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We've been active in Albion Online throughout its beta testing, included large deployments in some beta launches. We're delighted that the full launch is approaching: Monday, July 17, 2017. There are no more wipes: the characters we level up and the islands we build will endure.

Guild leaders are collaborating on a plan to bring glory to the guild and fun to all guildies. As always, our goal is precision, coordinated, semi-professional play. We're preparing to excel on every front.

Albion Online

Albion is a persistent sandbox area-control game. It includes open-world Player vs. Player (PVP) and Player vs. Environment (PVE), as well as structured arena PVP via Guild vs. Guild (GVG) matches. There's also the tasty hybrid of PVP/PVE via hellgates. The player-driven economy includes gathering, crafting, farming, logistics, and commerce. Of course, the best materials and loot are in the darkest, most dangerous corners, where mobs and PVP players stalk their prey.

In Mostly Harmless, we have experience, expertise, and ambition in all those areas. Some guildies have stayed active in the game or recently returned. They've been monitoring the developers' changes and researching the systems, character builds, and tactics. Now we're compiling our knowledge and conferring on plans for Day 1, Week 1, and the first few months.

Our next full-guild meeting is Friday, June 16, 9 pm EST. We'll update guildies on the game and our plans, and get pumped for launch. From there, we'll use in-game practice and additional briefings to sharpen our edge.

If you're not a member of MH, or you've been away for awhile, now is an excellent time to connect with us. Guildies are active in Albion every day. We also regularly play Heroes of the Storm, both for its own awesomeness and as training for Albion.

We're Mostly Harmless, and we'll see you on the battlefield!

(continued from Part 1)

Rook took time to acknowledge some guildies for their contributions to MH, including promoting a bunch to Vet. Congratulations to: Anvil, Aslene, Cinero, Crewcop, JD (Canucklehead), Karoo, Keltar, KimchiBoy, Linkon, Sadra, and Swiftly.

Looking to the horizon, guildies see several games worth tracking. Different members talked up different prospects:

  • Crowfall: an ambitious MMO sandbox with gathering, crafting, and PVP; the mix of short "full wipe" campaigns with a persistent universe could be perfect for MH, allowing us to put down roots but sit out some campaigns
  • Dauntless: a co-op action RPG with a tasty cycle of battling monsters and turning their loot into better gear
  • Camelot Unchained: a fantasy MMO focused on PVP; Mark Jacobs also designed Dark Age of Camelot, a game beloved (and still played) by some guildies
  • Sea of Thieves: a multiplayer, open-world, action-adventure game of sailing ships and piracy; user-generated content could give it something special (it did for Neverwinter)
  • Star Citizen: one of several contenders for "next grand scifi sandbox PVP MMO"; some guildies cherish memories of EVE Online, and thus hope that someone finally pulls off a worthy successor

MH Games, Feb 5, 2017

In current and future games, Rook reminded guildies that MH is member-lead. Every game presents opportunities to step up, from contributing to theory-crafting and strategies, to organizing events (e.g., dungeon runs, PVP roams), to collaborating with MH officers to lead a full-force guild deployment. We just should remember always to represent MH at our best (e.g., keep it classy).

Long-term, Rook believes MH will continue to have some "classics" to which we'll keep coming back. For example, recent evenings have seen some guildies enjoying Heroes of the Storm, or (re)discovering Elder Scrolls Online, together.

Overall, it was a large and lively meeting. Guildies clearly value being part of this smart, diverse, friendly, quirky community. In the new year, we're excited to test our mettle against challenges both old and new.

We're Mostly Harmless, and we'll see you on the battlefield.

MH deployed in strength to PAX South (16 members): representing the guild, connecting with developers, and scouting for the next reason to stay up far too late. The Monday after was an excellent time for a guild meeting.

