Guild Spotlight: Honolulu
After interviewing the top 3 guilds of last tier’s Race to World First (RWF) – Liquid, Echo, and Method – we also felt that another guild deserved some extra buzz. Enter: Honolulu!
In progression raiding, Honolulu is one of the best guilds around. In reclears, they are one of the worst. Currently world ranked #21, Honolulu has demonstrated a meteoric rise into the top echelon of WoW raiding since BFA. However, their rapid success is actually the least interesting thing about them; what makes Honolulu truly shine is their unparalleled ability to have fun and elevate one another in the heat of Mythic progression and maintain their spirit for years beyond – no matter what level of content they are doing.
Although we could go on all day about why Honolulu is one of the coolest progression guilds out there – from their guild trips to Prague, their mascot Bests, their incredible memes, and their magnanimous community outreach – we’ll let you take a little glimpse into their culture yourselves. Join us for our chat with Honolulu’s Guild Master, Purke, and officers Barrys, Jillz, and Sesha!
Table of Contents
“We just don't take the reclears too seriously and have fun doing them. If our reclear takes an hour longer because of some trolling, so be it. It’s more just a night of hanging out with friends talking shit and we just happen to be playing WoW while doing it.” –Sesha
Q-1: We’d love a brief introduction to the officer team at Honolulu. How did Honolulu come to be? When did you all join the guild and what brought you to Honolulu?
Purke: Honolulu was never intended to be a Mythic raiding team from the start, haha. My original plan was to simply defeat some Heroic bosses in Legion with friends. However, as we started inviting random players to the guild, and after successfully clearing Heroic, I suggested that we should give Mythic raiding a try, just once, because Nythendra was “easy” and we had a full roster of 20 players. The rest, as they say, is history.
Jillz: I joined back during Eternal Palace farm, just before Ny'alotha came out and we achieved our legendary rank of 69. I joined due to knowing some of the guys from Mythic+, and also being a big fan of the Honolulu kill videos, so it was wild coming from a world-ranked 500 guild to this.
Barrys: I played with Purke back in Siege of Orgrimmar for a bit, and when I returned to the game in Legion, Purke asked me if I wanted to join his guild and I said yes! What initially brought me here was just wanting to progress and get Ahead of the Curve but I stayed for the insanely fun times with the team.
Sesha: Hi! I go by Sesha and I joined Honolulu back in Legion, specifically on Chronomatic Anomaly progress. My previous guild at the time fell apart and then I saw Honolulu’s recruitment messages in Trade Chat. They were funny and refreshingly different from the standard “5/9 Mythic guild looking for Hunter” type of messages other guilds used, and I decided to apply.
Q-2: Honolulu has been climbing the rankings since BFA, from achieving your first rank 69, to now sitting at a whopping world rank 21. This level of growth is meteoric; how have you achieved and maintained such rapid improvement whilst not sacrificing what makes Honolulu so unique?
Purke: It was primarily a group effort. I believe everyone on the team appreciated what we had, while also recognizing that enhancing our overall performance could elevate our experience even further. Hearing the nerd screams after every end boss over the last few years has always shown how much people care about our overall performance.
Jillz: I think we mostly come from a place of just having a lot of fun in the group that we have gathered over the years, but still being serious in the way we approach the game. This led us to keep our identity as a guild while always improving.
Barrys: Our climb in the ranks is largely thanks to our ability to have fun while still being able to be serious when it matters, as well as the great amount of research and planning being done by Purke for each tier; however, our ranks are still slightly being held back by our natural behavior!
Sesha: Damn, I even remember when we were still around rank 240! Yes, mostly it just comes down to dedication from Purke and the officer team throughout the years. Besides that, I think our uniqueness also makes our progression possible. There are tons of good players that enjoy our environment and we have long been an ideal option as a guild for them.
“Our guild trips to Prague are probably what people in other esports would see as “team-building” where everyone gets to look each other in the eyes and get to know each other outside of WoW. In the end, these events definitely create synergy and help us through difficult moments during the tier’s progression.” –Jillz
Q-3: We’ve heard about your guild trips – most recently to Prague a couple of times a year. What do you value most about these holidays? Do you think it helps form camaraderie and/or team synergy?
Purke: Prague is where some of the best stuff happens, and we've got this thing we call the “Prague buff.” It's our yearly highlight – a constant reminder that WoW is all about friendship.
Jillz: We value these trips a lot and it’s hyped from the end of the last Prague trip until we go on the next one. Our guild trips to Prague are probably what people in other esports would see as “team-building” where everyone gets to look each other in the eyes and get to know each other outside of WoW. In the end, these events definitely create synergy and help us through difficult moments during the tier’s progression.
Barrys: Yeah our trips to Prague are legendary. They are something I look forward to each year, especially considering I live in the middle of nowhere in Sweden and don’t go outside a lot. Getting to know the guys on a more face-to-face level rather than just online really helps a lot for me and builds memories that I will treasure for a long time!
