Eanáir (January) 2012 Edition

I want to thank you all for making 2011 such a memorable year and take a moment to wish you all a Happy New Year. In this edition of the Ceannard Notes we'll be discussing our plans for 2012, and no they don't include the end of mankind. As the Gaiscioch grow larger, and our membership grows closer and more united we'll continue to leave a positive stamp on humanity.

In 2012 we'll likely see the launch of Chapter 4: Guild Wars 2 and with it will come a heightened level of stability to our family. Guild Wars 2 has the makings to serve our family as the perfect home base and social hub where we can base all operations out of. From there we can as players play any game we desire knowing we have somewhere to reconnect with family when we want to.

We will also begin getting more involved in out of game community involvement. Starting this year we're making a new annual tradition, The Cookie Zerg (Dec-Jan), where we say thanks to the development teams that have put a roof over our heads in the form of mass mailing sugary treats to them. In April we're planning to provide a local children's hospital with a barrage of stuffed animals to give to the children being treated there, and later in the year we'll be participating in the famed Extra Life Event. All in all we'll be working towards making a stamp in history and showing the world what a big difference a little gaming social gaming community can make.

In addition we're planning a 11th year Reunion during PAX Prime at Fado Irish Pub in Seattle Washington in August. Specific dates to be announced. This year has a lot of promise and a lot of excitement on the horizon. I look forward to sharing this next year with you all.

Now lets take a look at some of the burning issues.

The First Annual Cookie Zerg!

Get your baking sheets ready for the first annual Gaiscioch Cookie Zerg! We will be saying thanks to ArenaNet and Trion for all of their hard work over the past year to build us a home we can enjoy. This will be a 2 phase operation.

  • Week 1: January 1st - 7th, 2012: ArenaNet
  • Week 2: January 8th - 14th 2012: Trion Worlds

Every member who participates in this venture will receive 1,000 Contribution Points toward their profile. If you're not very kitchen friendly feel free to buy some store bought cookies, brownies, or candy and mail it to either of these businesses.

See our forums for addresses and details:

Chapter Four: Guild Wars 2
The Horizon Nears And Excitement Builds

It's been on our horizon for years. If you've been a part of the Gaiscioch in the last 4 years you know that the family is very much looking forward to this game. Why you might ask? What separates it from every other title claiming to be the best and brightest new thing?

Two years ago I got my first hands on experience in Guild Wars 2 at PAX Prime. It solidified everything I've read, everything I've seen, and gave perspective to the scale at which ArenaNet was taking this.

Guild Wars 1 while wonderful on story level lacked so much in other areas. Crafting, Community, RvR were non-existent. The most people you ever found was sitting in a town, as soon as you left you were in your own personal world. While this was great for gaming with a few friends this made large scale community driven events impossible. Guild Wars 2 has scrapped that model and replaced it with a grand open world capable of supporting thousands of players.

Quests have turned from a icon above a person's head to a NPC running up to you begging for your help. Smoke pulls you to your objectives. Cries and the crackle of flames are your new quest signifiers. From the giant purple dragon I faced off with 2 years ago to the open world play I experienced at this years PAX I can tell you that everything about Guild Wars 2 is different from it's older brother. The only thing they kept is the storyline and game world.

So what does this have to do with the Gaiscioch? Guild Wars 2 is the first game we've seen to offer a home to all 5 branches of our tree. Skilled PvErs, PvP/RvR Junkies, Crafting Nuts, Roleplayers, and even Casual Players can find a home here and feel as if the game was built for their needs. Best of all there is no subscription fee allowing our seasonal employees a chance to continue to play with the family without having to worry about a monthly fee. This scenario gives us the perfect opportunity to create a home base of operations for our social community.

With a home base established we can link like minded players together for them to venture into the world together and play any game with friends. It will act as a social hub from which players can find other like minded players to have adventures with. When they want to play with the family they know where to find us. This allows us to travel into any game with friends while keeping the support and community that we have grown to love, without taxing our player base with an additional monthly fee.

