Márta 2014

Cead Mile Failte!

Welcome to the March 2014 edition of the Gaiscioch Family Ceannard Notes! Well February was a month of the unexpected to say the least. We've had quite a spell of extreme weather around the world which brought life for many of us to a halt. Even the game development studios we work with were affected by this massive stormfront. Both ZeniMax and ArenaNet were snowed out of their offices this month for several days. Heck even I was buried in snow in Portland which is highly unusual. People as far south as Florida received snow. Needless to say this affected internet access, electricity, and the ability to play games. The good news is the worst of it should be past and a bright spring horizon is on the forecast.

With so much change on the horizon I feel it's really important that information is available to all of our members to help ease confusion, worries, and dispel rumors before they arise. This issue may be a bit lengthier than usual and a bit different in format. So please read this message entirely as it will discuss our future and the challenges that are before us.

March 2014 Gaiscioch Family Summit

This month I feel it is very important to both welcome the new players and share a bit about our family at this month’s Gaiscioch Family Summit Podcast. I would like to provide everyone an opportunity to bring their questions and have them answered. Please join us on March 1st at 5PM PST on RaidCall: 1101 for information about the coming months and the direction of the family. Please be sure to write down a question and bring it to the meeting. I'd love to have some things to discuss with you all instead of listening to me monolog all day ;).

The Guild Wars 2 Situation

This month brought everything we've seen with the divide between the elite wvw and the casual wvw communities to a head. Decisions were made by the WvW guilds which lead to a chain reaction of guilds leaving Sanctum of Rall. We are now presented with an opportunity to build a friendlier, new player friendly WvW environment. We're not going at this alone. EG and several other prominent guilds who were told to stay off the battlefield are now joining forces to bring a new lifestyle to WvW. We could use all of your assistance in bringing this new Friendlier approach to WvW.

Sanctum of Rall was created in the memory of a man who spent his time welcoming new players, teaching them how to play, and showing them a good time against all odds. It's about time that his namesake returns to the lifestyle he preached for years. Join me in welcoming new players to WvW and teach them how to be effective without belittling them and talking down to them. Pick them up and let’s build the Sanctum of Rall we've always wanted.

The awesome news is that we now can take the field on any day we want without making certain elite guilds angry, in addition Aingeal and Prissy will be starting back up the Intro to WvW classes for those first timers looking to get started. Additionally we have a new teamspeak server available to those of us on Sanctum of Rall which you can find on SanctumofRall.com's WvW section once you log into the site. The really great news is that we've managed to convince the WvW community that remains that we should make the Teamspeak much friendlier to families and non-elite players. We should be seeing a whole lifestyle change from that what we've been used to and hopefully see a new friendlier Sanctum of Rall be born from this.

The Future of the Great Tyrian Adventure

Season 3 was quite a challenge and continues to be a challenge. Running 4 events per week is definitely taking it's toll. However what we are accomplishing in season 3 is legendary to say nonetheless. Never before has a community poured its heart and soul into an event like this.

We knew that the future was uncertain with Guild Wars 2 and before everything we knew changed we wanted to say thanks to those players who chose to call Sanctum of Rall home. We had no idea just to the scale that our world would change by the launch of Elder Scrolls Online.

Still we have no idea where numbers will line up post season 3. Right now we are seeing 300+ people every week. What we do know is now our server is left with a giant gaping hole of opportunity and we are just the community to fill it. In season 4 I am looking to take the adventure to WvW as well as PvE. I am thinking of having 1 week of Missions, next of Dragon hunts, followed by a week of WvW. I think it's time we throw WvW into the mix and do things like get the jumping puzzle and 3 skill points on each map as well as take down a few objectives. We can use this as an entry level to WvW. I think with a little nurturing, we can help grow a new era for the WvW community within Sanctum of Rall.

