Serenity Doomhammer

Introduction

In the past I took part in various online communities, among one of them being for the game ‘World of Warcraft‘. In 2004 I participated in the beta of the American version. European servers did not yet exists at that time. The year after, in 2005, I launched a guild on the Durotan server, a community of various people to collectively undertake all kinds of activities in the world of this game. In 2006 European servers were opened. Because of timezone differences I had decided to move to a European server, quitting my American account. On a server named ‘Doomhammer’, I created my first avatar ( ‘character’ ). A ‘night-elf’ druid that went by the name ‘Dejia’.

The first part of a game like this consists of raising one’s ‘level’, where the avatar gains more and more abilities and becomes stronger, until the highest obtainable level has been reached. The second part consists of making stronger the avatar through the obtaining of better equipment; this equipment strengthens the qualities of the avatar being played by a player. After reaching the maximum level a large part of this game consists of collectively defeating very strong computer controlled opponents which can not be taken on by a single player. These challenges are designed by the game makers for groups of 10 or 25 people. These challenges are called ‘raids’. Guilds that focus on taking on these challenges with their members are called ‘raid(ing) guilds’.

After reaching at that time, level 60, the highest level for that time I went to look for such a raid guild. I found one which I found suitable and had applied to become a member. It was the guild named ‘Balance’. However, after a few weeks this guild fell apart. I found a new guild, but after a few days it began to itch; I wanted to start one myself. And that gave rise to the birth of a new raid guild on the Doomhammer server.

Serenity

In 2006 I started the raid guild ‘Serenity’. Its members consisted of members from the former ‘Balance’ guild and new players. Below you’ll find a forum message I posted at the Doomhammer server forum:

Serenity: Introduction and Recruitment

History

Hail fellow adventurers of Azeroth! Serenity is a newly born Alliance raiding guild. This guild has been formed after a sad course of events. Back in time we go..! It must not have gone unnoticed that the guild Balance made an incredible, fast progression through the content Blizzard has provided us with. Maybe things went a little too fast. Due to internal problems this guild began to detoriate, despite of the potential that was there with the team. A team one could count on. Without going into further details, people began leaving for good reasons. So did I, this silly night-elf Druid. I had found a new home, called Endless Trials (*waves at Mylos & co*).

As time progressed, it came to my ears that Balance was disbanded eventually. Despite of having found a place for myself, it still touched me. I’ve played WoW since US open Beta, and have seen my fair share of community issues. I felt responsible for the team I left behind, and something began to ignite inside my head. I wanted to give the majority of the members a new home, a new guild that would consist of a remarkable team. I decided to create a new guild with the intent to bring people that knew each other back together again. To begin a new, serene start. Mylos, ET’s guild master was informed even before I rallied old members and I thank him once again for supporting me in realizing my decision.

And so… Serenity was born.

Intent

Since I haven’t had a chance to speak to all of the former members of Balance, this post is one way to get the message out. A home is there for all the ex-members of Balance, Black Sheep and the temporarily formed guild EPICS. Anyone who has been in one of these three guilds is welcome to join the team they were once part of. I understand that some of you may want to go different way, and I understand that some of you are still in limbo about what to do. Serenity may be just the right option for you..!

A Website is being taken care of and should be operational this week. This includes a fully functional forum and DKP management website, as well as a generic main page. The intent of Serenity is to become an end-game raiding guild just like Balance was. A raiding guild where people are treated as people, rather than healbots and tankers.

Since a few ex-members have gone different ways, and as is with any new guild, Serenity will be open to not just ex-members that wish to rejoin their fellow teammates, but also to anyone else who has a healthy teamspirit and experience with end-game raiding. Hence, Serenity will be recruiting a number of each class to eventually end up with a balanced raiding team. If you’ve always liked taking up a new challenge, or if you are not happy in your current guild, you are more than welcome to apply for Serenity. For now, applications oughtta go in this thread as the website is currently not up yet. Or, you can message me (Dejia) in-game for a talk.

Requirements

To be able to become a member of Serenity you’ll have to meet up to a few conditions which are..:

  • You have been a member of Balance, Blacksheep or EPICS
  • You are a level 60 character
  • You have a minim age of 16 years (exceptions can be made)
  • You have a healthy teamspirit
  • You are attuned to at least Onyxia and MC.

NOTE: For now, please attach your application to this topic, or leave me a message in-game.

Roadmap

Since Serenity is a new guild, the first couple of weeks are devoted to gaining the required numbers to allow us to conquer ZG, AQ20, Onyxia and Molten Core. I and other guildmembers have a great deal of experience with the aforementioned instances, so with the proper team we will be back at where many former members left off.

Meanwhile the website, forums and DKP tracking site is being built and should be operational within this week. Once the forums have opened, people can apply for membership through the forums.

