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How do you guys do all these parties?
An in-depth guide on how we plan our server-wide events.
Last updated July 25, 2007 @ 6:08:15AM
Viewed 2339 times

I am frequently asked by folks off-server about how we plan (or even come up with) the server parties we throw throughout the year. We've been doing these parties for so long now, they're almost second nature to us to plan, farm, craft, and throw the event. We forget how daunting this can seem to other guilds that may want to instill the same idea into their community.

Hopefully this guide can help. It will be by no means extensive. "Individual experiences may vary" depending on your guild, your server, and how much you want to put into it. However, with a little time, patience, and a helluva lot of work, you'll probably be able to have it become second nature to you as well.

NOTE: I'll have a number of links throughout this thread that you may or may not be able to get to unless you're a member of our guild. I'm doing this so it can also be a guide for guildies in the months and years to come (I might not be here forever).

Pick a Date


Before you jump headlong into a theme, you gotta figure out when you can do this thing.

In my opinion, you need to give yourself at least a month and a half from when you first decide on taking this on. If you've never done anything close to this magnitude, give yourself two months. Between picking out a location, farming, crafting, and the rest of the logistics of it all, don't cut corners with how long you and your guild can put it together.

Picking a Theme


Whenever we throw a party, we always pick a unifying theme for the party. The point here is that a theme will help you pick out the costumes, food, and events included in your party. This helps set one event off from the others that you will throw in the future.

Our past themes:
? Halloween (First Party, Second Party)
? St. Patrick's Day (Shamrock Shindig)
? Lakeside Picnic (Redridge Summer Party)
? Spy Party (The Sleeper Supremacy)

How to come up with a theme

If you know approximately when you want to throw your party (and give yourself enough time; see picking a date below), planning things around in-game holiday's is really helpful. Often during these events you can get craftable items (fireworks, tailoring patterns, food recipes, etc.), purchasable food and drinks, or other fun items ([Snowball] fight anyone?).

Unless I have a really good idea for it myself, I'll usually post a brainstorming thread on the guild forums (visible only to guildies so as not to spoil the surprise). I do this about a month and half to two months prior to a rough target date for the party.

Example
Our plans for a server party for Summer 2007 involved a party somewhere in mid-August. We usually do a Halloween party, and we don't want to have the two that close, but couldn't put it together for July in time. So, at the end of June 2007, I posted a thread on our events forum asking for ideas.

My initial thoughts were either a shore-side beach party or a picnic somewhere, but it was left open to the guild otherwise. Very quickly ideas came in, and in a little over two weeks, the final idea was locked in.

Location, Location, Location


It's as true for a server party as it is for for a store-front business: You gotta be in the right location. Would it make sense to have a Halloween party in Booty Bay? Not unless you got really creative with a theme. Put your theme in an appropriate place so it makes sense.

One thing we usually like to do is make it somewhat accessible to low-level toons. That's not to say we only put them in Elwynn, Teldrassil, Mulgore, or Tirisfal. But somewhere that at least someone with little difficulty could get to in their late teens / 20's in level.

It should also be some place with relatively few hostile mobs.

Examples
? Halloween: Ravenhill Cemetary (or Duskwood in general) has a great creepy feel to it
? Summer picnic: The plains of Mulgore
? Toga party: The Shrine of Remulos

Once your theme has been picked, it's basically then just a matter of scouting the zones for an appropriate spot.

Costumery


Guild Uniforms


When you've invited people to come to the party, a great way to set you (the guild hosting the party) apart from the rest of the masses is to come up with some sort of uniform to wear. With a well-skilled roster of tailors (and some digging on Wowhead), you can put together some spectacular outfits.

Examples
Formal Attire
? [Tuxedo Jacket]
? [Tuxedo Pants]
? [Tuxedo Shirt]
? [Black Mageweave Boots]
Halloween
? [Orange Mageweave Shirt]
? [Black Mageweave Leggings]
? [Black Mageweave Boots]

Costumes for Guests




Refreshments



Fun and Games


When people are coming to your party, they probably want something to do when they get there. Sure, it can be fun for a few dozen people to just /dance and AoE the heck out of the place, but a few events can really spice things up.

Events

Here are a few examples of things you can do (and how to pull them off). Please note, you are by no means limited by what is here here. Get creative and see what you can come up with!
Fishing Tournament
Is there a fishable area near your location? If so, spend a few hours there and fish the heck out of it. What comes out of the water? You can run this in a couple ways:
? Most fish caught in an given period
? Most number of the rarest fish caught (based on your findings)
? Catch a set number of the various different kinds of fish in a given period

Footraces

This is my personal forte and one I really enjoy. Basically you construct some sort of course for people to run through and give away 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place prizes.

In one race, I had people run from Elwyn Forest, through Redridge, Burning Steppes, and Searing Gorge, and then fly back from Thorium Point to Lakeshire to make a loop around the lake (through the Orc keep). Sound simple? All the toons were level one.

One thing I've found seriously has helped me is an add-on called RatRaceTracker that I've taken over development on. Please feel free to post out there if you have any issues with it.

Homemade Quests
I could go into depth of what to do here, but Callistana has already written an extensive article on it.

Scavenger Hunt
Use Wowhead for the zone you're located in and see what some of the common drops are from the mobs in the area. Come up with some different ways to obtain a prize (see the Fishing Tourney ideas above).

"Bobbing for Apples"
This one takes a bit of farming, but is really interactive for people.

All you need to do is farm up a ton of junk items -- greens, whites, and grays -- but only non-stackable items. Once they're all collected, gift wrap them. Set up one of your guildies so he has ample bag space, and let people come up to him and ask for one of the items (figure out how you want to do this).

Charge a fee, or give them away for free, but wish the person good luck and let them open the package. If they get a particular secret item, the win a special prize. Otherwise, they just can vendor the junk they picked up.

Prizes and Prize Tokens


If you're going to do games, people might want to get something for doing it. Unless you're a large guild, you might not be able to give away much in the way of gold. Alternatively, you could even charge an entrance fee for a game in order to recoup your losses.

For prizes though, it can be a nightmare to hand out things on the spot. Who hands them out? Each prize giver? That can be nuts depending on how many people "win" their "game".

You can control a bit of the aneurysms by giving out prize tokens in place of direct prizes. To do this, pick something in the world that can be farmed up without too much difficulty, but would be too difficult to farm quickly by someone at the party. Definately avoid anything that can be farmed in the same or an adjacent zone. Pick something that can also stack in as high as quantities as possible (20 is good, 40 is great, but five is going to get very cumbersome).
Examples of past tokens we've used
[Withered Lasher Root]
[Gold Bar]
[Broken Arrow]

Then, you just hand a couple stacks of the item over to your event runner and they distribute them out to the masses. Designate someone in the volunteer ranks on the night of the party to be the "Prize Redeemer" and then they will be a single location to have to get prizes from for the night.

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