Hi Everyone, my name is Bojan (pronounced Boyan) and I would like to tell you about the time I have spent in vVv Gaming. I have found out about vVv in Guild Wars 2. It was roughly around February of 2013 and I was looking for a guild to join after I have quit the game for couple of months. When I came back I chose not to go back to guild I was a part of (HOPE) because in my absence they have grown very big and I prefer smaller tight knot guilds over large armies because then I get to know people and make good friends.
I was recruited in vVv Gaming guild by Lamorak Ex Deo who at the time had the rank Leader. He turned out to be the temporary leader while Damien was absent. Around that time there were roughly 6 to 10 people who would log on in the guild daily and that was on a good day. During the next few days I got to know everyone (all 10 of them!) and realized that they were a group of people I would like to continue playing with and enjoy the game. In that resolve I offered to help them expand and become active again and this is how it all started.
This is roughly the turnout we had from the guild on our guild events at that time, we had to ask for help from other guilds to get anything done.
Over the next couple of months I spent a lot of time recruiting and helping the guild grow. I started running various events throughout the week and I did my best to still have fun with the game. I remember doing weekly Dungeon runs and Guild Missions at that time and I ran my own event that I called Bagzli's Games. The events slowly kicked off, we were low on numbers first but as we recruited people got more interested in the guild and wanted to stick around more. My custom event became very popular due to randomness and creativity that the event provided and this made my time spent organizing it and farming the gold for prizes well worth it.
Here is a screenshot of us playing the what I called the Liar's Game. Basically the rules were I would ask a simple question, are the apples red. People would get 10 minutes to decide on their answer and then they would whisper it to me. In the end group that had less votes would move on to round 2 and the larger group would be eliminated. This would repeat until there is 1 winner left. The reason behind 10 minutes was so that people can strategies and figure out a way to guarantee themselves a spot in the next round.
Time went by and we grew. We became very active and we started getting involved with the community. Myself and Lamorak both became applicants and at that time I learned what vVv Gaming really is. Up to that point, All vVv was to me was just another guild I joined and helped out in. Soon enough drama came knocking. One of the main officers in the guild and the current Warlord of the guild quit and would not say why. Around the same time Lamorak had to leave for what was suppose to be 2 weeks but turned out a month. At this point in time we had a guild event happening every night of the week, and three of us were the people who ran them. I ended up running all 7 events for the whole month in hopes that once lamorak is back we can establish new officers who would help out. He came back a month later only to tell me he is quitting as well. I discovered later that part of the reason of them quitting is because they were not very immersed in vVv Gaming and they were too afraid that LordJerith or DoomHammer would decide to log on one day and ruin it all for them. They didn't understand that both LordJerith and DoomHammer only wanted to help them run an active guild.
With them leaving, they made a fairly big scene of it and they picked off about 80% of the active members of the guild. Hurray drama. At this point I felt devastated that all those months of hard work have just gone to waste and I didn't want to go on. I got promoted to the leader but we were at the point almost as bad as when I first joined. Few days later I was suppose to meet DoomHammer for my pre-interview into vVv Gaming. I took those few days to think and decided this was not worth it. I decided I'm dropping my application, I am quitting Guild Wars 2 and playing another game.
I got these drilled into me by SugarBear when I asked him for his endorsement. I have to say it was very uncomfortable 60 minutes... Boy did I never forget them nor what they stood for...
I showed up for the pre-interview out of respect for the organization and to tell him that I was done. Jordan dragged me to the interview channel in mumble and we started talking. He asked how guild wars 2 was doing and I told him of the recent drama and told him how this is really frustrating. The conversation that happened next changed my decision. I remember listening to him talk and explaining things to me about the guild and what I could do and how to do them. He gave me very solid advice, but he also did something more. He made me respect him, but not for the kind of a person he was, for his ability to talk to a person and inspire them to take action. At this point I still did not tell him I'm quitting, the conversation didn't get to that point yet, but when it did I thought to myself: do I really want to leave this behind and never get a chance to learn from this guy ever again?
I chose to stay, I chose to take his advice on things in Guild Wars 2 and act on them. And so the journey continued. I started recruiting even harder than before, I appointed few officers to help me out. I organized a guild meeting that put an end to the drama that was going on and I pointed this guild in a new and better direction. I actually still remember writing a speech I wanted to make to everyone to try and inspire them to stick with me and follow me. I ended up reading none of that because a written speech just doesn't have the same effect than when you go and tell it from the heart as the words come on their own.
