History of Twilight Circus

Information about our guild, how to apply, and the recruiting experience

History of Twilight Circus

Postby Humphries » Thu Dec 05, 2013 3:08 pm

Hello, my name is Humphries and I am the guild master of Twilight Circus, a Horde guild on the Garona realm. If you would be so kind as to lend me a few minutes, I would like to share with you the history of our guild.

Twilight Circus did not exist during the original World of Warcraft, at least not in name. To tell the truth, my friends and I started this game late, well after several guilds were already clearing all the available content. We started with Alliance characters, and the guild name we chose was Midnight Circus. I doubt that anybody remembers us because we were an extremely casual group of friends that ran dungeons. The extent of our adventures were 10-man UBRS runs. Personally, I played a human holy priest named Aeowyn at the time, and I was the tank of our group. Yes, you heard that right. We had no idea what we were doing, as we just all rolled classes that seemed fun. Because of that, we had no traditional tanking class and we figured that our hunter's pet crocolisk, Doctor Teeth, would tank for us with no problem. Oh how wrong we were! I ended up tanking everything instead with the healing threat, but we managed :) Near the end of Vanilla, we joined forces with Fellowship of the Ping, but I am not sure if anybody from that guild even remembers us because we were starting to play the game less at that time. We (the original Midnight Circus) eventually let our subscriptions lapse as there was not much else in the game to interest us at that time.

Burning Crusade:
When Burning Crusade launched, we were immediately interested in all of the new content. But we had learned a lot about group dynamics and the importance of a tank, so we agreed a fresh start was in order. Since we had already seen the game from the Alliance point of view, we decided to check out the Horde. Since our Alliance guild was called Midnight Circus, we decided it would be appropriate to call ourselves Twilight Circus! And because I already had tons of tanking experience on my priest, I rolled an undead protection warrior named Fynx. While everybody else on the server was enjoying Outlands, we were slowly leveling up new characters. Eventually, we made it to Outlands and experienced most of the 5-man content that was available. At that time, raiding was not something that interested us since we barely had a reliable group of 5 people for dungeons. As such, when the 5-man content ran out, we let our subscriptions lapse again.

Wrath of the Lich King:
Wrath of the Lich King was the turning point for Twilight Circus as a raiding guild. With a new expansion, we all decided to make a fresh start again. Except this time, we did not want to be too far behind, so we started our new characters a month or so before launch. The birth of Humphries, the tauren elemental shaman, was in order (I had done enough tanking -- it was somebody else's turn!). We reached Northrend, conquered all of the 5-man content that was available to us...and then...instead of letting our subscriptions run out as we had done before, something magical happened. We decided we wanted to check out what all this buzz about raiding was.

Our first attempt at this was being brought along on a Naxxramas run by a friend of one of our guildmates. We were standing outside of Naxx, while she inspected our gear. She asked us questions like what our DPS was or what our Spell Power was. We all looked around at each other because these words made no sense to us. We just played the game, equipping gear that we thought was better than what we had before, but without really understanding how effective we were at doing our jobs. The raid leader of this other group was very nice, but she told us that maybe we were not ready for Naxx. We all laughed about what a bunch of n00bs we were, and we vowed that we would try and figure out how to play this game better.

We first decided that we needed to gear up a bit better in 5-man dungeons, particularly heroic dungeons which were something that we had not done much of in the past. Here we met our first guild that would ultimately become part of the Circus, "You Want Fries With That". We immediately became friends, running 5-man ToC heroic over and over to gear us up as much as possible.

Then we took the plunge and joined some random guy putting together a ToC PUG. We had no idea what we were doing and our first raiding encounter was "Northrend Beasts". We tried to kill that boss for a long time that night, but I don't think it ever died. But I remember the raid leader of that group giving me props for my DPS despite my apparently atrocious gear. Apparently I was also really good at calling out "Kobolds!" when they would jump on the backs of the raid, and thus my instincts for raid leading were born. That night, we met a second guild of friends, "Rage of Caelestrasz", several members of which became part of the Circus eventually.

That taste of raiding sparked an interest. We decided that we needed to gear up and get some experience. To do that, we decided that we should experience the raids in the order they were intended, instead of jumping right into ToC. So, back to Naxx was our first stop, but we obviously did not have enough people to raid. Knowing how ridiculously terrible we were at this game, we had a very honest conversation in trade chat. It went something along the lines of "Hello, we are new to raiding and pretty bad at this game. We want to get better at raiding and to do that we want to start with Naxx, which I know is old news. If there is anybody else out there who is a n00b like us, PST for an invite to a Naxx raid. But please be patient as we are all going to be learning this together". There was a bunch of laughing in trade chat of course, but we put our group together! Over the course of two separate raid nights, we cleared Naxx normal and we all had a great time. From there, we did a similar thing with the other raids, until we were back to relevant current content (which was ToC at the time).

