellscream, Thrall, and more? Read on.
Main character Stonzgrinda, orc arms warrior
Guild Bloodfury Clan
Realm Ravenholdt (US-RP-PvP)
WoW Insider: So, the Bloodfury Clan -- nothing but orcs?
Stonzgrinda: No, we do not allow non-orcs in our clan. Once upon a time we had a tauren death knight at the beginning of Wrath of the Lich King for game mechanics reasons, but that was short term and to a purpose.
Sounds like your clan's direction must be quite firm.
We are Thrallite -- new Horde -- and try to keep the best of what we learned after the Great Deception in Draenor, while returning back as much as possible to ancestral ways. Some orcs will roleplay hardcore, hard-nosed, and unreformed old Horde types. That roleplay is fine as long as it is dealt with as sneaky and deceptive within our clan. In short, we will in an out-of-character way allow in-character villains within the clan as long as they pretend to hide it.
But it's not all roleplay. Isn't world PvP is a big part of what you do?
Think of the old three-aircraft V formations common at the beginning of WWII. Creative and quality roleplay is our lead fighter. The wing pilots on either side, and equally important with respect to each other, are that we are in a PvP environment and that we are all orc.
The interaction of these three things are the engine that make Bloodfury Clan what it is -- tribal, intense, immersive and tough. It has endured longer than many larger and more generalized guilds precisely because of the niche, narrow focus and dedicated purpose.
I'm curious about what orc-based traditions you might follow.
To the extent we can, we use the few snippets of orcish language that is sourced from Warcraft -- mok'ra, lok'tar, aka'magosh and so on.
Also, the passing of the equinoxes is of fundamental importance to traditional orcs in the celebration of Kosh'harg. It was the major event in orc lives before the corruption. It was the cement for diverse and sometimes quarrelsome orc clans. Social, spiritual and competitive, Kosh'harg is a major event on our calendar, and as long as there are at least a couple of orcs to observe it, we will.
Typically, we do not even invite our allies. We have welcomed people who stumbled upon us while questing in Nagrand. Nagrand is our spiritual home as the best preserved fragment of orcish life "from before." Recapturing our dignity and honor is central. That is the mainspring in our clan. Strength and honor.
Let's go back and talk more about being a "Thrallite" group. Does the Bloodfury Clan go along with the current flow of lore in its entirety, or are there points of departure or even conflicts of interest?
By this, our general understanding (because our views differ and that is OK) is that we embrace the New Horde. We are not slaves of the Burning Legion, we are not anarchic, and we willfully turn our backs on the savagery of Blackhand and Gul'dan and try to return to our roots before the corruption and our fall. The mag'har are very nearly identical to the tauren in the worldview, and we try to return to that. The orcs before the draenei brought the Burning Legion in hot pursuit are basically tauren with toes and without the horns. In fact, early orc architecture is more organic and soft than tauren architecture. The society appears to be almost matriarchal at times.
As for following the lore, it is what it is, and serious roleplayers are bound to it as facts in their universe. The creativity comes in how we deal with it and can we creatively add to it. I try to be pretty libertarian about lore, but it is our foundation, like it or not. We can minimize it, but we can't just ignore it either -- not and have any credibility in our characters.
Very few of us care much for Garrosh, although there are a couple. Almost no one except the most bigoted Alliance players like the current Horde narrative, because Garrosh Hellscream is such a two-dimensional, crass, obnoxious propaganda cartoon villain. Any review of general WoW forums on the subject would reveal that. Real dictators and tyrants who killed innumerable real people were more complex and even compelling. Garrosh is just a stupid lout set on a stick, but we are stuck with him. His father was a much more compelling and stronger character.
So ... Thrall?
Thrall went his own way, and I would not welcome him back at this point. If I were picking the next Horde Warchief, I would pick Warlord Zaela of the Dragonmaw or have Baine step up to prove himself worthy.
Yet you support Garrosh.
As it stands, Bloodfury Clan and Stonzgrinda will support Garrosh Hellscream as the duly appointed Warchief until we have compelling reason not to. This is because of military-style discipline, not respect or affection. Strength and honor, again.
Also, a few things he has gotten right. We are at war. We must win it.
Let's turn to some of the other aspects of the game. Is there certain PvE content you avoid doing because it doesn't fit with the lore of the guild?
We really can't do much PvE content due to a shortage of players. We are not a raiding guild. We are a roleplaying guild. Our raiders have to look for randoms or make raiding friends on the server. To me, this underscores their dedication to roleplaying.
Unless we do the ambassador thing, we will not be able to have priests, paladins, or druids. Monks have been a valuable add for us as another healer class.
Do you and other guild members do any roleplaying out of the game -- for instance, on the guild or official forums?
I am glad you asked, and we most certainly do! There was an official forum before my time that can be found and has some fantastic writing on it. I would love to get something like that up again but lack the skills. It is on my to-do list, however.
Much of our roleplay is found here, and it is a resource for all of Ravenholdt server: www.ravenholdt.us/. This is a rather intricate thread that has been cross-guild and cross-faction. We should be closing it soon, but the next move is mine, and I have been so busy on Terra that it is hard to reach Azeroth. The thread looks at our recent past and potential future: www.ravenholdt.us/viewtopic.php?f=39&t=2657.
What activities might be included in a typical week for the guild?
We are relatively unstructured now due to my absence for much of the past couple of months and our limited numbers and scattered levels. In the past, we had weekly clan meetings. I want to get back to that. We had planned raids, and that would be nice too, even though for level we will have to call in friendly guilds to cooperate.
As it stands, our guild chat is in character, so we are often having discussions in character. At impromptu moments we will meet for whatever, drinks, battlegrounds, world PvP, or whatever. We actually do quite a bit of roleplaying, but most of it is done on the fly.
Coolest thing you never get tired of doing in game that's related to being an orc?
When all of the lore, and the passion, and the intensity all comes together and we are orcs. Orcs are very much out of time and out of synch with our modern society, and that is what makes them attractive. They are spontaneous, decisive, outspoken, and regard killing a threat as common sense.
I grew up as a military dependent during the Cold War. Orcs remind me of those service members from those days. They are there to win, and they will return with their shield or on it. When those things gel and the moment is reached in the improv theater that is roleplay, the moment is golden. It is full immersion then, and you are orc.
Most tired thing you're sick of newbies or others doing in game that's related to being an orc?
The worst thing is [considering] that orcs are stupid or animals, and the absolute depth is playing them that way. That is Warhammer. Warhammer is a fine game. I enjoy it too, and I run orcs there as well. It isn't Azeroth or the Old World though. (I refuse to call it Draenor.)
Warcraft orcs are spiritual. They are blunt but honest, tough but considerate, brutal warriors yet dedicated to comrades, family, and clan. We went to hell, but then we came back. We are unlike any other race in Azeroth -- easy to start with but never mastered, because the more you get into them, the more depth and complexity you will see.
Aka'magosh to you and all your readers.
Read more in our series on class- and race-exclusive guilds:
Blood elves continue their people's story with self-deprecating humor
Death knights squeeze WoW in ice-fisted death grip
Druids shred raid content by tooth and claw
Dwarves indulge in rollicking good world PvP
Gnomes ratchet to guild level 25 on steam-drive gnomish power
Goblin roleplay campaign inspires goblin NPC
Hunters take aim across Azeroth
Rogues stealth and stab their way into friendly player antagonism
Tauren guild stampedes beyond roleplaying
Trolls savagely roleplay the revenge of the Zandalari
Worgen run wild across Azeroth
"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 tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.