The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry. And even though our plan for WoW Classic did have some 200 IQ thinking behind it, it was still supposed to be a simple enough plan in execution. So, what worked, and went wrong?
PHASE ONE - THE LAST MINUTE RECRUITMENT RUSH
Recruitment had gone extremely well, and we had assembled what we think is a rather excellent guild for WoW Classic with the realistic potential to achieve everything we had hoped. We have a full 40-strong core raid group, additional core raiders to keep the raid healthy and active when some are away, and a good contingent of casual raiders to rotate in and help us try and avoid having to look for pugs. Sure, we could use an extra Druid and an extra Paladin to feel a little more relaced, but we are starting from an extremely strong position. The hype was real!
So, no need for a last minute recruitment push then, we could just put our feet up and get plenty of rest in the lead up to launch, which was at 23:00 UK time. Sleep a bit during the day, wake up early evening, have dinner, log onto Discord for some banter, play WoW. Right? WRONG!
In the 24 hours leading up to launch, we processed fifteen new member applications. FIFTEEN. We had opened our recruitment for World of Warcraft Classic to the public one full month before launch, yet here we are with just one day to go, everything had been going swimmingly, and BAM! - nope, no rest for you, no last day to say farewell to your friends and family for the foreseeable future, fifteen
With time running short, there was only one way to proceed - we whittled down the applications to the best 7, and asked those to come on our Discord that evening for a group interview! There was no way we'd have time to speak to everyone individually, and we also can't rule out the possibility that there may have been an element of revenge involved for them leaving it until the last day to apply! Anyway, who doesn't love a good group interview?!
The Hunger Games: Cyrus Interviews Edition! It wasn't quite the bloodbath we were hoping for...
The interviews actually went annoyingly smoothly - there as no bloodshed, no throwing other applicants under the bus, and everyone seemed really nice. So, our plan had already backfired! At least we picked up some great new members out of it, so I suppose it wasn't a total loss!
PHASE TWO - LOGGING IN
A couple of hours later and it was time to secure an early position in the anticipated heavy server queues. During the beta testing we had become aware of two things: 1) that there was a 30 minute timeout on the realm selection page, and 2) that if you started waiting on this page it seemed to put you in the queue before the servers became available. So we all planned to start queuing at precisely 22:31 for the upcoming 23:00 launch to try and get a jump start on the unwashed masses.
And I must say, for the most part this seemed to help. For the most part... Many of us did manage to get in within the first few minutes, however not everyone followed the process quite as planned. @Raffles apparently fell asleep and missed his place in the queue!
Raffles sitting in the queue again until 3am was a price worth paying for the rest of us jumping up the queue one place!
PHASE THREE - CREATING THE GUILD
So far we think it's an even fight - we lost on Phase one, but we largely won on Phase two. But Phase Three was the most important: create the guild and secure the guild name! And for this we had the most cunning plan of all, and where our 200 IQ thinking kicked in. During our discussions about the fastest way possible to set up a guild at launch, @Alphyn ran the numbers and came up with a genius plan. We needed to earn 10 silver to set up the guild, and we knew that trying to tag and kill mobs in the starting areas was going to be a nightmare with over 9000 other players scrambling around doing the same. So, what to do?
Alphyn theory-crafted out that the fastest method would not be to grind mobs for drops and coins, but to create new characters, vendor the starting gear, hand off the money to one static member, and then log out, delete the character and repeat the process. And he also confirmed that the Mage gear earned the most - 23 copper to be exact! He calculated the average time it should take for 10 of us to log out and back in again to collect the currency we need and run to the city to buy our guild charter.
200 IQ thinking from Alphyn - and his plan would have worked if it weren't for all those other 50,000 pesky kids playing too!
So confident were we in this plan that we neglected the obvious. While our thinking was 200 IQ, Blizzards was hovering somewhere in the middle to low 50's, and everything that could go wrong, did. Lag, rubber-banding, layering keeping us unable to trade, layering completely breaking, the world server crashing preventing anyone who had logged out to log back in again, NPCs not spawning in the city so that we couldn't even buy the guild charter, and let's not forget a guild leader who was completely lost and didn't know how to even find the city!
Despite these setbacks, everyone stuck with the task at hand and we were waiting at the city gates ready and waiting for the world server to come back online and bring with it the NPCs needed to create our guild. And as soon as they did, we did. None of our members saw any other guild tags in any of the starting zones by the time they were proudly wearing the <Cyrus> tag above their heads, and we were so quick to register as soon as the option was available, we unanimously decided that we had achieved the Server First guild creation on Shazzrah! So far nobody from Blizzard has contacted me to dispute this claim, so it's 100% legitimate, right? That's how this works?
CYRUS - definitely Server First guild created on Shazzrah. Probably World First, but we like to stay humble...
It was an extremely busy day with a lot of last minute things cropping up, and a slightly anxious wait to create the guild, but we did it boys and girls, we did it. We are now playing World of Warcraft Classic, and NOTHING can stop us!!
Well, almost nothing...