Things get a bit blurry for me at this point. We started running ToC PuG raids a bunch. The main contributing guild that helped us was Zug Zug. They brought a ton of alts along and it is here that I met Temujin who helped me understand the encounters and how to be a better raid leader. He would typically come along on either his Shaman (Temu) or Death Knight (Scalpel). Our Friday night PuGs became extremely popular on the server. One of the Zug Zug guys that helped me organize it was Carrass, so our raid became known as the Friday night "Hump-Ass" raid. We never had a problem filling up the raid and everybody had a great time.

Over the course of these many months of PuGs, we started to become friendly with other guilds, Blight, Company of the Wolf, TEEHEE, Cry Havoc, among others. When ICC came out, we had a pretty strong raid following that transitioned quite nicely into ICC. We had a steady 10-man raid at this time which was progressing on Lich King normal mode, while doing the 25-man PuGs on the weekend. We worked on the Lich King encounter for months, with no formalized raiding structure at all. Each night that we raided, we spent about 10 minutes at the end of the night discussing when the group would next be able to get together to raid. Eventually we eeked out the first Horde Lich King kill which is an experience I will never forget. That encounter was truly amazing!

Some of our friends from other guilds formally joined our ranks at this point and before the expansion was over, we got to the point where we had 25 actual Twilight Circus members working on 25-man heroic modes. Our progress was not amazing, but we had the foundation for something good going into the next expansion.

Since things were getting more serious for us, we had a massive guild and officer meeting before the launch of Cataclysm, laying out exactly how we wanted our guild to run going forward. The majority of the rules formed during this time are still in effect today.

We decided that we had a few different raiding mindsets in our guild, so we decided that we wanted an extremely focused and committed progression team of 10 people. In addition, we formed a second raiding team where less rigid schedules and commitment were allowed and expected.

Cataclysm was an amazing expansion for Twilight Circus. We were able to clear most of the heroic encounters while the content was still relevant. Of note was the fact that we got the second realm kill for Heroic Ragnaros in Firelands after working incredibly hard on the encounter for months. The nerd screams were plentiful after that encounter, and the feeling of relief was incredibly satisfying! In addition, we managed to achieve realm first kills of both Spine and Madness of Deathwing encounters to finish the expansion in style! At this point, Twilight Circus took a much deserved break before we would resurface again in Pandaria.

Mists of Pandaria:
Going into Mists of Pandaria, not a lot needed to change for us. Our formula was proven to be successful, so we just tightened up a few things here and there.

One thing that did change for us is that our second team gravitated towards a more serious mindset as well. The progression gap between our two teams became closer than ever, as both raiding teams were among the top progressed groups on the server. Mists of Pandaria was another successful expansion for us. We received several realm first heroic kills, including Grand Empress Shek'zeer, Sha of Fear, Lei Shen, Ra-den, and Garrosh Hellscream. Once again we decided to take a break and rest our battle-worn bodies until they would be needed again in Warlords of Draenor.

Warlords of Draenor:
Warlords of Draenor brought a massive change to our guild with the changes to the fixed 20-man Mythic raiding mode. There was some concern that this might prevent us from enjoying the most difficult content that Warcraft has to offer. However, we found a formula that worked for us. Since we had two different raiding groups in the past, we were able to combine forces. That, along with a bunch of talented new recruits, and we had a raid force to reckon with! We definitely hit some bumps along the way, some of the biggest bumps this guild has ever seen. Obviously we saw some of the usual recruits/members that come and go, but we also had a few changes in raid leadership and medical challenges that could have brought us to our knees. Well, we definitely did get taken to our knees. But we also dug deep and found a way to prevail, landing ourselves the realm first mythic Archimonde kill! As is typical TC fashion, we went into hibernation to take a much needed break and recharge the batteries for Legion.

Legion was a challenging expansion that tested the fortitude of many guilds. Our guild was tested the same as any other. We accomplished a lot, but finally decided to stop raiding near the end of Antorus, the Burning Throne with a couple of bosses remaining. The roster boss had ultimately done us in, as was the case for so many guilds during this polarizing expansion. Going into Battle for Azeroth, we decided that we wanted to slow things down a bit. Many of us were no longer interested in Mythic raiding with the current fixed 20-man format (would love for Blizzard to investigate flexible Mythic roster). We also wanted to raid less than three nights.

Battle for Azeroth:
Nothing yet has been written about Twilight Circus in Battle for Azeroth. Do you want to be part of TC history? If so, let us know! Lok'tar Ogar!
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