[Guild News] It's All About The Journey...

Discussion in 'Guild News and Information' started by Redh, 18th Jul 2016.

  1. Redh

    Redh Guild Leader

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    Unlike me, most people reading this will never get to know perfection. But don't be jealous, my younglings, as you are the lucky ones. Take it from one who knows - perfection isn't all it's cracked up to be. The journey in life is far more important than the destination.

    It's important to have goals in anything you do - from work and hobbies, to catching Pokemon - if you don't have a goal, it can be difficult to stay motivated and keep going. Imagine then if, like me, you have reached the absolute pinnacle of your life, and achieved a superhuman level of greatness. Everything comes easily to you - you pull all the hottest chicks, you win at every sport, you always have a snappy response when someone unwisely tries to challenge you. Sure, it may sound great at first, but without a challenge life soon becomes tedious and unfulfilled.

    I often find myself wishing I could trade places with the common man. To know so little, and to have so many opportunities to overcome obstacles in my life - what a blessing that would be for me now. But alas I am cursed with perfection, and all I can do to ease my suffering is use my curse for the good of others, and help to make their journey as challenging and ultimately rewarding as possible. Ahh, the calling of the Guild Leader!

    LEVEL ONE

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    "Everything is so shiny and new! I'M SO EXCITED!" - level 1 players.

    Whenever we begin something new, such as a new game, we have a whole world of opportunity in front of us. The more we play and learn, the less we have ahead of us to look forward to. This may initially seem obvious, but it's actually something to think about. We will all, as individuals, have different tolerances that determine how we measure our advancement and enjoyment of a certain activity. Progress is rarely linear, and some will power through slower periods of gain, while others will wilt and give up early.

    Just look at any MMORPG with a heavy level grind at launch. So many players give up before they even make it to level cap, and that's where these games traditionally begin to get more involving, especially at a guild level. When Cyrus launched in Aion in September 2009, we had 71 excited members signed up who had each followed the games development, participated in multiple Beta events, and decided this was the Next Big MMO for them. We were set to rule the world. But three months later, only 19 original members were still active, and of those only 8 had made it to the level cap. That means 52 members had quit or been removed for low activity.

    This was obviously a very frustrating time for us as a guild - the mechanics of the game and the sheer level grind kept our members separated for much of the time, with early guild events being limited to timed Abyss PvP (which sucked) or Rifting - both of which slowed down ones levelling speed even further. This was especially hard on members who had more limited play time and already felt behind the levelling curve. There was group content to be had while levelling, but splitting everyone into groups of 6 for three months isn't what we had in mind when we all decided to play a "massively multiplayer" game.

    However, despite the obvious failings of this specific game, why was it that some members were able to power through these early difficult times, while others fell at the wayside? How can we, as a guild, identify those qualities in someone outside of a gaming environment so as to improve our membership stability going forward into new games? And would it have been possible to improve the experiences of those who quit early to such an extent that they would have also made further progress in the game?

    THE NEEDS OF THE ONE

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    "No Spock, you're wrong. And that's why you are in there dying, and I'm out here banging Uhura"

    When new applicants seek to join our guild, they are required to submit an application and answer a series of questions. It is at this moment that most candidates will promise the world in terms of their enthusiasm for a game, their complete availability for our scheduled activities, and their unparalleled determination to become "the very best ever". Surely nothing will stop them as they strive to achieve legendary status on their realm!

    Unfortunately, as we have learned over the past 7 years, the number of applicants who actually live up to their promise is extremely small. It is, after all, far too easy to write a great guild application and make promises far beyond your capabilities, and to even believe that you will deliver on what you say. But in reality, it all comes back to your own tolerances when dealing with the many obstacles that are put in your way, and how you deal with both your own and the (game) world's imperfections.

    A strong sense of community is very important for a guild, and this is often seen as the answer to keeping members active beyond their natural expiration date. And while that may be true in the short term, once the seeds of indifference have been sown, there is only ever one outcome. I can't count how many times I've been told by a parting member that they aren't leaving the guild, they are leaving the game.

    So we know that community alone isn't enough - we must do more if we want to survive long term in one game with a stable membership. What else is required to keep everyone interested and focused beyond that which the game itself delivers?

    CHALLENGE ACCEPTED

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    Everyone should be more like Barney. Accept challenges, and write your own playbook!

    Each member, as an individual, must be fully engaged in their own sense of progression, and the guild should facilitate both their challenges as well as their accomplishments. It is not enough to simply leave everything to the game - we must set ourselves new and greater challenges that will stimulate a higher level of commitment and passion.

