Memoirs of Melkejal, the founder of Acta non Verba
It seems like a lifetime ago, but looking through my email receipts I see that the original ‘Myguildhost.com’ website for Acta non Verba was purchased on the 5th of May 2009. This provided the platform on which our guild was built but there was a little more going on in the build up to this that I will now try to recollect and share with you.
My character is/was Melkejal , a tank spec warrior. Started on the Dunemaul server, my warrior was originally a member of Azeroth Horde Slayers. This guild was a collection of casual players that enjoyed hanging out together in game and helping each other with quests. We took it easy and had a great atmosphere with plenty of guild chat and a genuine feeling of friendship built amongst its members.
Links were made with another guild, Guardians of the Realm, where you might say some of its members retired to AHS as they dropped out of raiding. In short, we had a good time harassing the Horde cities and dabbling in PvP but with no real ambition to do much more at level 60.
Then came The Burning Crusade.
Blizzard took the bold step of reducing the number of members needed to raid an instance and introduced a new ten man instance, Karazhan. AHS continued into the Burning Crusade as it had rolled along before, helping its members each level 70 via instance runs and quest help. Within a few months enough of our members had reached level 70 and interest turned to checking out Karazhan properly.
AHS took its first brave members in for a run, the excitement keen as we felt like we were stepping up to the plate with the big boys in the game. Attumen the Hunter was soon slain (with some effort) and on we marched to Morose which proved a much trickier encounter. It was at this point that our members started to wonder if more could be done to organise our raid runs, and a suggestion was put forward.
In short, I suggested that with a little organisation and a fair rotation of the required classes we could set up nightly raids which would push our progression during the week long instance intervals. The raid required a fairly generic setup, 2 tanks, 3 healers and the rest dps (or thereabouts) and if we could guarantee these roles filled each night we could raid.
In order to facilitate this I put together a schedule that players signed up to on the days they were available. If the raid wasn’t filled then it didn’t happen, if it was then off we went.
However, ‘management’ within AHS were not keen on this suggestion, claiming it was too complicated and went against the philosophy of the guild. Things got rather heated as players argued the merits of a casual raiding guild and in a move to prove my point I went ahead and quit AHS and setup Acta non Verba. A handful of real life friends followed me and helped get the guild charter signed. We pooled some cash together to buy our own website and in a short space of time Acta was formed.
To my surprise a good number of AHS members followed my lead and jumped over to Acta and regular Karazhan runs commenced.
Not everything was plain sailing though.
There was some hard feelings from the members of AHS and it was disappointing to see the guild disband. The guild leader and others quit the game outright as AnV started a recruitment drive to setup a second Karazhan group.
With two raid groups formed we thought progress would be good, but this triggered the first of many petty squabbles that threatened to undermine our guild and strain real life friendships. The trouble with the second group was the lack of gear and thus the lack of progress made compared to the first. A ‘Them and Us’ attitude almost tore us apart, but with persistence and careful management of egos we started to pull it all together.
In time, (a much longer time than originally planned due to the lust for a certain bow!) we out together enough players that were geared up enough to take on Gruul’s lair. A competition win had equipped us with a Ventrillo server and putting together 25 players to raid felt like an immense achievement. Players were keen to adopt roles, read up on strategy and raid leaders began to naturally emerge from the crowd.
Taking down Gruul
and his minions was an awesome accomplishment and gave us the impetus to push on into Serpentshrine Cavern. I won’t bore you with the details but needless to say we did pretty damned well with our casual raiding setup and managed to push into the Black Temple and The Sunwell Plateau as WotlK drew close.
We had some bumps along the way, though I may not recall all of them I can certainly detail a few that caused some trouble in game and out!
One particular player, Calafalus, happened to be the deputy manager at a place of work that a number of guild members belonged to. The contrast of a superior in real life and technically a lower rank in game made things awkward to say the least. Add to that a penchant for being outspoken and a tad self-entitled (sorry, Cal if you ever read this but it is true! Though who wasn’t in this game, eh?) We had a number of disagreements that caused some disruption in the guild. You may have guessed that it was Cal that fought to keep us in Karazhan for longer that some members thought necessary as he hunted in vain for the Sunfury bow of the Phoenix (I don’t think it ever dropped!).
There was plenty of heated discussion about recruitment as players worried about their place in the setup and demanded to be given first choice. It was a delicate balancing act of keeping the guild afloat as players raided when they could and those that wanted 100% access were given as much as they could. We rejected the use of DKP as nobody was keen to manage this and persisted with the philosophy of prioritising regular raiders to facilitate progress and allow others to catch up as they could. This did slow us down compared to other guilds but we weren’t looking to be cutting edge and overall it suited most players.
An April Fools prank somewhat backfired one year when Cal and I staged an argument in guild chat and I booted him from the guild. It had all been planned out in advance as we looked to take the piss out of some of the tension that had built up lately. What better way to play a prank then to laugh at ourselves, right? Unfortunately things didn’t go quite to plan as the guild somewhat cheered and celebrated when I kicked Cal out! The grumbles of discontent when he was brought back in did little to lighten the mood!
More drama followed when discussions between guild members via email were discovered. The tone of these emails regarding our superior were regretfully harsh (not to mention the time taken to write them when we should have been working) and we were fairly reprimanded for this. The result somewhat soured the game for all involved with one player moving on and I believe Cal eventually put the game down.
Wrath was released and the guild knocked on the icy door of Arthas.
The guild had picked up good momentum and earned a fair reputation amongst players on Dunemaul. Recruitment was steady and players remained faithful despite summer slumps and the draw of other games. Fantastic sessions on Left 4 Dead kept us together during the lulls and a genuine community of friends helped keep tempers in check.
In 2010 I had to call it quits. My wife took a teaching job in China and I followed in November. The time difference was too big for me to continue raiding and I didn’t much fancy playing the game on my own. I eventually ended my subscription but I keep some contact with a few keys players, some of which still raid with you now! Ita is perhaps the one I have most contact with. It was his request that I put together a history of the guild and I was more than happy to take a trip down memory lane. I wish I could raid again, though the game has changed so much it will be so alien to me now!
I am incredibly proud to see that Acta continues to raid and hold onto the values it was built on. I know that many of you likely have no idea who Melk is, in fact my character is no longer on the same server as the guild! Yet, I will always have an interest in what AnV is up to and I enjoy seeing the posts made to the Facebook page.
I estimate the guild is getting on for 6 years old, though I was sure it was more than that! I reckon that this is good going for a guild and I wish you all great luck and success as you keep going.