Archons of Malice Guild Spotlight – Lagwar Presents #20

Lagwar Presents, the Archons of Malice, a Warhammer Online Roleplaying Guild. Anglakhel, the guild’s ruthless, most sinister Dark Elf and guild leader, chats with Brilen and Ziss about the guild, Warhammer Online, and other games they’ve played in prior to joining the WAR. Also, Brilen and Ziss announce our first winner for the Lagwar.com Left 4 Dead Contest! Congrats to XShinobi on winning some cool L4D merchandise and thanks to Revolution PC for sponsoring the contest.


Here’s an overview of Lagwar Presents, Show #20:
*Lagwar.com speaks with Anglakhel of Archons of Malice, a Warhammer Online Roleplaying Guild
*Extensive written interview with screenshots and an audio interview on the podcast
*Brilen and Ziss step inside the guild to see what makes them tick
*Anglakhel explains the Dark Elf roleplaying theme behind the guild
*Warhammer Online mechanics discussion and we get the guild’s opinion
*Archons of Malice past, present, and future
*Lagwar.com L4D Weekly Contest Winner – XShinobi

Scroll down to read the full interview with Anglakhel, leader of the Archons of Malice!

Subscribe to Lagwar Presents! at the iTunes store today! Please send us your feedback, comments, suggestions, or guild and clan info to Show@Lagwar.com.


Lagwar.com Presents…
“Archons of Malice, a Warhammer Online Guild”

[LW] So first off, what is AoM and how many members do you currently have?

[Anglakhel] The Archons of Malice are a Dark Elf themed Roleplay Guild with a heavy RvR focus. We’re devoted to the Witch King of Naggaroth and are prepared to do anything necessary to serve his war. We’re a small guild with around thirty members but looking to grow in the long term.

[LW] How did AoM get started?

[Anglakhel] That’s actually a really complicated question. Some elements preceed WAR, but we’re really a WAR guild. I helped to found the Archons in WoW on the Stormscale server. The Archons of Malice grew out of some of my core inspiration for that guild when I moved my focus over to WAR. The current incarnation of the AoM actually started as part of another guild, the White Flame. I’ve been following WAR since the beginning (actually before the beginning if you count the earlier attempt at a Warhammer MMO). As I lurked around various WAR fan sites, I found a great group of players in a heavily Chaos themed guild. I joined up with the White Flame and over time became an officer in the guild. The problem was that although I really respected the passionate fans of Chaos and the lore behind the guild, I really wanted to be a Dark Elf. I knew from the moment I found out about WAR that I would be playing a Dark Elf.

I had always planned on being whatever the Dark Elf Tank Career ended up being, and when the Black Guard was announced, I began focusing my character’s background. The problem was that there is so much great stuff about the background of the Black Guard and I wanted to be a “real” Black Guard. It was hard to explain what this Black Guard of Malekith was doing following a Daemon Prince of Chaos Undivided. So, I started looking for ways to incorporate my Druchii character into the guild without sacrificing what I considered to be essential to the personality of the Druchii, in general, and the Black Guard, in particular. I proposed a background to explain why some of Malekith’s Black Guard would be serving a Chaos warhost and we began working it into the background for the guild.

As the guild developed, the plan became to have several Heralds that would lead sub-guilds called “Hosts.” I was promoted to Herald and decided to expand some of my ideas for my character’s back story into a broader background for my entire Host. The Archons of Malice proper emerged at this point as a Druchii Host within the White Flame that was loyal to Malekith, but sworn to aid the the White Flame. It was through a collaboration with Alluvian Est-Endrati, the Daemon Prince of the White Flame, that the idea of the Heart of Malice accord and the Archons of Malice really took shape.

As we neared release, I decided to focus even more directly on the Druchii experience and we split the Archons of Malice from the White Flame. We maintained a close alliance, but I wanted the Archons of Malice to provide an extremely focused experience for our members that wanted to experience the Dark Elf culture in WAR.

[LW] To reiterate some parts from question 2, what different games has AoM been a part of and for how long? Were AoM’s roots deep in these games?

