Okay, this post is a long time overdue but since I've related this story and set of opinions several times lately I guess I'll get it down for the public. I'm gonna go ooc irl for this because I was it to be clear it's a neutral set of opinions and I've no interest in rustling any old jimmies. A few guilds and maybe people will get named in here but nothing is personal, I'm just trying to record ED history as it happened, with the hopefully dispassionate voice of someone who has been absent for a year.
Those who don't know me are new - sit quietly and you may learn something...
In the beginning - there was The Crew. For this story it is important you understand that while the guild has always remained continuous, and the GM has remained static since very early, there have been several incarnations and reinventions of The Crew. In the old days, The Crew was essentially a guild devoted to small to medium scale world pvp. This first incarnation of The Crew was, to many of us, what it will always be in our hearts - a reletively small group of people with extensive arena and/or BG experience who really enjoyed world pvp. At this time, most people in guild had either 2200+ arena experience, a Battlemaster title (back when it mattered) or a reputation as a wpvp agitator. This was a time of giants, when a Crew group in Goldshire consisted entirely of players that everyone recognized immediately - there were no randoms, everyone was either extremely good, extremely infamous, or both. Natures, Hardtarget, Rimes, Ahyeps, Blessed, Undeadfred, Pittlez, Tinnu, Slayerz, Zinkus (on and off, lol), Blessed, Anzu, Dardrith, Nyte, Xeer, Xizwhoa, Daddyo, myself and others - basically every single night a group of 5-10 Crew would be up in Goldshire and not a single one of us was an unknown. We would sit up in vent drinking/smoking/flirting/whatever and just have a jolly good time of it laying waste to the world.
This was also the time when a lot of the Crew lore came about. Rimes, Fred and I would play triple affliction Warlock sitting in the Mage Tower in Stormwind for hours without being removed - and it became known widely as "The Warlock Tower." Anzu led Troll Patrol. Fred led Fire Team Fred - little tight knit groups of friends devoted to seeking out and destroying anything that would burn. Towns became "Crewopolis", "Crewshire" and "Crewforge" because we took them over.
Gradually, as time went on and we gained notoriety and pissed more and more people off, it became apparent that we were going to need a bigger boat. Fortunately, this coincided with the glory days of Wintergrasp, where beginning in season 7 we would not only operate as a guild, but create and pull off strategies that made for consistant chained wins. Wintergrasp became, in many ways, a focus of guild pride. It was a big event, particularly in prime time. We would all buff and vent up in advance, teams would be set up with designated leaders, usually set up around inflated arena comps, to secure and hold specific objectives, choke points and terrain features. At first, naturally, nobody outside the guild listened - but as it became obvious that we weren't full of it, people started to follow us, and eventually - everyone followed us. From here, we began to pool a lot of recruits.
Anyone who was horde at the time, and did any kind of serious wpvp, will remember how Wintergrasp was back then. Natures, Nak, Fred and I each had macros directing pugs, almost everyone followed our lead and anyone who questioned us in general usually got shouted down not by us, but by randoms. We dominated Wintergrasp, growing to the point of preforming 40 man raids divided into fire teams with specific missions the moment the zoned in, and redundancies in case people weren't called to the queue. Kingship and NMM would throw the biggest raids they could at us, and yet the lion's share of the time, they were futile due to our definite leadership and coordination - we never moved as a zerg, we engaged as a force - we treated WG a lot like an 80 man arena game. It was during this time that we inherited the player that would become Poggle - who I have seen go from the worst Death Knight in history to the best on ED bar none.
The Crew: A Legacy - By Alyana
We would hold WG sometimes for a week straight. Sure, ally would sneak one in at 4am, but for the sake of the PvP involved, it simply belonged to us - and anyone disputing that is simply not being objective. We even threw around the idea of selling them prime time access to Vault of Archavon. The first day of season 8 we made it a point of honor to not allow the alliance a single attempt at the vault's new boss. We set up defense leaders around people's work shifts in advance. Everyone stopped arenaing (on day one of the season) in order to come do WG every battle.
That, I don't think anyone will honestly dispute, was the golden age of The Crew, and that guild was something I was extremely proud to be a part of, and very happy to be the forum "voice" of. It was in this period that I took on the decision to be "the meanie" on this server - which is something I've maintained pretty much since, to a lesser or greater degree. The idea behind it was, someone being the douchebag bad guy with a big mouth who is arrogant about his arena and pvp accomplishments and scathing to opponents would create hate and disdain, which created pvp. Most people are pretty shocked at what a chill and nice dude I am personally, and that is the price I paid to do my part in making wpvp what it was on ED, Fred and I were Batman, Natures was Harvey Dent. Any time Natures would look bad on the forums, me and Fred would jump in and deliberately look a hundred times worse, lol. It was during this time the Fred and Natures put together the Warsong Pact, resulting in us marching 160 people into Stormwind with RP walk turned on, and the infamous "guards are hard" forum war.
