Back in my WoW days, things on the Horde side of the fence weren't altogether peachy for large stretches of time. During those times, I escaped to the Alliance (where I started as a dwarf priest) to just coast around and have some fun. One morning I met a Draenei named Diamnae. It was during one of these times that I met some folks who would change what an MMO meant for me. Thus began my long love affair with the boys and girls in the Vanguard of Norrath.
The Vanguard is an old guild. And when I say old, I mean ancient. It was formed in the early 2000s by two friends; Boltac and Sharaya. These two had been lifelong friends and began playing Everquest together. Over the years they added others to their EQ guild; Herby, Costa, among others. When WoW came out, they all jumped over and began playing there.
That's where I met them. Well, specifically, I met Joe in a cave near Dun Morogh. We hit it off instantly; he, the wily MMO veteran, and me, the wide-eyed upstart who had no clue what he was doing. And I mean NO CLUE. Jesus, my priest was stacking stamina for cripes' sake.
Anyway, Herby let me into the guild (much to his dismay) and here we are five years later. In short, the Vanguard of Norrath is my true home away from home. These guys and gals always welcomed me with open arms, no matter how long I'd been away. We've stuck with each other through multiple games and keep in contact through a ridiculously long email chain.
So, what makes VoN so goddamn awesome? The hardcore operating? The playstyle? The l33t lewtz?
Not really. I mean, all that is important ... well, minus the hardcore operating. We operate, but on our time and level. No, the most important aspect for VoN is the family.
I mentioned earlier that they always welcomed me back with open arms. I'm not exaggerating; I'd spend upwards of a year away from these fine folks, and the minute I cam back it's like I never left. My disappearance wasn't even a topic of discussion. They made sure I was alright, asked me how I was, and boom! We were off to the races again.
When my SWTOR guild imploded, VoN was there for me.
When I had my latest fling with WoW (Mists of Pandaria), VoN was there for me.
When I endured some ridiculous guild drama on the Horde side, VoN was there for me.
Every time I log on, I'm assaulted by a chorus of greetings. Vent is always raucous and welcoming. Somewhere between that cave with Joe and now, y'all became part of my MMO family. No matter how long I've been offline due to real life, be it work, social, or vacation ... you guys are always happy to see me, and I in turn am always happy to see you.
So, yes, this is a big ol' sloppy love letter to my guildmates. Shut up. I can write what I want! And yes, Targeter has feelings ... and sometimes these feelings don't manifest themselves in frothing rage (well, SOMETIMES). Sometimes they come out saccharine and dripping with happy tears. Sometimes I just have to let my guild know that I lerv them in inappropriate ways.
So, to Herby, Dave, Costa, Puck, Chuck, Bolty, Joe, Lenny, Ian, Veldt, and all the wonderful folks who make up VoN ...
I LERV YOO GUYZ.
Ok. I feel better now. I need to find something to get mad about now.
JESUS, HAVE YOU SEEN HOW THE ECONOMY HAS CRASHED ON THE EBON HAWK!? SHIT FUCK FIRE HELL BAWLZ!