Last week we posted the final installment of the Wrathgate Project, the collaborative fic of the Wildfire Riders. This was our attempt to participate in one of the best cinematics in Wrath. Of course there were multiple goals: Introducing new characters, reintroducing old characters, setting the theme for this expansions, and including everyone in the guild who wanted to be included at Wrathgate.
Personally, I think it was a brilliant success.
Place-holder posts not-withstanding, we did have multiple posts by a number of people. We also learned a lot. Here’s some of what we managed to figure out:
Italic posts/Guide Posts are good: People wanted direction on what they should, and should not write. Italic posts became a painless way to herd the cats into one direction.
Open Ended Timelines are bad: One of the problems we had with Wrathgate was keeping the thread open for far too long. While we would post the occasional cheerleader posts such as, “Keep up the awesome writing folks!”, we lost a too much steam inbetween posts. Real, new RP, new Raids–all of those events distracted us from finishing the project the way we wanted to. This is not to say what we did create isn’t something to be proud of. As we worked together to create our individual stories, we pushed and challenged each other to let our characters develop.
It just took a while.
Deadlines are a mixed bag: On the one hand, some people seem to respond to deadline. I know I work better when I have a due-date. Other people will not take on a “fun task”if there is a deadline associated with it. When we started Wrathgate, we didn’t have a true deadline. Towards the end, we set a “thread close date.” The deadline should have been set in the beginning–and it should have been tied to content in some way.
When people seem to be falling behind, offer to help out: We fell behind on italics posts. Other people suffered terrible bouts of writers block during the last half of the project. Sharing the project across multiple writers allowed us to deal with those issues. The last few Bricu-Varenna-Illithias posts were completed in a flurry of emails and IMs, making sure that each player was happy with how each character was represented.
I hope that Cataclysm has an event that inspires RP like Wrathgate. I would certainly do this all over again.
Now, dear reader, its your turn. What did you take away from Wrathgate? Did this project help you in anyway? Are there any stories that you really like? Are there stories that could have been done a little better? Let us know!