What we know so far:

  • Closed Beta testing has begun which tells us that 2012 is very very likely as a release timeframe
  • GW2 features a large open world with massive beasts and scalable content.
  • WvWvW pits 3 servers against each other in a giant war over 3 home zones and a middle contested zone with objectives for solo, small groups, medium groups, and large groups.
  • No monthly fee

Coming to Saturdays in February
Join us as we Revisit Guild Wars 1 and experience the events 500 years in the past every Saturday Night at 6PM. We will be starting in Old Ascalon and walk people through the main story missions to catch them up on the folk lore behind Guild Wars 2. When we've completed the story we will use our Saturday events to help members unlock their achievements in their Hall of Monuments. If you do not have a copy of Guild Wars 1 and the Eye of the North expansion be sure to pick one up before February.

Current Amazon.com Prices:

NOTE: Do not buy a used copy. It will not work.

To read up on the back story be sure to check out the Guild Wars books: "Guild Wars: Edge of Destiny" and "Guild Wars : Ghosts of Ascalon"

Read more about what we know about Guild Wars 2 on our forums at:

Chapter Three: RIFT
What's New & Coming Soon?

Over the past couple months we've seen several improvements to RIFT. The launch of Ember Isle, Rise of the Phoenix, Planar Attunement, and Instant Adventures are some of the bright spots. A few sneaky gems made it in the patch notes including being able to mail items cross-faction to any character on your account which has allowed crafters to fill orders for either side without having to have an expert crafter on both sides. Just last week they made all crafting recipe drops tradable making those rare dungeon recipes a lot easier for our crafters to obtain.

The family has been frequenting the Ember Isle Onslaught zones. Telara Saga is in it's final chapter with just 4 weeks remaining. Once it comes to it's conclusion we'll be starting a PvP Rift night which we will focus our attention to each side on rotating weeks. In addition for the opposing side we will be going back to doing Expert & Raid Rifts to avoid having Gaiscioch on Gaiscioch situations. So while Guardians take on PvP Rifts the Defiants will take on Expert and Raid Rifts. Then the following week we'll switch. Those that do not wish to PvP will be welcome to piggy back the raid and expert rift events.

Over the next few months we can expect to see a change in the tide in RIFT. In several interviews Hal Hanlin has mentioned that the axe is about to fall in the sands of Telara which will divide the Guardians and Defiants even further. Before that axe falls we want to help each of our rooms in our house gain much needed Prestige Ranks and introduce many of our members to PvP content within RIFT. Could this be the famed Port Scion?

Chapter One: Dark Age of Camelot
Wrapping Up Our DAOC Reunion

Many of you have come out for some fun times in the birthplace of our family. Since they've rebuilt it, it has become quite enjoyable again and I suspect many of you will continue to venture forth in the realm of Dark Age of Camelot in the coming months. January however marks the close of our campaign as the final 4 events take place. This Saturday (Dec 31st) we close out our expedition into Cathal Valley and will spend all of January hunting in the New Frontiers. Join us for a wee bit of oRvR in it's finest form.

Closing Notes

Over 2011 we've had some ups and downs but I am confident that we are more stable now than we've ever been. With the reinforcements we're putting in place to the family structure and the directions we're taking things the family will be stronger than ever in 2012. For those still playing RIFT with me we'll be using February to gear you up for the "war" that is on the horizon at the 1 year mark. For those of you that have ventured to new lands, keep in touch and we'll see you in Guild Wars 2. For the record I am strongly lobbying to get a server named after Roger in memory of the man he was. So keep an eye out for a server named "Rall". Cross our fingers and hope they bite. Cookies might help ;). I look forward to sharing many new adventures with all of you! Happy New Year!

Slan Go Foill!
(Goodbye For Now)

Benjamin "Foghladha" Foley
Ceannard De Gaiscioch Treubh