Dear Great-father Winter
I write this letter to you on the Eve of Winter’s Veil, with hope that it makes its way to you safely and without delay. My Guild has been quite busy as of late. And, with the chaos wrought upon us by Deathwing, we’ve not had much time for celebration.
United Defense has always been a bastion of good in the war-crazed nations of Azeroth. While such an outlook can sometimes make things difficult, the very fact we still stand is a testament to our devotion. We are blessed by the presence of many heroes within our ranks. Those that would stand to bring honor and justice to the streets of Stormwind and the branches of Darnassus. However, in the wake of destruction, times have become increasingly difficult.
Throughout the ages, we have witness the rise and fall of many other mighty guilds. Names such as Eternal, Holy War and Drunken Lords rush to the front of my thought. Some, have chosen a path of treachery and joined the Horde. While others have simply vanished, as if another realm had scooped them from their feet and claimed their soul. As such, the spirits of our brave warriors are at low. I ask of you but some small requests, for those who are deserving.
Ill begin with our leader, Hieronymous; A dwarf of unquestionable belief in our cause. He is a man with an unfortunate face, but a heart of Truegold. He has taken on an appreciation for small things recently. I once caught him staring longingly into the window of a tailor’s shop run by a nice Draenei girl. He took quite an interest in the native undergarments of Argus and the function of the hole designated their people’s tails. A gift of those would be most welcomed.
Quessir is a rogue of remarkable talent. I’ve known her to make a weapon of just about anything. Even your words. If there is one thing she lacks though, it’s daggers. I do think she needs some more. I once caught a glimpse into her personal bank stores. The number of daggers she had was just simply not enough. I’ve overheard her lamenting over daggers over heroic quality. Those would do nicely.
Conjeneratur. What do you wish for a man who can craft everything that whirls and wizzes with his two tiny Gnomish hands? The one thing he cannot craft for himself, sanity. He continues to astound me with each new device. But, I often times find myself worried for my own safety.
There are none more tolerant of others as Resjudicator. She is completely understanding of others shortcomings and is never short with anyone. Ever. She has the patience of a saint…or Priest. In the role that she plays on Azeroth, one is destined to repeat themselves many times. Many, many, times. This would drive most other mortals to the edge, but, Resjudicator pushes onward with a smile. Such a person would never accept a gift for themselves while others are suffering. So, instead, I wish only to assist her by requesting a large stack of pamphlets reading… “Please visit www.tankspot.com”.
I once heard of a species of Goretusk, which lived in a climate so cold that its entire body was already chilled when slain. There is a Paladin I know well that would make much use of pre-chilled Goretusks. He is what you would call an expert on all things swine. He owns a whole farm of the beasts in the forests of Elwynn. That’s why we call him Farmerdan.
Camaron is a human who you can really rely on to take a few hits for you. He has been doing it for years now. Yet, shows no scars for the time he spends in combat. Its truly amazing. In his off time, he is a collector. He’ll collect anything really. I donate various items to his collections on a regular basis actually. He isn’t picky. He would appreciate anything and everything. Lots of it. Often times, if I run out of room in my bags, ill just send some random treats off to him. The whole guild does it. Oh, and just a little tip from me…he very specifically likes it when stacks of items are sent one piece at a time. I hope that helps!
That brings me to Riley. Or, he used to be Riley. The poor soul thinks he is someone else every few months. To appease him, we are referring to him as “Apostate” currently. I once made the mistake of calling him “Veriant”, which was a past iteration of himself. He was quite upset. I was even naive enough to think he had recovered when I heard him utter the name Riley a few months back. I was wrong. It was “Reilee”. Apparently, there is a big difference. I wish for him only the best. And perhaps a vacation. I hear Loch Modan is nice this time of year.
Two of people that I have been spending a great deal of time with recently are Vahlanos and Supershock. I value each of them as guild members and fellow nation-men. However, during recent events, a squabble between the two broke out. I wont go into detail about the happenings, but I wish for them many Chaos Orbs apiece.
