Truly it is now "Shattered"…

So if you’ve paid any kind of attention to my little Twitter box over there (which most of you probably haven’t), you might know that the guild in World of Warcraft that I belonged to recently disbanded.

Now I know some of you just read “World of Warcraft” and instantly stopped paying attention. Well hold on a freakin’ second. This isn’t going to be a discussion of something cool I found in the game, or some shiny new loot I gust got, this is more a look at the dynamics of this group of people and what may or may not have caused the disbanding, as well as some little shoutouts to the people who are gone. If you’re still not interested, then that’s fine. However it was something of a major spectacle and I feel like commenting a little on it.

A little history: Shattered Legacy (SL) formed as a result of some internal disputes among the guild “Horde Collective” which my friends Akin Ogunsola and David Allen (Akin’s roommate) were a part of. I don’t know all the details because at the time I was still leveling my mage and thus was not a part of the guild. It’s also not really important. When I finally got to the point where I qualified to join, they had started a second guild for recruitment called “Alternative Legacy” (or AL). Basically the idea was that AL members would accompany SL members to raid dungeons (basically any dungeon that required more than 5 people to complete, typically they needed 20 or 40) that SL had already conquered and could repeatedly do so with ease. This would serve the dual purpose of teaching AL members the finer points of how to raid, nuances of how to play their chosen class, and to help them get better gear all the while. Eventually, you could be “promoted” to SL. The long-term idea was for AL to become self-sufficient with it’s own leadership that could advocate for who to promote to SL.

However, this never quite materialized this way, because a large quantity of people who displayed competence were quickly promoted to SL, leaving AL with only a few people who were any good to try to lead. There were also only so many “training slots” availible every week to go on these runs with SL, and many people simply couldn’t get in, got frustrated, and quit after a week. I was good enough that SL made me the Mage Class Leader of AL, but due to SL having a full compliement of mages themselves, plus the fact that I didn’t have very good gear yet, I wasn’t promoted up.

Eventually the AL concept fell apart entirely, so SL invited everyone still in AL to join with the idea that they’d simply help out anyone who still needed gear help, and remove those who simply were no good and weren’t willing to accept advice.

Everything was goin’ great from where I was sitting. I was in a guild with 2 good friends of mine (3 later when Jeff joined up after coming back from Basic), doing well at being a mage in a raid setting (that’s not my own feelings, this is what other players in the guild told me), and we were conquering new raid challenges and getting awesome gear.

Then came along the first WoW expansion, The Burning Crusade. As soon as the game’s Beta Testing opened up, the following details emerged: With a new maximum character level of 70, we knew there would be plenty of new quests and 5-man dungeons to do. Some of the new statistics on the gear from Burning Crusade came to light, and it became evident that the gear we were getting from doing these epic raids would very quickly be eclipsed by new items in the Burning Crusade. With this information in mind, the guild leadership decided on a new path. SL would stop doing raids that it had already finished, and would instead focus solely on doing ones that were unfinished or that they hadn’t started, just to see as much content that we hadn’t seen as possible before the expansion came out. Long-term, they reasoned, there was not point in doing old raids simply for gear becuase it would be obsolete very soon when Burning Crusade came out. So why not simply try as many challenges that we had not tried as was possible?

This resulted in the guild being split along 2 factions. The first is detailed above, and consisted of most of the guild leadership and some of the members who had been in SL for a long time. The second consisted of people who wanted to focus on getting the best gear possible out of already conquered raids. Their reasoning was why not simply focus on getting the best possible gear to start out with when Burning Crusade rolls around for everyone? After all, without that quality of gear to start with, the raids we were going to try to work on until the expansion was released would be difficult or impossible to the point of frustration, and wouldn’t be any fun.

Faction 1 had most or all of the gear they needed and didn’t want to waste time going back to those raids again instead of seeing new ones , Faction 2 had little or none and didn’t want to waste time doing bosses they weren’t equipped enough to beat. I pretty much fell into Faction 2, given how relatively late I joined the guild.

However, it turned out to be irrelavent. Neither side would budge on the issue, however since the guild leadership was all in faction 1, that ended up being the course we would take. In frustration, some people from faction 2 simply stopped showing up for raids (For the record I was not one of them). Eventually we simply had to call off raiding altogether until the expansion came out. Classic case of both sides saying “If we can’t have our way, then nobody gets either”. So we stopped raiding and focused on the PvP aspect of the game, or “Player vs player” which consisted of a series of “battlegrounds” where players from the horde and alliance could join teams and wage a small scale war against each other in “Capture the Flag” or “King of the Hill” style scenarios.

