Our path started long before the game was even out. Many hours poured into recruitment, conversations and information gathering would eventually prove useful as we embarked on this long awaited journey.
We built our stable roster and community out of players who shared our vision and attitude, fully aware of the different types of players, different types of schedules and different expectations from people. We knew all of them wouldn't last, some of them wouldn't deliver and plenty of them were not a good fit. But with great numbers in our ranks we were able to afford to build a strong social core of several hundred players weeks before the servers were announced.
We went with Shazzrah at first, then we settled on Firemaw. Early recruitment and reputation quickly brought us among the top guilds on the server in terms of experience and numbers, outnumbered only by the major Scandinavian guild. Unfortunately, changes brought to Classic WoW would severely hinder our early operations. Layering prevented our own raids from seeing each other. The raid experience bug meant that most players were out leveling in dungeons rather than in the outdoor world. We put a hold on our WPvP operations and focused solely on leveling for a few weeks in preparation for MC.
Organizing MC was quite a hassle at start. We were fortunate to recruit a good core of hardcore/semi-hardcore PvE players who managed to pull through with us and help prepare our first encounters in MC. By the third week we had finished clearing both MC and Onyxia as a guild and good changes were being made to the structure of our ranks. Our guild grew to over 400 members, we had managed to kill a few faction leaders and the stage was set to elevate our operations to contest Alliance raiding guilds.
As our guild grew, we managed to recruit all types of players. Some were in it for the casual PvP, others were in it for the community - and some were in it for the prospect of pushing performance in PvE. Although the latter pushed us forward into MC sooner than we had expected, the incompatibility would become apparent once our PvP activities would come into play once more.
The first betrayal we've witnessed on the server was that of the only hardcore guild that we had on the Horde side.
As Un'Goro was becoming a hotspot for World-PvP, we discovered that they had entered into a cross-faction collusion with the leading Alliance guild on the server. This severely hindered our operations, as the Horde traitors were reporting on our location and raids at all times. An attempt was made to gather the Horde guilds into a Coalition and strike against them, but the enormous number of players brought on by both factions slowed the servers to a halt.
In light of this, we decided to take the free transfers which were made available to us, to find a better home without lags and cross-faction collusion.
However, there were some that disagreed. A member of the Officer core had formed a clique inside our guild and convinced most of our raiders to stay and not follow us. After the transfers they formed another guild, taking some of our best raiders with them.
We, however, pressed on to Earthshaker.
Our arrival on the new realm was well received by most of our members. Our hopes were that, on a smaller realm such as Earthshaker, we could be able to make a more significant impact on the server.
And so we began our preparations.
During the first week we conducted raids on several of the guilds on the server in order to test their strength. Although successful at first, we quickly saw how the Alliance were getting better at defending and fighting us back with each raid against them. They started walking in Blackrock Mountain together, organized their own coalition for world buffs, and started training more and more engineers equipped with Goblin Sapper Charges.
Although we knew what needed to be done in order to push them back further, we realized that giving them the false confidence that they had beaten us back would serve our interests on the long run. A strategic call was then made to halt organized World-PvP and focus more on developing our individual skills in PvP in preparation for Phase 2.
Daily calls were made for more veteran players to spar with and teach the others on matters concerning PvP in the Gurubashi Arena, anticipating the meta which would come to manifest in small group skirmishes around the world. A few weeks afterwards, the announcement of the World Bosses was made and Kor Kron would spearhead the take-down of the Alliance.
In order to prevent information from reaching the Alliance, we rushed to organize most of the Horde guilds into a Coalition capable of defeating the Alliance at World Bosses. During this time, the Alliance had their eyes on us at all times, waiting in anticipation for our move. They attempted to provoke us to show our numbers by commanding no less than 4 raids into our capital cities to kill our faction leaders, yet we still did not respond, for we did not wish to reveal the Horde's numbers and strength that was going to match them in a few days. At the end of their raids, we concluded that their total strength likely numbered around 260 members and we began preparations for the upcoming battles.
After contacting and agreeing on a system of loot distribution with most of the Horde guild masters, Kor Kron set out to place summoners at Kazzak during the days before launch - and within minutes of arriving at the Blasted Lands, an Alliance raid soon followed to stop us, with spies logged on to spot our summoner location. We quickly dropped some summoners from the Coalition and made it out over to Azshara, where we streamed the location and discussed a few tactics with the other leaders.
Anticipating a spawn within the first hours of Phase 2, we made a call to all the Horde guilds to take over Azshara before the Alliance could get there. As we arrived with our full strength of 5 raids, we encountered an Alliance raid and cleared them out of the area at their flight master. With no spawn in sight, we decided to try and breach the gates of Ironforge and kill Magni Bronzebeard. News of this event reached the Alliance, and we faced each other at the gates of Ironforge.