For many people the MMORPG experience is about escaping life or experiencing things that could never be possible in the real world. For others, it’s about meeting people all over the world and sharing in quests and experiences. Not everyone is gifted at making friends during day-to-day occurrences and MMOs, as well as the internet in general, can provide an otherwise shy or nervous person with an environment where they aren’t necessarily going to be judged based on first impressions, looks, or any other social prejudices that normally exist. During my time in WildStar I’ve joined a handful of guilds and have met some amazing people that I would now consider my friends. Unfortunately, due to the state of the game and shifting guilds/servers not all of those friendships stuck, but I’m definitely grateful for the ones that have and the people I have met in the process.
VOLATILE GUILD EXPERIENCES
Trying to find a guild in WildStar was one of the most difficult tasks I have been faced with during my experience with the game so far. Finding a group of good players that understand fight mechanics and how to properly run a large group is essential for progression in WildStar and this was even truer before recent patches that have nerfed content and fixed a number of bugs. My very first guild in WildStar was a PvP based guild (Chemotherapy) and we would spend our time together queuing for battlegrounds and essentially “pub stomping” everyone we came up against. Our initial goal was to be a top PvP guild on Pago, but because of issues with game mechanics and the PvP system in general this ideal was never fulfilled.
Low level battlegrounds in WildStar have always been filled with afkers or botters, so even having 10 active players was generally enough to ensure a solid win percentage. Unfortunately, the state of PvP was in an atrocious state on launch and things were not so nice once we reached higher tiers. While it’s still a side thought to the PvE aspects of the game, at least most of the PvP mechanics are working properly now and balance issues aren’t nearly as bad. When a few of our core members reached level 50 and were displeased with the way PvP was handled, many of them quit the game. The rest of our guild, around 50 very active members, split off into a few other popular Dominion guilds.
At this point I hadn’t fully realized the state of being that WildStar was in, or what difficult requirements existed for raid attunement, and I simply joined a guild that a few of my close acquaintances had also joined. The guild I ended up in was Massacre KT and I finished my leveling and attunement processes here. Over the course of the next few months I grew close with the core members and leadership, but regular members came and went sporadically. The guild, overall, was a good group of people and we did have a few groups that could solidly clear most veteran dungeons, but it was very obvious there were some problems as well. A few members were very cliquey and would only run dungeons with their friends while other players just weren’t that good, but leadership was too afraid to say anything negative to them. I knew this was going to be a major issue once we were all attuned and attempting raid fights, but I hoped that we would eventually absorb or merge with another guild.
Unfortunately there was a major issue with the server I was on, Pago, specifically being that the Dominion were grossly outnumbered by the Exile, so guilds were constantly fighting over members; many players were simply transferring to more popular servers or quitting the game altogether. When things became too dire on the server to ever have hopes of a solid 20-man group for raids I decided to quietly transfer to Pergo. I notified the leadership and hoped there would be no hard feelings as I really wanted to see raid content, but they weren’t exactly pleased.
FINALLY FOUND A HOME
Upon transferring to the much more densely populated Pergo, I had quite a few guild offers and applied for others that I knew were at least progressing through Genetic Archives. I finally landed in my most recent guild, Instability and knew this was a place I wanted to stay. They were already through 2/6 bosses in the genetic Archives and had a long history of clearing difficult content in other games, such as World of Warcraft. My first couple of weeks within the guild were actually kind of rough. The difficulty gap from veteran dungeons to raids is so extreme in WildStar that I was constantly dying to “easily avoidable” mechanics and wasn’t doing nearly the damage that I should have been.
Thankfully due to some great mentoring my survivability and damage increased to a decent enough level. However, it wasn’t until I was allowed to start tanking that I really shined and showed that I deserved a place in the raid every week. During the last two months we cleared 4/6 raid bosses in Genetic Archives and had multiple attempts on the Phageborn Convergence, but never had quite enough time to successfully kill them before the bosses rotated the following week. As time progressed this wasn’t simply a WildStar guild to me anymore, but a true group of friends. When we weren’t raiding we’d play other games such as League of Legends, Diablo 3, or just hang out in chat. Our Teamspeak channel had become a virtual second home to me.
ALL GOOD THINGS COME TO AN END
The troubles that plagued Pago seemed to follow me to Pergo. The dreaded “roster boss” has become a major issue in the last few weeks. We were initially able to push through and still clear the content we had already been able to farm, but even relatively easy content was becoming a struggle. There were multiple wipes on Experiment X-89 and Kuralak the Defiler; bombs weren’t getting taken care of and poor egg rotations stopped us in our tracks. These were easy mechanics to our core raid group, but each week we had to replace more and more people until it was impossible to carry everyone to victory. This essentially left the guild with 3 options: recruit new member and basically start from scratch, merge into another guild, or abandon WildStar altogether.
During the next leadership meeting, while the megaserver patch was taking place, it was decided that Instability would no longer be a progression guild on WildStar. The guild would go back to World of Warcraft and prepare for the Warlords of Draenor release. Initially there were talks of a few select members carrying on the legacy in WildStar, but those who were unsure almost instantly bailed. At our highest point we had two 20-member raid groups online at once, and logging on tonight I found that we only had one other active member. The sad part is this has been a trend all over WildStar. Guilds would be on top of the world one week and dissolve into nothing the next.
While I’ll still be playing WildStar, for the time being, the people I met in Instability are still my friends and even though it’s unfortunate that I’ll never see most of them in the game again, I still have a place to hang out and relax. The thing is, without a guild WildStar is a very lonely place. There isn’t very much single-player content and I’m not ready to commit to another group of players. Having to prove my abilities, get to know an entirely new group of people, and possibly sit out of the raid rotation doesn’t sound too enticing right now. For now I’m just hanging out until The Defile content patch drops and I’ll get to experience the new zone and Journey to Omnicore 1.
One thing that’s for sure though, is that the people you play with make all the difference in an MMO. A group of toxic players, regardless of how good they are, almost always bring a group down; however, a guild full of leadership that’s too nice to everyone isn’t going to make any progress either. Finding a group of solid players who aren’t complete assholes is surprisingly difficult to do in most online communities, but when you do it’s hard to let them go. This week I lost a lot of friends and comrades in WildStar to other games, other guilds, or just other general life issues. I wish everyone the best in their endeavors and don’t hold any grudges.
Those close to us enter and leave our lives every day, whether it’s friends, family or even pets. Obviously some relationships and friendships are more complicated than others, but online companionship can be just as real as any other form. What’s important is that we cherish our time together and remember that those “names” you’re speaking to in TeamSpeak, Ventrilo, Mumble, etc. are all people too. I’ve seen great players quit games and guilds over a few harsh words, so it’s best to think before we speak. With as volatile as the WildStar community is right now, it’s best to hang onto every possible guildmate.Related: Column, Guild, Raids, The Nexus Times, Wildstar