Two things made this transition not quite so painful for the guild.

1. PVP combat in the game had recently undergone several major revisions. Previously, you had to wait in line forever to join a battleground. This was because it was limited to people only from your server. However, Blizzard recently implimented allowing players across multiple servers to join the same battleground, so your waiting time was much smaller. Also, the rewards for doing well in Battlegrounds became much easier to obtain, so it was another way of working towards gear upgrades.

2. Many other guilds were experiencing similar problems, so there was a large pool of people wanting to do PVP, which made the wait all that much smaller.

However, there were still some among the guild that were mad about not raiding, so they left to join guilds that were still doing so. Guess you just can’t please everyone. During this little pvp-interim area, we basically open up the doors on recruitment, anyone who wanted in to PVP with us and get a tryout when Burning Crusade did hit was welcome to.

So January 23rd hits, BC hits the shelves, we all grab it and go to town. Now here’s something else to bear in mind, many of the guild’s members are college students. There’s a few, like me, who work full time, but mostly, college guys. They have more free time, so they get higher in level pretty quickly on. Makes sense, right? Now I don’t know what really prompted this next move, whether it was impatience at wanting to raid again, or just some boneheaded hardass “I know what’s best” thought, but the GM (guild master, the head of the whole guild) instituted a periodic ruling where you had to be this high in level by this date or “You don’t play enough to be in a raiding guild” and you were kicked out, unless you had a reason for being unable to play for a certain length of time. I managed to stay well ahead of those deadlines, but still it got a lot of people kicked, and I think it was completely unnecessary. It screamed of impatience and arrogance on our GMs part and it cost us a lot of people who could have contributed much eventually. So what if they didn’t level as fast as the rest? They’d get there soon enough.

So eventually we get enough people at level 70 to start raiding. Well, here is where another big change instituted in the Burning Crusade comes into play. Previously the raid dungeons required either 20 or 40 people to complete. There were 2 20-man ones, and 4 40-man ones at the time the expansion was released, and the 20-man ones were obviously not as difficult a challenge, so the 40-man ones were what most guilds were built around. In the Burning Crusade, the company who made the game, Blizzard Entertainment, announced that all new raids would be at most 25-man size, and that the first raid challenge would be only 10-man. So basically you had a lot of guilds built around doing 40-man raids suddenly having the spots availible cut nearly in half, and even moreso to do the first new raid.

So right away, we decided that if more than 10 people wanted to do the first raid, which was called Karazhan (or simply Kara), they could wait outside and be rotated in and out. Eventually as we got enough people with experience, we could have 2 groups going. Good plan, right? Well, no, not so much. If you do it that way, then very few people get to see the whole dungeon and learn all the encounters, so you would eventually end up with 2 groups of half-experienced people. Couple that with the problem we began having that people did not like waiting outside doing nothing until they were asked to go in (which in some cases didn’t happen at all). People began leaving over it.

Then came the real sign of trouble The GM of our guild passed the title on to another officer. He quickly realized he didn’t have the time or commitment to lead, so he passed it to a third officer. This one was a good enough guy as a leader, but for whatever reason, he missed a lot of scheduled raids, leaving us with almost no one to lead. A couple volunteered to try to pick up the slack, but others wouldn’t come because a “real guild leader” wasn’t around to lead.

So that’s it, that was how the demise of Shattered Legacy came about. The guild ended up primarily being split three ways. One group of people simply took the opportunity to quit the game altogether, including our original GM and the first officer he passed it to, as well as Akin and most likely Jeff.

The second group transferred to another server, Hakkar. One of the guild’s officers who quit during the time before Burning Crusade came out was starting a new fresh guild on another server, and invited anyone from SL who wanted to come over and join. Many trusted his leadership skills and style, so they took the shot at continuing raiding with the people they’d played with forever.

The third group formed a more casual guild that only planned on occasionally raiding, focusing more on casual PvP and 5-man dungeon content. Myself and David joined this new guild, which is called “Malicious Intent”. I personally don’t plan on raiding with them, and they’re fine with that, as it’s not a primary focus, which I like. I can play when I want and not feel obligated to constantly be working on stuff.

