Leoren

A True Story of an Ex GM & The Guild Dilemma.

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So here I am. I accomplished what I set out to do. I got Leo to 70 without wearing a guild tag or relying on any one else’s resources. Even though it’s nothing to really sing praises about, I was still happy and proud with reaching my goals all the same. It’s a great feeling of vindication when I can say to myself I got Leo to this point by my own means. I never wanted to be one of those players who’d join a guild just to use their resources and waste their time when I may not even end up with them when all’s said and done. I’d seen too many of those sorts when I was the GM at one time to fall to that level. I told myself I’d first get to 70 and only then would I even think about a guild. That time’s kind of over due.

This entire post is pretty much just what I’ve been wrangling with of late in regards to where I go with Leoren as a player in the attempts to maybe receive a word of wisdom. There’s two parts, the first explaining a little back story and the second the actual debate I’ve had with myself.

The Story:

I used to be a Guild Master on a RP-PvE server. Once known as <The Gryphon Vanguard> and then later renamed <The Gryphon Heart Order> following a guild server transfer (You can Armory up my Retnoob Alkaizer). The RP oriented guild was formed last October on the PvE-RP server Blackwater Raiders when it was new, and I too was a freshy (A.k.a. Noob) during the time. Main reason I even found motivation to start it up was because I received attitude from the officers of a RP guild I was keen to enter when I was looking to put in an application. My level 8 Human Paladin was pretty much looked down upon In Character and me as a player for my inexperience with the game.

I wasn’t up for that sort of pretentiousness. Soon after, I decided I’d make my own guild. My noob tag be damned. Taking what little silver I had, I bought the charter on the spot and headed for the Lion’s Pride Inn in Elwynn. One impromptu In Character speech later and I had all the signatures I needed. The rest was history. We had it all, the good times and the bad times. I can remember personally mediating countless episodes of Drama between certain players, to the point where it was downright tiring. I still remember the weeks I spent a fair amount of my free time toiling over our Guild Charter ( Something I’m quite proud of which the first version can still be found here: http://www.gryphonvanguard.org/ . The second updated version was posted on the Farstriders forums, which has now been lost to the sands of time ;_; ). Despite there being times where it was a thankless job, I really appreciated the lessons and values I learned as the guild’s GM during its six months. We had a roster of at one point up to eighty Role Players, of which I was proud to have lead. We never had great ambitions concerning game progression as we only just reached heroic level 70 instances, but we always had fun in what we did get to accomplish.

I realise it may sound corny, but I never expected I’d actually grow to care about some of the friends I made in the game and got to know on our Team Speak server and such. I still keep in contact with a few to this very day, hell – Some of them rerolled on this server or transferred Horde alts of theirs to this server just to follow, for which I am still extremely touched :).

Sadly, our Alliance guild itself did not last. We transferred off our home server to Farstriders during the period of the free transfers to alleviate population concerns. We did it mainly because: 1) We were worried if our server remained as crowded as it was, we may not have had a choice in the matter and thus disorganization and separation might ensue. 2 ) The Role Playing Community on Blackwater Raiders was in the majority of our opinions on the decline – We honestly saw Farstriders as a potential beacon for RPers flocking to from the older RP servers.

In retrospect, I would never recommend anyone to do what we did. We arrived at a Server which at first showed signs of promise – but ultimately the RP community was fragmented, and thus alienated. Long story short, it eventually turned into a little bit of a Ghost server for the RPers . During this time, a lot of our very own members stopped showing up and had either quit the game or moved on to different pursuits (I.e. Blood Elves). The state of our server dealt a serious blow to our morale so to speak. A majority of us never planned it, but we all sort of went our own way except for a core group who still held on.

I still feel responsible. At this point Leoren was my odd level 20-30 PvP Server alt. As I saw the state of my own guild and server degrade, I found myself increasingly in love with Twisting Nether. I originally only rolled on a PvE server before as I was given the impression RP went to PvP servers to die. That was far from the case on this server. It had it all, extremely fun and challenging world PvP rules and also had one of the finest RP communities I’ve ever seen. As a result, my 70 Human Paladin would soon rarely ever see the light of day. I had tried saving my guild and even made attempts to encourage more world RP by organising balls and more RP events – but I just felt exhausted at it all. The results were meagre at best and I just found myself playing Leoren more and more, because I was finally having –fun- again. It took a long time for me to do, but when no one wanted to rise to take my place as GM I declared the guild inactive. I didn’t even have the heart to actually /gdisband. I then sent individual in game letters to every one of my members explaining everything to them more or less as I have here.

