Interview with the Gaiscioch Guild

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.

Thanks!

16 thoughts on “Interview with the Gaiscioch Guild”

  1. Well it is certainly different and as other mega guilds Gais has both good and bad members, from the outside being on Fae myself (and not a gais member) I get a feeling they try really hard to be the Leading Guild, they have certainly done fun events on Fae but we will see in the long run and what will happen if another guild get as big, the leadership has been really nice the few times I have heard anything from them. And I agree with Spinks, sounds scary.

  2. They do seem to take themselves awfully seriously which is unusual enough for a very large guild. How do they cope with raid organisation and folks at widely different stages on the progression ladder?

    Back when I was playing Wow was shocked when the leader of the largest, most well known guild on our server left that guild to join a raiding guild because he couldn’t get geared up. It made me realise that large isn’t always better and that very large guilds need an awful lot of organisation if they are to survive. Perhaps this guild’s out of game structures are the key to their success.

    1. The interesting part is it seems serious, but for the most part it’s like getting those achievements in MMOs for hitting level 10 or getting your first mount. You just play. Stay active. And good things happen. Now, like any guild it takes more effort and work to become a leader.

      As far as tiering and progression, you input your current “needs”, and a out of game dungeon finder lets you know which other people have similar “needs.”

      This is not a focused guild in the conventional sense. It’s a guild where out of chaos comes beauty (ergo, not for everybody). Like I said this is not the type of guild I usually run with, but I have been pleasantly surprised.

      1. Yeah, to hear the guy describe it himself, it sounds like a cult. But I can see how it could just be a well designed algorithm running behind all the people who are just gaming together.

  3. Interesting, they’ve certainly got the infrastructure to survive across a number of different games. I’d be interested to see if they can continue into Guild Wars 2 etc.

    I was one of the first members of the Havoc guild in Aion – we were the server leaders for the first couple of months of the game and it was good fun. But after a while, just like most guilds, the clique really got rutted in and it was difficult to find support for any kind of activity.

  4. I looked at their surface point reward system, but I do not understand how they report actions warranting points and if they find it necessary to provide proof of action (via screenshots, higher ranking officer report, etc). Could you provide some insight into their system?

    1. I will answer a few of the questions posed here. As one of the founding members of the guild, back in the days of Dark Age of Camelot – I have a bit of insight.

      First off – it’s anything but a cult. I am not sure what part you might think sounds cultish – perhaps its the Celtic lore? We started as an RP guild – and still do RP light – you *have* to have a back story for that. Or perhaps it’s the website and logging of activities, etc? You can get as much or as little out of it as you want. Plenty of members don’t participate in the “family” leveling system. That just limits the “automatic” support that they might enjoy from the website to game integration. They will still end up getting items and groups, etc in game – as you would with any other large guild. The website is intended to make things easier on both guild leadership and guild membership.

      As far as logging activities go – to log an activity – IE running a raid – it is dependent on your guild rank. As a low rank guild member – you will not be able to run a world event guild activity. You must level up with in the guild to do that and get credit. A leader of an event logs that event to our website. After the event has been posted, participants can then claim participation. It’s an honor system – which I believe, to date, had not been abused. Just keep in mind – a leader must log the event first – and then the participants claim participation. A leader can always have a participant that did not participate removed from the activity.

      Overall – our goal is to have fun and for our members to have fun. These tools just help with that. (Ever try to run a massive guild with out tools? We have – it’s not fun – which defeats the purpose of playing a game)

      1. interesting. what do you use to run the website? it’s pretty complex as far as guild websites go. Do you use a specific toolset or site to manage this or do you have people who know a good deal about site creation and CSS operation?

        1. I can answer that one as I built the bloody beast :D. The site is entirely custom built. Theres not a single thing other than shadowbox for the pretty popup boxes which is premade. The site uses LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP) and runs on a custom build content management system. I personally have been building websites since NCSA launched their beta program back in the summer of 1993. Over the years I’ve built sites for: SONY, HP, Agilent, Oracle, Siebel, Centerbeam, Aspect Telecommunications, Exodus, and more recently formula racer Alexander Rossi, and Indy Racer JR Hildebrand.

          The focus of the site is to keep people coming back. The more they visit the more their connected with whats going on. You can’t run a 24-7-365 “Guild” without information. The website merely helps keep people moving forward regardless if leadership is logged on at the time. Plus it adds to the gaming experience by letting people look back at the battles they fought, see their stats they’ve accumulated and show of their badges and achievements to friends. The Social Generation began with MMO’s and bled onto websites, not the other way around. We merely give players a gateway to meet new people and share their accomplishments.

          Play how you want, when you want, as long as you want.

          Foghladha

  5. One of the best things that makes Gaiscioch a viable large/mega guild is that the leadership does not micromanage all aspects of the game. “Quiet” monitoring and interaction seems to keep the “cliqueiness” that most large guilds fall victim to down to a minimum. I can say that after my dealings with large guilds from EQ and EQ2 that I find Gaiscioch to be a very welcome change of pace that I never thought I would see in a large guild.

  6. Seriously Foghladha ? In all your experience as a guild leader, only people who are needy and unambitious leave your guild ? (para 5 & 6) Well as one of the apparent few who has left recently, I’ll step up and suggest perhaps one other reason. That a mega guild is not the social experience that every person in a game wants. Yes, even when that mega guild is Gaiscioch. Just that simple.

    I enjoy a zerg-rift chase with 100 people now and then, even every week. And I probably will continue to as a player on Faeblight. But then there’s the rest of the week, where I’ve discovered I like a different guild atmosphere then is possible in a guild of who knows how many hundreds. Unfortunately I guess, I only learned this by actually joining a large guild (it wasn’t behemoth on launch day when I joined, in my defense) and trying it out.

    This isn’t the forum for discussing specifics about my experience and perceptions about Gaiscioch and its form in Rift. But I felt like I wanted to pipe up and object to that disparaging attitude that comes across regarding anyone who’s discovered that Gaiscioch isn’t for them. As if that’s unthinkable but for enormous character/player flaws.

    1. Hey Lynn, Read paragraph 5 & 6 again. Nowhere in there did I say “ONLY”, People leave for many reasons. I was merely pointing out the fact that the family is built in a way to discourage “Me” thinking and to focus on “We” thinking. That doesn’t mean that every person who decides to explore other ventures is a “Me” thinker.

      There are lots of reasons members leave. Some think a large guild is what they need then realize it’s just not as intimate as someone wants. Or perhaps we aren’t hard-core enough for some peoples tastes. Fact is there are millions of players out there, all driven by different motivations, there is no way any guild can expect to capture everyones attention and keep it there long term. We all have different agenda’s and if the agenda’s don’t line up it’s not beneficial to either party involved.

      I personally hold a players happiness in game over their membership. I tell people that if their not happy with us they are welcome to go and I’ll even help them find a new home. Your enjoyment in the game should be the first and foremost importance for both the guild and yourself. If your not having fun you shouldn’t be doing it. Thats just plain and simple.

      The Gaiscioch hold no grudge on anyone who ventures into the wild to try to chase what makes them happy. We encourage it. If at a later day you come back and say hey would you guys mind having me in the family again you’ll have an invite before you can finish the sentence. We have an open door policy and understand that needs in the game world change and sometimes the “Mega-Guild” can’t provide the closeness of the small guild. Thats ok.

      Bottom line is if people want to be a part of what were doing their welcome to, if they don’t they’re welcome to. Play how you want, when you want, as long as you want. Plain and simple. Lynn if ya ever need anything let me know. I’m here to help if your in the family or not. Take care.

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