So yeah, that’s the saga of Shattered Legacy. It had it’s ups and downs, I know it only seems like bad stuff happened, but a lot of the good stuff I can’t really convey here in the name of brevity (this post is already long as it is). We had some good times and I’m gonna miss playin alongside a lot of the people. I’d like to say some good things about a few of the people who are gone.

Akin (Rabid, 70 Tauren Warrior, quit) and Jeff (Kish, 70 Troll Hunter, most likely quitting) – I owe these guys bigtime. Setting aside all the stuff these guys have done for me outside of the game in the real world, they (and David) taught me how to really play this game. They helped me out with some tough quests and dungeons, told me where to find stuff, a whole lot. I was very happy to finally get a chance to do endgame stuff alongside them, those were always the best times in the game. I know they’re moving on with their lives, though, and I’ll always love em like brothers. Good luck guys.

Flocker and Sylvec (Both 70 Undead Mages, transferred to the Hakkar server) – I had managed to figure out how to play a mage fairly well, but in a raid environment I was somewhat clueless. Flocker was the mage Class Leader, and eventually a full fledged officer, and he taught me a lot about the finer details and math behind being a mage, stuff that Akin/Jeff/David couldn’t really tell me. Sylvec was also helpful in this regard. These 2 guys and myself were the last 3 mages who actively played in the guild, so we kinda developed a rapport, and I’m gonna miss em’ both.

Abnormality (70 Troll Rogue, still in SL at this time) – Abno cracks me up. In addition to being a darn good rogue, he’s absolutely hilarious. He often accumulated mage gear and would put it on during raids or normal dungeon runs and call himself a Archmage Abno just to pick at us, especially me, as for a long time I was the guild’s only troll mage. After everyone moved on, I briefly stuck around in SL before joining Malicious Intent, and it was just me and him. We had some good times, and I hope he does eventually join MI.

Tharduk (70 Tauren Shaman, quit) – This guy’s real name is Mike, and before he had his shaman, he played a mage called Nythailus (Nyth for short). When we originally quit raiding, he began playing his shaman more, and eventually decided to play him primarily in the Burning Crusade. Nyth is probably the guy I most quickly befriended in SL, and I really don’t know why. Our personalities are almost complete opposites, but we got along well enough just being fellow mages. We PVPed a lot together when that time came around, and we still talk via MySpace and AIM a lot. He’s still convinced I need to “go get laid” because it will somehow cure me of being such a geek. Hahaha. Good luck with the ladyfriend, man, hope to see you around again someday.

Aviang (70 Orc Shaman, quit) – Aviang was a longtime guild officer, who was just a good guy. I didn’t really get to know him much until SL started doing PVP only, and we just had some good times. Eventually he started playing his low level Paladin more often, and he would bug me nonstop to help him do low level dungeons. It was annoying, but he was so funny with it I couldn’t really be mad at the guy. But alas a new job and a little one on the way means no more time for WoW. I still talk to the guy over AIM and MySpace as well. Enjoy bein’ a dad, AviWANG!!

Myth (70 Tauren Hunter) and Relica (70 Tauren Druid, both transferred to the Hakkar server) – Myth and Relica are a husband and wife duo who both play WoW, and are darn good at what they do. Before Blizzard implemented the changes making PvP easier to get into, Myth went hardcore into it to get the Warlord rank as soon as possible, and he did it. Gotta give him props for it. He’s also a damn lucky guy. Relica is a great druid, and she briefly stuck around SL after the split up and did a few quests and dungeons with me and Abnormality. I got to know her a little better, and she’s great, fun-loving, and a total geek. She’s probably almost as big a Star Wars nerd as I am. I wish I’d had more interaction with em before they left, and I wish them both well, in life and WoW.

Nickelz (70 Troll Rogue, transferred to Hakkar) – I gotta give this poor guy credit, he was the final GM of the guild and he tried to hold it together, he really did. He’s been an SL officer for as long as I can remember, and he did a ton for the guild, so he gets props from me, he also helped me out a bunch and provided some verbal support for me when the rest of the mages were heckling me for being a troll and not an undead. Good luck to you as well dude.

There’s a load of other people in the guild I could say something cool about. A lot of them are in this new guild, Malicious Intent, with me, a lot of others have moved on, but this is practically a novel now, so I’m gonna end it there. Hope you enjoyed reading this if you bothered to do so!

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