Before starting, the number of seekers should be determined, and they should form a raid group, for co-ordination, and to invite hiders who are found. The number of seekers can vary based on the number of people playing, but 1 seeker for every 5 hiders usually works out fairly well.
Since Cataclysm no longer allows the Minimap to be closed, Hiders should not form their own raid group, since knowing where everyone is kinda ruins the fun. A temporary chat channel should be established to chat without the knowledge of the seekers. This is especially a good idea if the game has any cross guild players. Hiders who are found must leave the channel, but they are permitted to share the number of players left in it with other seekers afterwards. Seekers cannot use /chatinfo or other commands to find out any info about the hiders in the channel.
The location of the Hide and Seek event will normally be announced beforehand, and is usually a major city. The area will usually be further reduced on the day, usually to one or two districts of the same city, though it can be more, depending on the number of players attending, and the complexity of the areas/number of available hiding spots in those areas.
There are a few additional restrictions on hiding places -
- No Exploiting - Your hiding place must be accessible to all. Hiding in walls, on roofs, or under/inside scenery may be effective, but taking advantage of bugs in the game to gain an unfair advantage isn't exactly in the spirit of fun, which is what this event is about.
- No Moving (part 1) - Once you have found your hiding place, the only time you should leave it is when you are found.
- No Moving (part 2) - Hiding places should always be in a static location, and on dry land. As well as excluding hiding in the water, this also covers docks, boats or other structures in and over water. This rule also includes any transportation, such as boats and zeppelins. (Since these usually travel between zones, they aren't valid hiding places anyway.).
- No Flying - Using Flying Mounts or forms to reach otherwise inaccessible areas is not allowed. The Event is supposed to be open to all, regardless of level. Using any ability that isn't available to a low level player is unfair. (Additional seekers may be recruited from late-comers, so this rule still stands even if there are no low level characters at the start).
- No Instances - Instanced areas are sometimes considered part of an area geographically, but they are excluded from those areas for the purposes of finding hiding places, this includes not only 5 player dungeons or raids, but also public instanced areas like the Deeprun Tram. (and, previously, the Officers PvP areas, though these have now been removed).
- Mini-map - Any and all abilities that show the locations of creatures and players are not allowed, these include Hunter Track abilities, Druids' Track Humanoids, or any other class ability or spell that helps in the detection of players, including Mind Vision, Shaman's Far Sight, or Hunter's Eagle Eye. This is especially important in Cataclysm, since the mini-map can no longer be closed.
- Player Names - These should be turned off by all. The game is about finding the character, not the giant billboard above his or her head. (Also this would give an advantage to hiders with shorter names, or guild names).
- No Stealth or Invisibility - Abilities that make your character invisible, or very hard to see are not allowed, these include Stealth, Invisibility (either spell or potion), Priest Shadow Form or Fade, Shaman Ghost Wolf, as well as ghost or wisp costumes or any shrink effects. However purely cosmetic changes, such as changes to gear or appearance are considered camouflage, and are allowed.
- Finding a player - Once a player has been discovered, the seeker should announce it in /say. e.g. "Found you! <name>" at this point the found player should leave the Hiders raid, and be invited into the Seekers raid. (The Raid Leader of the seekers raid should always make sure any other seekers have been made raid assistants, so they are able to invite too).
- Ending the game - The game normally ends whenever the last person hiding is found. However the game can be ended early, either due to time constraints, or the seekers admitting defeat. However in such cases any remaining hiders must remain in their places, and be invited into the seekers raid. They are still not allowed to move until "found" anyway.