Sesha: We value them because they are fun. Who wouldn't want to go on a holiday with a bunch of their friends, you know? I get that for some people, a guild is just that…but for us, it really is a big group of friends. I also agree that it gives you more of a sense of camaraderie, making it easier to bring up issues and solve them. To quote a retired officer: “We are humans. We can solve shits like that.”
Q-4: Speaking of exciting times together, Patch 10.2 is less than a week away. What are your hopes for Honolulu in this tier? How do you feel about how the tier is shaping up so far?
Purke: Honestly, I have no idea lol. It’s very difficult to predict how we're gonna perform, but the good news is that there is no Zskarn in 10.2, haha. I think everyone is very motivated, and the overall team vibe is great + we still have the Prague buff! Hopefully we can deliver another banger tier and some funny clips along the way.
Jillz: So far, preparation has been really good. I hope we can continue our growth as a guild and just keep having fun with it, and with Blizzard also making changes to some classes, it’s gonna be fun to see which ones will pop off!
Barrys: We have a great team and the motivation is extra high now because we just came back from Prague. Our only concern is that our tanks constantly refuse to use their microphones.
Sesha: Having done some of the raid testing, I feel like it's shaping up like a great raid – particularly bosses like Smolderon and Tindral. Honolulu had a fantastic tier in Aberrus where we exceeded my expectations. I’m hoping we can maintain our momentum and possibly get even better results.
Q-5: How have the changes to the RWF scene impacted Honolulu in aspects like gold spending, split runs, etc. Is it challenging to keep up with the top guilds without a large stream fan base of loot traders?
Purke: We've never been the best at managing gold, so the recent changes to how BoEs work have been a massive help to us. Loot trading is also not a concern because we've got plenty of friends who used to be competitive that now help us out in exchange for some free Mythic achievements during the off-season, haha. Big shoutout to Alvin and his family!
Jillz: Gold spending doesn’t really impact us like it does the guilds actually racing in the RWF. So, in that regard, it’s fairly easy for us to have enough gold for each tier. As for splits, we don’t really do splits and don’t force alts.
Barrys: There is still a large gap between us and other high ranked guilds because most of them do splits. We are only really able to do 2 Heroic runs in the first week because we have a guy called Alvin that brings his entire family to our raid to help us with loot, so shout out to them!
Sesha: We don't engage much in split runs. In the first week, we divide our raid into two groups and run two 20-man raids for Heroic. Occasionally, we invite some socials or AFK alts to maximize loot. Since we don't require alts, we don't have what you'd call “real” split runs. Gold spending was going up significantly with BoE items, but Blizzard's changes to make Mythic BoEs BoP for the first few weeks curbed that nicely. This leaves Augment Runes and crafting as our main expenses at the start of a new tier.
Q-6: It’s well known that Echo, Method, Liquid, and BDG spend millions upon millions of gold in split runs to gear up as fast as they do. How much do you try to keep up with that or do you have your own strategy for cheaper splits?
Purke: We have the best strategy for cheap splits! We don’t do them, lol.
Jillz: The closest thing we have to a split run is our Heroic run where retired boomers (shoutout Ottemar), friends, and Alvin’s family help us out, which we really appreciate. This helps us grab a few more items that we would otherwise obtain.
Sesha: We definitely don't keep up with the top four guilds when it comes to their split run strategies, and honestly, I think we're all very happy about that. It looks like quite the chore. As I mentioned, we do our own “Tesco Splits,” as we like to call them. In these runs, we do two 20-man raids with the main goal of getting 2/4 sets for our raiders. Afterwards, most of our gear comes from Mythic+ dungeons since we “only” raid five days a week and don't day-raid. This leaves our raiders with more time to run Mythic+ and get gear that way.
“Honolulu has always been a community-oriented guild. Even back when we were celebrating our very first Mythic kill, there was always someone in Trade Chat supporting and encouraging us to strive for more. It's a wonderful feeling to be able to give back to the WoW community.” –Purke
Q-7: Honolulu prides itself upon helping those either less fortunate or less experienced. As such, we know that you partnered with the Dungeon Dojo and Raider.IO for the Spooktacular Streamathon 2023 charity event. What do these events mean to you?
Purke: Honolulu has always been a community-oriented guild. Even back when we were celebrating our very first Mythic kill, there was always someone in Trade Chat supporting and encouraging us to strive for more. It's a wonderful feeling to be able to give back to the WoW community. We're genuinely thankful for the support and kindness the entire WoW community has shown us in the past. Without them, we wouldn't be here having this interview right now. Big shoutout to Wochi and PurplePixels for their incredible achievements with the Dungeon Dojo! Looking forward to more events with them in the future.
Jillz: It means a lot to help and give back to all of those who have been supporting us, and it’s always a blast to connect and have fun with people we otherwise wouldn’t get to meet.
Barrys: We were very excited to have partnered with the Dungeon Dojo and Raider.IO for the Spooktacular Streamathon 2023. It means a lot to us to be able to contribute to charity as well as be able to hang out with some of the people who support us!
