Friday, April 4, 2008

Entry 13: That's Borne. With an 'E'.

Guilds are an interesting mechanism in MMOs. When I first started playing WoW, I had no idea what a guild was or had any inclination to join one. I was perfectly content and happy to solo myself through the first few zones, oblivious to much else. I think the concept of a guild is rather intimidating to new MMO players because it equally conjures images of intense servitude and enjoyable camaraderie. I know I was hesitant to join at first because I feared the drama that must inevitably come from interacting with players sitting behind avatars. Thankfully my negative experiences have been relatively limited, and my present guild has been a very good fit for me.

But great twisting nether, has there been drama lately.

It all started about a month and a half ago. You see, the Shadows of the Nethrezim was a guild mostly built around a circle of real life friends in WoW. Many of us were 70, with quite a few alts running here and there, but as far as mains go we were pretty well represented.

We had members who frequented the raids of other guilds, at least two who were pretty far along in SSC, and had great relations with a family of other, small guilds. Foremost an RP guild, SotN was getting to the point where guild Kara raids seemed like a real possibility. I had personally organized a half-dozen incursions into that cursed Tower by networking with other guilds and assembling what appeared to be a workable team.

Well, as the Kara raids progressed and we stopped dying to the trash, word spread through the guild and more people wanted in. We had people signing in on raid day expecting invites. The only trouble was that only a few ever bothered to sign up via the guild forums, which is where the roster was. The drama began to kick in when older, established guild members were being turned away from the Raid in favor of brother-guild members because they never bothered to sign up.

People were angry, annoyed that they were being denied their place in a "guild raid", and seemed to forget that without these other players there'd be no Kara raid at all.

Anyway, long story short, the next time Blizzard opened up free server transfers out of Argent Dawn, we lost a good half-dozen of our 70s. Without a word, the whole lot of them just jumped ship, and suddenly the guild was a whole lot smaller. We put the Kara raids on hold while we sorted out the mess.

After lots of discussions between guild officers and the rest of the crew, it was decided that the guild would have to move on. We decided to start fresh, taking what lessons we could from our previous experience and breaking away from the bad. Just as important was the RP side of things; the Shadows were bound to service under Varimathras, and it was becoming difficult for players, both old and new, to gel with the idea of serving a Dreadlord. They're not the nicest people in the world, you understand. To be able to really move on story-wise, we'd needed to adopt a new name.

Well, last night, after logging in with my shaman alt to do some mindless leveling, I got a raid invitation from our mage-king Anstar. He told me they needed my signature on the new guild charter, and that I'd need to /gquit. Surprised (happy circumstance dropped me into the game at just the right moment, it seemed), I did so, and not ten minutes later we had enough signatures to form the new guild:

From the Shadows of the Nethrezim to Netherborne. Seems like a good switch, no?

There was a lot of discussion during the switch whether it should be Netherborne or Netherbourne. Curious, I did a dictionary search for "bourne" and discovered that it is an archaic term for goal or destination. Our guild leader Skold seemed to like that (I believe he phrased it as, "That's sexy."), but the majority didn't like how closely it tied to the whole Bourne Identity series. We settled on borne because we all felt that one more unnecessary vowel would be way too pompous. A few more letters and we might as well be French.

So Netherborne it is! I managed to get my main and my brother's mage switched over as well, which means I'll be all set the next time I log in. This still doesn't resolve the main issue of the guild, a lack of out-of-game communication, but there's a lot to be said about having a fresh start. I personally think it helped clear the air of a lot of the bad feelings from the split, and it will be really interesting to see how many people switch over the next couple of days. At the very least this should weed out the more innactive players of the guild, though our numbers will still be somewhat inflated due to the pressence of alts.

Oh well. Here's to a new chapter in the storied history of the Nethers. If anyone has any suggestions on how to improve player use of the guild forums, I'd appreciate the insight.

Wish us luck!

1 comment:

Frijona said...

Good luck! Seems like everyone has been having guild drama lately. My guild is usually rather calm on that front, but lately things have been a bit tense. Or perhaps that's just because I'm an officer now and I hear about it.

Kara does strange things to guilds though. Always seems to shake things up.