20 Days of WoW Blogging – Day 4 – Your Best WoW Memory
Today’s topic, “Your Best WoW Memory,” was honestly an easy topic for me to write about. To this day, there is still a small collection of memories that I define as the “best.”
These memories date back to the Burning Crusade expansion, and one group in particular. When I started playing WoW, I knew nothing about this “raiding” thing, or even much about guilds. I never expected that I would be raiding 6 nights a week and leading a fairly successful raiding guild!
Malevolence was, without question, the best experience I’ve had in a guild in my WoW career. The guild was the best representation of my blood, sweat, and tears in a virtual world. When I wasn’t working, I was recruiting, managing the guild website, approving raid rosters, updating and posting DKP, mentoring and being mentored. I was hosting weekly officer meetings, dealing with conflicting personalities, the whole 9 yards. I lived and breathed for my guild, and I’d like to think that I learned from my experiences as a Guild Master that I have been able to apply to both real life and new WoW situations.
The header screenshot is probably one of the best representations of WoW for me. Malevolence had been plowing through Serpentshrine Cavern at a fairly decent rate (we did progression raiding 4 nights a week for 3 hours a night), and we had been running SSC and Tempest Keep regularly for a month or so. We got to Lady Vashj after a long night of raiding and stopped in to say hi. We could continue to stop in on a nightly basis while we determined the best strat for taking her on with our guild make-up. We tested new theories, new positions, and new add kiters nightly until Phase 2 was going smoothly and we were regularly seeing Phase 3.
Well, for a while, regularly seeing Phase 3 looked like this…a LOT of Sporebats. And at some point, we pushed through the Sporebats and Vashj became our loot pinata. Sorta. As much as an RNG fight can become a loot pinata. To this day, Vashj is probably still a challenge for any group trying to get the SSC achievement. I still have nightmares about the “YOU HAVE THE CORE!” macros and the wrong person looting a core or someone tossing it to a healer and freezing them in place right in front of the strider being kited. Oh man, in some ways, I don’t miss that fight in the least!
The downing of Lady Vashj was a highlight of my WoW career simply because of the energy that the entire guild put towards successfully completing that fight. Everyone was supportive of each other. No one played for themselves–they played for the team.
While I’d love to state that Kael’thas Sunstrider was the continuation of the teamwork our guild put forth, it was not to be. Malevolence was affected by one of the two Guild Killers, Kael (the other being Vashj), and we were never able to down him as a guild group. The frustrations of Phase 3 became to much and the guild imploded soon thereafter.
It was saddening to watch a guild that had climbed it’s way to 16th in server progression in a steady period of time fade into obscurity. We were once a place that people wanted to progress with, we were known as a force on the realm, and then just as quickly as we rose, we fell.
The atmosphere that Malevolence had is what I still cling to finding in WoW again. A family of practical jokers, sometimes vulgar, but always there for each other. A guild that wanted to succeed, to find the best players, and promote teamwork for progression and drunken antics on the weekends.
Conc Blow! *hic*
Trust me, there was no fun like Drunk Karazhan fun. Drunk Kara was how the officers and I let off steam on Friday nights. Everyone would order in, load up on alcohol, and we would park ourselves in Vent until we passed out or beat Kara. We were at the point where no one needed the loot (minus me needing Legacy and our Warlock and I needing the glove token from Curator), so we plowed through the instance with relative ease. Well, as much relative ease as you could with two totally plastered Holy Paladins, a completely drunk MT Prot Warrior, and a Hunter (or 2) who probably couldn’t handle Eyes of the Beast on our way to Opera. We changed up the kill order for bosses based on the sobriety of our MT. There were points where we couldn’t handle beams on Netherspite, and Nightbane was instant death.
I suspect that the guild members online found more amusement in the raid than we did. It was not unusual to have 20 people sitting in Vent with us listening to slurred words and sexual innuendo. Heck, guildies who weren’t in the raid would start doing shots with us as the night progressed. The healers did shots every time someone died, and our tank would wander off at various points to smoke a cigarette or find more beer. Amazingly enough, even in our inebriated states, we could clear Kara in about 3 hours. Even more amazing was we never got reported to Blizzard about how inappropriate we were as a guild 99.9% of the time. Guild chat on Friday nights was definitely NC-17, and Vent chat was beyond that. The bonus of having people with thick skin and sick senses of humor was great.
The Need to PvP in Order to PvE
My final memory is tied back to the fact that all our fun took place on a PvP realm. This meant that summoning stones were the bane of everyone’s existence (this was during the time when people couldn’t get summoned into TK). We would have to “pre-raid” the summoning stones in order to control it to bring people in for the raid.
Early on in our WoW PvE careers, and long before Dual Spec, our MT had to do dailies as Prot, which was about as exciting as watching paint dry, in order to pay for his repairs each raid night. He was out in Ogri’la plowing through his dailies (as fast as Prot could kill something back then, which wasn’t fast), when he happened upon one of the best Alliance PvP guilds on the realm. And doing what was expected of them, the Alliance guild treated red as dead, and promptly killed him. Over and over and over again. To the point that he couldn’t finish his dailies, and then couldn’t afford to pay his repair bills for the night.
By this point, he was frothing at the mouth in Vent and demanded that our raiding warlocks, who also had a massive affinity for PvP, come out and save him. The guild decided to show up as a whole and defend our tank against the gankers, and in the process, started one of the most epic battles for Ogri’la that I have ever seen. We had at least two full raid groups of 40 players and people in the zone were whispering to get invites. The grounds around Ogri’la became the battlefield, which each faction summoning in more players with portals on the back lines. The battle raged on for a good hour, the end result being a slaughter of all the NPCs within Ogri’la and our eventual success in controlling Ogri’la for the evening. Our MT was able to finish his dailies and at some point we all stumbled to our raid for the night, joking and laughing about how we decimated one of the best PvP guilds on the realm in World PvP.
Our success would later haunt us, as the guild we defeated took great pleasure in camping us at TK and later at the Caverns of Time as we were working our way through Hyjal. But the fact that we had faced them and stood our ground in our raid gear made for a tale of the ages.
The Burning Crusade truly introduced me to WoW at all it’s levels. I raided, I played a GM IRL, I checked out Arenas (very poorly), and I got to make some great friends in the process.
Through two expansions, I’ve been unable to create memories that can stand the test of time the way my memories of Malevolence have. I do hope that one day, I’ll be able to either find people with the same level of dedication and fun to flesh out my current guild, or a home in another guild with that level of fun interaction. I’ve been trying to find that sweet spot since the guild collapsed in BC, but I’ve lacked success. Here’s hoping!