The Future of Chapter 4: Guild Wars 2

We all know Elder Scrolls Online is going to drastically change population in Guild Wars 2. This is unavoidable. The Gaiscioch family does not tell people where to play, how to play, or how long to play. We allow player choice to drive their MMO landscape. That said we as a family will remain on Sanctum of Rall and continue to bring new members into the family and share adventures together. Whoever doesn't go to ESO will still have a place to call home within our walls. I will be spearheading the new Great Tyrian Adventure as an intro to the various content in Guild Wars 2 which will take place Thursday nights in addition I will be continuing my Sunday 12-2AM Club Gaiscioch events. While we don't know where our membership will line up, we do know that we will continue our legacy and continue to build Sanctum of Rall the way Roger would have imagined it.

Additionally starting in March we will be removing everyone from Gaiscioch na Morrigan and Gaiscioch (Funny i) and moving all active players into Gaiscioch na Rall. Our invite system has been maintaining players quite well and we currently have a 30 day window before people are actually removed for afk. I believe that we are well within our means of using 1 guild and should be able to rotate everyone based on who's playing at the current time.

Changes in Eldership

This past month the Eldership met and discussed our 2014 eldership team. While some of our elders have decided to retire for the foreseeable future we also have had the ability to bring on some additional hands. For a long time we have had elders on the team who have not been active in the games we call home. While we love them and as I told them if they ever end up playing a game we play we will be happy to welcome them back to the team, we do need elders who are committed to the success of our current chapters.

From this day forward we will be staffing our eldership team with at least 1 elder per 100 active players. In Elder Scrolls Online we have 20 elders ready and waiting to help spearhead the new chapter. In Guild Wars 2 we have 5 elders ready to maintain the family and keep membership flowing. In addition if an elder is no longer active in a game they will be replaced with someone who is. Their position will be available to them if and when they return but we need our eldership team to be active in the games we play and be there on the front lines with our community.

After a lot of discussion by the eldership team and a careful evaluation of players we reduced our list of potentials down to these 5 new additions to the eldership team.

FinalFAB has been a member of our family for over a year. Many of you have run dungeons with him in Guild Wars 2 and he continuously has gone out of his way to provide for the family and help people learn the mechanics of the various dungeons. FinalFAB will be continuing in Guild Wars 2 to help provide a helping hand on the continuation of Chapter 4.

Terafer will be joining us in both ESO and Guild Wars 2. Months ago he took the helm on Dagger Training and has been helping people learn small scale tactics. He additionally has helped us create several of the Mystic Forged and one of the Legendary items in the Great Tyrian Adventure. He is a calm leader and a helpful hand to new players.

Dreamtrip, most everyone knows Dreamtrip. For the better part of a year he has helped us grow the family by hosting events and assisting new players. He has walked people through various processes with the website and has been a dependable leader we can count on in a bind. He will be joining the Eldership team for Elder Scrolls Online.

Ryokka, if you've been on RaidCall with her you'll know right away as she is one of the sweetest people in the whole family. She's got a huge heart and a talent for sPvP. For months she has organized family sPvP events and has helped players get involved. She has gone out of her way to help new members get involved in the family and we believe she will be a wonderful addition to the team. She will be focusing on Guild Wars 2 but also spending some time in ESO.

Shalako, He has been a calm presence in the room and has gone out of his way to make sure everyone feels welcome. Despite his own challenges he puts others first and has been a huge help in the day to day operations of the family. We look forward to having him on the team moving forward. He plans to play both Guild Wars 2 and Elder Scrolls Online.

With these 5 additions we will have 2 solid cores of Elders who can help run both sides of our family. Here's how the 2 teams shape up.

Chapter 5: Elder Scrolls Online Eldership Team:
























Chapter 4: Guild Wars 2 Eldership Team:









Additionally all Elders will have elder status for both games and help lookout for it's members. If you ever have any questions or concerns please speak to one of these people and we will see what we can do to get you the answers you seek.

Preparing to Grow Roots in Elder Scrolls Online

It's been a long couple years. In just a few days our 5th Chapter will be officially opened and with it a whole new world to be explored. Elder Scrolls Online is a new MMORPG from ZeniMax Online featuring a vast explorable world and over 20 years of history and lore. Since the launch of Elder Scrolls Arena in 1993, The Elder Scrolls series has grown in interest. It now lives among the RPG hall of fame and is one of the most loved series of all time.

