Black Widow Company
Founded by Military Veterans
Founded by Military Veterans
Founded in 2003, the Black Widow Company is a classic gaming community with a military touch. We are highly structured with our own custom software to make organizing effective groups in game not just efficient, but fun at the same time. You will not find a gaming community out there with an engrained culture of organization and teamwork from top to bottom.
Direct from the Community
Direct from the Community
SALUTE TO VETERANS!
Brothers and Sisters of BWC, please join us in our celebration and remembrance of Veteran's Day, November 11th. On this day, we honor those who have risked their lives in order to protect their countries. Your sacrifices help to maintain the peace and order that we are able to enjoy today. Wherever you serve- we salute you.
Since our start in 2003, BWC has been rooted by military structure and organization stemming from our founders' own military veteran backgrounds. We take pride in our roots and what we have achieved in respect to each other and our service to our communities. In honor of this event, BWC will be hosting "Salute to Veterans Celebration 2022" starting 11/11 at 1100 all weekend long. Please join us in this celebration and of course to our fellow veterans: Thank you for your service.
Steaks, shrimp, and buttered corn on the grill. Tubes and twelvers floating on a lazy river.
Popping someone's dome in PS2 and then eating some popcorn while a cult classic movie with your buds from BWC.
That's right, it's Summer Bash! That once-a-year celebration of bad tan lines, putting virtual rounds down range, and social events galore.
This year, BWC's Summer Bash will kick off at 2100 on Friday, August 26th and go through until 2300 Sunday, August 28th; opserv time, of course.
The various teams behind our gaming companies have put together a slew of in-game ops, social events including movies and f2p games, and some intoxi-ops (so get your blenders and margarita mixes ready).
So, hide your kids, lock up your spouse, and get ready to game, laugh, cry, and earn some shinies the last weekend of August!
SC RANGER, GETTING IT DONE
A man walks through the chaos of a recent gunfight. He's wearing mismatched armor spray-painted with pink symbols that when looked at from afar, form a 9. He looks around at the handywork of his crew: bodies strewn about, some still in the positions they were in at their desks. Smiling he checks his rifle to see how many rounds he has left, and then feels a slight punch in his chest and blood starts trickling through down his armor. Weird, he thinks to himself, that wasn't there a second ago.
And then the chaos erupts again, but this time, forms in heavy black and red armor erupt from positions of concealment, rifle's barking, muzzles flashing, and pink-armored gang members falling all around him.
As he falls and his vision dims, he remembers that he had heard of this group: The Rangers of Black Widow Company. Ultraviolence is their playground.
Task Force Ranger has been around in some iteration or another since BWC was active in the original Planetside. Created by then Legionnaire Optimus Prime, the focus of the group was, and still continues to be, assault embedded enemies with overwhelming force. From air assaults with C4 on sunderers to zero-gravity sniper missions on 890 Jumps the Taskforce has carried its mission and traditions through multiple games with the same mindset.
At its depths, Ranger is more than a pile of bloodthirsty kill junkies. It's current OIC, Nightstalker states that members “rely on the people around you more, it's not about who has the best ship, shields, or weapons.” To him, and the many who have joined the taskforce, the appeal is the team aspect. This is driven home in the trainings and field exercises, in which communications and maneuvers are all about what a person is doing as a part of the team. But at the end of the day, it's also about the objective, as Zinthous points out, “I enjoy the team-building and moving through enemies [as] effectively as possible.”
For some members, both older and newer, the appeal is building BWC's presence in Star Citizen to match our reputation from the Planetside days. When asked how he saw the Taskforce growing in Star Citizen to support the broader BWC mission, Firefly, the current 2IC of the Company stated, “Carrying the legacy of elite FPS gameplay into the 30th Century.” Obsane, a longstanding BWC member who is an applicant to TF Ranger mirrors the sentiment, “Prepare, adapt, overcome. Make them remember our name. Pew-pew makes people QQ.”
