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|Launch date|| October 1999 - February 2006
|Genre||Graphical multiplayer online community|
Wolfhome is a furry graphical multiplayer online community (MMOSG) that is similar to Furcadia, but is one that focuses purely on the conversation and connection aspect of a "chatroom" and strongly discourages role-playing in rooms other than the designated RP room.
The chat was released on Halloween of 1999. Wolfhome was originally planned and put into creation by Gre7g and Goldenwolf, the programming done by Underdog, the artwork done by Goldenwolf, and all three collaborating on overall theme, look, and organization of the "world". Gre7g was buddies with Underdog (they played D&D together), Underdog showed Gre7g and other gamers the first version of what at the time he called A.B.C (avatar based chat). About 6 months after that Wolfhome was released.
For a time Wolfhome was quite popular, with the expressive wolf poses and scenery and fun interactions. Wolfhome's ability to attract artists of fame, such as Goldenwolf, Kyoht, Jachthond, Yelth, and others, has been a huge attraction within the were community, and indeed it has helped launch more than one now-famous artist. As its name suggests, the site was based on the theme of werewolves, wolves, and wolf therians, with a pack-based ranking system (Alpha, Beta, etc.) though the site eventually also included other wild canines and even large wild felines (though felines are now no longer allowed). As a free site, the popularity grew so much that Gre7g was forced to turn parts of Wolfhome into a fee-based chat in order to support its own costs. Throughout its existence, part of the Wolfhome site was always free.
The partnership between Gre7g and Underdog eventually led to the creation of a business venture, "A Thousand Words Network of Kansas, LLC" and that company launched the site www.a1000words.net (now defunct). This website gave others the ability to create and manage similar graphical chat servers, to control their own membership and to create their own unique characters and environments.
Gre7g eventually moved out of the Kansas City area to Utah, and in the fall of 2004 the a1000words.net server suffered a serious server crash while Gre7g was away on vacation. This server crash brought down wolfhome.com and of the other affiliated chat services. It turned out that almost all of the recent database information was irretrievable. Because of many other factors, including some disagreements among the members of the admin team, and coupled with both Underdog's and Gre7g's lack of continued interest in the site, Wolfhome was allowed to remain offline and users were refunded their remaining balances.
A user named Kerfuffle appeared several months later in the spring of 2005, approached the administrators of the then-dead site, and proved himself to be a very capable programmer who brought with him the hope of resurrecting Wolfhome. Indeed he did, and so recreated the chat, albeit in the form of a downloadable client as opposed to the web-interface it had been in the past. Wolfhome's popularity swiftly returned.
Unfortunately, Wolfhome once again fell into political disarray. Bickering started between members of the userbase and the Wolfhome administrators. Different factions formed within the userbase and different theories were being followed through on how the chat should be run and moderated. It has been said that many of the users did little but constantly complain and fight over which of the admins listened and which did not. The feuding spilled over into the public forums. Perhaps because of his disgust with the never-ending conflict, Kerfuffle decided to take leave of Wolfhome in the fall of 2005, saying he would "keep an eye" on his project. He left a warning that if things didn't start to work, he would disconnect Wolfhome for good.
In February of 2006, one of the Wolfhome admins, Foxgrin, was demoted by majority vote of the admin team; there were never any clearly announced allegations against Foxgrin it seemed to be a personality conflict as well as conflicting ideologies on how the chat should be run (with Foxgrin on the side of "the users" and the rest of the administration on its own side.) Immediately after the demotion vote results were posted in the forums Kerfuffle returned and closed the site down instantaneously. Kerfuffle refuted rumors that Foxgrin's demotion was the sole cause of his taking Wolfhome offline. In a public post he wrote that he disagreed with the demotion and felt that it had been mishandled, and that it was "the last straw" in a string of greivances and conflicts. Wolfhome remained down.
After taking the site offline, Kerfuffle disappeared from Wolfhome and seemingly the internet entirely, leaving behind only a faint glimmer of hope: that if the remaining patrons of the site could work together to form a plan that would ensure peace on Wolfhome and be agreeable to the majority of people, he would turn it back on. In the months since the February shutdown, a group of users attempted to do this to entice Kerfuffle to return. This group was headed up by FoxGrin and included many former users as well.
In September 2006, Underdog posted several messages on the Wolfhome forums, volunteering to resurrect the original Wolfhome service, but with software updated to run on modern browsers.
There was a separate effort to start a Wolfhome chat site. A small group, headed by benevolent dictator for life Hadey and lead programmers LinuxDewd and Mif, former admins of the old Wolfhome, had thrown in together and attempted to create "Wolfhome Classic". Not billed as competition to Kerfuffle's Wolfhome, but rather a return to an older method of running the site and a "return to roots". This project is currently shut down, with no plans to continue, due to several emails and conversations between the project works at Wolfhome Classic and Underdog, who threatened legal action. This was due to Kerfuffle allegedly not having permission to allow other projects to use Wolfhome art and names. It was decided instead of a drawn out legal affair it would be simpler to merely halt work, dissapointed many users and staff who had put in a large amount of work.
On Halloween of 2006, Underdog successfully reopened the former web page version of Wolfhome and the chat is functional once again. There are missing features and bugs present in the system, however, these issues are being ironed out as they present themselves to Underdog and the administration team.
The current administration team includes a handful of former administration members from when Gre7g and Underdog previously ran the site as well as some of the newer administration members chosen during Kerfuffle's 'era'.
As of June 2007, the payment system has been implemented onto Wolfhome once again and users may pay for additional chat avatars and private room uploads, however, individuals may still use the chat site for free. Free accounts see ads in a side panel, are not allowed to enter private rooms without permission from the room owner and may not enter the chat if too many free members are already online.
In late 2008 and early 2009, Underdog introduced the concept of alternate species in private rooms including humans and humanoids. While these species are only allowed in private rooms with the room owner's permission, this has caused some controversy. Many feel that this approach breaths new life into the chat and that it is necessary to have an active and changing site, but others feel that these changes break away from established "policy" regarding poses. While other canid and animal species, real and mythical, had been allowed in the past, the possible introduction of humanoids caused some concern and resulted in at least one admin resigning. Other changes for Wolfhome are in the works, and while not all of these have been publically announced, it is clear that Underdog wants to continue updating and hopefully improving the Wolfhome website in spite of the wishes of many members that the site remain as it was when it was first introduced back in 1999. It continues to be up and running with sister chatlands branching out of it.
Message from one of the users: Italian. It is true, the complaining and drama continues with wolfhome, and acknowledging the fact that underdog has other things to do outside of the virtual world, we kind of have to rely on the new admins. There's another chatsite popular with wolfhome, called catspawisland. They recently were adding new admins, they have an application form and they message all CPI users when applications are open. I'm not so sure about wolfhome applications. Anyways, both are still good running sites, the drama has actually gone down from my knowledge.