GnM is an online blog that chronicles my experiences through whatever it is that is catching my attention at the moment. Expect shifts between PC gaming news and commentary, to absolute nerding out about the new MG Exia Gundam kit. My brain is full of random esoteric crap, and I'll be spewing it out here. Thanks for hanging in there with me.

Monday, March 9, 2009

A Farewell…to Destruction?

This is something that I’ve seen coming for a while, but it doesn’t make it any easier. I think I’m going to quit playing my Destruction characters. Its a pretty long and involved story, so I’ll try to keep it concise. Basically it comes down to guild and population issues. My first guild, which was formed nearly three years ago, shortly after the first announcements. We were chugging along great for a while, we were the premier Destro guild for our forum community.

We hit the 300 member mark shortly after launch, when the excitement surrounding WAR was at it’s peak. after the free month was up, several things started to happen. One, active numbers dropped significantly, as many players did not subscribe and were either MMO tourists, or they were going back to WoW and WotLK. We also started to see the first signs of a schism within the guild. The guild was conceived as a casual-friendly guild, which meant we had a certain number of hardcores that had already hit level cap or close to it. The hardcore crowd wanted a more serious focus for the guild, and when this did not materialize they started to leave.

A common complaint was that we had few players in T4. This started a spiral in which guildies outleveled the rest, hit 40, and got sick of waiting for others to rank up, so they left. Also, since the “new MMO” crowd had mostly left, we found ourselves on a now-low population server, which obviously made RvR less easy to get into. Some weeks later, transfers were offered off our server, which we took. The bulk of the guild transferred to Red Eye Mountain from Ulthuan. However, not all our members transferred. Some simply were not playing as much, and did not frequent the forums, so they missed the news. Also, we had some members never move over, or move to different servers.
We continued the guild on REM, with a smaller group of core players. At first, we seemed to be doing much better, but we ran into the same issues eventually. We continued to hemorrhage players, and the number of actives online concurrently continued to drop. We had a small core of regular players, but without the numbers needed to support endgame play, we hit a wall. We had a good alliance though, and many players could still get dungeon groups through the alliance. This, however, is not a substitute for having a healthy guild population in T4. And finally, the population issues we experienced on our original server began to crop up on REM. This was pretty much the last straw for many of us. I found myself logging on less and less.

When the Slayer and Choppa were announced, this pretty much caused me to shelf my destro characters and just finish leveling my Ironbreaker while waiting on the new career event. Later on, transfers were offered off REM, and the guild was transferred over the Iron Rock. Aside from completing the transfer over to IR, I haven’t played my Destruction characters since.
While this was going on destro-side, I was slowly leveling up my Ironbreaker. The IB was the only Order class that I was able to stick with past Rank 25. I ended up with seven or eight alts that failed to hook me sufficiently. Currently, my only 40 has been the IB. Throughout this time, my forum community maintained an Order guild on Averheim, and is now currently on Badlands.

The Order guild has maintained a healthy population, mostly casuals, centered around a devoted officer core. On further inspection, I believe this is key to the stabilty of the Order guild. Where my destro guild had a large amount of hardcores, who would race to the level cap, and end up moving to another guild when the majority failed to keep up, the Order guild had a medium size group of semi-hardcores that leveled up together. This group was mainly composed of officers, around whom the rest of the guild grew. So now, we have close to two dozen players at rank 40, with many players at all level ranges. I guess the slow-but-steady mindset worked for us. We maintain a close-knit guild, with almost no ragequits or impulse new recruits.
At this point, just before the introduction of the new careers, it looks like I will be playing Order exclusively for now. I’ll be concentrating on my Slayer, and playing my Shadow Warrior and Ironbreaker on the side. Hopefully, this will not be a permanent thing, as I think I’ll probably roll up a Choppa at some point. I look forward to the future of WAR, and finding my place in it. It’s time to take up the axe, and take up the oath.

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