Rook kicked things off with a slideshow of PAX photos and recent MH gaming, including some solid performances in Heroes of the Storm and Dreadnaught. He reminded us of the DNA that makes MH distinct, effective, and sustainable, including:

  • Member-focused, member-lead
  • Serious gamers playing in the top ranks of many games, who don't take themselves too seriously
  • Camaraderie, coaching, and collective learning to get to the top ranks
  • Community climate that's
    • Mostly mature, yet fun
    • Competitive, yet helpful
  • Respect for balancing our RL responsibilities, such as work and family
  • Conscientiously keeping the guild free from sexism, harassment, and similar toxicity

At PAX South and across the gaming multiverse, MH is representing ourselves and gaming well. We see this in other gamers' interest in joining or allying with us, and through our relationships with developers.

Rook emphasized that older members who have drifted away are always welcome back. Drift is completely understandable.

In preparation for the meeting, Rook and other leaders chatted with guildies about what we're playing, what we're eying, and when we should refocus on Albion Online. The MH plan is to hold off on another big launch operation, until we can be confident that it won't be followed by another wipe. We want to avoid premature burn-out on what we hope emerges as a long-term, epic game.

MH Gaming, Jan 30, 2017

Happily, we don't lack for other gaming options at present. Guildies are organizing in some resurrected classics and some emerging prospects. During the meeting, we encouraged members to consider:

  • Archeage: a fantasy MMO in which MH once roamed, revived with new promising parameters
  • Dreadnaught: a capital-ship MOBA that has some guildies vivisecting the systems and glorying in the crossfire
  • Elder Scrolls Online: MH itself and many guildies are veterans of this fantasy MMO, and excited by recent changes
  • Magic: Puzzle Quest: a mobile game that combines some geeky chocolate and peanut butter; some guildies are planning a concerted assault
  • Uthgard Dark Age of Camelot: first released in 2001, this fantasy MMO has some guildies going truly old school, especially for the consequential PVP

And Dungeons & Dragons (5e) is going strong, via Tabletop Simulator and the growing Hulks & Husks wiki.

In Part 2, we'll look at what's on the horizon.

We've loved playing Albion Online. However, by early October we were seeing beta malaise or outright burn-out, among MH guildies and across the game. We suspended our guild-scale ambitions and many guildies stepped back from AO for now. Some guildies have stayed in, whether rolling with our allies or pursuing independent destinies. We continue to follow AO's development, providing feedback and testers when requested. We'll be back in force in the future, likely for the next set of comprehensive changes, and certainly for the next launch.

Regardless, MH is alive and well. We're playing together or just hanging out in a variety of ways, including:

7 Days to Day… Call it Minecraft for adults, or make your own Walking Dead fan fiction, or Mad Max with voxels. Regardless, MH takes on this sandbox just like we take on anything: with enthusiasm, planning, collaboration, and a sense of humor. Some guildies have fought the infected horde before, and they've cheerfully welcomed others on the barricades.

MH Games Nov 6, 2016

Black Desert Online… A few guildies have been exploring this MMORPG for a long time, and they're welcoming others who are giving it a try. We love the beautiful medieval fantasy world, some old-school MMO elements, and the action combat. There's enough depth here to last a long, long time. As one BDO vet says, It's a marathon, not a sprint.

Heroes of the Storm… MH was battling in this fast-paced battle arena at launch in summer 2015. Some guildies never left, while others have come back or just picked it up. There aren't the persistent stakes of a sandbox like Albion, but it's still good fun. It's also good practice for MOBA-style combat and two of MH's greatest strengths: teamwork and collective learning.

Atlas Reactor… This newcomer to the crowded MOBA scene draws some DNA from the excellent games X-Com and Frozen Synapse. The squad-based PVP combat runs on timed turns with limited actions, kinda like blitz chess with laser mines. Actually, there are laser mines, and a sky-freighter load of style. No surprise that some guildies are hooked.

Dungeons & Dragons… Finally, some guildies are bringing back a classic: tabletop role-playing. Only they're using the impressive Tabletop Simulator with its attic full of cool user-created content. The party is just getting started but excitement is high.

…Of course, that's far from all we're playing. (I didn't even mention WoW: Legion.) Yet as this sampling of our tastes and passions shows, from ray-gun sci-fi to sword-and-board fantasy, we're Mostly Harmless and we'll see you on the battlefield.

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