Tuesday, March 19, 2013

A Game of Guilds

I've realized lately that I'm a really sociable gamer. Well, I always considered myself as an originally sociable gamer, becoming the grumpy loner-nerd-gamer as I grew older, but thought that I had changed. Turns out, I have not. When I first started gaming I barely even looked at games that weren't outspoken multi-player games. Although I've been playing a bit of everything, the ones I enjoyed the most and put the most time into were games like Mario Kart, Mario Party, Super Smash Bros, HoMM 3 and the like. Even most single player games I preferred playing with friends, taking turns (exception - Settlers 2). Games like Yoshi's Story or Super Mario World I rarely played on my own. I even played through a game like Final Fantasy VII with the company of a patient friend who, luckily for me, had nothing against simply watching me play. I also really love watching other people play, and this is how I've spent many fun gaming nights with the bf, cuddled up next to him playing Resident Evil together, where he actually does most of the controlling (and me being the wise backseat driver).

Forever alone

To me, WoW turned out to be something of the ultimate multi-player experience. Eventhough few memories can beat the one of me and 6 friends screaming at each other while playing Mario Kart (we took turns) in my parents living room on our 16 inch TV, WoW offered a whole new multi-player experience to me, allowing me to meet new and really great people from all over the world (well at least all over Europe). And I've spent so much time in WoW interacting with other people, I mean how can you not? Even when I've been logged on to a completely odd server just playing some little alt, I often had loads of friends logged whom I could talk to, I would talk to people in pugs and I would randomly group up with strangers for the harder quests.

I thought that now that my interest in single-player games had increased, maybe my interest in playing with other people had diminished. I was wrong. Eventhough I might be playing Kotor2 or Divine Divinity, I don't enjoy doing it when I'm just sitting home by myself. I want someone else to be there, even if they're not even taking part in the game. I want to be able to reflect over and share what is going on in my gaming, otherwise the experience feels stumped. I want to be able to point out interesting situations and funny things and have someone else take part in it, even if it's just a little or just with a smile and a nod.

Realizing this made me take yet another look back at my gaming habits in WoW. It's true that my gaming in WoW has gone from more than 5 hours a day to less than 5 hours a week, in average. I already knew that the sociable part, the fact that all of my irl friends and most of my in-game ones as well, had quit playing had a big part in it. But maybe I didn't realize just how big that part was.

It made me reminisce past acquaintances, looking back at all the people I have known, briefly or over the course of years and that are now mostly out of my life - leaving as quickly as they entered for the most part. And I felt like I wanted to remember all of them and all the things we accomplished together, always. This is something I do every now and then and even something I've written about before. This is my way of remembering them. They were an important part of my life at one point, and I shared loads of fun and loads of grief with these people. So here it is, my history of guilds and some of the most memorable people in it (although I am bound to forget one or two).

The Void
When I first started playing the game, even then as a little priest (although not the same priest as Zinn), I spent most of my time stumbling around, be awed by everything around me and having not the faintest clue as to what to do or what was going on. Somehow I managed to get recruited by what I remember to be my first guild - The Void. I am not 100% sure about the name, but it doesn't matter. What does matter is that the guild, which was relatively small, was run by an Englishman named Jacques and he really took me under his wing. He escorted me from Tirisfal Glades to Orgrimmar and I still remember the feeling of walking through those massive gates and into the city and just not being able to think anything at all because it was all so awesome. The server I had chosen to play on turned out to be pretty unstable (this was back in the day when you still could en up in really long log in queues, and this server really suffered from it) and him and me decided to swap servers. We chose the more stable Stormreaver, which my brother also happened to play on. We also swapped from horde to alliance and he helped me get from Darnassus to Stormwind with a summon. I swear I would've spent hours, if not days, randomly running around trying to find my way without his help and he became a really good friend of mine. Unfortunately he was in the army and was shipped out before long and eventually our contact got severed. I've tried finding him since, without success, and he is still one of the friends I regret losing the most in WoW.