Unfortunately, my time is running short, and I must be off shortly. There are just so many people I wish to make mention of, but cannot. I would like to write about all of them, but I’m sure you already know what they want. After all, winter magic is the most powerful magic of all. I thank you for your time in consideration of all those who need their spirits lifted. I hope the season meets you well.
-Loremaster Rahnir, Recruitment Officer of United Defense
My goodness. In all of the thought that I lost myself in, I forgot to make a wish of my own. You see, as a hunter, I appreciate all of Elune’s great creatures. Keeping stables of wild animals in need of a home is the least I can do. Secretly though, I do enjoy collecting them. There are however, two openings needed to be filled. I’ve given this much thought in the past, and would really like a tiger and a raptor. Preferably in a size that would be mountable by a full-grown Night Elf male. Thank you.
MERRY CHRISTMAS UNITED DEFENSE!
*I referred to the gender of the character, not the person playing. Just to be clear.
Given the recent upheaval in Azeroth the gnomes of United Defense have found themselves unwelcome guests upon the unbalanced pvp server. Leveraging their ingenious ability to dance and unquenchable spirit of shenanigans, the gnomes have begun to reevaluate their role on Daggerspine*.
Under the inventive leadership of GM Hieronymous the gnomes now plan a daring campaign against the barbarous remnants of Darrowmere, to level as a guild in PVE peace and harmony.
With the odds stacked against them, they are now counting on you to stand and dance.
Your people's greatest hour draws near.....
*So we've created a leveling annex on a pve server - Darrowmere. Check out Hiero's post on the matter here: LINK
Azeroth Shatters, UD Comes Back to Life!
Most of you probably know my bear, Spamburger. He’s been my trusty sidekick since 2004, and we’ve sure been through a lot together. You see, Spam is a bit lazy—sometimes he takes breaks from adventuring and raiding at the end of expansion cycles when there isn’t much new going on in WoW. And so, like United Defense itself, Spamburger spent most of this summer and fall sleeping happily in a sort of hibernation:
Today, however, Azeroth as we know it will cease to exist.
The Shattering will forever change the lands that that have become familiar to us, leaving in its wake a brand new and exciting world for us to explore--just look what it did to Westfall:
Not surprisingly, world-shattering events are the kind of things that wake bears up:
And so too has United Defense been awakening over the past weeks. We’ve seen a steady flow of old members re-activating their accounts and logging in with fresh enthusiasm. Doc is once more devastating our raid nights with his nefarious toy-train-mongering. Rahnir is turning up the heat on his endless crusade to capture every mount in the know universe. Quessir is once again teaching good manners to Horde children in Stranglethorn Vale. Farmerdan is preparing to log in and cook us up a fresh batch of Cold Bacon. And Conj, of course, is donning his Gnomish X-Ray Goggles and RP-ing airport security screening procedures at the Stormwind gates. There’s excitement in the air, and UD just feels good right now.
So what will UD look like going into the Cataclysm expansion? Well, the guild character is going to change quite a bit from what we saw in Wrath. We’re going to get back to our roots as a smaller, tighter-knit group of friends. We, the UD members, have personally grown a great deal since our early days nearly six years ago. Farmerdan, Teesha, Brothermunro, Jadelouise, Camaron, and others have become fathers and mothers. A number of us have recently gotten married. Some of us have embarked upon new careers. UD’s atmosphere is going to evolve to reflect our growth as individuals. We’re going to move away from a top-down leadership style and towards a more relaxed, natural, informal organizational identity.
Here are some specific changes we can look forward to:
With 10-man raids becoming equally viable alternatives to the larger raids, we’re going to focus on them exclusively. Gone are the days of cumbersome loot systems and herding cats into 25-man raid groups.
We’re hoping to reduce the number and complexity of official policies and encourage individual members to schedule, plan, and execute guild events.
We’re going to create a “United Defense Leveling Annex” on a PvE server where members can level Worgen and other alts in peace without having to deal with pesky gankers. The Annex will help us stay in touch and level together, and provide benefits such as an active guild bank. Once our lowbie alts mature to level 85, we can then transfer them back to Daggerspine and begin pursuing end-game content with the main guild.
