Cyrus is a PvP guild formed in 2009 during our first MMO, Warhammer Online. As a guild we always try to look forward, but sometimes you have to know where you have come from in order to see where you are headed. The following is a brief account of our guild history, achievements and playstyles in the various games we have played. It may also include one or two mistakes we made along the way.
Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning
Server: Karak Norn
Warhammer Online is where it all began for us, back in March 2009. Our guild wasn't created until 6 months after the games release, and was done so in response to the Order factions very poor showing in the endgame PvP zones on our server, Karak Norn. Order was losing badly, and we didn't have any guilds capable of leading the charge against a numerically stronger and better organised Destruction faction.
Originally called 'Exodus', our guild only recruited new players in the starter zones. The aim was to get to these players early, practise regularly in the more balanced starter zones, organise training raids and prepare our members for what was to come at endgame. We were playing the long con! Our members were used to the rule that if you were logged ingame, you were in the guild raid, and you were on the guild voice comms.
Our first lower tier keep capture during a training exercise!
Exodus became the largest and most active Order guild on the server. We played a central role in coordinating our faction, hosting successful cross-alliance community initiatives to try and bring the many guilds on our server together in an attempt to take the fight to the Destruction faction. We created custom channels for guild leadership communication, encouraged some of the smaller guilds to merge and form more effective alliances, and most importantly we organised faction-wide scheduled pushes against the enemy. These events became known as "Call to War".
The first couple of Call to War events had a great turnout, but had no impact on the campaign as Destro wouldn't come out to fight in enough number to capture the zone (a mechanic that became extremely frustrating as a faction could avoid losing by logging off). We also spread ourselves out across all three endgame zones, instead of focusing on just one.
We then organised a Call to War with the specific goal of capturing a single zone and pushing the campaign back to our favour. Again we had a great turnout, and with the Destruction Zerg all forced into one place we succeeded in our factions first ever zone capture. It was a great achievement, done at the weekend during peak hours, and a real show of strength of what we could achieve if we worked together. This victory became the turning point for PvP on our server.
Cyrus in Warhammer, known as Exodus. We fought for Order on Karak-Norn.
Exodus continued to thrive and became a well respected guild which could be relied upon to secure further zone captures and succeed in organising fortress sieges. Order became so well practised at this, we went through a long period of pushing Destruction back all the way to their own capital city which was under daily siege. Unfortunately the endgame capital sieges were a complete snooze-fest and we quickly became jaded by the monotony.
Warhammer Online as an Exodus member was a very good experience, and it is unfortunate that the true PvP endgame was so poorly thought out, and not addressed in any future expansions. The final victory was even a bugged PvE encounter. As a guild we achieved almost everything we wanted to in the game, and it's just a shame that in this case the journey was far more enjoyable than the final destination.
Like many Warhammer Online guilds, we decided to move to a new MMO being released, Aion Online. This is also when we changed our guild name from Exodus to Cyrus - the new name being something of an in-joke referring to a comical recruitment post we put up in Warhammer Online to embarrass our members! Starting up in this game was quite different for us, as we were recruiting new members to play alongside our existing core membership before the game was even released. We also chose to play on the same server, Perento, as several old Warhammer Online guilds to ensure a high level of PvP activity. We even formed a two-guild alliance with Crimson Imperium Reborn, the top Destruction guild in Warhammer Online.
The maximum guild size was 60, and thanks to our good reputation earned in Warhammer Online we very able to very selectively recruit the classes required to fill premade groups and guild PvP raids. By the time Aion headstart was launched, we had a very active, keen 60 members chomping at the bit to log in and play. And this is where things started to go wrong! SERVER QUEUES! OMG THE SERVER QUEUES!
Cyrus in Aion. We fought for Elyos on Perento. Embracing the grind...
