Team Report: March 2019

Shaman a posted Mar 1, 19

More Guild Plot to come

Many people have had fun with our current guild plot involving the mysterious, giant Branded griffon that has been harrassing Pact members in Thunderhead Peaks.  The whole guild has benefited from the team being organised and communicating well behind the scenes, which has resulted in all of us having a good idea where this story is going, and what various characters have done to influence the flow of the tale.  It isn't a railroad story, and I'm pleased to say that the actions and thoughts of certain characters has had a positive outcome in a lot of ways.  While it's nice people are getting involved, I'd like to do more though as I know that there are some people who are yet to join in that may want to be.  Some of our members will be content just doing their own thing, which is perfectly fine; it's far from mandatory to get involved but if there are people that would like to get stuck in but are yet to do so, please get in touch with myself or any member of the team and we'll try to help.

Act I has now been wrapped up.  This involved a job from the Pact to hunt down what they believed to be a Branded Griffon that was killing their members.  Thanks to the dligence of several individual league members, it was realised that perhaps this isn't simply a Branded creature after all.  A hunt was lead to capture the beast, and it's now comfortably restrained in the mine at the guild's canyon.  Lyla has sought counsel from those around her as she has weighed up the options.  Returning the bounty to the Pact would put the league in good stead with the organisation and significantly boost the league's struggling treasury, but they would be doing so in the knowledge the griffon was hunting those involved with a clandestine smuggling ring selling off Pact assets to the highest bidder.

Act II will take place throughout March, and will involve various different efforts across the guild to identify this group, bring them to justice and hopefully save a little face with the Pact.  Please keep your eyes on the Announcements channel in Discord for more details over the coming month; we have a bit of planning to do first but we'll be happy to push onto the next stage as soon as we're ready.

Those Arenanet Cuts

This was was very sad news for us, but far worse for the employees of Arenanet that have had to say farewell to some of the colleagues they've worked with for years.  I imagine this will not only have a negative affect on their workload, but morale must also be in the toilet for them right now.

I'm trying to take away some positives though.

• All of the comments made by official staff have indicated that these cuts will largely affect 'future unnannounced projects' and not Guild Wars 2.

• Guid Wars 2 is making NCsoft money.  They want Arenanet to focus on the thing that is earning, and not the untested ideas they were seemingly throwing a lot of effort into.

• This might actually force them to focus on the things that the fans do want and therefore, will pay for.

For reference, there's a good reddit post here which is speculation and conjecture, but it does so with a fair and I think optimistic air.  We also have a post from the GW2 Game Director Mike Zadorojny on the main forums here.

The good news is that GW2 is here to stay, and TALE very much intends to continue being part of it.

Our New folks

We've had a ton of new people in lately, which is great news.  I'd like to give you a warm welcome from the entire team, and invite you all to take advantage of our introduction events.  These personalised events require a little initiative from you (you need to make a character sheet and then tell us what event you'd like) but they're a great way to get familiar with the guild, its common practices and some of its fun acitivities.  Please take up the offer if you feel you'd benefit from it.

Character sheet updates

The main reason that I haven't been running a large number of roleplay events in the last few weeks is that a considerable portion of my time has gone into making some welcome changes to the TALE character sheet.  Details on our custom story system can be found here and it's from this page that you can follow a link to our new Dice Affects feature.  After having several long conversation with Talmora she and I sat down and considered ways for people to react to the dice, so that our story telling sessions involved a little more than just saying 'well the dice hate me today, your go'.  I believe we now have a few fun ways for players to be proactive about the rolls they really want to pass, and there's also a few ways for storytellers to spruce up a player (or monster's) rolls in the name of dramatics.  So far feedback has been positive and I'm pleased to see people using the system.  I recommend people to update to the current character sheet version (8.22) in order to take advantage of these and other features.  If anyone has problems filling in the sheet, please speak to any member of the team and they will happily help you.

That's all from me for now!  See you in Tyria!

