Vindication has been around for a long time, and we have a very rich history. Everyone having played World of Warcraft feels their own experience is special. We all reminisce about the memories created in this game. And yet we feel the collective memories created in Vindication are extra special. They are the sum total of all the efforts, hopes, dreams, and ideas of all those who have passed through our ranks for so many years. They include so much pride, so many aspirations, so much satisfaction, moments filled with rewarding friendships, and yes, the heartaches which come along with any human experience. Ours is a story worth telling, and we hope you'll check it out. This is a summary of highlights, not a complete step-by-step listing of the minutes of Vindication. What we choose to tell you here helps you learn about your guild. Enjoy!

Origins

Our story starts with Polycrates and Suddendeth. Both were members of a group of real-life friends and ventured into Azeroth during
Classic: 2004. Initially they formed a guild called Gank Express. This group leveled together and included Dnorr, Hausafin, Mlipod, Polycrates, Suddendeth, and a handfull of others. Gank Express became largely inactive as Dnorr and Hausafin took a break to play other games.

Polycrates and Suddendeth joined a guild called
Hunters For Jezus and saw the beginnings of a large guild that roamed Alliance territory, raiding Ironforge and other places. After a brief time there, they joined a guild which sprang from Hunters For Jezus, named Azeroth Mafia. Fiend and Caton, co-leaders in Hunters For Jezus became leaders in Azeroth Mafia, and the story continued. During a guild raid on Zul'Gurub the guild disbanded.
Birth of Our Guild
In an effort to prevent the loss of our friends and guildees, Suddendeth created Gank Revenge Delivery, and an assortment of officers and guildees were invited. Initially Gank Revenge Delivery existed to help guildees band together to answer the problem of player griefing while out doing quests and heading to instances. The guild quickly took shape and started to engage in world PvP. Raids were organized and carried out on smaller Alliance towns and grew in number and size. Our groups started to carry out coordinated raids on multiple Alliance cities and towns, with a detailed structure including tanks, dps, and heals in sub-groups with specific targets, allowing the quick overwhelming action on a city, taking out flight paths, holding down guards, and steamrolling the location. At one such series of raids a GameMaster initiated a server restart in order to assist the Alliance in regaining their ability to play the game.
Vindication Emerges
During The Burning Crusade the guild grew into a more organized guild interested in raiding and PVE endeavors as well as PVP. A newer officer, Tokril, suggested a more marketable name, Vindication, and Suddendeth created the guild Vindication. A two-week effort was made to move everyone over from Gank Revenge Delivery into Vindication, and Polycrates was moved into the GM slot in Vindication, allowing Gank Revenge Delivery to be mothballed on one of Suddendeth's alts.
Raiding Established
Vindication was at full capacity during the majority of The Burning Crusade (500 members) and under the leadership of Polycrates, quickly adapted to PVE. Even during this period of time the world raids continued, with Polycrates leading a series of raids scripted and choreographed by Dnorr, several captured on video, in our continued effort to find our niche. Recruiting was succesful during these raids. However, raiding was gaining a foothold in the minds of a growing segment of our guild, and under Polycrates leadership raid teams were formed under the capable leadership of "generals" of the guild.

Karazhan

Vindication launched the Karazhan raiding effort with six teams all running at the same raid nights and times. Teams competed for boss kill timers. During The Burning Crusade, average nightly guild attendance varied between 95 and 119 online from 7 PM through 3 AM. Vindication cleared Karazhan and looked toward Gruul's Lair. Around this time Dnorr, Hausafin, and much of the original group left the game to play other games once again, and leadership relied much more heavily on Fiend, Caton, and others met more recently. The model of 10-man raiding was set aside in favor of 25-man raiding with our attention turning to Gruul's Lair.

Speak Orcish or Die

Encountered during that time was a guild named
Speak Orcish or Die. This guild was somewhat connected since one of our officers, Obligoblin, was a member of that guild on other characters. He urged a cooperation since Speak Orcish or Die was struggling to pull together a full 25-man raid. We conducted our first venture into Gruul's Lair with Vindication and Speak Orcish or Die both present, and cleared the raid quickly. Polycrates was invited to join that guild in order to co-tank raiding, and was allowed to invite a few people to join. Most of Vindication followed Polycrates into that guild over the course of a few days, and for the next couple months new life was breathed into their guild. As a group we cleared Gruul's Lair, Magtheridon's Lair, Serpent Shrine Cavern, and Tempest Keep raid instances. At this time we encountered a bit of drama when some of the leadership on the Speak Orcish or Die side took a night off to see a movie rather than show up for the guild raid on Battle for Mount Hyjal. A newer member started a good deal of drama and a guild split ensued, taking a lot of members with him. At this time, still unsure about the future and not able to communicate with leadership, Polycrates left to rejoin Vindication. Our members were brought back over and Vindication continued with The Burning Crusade content as Vindication. Our attendance peaked once again, guild population was at capacity, and the 10-man raid structure was restored, with four teams running, although by this time they each ran on the nights of their choosing.
Hiatus

By the time
The Burning Crusade was coming to a close, Polycrates and Suddendeth had both had enough for a while. Activities in the guild and outside the guild (including real-life guild activities which became known as Vindicon centered around a summer campout each summer) became a drain on the couple and they opted to take a break. A successor was sought for two weeks and, finally, an officer named Topi was selected to guard the guild during their break.

