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HoS Guild History

Learning to Crawl (In the Beginning)

In the beginning, before MMOG giants such as Everquest or Ultima Online strode across the lands, there were games like Mplayer and Underlight. It was here that the character known as Sagacious first came into being. Player versus player was the goal even then, and the first steps were taken on the long road leading to the present today.

One Small Step (Asheron's Call)

The character Sagacious was first created on the Darktide server in November 1999. Along with his brother-in-law and several other quality players met in game, a monarchy was born. The original name suggested (chosen by Sagacious himself, no doubt) was to be "Erudite Pugilists." Luckily for all involved though, that choice was overruled and the House of Sagacious officially came into being in January of 2000.

The guild originally included Sagacious, Nayrb-llah, Togashi Kokuni, Phlage, Gento, Elakase, Ragnar and R O K K. After spending time running around looking for an out of the way town that offered good low-level hunting and provided fletching supplies, Sagacious discovered Baishi and chose it to be the guilds home. While living in Baishi, HoS remained a small, tight knit monarchy because that was what all members wanted. Everyone knew their guild mates and knew they could count on each other without question. This is where the sense of family that defines HoS was born. We became known for our group fighting tactics and tenacity in battle that has been a hallmark of the guild in all games we pursue.

The opening of a new city named Ayan Baqur was the reason that we moved from our original home, because of the high level hunting available and the presence of a portal to Baishi right next to the lifestone. Along with our (then) allies Circle of the Eternal Dragon (CED) and some other "good" guilds, AB became a haven for non-random PK guilds (aka "Anti" guilds). It was while living in AB that HoS earned their nickname of the "Merchants of Darktide." Despite the original Sagacious character having been long ago turned into a trade mule, he was always willing to use his skills for others - for a price. Because of the payment policies, House of Sagacious was one of the first guilds to provide all members with the latest weapons and armor. It was that sense of guild community that helped outfit our players with the best available, because everyone gave what they had to help out other members.

As with all things "good" though (especially in PvP games), leeches arrived to benefit from others hard work and conflicts started to occur between residents. When the South Tusker Camp was found (then a huge source of experience), HoS claimed this for our own and set rules of use. Problems started when we enforced those rules on everyone, not just the rPKs that tried to control the location themselves. We fought against Bloods and other "evil" guilds to prevent them from using this spot, and when necessary, we fought "good" guilds as well for not following our rules. Our actions at the STC changed the server profoundly and helped to form a template for area control that all guilds use to this day.

When several of the resident guilds of AB were denied use of the STC because they did nothing to help defend and control the spawn, they got upset and ultimately formed a (fairly short-lived) guild called GEN. Because of past issues and general idiocy on their part, GEN decided to cause problems by attacking HoS and the remaining town residents, setting off the three-way battles that were the Second AB wars. Blood (the largest rPK guild on the server) and Blood's ally JoV decided to take this opportunity to once again try to take over AB.

The First and Second AB wars were some of the best times on the server during that first year, and all sides fought back and forth for control of the city. The First AB wars were won by the original residents, but eventually, due to Blood having overwhelming levels and numbers, the original residents gave up the city during the Second AB wars (except for some smaller die-hard guilds/players) and moved to other parts of the map to level up and try to even the playing field.

HoS moved several times during this period, living at remote lifestones, Tou-Tou and Hebain-To, the latter with our then allies NWA. When housing was added to the game, we made what was meant to be our final move to a mansion just outside the remote town of Kara. Until the end, we controlled both the North and South Tusker Camp spawns as well as holding numerous other dungeons and hunting spots spawns as we choose. The move to Kara also brought the AC Chapter closer to our final ally - Black Rose.

One Giant Leap (Dark Age of Camelot)

In the summer of 2001, HoS made what was a huge decision for the guild overall - we decided to become a multigame guild when members were accepted into the guild beta of DAoC. By early September, many of our longtime core members had switched to help test what was arguably the weakest of the three realms - Hibernia.

Even after release, we chose to remain in Hibernia, knowing full well the limitations (and limited strengths) of our chosen realm. Along with Fight With Honor (FWH), our long time allies from the Baishi days of AC1, we fielded a strong force on the Morgan le Fay server.

Utilizing our guild strengths (among them organization, precision, planning, teamwork and attitude), we began to level in earnest while planning our assault on the other realms. There were the usual potholes in the road along the way, most notably our having to adjust to the knowledge that DAoC wasn't the FFA PvP environment that we grew up with in AC1. That meant that the idiots were sometimes on our side, and there was nothing we could do to them (directly). For the good of the realm, we had to put up with them.

