Thursday, June 18, 2009

How to make an unforgettable guild anniversary

Are you lucky enough to be in a guild which in the position to celebrate anniversaries? Then you’re in a minority. According to a study by the Daedalus project 64 percent of the players have been in their guild one year or less.

Considering how it looks in the forums and guild recruitment channel I’d say that the real figures are much worse than that. Many guilds seem to be more or less glorified PUGs, surviving for a couple of weeks or months at the best.

But there are exceptions and my guild is one of those. The other day we celebrated that it was one year since Adrenaline was born. And what a celebration it was! I’ve actually never seen anything like it. In this rather lengthy post I thought I should write something useful for once, sharing the concept in case some other guild would like to try it out.

So: I proudly present you The Adrenaline Anniversary Scavenger Hunt of 2009! This is how to make it.

What it was all about
The officers had been very secretive about the whole arrangement; although it was apparent they had been planning it for weeks. All we knew was that we were supposed to sign up in time as we do for any normal raid, with the difference that there was a spot for everyone.

To begin with we were told to head for the Temple of Storms, where we lined up at the top circle. The officers handed out wrapped packages, one for each of us. At a given moment we were told to open them. It turned out that they contained shirts of different colours, which we were supposed to put on. Looking for other players with the same colour we formed 3-man teams. Every team had a vent channel of their own at their disposal for the night.

Next thing that happened was that we were provided with a web link and asked to check it out. At the page we found five “clues” in the form of poems. If we figured out the meaning of them, each one would lead us to a “quest giver”, standing some unknown spot in Azeroth. Those quest givers where in fact guild officers, using their secret alts. They acted very nicely in character, both in says and emotes. And they also gave us different sorts of tasks, most of them about getting certain objects. When we turned them in we got keywords in return.

When we had learned all the words we whispered them to a named officer. He gave us another riddle leading to his position. On finding him we were given another clue to lead us to the last quest giver of the night (our bald gnome guild leader, which explains some of the lines in the clue).

The team that first reached him was the winning team of the night. Once this was settled, the general hunt was off and the whole guild joined at the meeting point in Crystal Forest (since Dalaran had turned out to be too laggy). The winners were given a final quest where they were to compete with each other. The one who collected the requested items and was first to return was the winner of the night.

While they were gone the rest of us kept dancing, playing with all sorts of vanity gear (finally a good reason for filling your bank slots with that kind of crap) and generally having a nice time. We were definitely in a festive mood.

On returning the winners were generously rewarded, standing in Moonstone spotlights: frostweave bags for the members of the winning team and a rare pet for the guy that won the whole competition. Some “fun” awards were also handed to teams that had excelled in different ways, such as committing suicide in order to find a graveyard or being completely clueless and renounce of sense of direction.

A few fireworks and some music on vent completed the night.

The rules we followed

To make the event fun and give all teams the same chance to win, some rules were given. The officers kept an eye on us, sneaking into our vent channels silently listening to what was going on, having a laugh at our struggles. As far as I can tell no one broke against this code of conduct:
  • Quests must be done by the entire group. You may split up to collect items but you must all be present at both collection and turn in of your task at each checkpoint.
  • You must not communicate with other groups.
  • There will be no use of 2nd accounts.
  • All quests must be completed to progress (you cannot simply get lucky by guessing keywords).
  • Certain class abilities will be banned as it is impossible to balance teams around them:
    Mage Portals
    Warlock Summons and "Gate" ability
    Paladin Crusader
    AuraHunter
    Pathfinding Talent
    Deathknight Unholy Presence and On a Pale Horse Talent
    Aspect of the Pack/Cheetah (which can effect certain “vehicular” mounts)
    Astral Recall or items of similar effect
  • Flying mounts can be used in zones that permit them.
  • You may use the internet and should watch for clues in /say and various emotes along the way.
  • Hint - A pen and paper is probably a good idea to have handy and you will need some bag space, so come prepared
  • Once in your groups and away, please nominate a group leader to hand in any quest items/be vocal for the group.
  • If you are asked to find a BoP item for a specific quest, when turning it in it is enough to simply place it in the “will not be traded” section of the trade window so that the person at the checkpoint can check it.
  • You must turn Cartographer off for the duration please.
The manuscript
If you’d like to do something like this on your own, you could of course create new clues and quests. But if you don’t want to put all that work in it, feel free to get inspiration from the ones that Adrenaline used as posted below. I’ve connected each clue with the quest that was given out at the secret spot. Mind you, since we didn’t get the quests until at the arrival at the quest giver, the riddles were harder to us to solve than they are when you’re reading them in this form.

