Issue #3: Guild Spotlight, Part 2
Especially in a game like Ashes of Creation, where player agency is key, it is important not to minimize the role of the guild in the experience, whether it is from the standpoint of a player or the impact of a guild’s presence on a game server. Continuing on from our last issue, we’re wrapping up our guild spotlights with three more guilds. Let’s get on with the spotlight!
Guild: Vengeance / Leader: Sinbad
Sinbad and his guild Vengeance is the first up in this issue’s spotlight – a hardcore PvX focused guild whose goal is total domination of their chosen server. Sinbad runs his guild as a democracy – when issues arise, the membership is called to a vote to make a decision on how to move forward. It’s very important to note that Sindbad feels his guild is a team and should operate as one.
One of the other key points to consider about Vengeance is that they have a philosophy of self-improvement and teaching. They want players who are willing to challenge themselves and focus on improving their skills in the game. The guild is in place to provide assistance in the form of information and wants to foster a helpful community for “just about everything in the game.” Their goal is to develop a well-rounded player base, which are as diverse as the offerings in Ashes. It’s worth noting that all of this activity is dedicated to making sure Vengeance is the highest ranking guild on their particular server and “seek to offer members the opportunity to be a part of a hardcore guild that succeeds at all aspects of play.”
On the topic of player engagement while waiting for launch, Vengeance uses other gaming experiences to foster teamwork amongst their membership. The majority of the members are backers from the Kickstarter that will have access to the earlier test phases of the game. Sinbad feels this will allow the guild to gain the experience needed to succeed when the game itself releases. They currently have a guild game night once a week, meet weekly on the off-game days so members have multiple opportunities to interact with each other. A couple of examples of the games the guild currently plays are PUBG and Guild Wars 2.
Sinbad is a guild leader primarily because he has a love of helping his fellow player and he enjoys the experience of working with likeminded players. He personally has a philosophy to consistently push himself and those in his membership to strive for success, be it in the personal or the team spaces. Even with a smaller leadership structure (he is one of four other leaders), he and his team work very hard every day to ensure guild members are “thriving” within the guild. He feels the members choose to follow because he and his team have demonstrated that they will be there to guide and support them.
Closing up the interview, Sinbad had this to say about his guild – “Vengeance is a place for those looking to build a name that will be remembered in Ashes.” He goes onto say that the membership are some of the best and most experienced in the MMO industry and they work hard to make sure those that join succeed within the community.
Guild: Imperium (Legacy Gaming) / Leader: Freelancer
Freelancer is one of the founders of his gaming community, Legacy Gaming, which is currently involved in three MMOs: Star Citizen, Chronicles of Elyria and of course, Ashes of Creation. Imperium is the name of the Ashes chapter and Freelancer describes it as “our pride and joy.” Imperium focuses on a core structure that they have proven successful in another MMO you might have heard of called “Black Desert Online” – Legacy Gaming’s presence in BDO was known as Veritas. Their Star Citizen offering, Legacy Fleet, provides mercenary services to other large player organizations. Freelancer goes on to say that the Legacy Fleet is “well known in the ‘verse for their flight school courses organized by our in-house Air Force members and volunteers.” Their Chronicles of Elyria chapter, Niflheim, focuses on the maritime raiding aspect of that game. They currently focus their PvP in the CoE Kingdom of Vornair. While the membership is blended across the MMOs mentioned, they primary focus presently is on Ashes and Star Citizen.
Their core values revolve around creating a drama free environment that gives all the “logistical perks” of a larger guild with the feel of a smaller, tighter community. One of the aspects of their structure they feel is pretty definitive compared to others is the division system, which they have been successful at executing on for several years. This system allows members to form smaller groups with autonomy, while being tied to the economies of scale that come with being a part of a larger guild. They often absorb smaller guilds or groups of players, allowing them to prosper in their own right without the burden of a large bureaucracy. They also take this division concept to new heights with various contests, rankings and other ways to allow each group to test their mettle against each other for fun and progression.
Freelancer is quick to point out that they are a larger guild and that the membership they have retained over the years share a common set of values: open mindedness, thick-skin, proactive and optimistic attitude. Their members put “passion over uncertainty.” He goes onto say they have a lot of members that take this proactive attitude to heart with a “rogue-like” or “yolo” approach. He does stress that the leadership is very transparent with their policies and they want to promote a more vocal and self-starter type of membership. They are not the type of guild that seeks out “yes-men” – he explains that even the guild leadership is encouraged to challenge the status quo in constructive ways. Freelancer and his team believe that “placing individuals with conflicting and fresh new ideas into our teams” makes for a much more solid leadership structure. He believes all of the above will keep Legacy Gaming and Imperium specifically fixed on success by whatever competitive standard measures are defined by the Ashes game and community. “For example, if success in the game is measured by progression in a dungeon we would focus on that. If success is measured by sieges or competitive arena-pvp, we would focus on that as well.” Imperium is a member ship driven by goals and those that join want to succeed without the need for the “red-tape” usually associated with larger guild ventures. The members are expected to drive – the leadership provides the “highways.”