An HoS/FWH lead campaign was the first on our server to capture a keep in the enemy frontier of Midgard. At the time, a task such as this required well-balanced groups and an extreme amount of organization between everyone involved. At a minimum of 6 groups of 8 players each, that required herding around 48+ players in the same direction and having them all do the same thing at the proper time and in the correct order. But we succeeded and with that capture, gave Midgard and Albion notice that Hibernia on MLF was not going to be the pushover it was on other servers.

HoS ruled the Midgard frontier gates for months, with our stealth gank squad (including Vex, Parabolic, Timberwulf and Jojji) wreaking havoc to any hunting groups that ventured out to seek higher-level mobs. Until our enemies earned enough levels to start to challenge us in the golf-course that was the Hibernian frontier, almost all frontier fighting took place in Midgard.

For months, Morgan le Fay was the only server where Hibernia was successful and wasn't being trampled into the ground by Midgard and/or Albion. Not only was this due to our presence there, but the server was overall relatively balanced between the realms. HoS held the top realm points spot for months, even after many of the original core members returned to AC1 for a more FFA style of game play. The new members that we had attracted were more than up to the task of upholding the superior tradition of HoS.

After more than a year of limited realm vs. realm combat, DAoC decided to open a FFA PvP server called Mordred, and then a second one named Andred. Several HoS moved to Andred seeking an open PvP environment similar to what they had known in AC1, but the reality was somewhat different. Despite the shortcomings of the game for PvP, some persevered and when Andred was merged into Mordred, they regrouped and continued there.

Step into the Future (Asheron's Call 2)

November 2002 marked the next growth spurt for the guild when AC2 was released. The sequel to AC is set in the future of Dereth years after a great cataclysm has changed the world. Once again, our beta-testers used their knowledge to jump-start the guild at release and the leveling race was on. Using our usual group and team tactics, member shot up in levels quickly. A special advance team of our highest level players struck out and secured leveling grounds, passing them on to lower level players as they outgrew them. Very quickly, we were ready to take over the high level island.

Even using tried and true methods, nothing ever goes smoothly though, and as a guild we are no exception. It's said that "No plan survives its first engagement" and unfortunately for us, the first real engagement for our plan came internally. Because of an inner-guild conflict, the members of the special advance team left HoS to form their own guild. Even though this only lasted a short time (the majority of those members have rejoined the guild), it wasn't without effect on everyone involved.

At about the same time this happened, an old time ally from AC1 became an enemy. The hostilities with The Ancient Order (TAO - part of which was made up of our old CED allies) came about because of the actions of one rogue member of their guild, who even admitted to wishing to cause problems between HoS and TAO. Despite proof that this one person was the main cause of trouble, TAO choose to believe their member and that lead to a war that wasn't ended until the leadership of both guilds changed over and cooler heads worked things out.

We were briefly allied once again with TAO in AC2 through the many changes to AC2 (server merges, game issues and low player populations), but HoS presence eventually faded from AC2 (as has the presence of the player base overall).

One Step Beyond (Shadowbane)

December 2002 - Some early beta testers in the guild work to get some members accepted, and our full entry into SB begins. Although we were present in force only near the end of beta, we still had a visible presence on the server. Those experiences helped us plan out our direction for retail, and when the game finally released in March 2003, we were ready to go. The Money Tree was planted and soon became one of the largest open cities on Scorn. Baishi was soon formed, in memory of our original home from AC1.

We formed an alliance of nations with Stonecutters, one of our friends from DAoC and Order of the Severed Claw (OSC), one of our enemies from DAoC Midgard. With a nice midlevel hunting spot nearby, we once again began the process of quickly leveling members while building our city. There was little organized PvP action at this time, because players were looking to level up and get equipped before starting real GvG or NvN warfare.

From the start, we knew we were going to have a hard time of things when one of the largest of the long time beta nations decided on Scorn as well. The R30s consisted of SiN, DDH and several other well-known rPK guilds from other games. They had much more beta experience, were used to working together and were more organized, so we had an uphill battle ahead of us. The server quickly became "everyone vs. R30s" and their home cities of Watts and Compton appeared to be impenetrable.

By early May, having levels and numbers against the individual nations, R30s started claiming boredom because they had "won" at SB and were quitting. Baishi was the first city to fall, since it was placed near the R30s home cities and was used only for higher level hunting. The R30s having early access to siege gear (acquired at an FC event they "defended") was a definite factor in the fall of the city.