The Lights Go Out

One week after the exit of Polycrates and Suddendeth, a raid leader named ZDark managed to talk Topi out of guild leadership, and althogh Topi remained GM in name, ZDark was leading the way. ZDark managed to eliminate four 10-man raid teams and put together a 25-man raid team which relied heavily on raiders outside the guild. ZDark ignored guild rules, abandoned guild raiding guidelines and loot rules, and poisoned the guild name on Shattered Hand. After much outrage from guildees, ZDark looted the guild bank and left the guild.

Return

One year and three months following their exit, Polycrates and Suddendeth returned. With a refreshed outlook, they returned to find and rebuild
Vindication. The guild had gone inactive less than a month after ZDark's exit, and upon their return, the pair found the guild had dropped off the Armory's direct search records. With thirteen remaining members, all inactive for over a year, an effort was launched for two weeks to regain the guild. GameMasters and Blizzard Customer Support were engaged daily, but were no help. At one point Polycrates was instructed to stop calling, that Blizzard would not help. Suddendeth joined a guild named AD Valorem, and was reunited with Tokril and others that had been in Vindication during The Burning Crusade. During this time she raided and caught back up on gear. Polycrates was recognized by people from several established guilds as well as former Vindication members, and tanked for several guilds, including Behemot, Seeds of Despair, Evade, Old Skool, and Relentless. Upon his final rejection by Blizzard concerning help regaining Vindication, Polycrates called on former members of the guild and created Vindication, a new version of the same guild. The spelling was the same but the second "o" in the name had a special character. This became affectionaly known as Vindcation II.

Vindication II

The new guild grew swiftly, with old members and those who had remembered our guild quickly joining. Members of
Speak Orcish or Die also joined, and within one month we were at full capacity and entering the new raid: Ice Crown Citadel. Within three months Vindication was back to full speed, Suddendeth having rejoined, and six raid teams developed and fully running Ice Crown Citadel.

Cataclysm

With Cataclysm came guild enhancements and the achievement system, both put in place by Blizzard. Vindication was the second guild on Shattered Hand to achieve Guild Level 25, a few hours behind the first guild.

Resurrection of Vindication

During this time one of our officers which originated in
Speak Orcish or Die, named Regeane, was able to reach Topi, and brought him back with a Scroll of Resurrection. Topi came back in order to give the guild back to Polycrates and see Vindication restored. With the newly acquired original guild, a dillema arose: did we wish to return to the original guild, which we'd sought for so long? Or, did we wish to stay in Vindication II with all of the gains made from the Cataclysm achievements? It was a no-brainer for leadership. Our vision was "go big." Vindication utilized an addon named Greenwall to tie together both guilds in guild chat, and then mirrored our structure between guilds. This gave us an effective capacity of 2,000 members, which we quickly achieved. Raiding during this time was conducted with four raid teams.
Pinacle

With the groundwork laid and the orgainzational work in place, Vindication hit the ground running when Mists of Pandaria was launched. The guild had class officers, role officers, problem resolution officers, activity officers, recruitment officers, economy officers, raid team leaders, assistants, and an inner circle to the GM named the Blood Guard. Vindication raided on eight 10-main teams and added a 25-man team for more flexibility and training purposes. During this time the guild functioned with the Greenwall addon, with more than 1800 members, and had 105 active raiders and 16 fill-ins. We started the Mists of Pandaria expansion in build-up mode, and ranked at thirty-eigth on the server in terms of progression. We got up to steam and ended it ranked third on the server in Vindication I, behind two top US ranked guilds, and 18th in Vindication II. The structure of the guild at this point was the most well-executed to date, and was the model for other guilds, although none took it to this extent. Many guilds began the multiple team model after seeing it work well in Vindication. Several guilds merged with Vindication during this expansion as well.
Vindication rising through the server rankings on Shattered Hand during Mists of Pandaria. Raiding took place in both Vindication I and Vindication II. Eventual result was a tie for third ranking guild on Shattered Hand in 10-man progression and 6th in 25-man raiding.
Drama Reappears

As Mists of Pandaria wound down, drama reappeared. True to form, the "once every expansion"
Vindication drama rule proved true to form. The team leader of one of our mythic raid teams chose to take his team to form another guild Stats Please followed shortly thereafter by the leader of another of our raid teams leaving to form his own guild and taking raiders with him as well. During this time we did our best to engage the guild and keep our members. Both guilds recruited relentlessly, coveting our well-trained raiders, and chose to recruit off our guild rather than build theirs the way we had built ours. Almost all of our raiders came up through our guild, were trained, geared, and developed by our guild, and those that were willing to leave our guild were coveted by others who wanted raiders but didn't want to put the work in to create raiders of their own guildees.

