IRONFIST has existed as an active gaming community for over a decade, and has included hundreds of members brought together over dozens of online video games. We’ve seen multiple marriages between our members, lasting friendships, and the forging of happy memories that will last for the rest of our lives. Let this record provide detail into the history of IRONFIST, which exists as a second family to so many of its members.

It is important to understand that throughout its long history, IRONFIST has had separately managed gaming divisions. While countless different games have been incorporated into our community experience over these years, there exist four distinct waves of recruitment which came along with specific gaming divisions of IRONFIST which each brought in huge swells of members which still make up large active pockets and cliques within our overall community. This record will describe the changes in our community’s membership and structure brought about by each of these recruitment waves which have shaped IRONFIST from its origins.

Origins and Founding

[WIP: write description of how Takedown founded IRONFIST. Who was present that went on to be active in subsequent years. When this took place. What games IRONFIST played before Planetside. We need Takedown’s account to compose this section.]

Planetside: The 1st Wave (2003 to 2004)

With the launch of SOE’s MMOFPS Planetside in 2003, IRONFIST quickly grew in membership and the overall structure of the community took shape. Making a name for itself with large tank columns of heavily armored Vanguards, IRONFIST held a strong reputation on the Emerald server for years, regularly placing on the outfit leaderboards while having fewer members than most other leading outfits. Led by its founder Takedown, along with his executive officers of BishopDonMagicJuan, Proximus, and Kamahl – IRONFIST took on hundreds of members and branched out into other games alongside the core game of Planetside.

Regardless of this fearsome reputation and strong leadership, IRONFIST was also a fun and laid-back experience – a well-orchestrated blitzkrieg of tanks and shotguns was often followed by an impromptu sign-along session to 80’s music amidst the lockdown defense which followed. “There’s a time for grab-ass and a time for game-faces,” would do well to describe the community. On one notable instance, The Safety Dance by Men Without Hats was named the official theme song of IRONFIST.

Other gaming divisions were established during this time period, such as a divison for Lineage II led by Kamahl as well as a division for the World of Warcraft Closed Beta. With these separate gaming divisions holding their own independent officers and leadership, a Command Council was established which oversaw the IRONFIST community as a whole and managed shared resources, such as voice communications and the clan website. The initial incarnation of the Command Council included Takedown, BishopDonMagicJuan, Kamahl, and CobraCommander – who were all tremendous influences on the early leadership within IRONFIST. Important to note was that any member of IRONFIST recruited under the banner of any division was granted membership to all others, a design which still holds true to this day. The Planetside wave of IRONFIST was most active from the launch of Planetside until the jarring release of its Aftershock patch on October 18th 2004, after which time most of the remaining membership abandoned the title to pursue other active gaming divisions within IRONFIST. Nevertheless, the era of Planetside truly established what IRONFIST could become and set the groundwork for our multi-gaming community.

World of Warcraft: The 2nd Wave (2004 to Present)

While other MMORPGs of this time period served as footnotes in the history of IRONFIST, World of Warcraft would become a major title in our history. Drawing the attention of the membership even its early Alpha Testing, World of Warcraft would prompt IRONFIST to take an active role in the game as soon as Closed Beta keys began to go out in early 2004. For a time, IRONFIST was very active in both Planetside and the Closed Beta of World of Warcraft, but as Planetside’s development waned more and more of IRONFIST took interest into World of Warcraft. Shortly after Planetside’s ill-received Aftershock patch, the World of Warcraft Open Beta Stress Test period began, and with this the World of Warcraft era was firmly set to begin. This short Open Beta Stress Test saw IRONFIST’s core leadership in full at last play the game, and they would nearly all go on to purchase World of Warcraft for its release on November 23rd of 2004. As a result, with the initial launch the leadership of the World of Warcraft division would be a near direct transposition of that from Planetside – Takedown serving as Guild Leader, with BishopDonMagicJuan, Frodo, and Kamahl serving as his Executive Officers.

While not being a dominant guild on the server, IRONFIST was still successful in raiding even during the initial years of World of Warcraft. BishopDonMagicJuan and Frodo firmly established themselves as raid leaders as IRONFISTdelved into Molten Core, Onyxia’s Lair, and the later raids to follow. With large 40man raids of the period, IRONFISTadopted the practice of splitting raid members into Teamspeak channels by class, with an appointed class officer in charge of managing their respective class while communicating with the raid leader. These squad-leader-stylized class officer positions would expand the number of officers within IRONFIST, and offer members an opportunity to prove their leadership capability. Notably, TJourney arose to officership during this period as the class officer for Rogues in this Vanilla Raiding era of World of Warcraft. As IRONFIST pushed into Ahn’Qiraj and Naxxramas, we made an effort to uplift the raiding scene on our server, and helped to form the Burning Legion Raid Alliance (BLRA) which brought together many smaller guilds to push into the earlier raiding content with our guidance and support. While many other guilds crumbled or disbanded as The Burning Crusade expansion approached, IRONFIST went through its own challenges, seeing portions of its membership fracturing off to form off-shoot guilds, as well as having some of the member-guilds of the BLRA merge into IRONFIST as that alliance ran its course and disbanded. As 2007 began, we went into The Burning Crusade with Khando assuming the leadership of the World of Warcraft Division.

[WIP: Go into Burning Crusade and early Wrath of the Lich King era stuff. Age of Conan and Warhammer Online. Command Council as more of a council of division heads. A lot of the Planetside leadership being less active.]

Global Agenda: The 3rd Wave (2009 to 2010)

[WIP: Recruited lots of people, the new Command Council, period without a core-game which brought about community rebranding/new website]

Planetside 2: The 4th Wave (2012 to Present)

[WIP: Tons of new members, extremely influential on present-day IRONFIST]