When Cata dropped we had big plans, Crew pride was at a high and we wanted to be the first at everything. Myself, Gurbz, Kellilyn, Xslacker and a rotational fifth spot took the day off work and pushed from minute 0 (ultimately unsucsessfully) for server first 85s. We didn't make the dings but we did get server first on most dungeons and several professions. At 85 we pushed for everything, arenas, RBGs and wpvp. This was a time, as I say, of great Crew pride, but it was also the beginning of the end for the "OG" Crew.
RBGs and wpvp were what created a lot of the tension in the guild. Myself and a couple of the other senior officers were basically extensions of Chop City and played exclusively in their RBG teams, and arena'd with either partial or full CC arena teams. We (me a mage main at this particular point, many will recall) pushed the highest RBG ratings not only on ED and Shadowburn but had many players on page one of the world rankings. Zelki and Tulina were racing for server first High Warlord, which was sort of awkward as they both played on our team, lol, but suffice it to say we were extremely successful. A problem began to devlop however that drove a big wedge - and it was twofold: firstly, on 15 man bg week we would sometimes be a player or two down - not for want of players but for want of a specific class for SoTA. We Crew officers would try to fill these spots carefully from the Crew roster, but... well, I'll just say some of the people we tried out were... not good. This created tension in the guild, and also made us look bad with CC. So people (specifically Nak and myself) started coming across very elitist with Crewbies wanting to RBG. We may have been *@#@ish about it, but we wanted to be successful, and it felt like a lot of people thought that because we were officers, we were obligated to provide them with teams. I play this game for me. Yes, I'm famous for playing with absolutely anyone, but I also always keep one toon per season to actually work on seriously and not tank my ratings on - PARTICULARLY in this case, where RBGs were new and we wanted to be the first and the best remembered.
At the same time, a policy had been (unpopularly with us) instituted in the Crew that added a rank of "militia" which would basically take any mouthbreathing trade chat warsong baddie who was willing to be cannon fodder and put our guild tag on them. It was at THIS time that the Crew really started losing respect in the public eye, and that bothered several of us a lot, because we took great pride in what we'd helped build.
The worst part about this is the vast majority of these militia didn't DO anything. (Basically Warsong Batallion) They just wanted the Crew guild tag, and refused to actually help the guild be all it could be. This drove several people (particularly Nak and Fred) up the wall. There were mass kicks, many rages. I went the other direction and basically just stopped doing any world pvp at all with the guild (rare poor leadership on my part, I admit fully) and isolated any and all rated play to Chop City and one specific Crew A-Team which I co-led with Verdict. For about a month or two I played with less than 10 people in a 400 man guild - and, frankly, I came to look down upon 80% of my guildmates. Not a healthy set up. I had an offer on the table from Chop, and I was a but hair from leaving... but I didn't, yet.
The straw that broke the camel's back was a wpvp event. The first one I attended in weeks. It was to be a 15v15. I'm not gonna point fingers, but it turned into a three figure affair. It wasn't fun, it was frustrating with nobody listening to orders, and I have always hated PvPing in big groups. Fire teams is what I do, and what I take pride in. For me wpvp isn't about winning, never has been, it's about seeing how good you really are when life isn't fair.
That night lots of people were kicked, lots of infighting happened, and I missed a solid push with RBGs for it. I was just completely over it.
So I said to Poggle, who is my best friend in game and was a fellow Crew officer: "Dude, I can't do this anymore, what would happen if I made my own guild?"
I said this to Poggle, and not to Fred, because I figured Poggle would be Poggle and talk me out of it, chill me out and make everything sunshine and rainbows. I was pretty surprised but also energized when he said "Yeah, let's do it man I hate this."
So we went to Nak. Same. Instantly on board. So tired of the militia.
Same with Tinnu. Right away, had barely been playing because of the issues.