This is a chance for those interested in helping to build a strong guild that breathes teamwork and unity.

Closing

I hope I have sparked the interest of great raiders out there who want to try something new, as well as the hope for having convinced old raid mates to make the logical step.

Then the final question remains…. Are you with us?

With Serenity I had built a tight, close community. it isn’t all  that strange when one realizes that a steady group, on a rotational basis, still play with one other almost every day to take on the big challenges. Also both happiness and sadness were shared. Serenity was primarily aimed at unity and teamwork. I also made a website for our guild. Below a number of images:

The Serenity homepage.

This was de homepage for Serenity. The visual design was my own work, where I made use of ‘assets’ from the World of Warcraft graphics, like the white-blue angel ( ‘Spirit Healer’ ) which had become the iconic logo of Serenity.

The scoreboard application (DKP).

This is an image of the scoreboard application. People participating in challenges were rewarded points and the treasure obtained after the defeat of these challenges could be purchased by players using their accumulated points. Treasure consisted for on of better equipment to improve and strengthen one’s avatar.

The original homepage source code.

The original source code of the website. The website was made with ASP.NET WebForms and was set up as a ‘single-page’ application. The website also had its own forum. This was however not made myself. It was the well known PhP-BB open source forum. The website was developed in such way that it integrated both the forum and the guild roster into one coherency so that various website functionalities could be fully automated. For instance, the number of open vacancies were derived from the uploads of the current member roster which was uploaded regularly. Also one could log into the main website using one’s PhP-BB forum account. And as the image shows, I created tables using integer primary keys and made sure that all data was recorded properly including diacritics for other, foreign languages. It was an international website and it could display all languages properly.

The Community

Over time, the community consisted of many people varying from 18 years up to over 50 years, thus, almost of every age. Most people remained will the end although a number of them wanted to raise their bars and moved to other raid guilds. The member turn-over was very low. Like said before, it had become a close community. To apply, one had to be of specific character. We were looking for benevolent people whom naturally preferred teamwork. The application consisted of a number of standard questions about the avatar they played, and there was a question that asked to have the applicant tell something about themselves. This was the most important question and through this question I could get a sense of the person that wanted to become a member.

The community consisted of people from various (European) countries. Serenity in that sense formed a cross-section of Europe with a few other nationalities. Below a list (random order) of nationalities:

  • Great Britain
  • Germany
  • Sweden
  • Denmark
  • Norway
  • Italy
  • The Nederlands
  • Poland
  • Serbia
  • Hungary
  • Romania
  • Bulgaria
  • Turkey
  • Russia

The language of choice was English and voice software was used (Team Speak 3). The nice part within the guild was that nationalities played no role. Most all were kind people who enjoyed the unity that Serenity formed. This unity was described as the soul of the community, the ‘guild spirit’. Also religion made no difference. At one time we had a new member. He told me after a week he was a Turk and a Muslim. He asked me whether that would be a problem. I then told him, ‘No, that is no problem as long as you’ve got a good heart. That’s what matters.’. This good man was clearly relieved and felt welcome, contributing as much as any one else as time after showed. All players could get along with one other very well.

Serenity was the proof that the Absolute Duality is leading absolutely, where affairs like nationality, heritage or religion play no role as long as one stands for the good. This notably manifested through an above average performance as a raid guild given the level of equipment we had as a collective. It shows that the saying ‘The power of the individual is the ability to work together as one whole’ definitely applied here as well.

Also members made videos of our adventures which could be replayed later on. I made available a number of these videos on the video sharing website BitChute. In these one can witness the unity. These videos also significantly contributed to the ‘guild spirit’. Below you’ll find the links:

Members could communicate with one other and get to know each other better through our forums. Below a message which I posted for that purpose:

This thread is dedicated to getting to know each other better. Tell as much about yourself as you wish, be it one word or a whole book 😛 I’ll start off with myself..!



My reallife name is Arno, and am a 31 years old male living in Holland. Also refered to as a Cheese-head 😉 Job wise, I work for a software company that build software for the construction and engineering world. I’ve been there for a while now and for me is a nice place to be..

Besides that, in my spare time I love to play WoW, but also have another hobby I like a lot, which is electronics, specifically audio electronics. Building amps, mixers and that kind of stuff.. 🙂

At this time, I’m a single man, no children. How else would I have this much spare time 😛 However, I almost got hooked into a marriage a couple of years ago, with a wonderful american woman. But, things never really worked out, so here I am, still in Holland. And with this heat we currently have here I have no need to go on holidays, or a different country for that matter 😛

I have been playing World of Warcraft since the US open beta. I devoted a lot of time to building and leading a guild, which rapidly grew to one of the top guilds on that server. It was a very respected community. We organized server events, did raids and much more. However, the guild was a mix of casual and hardcore. As I’ve learned later, these two didn’t go hand in hand very well. The guild gave birth to two raiding guilds, of which one became the top dog which they still are today. At a given time, I did not have the time to continue leading any more, got a new job, and being on an American server, the timezone difference was a huge problem.

