If I told you that I went to photograph Azeroth because of the World of Warcraft movie, I would be lying. But I’m not so sure it’s true for all of the players there, as I believe the movie influenced some of them. After all, I remember how the first Lord of the Rings movie influenced the number of participants of all the Middle-earth themed larps/battles.
No, I went there because it was fun last year, I’ve seen a lot of colorful costumes and I’ve met a lot of friendly people.
Costumes, battlegrounds, quests
The whole event was colorful and it was built around the battlegrounds. There was also a lot of small side-quests for the non-fighting characters. Most of them were basically FedEx quests (go/carry/bring…), but that’s in compliance with how the MMORPG used to be, so it was fine.
Azeroth is very demanding in terms of the required level of costumes. Some of the players start to work on their costumes for next year as soon as they come home from the last one.
Photographing for lazy people
Probably the biggest change I’ve noticed was a piece of cut-down forest in the middle of the playground. This huge “lake” divided the playground into two parts. Everyone needed to go around from time to time, because no one was able to swim (local gamekeeper forbade us to go across the cut-down area where new trees were planted). So any portrait photographer could just sit on one shore and wait, everyone would eventually come to him.
The battles took place on Saturday and Sunday. The game was interleaved with various theatre scenes, which were there to inform participants about all the plot twists and major successes. After many years, the Alliance won the final battle.
Azeroth is foremost a battle larp and because the organizers are reasonable and don’t want anyone to hurt themselves, the battle was stopped for the night. Thus there were multiple bonfires in the camp, we sang, we drank… in some cases until early morning.