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Thread: History of Unrepentant

  1. #1
    Fosco's Avatar
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    The influx of new members with Rift, Cataclysm and the prospect of even more for SWOTR makes me think we should recover our history as a community. This is my recollection, and is bound to not correspond to yours – so feel free to comment on errors and omissions as you see them.

    The origins of Unrepentant

    In April and May of 2008, the gaming world was preparing for the release of Age of Conan – Hyborian Adventures. AoC promised to be a PvP and guild centered MMO for adults, so I (like many others) went looking for a guild. I actually lurked the official forums for months before deciding to apply to a guild called the Hammerfist Clan that had begun in LOTRO and was going to play AoC. I joined Hammerfist in May, a few days before pre-launch. Because the community leader Brakkish didn’t think he could invest enough time in the first week, he made Foulsoul the in-game leader. Foul was also the architect – it was his job to power-level and claim us a prime spot to build the guild city. There were 80 or so active players at launch, and more joined daily.

    As usual my leveling was a lot slower than most, but I enjoyed the naked guild runs and energy in chat and game. I never did manage to catch up on level in AoC, and so I only listened to Fight Club and the guild raids. Foul snagged us a prime spot for the city, and we went on gathering materials for the city for a few weeks. During this time a member whose toon was named Poet (and who I didn’t yet associate with the Dao Jones who was so active in the forums), began to have trouble with Brakkish. Poet was more or less the war chief – fight clubs and inter-guild warfare, and so on.

    In June, after we started building the city (all my screenshots were lost) I got on one day to hear Apoc say: “Poet quit!” When I asked why I heard that Brakkish had kicked him off the forums and had tried to get Foulsoul to kick him from the guild. I gather (Foul will know) that Dao was not the only target. Things very quickly went downhill and Foul announced that a group would be leaving Hammerfist, and that since the group that was leaving had done most of the work on the city, they were keeping it. I got whispers and tells from all over, including a paranoid rant from Brakkish, that made me decide to go with the exiles.

    The exile group was first named ‘Hammerfist Test’ as we worked out how to give the name back. The first contest was to name the new guild – I’m not sure who came up with ‘Unrepentant’, except that it wasn’t me. It was a late entry and as I recall, not a unanimous favorite. It won out because it expressed how we felt – and how we play.

    The original members who are still with us are listed here: http://www.unrepentantgaming.org/for...hp?f=7&t=9210&

    Afterwards, there was another period of intense recruitment. We got our own forms (Andon hosted?) and vent channel. By the end of the summer, however, the buggy half-assed nature of AoC had worn many of us out, and people were beginning to think about moving to Warhammer: Age of Reckoning. We moved to that game in September 2008.

    More to follow…

  2. #2
    Arki's Avatar
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    Wow it seems like Unrepentant has been around a lot longer than 3 years. Altaire, myself and Nyvia all joined in AoC about a week after the split from HFC. It just seems like so much more than 3 years ago. Oh well. wish I could find my embarrasing app but it must be in the permanent graveyard from the old Unrepentantclan.net forums site.
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  3. #3
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    I knew I fit in. This is a lot like the beginning on my own site back in the 2003 time frame. It wasn't a guild, it was a website for modders.

    In short: I made my own mod for Civilization 3 and kept moving hosts as it grew and finally made my own site. Well I made some friends in the modding arena and one day a couple of them came to me complaining about getting kicked off a major civ site due to the nazi content of their WWII mod. Which I thought ridiculous. Nasty fights ensued, I somehow became the representative for the group and groups that joined. I somehow did not get banned from that major civ site and yet stuck to my guns. In the end I started hosting their stuff on my website and gave them their own subforums. And thus began websites that hosted mod forums for people.

    This is my first guild, and I love this community even more now.

    The site was called CDG, Cdgroup.org, Creative Design Group.
    You can find the complete history Here on said major website.
    ~Luc

  4. #4
    I am the Waffleman. Goo goo gajoob. Dao Jones's Avatar
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    Nice, Fos! It is probably a good thing we write all this down, so the people who take over the guild from us can say "that's how these jackasses came to be". My version includes a bit more of the back story leading up to the split, so I'll focus on that.

    I was recruited to Hammerfist in April 2008 by a nice lady named Jenado. I got in, and started making a name for myself as a funny, loud-mouthed rapscallion. When we launched in AoC I was content to just be another rank-and-file member, as I tend to agitate too much to be a truly effective leader.

