I went a different route in Rift, and I joined a very large guild, The Gaiscioch Family. Usually I join guilds with about 40-50 members or smaller so this has been a much different experience for me. I am finding in an open-grouping MMO game, specifically Rift, the larger guild has provided a great experience. I wanted to interview the guild leader, Foghladha, about some of the unique aspects of a “mega-guild” or one big family.
What’s your elevator proposal for joining Gaiscioch?
The Gaiscioch Family began in November of 2001 as a channel for people of similar hobbies to make new friends by participating in something they already have in common. Our roots are set in the Celtic Mythological Cycle and take the name Gaiscioch from the Lebor Gabála Érenn where a group of Warriors chosen by the Tuatha de Danaan — The Celtic Gods — to fight along their side in the First Battle of Moyturna. These warriors not only displayed honor to their own troops but to the enemy troops as well. They took the time to teach the Fir Bolg warriors their technologies, their weaponry, and teach them to use it in hopes that the battle would be more fair for both sides.
This type of thinking is exactly where the Gaiscioch family has grown to become. We are an outward thinking family who looks to improve the community that they are part of by hosting large scale public events open to everyone including the opposite faction. They organize server wide events and provide them with the publicity for people to hear about and flock to attend. While most “Guilds” focus inward and strive to make their own better, the Gaiscioch strive to make the whole server better. Our focus is on community development and involvement and with this comes several benefits and several curses.
The Gaiscioch Family has consistently grown over the past decade reaching over 1,400 members from all around the globe. We feature an out of game leveling system within the family which rewards members from participating together through gaining ranks, badges, achievements, and even family currency called Family Vault Credits. Using family vault credits you can purchase things from the family Marketplace, or request resources to help fill crafting orders. We have a dungeon planner system in place to help people find others who need the same dungeons at the same time and have one of the most in detail list of guides and discovery locations on the web. With thousands of members you will rarely have trouble finding a group.
With such a big guild do you have a large bleed rate? Why or why not?
The way the family is structured, we occasionally see people leave from time to time. This typically happens when someone joins the family and expects things done for them. They expect there to be “Hosted” events, or forced guild activities like epic raids, dungeons, etc. The Gaiscioch Family doesn’t work like that. We don’t tell people how to play, when to play, or how long to play. We merely help people find others that play the same way and time as themselves and leave it up to them to take the initiative to make something happen.
A member who lacks initiative can’t grow in the family. They will never climb the ranks and will someday decide to leave on their own peaceful accord. However if you are a person willing to pull your own weight and use the tools that have been build for you, you will thrive in this family. This family is built for We thinkers, people who can see past their own selfish goals and see their true potential as a member of a large community can soar higher than any single person could.
One thing a new member will notice is the in-guild leveling system based on in-game and out-of-game activities. What is the purpose of this achievement system?
The Gaiscioch Family is built on 5 basic advancement goals. Leadership, Fellowship, Exploration, Lore, and Artisan. Each of these paths allows you to earn Family Honor Points which are required for leveling in the family. Each path has 20 ranks to achieve.
The family advances through Leadership and Participation. Without participants, leaders can’t gain ranks or abilities. Without leaders, Participants can not gain ranks within the family. All forward advancement is linked to the synergy between leaders and followers. One can not gain without the other. In turn Leaders can not become leaders without the endorsement of those who are lower ranked than themselves. This prevents the leadership from promoting people because they like them and force leaders to prove their worth to the public to gain their leadership. After all Leadership is about inspiring others to better themselves it’s not about power and control. This system helps encourage others to participate with other members of the family and keeps us united no matter how large we grow.
Exploration points are earned by logging discoveries in the game on the family guides section. Everything ranging from Artifact locations to crafting nodes, to title unlocks can be entered into the system for “Discovery” points
Lore points can be earned through written word. Writing a guide and post it, posting on the forums, posting a blog, or any other written context contributes to your lore ranking.
Artisan points are earned through filling crafting requests in the Family Marketplace. By achieving artisan ranks you can begin to claim more requisitions at a time.
In addition human nature makes us obsessive about chasing numbers. In any part of life when the numbers stop people grow bored, they lose interest and move on. Think about your day to day life, when you stop getting raises at work, you start looking for a new job. Those involved in sports are constantly trying to improve their speed, agility, and stats. Numbers are mans first addiction and serve as a perfect conduit for measuring ones success.
