Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Beginning of the End?

Well, I guess that so much has happened recently I might as well start with the true catalyst of what caused the cataclysmic end that I see coming. Several weeks ago, around the end of summer break and school starting, raiding on my server, not just the guild I was in, came to a sudden and drastic halt. I had trouble getting even a party of 5 together to do a dungeon, forget about getting 25 people to attempt a higher content raid like Gruuls or even Mags (the "easy" ones). I initially chalked it up to the confusion and hectic nature of the school year starting and people having less time available because of that. I understood this and expected that it would pick back up eventually and even progress farther than it had been prior.

Not long after this happened it was announced that players on pve servers would now be able to transfer their characters to pvp servers, which was previously unavailable from the very beginning of the game, reasoning was thought to be due to the ease of people being able to level on pve servers without threat of being attacked and killed by those of the opposite factions.

The server that I play on is a pve server that has a reputation of being "elitist" when it comes to picking people for raiding. Because of this, the majority of people who were looking for a place to go, for the higher level content that is not easily pugged (pick up group), ended up doing battlegrounds and arena to have something that they could do easily without the elitist pressure from the guilds that were raiding on a regular basis. When the pve to pvp server transfers became available, an enormous out flux of people from my server happened overnight, my friends list and guild list went from upwards of 200 people to less than 115. Most of the people that left were exceptional people that I had come to rely on for their contributions to raiding and partying with. And that still wasn't the biggest blow of all, Wrath of the Lich King the newest expansion, was announced for release on Nov. 13th (on my wish list for an early Xmas present btw). Some may say "So what? its a new expansion it will mean that the game will expand an you will get many old players coming back to play again", and I will agree that it is conceivable outcome of the expansion being launched. However, the other side of coin should be looked at as there will be EVEN LESS motivation to raid, as people will want to get ready for WOTLK by making more low level characters and getting them ready to start off well on day one for the launch.

From there it became an epidemic of the higher end raiding guilds losing an innumerable amount of people from their core raiding groups that ended up crippling most of them. To attempt a recovery of this those larger more renown guilds began to openly recruit to fill the voids left by the mass exodus, the problem is that there aren't enough people to recruit that were able to raid at that point to fill those gaps. At this point, I know of 2 out of the 4 major raiding guilds on this server are talking about a guild server transfer to try and get raiding done as it was before, meaning that they have deemed this server "dead".

After hearing this a few of my good friends and I thought that they couldn't be more wrong. All of us knowing some VERY talented people through pugging and keeping an ear out for those that aren't we made a decision, we are going to save our server. From most players perspective it is nearly impossible to make a guild successful from the group up without a dedicated core of people working hard towards the goal of making it successful, and they are right. It takes multiple people working from every angle they can to just build a base of players that are willing to help make the guild successful, luckily, being as my friends and I were avid puggers, we build a reputation with a myriad of players there and got our message out. That message being "We believe that raiding should inherently be fun and EVERYONE who shows the effort and respect needed to raid we will run with them". To be honest, I am now constantly surprised at the dedication I am seeing from not only the leaders of the guild, but also the recruits, to getting the word out about what were starting and making sure that people know our guild as a place to go if you want to do something that people previously were saying "its too hard to get a group together for that without a guild". Granted we are a guild running this, but we dotn subscribe to the hardass view of "If its not filled with so many guildies, lets not even bother" which PISSED ME THE FUCK OFF in my last guild (please pardon the language, I try and use it rarely).

So far in 2 days, we have gone from 4 people thinking about making a change, to 26+ people getting the word out that this is not the beginning ofthe end, its is the beginning of the beginning and you can have a hand in making it work.


Anonymous said...

That was a pretty awesome post. No seriously, it's one of the better post I've read in a while! Can't wait to see what happens next in your quest to save your server!

Demiurge said...

Not sure what's happening here. "This is just a game"! But yet, I find myself getting kinda passionate about saving some game server from impending "death." Maybe it's cause I's so hard to affect change "IRL," but at least in a game...I can do something.

The economy fucking sucks. We're on the brink of war. Tensions worldwide are running high. Nobody trusts anyone. And thought has become non-existant. So much to change, but being as shy as I am, all I can do to change anything in this world is to make sure the "bum" sitting outside my grocery store has some money to drink his sorrows away. Can you blame him?

But it's so awesome to see an impact a few people can make on a whole "society," and WoW is kinda a microcosm of that. I mean, it's real people involved, and granted, it's just a game, but seeing people getting excited over killing a boss, or getting a new peice of gear, or teaming up with other good players/people, it kinda makes me is possible for a small group of people to change something, if nothing else, by making others happy.

When we play, we can temporarily forget our RL stressors and annoyances, escape into some fantasy world, and just let our hair down a little. I dunno, that might sound pathetic, but for some reason, it also sounds quite sound.

But yeah, great blog. :) Got me thinking...hopefully that's a good thing?