Like I’ve mentioned already, I was quite surprised when a few even followed me here. I was deeply touched when some even payed to transfer Horde characters from other servers just to play with me. The rest I suppose is history.

The Dilemma:

Here’s where I’m finding myself a little stumped. The issue of a guild. I’ve been approached by some truly wonderful groups out there and sticking to my goal almost religiously I turned down a lot. It wasn’t that I wasn’t interested but I just was a bit phased of guild involvement and their dramas by this point. Not to mention some of my friends who followed wanted me to start our own RP guild from scratch with me as the GM again. After my previous failings, I still find myself being reluctant in this department. As much of an honour as it was, I just don’t know if I truly have it in me to go pioneer something like that again. I’ve told them my thoughts and they respected that. At this point some are still guildless, while others have guilded – but we still catch up and have a blast hanging out together despite the lack of a shared tag.

Yet now, despite my previous aversion to guilds – I find myself wanting to join one. Playing this game solo has begun to lose its appeal. Also to my surprise, I’ve found myself really enjoying playing the actual game in terms of progression more than I did before. I enjoy the instance runs and drool at the prospect of taking on some of the content that requires large organized groups. My dilemma is now the sort of guild I should be looking to join.

On the one hand, I could go the RPers road. It’s fun and I –love- the RP but I know I’d have less chance to tackle some of the more serious team oriented content. Also finding a guild for my fiercely independent character to fit in would be a task in itself. I tend to notice a lot of the good RP guilds seem pretty entrenched in their hierarchy, and I admit I’m not a fan when that sort of pretentiousness creeps into their attitude towards other players OOCly.

On the other hand, there’s the path of joining a Raiding guild. Having played two Paladins, I’m extremely confident in my skills. I’ve played Holy, Protection and Ret and it’s been a fun class. The idea of joining a competent group of players who I can actually consistently tackle more content makes me one happy chappy. I’m not too fanatic about the guild’s actual progression so long as the players in the guild itself are mature and friendly. The RP wouldn’t be taking as dramatic a hit either as I’ve been outside an RP guild all this while. It’s a testimony to this being one fantastic server to find open RP. The conflict in the raid guild then revolves around my spec. I’ve been at the healing game with Leoren for some time. It’s been fun and I’m proud to say I think I make one damn decent healadin. Thing is, my last Paladin being Ret as I remember just was more fun and more of a challenge to actually play. I realise the criticism and mass opinion on Paladins as Ret – but that was half the fun. Surprising people by pulling feats which people didn’t expect me to. I know I’m sounding over confident, but when people gave me the chance I delivered with Ret. Granted I know all too well that healing is hands down what we probably do best as a class, but playing Ret was just outright more fun. That being said, if I was guilded I would be happy to stay as a healer for the sake of the guild’s progression as a whole. I know what it’s like to be a guild master and take into concern the welfare of the collective. Still, if they turned to me and said: you can spec Ret and we’ll still have you with us in raids/instances – I’d think I died and went to heaven. Raiding guilds who understand where I’m coming from on this Ret/Holy debate are few and far between. Most tend to ignore what a Ret Paladin can bring, and I don’t blame them given the popular images. Despite my healing gear I normally use I’ve been hard at work saving up my Ret gear on the side – and any chance to use it is a joy. Till then, I’ll still happily heal – but if I found a guild who understood where I’m coming from, I’d be set.

The closest thing I’ve found to my ideal guild I suppose would be <Ordo Letalis>. From what I can see they’re a raiding guild with mature and friendly players. One of the main selling points being how I’ve heard their officers don’t lord their weight around, something that I deeply admire and respect. They’re RP optional, so at least I know I won’t be assaulted for enjoying it. Quite the contrary I’d imagine, they even have one of my RPing heroes Mortica ( Seriously, if not for her Twisting Nether Gazette I probably never would have even rolled here! ). I actually spoke to a few on their number vent channel and they all seemed like a really decent crowd. I suppose when it comes down to it I’m really looking to find a good crowd to befriend and roll with. I’ve always given my guild mates my all, I guess I just want to make sure I do it right.

