Lagwar’s Guild Spotlight Podcast – Fist of the Empire

Lagwar Presents, Fist of the Empire, a Warhammer Online Guild. Praelian Darkpath, the biggest “foe”, chats with Brilen and Ziss about the guild, Warhammer Online, and other games FoE has roots in. Use our built in player, Lagwar Presents on iTunes and the Zune Marketplace, or simply right click on the download button and select Save Target As then choose a location on your computer to save the mp3 to. Then double click, listen, and enjoy! Have a guild you’d like to see on our Spotlight Podcast? Email us your info today!

Here’s an overview of Lagwar Presents, Show #22:
* speaks with Praelian of Fist of the Empire, a Warhammer Online Guild
*Extensive written interview, video, and audio interview on the podcast
*Praelian explains FoE’s guild roots
*Nostalgic FoE guild video from Star Wars Galaxies
*The past, present, and future of Fist of the Empire
*How to contact FoE

Scroll down to read the full interview with Praelian, leader of the Fist of the Empire!

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[LW] So first off, what is Fist of the Empire and how many members do you currently have?

[Praelian] Our guild is Fist of the Empire, also known as F.O.E or “foe”. We have 154 active members across three games; Star Wars Galaxies, World of Warcraft, and Warhammer Online. We have 40 active members in Warhammer.

[LW] How did the guild get started?

[Praelian] FoE started out as a group of friends playing FPS in late 2002 on the west coast Unreal servers, in 2003 we launched ourselves Fist of the Empire in SWG, and having been going strong over the past 6 years.

[LW] To reiterate some parts from question 2, what different games has members of your guild been a part of and for how long?

[Praelian] In Star Wars Galaxies, FoE was the first to develop a full suit of Mando armor on the server Bria. We also were the ones to perfect city take overs, and took nearly 5 cities in total, starting major drama in that game. We also found a loop hole in the Jedi leveling system and perfected and organized the Jedi Fight Club which got nearly all the jedi on the server banned (not a shinning moment). We started a massive server wide protest in game resulting in SoE changing their EULA and landed us an interview with PC Gamer and Lucas Arts Legal team. We are still going strong and are the oldest guild (to my knowledge) on bria.

We had a slow transition over to World of Warcraft due to a lot of the key leaders deploying to Iraq/Afghanistan. However, once we got back, we quickly ramped up our raids catching up with many of the larger guilds. FoE section in WoW has weathered all the drama that WoW can offer and is the oldest active raiding guild on Archimonde. We have a decent raid now and have cleared most if not all the content.

We did have a short lived period in Shadowbane to test out what “hardcore” pvp is that many pvp communities rave about. We took a city from a Chinese guild and held it for several months. We lost interested in the game since it was extremely outdated and the latency was almost unbearable–but it was free!

Of course we currently have a section of the guild in WAR. We were part of the alliance that first locked zones on Dark Crag.

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

[Praelian] We have a low attrition rate, but over the past 6 years, there are only 3 out of the first 6 left that started the guild. Most have just quit gaming all together but they do check on us from time to time. We average about 2-3 applications a day, those that make it into FoE usually stay with us. We have a inside joke that we are like a cult and force members to drink the kool-aid and shave their heads when they come join us!

[LW] What attracted the guild to WAR? What would you say is your personal favorite part of the game currently?

[Praelian] We played WAR in early closed Beta and quickly identified the game as one with serious potential developed by experienced team and backed by EA. This is significant since every MMO has a rough start and those with experience developers and financial backing will be able to make it through the tough times and develop into a quality game. The core mechanics and open-ness of the development team to quickly affect the game based on community in put is what solid WAR to the guild.

[LW] Any specific reason for picking your server? Why Destruction?

[Praelian] Oddly enough, I wanted to really avoid the high-end uber big guild servers just so that FoE can kinda of set back and enjoy the game more and less guild posturing. My criteria was any server that was open on pre-order launch date and alphabetical order–this landed us on Dark Crag. Dark Crag turned out to be the hotness for ORvR servers and has all the major guilds on it.