    Things went well enough at first. But trouble started the day Evildream - a well-liked member - got into a scrape with Jade, who was an officer and Brakkish's wife. He had an avatar that said "Where all the white women at?" (Blazing Saddles reference), and she very much did not approve. Rather than handling it maturely, she publicly tore into him. Things went from bad to worse, and Evildream left the guild.

    Now, Evil was one of those guildies you never want to leave your guild. Friendly, hard working, and sociable, he had hit max level early and was doing a great job liaising with other high end guilds on our server. His leaving made us look very, very immature.

    While his departure quieted things, it didn't squelch them. Other members were grumbling about how poorly it had been handled, and how Jade in essence abused her position as a leader to get Evildream targeted despite his not genuinely doing anything wrong. A few other guild members quietly left, and morale was low. I began raising this issue privately with Brakk, and when he proved unwilling to address this publicly, I started forcing the issue.

    Obviously, this did not win me any favors with the leadership. But I'll leave that part of the story to Foul, as I was not in charge at that time.

    Ultimately, with Brakk becoming more authoritarian, and discontent building, I decided to quit. Leadership was actively editing and deleting other peoples' posts to "control the truth", and it was a mixture of amazing and pathetic that people could be so childish. I don't mind drama, but I won't be associated with anything dishonest or wrong (or just plain stupid). I didn't make a big scene; I simply left a polite departure letter explaining my reasons, and dropped guild.

    What happened next I only heard from other members who kept in touch with me. Apparently my departure became the gossip du jour, and Brakk was in spin control mode and losing. A member (Orko) asked why I quit, and when he demanded an answer he was kicked from the guild and banned from vent. Other members saw this happen, and left the guild.

    That was the starting point. People wanted to know what was going on, and Foul and the other leadership were bluntly being told to lock down everyone, and threaten being kicked if they didn't go along. I talked with Foul only once in this time, and told him quite simply: you owe it to your guildies to do what is right for them, not for Brakk.

    The rest is not my story to tell, as I wasn't there. Eventually, the bulk of Hammerfist split out from under Brakkish, and reformed under Foul's leadership. There were growing pains, and Brakk and his crew made many efforts to stop/interfere with us (including hacking someone's account on our old forums, and posting as him saying he regretted the decision and was going to rejoin original Hammerfist). None of them worked, and we eventually rebranded ourselves as Unrepentant, and went from there.

    Ultimately, we moved from AoC to Warhammer, and from there into Champions and Aion. It was in CO/Aion that we made our next big transition from single game guild into multi-game community, and from that point on we slowly evolved into The U we are today.

    The most important thing to know about our history is not what happened, but how it influences how we operate today. Because of the way Brakk treated the membership, we the current leadership have always promised our members the following:

    1. We will never delete or remove your posts. Your words are yours, and while we may lock or move threads as needed your posts will always be located where they can be seen.
    2. We will always explain our actions, and allow public scrutiny of our decisions. Our motto is "we work for you", and we keep to it.
    3. We don't expect any preferential or special treatment due to our rank. While we would ask that you respect the hard work we do to keep you guys happy and gaming, our status as "leadership" does not make us infallible, or elevate us above you. We are all equal here.

  5. #5
    Fosco's Avatar
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    I hope to bring it forward through WAR at least to CO, since that's where the 'modern' era really sets in. Time permitting, and unless someone else does it first.

  6. #6
    This is a great piece of "history". I have heard most of this in pieces and parts, but it's nice to collect it all in one place.

    One thing that may be nice is to talk about the development of each of the branches - when did it become a branch, did any fall off branch status, etc ...

  7. #7
    I am the Waffleman. Goo goo gajoob. Dao Jones's Avatar
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    I can fill in a bit more, then. I've been involved in most of this stuff anyway. Incidentally, there is no "TL;DR" version of my posts. I write a LOT, so you either have to suck it up and read it all, or live in ignorance.

    So AoC was slowly dying, and with it our community was dying as well. At one point we had well over 100 active members playing daily; by August 2008 that number was dropping day by day.

    Some of our more visionary (i.e. "they flit from game to game") members had begun in their boredom experimenting with a new gaming coming out: Warhammer Online. It had a lot of cool promised features, and the lore was obviously quite compelling. As these early players (Apoc, Rak and Kaza come to mind; I'm sure there were others) slowly got the rest of us involved, it became obvious that we as a guild were going to be moving out of AoC, and into War.

