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15 Minutes of Fame: Care packages spur renaissance of community spirit

Thank-you note
From Hollywood celebrities to the guy next door, millions of people have made World of Warcraft a part of their lives. How do you play WoW? We're giving each approach its own 15 Minutes of Fame.

All we need to introduce the topic of this week's 15 Minutes of Fame is a simple realm name: Moon Guard. Aha! I see some of you out there have been paying attention ... That's right, Moon Guard's the realm with the reputation for, shall we say, a somewhat more exotic (or was that erotic?) playstyle. Ready to go behind the scenes with a leading realm figure who'll give us the inside scoop on what really goes down on Moon Guard?

Well, hang on there, Hoss -- because this ain't yo' mama's Moon Guard (or even your creepy Uncle Harold's). This is a decidedly more respectable Moon Guard. This is a Moon Guard that helps out new players with free care packages, no strings attached. This is a Moon Guard that's building an entire YouTube channel to spotlight interesting realm personalities. This is a Moon Guard whose players josh around with an in-character advice column run by a goblin. This is a Moon Guard boasting a recent player-run roleplaying event that virtually exploded onto the forum scene.

Meet Venita, who's spurred on a huge part of this renaissance of community spirit with a wildly popular care package program for realm newbies plus an upcoming community spotlight program making its debut next month on YouTube.



Venita of Moon GuardMain character Venita
Guild Salvation
Realm Moon Guard (US-A)

15 Minutes of Fame: Care packages on Moon Guard, of all places -- what a project! What inspired you to get out there and create the care package program?

Venita: The big inspiration came from the community itself. You see, Moon Guard had been hit hard in the recent months with waves of people mocking our server and really putting us on the map for the not so lovely places. It was really putting a damper on the community as a whole, and everyone seemed to be a bit bitter over what was being broadcasted. I was also a little fed up, but I didn't want to sit around and just wait for things to change. One night, I just started writing up how I felt about Moon Guard, what I've observed and how I can help give the community ideas to pull together.

From there, it was history. People really liked the idea of the care packages and wanted to support it. This was a chance for our server to show people who wanted to invest time on here that the community is strong, kind and incredibly generous.

How exactly does the program work? How do new players who really need the stuff find out that it exists?

New players can easily find out by the program from in-game and out-of-game sources. I have a very detailed thread on our server forums about this, and I also have a lot of friends helping post our ad in general and trade. Sometimes, we fly out to lowbie zones and just advertise in general there or go up to them personally for a roleplay experience.

Whatever way the new person finds out, the ad is very simple to follow. They would contact the person listed for the faction by in-game mail. We ask [that] they include their level, class, spec, professions and also their toon's gender, for RP clothing purposes. From there, they just simply wait as the request goes to get process.

But it must take so much stuff! Where do you come up with all the items and the gold that you give away?

The goods come from a collective effort from the community. On the care package thread, you can see a list of the donors who have contributed in the smallest and biggest of ways. I cannot supply this all on my own, and because of the push to do something good, people are steadily donating to support the cause.

How do you screen out the jerks who are just looking for a free ride? Is there much of a problem with leeches?

Usually, you can tell through the letters. Most people looking for a free ride will demand a high amount of gold. Sometimes they lack the information we are seeking, and occasionally someone will pester me nonstop about their package and needing specific items when they are at a higher level.

Surprisingly though, there's not a problem with this. I am sure someone has slipped through the cracks, as I cannot always screen someone needing a package, but mostly everyone seems to acknowledge it would be pretty lame of them to take advantage of a service meant to give back to the community.

Care package program thank-you note
Any idea how many players have you helped and much you've given away?

It took me awhile to count my list, but the number of people we have helped has been 8,264. That number climbs with each passing day. As far as gold goes, it can take anywhere from 7 to 10k per week and per faction. Mind you, that's total goods calculated as well.

Are there versions of the program for both factions?

Yes, of course. For Alliance, my alt Adaira runs it, and then for Horde, my alt Ladania.

And as if the care package program weren't enough, now you're working on a new program called Spotlights. What's that all about?

You are aware of all the bad press Moon Guard gets, yes? All the blogs, videos and server trolls who come to MG to make a mockery of something they have little knowledge about. The server has grown tired over the years and years of bad press. With the wave of support for building a new community, I had an idea to really portray to people about Moon Guard. We are certainly more than what the blogs, videos and so on say.

Beyond Goldshire is a very alive and thriving place where the RP is everywhere to suit any sort of desire within a story. Not to mention, our PVE and PVP teams have picked up in speed and making some major progress in competitive gaming for the server firsts, etc. So, with all that said, I decided it was time to start up a video project for Moon Guard, a dedicated channel to promote the server for the positive, not the negative.

It was sort of a chance to bite back at the haters and show them a side of the server they failed to see. In the Spotlight, we are working out a schedule of a weekly program. I know we are going to promote individuals, guilds, events and so on to bring attention to them, much like your 15 Minutes of Fame. The Moon Guard Spotlight!

As I mentioned, the server was being highlighted for the bad. Another one of my ideas was to make a dedicated Moon Guard YouTube channel showcasing the awesome on our server -- and by awesome, we wanted to make promotional videos for guilds, ads for special events going on for the month, start up lore/server/WoW-related discussion and also give some of our very talented writers/actors their own days to respond to RP mail they may get. There's also a player of ours named Blammy who does an in-character advice thread, and he will have his own show on the channel to respond to the mail he gets from that thread.

There's just so much we are doing with the Spotlight program. Our ultimate goal is much like the care package one, just to bring the community together and stand stronger.

Well let's get the word out, then. When will the new program debut?

Oct. 1, 2011.

Care package program
Outside of what you do for the Moon Guard community as a whole, you also blog a video blog about guild leadership.

Over my years spent on WoW, I've been in every role imaginable. I had been given promotions to officer and veteran ranks over the years until I began my guild leading experience. I have been a guild leader for a little over three years now, so I like to think I have enough invested time at this point to offer solid advice.

As far as topics, I cover a variety of different things. Since Salvation is an RP/raid guild, I get to mix it up what I can cover and provide interesting advice, stories and moments relating to either aspect. One day, I may cover a raiding topic and then on the next, I am talking about how to strengthen your guild's storyline.

Venita, you pour such an incredible amount of time and effort into your guild and your realm's player community! What do you do in real life?

What's real life?! Ha, I kid. I actually work as a video editor for various companies and YouTubers. Sometimes I oversee projects of partnered YouTubers before their videos are published and things like that. It's a very awesome job.

Kudos to Venita on all her hard work, which seems to be paying off in spades as Moon Guard's players revel in the community spirit flooding their realm. Look for more 15 Minutes of Fame on Moon Guard's community renaissance in upcoming weeks!

"I never thought of playing WoW like that!" -- and neither did we, until we talked with these players, from a player battling Alzheimer's disease to Game of Thrones' Hodor (Kristian Nairn), gaming industry insider Liz Danforth and El of El's Extreme Anglin'. Know someone else we should feature? Email lisa@wowinsider.com.

Filed under: Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

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