Sesha: We thoroughly enjoy these types of events because they allow us to bring some positivity into the community. Given the abundance of online negativity, it's important to contribute some positivity as well.
Q-8: Speaking of events, BlizzCon 2023 is this weekend. Will any of the team be attending and, if so, how can the public connect with you at the convention?
Purke: A group of four (me, Sesha, Chicken, and Noobwork) will be there, along with some friends from the guild. Connect with us on Twitter or directly with me on Instagram.
Jillz: We have a small group going there and yes. If you see any of them, go have a talk and grab a picture #Honolulurising.
Barrys: I personally won’t be attending but you can connect with our GM Purke on Twitter.
Sesha: Yes, four of us – Purke, Chicken, Noobwork, and I are attending. I'll be sure to wear my Honolulu jersey to BlizzCon, so if you see me, feel free to approach.
Q-9: Honolulu is considered by many to be one of the funniest guilds in the WoW community. Who is the funniest member of your guild and what makes them so funny?
Purke: The current title holder for memes is Henning, but the true GOAT of memes is Khaelt. Jillz was a top contender in the past but got serious after being promoted to an officer, haha. Other notable mentions include Alorani and Timo.
Jillz: Man, this is a very hard question. I think we have a lot of naturally funny people, who also know how to build up a lot of memes and jokes together. But I would probably have to say Henning.
Barrys: The person with the biggest word to meme ratio by far is Alorani. But you can definitely feel a difference in the atmosphere when the Horsemen of Memes – Jillz, Timo, Henning, and Khaelt – are there!
Sesha: It’s hard to pick just one, so I’ll go with Alorani & Khaelt. Alorani is the quiet type who will just constantly post the funniest memes and Khaelt is the opposite; he will talk your ears off with funny comments and jokes.
“In the beginning, only a few of us hit the gym, but Jillz later created a gym channel in our Discord and it gradually caught on with more people. However, I'm not entirely sure about the positive impact; it seems like they now spend a lot of time swiping through Tinder.”
Q-10: Another thing that we’ve noticed about Honolulu is the guild’s focus on fitness and health, as the officer team in particular seems to feature many heavy gym goers. What do you think the impact of fitness has been on your mindset during progress or the infamous Honolulu reclears?
Purke: In the beginning, only a few of us hit the gym, but Jillz later created a gym channel in our Discord and it gradually caught on with more people. However, I'm not entirely sure about the positive impact; it seems like they now spend a lot of time swiping through Tinder.
Jillz: From personal experience, I know that working out just kind of takes the edge off and gives a bit more clarity in high stress situations, which often occurs on the harder bosses during progress. When it comes to the reclears, I think it does the same, but more in a way of being able to focus on the game and also having fun and meming during pulls. We also have a channel specifically for gym stuff where we help each other out.
Sesha: We definitely have some of them, but not me, haha.
“Personally, I see it as just hanging out with friends and catching up once a week…we just happen to be reclearing at the same time and are somehow always able to produce a very fun time.” –Barrys
Q-11: Finally, from my experience Honolulu is one of the best raiding progression guilds, and without a doubt one of the most dramatically ridiculous in reclears. How do you keep the fun for 6 months after progress?
Purke: Besides occasional special events and fun mini-games we introduce, it's the dramatically ridiculous reclears (great way to describe it btw) that keep us entertained and provide lots of laugh-worthy content. Every reset is a surprise and you never quite know what to expect.
Jillz: Our reclears are infamous for a reason. It’s a full coinflip of what will happen during those nights, and that is what makes it so fun. So many awkward situations and everyone just has fun with it and gives a reason to keep coming back every week to do it. So, in that way, we are different from other guilds.
Barrys: Personally, I see it as just hanging out with friends and catching up once a week…we just happen to be reclearing at the same time and are somehow always able to produce a very fun time. Regardless of whether we are doing a boost run, log run, or some sort of event run, there is always something to look forward to!
Sesha: We just don't take the reclears too seriously and have fun doing them. If our reclear takes an hour longer because of some trolling, so be it. It’s more just a night of hanging out with friends talking shit and we just happen to be playing WoW while doing it.
Q-12: Are there any closing thoughts you would like to share?
Purke: If our tanks are reading this: Please use the microphone sometimes.
Jillz: Thanks a lot to Raider.IO for this interview and for supporting the Spooktacular Streamathon 2023 charity event!
Barrys: Nope! Nothing to add, thanks for having me for the interview!
- Find Honolulu on Raider.IO
- Follow Honolulu on Twitch
- Follow Honolulu on Twitter
- Follow Honolulu on Instagram
- Subscribe to Honolulu on YouTube
About the Authors
Grant has been a Feral Druid for the last 14 years and refuses to believe it isn't meta. He's also an esports caster who has traveled the world commentating for StarCraft II. Currently, he works predominantly in the MMO scene on the Race to World First (RWF) and other PvE events. Experienced at raiding at a world-first level himself, he is now content dying a lot with his friends at a slightly lower level. When he grows up, he wants to be a Ninja Turtle.