Team Report: February 2019

Shaman a posted Feb 2, 19

A fantastic month for TALE

The new episode came - it was amazing - and many of us enjoyed it.  The stand out highlight of this month however, has been how much roleplay has been going on between characters after the dust has settled.  I've had great fun driving my own stories during this time and witnessing the stories of others.  I've seen player plots applenty and even managed to be involved in some of them.  I've seen some great initiative from players new and old, and I honestly can't remember a time that the guild has felt as alive as it has now.  So, to start with I'd like to throw out a blanket thank you to everyone, before I reflect on some of our wins.

The guild's camp in Thunderhead

In hindsight this has been a very good idea; a simply stated new RP location that helped many of us feel like we were really involved in the events of the Living World.  Not only has it given us a different and fresh locaton for that hang out 'tavern' RP, but it's provided a spring board into other events both in-game and in Discord.  We will definitely be finding interesting and dynamic ways to weave the Living Story's events into the guild's story in this way with future releases.  The only 'negative' has been the location, thanks to the Branded raids popping up, though I'm sure we've all enjoyed the extra karma generated.

Our Discord activity

Many months ago the Leadership Team took the decision to make Discord sign-up a requirement for our members.  The positive side of this is a whole new way in which our members can interact and share stories.  It has become a dynamic 'forum' almost of itself, with multiple channels that support a range of different communicaton needs.  The sheer amount of roleplay that has been either conducted entirely, or aided using Discord is staggering this month.  The most joyous part for me is that I've had to do very little prodding here; it's initiatives that players have decided to do off their own backs, with their own story ideas.

The screenshot channel has been a source of delight for many, so that's here to stay.  The beautiful captures of our characters out doing their thing really highlights some of the awesome inter-character relationships that have been forming out there in very encouraging ways.

I'd like to extend the community's thanks to three people in-particular who have made noteworthy efforts this month; Neiu, Vanaliel and Minty.  You have all gone to enormous lengths to form fun-filled story based events for people, both in game and through long Discord roleplay sessions.  If roleplay begets roleplay, then you've all made significant contributions towards encouraging others to get stuck in with their ideas over the coming months.  I'd also like to throw a thank you Jill's way for including me in her first foray into dice roll assisted RP events.  It was fun to play out and I'm looking forward to seeing where Zola's story goes. 

Team restructuring

The overhaul of the team structure and the rewriting of the 'What is TALE' thread on our forums were both big projects for me this month, that I've had to squeeze in around inviting new members in and enjoying my own personal roleplays.  I have received positive feedback from a number of sources, saying that the gap has been nicely bridged between IC and OOC roles, and that the league's structure and purpose is now a little more defined.  I think there's still positive improvements that we can make here, and I will be continuing to look at ways the league's 'work' can be put into a tangible metric so that members have an active list of things to do if inspiration's lacking.

I've been really happy with the decision to put Lyla at the head of the spear; I like to play her as a shrewd yet personable character with a genuinely good heart.  As a close personal friend of Gerrard's she has been with the league since it's creation and she very much cares for the guild's wellbeing.  I think she's doing an okay job so far, but the ultimate judges of that will continue to be you guys. <3

Guild Hall Decoratons

Lastly, I'd like to offer an enormous personal thank you to Talmora for (being my treasured RP partner and) decorating the league's canyon so beautifully with the new decorations.  Our Hall is easilly the most gorgeous looking one I know, and Talmora is entirely responsible for this.

Tal, we are better for having you with us and I am extremely grateful for all of the effort you put in.

Team Report: January 2019

Shaman a posted Jan 2, 19

TALE is back!

After much back and forth with Arenanet's support teams, we've managed to secure something similar to our old guild name, witht he old tag.  I know this is welcome news for many on an OOC level, but I wanted to go into what this means on an IC level.

Lyla Carrick (my second ever character after Gerrard) has taken over the leadership position, which is something I aim to keep in place for the forseeable future.  I personally feel she is a warm and personable character, with a good and reasonable approach to things.  She can be both friendly and firm, and I think the league will benefit from her personality and direction.

The New Living Story

I'm not going to stress too much about any kind of 'guild plot' this month.  The new Living Story episode hits, which should give us plenty to do, both in terms of the actual content and our own RP events done on the outskirts of the story's major events.  Please consider the Living Story to be the epicentre of the world changing events that take place; there is plenty of room for creative interpretation of other knock on effects for many weeks to come.