I wrote this up here mainly just to get some feedback. In light of everything, what would you do? The Role Player or Raiding path? Is both out of the question? I’ll be the first to admit I’m walking blind here at this point and kind of inexperienced in guild affairs of late.

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Haha! I was reading that and thinking Ordo Letalis might be a good match for you. Raiding, with some good role players in the mix. I have pretty good idea where you are in progression. I think you are Kara keyed, correct? Also I think from what I know of meeting your character in game, OL might be a better fit than some others.

Of course, you can talk to Nasuj. Melar Danashj is looking, I would think. We are just starting Karazhan, and it might be fun to help with progression. But if you've been there, done that then ya OL might be a good choice. I know a lot of them there and they are good folk all around.

Just watch that Karkarov fellow. He gets grumpy.

Role playing and raiding do not need to be exclusive of each other. In fact, creative folk find ways to combine them, enhancing the experience overall. Decimate is another group that I think does that quite well. They are also a possible option to consider.

Really any group I think would be thrilled to have you Leoren. From our interactions in game I know you would be a welcome addition to any roster.

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Don't see why you can't do both. Fhenrir does both. He's not even in a guild. The Grim do both, but we're not every one's cup of tea. If you haven't already apply to THEGA to meet up with like-minded RPers who like raiding.

I understand your frustration, but you're overthinking it a tad :-)

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Role playing and raiding do not need to be exclusive of each other. In fact, creative folk find ways to combine them, enhancing the experience overall.

Seconded. I came here because I really did want both. And PvP as well. I'm just not satisfied with one or the other. And actually, since I left my old PvE only guild, at least one of them has started writing long RP stories on their site. I think he may be trying to get me back, hehe. I wasn't really intending to leave my RP server, but in doing some research, I couldn't resist the Grim because they combined everything I loved about my PvE guild with heavy RP and PvP flavors. (And being unashamedly evil helps, too.) Why should I be satisfied to play only a third of the game? I want it all.

As for Ret, the best Pally I know is the raid leader for Kara in my old guild. He main tanks most of the place as Prot, but lately he has taken to speccing back Ret on occasion. Since he's the leader, he has the freedom to do that. Before TBC, he was Ret all the time. Honestly, since he's been mixing it up, he's been shaming some of the DPS classes on meters. Makes me laugh. :) I really think good Retnoobs do have a place, but you're right, it can take some luck with party balance (or being the raid leader yourself, heh) to get a chance to shine.

I think the guilds that make efforts to combine the RP with the PvE have been mentioned. I haven't been around long enough to say, "You go here!" But I know there's more than just one or two, so you might have some research to do. :)

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I don't know if you remember, but back in Hillsbrad you and I ran into each other along with another blood elf whose name escapes me. I remember the three of us were pleased to have randomly grouped up with two other roleplayers for the quests we needed to get done. With that in mind:

I wrote this up here mainly just to get some feedback. In light of everything, what would you do? The Role Player or Raiding path? Is both out of the question? I’ll be the first to admit I’m walking blind here at this point and kind of inexperienced in guild affairs of late.

You can do both. Citadel is a guild that has not been mentioned yet and I have a few friends who are in that guild. It is an RP guild that also raids. If you want to test out a lot of guilds you can apply to join THEGA as an individual, I think most of the RP guilds with a strong PVE focus are a part of that.

And of course if you want to help a smaller guild that is just starting Karazhan, I echo Skafloc's sentiment that Melar Danashj is a fun and talented team. ^^

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Sanctuary does raids, but we're a hardcore RP guild for justice, so unless your character is the type to fight for justice, prolly not your thang.

Ordo looks like a great place, tho'!

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Congratulations! Coming from a group of players who rolled our first characters here and made a guild of it from the very beginning, I can compassionately applaud your work of making it to 70 on your own.

I've always thought Twisting Nether to be a great find in terms of RP and I have never once regretted choosing this server. It feels great when other people recognize the good role-playing community here as well.