Time went by again and we started talking about organizing a pvp Tournament in Guild Wars 2. We ended up picking up a Guild Wars 2 PvP Team and I was to work with them to make the tournament happen. As they were to be participating, I was the person who organized everything to keep things fer to other teams, but they helped a lot by promoting it and putting me in touch with the key people to make the tournament a success.
As all of this was happening, little did I know that my sole reason for being in vVv Gaming was about to get crushed. One night I got dragged into the staff channel by LordJerith and there were a bunch of people there. He said, Bagzli I just wanted to tell you that this is DoomHammers last week of being the president of vVv Gaming. He got a job at riot and he will be stepping down as the president due to not having enough time to run the community as he is now. My response was: " Well that sucks". So basically the guy who I wanted to learn from and pretty much the biggest reason I have stayed was leaving to be replaced by some guy I only heard of "RobZGod".
I'll admit, I was a little angry. I had no idea who this RobZGod was not what he was like. I never met him up to that point and I was having huge doubts about a guy who was the current vice president but I never really saw around the community much. Couple days later both DoomHammer and RobZGod found me in mumble and wanted to talk about the tournament, where I was at with it and if they can help. Finally I meet this mysterious guy called Rob. I learned that Rob has been really busy working at Activision and that is why I never saw him around much. I also learned he gets excited about competitive play way too easily (a good thing). So lets get back to the tournament!
So time went by, the guild grew and we held our first Guild Wars 2 tournament which I ended up calling Kings of the Mists. We managed to get shoutcasters from MLG to shoutcast our tournament and we ended up being sponsored by ArenaNet. The sponsorship came in at last minute, but never the less it happened! Without the sponsorship the prize for the tournament was going to be 500 gold for the winning team. During the organizing phase, I organized a gold for gold donation drive towards the tournament. For every gold guild donated, I would throw in a gold myself. We ended up raising 500 gold which was enough to get some key teams interested in participating. Most of the teams that participated did not do it for the money, they did it to help the Guild Wars 2 e-sports scene grow; and once we had the few key teams signed up, well lets say the remaining 10 slots got filled very fast. (Actually had an overflow in case a team doesn't show up, roughly about 22 teams in total signed up and 16 was what we organized it for).
The tournament was organized and executed really well. There were few minor hiccups but everything ran as smoothly as we could of hoped for. We had close to 1000 viewers at our peak (I think 972 was the actual number) and I believe close to 2000 unique visitors for the duration of the tournament. Basically we had more viewers watching our tournament than all the guild wars 2 streamers combined on any given day, and that was quite the accomplishment! I got to learn a lot from organizing this tournament, I don't think I can explain in words well enough the challenges I faced and in which ways I have overcome them. I had plenty of support and guidance from the executive staff and that made this learning experience even better.
Couple months went by and guild was still going strong. We started having discussions about the second tournament, but this time around we wanted to get support from steelseries. So we presented our case to them, showed them the results from our first attempt and they jumped right on board with wanting to help us by providing prizes this time! I was in contact with community manager from ArenaNet and he also did everything he could to make our next tournament a success. They even wrote an article about our tournament and couple other community ran tournaments!
Second tournament was a success but not as successful, our team placed higher this time, but there was less interest. We did not get as many views as last time and some of the better teams have fallen apart. On the up side we managed to get european, and asian teams interested enough to stay up late all night so they can be part of the tournament!
All in all, I had the chance to organize 2 large tournaments. Well, as large as they get in Guild Wars 2. I had the chance to learn how to manage my resources, how to motivate teams to sign up, how to interact with potential sponsors and how to get them on board to sponsor us. I had the chance to partake on a smaller scale of business side of e-sports and that is something I am truly glad got to do.
As far as the guild goes, we kept going strong, when the pvp scene started dying we found other ways to entertain ourselves and that is why vVv Gaming is a place to be in, because we keep going. That is all from me for now, I'll try to write another blog about my experience as the MMO Division Manager and Website Developer of vVv Gaming.
Thanks for reading and I hope some of you get interested in joining staff because you get to do some really cool stuff that most people don't even know about. Most importantly you get to learn skills you can take well beyond gaming.