Hello TLP-FFXIV leaders, members, friends, and potential new members!
I hope everyone had plenty of time to enjoy the holiday season! We had a lot of people on break with the release of FFXV, holiday plans, and even the winter blues of freezing outside but rising body temperatures inside with sniffling noses. The New Year is at our doorstep. New adventures await. I personally wanted to reaffirm my commitment to continuing the growth of our chapter’s success, our leadership, and the entire FFXIV and TLP community.
Winter breaks are something that developers, guild leaders, and gamers alike deserve to refresh and reflect for the year ahead. The past year, our TLP chapter has had our own fair share of trials, learning experiences, and many success stories. With the passing of holiday breaks, blues, and joys, it is time for us to use this newsletter to learn from all we accomplished so far in 2016, and to preview our plans for the future!
As many know, our guild leadership and activities are divided into six major parts: Recruitment, Raiding, Crafting/Gathering, Estate, Community, and Online Content. This newsletter will mirror that format to organize our road map for 2017. Let’s get started!
This chapter started out with me, Lan, and a dream of what we thought could be. But like all dreams, it takes a lot before things become a reality. It was Lan’s first time ever being an officer, and my first time being a GM for TLP. My mentor and Founder of TLP, Danitsia, taught me a lot about what it takes to be a GM for the past six years. We also learned a lot together about making mistakes, forgiveness, receiving criticism, and growing from our experiences…all of which are fundamentally crucial to being an effective GM.
The first thing she taught me was the importance of solid recruitment. The best planned roadmap, the ideal setup, and solid leadership means nothing if your guild does not get members. Attrition happens in all gaming communities, but recruitment keeps bringing in new people to experience what TLP has to offer. I want to shout out to Vin and Lan who have played a paramount role in initial and recent recruitment, along with others. In the time period of one expansion, we grew from two to so many friends that I’ve lost count! Thank you all for joining TLP-FFXIV, and we always welcome back members with open arms! If you are looking for an experience like none other with the potential for life long friendships, you should apply today!
Lan will be focusing his energy on recruitment strategies for 2017. We are approaching a brand new and highly anticipated expansion, so the extra help will be of primary importance as waves of returning and new people come to the game. We’ll definitely need the help. The following are some bullet points for our strategy:
- Lan will act primarily in recruitment until we have a total of TWO active officers fully stabilized in this field.
- We will be bumping our lodestone and other online recruitment sources once a week with our guild news and recruitment needs
- We will also maintain a running list of apprenticeship needs and be recruiting both inside and outside our guild to fulfill those roles.
- Ultimately we would like to get some new apprentices to specialize with recruiting new “green leaf” players, and another for endgame players. The time commitment is about 15 minutes once or twice a week for each apprentice, but those 15 minutes goes a long way to growing our guild!
- We plan to have a new apprentice to keep our guild safe by maintaining a list of banned and unsafe players for our recruiters so we don’t mistakenly re invite trouble or drama llamas.
- We will continue our commitment to talk with each invite rather than sending out random invite spam. Our interest is to future members, not just another number.
If any of these positions sound interesting to you, please contact Lan Mandragoron and chat with him in Discord! There is no expected or required recruitment number, we just ask you spend once or twice a week looking for any guild needs or potential new guildies for no more than ten or fifteen minutes, or help us bump recruitment posts! It’s that easy!
Raiding activity is tied very closely to the quality and pacing of the actual raiding content released. FFXIV has a unique raiding system compared to other games. TLP has its primary raiding experience in more traditional raiding systems. We’ve grown, downsized, and grown again as we learned a lot about this interesting new type of raid environment. There are also new raiding features coming into the game that should drastically affect our raiding strategy in positive way.
Currently we have three raiding groups, each with their own unique approach and degree of competitive interest to help accompany a variety of raiders. One of our teams is even shooting for formal server raiding competition upon the new expansion. As our raiding leadership grows, and our current teams practice up for 4.0, we’ll open the doors for even more teams and members to partake in the adventure!
- Our primary goal is to establish TWO raiding officers. They are the easiest to “burn out”, and two officers is very important to help spread out those responsibilities so they can have a healthy gaming and real life.
- In the meantime, Xenohart will take a more forward role as raiding officer. By not being a current raid lead, there will be more time to devote to establishing the roles and duties of raid officership such that the logistical side of raiding has a smooth officer transition.
