The members that are the Ascended are what remains of the original raid team that formed this guild. Faythe, moved from Fat Dog Project to raid with Deathforce, in October 2011. In December 2011, Faythe pulled together a group of 10 people who wanted to master the Dragon Soul content. So did another Deathforce member, Deathsden, they joined forces for a while - but running a raid across, East and West Australia and Germany became a real drag. Deathsden left Deathforce to form his own guild, taking a few of the raiders with him. So, it took about two months for 10 players to really become a team: Vindarius, Elun, Faythe, Pnrpinch, Mafridite/Willya, Ranker, Thealuant, Beadie, Mellaknight, and Stromnis. There were struggles, but we found that we needed to make a weekly commitment to master the content. We mostly enjoyed helping each other reach the end-game content.
On February the 26th, 2012, celebrating her birthday with friends and family, on the top of a zepplin over Ogrimmmar, Faythe left Deathforce, due to some really intense harrassment (if you really want to know, ask Faythe about those details). A few hours later, most of the raid team followed and the group formed a new guild; taking host in [Optimistic] Willya's Bank Guild, a guild that WIllya and Faythe had originally set up using their alts Willshe and Saliaa with another friend Cheekie who had since ceased playing WoW. Faythe, never intending to start her own guild, was determined that the guild would be governed by a Council and not a single Guild Master. This element of the guild's culture has been challenged a few times, but it has remained. As a result, Faythe and WIllya swapped the rank of Guild Master between them, due to individual Real Life pressures.
We all enjoyed messing around with the old content, whilst collecting all the guild achievements. With a lot of enthusiasm, the guild's progress was quick and [Immortal Ascension] rose to being ranked 15th in Gundrak at their best. This rapid progress attracted more members and we welcomed refugees from [Necronamica] and following a guild-wide vote the guild changed its name from [Optimistic] to [Immortal Ascension] (Mellaknight's suggestion). Willya and Faythe were a bit sad as they both preferred the original name, but this new guild needed to begin forging its own identity. Mikab welcomed the Lich King into [Immortal Ascension] - even if it was with the old [Optimistic] guild tabard design. This website soon followed and a competition for a new guild tabard - adopting the winning entry submitted by Ranker and [Immortal Ascension] with its own NEW IDENTITY as a guild.
Many of the Council felt that it was important to maintain our guild's culture, and suggested that we divide the original raid team into two and to draw in the members from [Necronamica]. The division of the team proved to be awkward, and most of the members of [Necronamica] were really unhappy. Preferring to keep to our approach of putting members before progression, the Dragon Soul content proved very difficult; made more so when the two new teams didn't really settle into the content together. When Diablo 3 appeared, many of a raid teams disappeared to play it (it seemed to be a common phenomenon) and the raiding slowed down considerably. However, with perseverence the guild achieved Madness and felt very proud of reaching their 8/8 normal (nerfed - most of us didn't mind - a couple of us were dissappointed).
We mastered Heroic Morchok, but the group was not really working togther well. Across the month of June, 2012, it was decided that we should follow a different raiding strategy. This was to organise the progression-raiding team via class composition. Using a Composition Tool available on MMOChampion, and guided by Willya (whose Alt in Tatsujin had achieved 4/8 Heroic Dragon Soul) [Immortal Ascension] embarked upon a new way of raid team selection. WIllya, as Raid Leader, set a minimum standard of raiding ability using a combination of DPS, HPS and raid awareness. This meant that some of the original team members were no longer eligible for the Heroic Progression Group and they moved to form a second team.
Faythe travelled overseas (for work) for the month of July, leaving Willya as Guild Master and the guild with the goal of working on Heroic Dragon Soul progression. The new strategy brought about 3/8 Heroic Dragon Soul progression, with the Guild ending up 19th in the Gundrak Progression Ranking at the launch of the Mist of Pandaria (MoP) Expansion. The members who didn't make the progression team formed a second team who went on to complete their own 8/8 Normal Dragon Soul and 1/8 Heroic Dragon Soul, just prior to the launch of MoP.