Clue 1:
I heard about Nooble gnome
searching for a home.
Beyond the mushrooms,
not far from Ogre paradise
he found it
and rested in peace.

Quest 1:
zzZZzzzzz....?I was asleep and still feel sleepy. Can you please bring me some [black coffee] to feel awake. Andsomething hot to eat, [ravager dog] is my favorite food lately. Do not think you can find coffee herein town, but it should be in the city.

Clue 2:
From the lion's pride now ride
To seek the Naked Bride
Within the pool of tears she cried!
She's hidden well unless
You make the proper guess
And spot her nonetheless!
Speed now and do not wait
To aid her in her fate
Or it will be too late!
Cross country through the wooden halls
until you hear her desperate calls:
She's waiting where the mirror falls.

Quest 2:
Help Deedlit get her wedding dress back! And while you're at it, organize some more things for the wedding:
-1 Dark Green Wedding Hanbok
-1 Wedding Gift wrapped in RedRibboned Wrapping Paper.
-1 Witness who will bystand the wedding ceremony. This person can be any random player who is not a member of the guild.

Return to Deedlit with all 3 items to complete the quest and receive your reward.

Clue 3:
You'll find her in her element,
Surrounded by death and decay.
In a land of the Myconid she is found,
In a location where they thrive.
Amongst the Brutes of the Portal lands.

Quest 3:
Go to UB and get me:
- 1 Sanguine Hibiscus
- 5 fish scales
- 1 glowcap

Clue 4:
If things are looking difficult and bleak,
it is my knowledge you need to seek.
Find me in a rainy and solemn woodenland,
watching the falling of hourglass sand.
Standing in the cold wind has made me stiff,
comes from standing on one of the 2 tallest cliffs.
In Kalimdor, find me on the top of one of the twins
where I'm serving my days and repenting my sins.“

Quest 4:
So, yah useless scum found me, I ain't be partin with me words that easily! If yah want me words show me an egg from dah annoyin hippogryph birdies.. Oh and Im real hungry, bring mesome bean soup, this place just aint smelling right.

Clue 5:
„It was a horrible journey through the middle of nowhere. Animals of all kind attacking me on the sandy roads. Crocodiles, tigers and spiders wanted to eat me raw.
I met a man, his name was Mister Biggs. I asked him where I could find a warm place to dry and rest. He sent me to this direction, a "dry" place he said... On my way there I almost drowned in the deep waters. But I made it, I have found a small place to rest. The only thing missing is the warmth, and it takes forever to dry my clothes too! Find me and bring me a bottle of Moonshine! Then create a campfire to warm my hands and unfreeze my lips so I can talk to you.“

Quest 5:
Do me a few favours, as reward you will get a code word that can be used for your further journey:

My shoes are so soaked and my feet so cold, could you please go inside and find me a new pair of boots, any boots will do as long as they are dry. Boots always come with a matching purse, I have heard that the oozes drop a fine oozebag that can match any pair of boots.

My last request is to bring me 20 mageweave cloth, found inside the walls of this Temple, so I can knit my own blanket to keep myself warm for the rest of my journey. Go now and return to me asap with my requests!

Clue to the hidden officer:
To continue on your quest you need but to find me. I am in the forests of the nocturnal elves, north of the border to a vale ashen. At a place where a master is said to have killed an elder.

Clue to the final quest giver:
Leaders come in many guises,
different colours, different sizes.
Bald yours is and to find him, well,
you need to seek where Magi dwell.
A challenge awaits the quickest team,
a final chance for us to deem
a valiant winner, flying high.
Find me monkeys, in the Crystalsong

The last challenge:
"Well done you three, you made it this far as a team, now you become individuals out to claim the top prize. You shall now be involved in a flat race against your teamamtes to collect 5 itemsand return them to me here at Antonidas' Memorial.

I shall shortly pass you a list of items to collect for me. Please wait until I give you the signal to start""- A set of Worn Mag'hari Gauntlets from Bartleby Armorfist at Valgarde in Howling Fjord
- A Zweihander from Scabbard at Ebon Watch in Zul'Drak
- A Gnomeregan Doublet from Broxel Goldgrasp at the Argent Tournament
- A Winterfin Clam from Borean Tundra
- A Blackbone Wand from Dalormi at Wyrmrest Temple inDragonblight”

Concluding thoughts
The officers had obviously spent an insane amount of time and effort in creating this event for us. Still they admitted afterwards that they were slightly nervous about the outcome. How would this guild of dedicated (a nicer word for addicted) raiders receive a very social, casual and lighthearted event like this? Would some players be pissed off that we “wasted” one of our raiding nights, a night when we probably would have had another shot at Yogg-Saron? There wasn’t much reward in it – no dkp, no badges, no tier pieces. How much did people care?