Money Tree was still around and was the largest open city on the server, a fact used against us. Many players used our home as a base of operations, including enemies leveling up in "secrecy" and peace before revealing themselves as rPKs. The city flourished, and soon imitators were being established, including our then ally's city of Moe's Tavern.

Basic differences in philosophy lead to a break with the Stonecutters, mostly because they encouraged open, unrestricted recruiting of members and did nothing to regulate neither their members nor their open city of Moe's Tavern. Other nation members weren't satisfied with the arrangements, and with OSC having other problems with SC as well, the alliance with them broke up. HoS, along with OSC, the Order of the Silver Hand, Dragon Family and others, stayed together as an unofficial nation.

Money Tree was an obvious target for the R30s, since it was a focal point of the server. Attacks were stepped up and a bane was eventually placed. By now, all guilds had the ability to produce siege equipment as needed, and this battle looked to be more even. But the games inability to handle large amounts of players in one location (such as a siege, for example, the game's central selling point) hampered both sides and produced numerous sb.exe crashes in short periods of time. The appearance of R4 dragons on top of the siege equipment of Money Tree prevented the defenders from responding to the attack, partially because the dragons were killing the defenders right and left. The rush of transient town residents fleeing instead of defending did not help the defenders either. Money Tree was doomed.

The loss of Money Tree was a huge blow to the server and to the guild, and with the majority of the "first level" R30s already gone or leaving, the server population took a severe nose dive. The landscape became a wasteland of little one person trees, easily affordable because of the large amounts of duped gold that distorted the economy, and finding someone to fight became a challenge in itself. At the end of August 2003 though, a ray of hope was offered when Ubi and WolfPack announced a new server, one that would be a merger of Scorn and Treachery, the two lowest population servers at the time.

Interest in Scorn picked up a bit, if only because of old players returning to prepare for the server merge. This was almost bungled horribly by Ubi/WP though, when they initially tried to force Scorn/Treachery players to merge into the existing servers with nothing but the items they had equipped. The new server was to be a virgin one with a new map for anyone to start on. Luckily for Scorn and Treachery though, the outcry was enough to make the developers reconsider, and a second new server named Vengeance was born.

The first server merge went off at the end of October, and while the population was still a less than stellar 600-ish players a night, the population of Vengeance was crowded compared to what we had dealt with. HoS took what knowledge we had of the new map and went to work once again, farming mobs for hours to earn the gold to plant the first and third trees on the server. Once more, Baishi and Money Tree lived. Our enemies from the end of Scorn - the Evil Bastages - proved to be our biggest roadblock, but we fought them while working on relationships with guilds from Treachery at the same time. Once more, our cities were destroyed by EB and their allies CotA (even though they weren't going to "zerg" here on Vengeance), proving to us once and for all that open cities were not the way to go.

We regrouped, rebuilt and returned to our roots as a small guild with almost no allies and plenty of enemies, but fighting against the odds has always been our way. Leadership was passed on as players faded away because of lingering and continuing server performance, and the SB chapter (along with the AC2, DAoC and short-lived UO/IPY chapters) was formally closed in June, 2004.

A Step to the Left (Lineage 2)

While the majority of the guild remained in AC1 (at the time, still our largest gaming chapter), the more vagabond membership that carried the House of Sagacious name through multiple other games entered the World of Lineage 2. The follow-up to the largest MMOG in the world at the time, L2 promised FFA PvP wrapped in one of the most beautiful game worlds ever seen. At least the graphics were gorgeous.

HoS in L2 formed up in beta once again, and charged forward into retail with a plan and the determination to take on all comers. The prospect of being able to declare wars with other guilds, allowing true FFA battles drew us in, and we looking forward to testing ourselves against enemies such as Justice and TAO, who we were once again at war with. We organized ourselves to take advantage of member's knowledge, and began the long grind to the top of the leveling treadmill.

It wasn't long though before L2's warts started to show through. This was an endless leveling grind akin to EQ, and to make matters worse, the PvP system proved itself to be seriously flawed. The FFA environment that we were seeking wasn't there, instead there were severe and harsh penalties on anyone who went red and became PvP flagged. For a game as equipment dependant as L2, losing your gear to an unflagged griefer was disheartening and not what we were looking for. We sought battles where skill and template mattered, not who had the best gear or whether or not some white jerk decided to jump into a battle and get a lucky shot.

