About Halona

Written by HalonaZAT Wednesday, 16 February 2011 01:39 Last Updated on Tuesday, 24 May 2011 09:22

Hello and welcome to the “About Halona” page of our website. On this page we’ll tell you all about Halona, starting with what exactly Halona is, what its history is, what its mission statement is and what kinds of people join Halona. For the ‘TLDR’ crowd, we may even throw in a few nice pictures along the way to ease the textual burden. Mostly though, in the best Hicksian manner, this is a page for ‘the readers.’

Page Contents:

What is Halona?

Halona is an organisation of game-enthusiasts created to serve the interests of its members through their gaming activities with a primary initial focus on Blizzard Entertainment’s fantasy MMORPG “World of Warcraft.”

To this end, Halona operates a 10-player Alliance based PVE raiding guild on the Silvermoon-EU realm (under the name “Halona” naturally) through which our members play together and tackle the end-game raiding content of the game. Outside of raiding, the guild enables us to enjoy the many other more relaxing aspects of the game together and acts as a springboard for occasional dalliances with other games and activities.

The (Brief) History of Halona.

Halona and the World of Warcraft guild named after it came into existence in September 2010 but in fact, the guild traces its history back to January 2006 with the creation of Balance, an Alliance based PVE raiding guild on the Doomhammer-EU realm. This guild lived briefly, less than six months in all, but in that short period its flame burned brightly with its members, many of whom received their first taste of raiding experience in an MMORPG with that team.

When Balance disbanded at the beginning of the summer of 2006, many of its members struggled to find as pleasant a home for their raiding ambitions as Balance had been and so, by the autumn of the same year, some of the ex-members of Balance started talking about forming a new guild which would bring their team together again. Thus it was that Converge was born, an Alliance based PVE raiding guild also of the Doomhammer-EU realm. At its inception, it was managed by a Guild Master (GM) by the name of Drack and three officers; Zorthief, Petrus and Broliant.

January 2007 brought the release of “World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade” (WoW’s first expansion pack, aka: TBC) and with it a great deal of renewed interest in the game. Doomhammer-EU was an over-populated server at the time and it struggled to cope with the increased load of players returning to see the new content. Thus, Blizzard offered a free realm-transfer to players on the Doomhammer-EU realm and after taking a guild-poll on the subject that found in favour of a move by a majority of 98%, Converge of Doomhammer-EU became Converge of Anachronos-EU.

Early in 2007, Converge’s respected GM Drack succeeded in his application for a new and better job and found himself unable to continue to shepherd the guild on a day-to-day basis. Drack recommended handing the torch of his GM-ship onto Broliant and with the complete agreement of the rest of the officer team, Broliant became the GM of Converge in early February, 2007.

Over the following months, the redesigned game that TBC had morphed WoW into brought numerous difficulties for all guilds of the game and Converge was not immune to these troubles. (In short: the classic 40-player raid teams of ‘classic WoW’ now had to reform into 25-player teams but were REQUIRED to progress through 10-player content first (Karazhan) to get the gear they needed for the first 25-player content. And as we all know; 25 into 10 does not easily go!) By the summer, the officer team had seen a few changes as various members went away to try other games like the Tolkien-esque “Lord of the Rings Online” whilst others had stepped-up to the calling to help run the guild.

In early May, 2007 matters came to a head when several members of the officer team decided that ‘enough was enough’ and they departed from Converge to seek their fortunes elsewhere with less responsibility and, hopefully, less stress. This moment marked the lowest point in the guild’s history; morale was struck low, doubts were raised regarding the viability of the guild’s continued existence and its ‘management team’ was reduced to a mere two; Broliant who had chosen not to depart from the guild and thus remained in the GM-seat and Norena who’d joined the officer team just a few short weeks earlier. They gathered the remaining members together for an emergency meeting in which their intentions to continue the guild were stated. And then the real work began.