The constant bombardment of numbers in our family serves as a measure of ones growth not only in the family but their accomplishments in Rift and any other title they are involved in. This gives players an prideful piece of the family and allows them to share their achievements with others.
What are some of the other unique tools that are on the Gaiscioch website?
The Gaiscioch Marketplace allows members to request crafting items from the family crafters in exchange for family vault credits, as well as allow crafters to request materials from family gatherers using resources. Family crafters and Gatherers earn contribution credit needed for higher ranks in the family. This system is handled completely out of game and allows for quick and speedy production of crafting items for a 24-7 community with a global reach.
The Dungeon Explorer system allows players to mark the days, times, and dungeons they would like to run. This system will match people who meet the same requirements together to give players a list of other players that would like to run the same dungeons on the same day at the same time. Future functionality will allow for emails to be generated to people interested in joining as well as potentially a text message notifier. This keeps our dungeon runners paired up with others ready to do the same dungeons.
We also have a full fledged player blogging system, events calendar, objective tracking, multi-page player and character profile system, and a guide system that will show you the exact coordinates of just about everything discovered by the family.
One of our latest inventions is a profit sharing concept that allows members to create a Google Adsense account and use their Publisher ID to generate an additional income on guides and discoveries they have contributed. Each month the users gains ad view credits based on how many Family Honor Points they earn. If a user has 1000 family honor points their ads will be displayed 1000 times per month. As a member gains more points they gain more exposure thus giving themselves a better chance of earning a second income through Google Adsense. This type of concept is exactly who the Gaiscioch Family are. We work together to try to help each other in game and out. We look out for one another and even help each other find jobs when in need. We are all about Community and helping each other be the best they can be.
Gaiscioch seems to be very active in games allowing for large groups of people to play together such was Warhammer Online, Rift, and upcoming Guild Wars 2. How do you handle the more exclusive types of gameplay, such as dungeons tiers and gear-locked raids?
This is actually quite simple. We have the Dungeon Explorer system which automatically pairs people up by which level of dungeons they need. By the summer months we plan on hosting mass Greenscale raids open to the public and run weekly to help the server gain the gear they need.
Give me the rundown on how The Telara Saga has been going?
In Warhammer Online we started Open PuG Nights which were vastly more successful than we imagined. After the first season we gave it branding, labeled it Battle for Badlands and gave it the life it deserved. It went on to be featured on several TV and web sites.
We took this existing model and shaped it to a new platform in the form of the Telara Saga, a 22-Week campaign across Telara designed to teach people about the land, the features and areas of each zone, and give people a taste for open field PvP.
Over the past 5 weeks the Telara Saga has had both growing pains and a unprecedented success. Still bringing in over 200 people per week to participate in these single zone events, the Telara Saga now features dedicated PvE and PvP groups to allow players to play the way they like to play without being forced to play against the grain. This change has been a wonderful improvement and has helped our numbers continue to grow. After week 2 TypeFrag and UGT approached us each giving us a 250 person Ventrilo server to use for the Telara Saga. This gave the Faeblight server 500 slots to fill for these events and has brought the community closer over the coarse of the first few events.
You win the lottery and buy an executive producership in Rift. What guild specific functions would you have Trion Worlds add?
The first thing Trion needs in this game is Alliances. Some way to group Guilds together than doesn’t require every person typing /join [x] This is what ties small communities together and helps make for a stronger experience across the realm.
Secondly a Guild Vault system would be a wonderful addition however I would take it away from the grass roots box on the floor with a limited number of slots and change it into a Auction Hall style system that members can list items on and based on their type and quality the guild leaders can set permissions for members to take from. So if there was a Purple level 50 mace of craziness I as a guild leader could set a rank requirement of rank 5 to take the item from the vault. This would also have a log of who places what items and who takes what items from the vault system. Having this item exchange system would allow larger guilds to pass items to people that need it and allow certain items such as crafting materials to be used by the people who need it.
Ideally they would add some form of guild contribution system in place to allow members to show their contribution to the guild and for guild leaders to reward those who contribute the most. All in all when it comes to guilds, Trion needs to think numbers, how can we make these players chase more numbers. The more numbers the better. Making them available to social mediums to brag about will also help their case. Everyone likes sharing achievements.