[LW] If you could add anything into WAR, maybe something from another game or anything at all that currently isn’t in the game, what would it be?

[Praelian] WAR’s biggest problem is that there really isn’t a sense of ownership in the game. Games with guild housing and in depth crafting systems seem to have a feeling of ownership, which tends to lead to stronger communities. With the lack of ownership and feeling of being immersed the game plays like a giant WoW BG–this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but just feels a bit shallow than it should.

A close second is the need to revamp RvR and end game City raids. Gamers play the game to PvP and I think the RvR system is close but needs tweaking and perhaps better siege toys to play with. (I will likely ramble on about what I think the game needs, so stop me when you get bored!)

[LW] Can you give a short explanation on your thoughts on WAR? How the game has come along thus far, and also is the game headed in the same direction as your guild?

[Praelian] I think WAR is a solid game but a game that needs some more development. I feel bad for EA/Mythic cause they are producing a solid game in the post-WoW era. I think WoW really ruined alot of gamers with the need to always get something for an action in game. Older games (pre-wow) you played to kill your opponent and that was good enough, now you need to get something for killing your opponent and that is reflected in WAR. Also the player community has a high expectation of games, since they unjustly compare games to WoW after 3+ years of post launch development. Most players failed to realized that WoW was extremely boring in the beginning. All you did was BRD, and then eventually MC for the first year. For the first two years all you did was MC and BWL, which wasn’t very exciting or challenging. Instead people see WoW as it is now and think that it launched that way. So when it comes to games like, Tabula Rasa, Agoe of Conan, and Pirates of the burning sea, players never game those games a chance. WAR has launched with more content and a more finished and robust end-game than WoW did.

I think WAR is heading in the right direction–the direction being more PvP. They need to keep the PvE 6 man oriented for smaller guilds just reduce lock-out timers. I just want to seem the fix RvR and the end game. RvR needs to be a bit more complex but devoid of the PQ and Scenario dependcies. I believe they are implementing BO/Keep control equals zone control which is good. However, BOs need to be taken first to permit keep taking, will make for greater battles and provide more complexity in RvR instead of just mindless zerging.

FoE thrives off of open-ended PvP systems, it allows us to be practice asymmetrical warfare against our opponents. WAR doesn’t have that but, the do have quality RvR with out the need to spend lots of pre-RvR time in preparation. I foresee FoE staying in WAR for some time at least 2- 3 more years before we can make a determination if the game has gone in the right direction–got to wait for that first expansion!!

[LW] Whats your thoughts on the rvr system in WAR? How about the rvr rewards vs pve rewards? Do you like the offerings or should they be tweaked?

[Praelian] Right now the RvR system is at an excellent BEGINNING. I would want to stress to people that this IS the beginning of the game and the developers haven’t gotten all the features in place. I would expect to see RvR evolve of the course of 2009 to incorporate a lot of these community concepts.

As for rewards, the PvP rewards from renown are a bit weak. A six man team can pick the same gear, if not better, up from PvE instances quicker than it would take if you RvR every day. Not to mention the random role on Conquer gear is a huge hurdle for most players to get over. The influence gear is actually pretty good if not better than some of the pvp gear stat wise, it just doesn’t have wards. If you aren’t killing kings or bosses in dungeons, wards really doesn’t matter.

[LW] Whats your thoughts on the guild tools that Mythic has given us in WAR? Do they work? Anything blatantly missing?

[Praelian] I’m just happy that they put officer/member note back in. Made management a nightmare in larger guilds with out that. I would like to see a better guild heraldry system. They need to allow guilds to change their heraldry–most games allow guilds to do it so should WAR. I think the mechanism for switching inactive guild leaders should be changed. Should have a voting system, so members can remove a leader if they are inactive. Also there are naming issues with alliances, and ranks that need to be fixed (will explain more).