In many respects, this brief but unpleasant moment in the guild’s history was also the cause of its eventual stability and long-term success. It was the “blank slate” beginning that allowed a proper foundation for Converge to be created that would have the necessary strength and resilience to ensure the guild would survive more than a brief handful of months.

The officer team expanded to incorporate Pzy (a volunteer to the position) and Stam, a respected member of the guild who was invited to lend his careful and steady hand to the team. Banasea and Jawa soon followed and this pairing would prove over time to bring more colour and fun to the guild than that early appointment could have possibly predicted.

By the end of 2007 Converge was alive and well, its heart beating with a proud and steady rhythm. Raiding success was once again being made on a regular basis and it’s first birthday in September 2007 had been celebrated with a week-long programme of activities created by its officer team. The guild enjoyed the week so much they surprised the officer team with an event of their own creation the following week.

The remainder of the TBC era passed with various highs-and-lows, raiding successes being the highs and recruitment difficulties being the lows. With the full benefit of hindsight, a proven 20:20 sense of perception, the move from Doomhammer-EU to Anachronos-EU had made recruitment far more difficult for Converge because there were far fewer players of suitable raid knowledge, ambition and ability playing on the realm to meet the demands of the the many raiding guilds that wanted to welcome them. All guilds lose players over time to the natural attrition of other games, new life-style changes (jobs, marriages, babies etc) and so on. It’s vital therefore for guilds to have a good pool of players to select from when they need to fill spots in their raid team.

As the end of the TBC era approached, the officer team deliberated over several months on the prospect of moving the guild to a new realm shortly before the release of “World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King” (WoW’s second expansion pack, aka: Wrath or WotLK) and ultimately concluded that the guild would be migrated to a more populous realm for the start of Wrath. Thus it was that Converge of Anachronos-EU became ‘C o n v e r g e’ of Silvermoon-EU. The funny ‘expanded’ spelling of the name was not a style choice but a necessity because there was already a guild called ‘Converge’ on Silvermoon-EU although it was merely a vanity bank-alt guild with no notable presence, membership or public reputation to cause confusion.

The guild had selected Silvermoon-EU for its new home because it is the leading realm within the EU for Alliance PVE raiding activities with several of the best performing EU guilds located there and a strong and sizeable community of raiders available to select from.

Upon migrating the guild to the Silvermoon-EU realm, approximately 2/3rds of the membership transferred their characters across to remain with Converge. This was a significant act on the part of each member that migrated with us because it came with an inescapable financial cost; each character migrated incurred Blizzard’s standard migration fee which at the time was EURO 20, a not insignificant fee when one considers that players often maintain a stable of ‘alt’ characters and bank-alt mule characters within their accounts and generally like to have most of these gathered together on a single realm for convenience.

The Wrath era brought its own highs and lows for Converge. The application of the guild’s special “ZAT Approach” (which you can read more about on our ZAT page) brought new life to raiding and even netted the guild a couple of realm-first achievements for defeating encounters in more challenging and creative ways than were minimally necessary. The burden of recruitment continued to be an irritation of sorts. The pool of players from which to recruit was now much larger but this also meant that the number of bad players in the recruitment pool was a lot larger too. Dealing with bad players – where the definition of ‘bad’ is broad enough to encapsulate both poorly skilled, experienced or knowledgeable players as well as badly mannered, adjusted or just plain anti-social players – continued therefore to remain a tax that needed to be paid on a regular on-going basis to keep the team operating at full steam.

By the time the Wrath era was drawing to a close at the beginning of the summer of 2010, Converge put its raiding activities on hold after completing the broad gamut of content from Naxxramas through to the Lich King and the Ruby Sanctum in order to allow its members to recharge their batteries over the summer months. During this time, the officer team began discussing the most significant change that Blizzard had announced regarding its next expansion, due for release in the late autumn of 2010, that would see 10-player and 25-player raid instances drop the exact same quality of loot for the first ever time.

