On the ArcheAge server in which I play, the East faction is significantly outnumbered by those in the West. I play in the East, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I enjoy being the underdog. There is no greater challenge than to play at a great disadvantage and still win. Our guild punches far above its weight, particularly as we recently changed things up. Ten days ago we put into action a plan that had been brewing for a while. Our guild had over 80 members, but the vast majority logged on and played the game without any interaction with their fellow guildies. This was unacceptable for two reasons – AA is a sandboxy game, and the more we cooperate as a guild, the better we do. And any player in the guild is a potential security threat. Who are these people logging on every day and positively ignoring the rest of the guild while they monitor our chat channels? Espionage is not unknown in this game.

So we pulled out the active player core and formed a new guild – Letter of Marque. The name represents how we intend to impact the game world. We are a privateering guild with a focus on trade. We aim to own the ocean in the evening Australian time. That means any red faction trade runs or fishing expeditions will have some problems. They’re already having problems now. Our raiding results are quite good, but when you take into account that we’re doing it with about a dozen players then you can stick an ‘indeed’ on the end of it. New players to our guild have to follow some basic and unyielding rules. You have to be on teamspeak when you’re playing as voice chat is where we organise our events. It doesn’t mean you have to blab away, but you do have to be in the loop. You have to be loyal and you cannot attack our own faction. We are not pirates, we are privateers. However, we do attack known elements of our faction who we know collaborate with the reds. This is unacceptable as is killing your own faction for personal benefit or griefing. There are a few green guilds firmly in our sights, (as in they’re kill on sight if we encounter them). There’s nothing worse than a traitor and our faction is full of them. Why?

Because we’re outnumbered and they’re weaklings who would rather roll over and suck up to the enemy instead of fighting it out. But like I said, I enjoy being the underdog as it makes victory all the more sweeter. And it’s why when the perennial argument concerning pay-to-win raises its head I really don’t understand what the fuss is all about. So some players want to spend wads of real life cash in order to get items that they’re too lazy or inept to get any other way. So what? They might have the ultra delph bow of crushing but inevitably they’ll suck at playing their toon. (I particularly like disarming players who rely on an uber-weapon for their greatness and watch them flail around for 10 seconds as they frantically face-mash the keyboard in an attempt to understand why they can’t use their big tough sword). And they’ll have to keep paying the monies to get the next weapon up as inflation starts to eat at the game.

No, make me the underdog any day. It’s where the real fun is. The type of fun that lasts for a long time.