By the end of Mists of Pandaria, Polycrates looked for ways to increase
Vindication's footprint once again. He had managed to stop the bleed and draw-off from those who had left, and consolidated the guild into two 25-main raid teams. At this time he sent Suddendeth to oversee the Alliance version of Vindication. Regeane had started the Alliance guild as a place to put alts to play whenever things were slow on the horde side. Regeane handed leadership over to Suddendeth and with a couple characters transfered over to the Alliance guild, she began to build the Vindication model there.
Warlords of Draenor

WoD was the tale of two guilds. The Horde and Alliance Vindication guilds. Both shared the same voice chat server, the same website, and some common officers. Both shared the same vision. Polycrates felt that by reacing out to the Alliance side, there was a chance to build name recognition there, as well as recruiting good raiders to also raid in the horde guild.

Within a month Suddendeth had maxed out the population of
Vindication Alliance guild and had formed a raid team. Shortly after that, another guild joined the Alliance guild and formed part of the second raid team.

Meanwhile on the horde side, Polycrates' work schedule no longer allowed him the time to raid with the guild, and at first the two raid teams had some decent success. But it was clear the leadership and vision was missing, and a strong central vision flowing from the top down was needed.

At this time Suddendeth took up the mantle of GM from Polycrates, due to his work schedule and out of necessity to see the guild properly engaged. Placing the Alliance guild first back in the hands of Regeane, and then in the hands of Arturian, Suddendeth returned to an active role in the horde Vindication guild. Her first action was to consolidate the teams into one team, and then begin development of the core. There were moments where nightly attendance was in the single digits, but building on Vindication founding principles, she focused on what was there rather than what was missing, and developed a reboot to the guild.

Vindication Horde and Alliance guilds both raided throughout Warlords of Draenor, finishing Highmaul, Blackrock Foundry, and Hellfire Citadel content on both factions.
Legion

During the Legion expansion, Vindication raided on one team on the horde faction. The Alliance guild was lost when Arturian left the guild to a Team Two raid leader rather than return it to Suddendeth when he chose to stop playing the game. The horde guild managed to finish raid content in The Nighthold, Andorus, the Burning Throne, Tome of Sargeras, The Emerald Nightmare, and Trail of Valor. During this time the guild experienced another split. A sufficient amount of drama separated raid leader and GM once again, which ended with the GM focusing on Vindication II and the raid leader working more closely within Vindication I. Although still technically in charge, Suddendeth had lost the ability to regain control of Vindication I, with the raid leader unwilling to return leadership, and so Vindication II became a competing focus to restore a place with Suddendeth's leadership vision of Vindication. Further drama existed and grew, and the schism widened when competing voice chat clients were used for different groups. Vindication II merged raiding efforts with the guild Evade raiding with them for a few months, clearing content and gaining gear.


Near the end of Legion, Suddendeth returned the bulk of Vindication raiders to Vindication and resumed rebuilding. After a few months she took a short break, leaving the guild in the care of Chotterboy. Chotterboy championed the guild values, jealously safeguarding the nature and spirit of Vindication while taking great efforts to stem the infighting that took place upon Suddedeth's exit. Friction from Vindication I and players which felt caught in the middle became heated, and both guilds changed names, with Vindication II becoming Havok.

Of all the drama and splits experienced during the long history of
Vindication, the chaos that unfolded during Legion was far worse than anything else experienced. Dishonesty, disloyalty, deception, and dishonor were on full display, and, true to form, took a massive toll on the guild.

Suddendeth returned to the game, determined to restore
Vindication and renew her efforts to restore the guild reputation. After a few weeks of jockeying to restore the name change only to find out that Blizzard would not allow the name change, she created a new guild named to secure the Vindication name. At this point guild members transferred over to Vindication, now the only Vindication guild on Shattered Hand, and the rebuilding process began.

Battle for Azeroth

Vindication built up and raided during Battle for Azeroth. Raiding took place in The Eternal Palace and Batlte of Dazar'alor, as well as Uldir and Cruicible of Storms. Continued guild attendance growth proved fickle, and the guild stopped raiding near second half of the expansion.

The guild launch of Classic was marred by technical difficulties. Without question Blizzards biggest launch failure of all time, the launch was amateurish and wholly inadequate in dealing with the expected player base. Some guildees were able to get on almost immediately, with others waiting a day in queue. In the end, we ended up on different servers. The official Vindication Classic guild is on Kromcrush server, but due to the slow pace of leveling in Classic and the amount of time and effort, many on other servers are not likely to join that server. It remains a guild for those who wish to experience the Classic experience with the help of guildees, but is not our primary focus.

Currently Vindication is in the midst of a rebuilding process, looking to utilize patch 8.3 to help gear alts, catch players up, and prepare for raiding for the next expansion. Guild attendance is on the rebound, voice chat is growing and more active, and we have launched an effort to rebuild our officer group as well as our guild.

The next chapter in Vindication's history is waiting to be written. It will be written by all who choose to join us. We proudly fight along side all who will pick up arms and fight for our cause. In the future, this chapter of our history will regale the brave deeds of those who joined, the dedication and steadfast leadership of those who lead, and the passion with which every Vindication member conducts themselves.

This is
Vindication!