[Anglakhel] As I mentioned previously, the Archons emerged as a guild during the World of Warcraft years. We were the top Oceanic guild on our server, Stormscale. It was a really broad international membership base that was a bit crazy to manage. I was one of the core officers and the raid leader for the guild. I worked evenings at the time, so I couldn’t raid during US Primetime. So, I would log in at 3 or 4 am to raid with players from Australia, Malaysia, Singapore, and Hong Kong as well as others scattered all over the world. I think what I found most rewarding was dealing with a very diverse guild membership and still managing to get it focused and operating effectively.

The Archons of Malice are influenced by the core ideals I had for the Archons, but we’re really a new guild.

[LW] How many of the current AoM WAR members are “original” members so to speak? Members that have carried over from past games that AoM has played?

[Anglakhel] Members of the original Archons guild are mostly playing WAR on an Oceanic server. They’re great folks and I wish we were all still playing together, but Mythic provided Oceanic servers which means it doesn’t make a lot of sense for them to hang out on laggy US Servers. Of the group that was with the AoM during pre-release, we have around ten active members that have really helped to form our core. All of us are fairly new to each other, but we have a tremendous amount of respect for one another and a real willingness to bring others into the guild and create positive growth.

[LW] What attracted Archons of Malice to Warhammer Online? What would you say is your personal favorite part of the game currently?

[Anglakhel] We were really born specifically for WAR. Our members have come to WAR for a lot of reasons. There is definitely a love for the Warhammer setting, in particular the Dark Elves. The promise of meaningful RvR and real focus on the different character of each faction is what sold me on WAR. From the beginning, WAR promised to stay true the the Warhammer setting and give compelling careers that were really based upon the various armies from Warhammer. That’s one area where I completely lost faith and interest in WoW. They had these fun armies from the rts game (inspired in no small part by Warhammer), but the color and flavor was totally lost in the translation to an MMO. Every class was basically the same. It didn’t matter if I was an Orc Warrior, a Dwarf Warrior, an Elf Warrior, or a Human Warrior. They all fought the same way, wore the same gear, and quite often started to look the same by endgame.

I think that WAR’s has done a phenomenal job with tapping into the Warhammer world and using the differences in the various armies to create compelling and interesting Careers and in the process made sure to give us a great RvR game. When the RvR is good, it really shines beyond anything I ever experienced in WoW. I get drawn into my character as a part of the larger battle and love to see how the war takes shape, win or lose. I know that as I fight with my Black Guard, the longer I play him, the more he is going to look like a Black Guard. He’ll never be sporting the same gear worn by a Dwarf Ironbreaker, or even a High Elf Sword Master.

[LW] Why Ostermark-RP?

[Anglakhel] One of my regrets in World of Warcraft was playing on a non-RP server. I rolled on a PvP server at launch because I didn’t like that the RP servers were all “Normal”. When I came to WAR, it was important to get on a RP server and have a more mature population and a player base that cares about more than just the numbers. I still wish at times that I was playing an Open RvRP server, but in the end there seemed to be more issues with the Open RvR Ruleset and not enough advantages. It’s one area where I remain quite disappointed with WAR.

There was some debate at Head Start about exactly which server, but friends and allies had ties to a group that chose Ostermark. It’s a good, well balanced server. On any given day, Order or Destruction may have the advantage which means you can almost always get a tough fight, which is important for the long term health of a server.

[LW] Can you give a short explanation on your thoughts on Warhammer Online? How the game has come along thus far, and also is the game headed in the same direction as AoM? As a Roleplaying Guild, does WAR accommodate you sufficiently? Or does WAR leave something to be desired for RP’ers?

[Anglakhel] I think WAR is a good game. I don’t think it’s great yet, but I do think it will get there. For me, the foundation is there. Perpetual war between two forces that absolutely want to annihilate one another. The sides both look and feel unique and distinct. I do think Mythic has had some serious blunders, but they obviously care deeply about WAR and the Warhammer setting. They have the talent and the passion to correct the course and keep WAR growing and evolving.

I look at things long term for the AoM. The game has just started and I plan on being around for a long time with WAR. We’ve finally got all our Careers and our guild can really experience all the elements of the game now.

WAR is definitely RP friendly. They’ve done a fantastic job with the setting and providing lots of flavor and color, especially through the Tome of Knowledge. Occasionally you see some disruptions of the RP environment, like ridiculous character names, and the CSR’s sometimes seem a bit slow to respond, but I have seen some policing of the RP server rules.