Our sole guild war (with Justice) last only a few days, and we weren't defeated by skill in either of the two organized meetings. Lack of levels combined with equipment meant that we had no real chance to test our skills against theirs. Sieges were supposed to be another bright spot in the game, but those too turned out to be nothing more than brief glimpses of hope. Class and template balance was too far out of whack to allow anyone but ranged characters to succeed well in a siege, and those occasions became nothing more than random groups trying to kill other random groups. Although, game performance worked well during these sieges, which was a vast improvement over SB's siege system.

Many of our members persevered because of the promise of Chronicle 2, which promised changes in the system. Unfortunately, it became harder and harder to sustain interest in the game and the chapter was closed without much of a fuss.

A Stumble and Fall (Trouble in Paradise)

Even though L2 didn't pan out for those seeking that PvP mecca beyond AC1, there were other games on the horizon. One of these was World of Warcraft, eagerly anticipated by those who had played the previous Warcraft games. This was a return to the realm vs. realm type of combat (Alliance vs. Horde) but with Blizzard's track record of making solid games, perhaps it could be a step in the right direction.

Members joined the closed beta and the stress tests, and the word coming from them was that the game was good. We began to gear up once again for the November 2004 release, organizing members and planning our attack on the server. There was to be an "unofficial" PvP server in the Central time zone, one that all the big PvP guilds were planning to start on and HoS was no exception. As release time drew closer though, things came to a head within the guild itself.

One problem was the severe lack of connection between the AC1 chapter of HoS and the other chapters of the guild. Many members of the AC1 chapter had almost no idea the other chapters existed and they did not feel that overall guild rules and goals should be applied to them. The resentments, accusations and arguments between members began to take over the private boards.

The other significant issue was the two very different play styles evident within the guild. One side wanted to be more hardcore PvPers, with winning as the primary goal. They tried to be more selective in allowing recruits to join, not allowing existing members to transfer from other game chapters without getting leadership approval and forcing even friends and family to go through the full recruitment process. The other side was more relaxed and felt that friends and family were what this guild was built upon and PvP was for winning, but not at the expense of having fun.

Unfortunately, after years of hard work and effort, the break became inevitable when even the five guild leaders split between the two camps. When it became apparent that this time nothing could be resolved, Cyreen and Sagacious made the decision to split the guild. The entire AC1 chapter along with about half the members who were gearing up for WoW left 3 days before WoW was released. Those who did not leave were readmitted to HoS and the guild regrouped under the leadership of Sagacious, Cyreen and Phlage and carried on.

Back on Track (World of Warcraft)

With only three days to release, the guild had to scramble to re-evaluate our plans. Along with our longtime allies Fight With Honor, HoS chose to remain as Alliance and move to the Illidan server. The new server choice was a good one, because the initial "Unofficial PvP" server Archimonde went down at release and didn't come back up for three days.

We quickly began questing our way to the top, and groups organized quickly to take advantage of our beta knowledge. For the first time in years, the entire guild was focused on one game and the quality teamwork showed. Everyone remaining worked together to make HoS a success, and it showed. Friends and family were allowed to join up and this infusion of new, like-minded members provided even more energy. Members were spreading out; getting to know everyone else and the bonds became tighter.

The guild crafters were chosen and they began their skills as quickly as possible, learning recipes in order to make items for others. Others took on support roles and fed the crafters components. In many cases, the crafters raised their skills so quickly and easily that they reached the skill caps for their level. Once the initial guild crafters were well on their way, secondary and even tertiary crafters were chosen as backups in the primary crafting areas.

Once member levels started to reach the 40s, members began organizing to hit the larger instances, learning the best methods to complete the quests within. As newer members caught up, the higher levels began to help run these instances in order to speed up the leveling. As we reached level 55+, the raids groups began. Instances such as Scholomance, Strathome and Black Rock Spire became common knowledge for the level 60s in the guild. And always, knowledge was shared and passed on to help everyone in the guild.

Currently, HoS can field almost an entire raid group (40 members) of level 60s ourselves, and while we have not yet organized raids on the largest instances (such as Molten Core or Onyxia), those will eventually come. Members of all levels frequently take time out to go raid the Horde leveling spots, even taking over the Horde towns in some zones for hours at a time. We fight Horde wherever they are found, and don't shy away from any combat.

The Future

There are always plenty of games on the horizon, and HoS will check out any that involve PvP to see if the game is worthy of our presence. Right now, we are focusing all our efforts on World of Warcraft. We are using this time to once more become the tight-knit, friends and family oriented guild that we started out as. We are looking towards the future, but right now, the present is looking very bright.

- Originally written, February 2004
- Revised and updated, April 2005

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