Team placements

I could still do with some help here.  I'm going to be making some recruitment drives come the Living Story release, so having team members to help with processing new applicants and doing our introduction events would be a great help.  Please get in touch if you're interested.

Guild 'jobs' and tasks

I'm still considering the best approach for a casual, easy to pick up way of inidicating the kind of jobs that TALE might have to help offset its costs.  My difficulty there is coming up with something that is firstly sustainable (it has to be low intensiity with regards to work loads) and secondly, something that people are actually going to use and benefit from.

What would it take for you to get involved in a guild activity?  What can the leadership team do to help with that?  If you have ideas, please approach me and I'll consider how viable it is.

I will continue to ponder the problem myself, and endeavour to get something in place as soon as possible. 

As usual, if there are any questions or feedback my door's always open. 

Team Report: December 2018

Shaman a posted Nov 30, 18

December 2018 Guild Report

This month's entry will be light on big objectives, as December is often as extremely busy time for most people.  I'll try to give a bit of insight into some behind the scenes positives, and some areas we'd still like to work on.

Guild Plot and Story. This one is left over from last month.  Sadly I didn't get the time and focus myself to push this through in a meaningful way.  I've also had trouble getting to a spot with the team where we feel we can comfortably push a system forward that doesn't rely on the time and motivation of a select few.

Fundamentally, my issue is that TAC as a guild isn't ever really going to be involved in dramatics on such a grand scale that it would warrant a unified and coordinated guild effort.  Such plots are an enormous drain on the people that organise them.  In the past I personally have tried to do that, but there are admin duties that I and I alone can do with our current setup, which soaks up my time.  When I consider those duties and my own personal RP plots, there simply isn't enough hours in the day for me to drive that kind of plot, and I don't consider it to be a flaw in the guild's design that I cannot.  The stories that are told in the guild are something we should all be contributing to.

Some of my thoughts from the Team's Discord channel:-

I've been considering something fundamental about the guild, and guild plots in general. Are you guys okay with the guild itself being fairly boring in terms of what it does? What I mean by that is that its day to day shit is typically going to be your little adventures , with an occasional big push on something significant like a raid on a high end base of enemy operations. The real valuable and poignant stories come from the characters within the guild, rather than the guild itself. I also really can't propose a system where I or anyone else feels obligated to run stories for characters or situations that just do not inspire me. I can't see how that would ever work when my time (and the time of others) is so hard won.
I'd like to propose a thing where we say 'hey this is a bunch of jobs the guild has' but heavily encourage people to use these jobs to make friends on their characters. From there you can then explore all sorts of other ways to explore more inter-character personal stories that are relevant on a personal level to the characters in question.
That's the basics of what I have at the moment, and throughout December I will try to get more nailed down after discussing things further with the team.  If there are any players that would like to be involved in these development discussions, please get in touch with me.
New people! So many new people. I'm really pleased with the both the number and the calbre of the new folks we have invited into TAC.  It is my sincere hope that you find TAC to be a rewarding and welcoming guild, as well as a place where you can tell stories with your friends and guild mates.
Character Sheet changes. Our Discord now has the Sidekick bot installed.  I will be adding some formulas to the character sheet's dice roller so that skills and attacks can easilly be copied into Discord.  I imagine this will be used more during smaller, ad hoc RP events and introduction events in-game.
Introduction events are live.  These are intended to serve as a personalised ice breaker between our new players and the team.  They can be anything you like!  Please see this thread for more information on how to request one of these events.  My hope is that these will plant positive seeds between members and pave the way for more stories to be told in future.
Forum updates.  This one's for me to do; I need to tidy up old threads, repair broken links, streamline the navigation between various sub forums and also check a lot of our threads are relevant and up to date.  
New team members.  To be frank, I need some help with applications.  I think anyone's who's been paying attention to Discord has seen that I have been picking up a lot of applications lately, which is not a burden I wish to bear on my own.  If you'd like to help with the important task of inviting new members into the guild, please get in touch with me via Discord.
That's all for now!  As always please bring any issues at all to me.  Have fun out there.