Because we had started our guild in Warhammer Online 6 months after launch, we had not experienced this common element of new release MMOs before. The server queues lasted for well over a month, and this led to several of our newly recruited members to "temporarily" reroll onto a less populated server "just so they could play", and then never actually return. On top of that, the level grind to 50 was relatively severe for a PvP game, and the gear grind was even worse (Miragents AND full PvP gear here, you scrubs!). Of the 60 members who joined us before the games launch, probably only about 10 made it to endgame with us.
Despite these setbacks, we started off strong in Aion. We plugged the gaps in recruitment helped by our frequent and dominant showings in The Abyss, the main PvP zone at the time. We were amongst the first guilds on the server to capture an artifact control point, and we climbed the PvP rankings to become a top 10 guild.
However there were more problems with Aion which were more serious than the launch issues we faced. In Warhammer Online, you could fight over a castle or fortress whenever you gathered the appropriate numbers to do so. But in Aion fortresses only became vulnerable at certain hours of the day - usually during peak hours which caused a massive server zerg. Outside of these siege times there was precious little PvP to be had in The Abyss, and PvP in the enemy factions lands was a gank fest of people wearing PvE gear desperately trying to beat the level grind.
Looking for things to do, we organised guild groups to farm the endgame PvE dungeons, consisting of Dark Poeta and the somewhat monotonous fortress instances. To give you an idea of the drop rates in Aion, our primary group ran Dark Poeta well over 100 times and not one member ever got a full set of gear! The other thing we could organise regularly was Dredgion premade groups. Dredgion was a PvE / PvP scenario which was available during a two hour window twice per day. This could be fun at times, but only if your opposing group wanted to fight!
The guild we started out as in Aion was completely different to the guild we ended up as, and overall this is considered one of our poorer experiences in a game. We still have some very fond memories, and we made some really great friendships here, but by the time we decided we'd had enough it was pretty bleak. Guild activity was always still viable, the game just wouldn't let us do anything interesting together.
Rift: Planes of Telara
February 2011 saw the release of Rift, and it couldn't come soon enough. Many former members returned to us for a new adventure, and we set out with a very strong guild indeed. Rift was a completely different experience to Aion, and the levelling was very fast. Any time a new member complained about a level grind, we just laughed at them mockingly and told them old horror stories about our days in Aion gathering Boiling Balaur Blood Stains just to fail crafting yet another Hot Heart of Magic for the Miragents quest.
Rift was our first experience with large scale PvE raids. Thanks to the extraordinary efforts of one of our newer members, there we were - 20 inexperienced PvPers running 20 man raid instances. It was a lot of fun at first, but it soon got a little boring doing the same bosses week in week out. Still, we took it seriously, and introduced class leaders, DPS dummy tests, PvE rotations, etc and managed to clear all endgame raids and earn all the associated achievements.
Cyrus in Rift. We fought for Guardians on Whitefall and dominated the PvP until everyone else quit.
However where we came into our own was in PvP. Now while Rift didn't have sieges or fortresses to fight over, it did still have a pretty active PvP zone that we made the most out of. We had again joined a pre-release server initiative ensuring the best and most hardcore PvP guilds rolled on the same server at launch, and there was initially plenty of action. At first we had pretty good numbers, but we lacked discipline on the field for our newer members. This was highlighted during an early guild vs guild event where we struggled to get our core members out, and then got completely destroyed throughout the entire night.
Cyrus is not a guild to run away and cry about our losses though, so we rightfully took this as a kick up the backside and decided to make some necessary changes. We set our members strict PvP gear targets and didn't allow members to join our PvE raids unless those targets were met. We made sure attendance for PvP events was greatly improved, allowing us to have regular groups and improve our teamplay. We worked on our DPS rotations, target calling, marking, macros and positioning. Basically, we took it back to the beginning and started from scratch. And the results were better than we could have hoped for!
"No AoE - single target damage only. I want their guild leader ALIVE and SHEEPED!"
Over the course of the next month, Cyrus became THE dominant force in open world PvP. Up until this point in the game, our faction was losing badly against the Defiants faction at open world PvP and many fellow Guardian guilds wouldn't leave the safety of the capital city. But when Cyrus rolled out, we were winning. And we were winning in style! Our raid became well practised and very disciplined, and we were used to fighting against numbers far greater than our own. Of course this sometimes required adjusting the goal posts as to what constituted a victory or a loss, but when we set a goal we always found a way to achieve it.
We again stepped up to lead our faction, and through the official forums we organised a series of server-wide PvP events to encourage the Guardians to come out and fight against the Defiants. We opened up our guild raids, organised the other Guardian guilds, and assigned a Cyrus member to lead any PUG players that were joining in. At times we were leading and coordinating between 6 and 10 full raids in open world PvP spread across all three endgame zones.
These server events were a massive success, but it definitely changed the way our enemy faction viewed us. At first we were seen as the only challenge and the saviour of PvP being the only Guardian guild who would regularly fight. When we led our faction we received nothing but praise and thanks from both factions. But when our faction realised they could actually win when they were organised, everything changed. Defiants suddenly stopped coming out to fight, and Guardians were controlling the PvP zones. The situations were reversed, but this time there was no Defiant faction capable of stepping up and organising their side. And Cyrus? We were the devil incarnate!
Almost every night that we ran our guild PvP night, there would be a new drama thread posted about us on the official forums filled with pages and pages of epic hate. IT WAS SO MUCH FUN!! Anything we did would cause new drama, and we became the life and soul of the server. If we wiped out another guild, new thread complaining about how we did it. Each thread outdid the last one with exaggerated tales of how we outnumbered other guilds 10 to 1. Some coined the phrase "Cyrus Lag" to describe the effect our raid had on their computers as they loaded into their zone. So many tears, so much drama, so much fun!
We felt so bad for continually wiping this guild in an organised event that we decided to fight them naked!
After a while there were no Defiant PvP guilds left, as they had all quit or decided to hide in PvE raid instances. What was initially chosen as the PvP server of choice for hardcore guilds coming to Rift was now a ghost town during Cyrus PvP nights. At other times they still felt safe to come out and kill other Guardians, but they refused to face us. As soon as our guild leader logged on each day he would get whispers from Guardian members asking him to send out a group of Cyrus members to clear out the daily PvP quest area as it was overrun by Defiants, but as soon as we appeared in the zone they all disappeared back to their capital. This became very boring for us!
Trying to drum up some action in Rift at the steps of the Defiant capital city. Alone... And unharmed.
We decided it was time to leave the Whitefall server and transfer elsewhere. At the time, according to official population statistics, Whitefall was still the most active PvP server in Europe. When we transferred, the majority of both Guardian and Defiant guilds chose to follow us to our new server choice. Such was the impact on Whitefalls population that the server was relegated to a trial server within a month of our departure! From the most populous server to a trial server just because we transferred. This tells the story of the impact Cyrus had in Rift!
Our experience as a guild in Rift was quite remarkable. We played every aspect of the game to the highest level, and became unquestionably the most successful and talked about PvP guild on our server, all the while maintaining competitive PvE raids that cleared all content in the game. We were yet again the leading guild when it came to organising our faction, setting up server-wide PvP events to increase participation and enjoyment for all in the game.
World of Warcaft
Craving new PvP challenges, we followed the hype train and got derailed by Star Wars: The Old Republic. This games marketing was all too easy - they simply released a playable beta before launch which let players get to level 10 before ending. This was the precise moment the quest line led you to unlocking your first lightsaber, and left most of us drooling for more. Whoosh! Out comes your mighty glow stick with that unforgettable John Williams theme blaring out from your speakers. It still gives me chills! The thought of running around with red lightsabers was clearly blinding us (and everyone else) from seeing the obvious flaws in this game. We started out big, got completely lagged out in Ilum, the one PvP zone, played a few games of Huttball and then couldn't take any more.
Cyrus in Star Wars: The Old Republic. This was not the game we were looking for...
After that brief spell in SWTOR, we panic moved to World of Warcraft in January 2012. There was very little other choice at the time, and after the miserable time we had with our lightsabers, we wanted to try a game with an established history and one that had obviously succeeded in maintaining a healthy and loyal population. In other words, Cyrus were looking for a long term home.
While we obviously didn't find any Open World PvP, what we did find was a completely new challenge to us - Rated Battlegrounds. We were more used to the open world PvP style of games, where the rules are out the window, there are no restrictions in who you can bring, and the objectives are whatever you choose them to be. But with Rated Battlegrounds everything was different and in many ways far more challenging.
Cyrus in World of Warcraft. Lots of Rated Battlegrounds, and taking the guild to over 2200 rating.
Rated Battlegrounds are 10 vs 10 scenarios with a pre-defined objective such as 'Capture the Flag' or controlling bases to accumulate points. It wasn't just about killing the opposing team, but controlling the flow of the game. It mattered when you killed someone, even whether you killed them or just left them depleted of resources. Positioning was far more important, as was movement, casting and fake casting, soft and hard target switching, precisely coordinated use of global cooldowns and Crowd Control chains. And this is to not even talk about the need for balancing which 10 classes and specs you take in your team. Are you a melee assist train, a dot cleave, a bomb squad? Is your damage burst or pressure based? What is your strategy going in, and how does it measure up against your opponents?
Gear was also a major issue for Rated Battlegrounds. More powerful gear was unlocked by achieving a high rating ingame, which meant that the better players were also better geared. This had the unfortunate downside that most players simply bought a ratings boost with real cash than join a stable guild and work towards their own advancement. PvE gear was also massively overpowered at times, forcing us to raid 10 or 25 man instances every week and prioritise certain item drops for our PvPers. One example of the overpowered nature of PvE gear working in our favour occurred when we were fighting 8 vs 8 at a neutral control point in a Rated Battleground. The battle was fairly equal, and the pace was steady, with neither side claiming an advantage. But then, completely out of the blue, all 8 enemy players disappeared from our screens! We were all confused and asking what had happened on Teamspeak, until Diabolique, our Mage, shyly announced that her PvE trinket (won the night before) had randomly procced and the spike damage wiped the entire team!
Fishing for those trinkets. Even when we were PvEing, we were PvPing!
Without doubt, the Rated Battlegrounds in World of Warcraft were the most skilled PvP we have faced in any game. The importance of not just knowing your class, but the skills and rotations of all other classes and how they work together really come into play. Arenas were also a lot of fun and did a lot to improve some members communication skills, but they suffered too much from 'flavour of the month' specs. The freedom and options given to us in Rated Battlegrounds suited our playstyle much better.
We ran 3 Rated Battleground teams and two PvE Raid groups, itself something of an achievement in a game where most players either buy or pug for their rating. Our primary team achieved a rating of over 2200 (which unlocked the most powerful PvP gear in the game), and the other two reached ratings of over 2000. The guild was a lot of fun, and we had a real comradery for most of the time. But we did suffer more than at any other time in our history from certain members turning into complete elitist shitheads, and this was very disappointing. Members being overprotective of their rating, not wanting to group with certain people, wanting to skip a guild event because they were close to a new rating threshold. None of these attitudes were tolerated, and led to an instant guild kick.
Every member in WoW was under the spotlight, and there really was no room to hide if you didn't know your class. You couldn't get away with mashing buttons at the back of Raid Group 2 in an open world PvP fight! Seeing the rate at which our members improved was very rewarding, and this experience both for our members and our leaders will reap huge rewards when we face off in open world PvP again.
Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn
In September 2013 we flirted with Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn for several months. This game followed a frustrating trend in recent MMO game design where joining a strong, organised guild was not really necessary, and even the levelling process (and much of the level cap content) was completed most efficiently in random pickup groups running throughout the zone hoping to register a hit on the public quest bosses before they were blitzed. This gave us endless problems when it came to guild recruitment.
