"This makes me super happy. I want to join this guild." What sort of guild does it take to evoke that kind of reaction from Community Manager Zarhym on the official forums? Gnomes -- lots and lots of nothing but gnomes.
"Gnomes are tiny little bundles of concentrated awesome," writes Forbidra, the GM of an all-gnome guild on Wyrmrest Accord (US). "They have endured so much hardship, and yet their indomitable spirit and insatiable curiosity shines through. Gnomes attack their problems with their intellect and ingenuity, rather than with brute force. Still, many players consider gnomes a joke race and don't take them seriously. We in Gnomeregan Forever respectfully disagree. Many of us in G4 not only love roleplaying our characters but actively strive to combat gnomish stereotypes and discrimination on our realm. We believe that gnomes can do pretty much anything any other group of players can do and have heckuva lot of fun doing it!
"Oh, indeed we do! And honestly, all joking aside, most people seem to secretly love gnomes. Whenever our guild goes someplace together, people stop and stare. You can almost see thought bubbles popping over their heads: 'OMG, gnomes!!' Sometimes they will follow us. They have no idea what we are up to, but they figure with that many gnomes, it's gotta be fun, right?
All gnomes. All fun. All the time. Meet Gnomeregan Forever.
Main character Forbidra
Guild Gnomeregan Forever
Realm Wyrmrest Accord (US)
WoW Insider: Fobidra, why gnomes? Why an entire guild of nothing but gnomes?
Forbidra: Well, I could tell you that it was because the gnomes are my favorite race, and I wanted an opportunity to roleplay with more serious gnome characters. Or I could say it was because there were so many awesome racial guilds on Wyrmrest Accord at the time but none for gnomes, and I wanted to change that. I could even say that it was because gnomes are the underdog race that gets no respect, and I wanted to show people what gnomes were capable of. But the fact of the matter is it was all of those reasons and more that just meshed like gears into something I had to do.
OK, so you're all gnomes - but what do you do?
The short answer is that we do the same things "normal" guilds do, except we like to put our own gnomish spin on everything. Obviously, we help our members with gear, bags, achievements, and all those sorts of things.
The main thing is we like to have fun together. That's what we're in it for. We like to RP our characters and try to portray gnomes in a positive (albeit sometimes humorous) light. We run dungeons, heroics and older raid content together for RP gear, mounts, and achieves. We host and attend various IC/OOC events and contests. (Wyrmrest Accord is a truly great realm for that.) We do some non-rated Battlegrounds and world PvP. We do a little bit of everything, and doing it in all-gnome groups just makes it that much more fun! Sometimes we feel like giant killers, because compared to us, almost everything is giant.
It's hard to fit G4 into a single category. We started out as a casual RP and social-oriented guild. But one by one, then two by three, more gnomes started to gather, bringing with them a more diverse array of interests. Since then, we've been slowly expanding into all areas of the game that our members enjoy, including RP, PvE, and PvP. So if I had to pick a one-word description, I'd say we're a gnome guild -- and gnomes like to do everything!
So what kind of players belong to Gnomeregan Forever?
We currently have about 150 gnomes on our roster. I'd say about a third of those characters are very active. Perhaps another third you mainly see on the weekends, and the remainder are like ninja. You know they are there, but you rarely see them.
We never ask an applicant their age; it is not important. What matters to us is their maturity, and we have ways of determining this. I interview like a boss. We have a few kids, and we have a few grandparents. Everyone else falls somewhere in between. But we're proud of our gnomes, every one.
But I want to stress that while I may have been the person who gathered the signatures on the Charter, and dreamed up a lot of the crazy things we've done, a guild of one person...is no guild at all. In the end, all of the credit and the glory belongs to our members, not to me.
Do you require members to hearth in a particular gnomish area or speak in gnomish or anything like that?
No, nothing like that. However the /guild channel is strictly IC (we have a separate OOC channel for everyday chit-chat). Most gnomes, after all, are fluent in Common. So we normally use the human language whenever Tall Folk are around. I mean have you ever heard a human (or worse, a draenei) try to speak Gnomish?? It's not pretty.
Tell us about some of the events your guild has run.
We had a great time during our anniversary celebration. We hosted a Guild Pride Parade where we invited other guilds to march along with us through the streets of Ironforge and Stormwind and show their guild colors. There were equestrian units of racial guilds and mounts and streaming marching band music over the web. That was a lot of fun!
We've done a number of large-scale fireworks displays in Stormwind, Gnomeregan, and the Speedbarge. In fact, we just did another big one last Saturday night at the Stormwind Keep.
We've hosted a Steam Tonk Tournament and probably will do so again. Then of course, there was the Fabulous Riverboat Race in Thousand Needles -- and can't forget the Running of the (Level 1) Gnomes race from Booty Bay to Gnomeregan.