Swedish Kings
With my english friend gone from the game I decided to move on to other guilds. I probably tried many before I ended up in a relatively big guild called Swedish Kings, this is where I first met what would turn out to be my now ex boyfriend. I don't remember much of the guild, but I do remember the first conversation me and my ex had in the guild chat with me running around in Duskwood, talking about world domination. We eventually met up and were together for 6 years before we split up, and some 6 very good years those were.

Me and the ex also formed numerous of our own guilds, one that I remember the best was Lore. As far as I recall it was my first shot at being a guild leader, and I remember how stressful and personal I took dealing with guild matters. Eventhough the guild was really small, I was almost personally offended whenever one of the members decided to leave for something else and I tried very hard to keep everyone happy with guild events and what not. One of the most memorably members we had was a danish girl whom I approached because her character had the same name as me, which also was her name. She turned out to be quite special, saying the most profound things in guild chat. She also became completely nerd ragey when I once questioned the danish counting system (like the french they don't say fifty, sixty, seventy, basically five-ten, six-ten and so on like the rest of the world, but say half-three-twenty (50), three-twenty (60), half-four-twenty (70) in what for me at least is a very confusing system. We also had a couple of other guilds that usually ended up being a sort of hub for our own alts and friends characters while they didn't play much or just weren't in any "proper" guild.

Suicidal Spoons

This little guild would turn out to have massive consequences in my personal life long after I had joined and left it and even swapped server once more. Me and the ex joined the guild mostly because of the witty (or so we thought at least) name. The guild was run by a young, swedish kid whom also had a couple of his irl-friends in the guilds. I quite liked the guild leader, a warlock named Smedius, but didn't care much for the rest. Way later, when we both (me and the ex) had swapped many guilds and server, we managed to stumble across Smedius again (I instantly recognized his name) and invited him to join our then guild Mayhem (which I will mention later). With him he brought one of his irl friends and that friends girlfriend. This girl, who also was Smedius ex-gf, would later end up in a relationship with an irl friend of mine (who was also in Mayhem) and then eventually also with my own bf. It was almost like an irl soap opera in the end. It's funny how things turn out.

Aventian Exiles
I don't remember much about Aventian Exiles except it was run by a british guy with the character name Gravy, that name kind of stuck with me. This was back when twinking started to get really big, and his rogue twink was called Mockery. Considering how extremely annoying level 19 rogues were then I always thought that was a very suitable name. I remember Gravy as a funny guy, and Aventian Exiles as a nice guild. It was already a very big guild, this was before spam-inviting people for no good reason was implemented into the game (well, people still that, but a lot less than it is done now). Although AE already numbered in the hundreds, for some reason they decided to merge with one or two other guilds, forming Band of Exiles.

Band of Exiles

The merge turned these three guilds (I think it was three) into a mega-guild. Really big guilds are common nowadays, but they weren't back then. In fact Blizzard hadn't even thought of the possibility of a guild containing more than 500 members, meaning that everyone would not show up on the roster depending on who was logged on, because the roster only showed 500 people. Band of Exiles had somewhere around 700-800 members at its peak (obviously far from everyone were active and many were alts). If I remember correctly we used to organize huge treasure hunts for members, were usually loads of people showed up. Even if just a tenth of the guild came, it was still 70 people! I was quite fond of Band of Exiles and only swapped because I became interested in raiding in early BC. Yes, all of the above guilds I went through mostly in Classic WoW (and I haven't even counted them all then!).

This was originally going to be one post, but I realized it was way too long, so I cut it in two. Stay tuned for part 2 for the most important guild in my WoW-gaming and some of the more dramatic guilds I've been in! Now tell me; what guild experiences do you remember especially well?


  1. A real nice post to read, will continue with part 2. I did even learned something new on my age. Never knew that Danes do count that weird way you describe, somewhat like the French with their "Quatre-vingt-dix-neuf".

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