At endgame we were one of the first guilds on our server to kill the various instanced raid bosses and complete the available raid content, but this also meant we were left with little to do until the new expansion was released. We ran 3 raid groups farming the endgame content, but due to game limitations there was in truth little reason other than my sparkling personality for any of these groups to interact with each other or even be in the same guild. Definitely not suited towards a guild like Cyrus, who likes to arrange big events and conquer the world!
With no PvP, raid sizes limited to just 8 players, and nothing exciting in the expansion patch notes, we called it a day.
Cyrus in Final Fantasy XIV. We played a PvE game and got exactly what we deserved.
Since mid 2014 we have been on something of a hiatus, occasionally returning to former games such as World of Warcraft but not in a serious way. We are very much looking forward to reforming and getting our mojo back! None of the newer games appealed to us, and we were reluctant to take a punt on something new in the hopes that it would turn out OK at endgame. Games these days aren't focusing on putting guilds at the centre of their game, and this makes me sad panda. If only some visionary would step forward, unshackle his game studio from the strict confines of Mega Corporation Inc and crowdfund a game through, oh I don't know, Kickstarter and make a game for us PvP guilds?!!
Faction: Coming soon!
Step forward Mark Jacobs and City State Entertainment! As soon as we heard about Camelot Unchained, we knew that we had found our spiritual home - it just hadn't been built yet! We miss the days of meaningful Open World PvP and faction fighting. Roaming as a guild and fighting against wave after wave of enemies. Skilled classes that are hard to master, where you can differentiate between a keyboard turner, a clicker or a keybinder. A game where team play, communication, practise and effort will be rewarded. Where a player will have pride in the guild tag above his name!
Whatever we may do between now and the Camelot Unchained launch date, everything will be for the betterment of our guild and community for this launch.
Cyrus will be BIG. Cyrus will be PREPARED. And Cyrus will be SUCCESSFUL in Camelot Unchained!
Guild levelling PvP event in Rift. If you haven't experienced being in a really great guild before, get it right for Camelot Unchained!
What are we looking for?
Cyrus is planning to rebuild and re-establish an extended core membership during the long run up to Camelot Unchained. While we will have many former members join us, our community has become somewhat fragmented due to the lack of decent PvP titles out there recently. SWTOR and WoW did not help matters, and we also weren't attracted by the casual nature of Guild Wars 2.
Cyrus is looking for intelligent, highly active and friendly players to join our ranks. In Camelot Unchained, we are hoping to create our most successful guild to date, with outstanding organisation, solid progression and a shared objective. We want dedicated and reliable players who are in it for the long haul, who will not quit at the first or second hurdle, and will hold out for the payoff that such a team of players deserve. No elitism, no egos, and plenty of patience, reality and understanding. Ok, maybe a little bit of elitism!
Members should be completely focused on our Realm vs Realm activities, and take the time to learn their class and skills, and how they can best benefit their guild teams. Being an excellent individual player is great, but it is far more important to be an excellent team player, to follow targets and instructions, and to know when to stop joking around and focus. Your goals should be that of the guild as a whole, not of yourself.
Members are required to use Teamspeak and have a working microphone. We welcome members from all over the world, however we do ask that in guild chat and Teamspeak English is used at all times.
Please read our Guild Code for further information!
What can we offer?
Cyrus is a focused, progression-based guild for mature, skilled and team-orientated players. We offer Teamspeak voice communications with a fun family-friendly atmosphere, as well as our own website which is used to organise pretty much everything we do. We have a long-established leadership who is committed to getting the most out of our members and ensuring everyone is working towards their own and the common goals of the guild.
We have a strong community spirit, and thanks to our successful recruitment in previous games, a very welcoming attitude towards new members of any experience level so long as they are prepared to put the time in.
Our focus is on building a highly skilled and practised guild for Camelot Unchained. Until then, we will try various games to practise different skillsets, improve our communication, build friendships and generally get prepared for the Main Event!
How to Apply
Thanks for reading!