After a couple of months, I moved to the european servers to begin a new alter-ego called Dejia the Druid. I moved here with another european guy which was also an ex officer. Together we went to Furious Angels where we stayed a while, and when I reached level 60, I was asked if I wanted to join Balance. And so I did. From there on most of you know about me 🙂

I’m loving leading communities, though it is a tough job. But it’s both rewarding, and sometimes an unthankful job. With this in mind, I will try to guide Serenity to my best intent, knowledge and heart. I know I won’t be doing this alone though; Serenity consists of a lot of great people, and through this way, I would like to thank everyone for the trust in me and the support I receive.

Go Serenity!

Testimonies

When I decided to stop with Serenity in 2007 and in 2010 I received many testimonies from players. Many missed Serenity and would carry with them fond memories. Over time I received many compliments for my way of running the guild Serenity. It were the people themselves and their obvious enjoyment that gave me the power to continue, despite difficulties faced at times.

Cavael

All I can say; I’m impressed. The guild is being very nice and I haven’t seen any ”fights” yet, and I hope they’ll never come.

I think the greatest reason for this guilds accomplishments is our great Guildleader.

I would like to make three big cheers for Dejia who’s doing an excellent job with the guild and spending lot’s of his time on it.

Keep up the good work all!
Maën

When i joined Serenity i never had the intention to become a raidmaster or a council member. I just wanted to join a nice and friendly guild and do some easy raiding, not the hardcore raiding i was used to as in AL. But things turned out to be different: i am a raidmaster and a council member and i attend more raids (i love my wife for letting me) then i intended to do. And hopefully i won’t dissapoint you guys and dolls!

After a few weeks in Serenity i must say this is a very nice and friendly guild with a good atmosphere between the members. Until now i haven’t seen any conflicts or major disagreements that could negatively affect the guild. Instead, I see major progressions in working as a team. And that in itself holds some big promises for the next instances to come!

And to close my reply: thx to Dejia for putting a lot of time and effort in the Guild and the forum. Thx to the other council members for keeping an eye on the guild. Thx to all raiders, alts and initiates for making this guild succeed!
Nayrufael

i think its also very weird that people leave when we are on the edge of succes… But what Dejia said you can’t stop people from leaving. I also question the reason why people leave, a guild is suppost to be a environment where people can trust eachother blindfolded, without any hacitation. On the other hand, because of people leaving now, we will slowly begin to form a group of members that are always doing the right thing and wanting to help eachother. The "bad apples" will fall out of the basket, so in the end we can have a healthy raiding group.

Personally im having great fun here in Serenity, the raiding schedule varies alot, so that even i, who has to work 3 evenings/nights a week, can participate in all of the dungeons. And for me, still consider myself an outsider, cause most people know eachother from old guilds, im getting along much and much better, and its nice to get to know people more and more.

Then something toldi said, he thanked Dejia for all of his effort in this guild. Im still amazed to see one guy do the forums, raidleading, making most of the decisions, keeping the guild together and still enjoying it. Not saying that the other officers are doing nothing. The fact that the guildleader really listens to the members and thinks about their ideas is great, i havent seen this before in a guild. For that i would say: CHEERS CHEERS CHEERS DEJIA!!!

PS. We’ve got Bob Ross as a raidleader, Robbie Williams singing occaisionly, a DKP slave who can be spanked when we want… OMG what does a guy/girl look for more in a WoW guild?
Mekorazo

I am gonna leave the guild serenity and world of warcraft. Becuase I wont be able to play for 6months(because of RL problems) So i am gonna sell/give my account to a m8 in RL. If mekorazo is online it wont be me playing.

I have to say that Serenity is the best guild i have ever been in, and Good luck in the future i know that u guys will go far into the hardest istances in the game.

All i can say is good luck in the future and farwell. 🙁

Greetings mekorazo

I am gonna miss u all.

In Memoir 

When I resurrected Serenity in 2008, I was looking for suitable members. I met Zeana, which played a priest character. She had never engaged in these raid challenges. After joining, she remained with Serenity from its start till the end when I retired the Guild in 2010. All the while she grew into a formidable player. At a later point in time, her sister also joined Serenity. And although her son was not a member of Serenity, I still talked with him at times, as he proxied between his mother and me. At that time he was 17 years old. Ever since I retired Serenity, I kept in touch with them to see how they are doing. There could be intervals of years in between check-ups. Last year, in 2018 I looked him up to see how he, his mother and her sister were doing. That’s where I learnt Zeana had passed away. They were;are both of my age, though I have never seen their real faces, only their minds. Below you’ll find the conversation I had with her sister’s son: