Lúnasa (August) 2012 Edition
Cead Mile Failte!
Greetings everyone and welcome to what must be our most exciting and news packed newsletter of all time! It definitely will be the longest newsletter to date. July was a huge month for our family and August looks to be even bigger.
What we have in store this issue:
First allow me to start off with some really big news.
Gaiscioch & ArenaNet Honor Roger "Oldroar" Rall
ArenaNet Adds Sanctum of Rall to Official Server List
Nearly a year ago, shortly after Oldroar's passing, the idea of approaching ArenaNet to create a server in his honor was suggested. Over the course of the last year Gaiscioch worked their way into ArenaNet's heart with the legend of Oldroar.
Both Vampiresbane and I made personal visits to try to secure the server and Gaiscioch's future home. Over time we managed to build a wonderful relationship between our community and the developers of Guild Wars 2. Of course, it may have helped that we sent ArenaNet a massive zerg of Cookies to try to put the idea in their mind. Lastly in the final weeks before launch we amassed a massive letter writing campaign to make one final push to turn Roger "Oldroar" Rall into a legend and establish a living tribute to him.
Well the cookies, letters, networking, and persistence has paid off. ArenaNet added Sanctum of Rall to their official server lineup starting in BW3. I want to personally thank you all for your persistence, compassion, and undying devotion towards the mission at hand. It was all of our hard work and dedication that this unreal act became possible.
As if the news of Sanctum of Rall wasn't enough to make us all jump out of our chairs and cheer out of pure bliss, the socialsphere seems to be much much more excited. Hundreds of blog, discussion, and forum posts have started and grown like wildfires. The entire Guild Wars 2 community is cheering for this act and honoring Oldroar's memory. Stories of his life are popping up all over the internet. Do a quick search on Google for "Sanctum of Rall" and you will find hundreds of occurrences. Here are some of the highlights.
Watch our Sanctum of Rall Launch Trailer:
Join the community at:
The Blog That Started The Buzz:
Remembering a friend on our new home
Roger "Oldroar" Rall's Memorial Will Be Held On August 29th 2012 at 6PM PST on Sanctum of Rall.
We kindly request as many of you as can, to please attend regardless of whether you knew him or not. Roger was a huge part of our family's history and we want to be sure to not only send him off with a bang but to also have a huge, no... massive, no... EPIC gathering. I will be collecting screenshots, videos, and comments to place into a hardbound book which will be both orderable and sent to Karen, Roger's wife.
Upon the conclusion of the Memorial event, we will take to the battlefield to secure Stonemist in his honor.
Gaiscioch Real-World Events
The Gaiscioch Raid PAX Prime 2012 For Epic Loot
Every year a handful of Gaiscioch and Tuatha members descend on Seattle, WA to attend the annual PAX Prime convention and celebrate another year of Gaiscioch existence. This year will likely be one of the most exciting conferences to date.
At the conference we plan to see the all new expansion for RIFT up close and personal. We will likely have an opportunity to get a backstage interview or sneak peak. Storm Legion has a lot of promise and looks to be a PvE Paradise.
In addition PAX Prime is just 3 days after the official launch of Guild Wars 2. We will likely be able to attend the ArenaNet after party and get some insider information from some of the devs.
Other than RIFT and Guild Wars 2, we will also be taking a peek at Neverwinter, Elder Scrolls Online, Warface, End of Nations, Defiance, Game of Thrones MMO, and a handful of other titles that our family has shown interest in. Any beta keys we come across will be placed on the marketplace for claiming so keep an eye on the revival of our family vault section complete with beta & in game key codes. I'll even swing by the Secret World, Tera, and Star Wars booth to see if I can score some in game item codes.
This show every year tends to be over the top, and with so many great games on their way such as Splinter Cell: Blacklist, Assassins Creed 3, Rainbow Six: Patriot, and the list goes on for miles. This year I will have my new HD Camera in tow and I'll see what I can do to put together some on the floor Gaiscioch News footage.
2012 Gaiscioch Reunion at Fado's Irish Pub on Aug 31st @ 8PM
11 Years... wow. I never imagined we'd see 5 let alone 11. From the little roleplay guild we began with the the giant but tight knit family we've become, it's an astonishing story that we've all shared. We've survived so much over the years and become something of a legend among the gaming industry. From a little guild nobody could pronounce, to a family that gaming companies listen to and welcome into their inner circles.
The Gaiscioch is so much more than just a "Guild". We've saved lives with the ExtraLife Event, provided a friend to children in troubled times, sweetened up relationships with developers, been featured globally as a social gaming community focused on building server communities, and most recently took a man and made him a legend which will last through the history of gaming.
We Gaiscioch have much to be proud about and this fall on August 31st 2012, we will celebrate 11 years of Gaiscioch at Fado's Irish Pub in Seattle Washington, walking distance from the convention. The festivities begin at 8PM and we'll likely be there till around 10PM. There are pool tables available for rental, music, beer, and lots of space to wander.
This is a 21+ location this year so I apologize for any that were bringing wee ones. We would still love to meet up with you though so please feel free to drop a line on the PAX Prime post and let us know how we can contact you.
Head on over to the PAX Prime post on our tavern for details:
The Gaiscioch Culture
Stabilizing our family culture and taking our presence global.
When we formed in Dark Age of Camelot we existed on a US Roleplay server called Nimue. In Warhammer Online we played on a US Server but as servers began to get closed and Europeans started joining American servers we began to start gaining friends from overseas. RIFT really nailed it home for us. Our population of European, Asian, and Oceanic players skyrocketed and today the Gaiscioch Family has a 24/7 presence. As we move into Guild Wars 2 we will be marketing ourselves as a "Global Community" and target these markets to bring new players to our family from various cultures and backgrounds.
While this is exciting news and many of us will find friends from distant lands it also poses a serious problem that we as a family have never had to deal with before. Our family historically had a keep it clean before 9PM PST policy and then we'd loosen the rope and let people get a bit PG-13. Well with our global presence there will be no after hours. We will be creating rooms in vent for adult conversation where you are welcome to have at it however we ask that we keep public chat channels clean and family friendly 24/7. This includes region, guild, Tuatha, and level chats. We have to protect our reputation as a family friendly environment 24 hours a day and I am asking for your help to do so.
By making this policy change we can begin growing our presence globally and open the door for events to take place at any time of the day which in turn means that those nights you can't sleep and you log in at 3am you'll not only have someone to talk to but you'll have adventures waiting for you at any time of the day.
Streamlining Family Processes:
Moving Inactive Characters Into Retirement
The Gaisicoch Family has always prided itself as being a place where you can go away from game for months and even years at a time and come back and still have a seat at our table just like you left it. This is still the case. We always have and always will allow members to rejoin the family and resume their place at our table the same as they left it.
We do however have ourselves an interesting juncture that we've never had to worry about before. We managed to find the maximum characters allowed in RIFT and in Guild Wars 2 we will have to keep a pretty tight rope to keep all active players in the family with the 500 person cap. We have had to implement an active duty roster of players that have played in the past 90 - 360 days. Characters that have not been played in a certain numbers of days (based on rank in the family) will be removed automatically by our character parser / promoted. The timers are as follows:
- Unregistered/Unclaimed Characters: 90 Days Inactivity
- New Members: 120 Days Inactivity
- Members: 180 Days Inactivity
- Veteran Members: 360 Days Inactivity
All characters that are retired will be welcomed back into the family and restored to their original rank upon return to the game. In Guild Wars 2 this will be account based. Our goal is to keep room for active players while preventing technical hangups we find with having a guild full of unplayed characters. This will help speed up the speed of both the parser and our website as well as reduce the lag when the guild window is open. If you have any questions please feel free to talk to me in Ventrilo or by email. Again this is not a "Kick"; this is a "Retirement". Your characters are welcome to come back as soon as you decide to play them again.
Defiant Side Changes
Gaiscioch na Nuada Becomes Existing Members Only
With the sudden drop of activity and participation in events on Defiant side and the overall lack of both desire and leadership of raiding events we've decided to stop bringing in new people to the Defiant side.
We are keeping the Defiant side available and open for members of the family to experience the Defiant side content and participate in our conquest events. This being with the understanding that raiding will not be happening frequently, new players will not be entering through the Defiant side, and we may or may not have Defiant side presence at our family events. We regret to have to take this step but activity has been on a decline for the past 4 months and the turnover rate on that side of our family was over 75% within the first 3 days. It simply is not helping our reputation on this server and therefore we must lock it down before we totally destroy our reputation.
Focus Group Opportunities & Expansion Games
The Saighdear Program
Over the years we've played with the idea of allowing members to open Gaiscioch Hubs in other MMO's and Console games to draw Gaiscioch members into them without risking our namesake to bad behavior and lack of leadership. These "Unofficial" branches will be named "Saighdear". Any Saighdear rank or above can create these branches for fellow Gaiscioch/Tuatha to join in.
Upon receiving the rank of Saighdear (5,000 FHP + 1 Month Membership) you will gain access to the Saighdear Program forums. You can use these forums to coordinate with other members who want to help you run this unofficial expansion. Once you have the foundation of your expansion crew you can then post it publicly on our forums to let other members know what you have planned. We ask that all expansion "Saighdears" uphold our family credo's and act in an honorable way. It will be up to you to police your own expansion.
But expansion games aren't all that will be at your fingertips. The Saighdear Program will also be your chance to get involved with Game Developers who have approached the Gaiscioch to help build their products. Over the past few years the number of focus group, alpha, and survey requests coming towards our family have increased significantly. As our good name and the actions of our family reach more companies we will have a wealth of new opportunities. If there is anyone considering a career in gaming you will want to get involved.
Traditionally these opportunities are not "Beta Tests". They are what takes place to make a beta test work as well as they do. You will be put in direct contact with game developers, work on developer editions of the game, and have 24/7 access to games that will be released months or even years later. You will be required to be over 18 in most cases and in some cases over 21 and will be bound by legal contract / NDA to remain silent about the project.
Over the past 10 years Gaiscioch has been involved in almost a dozen games in development on a pre-beta level, yet unless you're involved you'll never know as to what we are involved in. Absolute silence is required and even after the game launches your involvement will never be known. If the thought of working on a game that has low-res textures, placeholders, or quest text that says "Wrong Answer, Wrong Answer, Right Answer, Wrong Answer." Then this program will give you an inside look at game development and allow you to directly influence game development companies to make better games.
These are amazing opportunities and I work very hard to setup these relationships with developers. All participants will be expected to act in a professional manner and protect our family name among the development studios. If we find players "Trying Before They Buy" in these programs they will lose eligibility to participate in future programs. We expect anyone who signs up to fulfill their end of the agreement and test the product even if it's broken or doesn't work as it should. This is your opportunity to turn a game that isn't what you expected into a shining star that surpasses your expectations. But this is only done through communication with the developers. In addition any breach of NDA will result in your removal from the program and prohibit any future opportunities. We take this very seriously and will not allow members to damage our presence in the game development community.
Are we there yet?
Gaiscioch Launches Guild Wars 2 Chapter
It seems like years have passed since we started looking into Guild Wars 2 as a chapter for our family.... Oh wait it has. Nearly 5 years ago an issue of PC Gamer first landed on my desk discussing Guild Wars 2. With its innovative art style and open world gameplay it became a game to keep an eye on.
The years passed by, and we jumped into Warhammer Online to rekindle the old Dark Age of Camelot player base. We played through the rise of the Warhammer days until the fall of the Warhammer days. At the end we sent out some of our core members to research 3 games. Tera, Rift, and Guild Wars 2 all of which might release in the 2011-2012 timeframe. We needed somewhere quick to move the family to to survive the dark times ahead and hopefully find a fun place to wait while we keep searching for a home base.
Oldroar took it on himself to research GW2 along with Vampiresbane while Don and I took a look at RIFT and Tera. At PAX Prime 2010 it was clear who our contenders were. RIFT and Guild Wars 2. The Tera team blew us off and wasn't very approachable at all. I presented all of them with a media kit and heard nothing from the Tera team.
Over the next year Oldroar continued to pursue the Guild Wars 2 angle while RIFT made contact and invited us to come in house for a few days and make the Enter The Rift trailer. We decided that it was time to make the jump and RIFT drew a lot of attention by our member base. Guild Wars 2 still had no release date and everything was a big question. We continued to build relations with ArenaNet but it wasn't until 2011 when Oldroar and Vampiresbane found some people for me to hunt down and make contact with. With the help of Andy Belford (Ex-War community lead) we made contact with Martin Kerstein and got a revised media kit into his hand.
As It was only a month later that Oldroar passed away and left us with a mission to get the family into Guild Wars 2. We all decided to push to get a server named in his honor and over the next year that's exactly what we did. So that leads us up to today.
Pre-Launch - Launch
We have a good idea of what to expect from Guild Wars 2 launch day. Guild player limits are set to 500 with a required coin price and active members online. As soon as the servers go live we will be pooling every coin we can get our hands on as a family to raise the funds to maximize membership. Once we have Gaiscioch [GSCH] open and maximized, I will need 80 Volunteers to help join Gaiscioch na Anu [GSCH] and Gaiscioch na Rall [GSCH] to help maximize those as well. Once the 3 Rooms are open and maxed we will have everyone represent Gaiscioch until that room is completely full. There are a few challenges we will need to overcome at launch until the developers include functionality to improve. We will be running thin until the upgrades get put into game. We have a few hurdles to overcome that will take some time:
No Alliances At Launch - We must remain in 1 guild until Alliances are added which means less than 500 members. We will be enforcing a 90 day inactive member retirement policy across the board until Alliances are in place and we can launch the multi-room family house.
Guild Upgrade Costs - We will be pooling our money together to raise enough to upgrade 3 rooms of our house which will be used IF we fill the 500 member limit and once Alliances are added. We will need to raise 12g 36s to upgrade all three to 500 Members.
No Quick Promote/Demote Syncing Ability - As of yet there is no information on the mobile application or any easy way to manage promotions from the game to our website. Without a character list to parse and without slash commands to promote and demote it will be tedious and very time consuming to handle promotions. For the first few weeks - months we will have 3 ranks within the family: Member, Elder, and Leader. Everyone will have permissions. We don't want to stick people on promotion detail when they could be out running events.
Leadership/Fellowship - The point scale will change a lot at launch. Just like we did in RIFT the values will change a lot based on the average time and reward totals. Some objectives may not be in the system such as dungeon bosses, random encounters, etc. Please be patient and try to post things you have discovered in the Discoveries forum in the Guild Wars 2. If we don't know about it we can't add it to the system. So please don't complain things aren't there, add them to the forum so we can fix it. This system is entirely entered by players. There is no feed or magic trick to populate the objectives in our database. They are all hand entered. We spent most of the Beta Weekends accumulating the level 1-40 content objectives but have a lot of grey areas towards the higher levels. Things will need to be adapted as we start getting into those levels.
Growing Pains - If GW2 is even a fraction of what we experienced in RIFT we will most likely have about 2 months of growing pains. Players will flock to us and we will be submerged in players that don't know who we are and what we do. I ask all of you to please be patient, point out major problem areas in private to the elders and help teach people how a Gaiscioch acts and carries themselves. Realize this phase is temporary and usually fixes itself rather quickly. Please don't panic. This is natural with any new game and we will likely experience it.
Roger's Memorial - If you would like to speak at this engagement please send me a message and let me know. I want to give everyone a chance to say a few words but will need to do so in an organized and timely fashion.
Expansion - Once we have the family and the 2 overflow rooms established we will begin to make a media push and start getting our name mentioned. First we need to stabilize, then we will grow. I'm hoping alliances will be in game relatively soon after launch so that we can link our branches and expand to the original 6 Room (Guilds) family house with rooms for crafting, roleplay, social, pvp/wvwvw, pve, and new members.
Getting our Warlords Squad Ready - We will need some help pooling together resources to get squad books for Foghladha, Vampiresbane, Lakshmi, Bloodmaw, Spartan, Elth, and some others who will choose to step up and lead. Once we have these books and can open the squad functions for our warlords we'll be able to host some truly massive events and have a great time doing it. What we're aiming to have is 3 warlords running separate squads each squad having their own objectives. The Trinity will pull resources together to fight larger foes, take tough objectives, or distract our enemies while the 3rd squad locks down key targets. It will be a family effort to get these people equipped first with the squad books.
Guild Advancement Plans - First goal we will set forth is to get our Guild Emblem. Once we have this expansion we will work on the Architecture tree to unlock banks so that we can quickly pass items. Right now there's no preventive measure from people stealing items, no limits, etc. so whatever we put in there has a high risk of being stolen or used. So please ask first in guild chat if anyone needs an item before you put it in the vault. Once we have the vaults unlocked we will target the social area to unlock the various banners we can use at community events. Lastly we will advance the War tree and unlock the PvP toys. I want to make sure that we can offer the best experience at our events and most of the PvP tree is based on single objective ownership and is time based. We will have plenty of points later on to use these but first we want to get the perks that will speed up influence gains.
Events - I will be holding a Thursday Night WvWvW night every week at 6PM PST. We will rotate a Saturday PvE event between Guild Wars 2 and RIFT at 5PM PST. I am talking with warlords on the 4th to figure out who wants to run our crafting fair on Saturday mornings and what days people want to run public family events / WvWvW nights. I am hoping to also have some Oceanic / European players step up to lead some off hours WvWvW so that we can have complete 24 hour presence on the battlefield.
Crafting Recipes - Every item in the game will be manually entered through the Add New Recipe on the Guild Wars 2 marketplace. Each approved recipe will range from 5 - 25 discovery points based on the grade of the item. Once the items are added to the system they will be available to claim in the marketplace to have the work order filled. If you run across an ingredient that is not in the system please mail the item to Foghladha with information on how it was acquired (Through Gathering, Purchased from Vendor, or Crafted).
Additionally I want to encourage you all to work together. This is a new world with lots of exciting adventures and exploration to be had. Realize that not everyone is as fast as you and some people might need a bit of help. Please refrain from sarcastic remarks or downplaying each other's knowledge of the game. Many of us know a whole lot more than others and it is up to us that know a lot about the game and how it works to guide those experiencing it for the first time. There will be a lot of chaos, and a lot of personality conflicts at first. Hang in there and realize this is only temporary.
Some members will join us because we're big, not realizing how we got this big. We're not a "zerg guild" like popular belief. We are a caring family that puts helping others first. We aren't about self gratification and being the best in everything. We're about helping the community become stronger even if that means being weaker at first. In the end we will have an astonishing community.
I plan to organize the next great public community event in the form of the Crusade of Rall within the first couple months. It will have both a WvW and PvE focus and rotate between the two depending on the week. I want to include story like we have in the past and also create a real sense of adventure and danger. As I see where the public interest is I will begin flushing out the plan. I think this can be a great new avenue for adventure and I look forward to sharing the adventure with our community.
Lastly but not least important. I want everyone to feel welcome within the Gaiscioch Family yet I also want to make sure our server doesn't become all Gaiscioch Family. We do not own this server, we are the protectors of it. It is up to us to see that the community grows and flourishes. For it to flourish we will need other guilds to be involved, to be successful. I want to encourage everyone to get involved in other guilds. Join a roleplay guild, a hard core pve guild, a hard core pvp guild. Go into the world and bring Gaiscioch life into everything you do. The more guilds we have members involved in the more visibility we will have into how our allies think and what they enjoy. Who is being a problem child and who is a true leader of the realm. It will require all guilds to pull off the extraordinary and it's only through helping these guilds thrive that we can see a new age in server community. Please don't feel you have to be in Gaiscioch to be a part of what we do. You are welcome to join other guilds and remain a member of the family. As long as you have an active presence in the family you will be welcome here. Most important thing is to do what makes you happy. Go into the world and lets make Sanctum of Rall stronger than any server community ANYONE has ever witnessed. Our goal is to make Sanctum of Rall a legend that is discussed in the media, in game development circles, and among other server communities. At the heart of it will be our family. If the server succeeds, we succeed.
RIFT Conquest Nights & Lowbie Instant Adventure Nights
We will continue running the Conquest / Raid Rift Nights on Monday Night and the Lowbie Instant Adventure Nights on Thursday Nights until Guild Wars 2 launch on August 28th. Starting September 8th we will be running Lowbie Instant Adventure nights at 5PM - 8PM every other Saturday.
I know a lot of you are concerned about Guild Wars 2 drawing everyone away from RIFT and I want to reaffirm what I've said in the past newsletters. Gaiscioch intends on being in both worlds for quite some time. We will NOT be closing our RIFT side and will continue to grow and bring new people into the Guardian side of our RIFT family. We are still committed to making Chapter 3 a successful chapter that we can continue to enjoy for years to come.
That said we will keep RIFT active as long as we have members who are active. Right now there are 556 active RIFT accounts showing characters that have been played in the last 30 days. As long as that number stays above 100 we will continue to run the RIFT chapter. This has been our long standing family guideline. So simply put if you want to keep the RIFT Chapter going then continue playing. We are entertainers, and if there is nobody to entertain we move on. Thats what we did with Warhammer Online and that's what we'll do with every game in the future.
Gaiscioch Football Gains Sponsor For New Uniforms
After 6 seasons of playing football we've finally landed our first sponsor Franchising.com. They have graciously given us an allowance to purchase new uniforms so we can start looking like a team and less like a backyard friend circle. The new Gaiscioch Jerseys are at the printer now and feature the tradition Green / Black / White look. The Gaiscioch Football team is currently playing in Portland, Oregon in 2 separate leagues on Sunday Nights. So far this season they are unbeaten in both leagues. To learn more please visit our football site at: http://www.GaisciochFootball.com/
The next few months are going to be both exciting and terrifying. It's going to be filled with laughter and frustration. I want everyone to remember this is normal and it is temporary. We are at the gateway of making something epic and we just have to walk through the door and be willing to make something unbelievable happen. This is going to be a very very exciting month. Fasten your seatbelts and hang on for the ride. Lets make Legend Happen!
Slan Go Foill!
(Goodbye For Now)
Benjamin "Foghladha" Foley
Ceannard De Gaiscioch Treubh