I’ve spoken on Twitter about how, on my return to Rift, I rejoined my old Rift guild, Gaiscioch. It’s been a blast being back with them, and even though they are a freakishly huge guild, they feel more like a “family” guild than many of the other smaller guilds I’ve been a part of. We’ve been running lowbie Instant Adventures for the lower-level folks, raid rifts and expert rifts and crafting rifts for the 50s, and they have a ton of dungeon and raid runs going on every night. It really and truly is an amazing group of people and a great guild to call home.
Despite the joy, there’s been some sadness in the guild since I last ran with them. One of the long-time members of the guild, Roger “Oldroar” Rall, passed away suddenly last fall. He just stopped appearing online abruptly, and after about two weeks, our GM and a couple of others started trying to track him down to check on him. They spoke to his wife, who said that he had quietly passed away one night. Of course, the news spread like wildfire in the guild, back to former members/alliance members that had played with him during Warhammer and DAoC, and everyone, even those who had never met him, felt a profound sense of loss.
Oldroar was the kind of guy that set the tone and example for the rest of the guild. In-game, he was a calm and collected PvP leader who led his teams to victory while always acting with honor towards the opposing teams. To the men, he was a mentor and an example of how to be a great husband & father, and how to balance those responsibilities with gaming. To the ladies, he was always a gentleman and treated us as equals, with respect and dignity. He was a grandfatherly figure to the kids in the guild, and he was someone that we all could go to for advice not just on game strategies and problems, but real life problems as well. He encouraged us to follow our dreams, to be better people, and to take the high road when others were not. He was our friend, in the truest sense of the word.
He was also the “Voice of Gaiscioch”… you couldn’t miss that radio voice on vent.
Guild Wars 2 was the game he was most excited about. Oldroar, along with many of the veteran players in Gaiscioch, was an avid PvPer, and after hearing about GW2′s WvW/PvP features, as well as all the other playstyles that would be supported, was leading the charge to get a Gaiscioch chapter opened in GW2, posting news and information as it came out and eventually convincing our leadership to open a branch within Guild Wars 2. More than anything, he was looking forward to playing Guild Wars 2 and to seeing our super-diverse family grow and thrive there.
It was decided that we would hold an in-game/ventrilo memorial for him, not in Rift, but in Guild Wars 2 when it opened – it only seemed appropriate. The date & time had been set, the only remaining question was what server to roll on. Our guild decided to start one final Call to Arms for Oldroar: to try to get a GW2 server named for the man that had been so passionate about the game and had done so much for the guild over the years. We wrote letters and sent emails to ArenaNet, telling them about the person he was, the legacy he has left with us, and how much he adored GW2. We asked them to consider naming a server for Roger, a server that we could call home and continue living out his legacy.
This morning, I heard the news that they are indeed implementing “Sanctum of Rall” as a server. I admit that I cried tears of happiness over this. THANK YOU ArenaNet, for being so awesome. You just made a whole lot of people ecstatically happy. We will do our best to make Sanctum of Rall an amazing home for all playstyles and all players that roll there, just as Oldroar would have wanted.