    We must inspire each other to constantly move forward with our goals - to stand still is to let the rot set in. We must each repeatedly ask ourselves what more we can do to further ourselves and our guild. We must play with purpose, with desire, and with commitment.

    We may also have a little fun occasionally. Just saying! BRING MOAR OCTANES, AND LIFT THEM HIGH!!

    DEFINE SUCCESS, WELCOME FAILURE

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    "I haven't failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work" - Thomas Edison

    As I alluded to above, the game itself is simply a toolbox. It will provide us with a set of abilities, activities and objectives to accomplish both alone and together. And of course we will want to choose the best toolbox we can to start off with. But to be a successful guild in the long term, we must look beyond the game and plan and execute our own activities and objectives. We must set our own obstacles, and define our own success.

    We must also be prepared to welcome failure. Too often I see motivation dip when things don't go a certain way, but these are the moments that should inspire us to greater heights. As I said at the beginning of this article, perfection isn't all it's cracked up to be - how boring would it be to win all the time, and if you did, how long would you bother to keep playing?

    Failure is an obstacle for us to overcome, an opportunity to improve, and a rare chance in life for us to see ourselves for what we actually are. We have in the past used failure to restructure our guild, to refocus our efforts and to raise our game - and this is what led to our most successful and dominant period of gaming. If it weren't for our initial failure, we would never have reached those dizzy heights, and our victories would never have tasted so sweet.

    LEAD THE WAY

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    A king cannot win on his own - every piece is important. Well, most pieces - some are just cannon fodder.

    Strong and wise leadership is essential, and in this instance you are all truly blessed that I am here to guide you. But despite everything that I can achieve as a Guild Leader, I cannot control your imperfections as a human being.

    I accept that you have probably exaggerated on your guild applications. I accept that, at some point in the future, you will let me and the guild down. And I accept that you will do all this from your own sheltered perspective, not ever knowing how much I tried to help you be a better version of yourself.

    But until then, while we share these fleeting moments together, I ask you to ponder on what I have written today, and share your own thoughts and experiences on the subject matter. Don't speak generally - be specific, be personal. What inspires YOU. What in this crazy world matters to you? Why are we here? How do we want this all to end? Is success even important to you? What, for you, is success in Camelot Unchained, and what are you REALLY prepared to do to achieve it? How mentally tough do you think you are to withstand the inevitable and unavoidable initial disappointment in a game we have been waiting so many years for?

    I AM SPARTACUS!

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    "This isn't the right part of the movie for this quote, dumbass!" - everyone.

    There are so many pieces required to make a strong and successful gaming guild. It's not the community, it's not the core membership, it's not the scheduling or the leadership. It's you. Each and every one of you. You are Cyrus. And if that doesn't mean something to you, we will all fail.

    Well, almost... What I mean is YOU will fail. Cyrus will of course go on, but if you aren't here with us, does that really even matter?
     
    Axelbaxel, Dia, Raffles and 1 other person like this.

30 Comments

    1. Circus
      Circus

      Good article! Although i pity you... who on earth would want to be so perfect!

      To me, one very important aspect of being in a guild is helping other members, writing useful and helpful posts about the game. And yes... i enjoy being a go-to person on a specific topic - it feels good.

      My personal goal is to lead a squad in CU. It is probably not the biggest goal ever but it's enough for me to keep me going and if i want to do a good job at it i need to learn a lot about all the classes and mechanics in the game and that's going to be a lot - maybe even more than i can handle?
    2. Legoman
      Legoman

      Good article bro! Well written :)

      I just seen one problem with it though...

      "I AM SPARTACUS!"

      Nope this is spartacus ...

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      RIP: Andy :(
      Voldraxx and Peedy like this.
    3. Peedy
      Peedy

      Ah i loved this paragraph! Made me think of the good old RBG days in WoW! How we failed and tried for so long and then made the decision to step up our game and have event nights almost every day of the week to practice more and get better. eventually it led to us getting above 2200 and played like a single cohesive unit instead of solo players. with our grip tactics, target calling. how it all worked so well, and we had a friggin blast playing together!

      Luck can get you far, but recognizing your teams and your own faults and learning from our mistakes can take us to the top!

      Personally my goals for the next big MMO for us is to be renowned in the game and to get to the point where people envy us not for what we have in the game, but for the community and what it gives us. To get instant respect when they hear or see you are a Cyrus member. Now THAT is the coolest thing about gaming to me!

      That was an great article you really have a way with words Redh!
      Redh likes this.
    4. Raffles
      Raffles

      Rift was my first MMO. Well, actually I'd played Ultima Online way back on an AOL free trial for like 30 minutes. I'd also dipped my toes into LOTRO and WoW but I didn't really understand what I was doing or what an MMO really was. It was actually during a disciplinary at work that my Team Leader and I got talking about WoW and how he had moved on to a new MMO called Rift. So, wanting to maybe get on his good side for the amount of times I'd call in sick/hungover, I gave it a go. And I was hooked. If I wasn't working, I was playing.

      I started off with a Rogue called Irvine (my place of birth) on the Scarhide server. I mostly ran around, learning the mechanics of the game, questing, abilities, a few dungeon runs etc. I got to about level 40ish before I noticed a lot less people doing events or queuing for things. Also, there were hardly any people left in the super casual guild I was in (my team leader had also long since went back to WoW). I was reliably told that Scarhide was a 'dead server'. I was gutted. Weeks of leveling down the drain as this was way before you could do server transfers.

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      So, deciding that I wasn't done with the game, I re-rolled a mage on Whitefall, the highest pop pvp server at the time. Mage was much more my thing and I leveled with a hybrid Chloro/Warlock build. I started looking at builds on bluedots for endgame and applied to a proper raiding guild <INFINITE>. I was about level 47 and used to sit in Teamspeak, soaking up as much info as I could. I knew they were lacking an Archon for raids, but with only 17-18 members turning up for raiding it was a role they left out. I made an Archon build (basically its a mega support role that debuffs the boss and buffs allies) and battered the training dummy till it was all muscle memory.

      And then, my chance came. It was a Wednesday night, reset day, and again they only had 17 raiders for GSB. A call went out on TS and in guild chat for ANYONE that could join in and fill a place. I was still only level 47, had never raided in anything before but I had my Archon spec and I'd YouTubed most of the bosses on my lunchbreak. I was in! Most of the trash and the first boss had been cleared by the time I was ported in. We were standing in front of Inquisitor Johlen (the bomb boss) with the Scottish raid leader (coincidentally an ex-member of Cyrus) reading out the tactics. After 10 minutes or so the ready check came in and we were off! I already had all my raid buffs up so I started to hit the boss. Zero damage. I hadn't taken into account the fact that I was 3 levels below the boss and had very little focus on my gear. It made no difference. We wiped within 30 seconds and after another 15-20 attempts with not much progress, we called it a night.

      It was a complete disaster. The guild leader was raging, two people got kicked and another two or three quit. The guild was on the brink. But I was utterly hooked. A few days later the guild crumbled in spectacular fashion, which preceded a couple of months of guild hopping with some new friends (Jamie, Eazie & Co), the creation of a new guild. and a period of relative success.

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      In some ways the learning, the struggle, the failure, the rage and the drama was a more enjoyable time for me than when things were going well. Don't get me wrong, getting the hardest bosses in game on farm, having the best gear in game etc was great, but it wouldn't have been for shit had we not had to work our asses off to get there.

      What do I want from Cyrus and Camelot Unchained?

      A belief that together we can do the impossible. Don't kid yourself, some top top pvp guilds will be all over CU when it gets released. They will be organised and they will know their stuff. But we have to be hungrier, we have to want it more.

      More than anything, I want Cyrus to be a leading guild in Camelot Unchained. But moreover, I think I'll enjoy the mile of shit we have to swim through before we get there.

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      Dia, Circus and Redh like this.
    5. Iselore
      Iselore

      Cards on the table I'm not even sure what I want from a game anymore. Raiding/gear progression? Once upon a time, yeah.

      Now I'm at the point that it's been so long since we had anything like that I'm not sure if it's what I want anymore.

      I'm kinda just floating along waiting on direction...
    6. Dia
      Dia

      I completely agree with this. When were playing Rift, I remember the night we had a battle vs Tainted; we had a raid in Greenscale and some of our main guys were out on holiday, work, etc. That night, Tainted asked us out for some R&R PvP and Redh explained that most of our online members are new or more casual members. Tainted said "bring them anyway, it'll be fun". Fun for them! We got crushed.

      After that, we decided to do something about it as Redh realised that as a guild, our reputation was only as good as our weakest members. We created class leaders and had regular DPS, rotation and skill checks with minimum requirements. If you failed to achieve them, you weren't allowed to raid - something we were all into at that point. We also set minimum PvP ranks for PvE raiders. If their PvP rating wasn't high enough, they weren't allowed to PvP with us.

      After starting this, it only took a short while for things to dramatically change and for Cyrus to leave a mark on the server. Thinking back, I remember the amazing class leaders we had and the goal we all felt were trying to achieve. It has definitely brought the guild together like never before. We were all striving for a common dream: don't get kicked by Redh for failing the DPS check.

      That night showed that failure is not the end but only the beginning and it's one of my best memories with Cyrus.