The larger the guild, the larger the potential challenge to keep members engaged while a game develops. Freelancer feels that Imperium’s association with two larger gaming communities, Legacy and Vornair, helps facilitate interaction and engagement among the membership. While the broader Imperium community is involved with Star Citizen and Chronicles of Elyria there are also interested parties playing Destiny 2 and PUBG. Random hangout and other social events are arranged where internal ranking, progression and the like are tracked within the community. Imperium fosters the competitive spirit as well as just plain fun in these events – offering upper-tier groups for those players that are top performers.
Imperium members actively provide content and research for AOC Wiki and other fan-sites. This feeds into another core philosophy that sharing information allows for a more competitive environment overall in their gaming experience– Imperium wants well-informed competitors so it, in turn, ups the ante when encounters occur. One recent accomplishment in this space for Black Desert Online was the creation of the BDO Bible which was meant to ensure “that every guild, small or large, casual or hardcore, could do their best to compete with everyone else at launch.” It is that same zeal that drives the contributions Imperium makes to share information with the broader community, mainly through the wiki.
Freelancer feels his greatest strength is his ability to excel in “macro-scale” organization and logistics. He describes himself as a perfectionist who is extremely results driven. He is known for being the kind of leader that loves spreadsheets and numbers. While some members joke about this aspect of his style, he does go onto say that historically they “never take second place” in any of their ventures. He is quite proud of this, though he feels that level of success can be intimidating to many. This doesn’t mean his style is dictatorial or that the guild feel is militaristic or humorless. Freelancer knows a guild is made up of more than just the hardcore element alone, but also those that just want to have fun along the way. He readily admits he is not perfect and that each new MMO chapter is a learning experience for everyone. When the community decides to move into a new game, Freelancer forms “think tanks,” whose purpose is to provide feedback on how the leadership can keep what worked well and improve any gaps in their approach from the previous MMO. They use collaborative tools like Trello (a web-based project management and organization software) to evolve their methodology “to create a 2.0 version of the prior guild.” It’s very important to Freelancer to place his most vocal opponents at the forefront of efforts like this as that helps the leadership team challenge and complement each other. Great feedback in the past has come from all types of members in his guild – it’s a way of running an organization that has allowed Legacy Gaming to maintain success – not being satisfied with what accomplishments they’ve had in the past alone, but always pushing forward.
To those still looking for a guild, Freelancer does recommend visiting the official forums and also GuildEx. While he feels Imperium is a highly successful guild thus far, it might not be the right fit for everyone. He does feel Imperium will have a large amount of success in the PvP and economic aspects of the game, so if that’s what you’re looking for then look no further. He does also explain that being a larger guild they have many other aspects of the game they will also be able to focus on. He feels in some cases his various specific teams are more organized that guilds whose sole focus is that specified area (e.g. economy). It is this flexibility and dedication as well as the networking of all the various smaller groups that “makes ‘Imperium’ tick.” Freelancer considers Imperium a “’common sense’ and ‘adult’” guild – which translates into a low tolerance for drama, expectations that members have a certain level of awareness and civility and a drive to be proactive in honing their knowledge and ability. “We are the guild that has trainers, class leads known throughout the server, dedicated human resources officers, and similar available to help you 24/7.” Freelancer feels that anyone who is willing to put the time and effort into consistently improving themselves will fit right into Imperium. While there will be many resources at a member’s disposal, willingness to adapt and mental fortitude are large parts of what it takes to be successful in Imperium’ s environment. On the other hand, close-minded individuals should look elsewhere. While there are a good many of what some would consider “elitists,” they are all very willing to share what they know to those interested in listening.
As the interview came to a close, Freelancer did have a few words for any potential applicants – “I would tell them not to knee-jerk it. Ashes of Creation has a lot of time before release and you are not bound by a contract to join a guild now. Spend time looking up histories and structures of guilds. Join in their meetings and public appearances if you can. The best judge of any guild will be your ‘gut instinct’ when you listen to their leaders and officers. Also, remember your ‘perfect’ guild might not have been founded yet. I’ve also seen many guilds generalize their past achievements and experience. It would be wise for individuals to ask for specifics when doing their research on the many decent guilds out there, especially if something doesn’t look right. Ask their leadership before assuming things.”
