Cyrus has always been a straight up PvP guild. But what does that mean, exactly? Does it mean we spend every waking second of our game time in PvP lakes looking to gank someone, ignoring every other aspect of the game? Of course not. We see the value of participating in other aspects of the game as a way of improving our communications, skill rotations and team building - it's just that we take our accomplishments in PvP far more seriously than any other.
Oh great, Mark Jacobs is talking about crafting in Camelot Unchained again...
When I first heard of the scale of crafting in Camelot Unchained during the Kickstarter campaign I was a little frustrated. There had already been too much talk of lore (yawn), and now this crafting stuff was taking ages to get through, and all I wanted to hear about was the PvP mechanics. Dedicated crafter classes - what the hell?!! But since then my eyes have been opened, and I am fully on board the crafter hype train.
It's why we will fight.
In the previous MMOs Cyrus has played in, PvP gear has been nothing but a simple grind fest. Farm renown points, farm abyss points, farm battlegrounds, farm conquest points, etc. It's been basically the same thing every time, and has required absolutely no skill, no learning progression and no team work to achieve. We would proudly sit around our faction capitals sporting the best PvP gear in the game, and all we had to do to earn it was repeat the same activity over, and over, and over again.
Finally, I have full PvP gear. Now I can quit the game!
With a system as basic as this, could you really look at another player wearing elite PvP gear and think "Wow, he must be a great PvP player"? The gear was a mere time sink - an essential one for those who wanted to be competitive - but nothing more.
My gear has always been precious to me - I've worked hard to have the best PvP items, the top raid set, sometimes doing a ridiculous amount of work to earn that rare drop or complete that insane quest line. And it's not only for the extra 0.1% better stat, it's also for the prestige of owning the item. And as a guild leader I've felt that my own gear is a representation of the guild, of our accomplishments and our commitment to the game.
Enter Camelot Unchained and its crafting / economy system.
I didn't realise what a fan of Crafting in Camelot Unchained I was until we recruited our first crafter, @Hakugard. I always knew that crafting would be important for Camelot Unchained, but I hadn't been able to visualise it more than "we need crafters" and "we need to protect our supply chains". It's not an aspect of game play we've ever needed to focus on before, as crafting has always been a stepping stone to getting the better raid or PvP gear. But this is not the case in Camelot Unchained - the best gear IS crafted, and it will take a considerable team effort and co-ordination to achieve.
Crafting is the means by which we will show our worth as a guild. It's how we show that we can hold and mine The Depths, or whichever corner of the world has the best materials, and get them back securely to our base. It's how we will make every other player on the server wish they were in Cyrus because Cyrus members have the best gear! And it doesn't take away from our opportunity to PvP - it adds new options and dimensions to it.
Even the most battle-hardened PvPer would get bored attacking fortresses night after night, or running around from random fight to random fight. PvP needs a variety of objectives, and for the possibility of the unexpected to happen. Camelot Unchained is providing us with many tools to make this happen - and the mechanics of mining and crafting are a good example.
Cyrus will without doubt schedule dedicated sessions for gathering - and I can't wait! I imagine these nights starting off as less frantic than our fortress sieges as we scout for enemy players, locate the best ores to mine, and then secure an area on the map for our crafters. Groups split up in flanking positions just waiting for what may or may not try to sneak up on us. And knowing that our gathered items might be on the line if we are attacked adds some spice to the fight!
...vs Reality. "Join Cyrus", they said. "Mining will be fun", they said!
Similarly we will also have the option to go hunting for enemy crafters and gatherers - intercept their caravans, pillage their stocks and /lol at their sad sad corpses. Think of the drama! If we can create an uproar in Rift when there were no consequences to death, just imagine how people will react when the Cyrus train takes all their hard earned crafting mats again!
All this will be essential to gear up our own players, so every player should be equally invested in making sure our crafters get the supplies they need.
Cyrus is now keener than ever to build a strong crafting team in Camelot Unchained and give that team all the opportunity and support they need to have a significant influence on our realms economy. While I'm sure the top guilds on our server will want to be self-sufficient with regards to their crafting, Cyrus will aim to become the go-to guild for everyone else who isn't in a guild capable of securing a zone to mine the best ores and craft that epic sword!
"The concept that a masterful sword I forged would become a players most prized possession ingame gives me actual feels." - Hakugard
We all look for different 'hooks' in these games that keep us coming back again and again. For some it's the combat mechanics, for others it's the teamplay and community. As a guild leader I've always viewed the game as a toolbox which provides me with the things necessary to create the kind of organised, evolving, ever improving guild that keeps us all entertained. It's not enough to be the best, or to have the best gear, the maxed character or the active guild. For me it's about having a collective goal to work towards - as soon as a game fails to provide a goal, I lose interest.
I will spend hours outside of the game working on new plans, spreadsheets, guild rosters, stats, whatever I can to get the most out of our guild. Every player into the right group, every group with the right composition, each group with a clear strategy and how it all fits together to complete a guild objective. This is my passion, and when it comes together and I see the success of the guild, it's a truly great feeling.
Every breath you take... Every move you make...
Crafting is something we will have to plan for and organise, and it will be the responsibility of every guild member to make sure our crafters have all the tools and opportunities they need to make us the best gear. This means prioritising the gathering of resources as much as conquering an enemy fortress. If we focus on just one aspect and neglect the other, we may well run into problems in the future. Everything must be in balance.
We will also need a good amount of both patience and trust. We wont always be able to access the best materials, and even when we do the items will take a long time to craft. The only way to think of our gear progression is to look at the guild as a whole, and not just that of your own character. This is a team game, not a solo game - gearing up those you fight alongside is just as much of an upgrade as gearing yourself, and if the person next to you happens to get their gear before you this cannot become a source of resentment or jealousy.
Oh look, the guild leader has the first full set of gear... Seems legit!
This is also why stable guild groups will work well in Camelot Unchained. Knowing that the person you are helping to gear up will be regularly fighting alongside you helps with that sense of accomplishment in ensuring he has the best gear, and that his upgrades directly affect your own game. If you are constantly fighting alongside different players, then this attitude cannot be supported and members will naturally look to their own gear before that of others.
It is vital that both our leadership and our crafters must be trustworthy and transparent in how gear is distributed around the guild. And our crafters should be provided with the opportunity to play the market and not exclusively craft for the guild, however as with any player activity the guild must always take priority.
Ultimately, we are a PvP guild and like many aspects of the game, crafting is an essential tool we will use to make our PvP the strongest it can be.