- In the first week of January, the raid team subsections on our site will be enhanced to allow raider leads/officers to update recruitment needs for each individual group, display or grey out recruitment links, and to update their current progression.
- Also in the first week of January, I will update our calendar to allow members to sort raids by specific raid teams, and enable raid leads to update initial raid even templates. This will allow members to have the option to get phone or email notifications only for their static’s raid nights rather than EVERYONE’s in the guild.
- New officers will be trained to use the calendar, keep their subsections up to date, and keep their discord tags and raid channels secure to work with the new cross server party finder capabilities. This will expand our raid recruitment possibilities beyond our own server!
- We will get raid apprentices to help maintain raid consumables, materia, and gear requests logs in their own discord channel. Communication is the key to enabling our crafters and gatherers to support our raid teams once the expansion arrives!
We have made great strides in raiding. I want to thank Reginald, Syn, and Mila for helping to establish our raid teams and leading their groups into the fray! Please keep up the good work, and remember to meet with me for any ideas, needs, or just to have someone to vent to because we know how tough raid leading can be! Also note, that starting in patch 3.5, you can recruit cross-server and establish a password to hand out to cross-server raid members to join your static for those non-FC positions!
Our Estate team is responsible for all the ins and outs of guild housing, inventory, and resources. I want to start out by thanking a former member, Hitomi, for setting the establishment that transformed into our Estate team. Not only was she our first apprentice in the guild ever, but she was also an officer that spearheaded a lot of the airship systems and training new apprentices to follow in her footsteps including Mila, who has now worked her way up to Senior Officer and still helps train our Estate team. Hitomi, we miss you and love it when you visit, but we also know your real life goals come first!
Our accomplishments were many but culminated in raising over 100+ million Gil over the course of a year, mostly through crafting workshop, selling of airship loots, gardening, and occasional donations. This year of work by the Estate team allowed our guild to move into a mansion, have it built and completely designed to be the coolest house in the district! Special thanks goes out to Syn, Mila, Half, and Sylvaria for staying up way to late finishing up our house the night we bought it! We want to continue this success because many new activities and resources are coming our way in 3.5 and 4.0!
- Continue working on guild and airship needs. We had to re-level and unlock our airships upon moving, but we preemptively had all the parts made.
- We are looking to find a Exploration Apprentice to get practice in 3.5 with the new Diadem features (I can almost guarantee they will be involved in the new relic step btw), organize airship crews to travel the sky islands for treasure, and take those lessons learned as the Forbidden Land of Eureka is released in patch 4.0.
- We are reorganizing the guild bank to match our resource needs to supply our raid and crafting teams more easily with food and other consumables. There is a major inventory expansion in 4.0 so we’ll adjust the organization as needed.
- With the new exploration system, Mila will handle the initial adventures until we have four fully stocked airships. At that time, it’ll be the best situation to get another apprentice involved in organizing the exploration system in Diadem. The plan is to have scheduled guild diadem nights to get full alliances to take on the giant boss battles as well as have an airship always on deck for random flights by guildies.
- Have the itch to decorate? Mila could use an apprentice to make sure our house always matches seasonal themes and is outfitted with the latest and greatest stuff!
Just like raiding, our teams ride the tides of content, with our activity level matching that of what is released. We went from needing to partner with other guilds to achieve our crafting goals, to where we are so decked out that we usually achieve whole patches worth of crafting content in a single night. I want to thank Half and Lan for beefing up the crafting team to what it is today. I also want to thank Falno and Yuki for picking up the reigns and I look forward to updating our crafting system to be more compatible with our variety of guild needs and all the challenges that’ll come with 3.5 and 4.0!
- We have some apprentice needs! Some of these may be fulfilled, but please let Falno or Yuki know if you are interested in any of the following apprenticeships (we can have more than one of each or several of each depending on guild needs):
- Guild Chef – will help with crafting all culinary consumables for raiding and crafting. Xeno will serve as a one of the culinary specialist in 4.0 as well.
- Guild Alchemist – same as the above but concerning potions and other alchemy consumables. In addition, Xeno will serve as one of the alchemy specialists in 4.0.
- Guild Crafting Specialist – they will help with crafting non-consumable needs for our high end raid and crafting teams gear, help advance ilvls to prep for new content competition, and participate in constructing workshop projects including making guild buffs and airship repair kits.