The story begins in a time of strife and unrest. Armies of revenants and dark spirits manifest in every corner of Tamriel. Winters grow colder and crops fail. Mystics are plagued by nightmares and portents of doom.

Four years ago, in 2E 578, an arcane explosion of energy in the Imperial City set off mystical aftershocks that swept across Nirn. Mages died or went mad. Supernatural abominations from the plane of Oblivion, the Daedra, appeared in greater numbers than ever before. The constellation of the Serpent grew so large that it dominated the night sky.

So began the grand scheme of Molag Bal, Daedric Prince of domination and enslavement. His Dark Anchors, vortexes of evil magic, weaken the barrier between worlds, threatening to merge Nirn and Oblivion into a single, nightmarish hellscape.

In the midst of this chaos, three alliances vie for control of the Imperial City and the White-Gold Tower. High Rock, Sentinel, and Orsinium stand as one, united under the rule of the High King in Wayrest. Valenwood and Elsweyr have forged an alliance of their own with Summerset, while Black Marsh, Morrowind, and Skyrim have formed a third, uneasy pact.

The Daggerfall Covenant. The Aldmeri Dominion. The Ebonheart Pact.

Three armies will take up arms against the Empire, and against each other, to wrest control of the Imperial City and White-Gold Tower from the dark forces of Oblivion itself.

Creating a Foundation for Chapter 5

Over the past 12 years we've had to deal with all kinds of challenges when operating guilds in fantasy worlds. From small guild sizes, lack of communication channels, to lack of tools to maintain guilds, we've not only found a way to make it work but we have developed our own methods to overcome these challenges.

For the Elder Scrolls Online we are going to put all of our experience to work right out the gate and adjust as needed when we learn what features we have available at our disposal. For those of you who have joined us for Guild Wars 2 you will already be familiar with the guild roster management system. We will be using our existing Guild roster Management System to streamline inviting and managing rosters.

The latest rendition of our roster management system has been performing beautifully since we launched it nearly 4 months ago. We will be duplicating the system for ESO as a starting point. Depending on where population normalizes at and the mechanics we have in game, we will make alterations to the system to push the limits.

For our Elder Scrolls Online house we decided to plan for the worst case scenario and work from there. So initially we will launch into a 5 room house. I have setup a Population flow system which will scale us up to the size we need as we need it. If and when we see an Alliance or Custom Chat system put into play we will drastically adjust this to be more accommodating to all players. For now we are going to launch with what we know, using a system we know, and build from there depending on what tools we have at our disposal.

We will have 1 Activity Room a la Gaiscioch na Rall in Guild Wars 2 known as Gaiscioch. This room will have a 7-Day website check-in requirement to reserve your seat at the table. Then we will have 4 Core Rooms which will run on a 30-Day website check. Based on the numbers that we currently have on Day 1 we will decide just how many rooms we need to be active and then balance people between them.

Additionally players may go to Gaiscioch.com and setup their Elder Scrolls Online profile to choose their desired room so they can play with their friends and family.

The Eldership of Elder Scrolls Online

Now the best feature of Elder Scrolls Online is the fact that you can see all guild chats at the same time. Unlike the Guild Wars 2 Representation system where you can only see one. What this means is that everyone in the Primary Room can see all chat for all of the members currently in that room and their Core room at the same time. So where in Guild Wars 2 if you were only in a Core room you would be awful lonely and nobody would respond to your questions, in Elder Scrolls Online members who are in the Primary room can reply to your questions. With all 20 elders being in all 5 rooms you will be able to contact any of us if you have any questions or need assistance at any time. In addition all of the players who are in your Core Room or Gaiscioch will be able to see your communications as well.

The Inner Workings of the Family

Getting an Invite

As we did in Guild Wars 2, our Elder Scrolls Online guild system will require users to log into Gaiscioch.com and enter their ESO ID into their profile. Additionally they can choose their origin (Guild) or allow us to automatically place them into whichever core room is up in rotation. Upon choosing their Origin and filling in the necessary information their name will be added to the to be invited list. Invites will be processed daily and you know you've been invited by a blinking notification icon found on your chat window. You can press "N" to accept the invite from your notification window.