Freelancer did want to express his thanks to Makinoji and Sons of the Seven for proactively taking the time to share information about some of the guilds that have already been established. He goes onto say that he wishes all the guilds the best of luck especially those smaller and newly formed ones. Also, if anyone wishes to chat, he is quite open to do so or help in any way. He does after all, have some time to kill before Ashes launch as we all do. One last thing…”To our future enemies – plsdontgankfarmerstheyreinnocentthanks. <3”
You can find out more about Imperium on their guild website.
Guild: Sons of the Seven / Leader: Telchar
Our final guild in this issue’s spotlight is Sons of the Seven, helmed by Telchar. Telchar describes himself as a young professional in the industrial sector that found passion in the concept of Ashes of Creation. This passion eventually led him to create his guild – based on his long history of MMO experience and knowledge of successful guild structures in those various games. Sons of the Seven is a mercantilism and political focused community dedicated to higher tiers of play, which will be concentrated on crafting, PvE and any other meta specific activities in Ashes of Creation. Their core values are well documented in the guild charter but they fall into three main pillars: Primacy, Ethics and Governance.
The first pillar, Primacy, focuses on three sub tenants: Military Might, Political Power, and Economic Eminence. This is how the SotS guild behavior and structure will be determined. It is the characteristics of these sub tenants that will drive the day to day functionality of the guild. Ethics, the second pillar is focused on how the guild will handle themselves both within the guild and externally. The sub tenants of Ethics are; Honor, Loyalty, and Commitment, which Telchar feels are self-explanatory, are meant to be the guild’s compass as it progresses through the game. The final pillar is Governance. This pillar is the guiding statement on how the leadership of SotS should handle themselves. The sub tenants of Governance are; Involvement, Purpose, and Vision. These sub tenants are designed to provide guidance and direction for not only the leaders, but the members of the guild.
Should anyone have any further interest in the charter or the guild’s guiding statements, Telchar encourages them to review the charter and feel free to reach out to one of the members with any questions.
When questioned about keeping members engaged while they wait for launch, Telchar explains that his vision for the guild is a guild focused on player industry within the Ashes universe. The goal of the organization is to provide a place for those with motivation to succeed. Prior experience in previous economic based games has lead Telchar to the notion that specific things are needed in order to maintain a cohesive power base and thus success in the game. The goal is to allow SotS members to collaborate to create an environment where all of this is possible. To that end, many members are engaged in content creation – i.e. artwork, website design and workshops around guild branding. The goal being that SotS is a place for those seeking content creation avenues, strong community identity and a place to make lasting friendships. While the guild does have other opportunities that allow members to interact in various other non-Ashes games, the guild’s primary emphasis is to build and maintain a strong Ashes effort – not only as a way to keep members engaged and collaborating, but also to help drive constructive contribution to the development of the game itself.
As a guild leader, Telchar feels he has a large amount of leadership experience both in the gaming world and professionally. He feels his outgoing and approachable demeanor is what most people react favorably to about him as a leader. He also feels that his enthusiasm and passion for what he’s invested in helps draw people in as well as feeds their own excitement for the same. He does have a few key reasons why people should follow him in Ashes.
He’s highly invested in the game both in time and money – he has committed to one of the higher tiers of Kickstarter funding as well as spent a large amount of his time with the development team at PAX, helping them set up their highly successful booth and showing at the trade show
His vision for success is unique – focusing on the more subtle nuances of a game like Ashes, particularly around the economic and political aspects
He also believes that his enthusiasm and desire to help others succeed is critical for any organization to have sustainable success. He wants SotS members to find a lasting home and he believes his handling of the guild and attitude so far has already lead to a powerful group of friends
If this type of environment and focus feels right to you, Sons of the Seven would be happy to have your application.
There are so many members of the guild that Telchar is extremely proud of for their efforts thus far. He would like to shout out to Makinoji, Daedelus (thanks boss!), Hit, VoxoV, Seraphina, Straziare and all of the other members who helped collaborate on the creation of the guild branding/emblem as well as for their efforts to build the Ashes community through content creation. He also points out that if you are someone looking for a guild that has a specific mission statement and is focused on the attainment of economic and political power, he would ask that you consider Sons of the Seven. He goes on to say that SotS are a dedicated group that continues to show that they are one of the top guilds in Ashes. He encourages prospective members to take a look at the guild website, join the Discord or to feel free to private message himself or any other member with any guild related questions.
The Final Word
That wraps us up for this two-parter on some of the great guilds that are part of the Ashes community. It was a real pleasure for Makinoji and I to get to know more about our fellow community members and we hope you enjoyed getting to know them also! If you have any ideas for future features, we are happy to hear them! Please don’t hesitate to contact us.