- Guild Gathering Specialists – they will help with gathering needs that our crafting specialists need. An updated list will be maintained on discord for all of our gatherers to know what the need at any moment. It will be organized, but easy to use and amend so you will never have to guess what things we need to gather again!
- IMPORTANT NOTE: certain officers are acting apprentices until filled and sometimes even after depending on their endgame goals outside of officership. Regardless, ALL apprentices/officers in this department will have the full resource backing of the guild to enhance their jobs and gear, from materia, to airship treasures, to crystals and more. In addition they will all receive a weekly gil stipend to support their in-game efforts, be it for the guild or enhancing themselves (amount tbd).
- Because of all the resources necessary to support these specific apprenticeships and officers and the stipend, we have additional requirements above the normal to be a crafting/gathering apprentice:
- Must have been in the guild a minimum of two months
- Must have a minimum three month subscription buffer (simply provide a screenshot of your sub time left to your officer or SO). This is paramount because we absolutely cannot invest that intensive amount of money and resources on guild members whose future in FFXIV is ambiguous.
- If you are amazing and maintaining gathering or crafting lists, we’ll have a new template up for an apprentice to modify and maintain in discord to keep requests from our Raiding and Estate teams regularly updated as well as broken down and prioritized for our gatherers and crafters! We could use an apprentice to keep these organized!
- Because of all the resources necessary to support these specific apprenticeships and officers and the stipend, we have additional requirements above the normal to be a crafting/gathering apprentice:
In a nutshell, we want to support our Raiders and Crafters more. We can work as a team to provide all their needs, and make leveling and monetary needs easy for those that are putting their efforts into maximizing our gathering and crafting specialists providing this service. We have our mansion, so we’ll put our money to good use here.
We have had some of the most creative activities lately with the guild, our server, and the TLP community. I want to thank Sylvaria for taking the lead as a community officer. Our community activities help bridge the gap between player types, helps introduce new players to each other, and gives opportunities for our hardcore gamers to sit back and relax with everyone else. Without him, we wouldn’t be as cohesive as we are.
We’ve done online card game nights, mini-games, trivia nights, Facebook contests, movie nights, and more with our community while offering great memories and great prizes too! They even surprised me with an in-game scavenger hunt that I had no idea was going to culminate in a proposal in-game and real life! You guys pulled it off without me ever knowing and I said yes! Thanks to everyone for making that evening very special and we have plans to make sure our future events have more special moments!
We have a lot to celebrate next year too, from our year 2 Free Company anniversary, to our big 20 year TLP anniversary! Please look forward to it!
- We will maintain an EVENTS/CONTESTS document in discord. They will be organized into Chapter, Server, FFXIV Community, and TLP community events and/or contests. These documents will have a summary of the events, and a procedure for pulling it off smoothly. Events are only the hardest the first time something new is done, and this will help future community apprentices and officers browse for ideas, see what worked well, what didn’t, and any improvements that were made.
- Once the above document is established, we’ll have new community apprentices take the lead in hosting their favorite type of event. The officer will then be able to take a step back and focus on developing new community events/contests while the apprentices focus on hosting events that are already set up for them in the document.
- This should give us more events per month with an ultimate goal of one available per week, and with one of each of the four types of events per month while requiring a much lower time commitment from each apprentice and community officer. If you love making sure our communities have a good time, be sure to hit Sylvaria or myself up! We’d love to keep our events/contests flowing!
Here is another area where our guild has come a long way, not just as a chapter, but as a TLP community. We consolidated all our chapter sites to one cohesive site, we have a calendar that works for all chapters, and it visually looks pretty good with a very easy to use interface for all our officers and members. We’ve consolidated all our guild manuals, resources, and knowledge into one location as well. Our founders have many plans for the site in the future, but it us up to us a as a chapter to make sure we use the website, our Discord, and our social media as a tool to enhance our communication and increase traffic.
This is the one area of the FC that we’ve had a variety of contributors but not a central officer yet outside of the time that I or Half could commit. We will continue to work on website, web content, and of course our discord optimization, but this stuff all takes the backburner while we continue to develop all aspects that actually occur within our game. Without content in the game, there would be no content for our website. With that being said, we already know we aim to flesh out our in-game leadership. Once we get raiding officers in place, that’ll give me time to spearhead this department and focus fire our Online Content apprentices and officers to become what TLP has envisioned which include the following goals:
- Finish and update our FFXIV leadership pages, with applications and ready advertisements for officer and apprentice needs.