And to Fred. Now, for history's sake, let me "clear Fred's name". Fred, strangley, did NOT jump in with us right away. He wanted to fix the Crew and talk to Natures. We tried. In fact, a little known fact follows:
People think I/we left the Crew out of frustration at Natureswill. I think even he thinks that. It's not true. Yes, we were pissed at him for his inaction on the militia thing but what made us want to leave was the 300 people in the guild we didn't even know, who did nothing. Not Natures. Here's the thing that pretty much nobody knows: when we all got Natures in a skype call to tell him we were leaving - we asked him to come with us - it wasn't "we're leaving, see ya Ben" it was "we're leaving, come with us bro". We loved the guy, we'd played together for like 2 years, daily. I never had a thing against Natures and consider him a pal, in spite of some of the bickering we did in the following weeks and months. Natures didn't want to leave the Crew and I understand why - he was the GM of what was at the time the largest PvP guild in the world. That doesn't mean we didn't ask him to come with us when we left - don't get it twisted and think we hated Natures, because that's a load of bull.
And so, then and there, was formed Earth and Water.
But Fred thought the name sucked.
And so, then and there, was formed Exodus. In my humble opinion, the greatest guild of all time.
Exodus was formed from a coming together of the disgruntled Officer Corps of the crew, and the active remnants of Chop City who hadn't transferred to Sargeras. In it's earliest form, the seed of Exodus' Officer Corps was:
A mating of Crew and CC, who took the first steps in making Exodus what it would become, something totally different than had been done before with much success or fame. A guild devoted not to victory, but to excellence. That was what Exodus was about - it didn't EVER matter if we lost in wpvp, that was expected because we brought 5 people to a 20 man enemy - we were made to be a guild of great arena players AND very active wpvp players who would go out and get stuff done with a level of CLASS that the Crew simply could not achieve, and had abandoned more than a year before. We wanted to do something DIFFERENT, not necessarily something more SUCCESSFUL. That's the key point. Exodus rarely, if ever, wpvp'd with a raid over 10 people. The average Exodus group in TB or Stormwind was 5-6 tier 2 players getting it done and 1-3 lower rated but very enthusiastic players learning how to excel. Exodus was NEVER an arena guild. If I'd wanted that, I would have just joined Chop City. Exodus was a hybrid guild - we had the highest rated players on the battlegroup and we had kids pushing 1650 - because to join Exodus you needed EITHER a 2k arena achievement OR a member saying "hey, this is my friend and she wants to learn". And that's the key to what we were - everyone in Exodus knew someone else personally, many of us irl.
Exodus wpvp was, frankly, the best there was. I do not say that as the GM, I say it dispassionately as an observer of people's reactions to us. Yes, we brought 5-10 people to meet 20 man raids. Yes, we often got messed up - however we ALWAYS put up a hell of a fight, like a caged tiger with tier 2 claws, and here and there we would legit, no messing around wipe that 20 man raid.
You wanna talk about a feeling of pride, accomplishment and vigor, go kill 20 people with 5.
But that wasn't the high point - the high point was how the rest of the server, particularly alliance, reacted to us. We were highly, highly respected. The forums were abuzz with how good we were both as players and as a force for wpvp, a new breath of life into what had become a stagnant never ending zerg, like trench lines in world war one, nobody really gaining any ground or accolade. Exodus changed that, undisputedly. We stirred the pot. For the first time in a LONG time the forums weren't about "haha you lose", they were about "damn, big balls".
As relevant to the OP let me say this here, for experience - possibly the best point of experience that will be in this thread: (Possibly nobody knows like me) that being the top pvp guild IS NOT ABOUT being the largest - it's about being the one that your opponents respect.
We queued our 5s team from the alliance camp in TB.
Not outside it.
When someone died and couldn't hit enter arena, we took the damn queue anyway.
And we won kid.
We took the highest guild rating slot for ED on AJ with like 25 contributing members, surpassing guilds ten times our size in a matter of weeks.
We ran what became THE rated battleground team on Emerald Dream, of either faction. We were surgical. We destroyed every big name team in the US we came against, farmed Swifty, farmed Accident, beat Reckful, Venruki, Diesel and Sodez in the closet BFG I ever recall and then tied with them in a series, them being forced to turtle time out a WSG game. Mick had an !@#$%^ on skype when he gouged Reckful in Evasion.
We even pwned some PvE:
People began transferring in, both from Alliance and some very big names from other servers and battlegroups.
Meanwhile, things with Natures and the Crew were getting tense. I don't think anyone really wanted it to, but it was inevitable - there was a tinderbox there just waiting to go up, and it very much felt like the public eye was "Alyana vs Natureswill for General of the Horde".
