Aaandidark (Part I) – How I Got
I played a
druid in Everquest. When I move to Everquest II, I really liked how much easier
it was to form groups. My first toon was Aandidarii, a fury. One day early on,
as a level 6, I was trying to kill Fippy Darkpaw by the North Qeynos gates when
I was invited to join Silver Faith by the lovely and generous leader of a 6
member guild. Over the years I help build Silver Faith but never joined in
raiding activities. Our bountiful leader had to step down due to real life
demands, and the new leadership decided that in order to be an efficient
raiding guild, all the non-raiders would have to leave the guild. I was, at
that point, the senior member of the guild and instrumental in earning the
status that got us to that point. None-the-less, I was told that if I did not
leave I would be kicked out.
around un-guilded for a while and then joined the largest guild with the best
website that was recruiting at that time, Circle of the Greater Wyrm. I was
eventually drawn into raiding, because my class was needed. I was then subject
to the typical public humiliation that raiding guilds indulge in. Eventually,
the highest end members of the guild left to form a smaller raiding guild,
taking all the “good” players with them. It was hard times at Circle. I
actually attempted to step up to a leadership position, attempting to create a
more collaborative leadership model. While several folks loved my ideas, a
couple of members were extremely hostile to me personally; they perhaps perceived
a power-grab. Dunno, but wow were they ever mean to me. So I left Circle
wondering how guilds could be run that were not mean to people who are just
trying their best. During this time I also rolled an illusionist, a conjy, and
the necro, all with names based on my original EQ2 toon, Aandidari.
me in. I served on Raid Force 2, where I was able to examine how elitism works
in guilds. I was offended by gross vulgarity about women on a regular basis. I
talked to the raid leader but he told me it was “just a joke.” I was bored so I
started tailoring. Then Kleopatra offered to sell me her level 30 guild for 300
plat. I bought a guild hall and moved my swamp room there. On the twentieth of
every month I got more fairy circle items, cat tails, frogs, and what not for
the swamp room. It was my refuge and no one else was a member.
A very good
friend of mine, known here as Tank X, introduced me to Saev, leader of
Nightmasks (NM). Tank X had built a dirge for Saev and was active in their raid
force on that toon. Saev recruited me for a long time, eventually changing the
raid attendance rules so that I could miss one night a week of raiding. As a
graduate student I have classes in the evenings; the days change each quarter. I
raided with them for months and never saw any loot that would be an upgrade,
amassing a lot of DKP and a perfect attendance record, for me. I did not
understand that by the attendance standards, I was at the bottom line of
Then the most
recent expansion came out. I immediately had to miss two raids due to family
emergencies. At that time, the NM leadership decided to toss out all the
previous attendance records. Therefore I did not qualify to loot on anything,
and would not be able to for several weeks until my two missing days
disappeared due to rounding. And of course every mob dropped items that I
deeply desired. I got no loot and became very disgruntled about the
mathematics, which I understood very well were rigged, however unintentionally,
against me. If I ever missed a raid, I would be unable to loot for weeks. So I
complained. At first I complained directly to Saev, who was unimpressed. He
told me that I would be able to loot again in a few weeks, if I just kept
coming to raid. So I complained to my friends, one of whom was a very sweet
person, the raid tank. Little did I know (what a dope) was that he was also a
Soon the day
of confrontation arrived. Right before the raid, Saev had given me some very
nice resist rings. I was back into a good mood, finally, after having vented my
frustration to my friends (or so I thought) and being rewarded with valuable
rings. I was ready to be patient with Saev’s plan. But after raid that night,
Saev told me to leave the guild or he would kick me out. My mind was blown.
When I asked why, he said it was my fault that the raid tank had stopped being
an officer. That was when I learned that he WAS an officer, which made me feel
bad since I must have sounded like I was asking for favors. Sigh.
kicked me out, that dark and stormy night, and Tempting Fate took me in,
offering me a place to hang my hat while I recovered. I will never forget their
kindness. Tank X took his dirge out of NM shortly thereafter and made the
rounds of all the high end raiding guilds on the server, eventually moving with
many other of the elites to Blackburrow server, where he amassed huge amounts
of loot to gear up not only the dirge, but also the tank. Sadly, he became
hardcore and lost all his previous charm. His tale is a cautionary one – yes
hardcore raiding corrupts.
shopped around and joined another raiding guild; known as the guild whose name
we do not mention (TGWNWDNM). I will save that story for another day.
Aaandidark (Part I) – Another Day
in the Saga
Life was good
in TGWNWDNM. The guild leader was funny and friendly. The raid force was strong
and we got past Sarah, clearing Tox Mound in less than five minutes one time.
We killed the first two names in Palace. We were moving up. Unfortunately, the
strongest players in the guild had other ideas. They seemed exclusive and
elitist to me, but I had seen that so much before that I figured it was
unavoidable. One day they showed up to raid and said we could not go to Labs
because they had blown their lock-out timers six-manning the first two mobs.
They defended their actions based on the “casual” nature of the guild. Some
angry people left the guild immediately. Soon the elites took their toons over
to Blackburrow, after having recruited from within the guild all the “good” players
who would come with them.
force was decimated but those of us who remained felt that we were probably
better off without them and we kept raiding, at a lower level, while we
rebuilt. Sadly, our leader, once cheerful and funny, got in a bad mood and
stayed there for months. One member, who had decided that I was an elitist,
took to making public attacks against me, including written text on the guild
website. While I was forming groups, bringing in new people, helping people get
marks and the loot the drops in the marks zones, always advertising in guild
chat - “send me tell if you want to join
a group going to . . . .”, she was bad mouthing me saying I was exclusive. She
never actually grouped with me. My attempts to make amends to her only seem to
make matters worse.
Then the sun
rose. Bloodflow joined TGWNWDNM, putting in his application that I was the
reason that he had come aboard. We formed many groups, helping guild mates and
others get marks, plat, and the equipment they needed to raid. We coached them
on strategies. This kind of hard work often goes unrewarded, but in this case,
it seemed to threaten the leader.
often attacked by the leader in public and behind his back. I could never
figure out why that happened. One of the guild leaders told me it was because
she likes guardians the best. Who knows? But it was a harsh world for folks who
are just trying to have some fun, help folks, and forget about RL for a few
after a particularly insulting session where BF was called into private chat
with the guild leaders and berated because he did not want to bid DKP on an
item (really!?!), I was in a group with him and a recently departed guild
leader – she had quit TGWNWDNM because she could not continue in the hostile
environment – and I invited them both to become leaders of my baby guild. I
just wanted to cheer them up. I told them they could just do whatever they
wanted. This is not the kind of chaos that appeals to everyone and she
eventually stepped down to be a member. Bloodflow and I seem to thrive in our
special chaos of arguing logically and passionately about what is the best way
to run a guild, which at that time had 4 people in it. It was all very
hypothetical, based on our reactions to the ongoing nightmare that was TGWNWDNM.
I continued to build the swamp room and BF put up cloudy ceiling tiles using
refuge of that little guild was not enough to mitigate the unpleasantness in TGWNWDNM.
It was a happy day when I left TGWNWDNM and moved my toon to my own guild. It
took a month for BF to make the move. From that point forward, we have worked
to build Sentience as a guild that respects its members and offers
opportunities for growth as characters in a game and as real human beings. Our
raid alliance has allowed us the chance to move from PR to VP to Icy Keep to
Labs and Tox. Bringing Andromada into a leadership position has been a
wonderful development. We have added a lot of members lately and each one seems
to be a new opportunity for more fun.
shines on Sentience.