Going AFK

On day 5 you will receive an email from the Gaiscioch.com website asking you to verify that you are still playing. By checking in on the website you will retain your primary room membership. If at any time you don't respond by day 7 you will be added to the to be removed list until you check-in again and let us know you’re still playing. You can avoid this by clicking the "Check-in" button when it appears or by claiming participation or use the marketplace. This is a simple verification *poke* to make sure your still playing and not using up a slot someone else is waiting for. We will only be removing people when necessary to bring someone else in. One comes in, one goes out. At any time you can relog into Gaiscioch.com and verify that you are still playing by clicking the Check-in button and be added to the reinvite list.

Alliance / Chat System

Once an alliance system or custom chat channel is established we will change the format and move to a 5 room system which will require all members to use the same chat channel for communication. This will serve as our primary chat channel across all guilds. It has yet to be revealed what the plan is for this system but we do have confirmation that it is being developed. For now we will do what we've been doing for the past year in Guild Wars 2.

Adding a bit of fun storytelling to our setup

With Elder Scrolls Online we thought it would be fun to bring to life the Origin's story behind the Gaiscioch of the Tuatha. Before the battle of Mag Turied the Tuatha de Danann came from 4 islands off the northwest coast of Ireland. In this chapter we have named each of our rooms after these islands. Each of these Islands had a great capital city which was home to each of the four relics of Ireland. In addition they had a Leader and a master druid.

Gaiscioch na Gorias

Upon the shores of the great city of Gorias lay a treasure of immense value. Ruled by the Tuatha de Danann Lugh Lámhfhada. Bestowed upon him was the protection of the Spear of Lugh which was said to have a mystical ability that when Lugh roared "Ibar" the spear would fly through air and strike its target without fail. Then upon yelling "Athibar" the spear would return to him. Within the city lived a druid by the name of Esras who was a master of wisdom.

Gaiscioch na Findias

Within the walls of the mighty fortress city Findias was the High King of the Tuatha De Danann, Nuada Airgetlám, who possessed the mighty Sword of Nuada. No one ever escaped from it once it was drawn from its sheath, and no one could resist it. It was said to glow like a burning torch and a mere touch upon ones skin would be a mortal wound no man could heal from. Within the citadel lived the druid Uiscias who was a master of sovereignty and war.

Gaiscioch na Falias

The most sacred of relics was kept within the walls of the mystical city of Falias. Protected by the mighty and knowledgeable Oghma, the Lia Fail which served as the Coronation Stone for the Tuatha de Danann and later all of Ireland. The great and wise druid Morfessa provided counsel to the city of Falias and was a master of art and poetry.

Gaiscioch na Murias

Upon the Island of Murias sat the mighty Dagda with his Cauldron. The Cauldron of Dagda was said to fulfill any mortals desire. No man ever walked away from it unsatisfied. It was also known to heal mortal wounds. However in the hands of a mortal the Cauldron would bring nothing but death, famine, and sorrow. The Isle of Murias was watched over by the Druid Semias who was the master of health and harvest.

The 4 great island cities migrated to the shores of Connaught after a prophecy of great destruction befell the Tuatha de Danann. The 4 mystical cities sank into the ocean never to be found again. Upon their arrival they burned their ships so that they could not return. It is on the shores of Connaught where the Tuatha would grow roots once again building a mighty army of poets, diplomats, soldiers, craftsmen, and healers known as the Gaiscioch.

The Skinny

The next month is going to be a rollercoaster. There will be high tensions, a lot of worries, and a lot of uncomfortable situations all around. Please know that this is normal and it does not last forever. This feeling will quickly subside and things will get back to normal soon enough. For those venturing into Elder Scrolls with us expect to do a lot of helping new players get acquainted.

For those in Guild Wars 2, time will only tell what the final picture looks like. It's my hope that we can continue to be a big part of Sanctum of Rall and continue what we started for the life of that server. Regardless if you’re joining us in these 2 games or not I'd like to thank all of you for calling us home at one time or another.

Slan Go Foill!
(Goodbye For Now)

Benjamin "Foghladha" Foley
Ceannard De Gaiscioch Treubh