On Friday, March 27th 2009 members of Shadow Legion and Adventure Bound on the realm Thorium Brotherhood agreed to form a co-op to clear out 25 Naxx. A co-op between guilds is not considered a pug by definition or by my opinion.
The guild master from Adventure Bound and his members were invited into the raid group that had been formed by Shadow Legion and proceeded to clear approximately 3/4 of the raid, calling it a night as they approached Patchwork. Adventure Bound offered their Vent channel for coordination of the raid. According to all members of the raid both Shadow Legion and Adventure Bound; the raid went smoothly and progressed without any real problems worth mentioning; afterall 3/4 of the raid had been cleared at the time the call was made to quit for the night. Good times by both guilds and good work by all obviously.
Once the raid had disbanded and members from both guilds had gone about their respective business, a rather disturbing conversation between the members of Adventure Bound was heard through Vent by 2 officers and the raid leader of Shadow Legion. Apparently the members and guild master of Adventure Bound had not verified that Shadow Legion members were still on the Vent channel.
"We are finishing Naxx tomorrow as a guild, so let everyone know, and Shadow Legion will not be invited" (among other things)
As a result I was woken at 6am server time with a phone call from the raid leader of Shadow Legion, and since I had been offline the previous night, I had no idea what had happened. He informed me of the intention of Adventure Bound to lock Shadow Legion out of the raid and finish the rest of the supposed co-op alone as a guild. The raid leader from Shadow Legion was extremely upset, and as an officer of Shadow Legion, I felt it appropriate to take over the situation and try to deal with the problem in an honorable and respectful manner. I immediately loaded the Armory page for Adventure Bound and found out who the GM was, and sent him a note in the in-game mailbox asking him to come on our vent and please talk over the situation with me so that we could come up with an appropriate and fair solution for the members of both guilds. I informed him that I would be in the instance to ensure the raid did not begin before we had a chance to talk through the issue. My suggestion to him was that this was a very simple issue of fairness that could be very easily resolved by allowing the members who began the raid - to finish it.
In order to make sure I was not ignored I asked the raid leader who formed the group (Shadow Legion) to take me into the 25 Naxx instance in order that I might see them coming in and therefore eliminate the possibility of having our concerns ignored. The time we entered the instance was 7:10am server time Saturday morning. Within 20 minutes a member from Adventure Bound entered the instance and demanded to know what we were doing in Adventure Bounds 25 Naxx. By this time I had not received a reply from the GM of Adventure Bound. We waited in the instance until approximately 3:15pm server time before I received a reply from the GM of Adventure Bound in the form of a private message. I asked him to please join my vent channel in private and discuss what we could do to remedy the situation. He seemed very respectful, thoughtful and genuinely receptive to our concerns. He wholeheartedly agreed that the best solution for the members of both guilds be, that they be allowed to finish as they had started. He also admitted to me that yes, the members of Adventure Bound had indeed been invited to the raid by the raid leader of Shadow Legion.
At this point, Adventure bound rogues entered the instance along with a few other members, numbering no less than 11 under the raid id of members who had been in the instance the night before and proceeded to pull mobs from Patch's quarter onto all of our members trying to force us out of the instance. I pm'd the GM of Adventure Bound to ask that he please tell his members to stop this childish behavior, but the pulling continued until finally the ticket I had opened when the pulling started finally was addressed by an in game Blizzard GM. He suggested that we try to continue the raid with as many members from both guilds as would be willing to participate, and proceed to attempt the instance. At this point the raid leader from Shadow Legion had members from both guilds in his raid group (those wanting to participate) Some members from Adventure Bound had already been wiped purposely by their own guild members. The in game GM informed me that anyone not participating and therefore causing a wipe could be considered a griefer and dealt with accordingly by being removed from the instance. Any other rotten behavior such as cursing, spitting and general nastiness would be seen in the same light by him, considering the situation. With only 18 members from both guilds present in the "participating" raid group, the outcome of such advice should be obvious. The active raid participants wiped while members of Adventure Bound, minus gear to avoid taking durability damage; danced, spit, teabaged etc... Members of the active participating raid group were replaced one by one by members of Adventure Bound, as they released.
Adventure Bound had therefore successfully fulfilled their plan to hijack the raid.
The facts of the situation are as follows:
1. Both guilds agreed to co-op the raid 2. The raid ID was originally issued to the raid leader of Shadow Legion who made the invites 3. Adventure Bound conspired in an unsecured Ventrillo channel to rob Shadow Legion of their co-op position for the raid. 4. Adventure Bound members who did not participate in the start of the original raid and did not have the raid ID to begin with, participated in the hijacking of the raid ID 5.Adventure Bound members actively griefed Shadow Legion members while in the instance, in general trade and in private messages teasing them about the raid they had lost. 6.Adventure Bound guild members who were disgusted with the behavior of other Adventure Bound members, joined Shadow Legion in a show of solidarity among players and as a general protest against this kind of behavior. 7.Shadow Legion has not received an apology from the GM of Adventure Bound for the hijacking of the raid, and was in fact; as I was informed by Adventure Bound members joining Shadow Legion, that the GM of Adventure Bound was in fact the one organizing the jacking in the first place.
I would like to make clear that I in no way blame or hold Blizzard responsible for what has happened. The GM was very helpful and receptive to my concerns and offered the best advice he could, given the limitations of text messaging and also considering the social nature of the problem which Blizzard cannot possibly be expected to account for. I will however say that it may be necessary for Blizzard to design or re-design the way raid ID's are issued, passed on to other players not involved in the start of the instance etc...
May this incident serve to remind all who love and enjoy this game that as it occurs in RL, there are people who are greedy, mean spirited, manipulative and enjoy bullying others and that we should be extremely careful who we invite into our raid groups. Adventure Bound members will never be welcome to participate in any Shadow Legion functions, raids etc... and I would caution anyone who deals with them in any capacity to keep their distance and be careful when running or combining raid groups or anything else for that matter.