Dude, I never wanted that. I just wanted to go play the game in a different way. I don't, and never have, borne Natures or the Crew any ill will. Honestly, a lot of the fire was fanned by two things; firstly, total nobodies in The Crew who had no idea the history of us all, and weren't even close to the rating requirement to be involved in the discussion, frankly. They blindly yelled WE DA CREW (the tag line WE made up, lol) and talked smack. The other problem was Nerfquake. He just would not keep his mouth shut on the forums, and towards Natures. He was full of himself, pretended his account wasn't played for him to 2400, and had only been on the server five minutes. I tried to reign him in but whatever, old history. The fire was further fuelled by the reasonably common occurance of certain Crew members dropping 10-20 man raids in to "help" Exodus in wpvp, after being told please not to. We left to play 5v20, it ruined our fun and made us look bad.
The Crew and Exodus were never going to have a honeymoon - there was too much resentment and too many nobodies fanning the flames under people who had been friends for years. That doesn't mean I, or any of the other officers in Exo, wanted it to be that way - it was just inevitable. I tried to exercise what damage control I could (such as not doing wargames with the Crew for fear of it becoming personal) - but there's only so much you can do. Honestly the only people in the Crew who continued to play with us were Xiz and Dormene.
To the topic of the OP: there is simply no question, at all, that Exodus was the top PvP guild. None. We held the top slots on the ladders, we had the highest culminative scores by a long way, we ran the top RBG team, we were wpvping literally all the time, including between queues, our team skill level and cohesion was in excess in world of anything else at the time - nobody was even close, we literally always fought underdog odds on purpose and most importantly, the opposition, and other neutral parties, clearly considered us the best skilled and the more classy - as evidenced by forum history.
That's just facts, it's not up for debate. These are scores and numbers, not opinions. Now, you can broach the silly question of "who would win, all time Crew allstars vs all time Exodus allstars?" But it's a dumb as hell question because 75% of the team would be the same people. -_-
That's what people are either forgetting - or don't know because they're new. Both Exodus and Chop City were predominantly formed by high ranking members OF THE CREW. But more of that later.
Exodus burned exceptionally bright, and that which burns bright tends to burn fast. Exo had a good solid six or seven months, about five of which saw us as as absolutely the alpha dog of ED. Exodus however didn't last, mostly because I had a lot going on in real life that was really grating on my ability to be chill, and a few disagreements over rbg comps, girls and people named Heimdel culminated in be having my period and giving GM to Poggle to quit. For what would become a straight year. This was not anyone's fault, directly, there was just a lot of frustration floating around about various things that were, in and of themselves, pretty small, but each a contributor to me feeling like the game was more work than play - which ordinarily isn't a big deal for me but at that particular time, I was having some rough times irl and just wanted to play quietly with my friends, rather than have it be stressful, since that wasn't occuring, I emo'd out quietly.
In my absence, Nakoichi apparently started Laughing Skull. Well, I came back to do over WSB, and find myself actually having fun again, so I'm in LS because once upon a time, Nak threw in his lot with me, so it's my turn to fly the flag. Having been away a year I see a lot of new faces, some of them chill, most of them nobodies who think they know about this server just because they joined this guild or that guild or whatever guild. Listen up, kids, here's the lesson to take from this:
Chop City was the absolute vanguard in terms of arena guilds, and during its time Exodus was absolutely the alpha male PvP guild on this server. Facts.
But both the cores of Chop City and Exodus came DIRECTLY from the orignal, legitimate Crew. We are the children of The Crew. And it's uncles and aunties.
So stop with this business, because you don't even know what in the sam hell you're talking about. Chop may have been the highest, and Exodus the best - but The Crew was, and probably still is "the PvP guild" on this server. Period. Just don't make the mistake of thinking that because you've worn a <The Crew> tag for a couple of lousy months you have the first idea about where your guild comes from. Take a history lesson.
Similarly, WSB acting big - seriously, you exemplify everything that was WORST about The Crew, and have NONE of its redeeming qualities. We OWNED this server. It was OURS. When your army of mace swining mouthbreathers can say "the Alliance have not had Tol Barad for two months" then you can think you're anything close to who we were.
In closing: We Da Crew!
it didn't EVER matter if we lost in wpvp, that was expected because we brought 5 people to a 20 man enemy - we were made to be a guild of great arena players AND very active wpvp players who would go out and get stuff done with a level of CLASS
This needs to be brought back.
good to see we are all still here fighting the good fight. Emerald Dream is arguably the most diverse and historically deep server WoW has to offer.
The gaming experience I have had on this server will be something I never forget and never have the opportunity to replicate.
Thank you guys for helping make the history of <The Crew> what it is today.
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