|VoTF originally was founded in Neverwinter nights between a small group of friends wanting to play together and to achieve something more than they could do individually. We never thought that VoTF would go from where it was then to what it is now, to have achieved half of what has been achieved and to be known as one of the most efficient OWPvP guilds in Europe (and now NA).|
The core of VoTF today has been gathered through the last ten years from some of the most competitive MMO’s that have appeared. We have built up bonds through the years having our differences but understanding that we all have different backgrounds and sometimes different goals but the end result is the same – We work towards bettering VoTF and ourselves, because you can never be “the best” without realising that there is always room for improvement.
Our goal is not to just play MMO’s but to influence the direction that MMO’s have been developed and interact on a professional basis with developers and producers in order to advance the status quo. For too long now western developers have rested on their laurels and become stuck in their ways while eastern developers have been pushing the boundaries of what MMO’s can achieve and what players want. Attempting to rest on previously concocted successes of other companies while not pushing the envelope and succumbing to the same slow death that has been met by companies attempting to do the same thing. It has been quite a disappointment over the last 3 years of successive game failures - which is why we have stepped up our game to attempt and draw developers out from their nice warm caves into the bright sun and show them that without ingenuity and risk taking you will never really see true success.
We abhor the dichotomy of the new corporate way of development and support the new found life that Kickstarter has injected into the MMO market and we are looking forward to seeing the fruit of many of the projects currently under way.
Eve – The Starter years - February 2003 – September 2009
With Neverwinter Nights being our founding point we enjoyed the game for quite a few months but then quickly moved into EvE online Beta. We formed up a great group of likeminded individuals that were keen to make a point in the new game.
With the creation of VoTF in Eve having been completed we soon moved on to expanding our horizons. We were one of the first null sec corporations in the game and formed up other corporations to create one of the most notorious alliances that eve has ever seen, The Curse Alliance.
With ¼ of eve under our direct control others became very wary of us and so the other ¾ of null security space decided that we were a large threat to them. Having multiple fronts open to us we relished in this, fighting both north and west eve we pushed further and further outwards extending our reign. One of our longest standing enemies was Stain Alliance, a great adversary and the war between us continued for many long years. Eventually we pushed to the point that SA eventually buckled and succumbed to what we all knew would happen – But then a new, larger war opened up to our north. With our attention diverted Stain alliance was able to recoup and reinforce their position. We diverted all our attention into assisting our allies in the northern regions of eve online, known as the Phoenix Alliance. Huge battles were waged and many ships were lost but the internal structure within PA was far too gone to save and sadly disintegrated. With more pressure mounting on curse alliance we pulled all our fleets back to our homeland and dug in for the long haul.
Pushing off attack after attack – pushing back each attempt to take our space we succeeding in holding off far more numbers than we ever thought possible. We were at our pinnacle.
It was during this time that we started discussing what CA had left to achieve, internal issues arose with individuals not wanting to give up the top spot in Eve online while others wanted to seek out new opportunities. CA disbanded and we all moved in our separate ways. Many people stayed together and multiple other alliances were re-created.
It was during this time that we decided to attempt multiple others games (WoW, WAR and AoC). We spent a long time searching out another game that would give us a new sense of purpose, a game that would allow us to advance what we knew. Aion happened...
The Redefining – Aion – September 2009
After Eve online VoTF as it was once known changed. The entire aspect of Aion was alien to us in terms of its gameplay. Eve online was this huge complex beast that we needed to put huge amounts of time and effort into in order to get a drop of greatness in return, Aion's eastern influence changed that dynamic and you got out exactly what you put in.
We started Aion with a few like-minded guilds on Telemachus, joining the under dog race we spread our wings and rolled out the train and boy did that train move quickly. After leveling somewhat we were shocked at how fast paced combat was and how meta gaming impacted the game so intensely. We put multiple logistical systems into overdrive and pushed harder to get to endgame. While on our merry adventures to endgame we joined up with a few groups and decided to make a push into the Abyss. For those who havent played Aion the Abyss is where the majority of the PvP takes part, it is a zone that is quite large, that you are able to fly freely in (not ground abyss).
After our first taste of battle we were hooked. Putting every aspect of the guild into combat effectiveness and efficiency we went on to be one of the first guilds to take a Fortress in the Abyss after huge and arduous battles against the Elyos. Day after day we logged into Aion with ferocity that was an experience limited to a few days a week in Eve online. We had active objectives to take on a daily basis, enemies that were worthy foes and a meta game that made sure you had something to do in the "down time" to increase your efficiency when you were out fighting.
Within weeks of engaging in some intense fights we were seen as the pinnacle of the server and the driving force behind it. When the Elyos had a large coalition of multiple guilds we were left to push the server forward as a single guild. After months of continual fighting the Elyos gained the upper hand and managed to organise their multiple AP farming guilds into such a fashion that made it extremely difficult indeed for us to counter - The call went out to all other Asmodian guilds to prepare for something big, and big was an understatement. Launching an offensive that had never been seen before in Aion we swept across the entire upper abyss taking every single keep in record time. With the elyos stunned and left reeling we held all forts for quite some time. With VoTF at the head of the Asmodian forces we kept pushing the Elyos back time and again but within the game signs of lacking support were creeping in.
As a leading part of one of the prime servers we were invited to a round table by NCSoft to discuss the issues experienced in the game. We were hopeful that this would have been a starting point for increased communication and more regular updates but sadly the round table seemed to be lip service only. Our experience of great developer interaction was a thing of the past - our desire of great customer/company interaction was out of touch with the corporate marketing that we were experiencing and this started to influence our view on the game as a whole.