But it didn’t take long before it was clear that they needn't have worried. We loved every single second of this magic night.

How come? Well, apart from some very special first kills, many raid nights mix up in a sort of blur when you think back at them. We certainly enjoy most of them, but it’s hard to tell one from each other after a while. This on the other hand was one of those nights that glue the guild together, one of those shared experiences we’ll remember and talk about for long.

Do I need to tell you that we have huge expectations on our upcoming second anniversary?



Edit: For a more personal account about what those events looked like, have a look at the commented photo album that one of our officers put together. My group unfortunately never made it to this very quest giver before the hunt was over, in case you're wondering why you don't see much of Larísa there.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wow just Wow, you must have an AWESOME contingent of officers! Hats off to Adrenaline and boy am I jealous of not being a part of such a great group of WoW Players!
Respect!

Salvànus@khadgar.eu

Lance said...

creative!

Dw-redux said...

WoW (litterally)

Our guilds 4 year annaversiry was spent clearing old content in an all day raid-athon... which was great for remembering old times, but is hardly capable of compeeting with this.

kudos to your officers

Softi said...

at sounds like *such* good fun! I was hoping you'd make a post about it. :)

Klepsacovic said...

That sounds like a feat of coordination on par with your Sarth 3D kill. Probably more memorable too.

Firespirit said...

Larisa:

My guild is one that is a rather large social guild. We have been looking for an event to pull everyone together for a while. This looks like it might just be the trick.

Its things like this that needs to be done every once in a while to solidify the guild glue, as you put it.

I hope you had great fun!

rapidresponceunit said...

I always feel a little envious (never in a bad way though) about things like this. I have a friend who has been playing for 4 years and has some great stories from 'back in the day'.

That sounds like such good fun, a lot better than Bliz attempt at an anniversary "here’s a polar bear" :s lol

Glad you had fun with it though, what the game is all about.

Khaelie said...

That sounds like a fabulous way to spend an evening. What a wonderful group of officers you must have to take the time and effort to do something like this for you! i am sincerely green with envy! ^_^

Ixobelle said...

that 'colored tee shirts' thing, and finding out who's in your group is awesome.

very cool.

azurae said...

Wow! That's just freaking zomg amazing.. soo jealous! What an awesome event, you have some very fine inventive officers! :)

thebarrenschat said...

We did something familiar on my guilds third anniversary. We played hide and seek in the major cities (too great confusion to those who weren't involved) and had a tabard design contest.

I think it's these sorts of things that keeps guilds together, doing something else than running Naxx for the billionth time.

Larísa said...

@Salvánus, Lance, Dw-redux, Softi, Klepsacovic, Firespirit, Rapindresponceunit, Khaelie, Ixobelle, Azurae and Thebarrenschat: thank's all! Your envy and appreciation makes it feel even a bit cooler, not to speak of the mentioning at wow.com.. :)

I think the officers were a bit surprised at the attention to it, was it really THAT special? But yeah, it probably was. Even if there are guilds out there which do this kind of stuff, we're definitely in a minority. But if we share our ideas and concepts we can make it easier for others to try it out without having to think out every little detail for themself.

Rhii said...

Wow, Larisa, that sounds incredible! I remember being jealous when a friend's guild had a naked race from SW to IF (no armor, no mounts) back in the day... it sounded like such goofy fun. Your guild's celebration has the same spirit of fun to it, but way more of a challenge and so coordinated!!

Coming from a guild that can't even put together an organized instance run, I'm fiendishly jealous! :)

Congrats on your anniversary, too. It's also a one year anniversary for me. I started playing WoW seriously during the Fire Festival last year.

Fitz said...

Larisa, it's not just the fact that your guild officers were thoughtful enough to run such an event, it's the obvious amount of time and care put into these poems and riddles. Even the team-forming process was what I'd consider innovative. Well done!

Taking guild apps? :-)

Larísa said...

@Rhii: yeah, I've been in the position of being a bit jealous too reading about cool stuff going on in other guilds. But things like this do happen. Not only to 2others" but to yourself. And don't forget: you can MAKE it happen. Point a few guildies to this post, maybe a few will join...

@Fitz: You can check out our website. currently just a position for a DK open. It's EU though, mind you.