Dividing the team for a second time had a huge impact, some members of the core raid team (Mikab and Stromnis) just stopped playing the game. Communication issues and the continued absence of some raid team members meant that tensions were escalating. The guild decided that they needed a GM who would just "make some decisons" and by the end of August some changes were made to how the guild was organised. By the beginning of September, some members (including some Councillors) left the guild, some joining more assertive, semi-hard core raiding guilds - in order to achieve 8/8 Heroic Dragon Soul: Willya, taking with him Summerheals (Equinoctis) and Elun's alt Frozenpain (Grievious Bodily Harm), along with some generally unhappy Councillors to start their own guild (Pnrpinch and Beadie). In all, the raiding team fell apart, lost in the inertia between Dragon Soul and Mists of Pandaria, thwarted by communication issues, misunderstandings and a general lack of enthusiasm for the game. Some who were bored left to play other games. Those who remained were frustrated in their endeavours to reach their goals due to lack of numbers. We do not blame anyone for giving up and moving on.
Whilst we were disappointed to lose such key members, it is important to note that a guild cannot suit everyone's style of play nor can it achieve all member's personal goals. [Immortal Ascension] has a habit of meandering towards its goals, spending a lot of time in discussion, trying things out and tolerating some members who are slower to gain raid awareness. That certainly is not everyone's preferred method of raiding progression. In the end, it is about enjoying who you play with and how you play with them that makes the end-game content satisfying. We wish those now departed members the best of luck with their future game-play and bear no grudges (note: Pnrpinch and Elun have returned).
In the middle of September 2012, Prncesslindi and Elfacid found a Guild House in Stormwind and we started to enjoy the game once more. New members joined our ranks, some really experienced players, and in the lull before Mists of Pandaria arrived, the guild began to ask themeselves some really good questions: what do we really want as a group? What does that really mean for members and for our guild's culture? How can we achieve those personal player goals and maintain the culture that most of us enjoyed? Most of us seemed to want to progress, but not at the exclusion of those we enjoy playing with.
With the arrival of Mists of Pandaria, we launched ourselves at the new content, some members attacked it with enormous vigour and commitment, Kakabell hit level 90 first and becomes in the first photo in our Hall of IMMORTALS gallery.
By the middle of October, Faythe implemented a decision to change the guild ranks to match Blizzard's Guild Reputation, thus removing a layer of unneccessary complexity. Kakabell became the Raid Leader and set about supporting the guild to gear up players with the view towards starting the Mogu'shan Vaults Raid. Over the weeks of October and November 2012 the raid team found a progress very slow until a steady group has emerged. Kakabell got impatient with the lack-of-pace and moved on to a semi-hardcore raiding group. Undeterred, we have begun to tackle to content with a moderately high level of cooperation and commitment.
During this time there were two raid groups, each with a slightly different approach to raiding progression: one a little more assertive than the other. It is great that we have the numbers to manage two raid teams, one called Later-Raiders and the other called Early-Raiders - due entirely to the time they run. The are not tiered according to ability - and each group work at entirely their own pace and are developing their own group dynamics.
We seemed to find our feet as an achievment-focused, social guild that 'casually-raids' the end-game content.
- Have learnt that to master the end-game content we MUST be a bit more commited, set appropriate standards and abide by them so our raiding team is not continually thwarted.
- Recognise that we need Raid Leaders who understand and welcome the dynamics and culture of our group.
- Prefer to nuture our own raiders, seeking to fill our teams from within the guild, working with players to gear-up and improve their Damage-Per-Second, Heals-per-Second, or better manage their class' Cool Downs or to reduce the amount of Overheals.
- Allow people to learn the raid mechanics over time, where they may slowly develop their raid awareness they will also usually be steady committed members of the team who will work at those challenges.
The guild certainly went on to enjoy some well-earned progression. The Later-Raiders defeated the first boss in Mogu'Shan Vaults at 12 midnight on the Friday the 16th of November.
We still prefer to work with the people we have, rather than recruit experienced players out of other guilds. Which will mean that we will progress slower, but we will progress together. If you join we will look to you to be our member and will work with you to keep you playing to the best of your ability.