[LW] Any mechanics or tools missing from WAR that you wish were in the game to support RP guilds? Any particular aspects of WAR that make you super happy? Does the good outweigh the bad thus far?

[Anglakhel] We need more /emotes and animations for emotes. The social hub is a bit lacking. As a Dark Elf guild, we don’t want to head to the Inevitable City every time we need a place to meet and relax or discuss business. There are some cool locations, but some of them are in RvR lakes and become totally shut off to our members for RP purposes once you level out of the tier.

I have a dream of leading a huge riotous celebration for the Temple of Khaine. I want to see a vast throng of Witch Elves and Disciples leading a horde of Naggarothi in blood sacrifice at the Altar of Khaine. Unfortunately, the most sacred site in the Druchii religion is in a T1 RvR lake. So, anyone outside T1 trying to see the Altar of Khaine becomes a chicken. Ridiculous. I absolutely hate the chicken. I hate it for a lot of reasons, but I especially hate it for the interruption in RP and world immersion.

I do think the visuals for the Dark Elves are pretty fantastic. The Black Arks are amazing. I can’t wait until we can actually enter the Fist of Malekith. The Career visual design is incredible. I’m very pleased with the distinctive look of all the Dark Elf Careers. The good in WAR definitely outweighs the bad for me. It doesn’t mean the bad doesn’t really get under my skin sometimes (see Chicken rant), but I’m willing to give Mythic time to work out the bad and make the good even better.

[LW] Has your guild member numbers stayed strong since the formation of the guild or has there been some low points due to server populations? And how is it now?

[Anglakhel] We have a strong core, but we have seen a lot of churn. We’re a new guild in a new MMO, so a fair amount of turnover is to be expected, but it’s definitely one of the most frustrating things about running a guild. Every time we lose a member or someone goes inactive, I take it personally. I want to know what I could have done to improve their experience. I realize that our vision isn’t going to match up with everyone, but it’s still disappointing when you lose a member.

It’s been really hard to have a Dark Elf themed guild when we didn’t have a Tank Career until December. The lack of the Black Guard really contributed to a rocky beginning in many ways for the AoM. It made it very difficult to focus all our energy on being the very best Dark Elf guild that we could be. The arrival of the Black Guard was good, but now that we have a second wave of players leveling in the guild, it’s a bit hard to coordinate across all the Tiers. This is another reason I hate the Chicken. It really disrupts our ability to participate in activities together as a guild. Being spread out across Tiers really disrupts guild unity. Most guilds probably experience this, but it’s been quite pronounced due to the Black Guard.

[LW] How would you rate Warhammer Online’s RP servers overall? Do players normally respect WAR’s RP server rules or even RP fundamentals?

[Anglakhel] I haven’t spent much time on the other RP servers. I do feel that Ostermark has a great community. We have some excellent RP guilds on both sides that really try and get the RP front and center. The RP rules are generally respected. We have a few terrible names, but not many. A lot of the time you have to take the initiative and engage others in RP, but I find that most players will respond if you speak to them in character.

That said, I think there is a solid foundation, but a lot of room for improvement. We’re looking to really take our RP to the next level. We’re in the process of really reaching out to some of the other RP guilds and alliances to find ways to increase the active RP participation on Ostermark.

[LW] As an RP guild, does your guild have any lore behind it? Any particular theme to the story to make it more immersive while roleplaying?

[Anglakhel] The lore was a big, big part of why I created the Archons of Malice. I wanted to focus on the Dark Elf experience. I wanted a guild that sought to honor the Dark Elves as they are presented in WAR. I wanted a place for players passionate about the Druchii, or interested in learning a lot about them. It’s very important to me though that we embrace WAR and its unique take on the Warhammer universe. So, we’ve embraced additions to the Warhammer universe, like the Disciple, and sought to explain how they fit into the overall Druchii culture. There was some really negative feedback from some small segments of the WAR fan community during development and I saw some guilds form with what struck me as very hostile and exclusionary practices. I wanted a Dark Elf guild experience that took what was great from Warhammer and took what was presented in WAR and made sense of all of it. I wanted to include as many players as possible rather than trying to drive players away.

