3 Years ago I asked Melkejal to write something about the history of the guild, as he did which you can find on the forum.
Then it was up to me to take it from there and seeing it took about 3 years for this to arrive you might get an idea how good I am at writing.
I actually did write something before but my situation in the game has changed so often at the point I’m writing this now, I figured I might as well start over (several times already by now). My first tries were going through the expansions and listing what happened in them that I thought were worth mentioning, but with my writing style that just came down to listing facts and that’s honesty boring to read and it’s not what I really want to talk about anyway.
Might go through a few interesting points over the years but also would like to spend some time to talk about the guild itself, what makes it so special for me and why I think it’s still around 12 years later (July 2019).
Early on when I joined, (originally AHS but AnV is pretty much the same members just with different leadership and management) I already had the feeling this was the right guild for me and that grew only stronger the years passed. I’ve often wondered what makes this guild what it is and what makes it different from many other ones. Spoke about it with quite a few people and they all have a different view but it all points to the same direction. Our raiding time is a big factor in that as well. We raid from 22:00 until 00:00 game time, (Baring in mind in the early years we raided 5 days a week 2,3/3 hours a day, until we got tired and old and changed it to 3 days 2 hours) what that means is that you attract people in a certain situation, mostly family/kids but also work comes into it. That means you get a somewhat older generation, which is also what we always aimed for that, as well because nobody wanted to have to watch their language or any other inappropriate behavior. Basically saying it was a guild that was aiming for the more mature people, although I’m sure many would beg the differ on the actual members itself!
Also we take into account that real life comes first, you might think that is common sense but how many guilds out there don’t really care about that? Sometimes people have to dropout during a raid for whatever reason, sometimes they can’t raid at all for some time because of personal issues. While of course it causes problems for the raid night itself we do understand that the game doesn’t come first.
And if given a notice (Communication is the most important in the guild) people are pretty much always welcome back when their real life’s have made room for the game again. You could reason it’s just a game but I’ve never seen AnV like that, it always has been a family.
While my reputation might not suggest that I care, I do find it important people feel at home in the guild and enjoy their time when they are playing. It’s not just a game when you deal with people every day and having to consider different points of view or opinions and making sure everyone will get along.
Which brings me to why I enjoy running/leading the guild. It’s exactly the different people that make it a challenge to manage this guild, I could say struggle but it doesn’t really feel like that to me. It makes it interesting to go into another week and not knowing what comes up and if some drama appears. While nobody likes drama it does happen now and again and that’s unavoidable if you are dealing with so many people. But the challenge to make everything right again and make sure we keep moving forward is what makes it interesting.
Think it would become boring really quick for me when everything would run smooth all the time.
Another view is about the goal the guild set’s for itself, in the past and until today is not aiming for the kills on the highest difficulty but to have fun while trying to get as far as possible, that’s where the semi casual part kicked in. That means you will have the somewhat casual people in there but also ones that strive to kill the end game as much as possible. It’s in a way a strength of the guild but also a weakness, you always have to find the balance where to push for a goal or let it go and try to enjoy the ride. It’s hard for me to remember how it was in the early years but from what I can remember it has been a struggle for all those 12 years to make sure we had enough people to raid with and to keep both sides happy.
At some point Dunemaul (our previous home) was running low on people and we might have been the only 25 man raiding still left on the server. It came to a point where we had an opportunity to merge with another guild, although in reality it was more the case that a few members joined us. But at the time we called it a merge which also meant that we got a few officers from the other guild. We already knew at the time it was a bad idea to go ahead with it but we needed the members to be able to raid still. Now a days it’s not all that difficult to get people but at that time you had to do with people on the server and seeing it was dying that wasn’t easy. It created some problems for the guild but nothing that couldn’t be handled.
Just before or during Throne of Thunder (second to last raid added to Mist of Pandaria) we ran into real problems. We were and wanted to be a 25 man raiding guild and seeing I’m a person that believes it should be done with the guild or not at all, I decided to call quite a few raids when we didn’t have enough people. You can argue if that’s right or wrong but for me it was the right thing to do which most accepted. But even that has a breaking point so we came to the decision that we had to move servers, which is quite a big deal as it might be the only way to save the guild but you never know for sure with how many people you end up on the other server and how recruiting goes from there, but the other options weren’t really options. One of them was to change back to a 10 man raiding guild and the other was disbanding. None of those made sense so it just came down to a server change. Which ended up being Frostmane where we are now. Also one of the biggest decision we had to make as management of the guild but it payed off because pretty much everyone went with us to Frostmane and we could pick up raiding again soon after it with new people incoming from the new server.
Before I move on I should mention another situation that caused the guild on the brink of collapse, and it was all about tabards. We decided at some point it was a good idea to change our guild tabard to something that suited the guild a bit more. We had a competition and at the end we were left with 2 choices, and people at that stage were really fanatic about their choice and it started to cause issues among the members. So at some point we had 2 fronts going strong against eachother..over a tabard..
Should probably admit now that I really didnt like one of them. But the votes were so close together I felt I had no choice but to rig it. So that's exactly what I did.
Might have fiddled a bit with the voters on the forum just to make sure the right one won. Not sure it's a good idea to mention it here now as you never know what comes out from that but I feel it's such a long time ago now I got away with it. (We shall find out soon)
I should give a more information about why the current tabard stands out from the rest. Some might look at it and think it looks like a pair of scissors but it's not. While there are only a limited amount of objects to choose from in the Blizzard tabard creator a brilliant Belgium artist named Gnamy had a vision, We can't ask anymore what exactly that vision was as he has moved on as artists always do before they gain their fame. But it ended up as an angry upside down penguin.
It created quite a mess as described above but it stuck out so much from the other standard crap every other guild has I knew it was the one we had to use.
Many years later it's not just the logo ingame on our tabard (Which nobody ever wears, but should) but also the guild logo
From the time I joined until now we’ve had a solid management of the guild, of course things never go perfect but I think that goes for every guild that runs raids with 25/20 people and the ones that aren’t raiding. Two of the people I relied most on were Zombieomega and Feanorris. The first being a raid leader and tank in the past and Feanorris doing pretty much everything besides tanking when he got into the picture. (Although seem to remember he did that as well on a different character now and again) Couldn’t have done it without them. But it would be wrong not to mention the other officers that kept and remain the guild what it is. It’s quite a list of people that were involved over the years so not going to list them all.
In the later expansions I got tired of it all, my class wasn’t anymore what it used to be and while you try to avoid it sometimes personal issues get into the way as well so decided to take a break and followed that up with quitting. While I went away many officers decided to quit at that time as well so it was up to Feanorris and later Goneril to keep it all running, which they have done as I’m back now the guild is still there, with new officers.
Thanks to those and people that weren’t officers making sure situations got handled, inside and outside raids. Which might be the most important factor why the guild is still around. A lot of time and effort goes into it for people behind the scenes to keep the guild grounded and not spin out of control. Most of the times members outside officers have no idea how much it takes to keep doing this week/year in and out and while I can’t blame them for it, it can be frustrating at times when they are being stubborn or creating drama.
But we get through that every time again and that’s why we are still around almost 12 years later.
Let’s add a few more years to that list!