2007, sometime right after Thanksgiving, a group of friends in Central Florida met up at a LAN party. Together we decided we wanted to have a place to park our Alts, separate from the Raiding Guild we were a part of. It would be a place where we could level and share our resources collectively. It would also be a place where we could drink, fish, party and generally screw off without offending anyone. We were avid amateurs at gaming and had little in common outside of that and drinking. At some point, we were excited about the new release of the Duke Nukem series and had even mentioned playing it more than WoW once it released. The last title that Duke Nukem had released before that was “Duke Nukem: Manhattan Project” and that’s ultimately how we elected this name for the guild. It sounded off-key and yet it seemed rather fitting for us. So before the LAN party ended, we chartered the guild as The Manhattan Project. There were 13 charter members. (Lucky 13!)
Soon after the Wrath of the Lich King expansion was released, several of us found our Raiding Guild to be an uncomfortable place to level up to 80 in. Most of us were more interested in exploring the content, reading and enjoying the lore of the quests and above all, taking our time in getting to the end of the game. The Raiding Guild was not interested in any of that. If you were not pushing yourself to get to level 80 you were not going to make it to the new Raid group. One by one, we left the Raid group and leveled up in TMP. At some point we had enough people in TMP to begin raiding Naxxramas on 10-man and it was a disaster but it was so much fun knowing that our little Alt Guild was raiding! Another attempt proved worthy and we cleared the dungeon. In a matter of a few more runs and we were farming it for the gear just as Ulduar was released. By that time we started recruiting some folks to help us and we were able to clear Ulduar with time to spare. When The Argent Tournament was released, another Guild decided to merge with ours and we had enough power to raid it on 25-man. In fact we had too many people and had to ask some folks to take a sideline. (I was one of them) As the final chapter of Wrath was released, the Icecrown Citadel (ICC) was opened and we raided it on the first night. We managed to down the first two bosses with little difficulty but wiped repeatedly on the Gunship. It wasn’t much long after that we were clearing up to the Lich King and farming gear for those who had not yet been in the dungeon. We attempted the dungeon on Heroic Mode and found it to be quite difficult but we still managed to progress. While we were not the top 10 to complete the Lich King on Normal, we did manage to place in the top 10 for the Realm on Heroic Lich King. We weren’t trying to get there, we just did. Perseverance is not without a sense of irony as it seems the title got to people and they left our guild for other more aggressive guilds. When the launch of the Cataclysm expansion released in 2010, many of the remaining guild members were rather disenchanted by the lack of content, the changes that were made and the vast differences in levels on a PVP scale. (We were on a PVP server so a level 85 in PVP gear could one-shot a level 81 who was questing) About halfway through the Cataclysm expansion it was decided by the remaining members to move the guild to a Normal server so that we could have the choice to PVP or not. At that time, several of the LAN party friends were also on Durotan-US or had played on Durotan-US long before TMP was created. So we left Magtheridon-US and that’s when Durotan-US became the new world home for our old guild in 2011. But when Mists of Pandaria expansion was released, TMP saw 5-8 players on at most, with 1-2 players on as the routine. And by the time Warlords of Draenor was released, it was pretty dead.
When the Legion expansion was in the Pre-expansion phase, several members renewed their accounts and we saw more activity during those 5 weeks than we saw in the past two expansions! And once Legion was released, the servers and the game got very lively! Folks started joining our little guild and helped make it bigger and more active. It took several months but it became quite the active casual guild on the Durotan / Ysera realms. The guild managed to progress quickly in raids and even achieved AOTC on Helya. We were able to maintain AOTC on every dungeon following the Trial of the Champion and hold a progression position on the realm in the top 20. We weren’t trying to be a progressive raiding guild we just happened to get there.