We've also hosted several giveaways on the realm forums, as well, that promote gnomish values. In fact, just last week, we gave away a precision crafted Mekgineer's Chopper, some fine engineering pets, and a pile of gold as prizes in our writing contest on the forums as part of our 25th level celebration.
And of course we love to participate in events hosted by other groups and guilds. Wyrmrest Accord is an amazing realm for that. Not long ago, we opened a Gnomish Pet Shop (all mechanical, of course) at the Darnassus Street Market and had a great time selling pets and roleplaying with the crowds.
All-gnome moment that had tears of laughter rolling down your face -- go!
Quite a few, but most are of the "you had to be there" variety and require a certain knowledge of the people and personalities involved. But I remember one a few weeks ago. You see, several of us are companion pet collectors with over a hundred apiece. So there we were in Ulduar at Yogg-Saron's pad after our third wipe, and everyone's all srs faise, trying to figure out how we're going to beat him, when suddenly you hear: "BONK! ... BONK!" And Bellamy asks in Vent, "OK, who has their Nuts out??" We all just lost it completely.
What of other all-gnome guilds out there? Is there anyone else doing what you're doing?
Sadly, up until I posted our achievement on the General Forums, we weren't even sure there were any other all-gnome guilds out there apart from Order of the Golden Gear here on Wyrmrest Accord. We felt certain there must be some. I even tried asking a GM about other all-gnome guilds, but he said he couldn't tell me.
Since then, we've been thrilled to learn about two more: Hangin with my Gnomies, a level 2 guild on Emerald Dream, and Pink or GTFO, a level 15 guild on Lightbringer in the thread I posted on general. We would love to see more proud, patriotic, dare I even say militant gnome guilds, on every realm, flexing their gnome powah and showing the Tall Folk how we roll in G-Town!
We notice you don't show any current raiding on your GM character. Does the guild have a raiding team?
I did a bit of raiding during Wrath on my paladin. But personally, I'm more of a roleplayer and career casual player. Serious raiding is not really my thing.
We don't have a raid team at this time. Although we do try to push our progression boundaries weekly, it is more important to us to include everyone on our runs and have fun than down bosses. That said, we have conquered a great deal of older content, and there has been increasing interest within the guild to try our tiny hands at current raiding, so I cannot rule that out in the future.
We compose our Saturday night raid groups from whoever is available at the time and adjust our targets accordingly. However, the first time we tackle a new dungeon, heroic, or raid and until we conquer it, the groups are strictly guild-only. No Tall Folk allowed.
We have 86 dungeon and raid achievements under our tiny belts so far. Not the most impressive track record, perhaps, but we're proud of it all the same -- because we earned each one with just six playable classes available to gnomes. No paladins. No druids. No shaman. No foolin'.
And every time we cut another giant raid boss down to size, it is another victory and another step forward for gnomekind. Raid bosses of Azeroth, beware! The pitter-patter of tiny feet is the herald of your doom!
We have a couple of questions here for you from Twitter. From @EctoMaster: Is there an assigned un-punter?
We had one, but sadly, we had to let him go. There simply wasnt enough work. Seriously though, people I don't even know come up to me all the time and /salute, /cheer, or /hug me. I can't even remember the last time someone used a lame punt emote in my presence.
Gnomes on Wyrmrest Accord get much more respect today than they used to. And I firmly believe that guilds like ours and Order of the Golden Gear helped bring that about.
From @jedsblog: Which class would they prefer that gnomes get: paladins, druids, or shaman?
Gnomes have always had the fewest playable classes in the game, and for obvious reasons, that is a bit of a sore spot among our members. While mechanical shaman totems would be cool and druid baby animal forms would be squeal-out-loud adorable, we honestly feel that Blizzard owes us hunters and paladins.
That said, gnome monks are going to kick so much butt and add so much versatility to our lineup ... Who needs druids and shaman? Gnome paladins still need to happen, though.
And finally, has all the attention you received after Zarhym drew attention to your announcement that the guild had reach level 25 brought you new members?
Oh yes! Since that thread, we've found ourselves fairly besieged with new applicants. That was quite a surprise. But I suppose I should have expected something like that. Over the years, I've found that despite all the jokes and the /punt, down deep, people really like gnomes. We're the underdogs of WoW, and people love to see the little guy win! I just wish Blizzard would take notice of that. Then again --maybe they just did?
"I never thought of playing WoW like that!" -- and neither did we, until we talked with Game of Thrones' Hodor (Kristian Nairn) ... a blind ex-serviceman and the guildmates who keep him raiding as a regular ... and a 70-year-old grandma who tops her raid's DPS charts as its legendary-wielding GM. Send your nominations to firstname.lastname@example.org.