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
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
MEET THE COMMAND TEAM!
Greetings and Salutations Black Widow Company and their companions! This week on the front page is the formal meet and greet with our new Command and Staff! All members of BWC are buzzing with chatter about the new crew running this big ol' ship! As for some members of BWC we had exclusive interviews with our new FEARLESS LEADERS!!! Here is what they have to say about their plans and just a smidge about who they are and what they stand for:
Starting with the absolute backbone and support of Black Widow Company itself: THE COMMAND SERGEANT MAJOR CHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE RAMBO!!! (Che Rambo) Black Widow Company ensnared this fantastic individual back in 2003 from the original Planetside 1 after BWC had completely decimated the enemy and Che Rambo was in awe and signed on to join the Planetary crusade!!! Che Rambo has been known by several names over the years and some of you all might remember these aliases of this fellow such as Reaper Thug or Otherick, He had his time in PlanetSide 1 & 2 , Mech Warrior Online, Warframe, Destiny 2 as well as filling up a support role within the community itself as a Public Affairs Officer (S-9). He has taken significant leadership roles within many of the games he has participated in and even leading a few of the internal companies such as Warframe and Destiny 2. Outside of the Virtual worlds we play in He is a career public servant, Canadian Military NCO Veteran and a father of two.
While the Black Widow Company CSM Che Rambo has a specific and guided plan while he is in the billet. However before we go into what his plans are for us here is a quote from the big man himself. "I take this billet to serve this community and hope to do so with several goals and objectives in mind. I am cognizant that those goals and objectives will always be fluid and changing in order to adapt to the realities and issues we face at any given time. Regardless though, it would be a disservice to all of you to take this position without being transparent about my objectives." (Che Rambo)
The Following is his plan:
1. Discipline and Deportment In keeping with the role of the CSM I intend to monitor the discipline and deportment of this community at a macro level, leveraging the NCO corp and my counterpart Game Company First Sergeants to keep abreast of issues or tensions that might undermine the cohesion and culture of our community. Factionalism, unprofessional conduct, disrespect, and a general abandonment of our values and ideals will signal the decline of our community. It is my hope that these will never materialize, but should they I will take every conceivable step to eradicate their existence within the BWC. Conversely, I hope to foster the inverse of these. Through work with the NCOs (billeted and non-billeted) in particular I hope to maintain the high standards we collectively expect of this organization.
2. Our Future Leaders To compliment the work that is being done by the individual game companies in creating their junior and senior leaders I will be taking stock of our BWC's leadership and academic landscape. This will allow me to identify where we do things well, what may benefit from improvement and most crucially identify where gaps exist within the organization. Included in this is continuing the work done by previous CSMs in improving the quality and utility of the training we provide will be one aspect of that work. This represents the codified aspect of how we develop our future leaders. In parallel to this I intend to explore how we can foster more tacit development, either through mentoring, shadowing, or other mechanisms to instill greater cohesion amongst our NCOs and reinvigorate the mindset of One Team One Fight.
3. Serve Punctuated throughout these goals is my intent to serve you. I maintain at all times an open door policy. You can leverage me as a confidant and friend, regardless of your billet, rank or how long you have been in this community. While you should not circumvent your CoC (and don't worry, I'll redirect you if needed), know that you can always come to me. I also understand that sometimes people are very bad at seeking out help, so I intend to insert myself throughout the community in order to better serve it.
4. Our Ideals I strive to ensure that all of my objectives, and any work I do regardless of billet is underpinned by the values and ideals of our community. This objective is more introspective in nature. It is meant to ensure that I remain grounded in what makes this community great. We all adhere to The Black Widow Company's ethos, values and SOPs but as CSM these concepts are brought to the forefront. More than anything I strive to ensure that my work in this role is guided by these ideals. They are my guide.
There you have it folks straight from the big man himself! Che Rambo has accomplished many great things during his time here in Black Widow Company and I am positive we can expect to see many more great things in the works. Keep up the good work sir!
Moving on to the next heavy weight championship contender, The master of staying on target, the champion of One Team One Fight, the PlanetSide 2 Titan himself.......Asterix85!!!!!!! Asterisk85 is now our current Executive Officer (XO) within the BWC community. This man found his way towards the pinnacle that is Black Widow Company in 2013 and he has been here ever since, another PlanetSide veteran who has championed many Operations and lead them directly to victory and spreading the influence of BWC in a positive light within the gaming realm. Asterix85 is also a veteran, A veteran of the United States Navy!!!! Thank you for your service good sir. As for his plans, he keeps them simple and to the point.
Asterix85: "My plans as XO are to see the fulfillment of Rai's vision for BWC!"
Another excellent choice for superb leadership within the community. It seems many great things are on the horizon for The Black Widow Company crew and I must say I am excited to see what's beyond the horizon folks. There is yet but one more to this group that we absolutely cannot fail to mention, our leader himself: the Black Widow Company Actual; the boss's boss.
Black Widow Actual is not a role to be taken lightly. It is not a mantle worn easily nor is it stress free, however there seems to be one individual that seems to carry its weight somewhat effortlessly. Coming to you from around the globe to protect the world from devastation....well at least protect BWC from devastation, to unite all peoples in BWC from the ground fights in Planetside 2 and Mechwarrior to the stars above in Star Citizen......The one, the ONLY and the ever humorous: RAI!!!!!! He was previously known as Raisuun. I believe he lost interest in Raisins, however that rumor has not been confirmed yet. Can you folks believe this man joined us just a little over a year ago? Look and the drive of this individual! Black Widow Company ensnared another wonderful fellow by the guile of Arma 3 and he soon stepped up to become the S-1 Adjutant and upon proving himself to the previous command cadre he become the S-1 Second-in-Command!!!! To top it all off he became BWC Actual in January 2022 after nailing the job in S-1 since July 2021. That's what I like to call fast track with determination. In his off time he is quite fond of the gym, and loves his sports teams Chelsea FC and England Football. As for his plan for The Black Widow Company these are his precise words:
Rai: "My plan as Actual is to unify BWC internally and increase her visibility externally more than ever before. "
There you have it folks, the new crew leading this glorious company to victory! They have so many great things in store for the Black Widow Company!! This has to be a momentous occasion for our community as a whole. We are going to expand and be more tenacious than ever. If you haven't heard from us in awhile, you will hear from us soon. It will be loud it will be proud and it will echo through your ears and resonate in your mind. We are the Black Widow Company, We are ONE TEAM AND WE FIGHT AS ONE!