To some, the value of being part of a long-standing tradition is paramount. Archangel, when asked about those traditions said, “BWC has a long history and to have callbacks within the community like this gives a sense of prestige.” He also points out that even some trainings like “Minuteman” are steeped in tradition and give a sense of legacy.
Some members just want a way to contribute and find that their skillsets lend more to FPS combat than Dogfighting. MikeyJRambo, a member who joined in the latest iteration makes it clear that he doesn't feel he is a good pilot, but still wanted a way to contribute and joined as the initial crop of Star Citizen TF Ranger inductees. Some of his first missions were during the initial rollout of the Jumptown event which saw very heavy fighting.
When asked about their experiences in TF Ranger, one member talked about the recent Siege of Orison event where two fireteams were able to clear multiple buildings and be systematic in their prosecution of the objective. He explained how their ability to be fluid in approach allowed them to collapse, push, or assist each other at a moment's notice. Others brought up funny anecdotes like a time a member had a high crimestat and was being pursued by a bounty hunter. The hunter kept getting killed by the team and kept coming back with progressively larger ships. Finally, the bounty hunter brought a large bomber and dropped 3 of its payload, ultimately killing everyone but the person that had the crimestat. When asked about a story, one member simply said, “Don't let Samurai fly...”
I, myself, am a shielded member of TF Ranger and my experiences harken back to the Planetside 2 days. All these sentiments ring true with me. Yes, I am a kill junky, and yes, I feel a sense of pride and prestige in carrying on a legacy in videogames more than a decade old. Our sense of reliance on each other is indescribable. Knowing that when someone is next to me in an assault, I know that we are going to win. I know that whatever hostage we need to rescue, whatever target we need to eliminate, whatever package we need to deliver, whatever it is, we are going to win. And to me, winning is why I joined Ranger.
BIRTHDAY BASH 2022
It's that time of year again, Widows! No, we're not waiting on a fat man in a red hoodie and white beard to bring us presents. Well, at least not THAT fat man. It's Black Widow Company's 19th Birthday! And to celebrate BWC will be hosting its annual birthday bash the weekend of April 1st-3rd. So get your calendars straight. Tell your significant others that you love them. Dump the rest of the bag of food into the dogs bowl and leave the toilet bowl open. And most certainly, without a doubt, tell your boss that if they call, they had better be dead or dying. Because this year the team behind Birthday Bash has lined up some great fun. Each day a game that is accessible to everyone will be hosted by the command team: On Friday the 1st, they're bringing back the game that put BWC on the map, Planetside 2. On Saturday, we're coming to a new age with Destiny 2. And then we're closing out the bash on Sunday with big stompies in Mechwarrior Online. But that's not all. There's going to be games and prizes in between it all, with stuff to win from all the games we play in BWC. Oh, and like every year BWC will be sponsoring a Charity, and this year it's a special one, so if you won't do it for the games, do it for the karma. That's less than two weeks, so lets get those games downloaded and updated. And we'll see you there!
FINAL FANTASY XIV INTERVIEW
When it comes to brand loyalty, BWC has done its share. Both Planetside 2 and Mechwarrior Online are nearing a decade of Regimental Fun within the hallowed halls of our gaming company. And let's not forget that before PS2, there was a PS1 and BWC was there until the very bitter end. But gaming continues to develop, and developers continue to drop new and exciting games. And sometimes there is a rare game that rises from its own ashes to bring a Realm Reborn.
Yes, we're talking Final Fantasy XIV. This year, as one of its first official acts, the new Command Team stood up BWC's most recent iteration of the Semi-Supported gaming Company, Expeditionary Games and selected Final Fantasy XIV as its first game. BWC has had its fair share of delving into fantasy MMOs, like World of Warcraft, Star Wars: The Old Republic (it's space fantasy, come at me), and Elder Scrolls Online. There's something different this time around and I recently had an opportunity to get together with one of the members working towards building a BWC presence within the world of FF14, Brokilli, to see if we could figure out what. Brok, as he is commonly known, has a history of leadership within BWC and while showing me around the world of Eorzea in FF14 had some insight regarding the game and its presence in BWC.
