Momento Mori, Hawley.

March 1, 2011 at 3:48 pm | Posted in General | 3 Comments
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Wotcha everyone,

When successful Romans were paraded through cheering throngs, laurel wreath on head in danger of being knocked off by the amout of underwear thrown by Roman ladies (the last one is possibly inaccurate.  Must check Wikipedia more thoroughly), a slave was employed to constantly whisper in the ear of aforementioned Roman; “Remember that you are only a man”.

Now he didn’t whisper it in modern English.  That would be foolish; not every Roman spoke modern English.  But he’d say it in Latin; “Momento Mori”, literally translated as; “Remember you will die”.

The Romans, as a mob, loved their heroes but hated it when they started to think they were gods, or even worse; kings.  Hence the whispering slave, who was no doubt taken ‘round the back and thrashed after the parade for being really, really annoying.

My headbrain is dwelling on this concept at the moment because, for the first time as an MMO player, I have been promoted from the ranks, and into the realm of the Officer.

Heady heights, me.  Positive nose-bleed territory.

I’m no stranger to being an authoritarian (I use the term lightly) figure in my chosen areas of geekery, as I’ve been involved in the creation, organisation and running of various groups, clubs and what-have-you in the dim and distant past when I was younger, dafter, and had a lot more spare time.  But these were face-time social structures, where contact was far more through face to face conversation than it was through a forum and a chat box in a game.

And I am wary of text-based communication.  I am aware that I have a strange, dry sense of humour that does not translate well into text, so I’m always wary of inadvertently offending someone.  Or anyone.

Recently, I’ve been involved in the forum-based discussions regarding the setup and running of a community based around Rift.  A bunch of the current The Silent Minorty Lord of the Rings Online players and old/ex Insult to Injury Warhammer Online players got together and decided to see about creating a forum community, mainly because some players wanted to be Guardian and others Defiant.

Rather than deciding in the time-honoured way (two geeks, a mouse cable’s length apart, throwing the contents of their flask of weak lemon drink at each other until one gets enough in their eye that they can’t stand the pain any more) , it was decided to have two guilds.  One Guardian, one Defiant (this would have been my second choice.  Weak lemon drink stains can ruin a good anorak), both within the same community/forums.

Sometimes, compromise is good.

Being the sort who constantly has an opinion, I was of course my usual gobby self, willing to hold forth on any subject that caught my eye (so most of them, to be perfectly honest).

Now, in the past I have been more than willing to hold forth on guild forums to the same amount, but always shied away from being an officer.  It’s easy to comment on anything from talent specs to how raids should be organised when I don’t have any responsibility to do anything other than keep on playing, and keep on posting.  I am, at heart, a slacker after all.

But since I have been badgering our Fearless Leader on the Defiant side “a bit” (more than one too many times for himself, I feel), when the call went up on the forums for officers, I put my mark there.

So, here I am, officer and everything.

For those of an inquisitive nature, the guild is called Spiritus Machinae, and is a Defiant guild on the Argent server.  The community is based at  If you’d like to come and join us, feel free.  There are rules and suchlike, but we’re pretty casual and I’d hope welcoming at the very least.

And if you’re someone who is of a Guardian nature, then you’ll find Insult to Injury at the same forum address, on the same server.  Give them a shout; they’re lovely too.

Of course, I’m now terrified I shall arse it all up right royally.  I would like this to be a successful endeavour, and that doesn’t mean top-tier raiding, server firsts, and what-have-you.  Just that all members of the guild have a good time, able to experience the content they want, in an atmosphere of drama-less fun.

Most of all, I don’t want to kill the guild with my stupid sense of humour and inability to Just.  Shut.  Up.

I suppose the next few weeks will be the test.  The first month of an MMO launch is always busy; it’s after the first month that the server population starts to settle down into those here for the mid-long term, and those who just wanted to see what all the fuss is about.  We may get people in and out during that time; I shall try not to take it personally.

I’m also doing my best to remember that it’s not just my place as a guild member to play and have fun; it’s also my duty to ensure that other guild members are there to play and have fun.  It is not my duty to treat the guild as my own personal plaything, neither is it to expect nor accept the fawning admiration of those around me.  I am here to include, and enable.

At the same time, I look forward to the challenge.  I’ve been a part of many guilds, some of which I’ve really enjoyed being a part of, others less so.  Now it’s my turn to see if I can help create the sort of guild that not only I would enjoy being a member of, but everyone else too.




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  1. Howdy, Hawley!

    Congratulations on being accepted as the Officer of the hour. I have to add one thing to your longish rant on how you don’t want to spoil everything.

    You. Are. Not. Alone.

    Though the position of ‘an Officer’ can be deemed as being a position of authority and something the members depend on, you as an officer have to be able to trust and depend of the members. Delegate, discuss, trust and use your dry – though very entertaining – humour.

    Main point being… Be yourself in doing it.

    If you need help – or a shoulder to cry on – you can holler me and most of the guild. We will be there.

    C out

  2. *Everyone is an Officer in Insult to Injury, indeed a Senior Officer no less!

    That state of affairs will remain until the point where someone abuses the privilege of being able to invite to the guild and promote to Senior officer, at which point we may have to demote some people to mere Officers.

  3. […] MMOSH — Momento mori, Hawley “Most of all, I don’t want to kill the guild with my stupid sense of humour and inability to Just. Shut. Up.” […]

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