      Sounds like my job interviews...:rolleyes:

      I think we are on the right path with Club Cyrus and casual gaming. As you said, before, people quit the games and not the guild and we never had anything else they could play with us and stay in the community. Club Cyrus is definitely the way to create a bond with our guildies and keep those who are bored of one game within the community. Even when we will all play Camelot Unchained, I still want the occasional Dead by Daylight night. After all...it's the only game I can murder you in for frustrating me in CU...
    7. Snikmund
      Snikmund

      I'm the same, don't know what I want to be honest. But I do know what I don't want, and that's most MMOs released the last couple of years. And I've tried most of them...
    8. Legoman
      Legoman

      Pretty much this!

      Tried so many just to fill a spot that was once extremely full. Met some of the most amazing people in my life through games and thus IRL. I hope there is something that comes along soon MMO wise that we can all sit and play for a solid 6 or so months. It would be AWESOME if we can get into dungeons and PvP before Cu thus we all know how functions. Rocket league and the other games are just fillers and we cannot determine how good someone will be at a MMO or the kind if play style they will have.
    9. Iselore
      Iselore

      Rocket League is life.
      Peedy and Snikmund like this.
    10. Dia
      Dia

      As @Raffles said, in Camelot Unchained, I am looking forward to all the hard work we will have to go through before we finally achieve what we want and...convert the server into a test one (see Whitefall in Rift :D). I feel that, for me, if it's too easy, it gets boring. I never liked joining those groups that just carry you through a dungeon and I much preferred those evenings of wiping in Rift's Hammerknell Fortress...to finally murder that second stupid boss. The excitement that night was off the charts. Those are the moments I am looking forward to and I don't think you can achieve them without blood, sweat...and a few rage quitters.
      Last edited: 20th Jul 2016
    11. Redh
      Redh

      The thing I am most looking forward to is gaming seriously again as a guild. While I have enjoyed many of our gaming nights on a social level, I can't help but be frustrated by the casual, apathetic and inconsequential nature of the games and even the guild itself.

      Once we start getting into "MMO Mode" things will change dramatically, and I cannot wait. At the moment I am reluctant to judge our members too harshly based on their activity outside of an MMO. However once we start being a proper guild again, the level of involvement and activity will sky-rocket.

      I accept that it will take us a while to get into gear when Camelot Unchained is launched, and I'm not expecting amazing things for the first couple of months other than a high level of activity and commitment. But as we start to find our stride, work on our skills, form our groups, I hope that we can make constant and somewhat steady improvement for the lifetime of the game. Keeping people playing through dry periods will be a challenge, but now that we've all experienced such a long spell of not having an MMO to play, I really hope everyone will be motivated to stick with the next one and hang in there for things to pick up.

      I hope to find a few more strong officers for the guild - this is vital. I'm also very much looking forward to training up some new PvP leaders - it's not that they may need training in how to lead, it's more that I'm very specific in how I like things done!

      It can be difficult to remain motivated right now, and when I do find that spark of enthusiasm to do something for the guild it is often squashed by a lack of interaction from our members. This is another thing I'm looking forward to changing - members will naturally be more hyped and motivated to create a great guild for themselves, and those who aren't will be removed. I hate silent passengers.

      Finally, I'm looking forward to being a healer again. I just hope CSE don't mess up the healers with their new systems...

      Edit: I'm not sure if this reply is actually on topic - but there we go!
    12. Peedy
      Peedy

      hey i upkeep my grinding mentality and skills in eve just mining away for that goal at the end of the rainbow far into the future
    13. Iselore
      Iselore

      I want a healer/tank/dps trinity raiding event stat.
    14. Raffles
      Raffles

      Legion?
    15. Iselore
      Iselore

      I made a promise to myself that I wouldn't buy or even get involved with Legion. Even if it's using nostalgia over TBC as a driving factor.
    16. Raffles
      Raffles

      If yer looking for traditional raiding it's your best bet. Swtor and rift possibly also but both those games are mismanaged to fuck.

      I'll go out on a limb and say I'd go back to wow. I love raiding. The only thing that stops me is finding a guild. Raiding with you lot would be the only way really.
    17. Iselore
      Iselore

      Raiding in Draenor was brutal.... why would anything be different on Legion? They dumb it down every expansion :(
    18. Raffles
      Raffles

      It is what it is. I'd imagine the days of proper raiding are done. There's always private servers!
    19. Dia
      Dia

      You say dumb it down but last time we tried to do the newest raids they weren't so easy. Mostly because of gear but that's the challenge I guess. We could not use DBM to make it more fun :p
      Last edited: 21st Jul 2016