I just hope they will eventually put in Guild halls. They did it in DAoC and they should do it in WAR. They stated at Games Day 2008 that they wouldn’t do it, but I’m hoping they will change their mind in time.

[LW] Keep design. Thoughts?

[Praelian] Keeps by and large are good. There are some additions I would like to see added. For instance, upgrading keeps, guards etc is huge. Give guilds reasons to hold a keep; if they put gold, resources in it, makes it harder to take and gives it a more personalized feel. I would also like to see new siege gear for taking keeps such as towers or ladders to scale walls. This will add more complexity and the need for strategy for the fight.

[LW] Have your guild 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?

[Praelian] We started out strong with almost 2 warbands, then dwindled down to about 2 groups after everyone hit 40, many people just burned out quickly and went back to WotLK. We are now back up to 1.5 warbands so we are doing good. In every game there are people who want to play, the key is to find those people and incorporate them into the guild so you stay strong.

[LW] Any particular members of the guild who have went above and beyond that you would like to give credit to?

[Praelian] Yes, we have a member named Rosenkreuz who is from Japan. He runs Lost Vale with us on the weekends, he has gone above and beyond most members by switching up his sleep schedule so that he can be part of the guild.

[LW] What’s your current guild rank? Can you give some details about what experiences and adventures you’ve had so far?

[Praelian] We are guild rank 26. We’ve had some pretty epic moments in game. One of the best is when we were tasked to hold the gap between KV and it northern fort. 3 groups of FoE killed about 2 warbands of order slowing down their advance, eventually they got through but it felt like a 300 moment. Another time was when our alliance held the out walls of a keep–when the enemy pushed through the out door, they ran into our wall of tanks. We all hit “hold the line” and our ranged murdered them as they came through. We have a few methods we use against large zergs in open battle (will go over more at recording).

[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 you are really excited about?

[Praelian] Looking forward to the Choppa and any exciting updates to RvR.

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

[Praelian] We primarily look for what we call “good dudes”. These are decent gamers who have a positive attitude and want to play the game. We try to stay away from the epeen power-gamer types as they burn out quickly both in game and in the guild. We have a 4 week evaluation process where recruits get to know us and us them–that way people can walk away from the table and no harm is done.

[LW] Besides in-game, does your guild do anything in the WAR community like blog or podcast? Where can players find it?

[Praelian] We have a community blog called Guild Network ( It’s purpose is to be a resource for guild leaders but has turned into more of a community-gaming-lifestyles blog. We also have a series of podcast that we do for them (none on the site right now) and we will be starting up our podcast again. We’ve meet interviewed Felicia Day, and game developers!

[LW] Is there anything you would like to throw in?

[Praelian] War is a great game, lets hope mythic can rise to the challenge and expectations that gamers have. Its going to be a challenging year for MMO companies in 2009, with challenging economic times coupled with a myriad of MMOs being released from overseas companies, we may see the end of American centric MMO companies–replaced by more agile overseas countries.

FoE has done some pretty cool things, we’ve written professionally for magazines and most recently are featured in Beckett MMO Magazine.


  1. Holy Crow what a ____of a guest. Dude had nothing but negative stuff to say bout how no MMO game good enough for him. You can clearly see only thing guy has is RL title of Captain in the military to cling too. Plz next time bring another guest that has more to contribute and a better attitude instead of, look at me I’m f’n leet in video games.

  2. Not sure we read the same article.
    He was being pretty objective about it, illuminating problems and benefits of the game.

    I play War, and enjoy it, but it doesn’t mean I’m a Warfanboy who doesn’t look at the situation critically as well.

  3. I’m not real sure how it came across as I haven’t listened to the mixed down version of the interview but I will say that I enjoyed doing this interview. They are quite different than a lot of the guilds we’ve spotlighted as they are much more “hardcore” so to speak. But that’s what I like about doing the Guild Spotlight, getting to meet so many different types of gamers from all walks of life and hear the extremely diverse feelings, opinions and attitudes that they have.

    Thank you all for listening, reading, and the comments!

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