I want to show some appreciation this week to the glue that has held my MMO experience together. Game communities and guilds are the reason I’ve kept playing MMOs. Group content and raiding have held my interest in some games well beyond the point where the content in the game was no longer engaging by itself. This week I’d like to give some shout outs to great game communities and the guild masters who organized them.
Two of the guilds I’ve been part of and willing to continue staying in touch with long past all of us actively playing together are a World of Warcraft guild I was in, Killer Bunnies, and a Star Wars the Old Republic guild I was in Unholy Alliance. I’m essentially still in both of those guilds even though we don’t do guild activities anymore and I haven’t logged into those games in a long time.
Killer Bunnies was established by a GM we all know as Krystara, and various spellings based off of Krys for her in game characters. I’ve known her virtually for years, long enough that she’s has a child and that child has grown up enough to play games and branch out into her own identity. Krystara organized raiding for Killer Bunnies back in the heyday of Wrath of the Lich King. She was our main healer and put up with a lot of whisper drama in her role as both GM and raid leader. It is no surprise that she eventually joined me on the dark side and moved to DPS, stopped raid leading, and pretty much moved into a more active guild as a member rather than an officer. You can only herd cats for so long before that stops being fun. I do miss her raid teams, they were fun yet organized, very low drama, and had a great group of people in them.
Krys is responsible for dragging… er convincing me… to try a bunch of different games as either a Killer Bunny or without a guild, just a few of the more adventurous among us. From WoW, we tried out Rifts and had a semi active guild over there for a little while. From Rifts we tried out The Secret World, SWTOR, and various other games that never quite stuck. These days we keep in touch via the KB Discord server where she will pop in from time to time to get us to try out another MMO. I’ve tried out many a game because she shared links and info about it, the latest being Palia. I really enjoy her enthusiasm and willingness to keep including us in ongoing adventures.
When I started playing Star Wars the Old Republic, it was part of a migration of Killer Bunnies into the game. Unfortunately, the end game was pretty shallow early in the game and we never got into a raiding groove. Most of the members bounced pretty early on, leaving me and my hubby still enjoying the game and looking for a new guild. I eventually found the SWTOR guild I stuck with until I stopped playing SWTOR, and one whose founder Stardust is someone I still keep in touch with. I kept several characters in UH and WM, even when I moved others into another guild called Fortitude in order to run more serious operations/raids. Discord is a way for those of us who are no longer active in these guilds to at least keep in touch and chat. Maybe this appreciation post should be about Discord and how it has facilitated keeping friendships and guilds together after games fade away. But I digress.
Unholy Alliance (and the sister guild Wookiee Mistake), was a really active SWTOR guild for many years. The guild was responsible for organizing charity fundraising events for Extra Life for several years and ran some of the most fun in game activities during Extra Life that I’ve ever been a part of. The sheer work that went into those events, getting prizes together, decorating the guild housing, and running the event is quite amazing, and Mox and Stardust were a major part of helping the guild raise over $10,000 over the years. They also ran a really fun, super casual operations/raiding night called WOG. It is a testament to how great a group of people these were that several of us try to stay in touch and check in from time to time.
The same holds true for the SWTOR guild I joined in order to run more serious group content, called Fortitude. Their primary cat herder is Lorhin and again we stay in touch via Discord even though the guild no longer raids together. I find it telling that the best run, least drama filled guilds I’ve been part of have been led by women. However, several of the raid teams I’ve been in have been run quite well and without drama by men, so I can’t claim that only the women have the patience of saints.
Overall, I have to appreciate the wonderful communities I’ve been part of. Good groups are directly responsible for my longevity in games and my ongoing enjoyment of them. I do a lot of solo play, but really need to do fun group content with guildmates to stick with them. My latest great find is a game community called Pandamonium, who have their toes in several MMOs (WoW, FFXIV, SWTOR, New World, etc.). I mainly joined to have a casual New World Company to hang out with so it’s funny that many of us are most active in Palia right now. Who knows, maybe I’ll have things come full circle and pull Krystara into their community to continue gaming together.