Wherever you go and whatever you do, I look forward to the times when I or one of my alts will bump into you and get the opportunity to RP. I love hearing you guys' stories; sometimes I get to hear 'em through several different types of ears, too, and that's all the more fun because each time it has a different flavor, depending on who's listening.

I can also understand your interest in raiding. Our little guild is also starting to become more interested in this aspect of the game, having a bit more opportunity to enjoy it. 'Course, we're no where close to what I think you're looking for. Good luck out there. And if you need some Shadowpriest dps (which is curiously frowned upon as much as ret pallies, it seems), you know where to find some.

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Aha... now you see the true dilemna of being an RPer in a game with content and substance.

I also was originally Alliance on an RP-PvE. I had a dwarf warrior that joined a guild on Cenarion Circle that was hard-up dwarf RP. Dwarves only, we had - and there were approximately 40 of us who had quite a bit of fun. Of course, the fun stopped when we hit the 60 wall and did Stratholme for the 40th time with a group that took 5 hours to complete it. Ah, Alliance... they move like old people fuck.

So, you have a decision. Though, do not look at the decision between raiding and roleplaying. Look at it as a decision between roleplaying and not roleplaying.

Choose roleplaying? You have many different options ahead of you, in which I will not point them out or try to sell you my own option. You are on these boards, you have read the stories of individuals... you got sources. There are a number of roleplaying guilds that are trying to get their raiding going on, but they are just missing those 1-5 people who would fill them out. You also have ... one to three roleplaying guilds that *are* raiding, and one that is doing most excellent (I lied, I am selling my opinion - it's my right! *e-peen on Fhenrir's forehead*)

Choose to raid and not roleplay? Go fuck yourself... yeah, I said it. Nobody likes a sell out. Nobody likes a quitter!

To you wanting to JOIN a guild or MAKE a guild - I would recommend joining one. On my dwarf, I found myself as the guild master of a reformed guild made out of the failed dwarf-only guild. It was an absolute bitch... because the only thing worse than putting your testicles on an electric fence; is trying to start a guild on an established server with a bunch of lazy ass roleplayers being your target audience. Unless you like roasted nuts... go with the MANY options avaliable to you - instead of trying to make another option for everyone else. And, hell... if it doesn't work out, you can always create the guild and do what Lascivious said - be a leech like Fhenrir. Fhenrir is so purple he could be Barney, and he hugs with DOOM!

Good luck!

EDIT: I am not liable to any lack of grammar or sense this post makes, as it is late and I had to do karaoke with my mother and family friends. Bottomline: Join an RP guild that is currently raiding or looking for a paladin and whatever your friends are. Do not try to make a new RP guild or stop RPing and sell your soul for purple lewtz!

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Hrm... I would've thrown my two copper in about being guildless and loving it, but it seems like multiple people have already said it for me.

I've been guildless for over a year now, and before that I lead a very small-time (but lovable) RP guild. My lack of a tag hasn't kept me from enjoying every aspect of the game.

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Someday, Fhenny. Someday I'll find that magical, irresistable cowbell and you will be mine!

Other than that, well, come and see Ol' Briggy sometime, Leo. Specifically, bring your Retnoob self to see me, Meike, and Nicoleta. I want to try all three flavors of paladin at once and it's a great way to get to know three of the more obnoxious members of Decimate. If you like us, you're sure to enjoy the rest.

Edit: Just kidding. I'm not really obnoxious.

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Abric's got more analogies than the Crimson Chin.

... by the by, and totally as a derail comment. I have to say I like Jay Leno. There, I said it.

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I'm flattered, someone mentioned Citadel :) We are nearly through Karazhan and do RP, although to be honest there isn't a whole lot of RP -in- the guild. We just have a lot of role players who end up playing wherever there's playing to be done. So there is RP, just not in a central fashion like say Sanctuary, with their busy IC channel. That said, Ordo has a bunch of wonderful folks as well, and is a little more hardcore raiding, but I have the impression that they don't have as many role players. This could be incorrect, however. But all three of the guilds I have mentioned are awesome, and if you join any of them you'll meet great people (if you don't already know 'em!).

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