So Who's Faythe ... ?
... REALLY? She looks nothing like her main character. If I was to be a bit truer to shape - I'd have to be a Pandaren. She is the passenger in her beloved Astra Convertible in the photo to the right, the driver is her friend and partner of more than twenty-five years. OMG! Faythe is a she!
When did I start playing this game? I started playing this game in 2010 - so compared to some of the veteran players in Immortal Ascension, I am very inexperienced.
Why did I start playing this game? My children bugged me endlessly about playing this game, they had created characters on their cousins' games. Eventually, I bought the game for them to play, especially for my two youngest children who were struggling with reading and writing. I started playing so I could understand what it was about. I needed to know what was going on and how to help solve the problems that my two youngest children encountered.
Did the reading and writing thing work? Yes. For my son, playing the game meant he had to learn to read the text of quests and when he needed help I had him type to me in party chat. We played the game in different rooms of the house. My son's reading ability was assessed at being at the level of a 10-year old when he was 12. However, within six months of playing the game he had caught up and was able to read and write (type) text in reasonable sentences at the level of a typical 12 year old.
So you have at least two children, one aged 12? I started playing this game in 2010, my three children were aged, 10, 12 and 14. For those who are trying to work out my age - I started playing this game when I was 48. I am a rarity, in 2013, Razorzone surveyed WoW players, to discover that 0.5% of players were aged over 50. There really is not a lot of public demographics for those who play the game.
What do I do in Real Life? I am a Lecturer in Early Childhood Education and a Course Coordinator at an Australian University. I'm not the research-type academic - so everyone is safe - their personal details are sacrosanct. Many of the answers to the questions on this page will give people a clear idea of the person I am.
Why am I still playing? Since 2010, I have met a lot of really talented, worthwhile, amazing and interesting people in those years. Having become a Guild Master of a moderately successful raiding guild has been challenging; and I have enjoyed the challenge of the guild and of the end-game raiding content. I have come to value and enjoy the company of my online friends. I hate television and cannot stand watching advertisements. So I spend my time either working, talking to my family, cooking, going out to see movies at the cinema or playing WoW (my own private cartoon). It is funny, but when my kids explain to their friends that their mum is a Guild Master of a raiding guild in WoW; their friends all want to come and live with us. Apparently their parents aren't as interested in playing online games... nor as interesting as a result.
My main characters? Faythe is my second character in the game, my first is the Destruction Warlock Korel (she's in the guild too). Faythe was nearly deleted at levels 22, 35 and again escaped deletion at about 76. Being a healer, Faythe became my ticket into raiding. Currently, I want to have a character for every healing class. But, the reality of mastering those different classes takes more time than I can devote to the task and yet still master my main Holy Priest.
What is my WoW history? I started playing Korel (Affliction Warlock) and vividly remember marvelling at the pre-cata environment as I would run around Stormwind, clicking on guards to hear their screaming impatience. Goldshire was fascinating. Westfall was scary and those mechanicals were smashing me to pieces, as Korel was level 12 or 13. During the endless corpse-runs to my dead body, I met Waggell, the Guild Master of Fat Dog Project; as a level 90 hunter, he effortlessly killed the mechanicals with one shot. He'd pop up every now and then, and as I was struggling in Redridge Mountains, he eventually invited me into his new guild. I leveled my Warlock as Affliction.
I leveled Korel and the Fat Dog Project guild grew. I rolled a new character, Faythe a Holy Priest and whilst I have experiemented with Discipline and Shadow, I have always returned to that class-specialisation. She became the back-up dungeon healer for the guild. Throughout the Wrath of the Lich King expansion, I quested, explored and dungeoned whilst waiting for the promised raid-group to start. Korel achieved LoreMaster, before Cataclysm re-wrote the lore quests, due entirely to the fact that I didn't raid and wanted to see every part of Azeroth. I played, for the most part - by myself. The Fat Dog Project Guild had some lovely people, who would join me in completing dungeons and personal achievements.
Waggell, the GM of Fat Dog Project, hinted at raiding ... but, never pulled a group together. Some Fat Dog Project members began raiding with other guilds and I was very interested to see what that was all about. When I was asked if I'd like to heal for a Deathforce Raid, I found myself a bit overwhelmed. It was challenging, fast-paced and intoxicating - meaning it was exciting and a bit disorienting to be a part of. I didn't use any voice chat - so had to do a lot of reading and watching YouTube to work out what was going on. Apparently I was good enough at healing for Deathforce - to become one of their healers. I got introduced to Ventrilo and bought a microphone headset and learning how to Push-To-Talk was probably the best lesson learnt early.