We got to talking about past iterations of semi-supported games, like Vanguard, and Brok brought up some lessons learned, “When I (re)launched Destiny 2 we went through the Vanguard system. This feels very similar to that, the biggest exception being that your CoC is Command and not some other set.” He felt this allowed him to focus on building a game towards full company status, while relying on the support of “those who swung the biggest hammers.”
I then asked Brok what strengths FF14 that made it an ideal candidate for an Expeditionary game, and he stated that “it's a game that has both a solid player base and is growing in popularity.” He also brought up that the game has been around a while (published in November of 2010), and has had most of its issues worked out, and with its recent resurgence in popularity and influx of new players could grow quickly. It was a good point. Final Fantasy has the unique status of being a game that was once considered dead but recently has become the most popular Fantasy MMO in the world. This resurgence was so intense that the devs had to shut down new accounts for a few months while they increased their server capacity. And despite never really being considered a contender for the title of possible “World of Warcraft killer,” it does seem to be just that. Or maybe more accurately, it was there to pick up the pieces when WoW self-destructed. When WoW started to bleed out this last winter, FF14 was waiting with open arms to welcome a player base that was bitter, let down, and in some cases feeling betrayed.
When asked about how they help interested players get their feet wet, he pointed out that the new player experience is one of the best in the gaming industry with a free trial to well beyond what others in the genre offer. It was also brought up that the developer has a history of success with MMOs and unlike other companies, actually listens to player feedback and acts accordingly.
As I wander around a city on Elf Gladiator (called an Elezen in FF14), learning how to play as a tanking class, I'm blown away by the sense of community. There is a player who is cooking food and there are three other players with glowsticks around the chef cheering them on. This is something I would have never seen in World of Warcraft. As I make the comparison a conversation starts between Brok and Ignite in discord about comparisons. The general feeling is that Final Fantasy is its own game and shouldn't be compared to others. But I do anyway. And the comparisons are weighted well in Final Fantasy's favor. For the most part there is a feeling that in other MMO games, veteran players eat their young, but in FF14 there is a culture of growing new players. New players are called sprouts and have an indicator on their name, showing that they are new. And veteran players go out of their way to help them; from answering questions to volunteering to be mentors in game. When I made mistakes in my first dungeon run, my party helped me understand what to do and then made me the MVP of the run at the end, giving me commendations. Another BWC member in channel called the game “one of the most chill experiences I've had in gaming.” So far, I have to agree.
When talking about the depth of the game Brok pointed out that if you want a particular playstyle from an MMO, chances are FF14 has it, from PVP to hard-core raiding. Another great facet of the game is character customization. While some MMOs allow a few minor cosmetic options to hair, face and race, Final Fantasy has multiple options. Another very cool feature is that once you've created a character, you aren't locked in on a particular class or role. Any class can be played on any character just by switching the mainhand weapon. This is also true for crafting classes. Yes, crafting has classes, and each has its own skills. Crafting is essentially a minigame where different skills are used to build different levels of quality items. I found that I had devoted an entire day of playing to just trying out crafting classes. There is even a fashion mini-game with rewards for meeting certain parameters. And there's cat girls and bunny girls. Brok calls the bunny girls “Senpais.” It was explained to me that “senpai” means “senior,” which could be appropriate, because when I see them in-game, I can't help but think of a swanky Las Vegas nightclub. Don't worry, there's bunny boys, as well, if that's your flavor.
And while eye candy may be fun for a minute, Final Fantasy players aren't immune to burnout or boredom. But Brok believes the game does a good job of addressing burnout and boredom. He states that “They run multiple events a year, separate from the main activity stuff, and they release more quests with every patch. There is always something to do.”
The team behind BWCs Final Fantasy endeavor has a lot of stuff planned and Brok points out that the free trial is a great place to start if a BWC member is interested in checking the game out. They do have regular operations that include activities that are easy for Free Trial members to get into, including a raid on Friday nights that is accessible to anyone, including Free Trials. I think I may just continue playing this game. Hopefully I can get someone to cheer me on with glowsticks someday. Maybe a bunny girl.
By Doc Solid