We’re going to offer a Horde sub-guild on Daggerspine: “Defense United.” DU will provide benefits similar to those of the Annex, with the added advantage of being able to mail heirloom items to young Goblin alts and transfer other items through the neutral auction house. The Defense United tabard features blue laurels on a gold background, and the top rank is, of course, Conjeneratur.
And then there are the Guild Leveling System and Guild Achievements. This new aspect of the game deserves a front page post of its own, since it will totally revolutionize how we work together as a guild. It will offer tangible benefits ranging from the ability to produce a guild bank anywhere, to speed increases, to new mounts and pets, to spells that summon and rez all raid members at once. UD has always been a kooky bunch of eccentrics. Suddenly, all those crazy side-projects we all love to work on will have real benefits for everyone in the guild. We’ll finally be able to hold guild progression events that aren’t raids: it’s as though Blizzard has created an institutional Shenanigans system just for us!
I could go on and on about all the new possibilities, but I’ll cut myself short here.
In order to better capture the excitement that’s currently building in UD, I sent Conj out into the field with a video camera. He asked a bunch of otters what they thought about United Defense’s prospects in CATA, to which they replied:
See you in game!
-Hiero (and Spam)
Roads of Rage
Allow me to start off by saying that from an aesthetic standpoint, Seattle is a beautiful city. It reminds me very much of Vancouver, the city that I guess I can call home. In fact, if I were to be blindfolded, driven to Seattle and told I was in Vancouver, I might believe you, except for one very glaring difference. Now, I’m not an easy person to aggravate, but I have a new and very strong hatred for one-way streets. Seattle is made of them. I’ve never really liked one-way streets, but I could never place the reasoning. Not only did I fully realize this dislike, I embraced it. One-way streets can burn.
A few friends and I attended PAX 2010 this past weekend. It was great. But before any of the fun was to begin, our hotel had to be located. Perhaps it was an error in judgement to use Google maps to begin with, as it had led us astray in the past, but returned to it we did like fed cats. It made out our journey to be a simple one. Fourteen steps. Eleven of which were all before the boarder. What a cakewalk. And so it was, until step fourteen. You see, what Google had failed to mention, was that it had our end destination set behind the hotel. Perfect. An easy fix really, “Lets just make left turn here…”. Nope. One-way street. “Ok, lets go down one more block and then we’ll make the turn and head back up”. So make the left we did, only to find another one-way street going in the opposite direction of where we wanted. This pattern continued for some time. At one point we managed to find our way back onto the I-5 back towards the boarded. I felt like we were in one of those bloody icy-floor puzzles. You know the ones. Sliding back and forth, bumping into rocks until you find that perfect path to the other side. In the end though, we made it. Life achievement unlocked. All was well. We had a weekend of video games ahead.
One such video game was Gran Turismo 5. I have never been especially great at the whole racing simulation genre of games. It might be something as simple as my love for arcade style racers that doesn’t mesh well with actual physics. Maybe it’s the good little driver in me that has this ridiculous compulsion to stay in the lines while doing 200kph in Tokyo City. Or maybe I’m just bad? That’s probably most likely. I did however get to play it in a nifty little racing booth thing. Yeah. Those cool chairs that have a wheel with pedals and a gearshift. Not one of those dinky little things you can pick up at Best Buy as the next best thing. Too bad the upholstery smelled of Mountain Dew. Ah, conventions.
Lich King... on a Boat!
Well, we finally got there.
The Lich King is no more.
Huge thanks to Resjudicator for leading our raid program up to ICC, to Alpha, Farmerdan, Lannister, and Meekrob for leading us through most of ICC, and to Lorathon for leading the final charge that brought down the King. We tend to take this work for granted, but it's very deserving of our appreciation.
Above all, thanks to all of you who have stuck with our raid program and invested countless hours over the past months learning fights and teaching them to others. This has been one giant team effort, and I, for one, had a lot of fun along the along the way!
Now, it's on to the Ruby Sanctum, to ICC hard-modes, and to our Reins of the Rusted Proto-Drakes!