- We’ll maintain a regularly updated guild/game news category to recap prior events/contests as well as have news blogs about live letters and other interesting FFXIV news.
- We’ll create a space for regular updates of guild media/videos in our discord and showcase media from special events/accomplishments on our site.
- We’ll get the help we need to more swiftly register people for the site and email list in a confusion-free method.
- Discord will soon have new features that’ll allow us to consolidate and organize chat and text channels. This will have a huge impact how information, news, and logistical resources will flow to our characters.
- We’ll update our TLP Facebook front page with more big news on FFXIV as well as our Twitter.
- We should be able to organize and maintain user submitted guides to our site and keep a Content channel in discord for easy searching.
- Finally we also want to get a more robust and constantly updated section on our site to get quick access to anyone streaming FFXIV. This will include providing another internet avenue to your favorite guide writers, bloggers, and streamers across the entire FFXIV community. We will be contacting such members to see how we can help them get more traffic, and make it easier to direct our members and friends to their material. They help the community, so we want to help them too.
Again our in-game leadership development must come first. Once fully fleshed out, I will be able to focus on further developing our online space where our members, visitors, and potential future guild mates may visit for information and entertainment.
The ultimate goal in this endeavor is to have an apprentice with enough website knowledge to move up the ranks to take over as a “web-content master” for our FFXIV site. Their work will not only greatly benefit our FC and the FFXIV community, but will also bring increased traffic to all other TLP activities, streamers, and chapters. Because of that potential impact, a serious contender for that senior officer level position will not only be able to have the chance to develop themselves professionally but an ingame (and possibly out of game) stipend will follow. Please keep this in mind future potential Online Content apprentices!
As you can see, we have so much to celebrate concerning our success and so much to look forward to in our future. FFXIV patch 3.5 and 4.0 is just around the corner and there are lots of new activities and adventures waiting for us Stormblood. Our success will only be able to be realized by the efforts of our leadership, and it all starts with Apprenticeship.
Apprenticeship is a way for any member of our guild to do an activity they enjoy to help push the guild that much farther forward. Most apprenticeship tasks are estimated to take no more than one hour per week, with those taking more effort receiving compensation of some sort in game. It’s also a “no obligation” position, which means your job is to help with a particular task with whatever time you can commit and no obligation to do more tasks or to advance in leadership until you want to or are ready. For those seeking leadership opportunities, apprenticeship is the first way to prove to us and yourself that you want to make that step. With it, you the training and interaction to make the move to become an officer. So please check back through our guild letter, or talk to current officers to see if any tasks above are something you’d like to help us with.
We invite all FFXIV players that are reading this newsletter to see what kinds of activities our guild plans, and what kinds of leadership opportunities we can provide for you. We accept members of all levels, and all interests. The game and the community is our passion, and as GM, I am fully committed to making sure our guild continues its focus on our community and becomes a shining beacon for what an FC can be in FFXIV for years to come. I invite you to push each other to new heights as people, as gamers, and as citizens of Eorzea.
To our members and officers, I thank you all for you have done – as leaders or as participants – in making this TLP Chapter into what it is today. The community is the only reason why I play MMOs and I couldn’t be any more proud. I will keep the memories, all my new friendships, and my adventures with me as I look forward to the many more that will come. I hope you do the same. So let us take all of those special moments with us as we push our guild to the next level for 4.0 and beyond.
To Danitsia, the founder of TLP and a dearest friend, I give great thanks for giving me the chance to rekindle the spirit of TLP between us and in a new chapter. TLP started in 1997 and I can’t wait to be a part of TLP’s 20th Anniversary as a guild next year! Isn’t that crazy!? Your work and mentor-ship has paved the way for every single thing we do. Thank you.
And finally to Lan Mandragoron, thank you for putting up with me and my mountain of goals for this chapter. Thank you for being my right hand man, both in-game and in real life. I couldn’t and wouldn’t want to do any of this without you.
From the deepest parts of my heart, thank you everyone for turning this amazing dream into a reality.
~Xeno Lockheart | GM of TLP-FFXIV
“Who we meet in this world may be the whim of the Gods. But, once met, it falls upon us to bring out the best in each other.”
– The Ceremony of Eternal Bonding FFXIV –