Since that time, I have enjoyed this game and explored most of the end-game, raiding up to the Heroic Level. Let's face it, Holy Priests are not the most sought after healing class. Legion has witnessed a bit a return to what I have been assured were the glory days... "back in BC".
What is my Guild Philosophy? I think it is best to start with my personal experience of being in a guild and why I left them. The parts I enjoy most about being in a guild is the freedom to explore all parts and levels of the game with a group of people who are supportive friends. However - the friendship doesn't stop there, these friends are also ambitious and visionary people who want to make the end-game possible and are committed to working it out in a generous and honest manner.
I left Fat Dog Project, as it was never going to see the "end game". It took a while for me to realise it, but the guild was only about making the GM a "Fat Dog". Willya, a founder of Immortal Ascension, saw it first and started moving away to raid with other guilds. He would often tell me that if I wanted to see the end-game - it wouldn't be with Fat Dog Project. He implored me to stop being so committed to a group of people, some of whom had become friends and company with whom I enjoyed playing. Being committed to a group is really important to keeping a guild together. Just as it is important for a guild to give a reason for people to remain committed.
As I moved into Deathforce, I started in that guild as a raid healer. It was hard work. Yeah, I know Deathforce wasn't a serious raiding guild and it took anyone into raids - even those who didn't know how to play their class. Of lasting value, it taught me how to heal through anything and everything. I worked out with the GM of Deathforce, if his guild was going to make any progress into the WoWProgession Realm Rankings, that the approach to raiding had to be a bit more stringent and not just take anyone. He agreed and gave me permission to form a raid team that was seriously interested in getting through the raid bosses. I became involved in the background to the Deathforce Website, as it was the best place to communicate with people with some sense of privacy on personal information. The raid team began making some impressive headway, at one point Deathforce was in the top 20 on Gundrak - due entirely to my team. However, this also meant that I was becoming more exposed to some of the venomous sides of being in the guild. I experienced open jealousy and spite, with some vicious rumours and some really scary stuff beginning to happen. One player went as far as recording Ventrilo Channels and things began to get a bit too serious. I left Deathforce, as I was experiencing some really intense harrassment that had frighteningly moved on to stalking members of my family and making claims of spreading rumours into my worklpace. It was genuinely scary stuff.
I left Deathforce just as the raid team had just worked out how to get into raiding progression. As I was the Raid Leader, the guys just didn't want to see that disappear - so they left too. That was genuinely amazing to me. The Website Page "Our Story" provides key information about how I got into raiding and formed a guild.
The "Our Story" page describes the journey towards becoming a guild - it wasn't smooth sailing. However, as I have refined a guild's philosophy and approach to community - we have landed ourselves into a very good place.
We work towards being a community of committed, easy-going, yet ambitious friends. We share our vision of seeing end-game content and having fun - both the intoxicating variety of fun and the hilarious kooky type of fun.
We have helped our guild members, those who are interested, in acheiving those coverted "Ahead of The Curve" personal acheivements.
- Ahead of The Curve: Garrosh Hellscream (10 player) normal June 2014.
- Ahead of the Curve: Imperator's Fall on Heroic in May 2015.
- Time is a Flat Circle, defeating Archimonde on Normal, in October 2015.
- Ahead of the Curve: The Black Gate, in March 2016
- Ahead of the Curve: Xavius, in January 2017
- Ahead of the Curve: Gul'dan, in April 2017
- Ahead of the Curve: Kil'Jaeden, in October 2017
These days, we find ourselves working on Raid Guild and Personal Achievements in current content. I think that is evidence of my philosophy working towards establishing a great Guild Groove. As a Guild Master, I seek to create a community that offers opportunity, not just for end-game achievement, but to also establish and strengthen friendships in the game. This has spilt over into real life, where we build our community through online forums, initially this was using our websiste. However, in recent years, we have begun connecting, speaking and sharing fun and support through FaceBook and even more recently through Discord. It is great to have different places for our players to connect - as everyone is different and not everyone is a fan of FaceBook or interested in joining a website.
I have to say, I was a bit fearful of our very first Guild Meet-up in September 2017. Despite being a lecturer, I'm actually a shy person. Yet, the Guild Meet-Up enticed people to journey from as far as Perth and Brisbane to gather together in Melbourne, Australia. We have formed some lasting and genuinely accepting friendships and formed a community of people across all walks of life, from all parts of Australia and New Zealand, with the occasional member from other parts of the world.
So, reading through all that - Immortal Ascension is a great guild and I am proud to have achieved what I have both as a person and as a player... I am proud to be Faythe.