    However, it wasn't unanimous.

    A few of our older members were still happy enough with AoC that they didn't want to leave it. Others simply didn't want to play Warhammer. While this was an unhappy experience, the tide was inevitably going out, and we *were* leaving for War. It was decided we would maintain a minor presence in AoC, with former officer Hector running the guild there. We discussed the idea that we might be back some day, but I think most of us knew that wasn't going to happen. AoC was a dud.

    Looking forward to Warhammer, we encountered our second challenge: our guild was split on which faction we wanted to roll on. The majority wanted to go Destruction, but a solid minority wanted to play Order. When it was decided that we would "officially" go Destruction, the Order players felt left out and more than a little frustrated.

    After many terse forum conversations it was eventually decided we would launch in both Order and Destruction simultaneously. It was initially assumed I would lead Order, as I had been a vocal advocate for the Order players getting their way. However, I was only trying to get their voices heard, and wasn't looking to lead a branch. It was decided another former AoC officer named Andon would lead Order.

    We launched, and it was briefly glorious. We didn't push recruiting too hard, but still got a decent new influx of people. Old members poked their heads back in to join up with us. Fun was had all around.

    Except on Order. The lack of recruiting didn't hurt Destruction too much, because most of the guild was there. But the two dozen or so Order players never picked up in number, and Andon quickly proved unable or unwilling to do what was needed to make the Order branch a success. Several weeks after launch it was decided that I would step over to Order to pick up the guild from Andon and try to salvage it. Unfortunately, it was too late; larger guilds were snapping up recruits, a lot of our core Order players had left in disgust, and people weren't happy. I was able to stabilize and partially rebuild the branch, but it wasn't going to last.

    In the background, two other key things occurred that set the stage for the evolution of the guild The U became.

    First, Hector left the AoC branch of The U. It had become little more than ghost of a guild anyway, and there weren't more than 2-3 people still playing. This was disappointing, as we very much liked Hector and wanted him to stay in the fold. But without AoC (and him not interested in Warhammer), we had nothing to offer him.

    The second was what I like to call "Dao and Foul's Big Conversation". We were talking one night about Hector's departure, the flailing of the Order branch, and other stuff, and we both laid out our vision for "what we want Unrepentant to be". As it turned out, we both wanted the same thing: a place where gamers could come to get together, play games, and have fun. Easy enough to say; the trick was in how to actually DO it. We 'd seen two branches (AoC and eventually Order) crash and burn, and both times we lost people. Beyond that, we had seen the failure of AoC damage our guild, and knew the writing on the wall was clearly telling us that it was going to happen again with Warhammer some day.

    That was the day it was decided: Unrepentant was going to move away from being a "one guild game". We would push more emphasis on forum use, and start looking at other games in the future.

    That gets us through Warhammer. I eventually took a long break from The U, and in my absence the Order branch collapsed. I didn't return to Unrepentant until shortly before Champions launched. So the intervening time isn't known to me.

    What did we learn this time around? Well, if our genesis taught us how to lead, then our pre-evolution taught us how not to fail:

    1. A game (and gamers) that live in one game ultimately live or die by that game. To truly survive and continue to grow, a gaming community needed to be unshackled from a given MMO, and instead be united by ideas and camaraderie. Not exactly ground breaking revelation,but hey - we were new at this.

    2. NEVER launch a branch you aren't prepared to back 100%. If you say "play here", and then let that branch die, you disappoint your community. And a community that feels like it isn't being appreciated will leave.

  8. #8
    Somewhere in there was Skullbaby.



    Only version that I could find... This was the WAR Order Guild crest right?
    [hsimg:2of1lt3b]http://www.unrepentantgaming.org/forum/gallery/pic.php?mode=large&pic_id=242[/hsimg:2of1lt3b]

  9. #9
    I am the Waffleman. Goo goo gajoob. Dao Jones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cim
    Somewhere in there was Skullbaby.



    Only version that I could find... This was the WAR Order Guild crest right?
    Damn right it was! Best guild crest we've ever had in any game, period.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Cim
    Somewhere in there was Skullbaby.



    Only version that I could find... This was the WAR Order Guild crest right?
    Hell yeah boyeeeee!!! Skullbaby!!
    Quote Originally Posted by Fosco View Post
    having fun playing is more important than content, gear or achievement. The supply of pixels is never going to run out.

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