After some lengthy discussions it was decided that when the next expansion was released, Converge would only target the 10-player raid content to allow the average quality of the team to be more easily maintained. A 10-player team suffers more if just one player makes a mistake but it is far easier to maintain a team of 10 great players than it is to maintain a team of 25 great players.

Furthermore, Blizzard had announced that the next expansion would introduce a new guild levelling system that would encourage guild loyalty and provide rewards to players that helped their guild progress throughout the game. The changing of the guild’s focus from 25-player to 10-player along with several other reasons (including, trivially, a general dissatisfaction with the guild’s name) combined to catalyse the officer team into their second major decision; to rebrand the guild prior to the next expansion with a new name to go with its new shape and focus.

Hundreds of possible names were considered until finally a shortlist emerged and votes were cast. The name that won the vote, unsurprisingly, was “Halona”. It is derived from the Hopi-Indian word, typically used as a girl’s name, meaning “Happy Fortune” and it seemed to nicely meet many of the requirements that the team had looked for in a new name.

In November 2010 when Blizzard released “World of Warcraft: Cataclysm” (WoW’s third expansion pack, aka: Cata or Cataclysm) ‘C o n v e r g e’ of Silvermoon-EU had been shuttered for several weeks, following the creation of “Halona” of Silvermoon-EU in its stead. The management team remained exactly the same and all the members of Converge that planned to continue raiding throughout Cataclysm in the now standard ZAT manner that Converge had previously employed joined the ranks of the ‘new’ guild. All of which brings the (brief) history of Halona more or less up-to-date.

Halona – A Mission Statement.

Halona exists currently in two forms: as an ‘umbrella’ organisation whose mission statement is merely to bring our members together whatever games they may want to play and, more predominantly, as an Alliance PVE raiding guild of the same name on the Silvermoon-EU realm of Blizzard’s World of Warcraft MMORPG.

In terms of our WoW guild, Halona aims to provide the structure and organisation that will enable our team to pursue their in-game goals together in a fun and enjoyable atmosphere. We prioritise raiding over all other in-game activities but between our numbers, we enjoy almost all parts of the game greatly. With respect to raiding, we operate a 10-player team and seek to employ our ZAT approach wherever we can for maximal enjoyment of that content. We respect our members who we take great care to recruit and look always to build a group that will be playing together for a long time to come.

Halona’s Membership – The ‘Who’ is You?

Almost anyone could be a Halona member. Our history has shown that great members come from all walks of life and one advantage that being based on an English speaking EU realm brings to the WoW guild is the wide range of countries that our players hail from – our team has representation in Canada, Ireland, the UK, Belgium, Sweden, Czechoslovakia and Greece. We have professionals, civil-servants, ‘creatives’, craftsmen/women and students among the ranks of our members. Across this colourful tapestry of people, we all share a common love of video games and a particular appreciation for WoW.

If you’re interested in joining our WoW guild, your chances are great if you’re an experienced player who knows their preferred class well and thinks our ZAT approach to raiding is the kind of thing you’d enjoy. Beyond that, what’s just as important to us is that you’re a cool fun person that will be able to fit well into our current team. We’re all laid-back and friendly and easy to get along with for the most part. We use a VOIP system called “Mumble” (if you’ve heard of Ventrilo or Team-Speak, it’s JUST like that, if you’ve heard of Skype, it’s a ‘bit’ like that) so we can talk to each other when we play together.

It’s incredibly important to us that anyone that joins us is able to chat via our Mumble service. It just needs you to have a working microphone and the willingness to converse. Not only is it broadly essential for the ZAT approach we employ in most new raids to enable us to easily discuss what we’ve observed and what we’re going to do next but it also makes the most significant difference to how we connect with each other as a group. It’s not uncommon for players to feel a little shy when faced with the prospect of talking to others online but it’s really worthwhile and in a friendly group like ours, you’re guaranteed a warm welcome.

1 Comment

  1. HalonaZAT   |  Wednesday, 16 February 2011 at 15:50

    I would be happy to invite you to join Halona!

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