According to our guild lore, the Archons of Malice were created through a treaty called the “Heart of Malice”. It was an accord between Malekith, the Witch King, and foreign powers. The idea was that the Age of Reckoning requires extraordinary measures and requires the Druchii to take risks that otherwise would be avoided. The Archons of Malice draw their authority through the Heart of Malice accord and the Drukheyl, or Lord Archon, carries a Writ of Iron from Malekith himself. A handpicked unit of Black Guard from the Tower of Malice make up the core of the Archons of Malice. The Temple of Khaine has provided their Witch Elves, Assassins and Disciples to oversee the spiritual well being of the Archons. While the Six Convents of the Sorceresses have sent their seers and mystics to investigate and explore dangerous new powers that might provide the Witch King with a valuable weapon.

[LW] Any particular members of the guild who have went above and beyond whether it be with roleplaying or just generally helping the guild to move forward?

[Anglakhel] We have a lot of great members. We have some that are able to serve as officers and help organize events. We have some donating their artistic, literary, or technical skills. Others are just always friendly and engaging of other members.

I must say, we wouldn’t be the guild we are without our members. I appreciate everyone that participates and engages when they can. I don’t want to single any one person out by name, because I don’t want to exclude anyone deserving of mention. But I will remember to try and thank everyone in person while I’m in game.

[LW] What’s AoM’s status in WAR currently? Can you give some details about what experiences and adventures you’ve had so far?

[Anglakhel] We’re currently at Guild Rank 19 and anxiously looking forward to attaining Rank 20 so that our full heraldry is on display. We’ve led a lot of great battles thus far. The constant struggle for Avelorn and Saphery sticks out. We consider Ghrond’s Sacristy something of a home. We haven’t really hit T4 in force yet, but we’re approaching the point where the majority of our members will be in T4 and looking forward to it. We’ve been allied with a great guild, the Black Sun Boyz for quite a while and we’ve also recently begun to formally explore an alliance with the Dogs of War, a fantastic RP RvR Alliance on Ostermark with some guilds with long and illustrious histories in other MMOs. I think our future in WAR is very bright.

[LW] What different methods and tactics have you had to implement to achieve these goals? Did any methods not work out, and you had to change to a different method?

We’ve had to be fairly inclusive for Dark Elves. Until recently, we just didn’t have the Tanks needed to get most things accomplished. So, we’ve become quite adept at working with others and leading warbands with diverse membership. I’m really looking forward to getting most of our members into the same Tier so that we can really start to work out our strategies between Careers. I think it makes for a great challenge to limit yourself to 4/11 possible Destruction Careers and see what you can accomplish through creative tactics.

[LW] Is there anything that’s not in the game currently but Mythic has stated will be in the game in the near future that AoM is really excited about?

[Anglakhel] We’re really looking forward to improved Zone capture mechanics. Also, upgradeable Keeps are a must. At present, we try and maintain control of a Keep as much as possible, but the benefits are not really immediately apparent. I can’t wait for a system to be in place that makes it so guilds really want to stake a claim in Keeps and defend them.

[LW] What type of players does AoM look for when recruiting? What are your recruitment requirements and processes?

[Anglakhel] We’re looking for passionate and mature players. Just to be clear, we consider thoughtful, respectful and considerate players “mature”. We’re very guild focused, so we want players that have a real desire to be a part of a guild and take pride in the accomplishments of the guild. When playing, I’m always looking for possible recruits. I look for players that are willing to follow a plan through to the end. I want players that are looking to fight the enemy and not just trade Keep and Objectives. I look for players that are respectful of RP and make a real effort to contribute to the RP on the server.

Our recruitment is fairly relaxed. Some applicants approach us, or are approached by us, in game. Others come to the forums at www.archonsofmalice.org. We have a few basic questions that we ask our applicants to address on the forum, but a lot of the process takes place through interaction in game.

[LW] Is there anything AoM would like to throw in this article that hasn’t been mentioned? Anything at all?

[Anglakhel] We really appreciate the opportunity to do this interview for Lagwar. I think you’re doing a great service to the community and it’s an honor to be a part of it. Looking forward to your future contributions to the WAR community.

Our winning L4D screenshot for this week was submitted by xshinobi, congrats!


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Comments

  1. Thanks for having me for the interview, Ziss and Brilen. It was a lot of fun.

  2. No war channeling with World of Warcraft please!

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