The lack of support, interaction and worth while news kept hitting the member base of both factions and sadly Aion became a ghost town, battles weren't as hard fought any-more and the buzz of huge battles was now a small thrum of tiny skirmishes that simply didn't have the same appeal. Aion was no longer a game for us.
RIFT/SWTOR/TERA - The Wandering Years - 2010 - 2012
After Aion we were given promise after promise by various MMO companies. We attempted to assist said MMO companies either through providing huge amounts of feedback or attempting to get the producers to understand that we werent just cash cows that were willing to be drained of money.
With the corporate style gaming machine in full overdrive we were swept aside and our feedback ignored due to ivory tower designers considering their experience to be more than 600+ years worth of game play and that isnt including our links to other communities. These years were rife with disappointment and disaster after disaster.
RIFT was a game that touted it all, advising that they would have a balanced approach to the game involving both PvE and PvP - Whether this was simply PR or they believed this mattered very little after playing the first month we came to the conclusion that RIFT just simply did have what we required in terms of competitive gaming. They were attempting to re-create World of Warcraft with the same kind of flawed PvE design, creating finite content that could only be done so many times before boredom set in. OWPvP was non-existent and battlegrounds were simply full of overpowered classes that could instagib anyone else. We left after a single month of play after all feedback falling on deaf ears.
SWTOR showed the MMO world exactly how not to create an MMO. A company much beloved by all turned into the biggest disaster in recent history for MMOs, the community team did not listen, developers were either ignorant or forced into making certain decisions by producers and in the end it simply turned out the game was nothing like what was marketed. We attempted to give as much feedback as possible, produced a full redesign document on how to improve owPvP with very few resources required but sadly all of this was ignored. We created videos explaining why certain changes in patches would be catastrophic for the game and why the patch should be delayed but alas this, too, was ignored. There was only so much we could take and after two months SWTOR was no longer a place for us.
TERA was a game that had so much going for it, a very intuitive combat system, a breath of fresh air in the MMO world and we dedicated huge amounts of time to it. Giving as much feedback as possible, creating political campaigns to increase our renown through the world but something just wasn't right with the way the game was being handled. Communication was all but non-existent, feedback was ignored and moderation was beyond heavy. Decisions taken by Frogster(Gameforge) were taking ridiculous amounts of time when compared to En Masse and suffice to say Europe was getting the worst end of the stick in terms of production value. TERA lasted for some time with us but we couldn't stick in there for much longer. We left TERA after the last nexus fiasco that was mismanaged - We didnt look back.
The Secret World & GuildWars 2 - "Oh shiny" - 2012
The Secret World was the first time a couple of us entered a game out of boredom and lack of anything to do and boy were we supprised. We were let down previously by AoC and Funcoms development problems but TSW was a complete reverse of this. TSW has a great story, intuitive leveling and above all else its great fun! You actually want to participate in the world, progress and get to know more of the story, it pushes you to understand more and has enough little tricks up its sleeve to keep you hooked for quite a while. The only lacking area was PvP which was a big thing for us and with Guildwars 2 coming out TSW was something we put on the back burner to play in our "off time".
When Guildwars 2 came around we were quite jaded by MMO's in general having been let down by so many in the past two years but our outlook seemed to be peaking slightly at the fun we had during our time in TSW. Guildwars 2 was different to everything else that we had played, it required a similar organized approach to Aion but the entire tactical approach was something that we needed to approach from various sides and ensure that we could adapt while still achieving the goal we set ourselves - Dominance.
Our aim was to make our enemies worry when we entered a map, to make them hesitate when pushing against us, to achieve that we needed to work far closer than we had previously and that is what we set out to do, putting our heads together we came up with various approaches that could be adapted to on the fly in order to defeat enemies no matter what style of offense or defense they attempted to use against us.
Whether we have achieved that or not is down to everyone else to say - We are having fun and have a huge amount of pride in our achievements. Our continued philosphoy towards GW2 is that no guild, no matter what is at the pinnacle of their performance and improvement will be a never ending struggle for every guild out there. We continue to strive towards that pinnacle and will get as close we possibly can while holding true to our online family.
The future of VoTF is very bright with our eyes set on quite a few games coming up and/or in development. With our focus on helping developers achieve their goals our approach to these games involves testing both internally and externally and developing a working relationship with development companies around the world in order to achieve what we feel is the desire of the MMO community. The sickness that plagued this great market is now coming to an end it seems with the continual repatition of the WoW style game declining and western developers pushing the envelope meaning that competition in the future will be far fiercer than it is at the moment. A few games that we have our eye on -
ArcheAge - A sandbox of epic proporations. Being one of the few western guilds given the pleassure of playing on Korean servers legally during the beta's we are hyped for this one.
ESO - Being a huge fan of the Elder scrolls games for many years we are epecting great things from Zenimax and the experience we have with them so far says that they are going the right way about things!
Aion2 - If NCSoft is developing Aion2 then we will most certainly be there at launch and I will forgive Ayase and NCSoft for the shambles they made of Aion in the west previously, honest!
So there you have it, our last 10 years condensed into a small a post as I could possibly make it. We've been through highs and lows, we've created a family from the ground up and we've consistently made a name for ourselves in what-ever game we have played and I look forward to the next 10 years!