When Cyrus was established 7 years ago, it was with a very clear goal in mind - to create a strong guild that could rally the many splintered guilds of our faction to work together and advance our position in the Realm vs Realm battles which we were comprehensively losing. We were frustrated that none of the guild leaders were able to put their egos aside and co-operate, instead thinking that they were in competition with each other for first place loser. To have any chance of success, we all needed to unite against the enemy faction.
Cyrus did this the hard way, by recruiting new players to the game and training them to fight co-operatively at lower levels in preparation for endgame. We weren't interested in elitism, individual skills or egos - we wanted players that would work hard to learn their classes, listen to and follow instructions, and remain positive even when things weren't going our way.
Since then, we have carried this ethos into every game we have played, and have worked hard to advance our faction wherever possible. Where appropriate, we have taken the responsibility of being a leading guild seriously, helping others and trying to include other guilds and even pugs in our planned events. While we have a strong sense of guild loyalty and pride, we realise that guilds are not designed to stand alone in Realm vs Realm MMOs.
With Camelot Unchained, we plan to take this to the next level, incorporating skills and tactics we have learned from other gaming styles and structuring our guild in such a way as to get the most out of Camelot Unchained and offer the best to our chosen realm, the Vikings.
Introducing Fixed Groups
Cyrus has always been a "high attendance" guild, however in some previous games we have run an "advance sign-up" policy for PvP events. This means that we have placed announcements on our forums in advance of PvP guild nights, members have replied to confirm their attendance, and from there we have organised our groups ahead of schedule. However this has the downside that the composition and players can change slightly from night to night, leading to a different quality of raid under the Cyrus banner according to who is available.
There is a reason high end PvE raiding guilds keep a fixed roster of players and are reluctant to make changes - because they play together regularly to learn each others playstyle and collectively learn from their successes and failures. For some reason, however, Open World PvP players have traditionally been less committed to this style of organisation. And this is something we are looking to change.
With Camelot Unchained, Cyrus plans to run fixed PvP groups with high attendance commitments during our scheduled events. We want players who can commit to turning up to play within their designated groups week in, week out with little disturbance. Of course we are all adults and need holidays or breaks, but for the vast majority of time we expect to run our groups with little disruption.
Groups will at times run independently, working on different missions from the rest of the guild, and at other times work in unison with the entire guild when needed for a major push towards guild or faction advancement. Each group will have an assigned leader and target caller, and we will also have overall command channels to co-ordinate these groups centrally.
This is not an easy task, and finding the right players to be able to achieve this is not easy. We want players who can make this commitment and take it seriously. Players who can see the bigger picture, and work well within both a smaller group and a larger force.
Finding the Right Members
Running with fixed groups can be both a source of strength and a source of weakness. When they are running well, a fixed group will have superior communication, make decisions faster and with more certainty over outcome, and work in a more natural way. The players will get to know what to expect from their team mates, roles within the group will be practised and established, and after a while things will start to click into place.
However, relying on a fixed group can also introduce weaknesses into ones gameplay. Players can become over-reliant on having stronger team mates around them, and when taken out of this environment adapting to a different style of play or class composition can take some adjusting. But the most obvious and critical weakness is that the group itself is fragile, relying on each and every member being able to fully commit to the group schedule and maintain a high level of attendance and enthusiasm.
As a guild, we can put the most optimal mechanisms in place, have the best organisational skills and the strongest leadership, but none of that will matter if the members themselves are not committed to making things work. And finding the right members is no easy task - most people will apply to join successful guilds and at the time promise the world, but very few are able to back up their words and deliver the kind of commitment and temperament required to ensure success.
It is also natural that every player will go through periods of feeling burned out, demotivated or stressed due to factors outside our gaming environment. We are not robots, and sticking to such a regimented schedule for what is essentially a leisure-time activity is not always an easy thing to do.
So this is no easy path we are taking, and while we will give it our best effort we would be foolish to assume it will be our only route to victory. We are fully prepared to adapt if the need arises, however we really want to give this every chance of succeeding, and that means we need to recruit the right members who share the same vision as us.
There will be many Camelot Unchained guilds out there, and there is no right or wrong way to play the game. You pay your subs, you get to choose what works best for you. But when you do pick a guild to apply to, you need to make sure that it's a good match and that you both want to play in the same way. The measure of a guilds success should be based on whether they meet their ambition - this applies equally to the more casual guilds as well as the more hardcore guilds. We do not claim to play 'better' than anyone else, and we are not trying to become 'elitist'. We just want to find like-minded players who are looking for a similar gaming experience.
At Cyrus, we hope we have laid out our plans with enough detail and clarity to help potential new members decide whether we are a good fit for them. And we will certainly do our part to try and ensure we accept members who demonstrate the same goals that we do. But when the game is finally launched, while it will be down to the guild leadership to get things structured and organised, it will be very much up to the members themselves to deliver. One cannot function without the other.
Together, We are Cyrus.
(Note: Fixed groups will be in place primarily during our scheduled guild events, so there will still be plenty of opportunity to play with guild members from different groups at other times. We are not trying to create barriers between our members, or to stifle integration. Groups will be changed / rotated at times, but not so much that it would defeat the purpose of having them fixed in the first place!)