Monday, February 16, 2009

State of the CoS Union - First Six Weeks of 2009

Dear Guildies,

Many exciting changes have happened in the six short weeks since the New Year began, and I wanted to take a moment to outline a few of them, as well as to thank you, always, for your time and contributions to the guild! You all are what makes being a member of Circle of Shadows great!

1. Membership

At the end of the first week of January, I performed a guild purge to remove most mains and alts that had not been on the game for 180 days or more (90 days longer than our previous policy had stated.) While I kept a few old friends that I knew would be back someday (Kushi, Josua, Wylder) and purged some alts where I wasn't wholly sure (again, sorry Wylder!), by the time I finished, the guild retained 37 distinct accounts. However, through your amazing recruiting efforts, keeping your recruiter flag on, and grouping with unguilded folks, our membership has almost doubled to house 66 distinct accounts!!

We have also proven this month that CoS is not about gathering members and letting them languish on their own. Of these 66 accounts, easily 10 of these folks are on online at peak times of the evening, sometimes stretching a rolling count closer to 13. This is a huge achievement for a small guild. In fact, larger guilds like League of the Extraordinary have 15-20 people on at a time, and also have 323 distinct accounts. If you do straight math on this, that means that 4% of their membership is on at any random given time, while ours is more like 19%. That's what keeps people coming back for more and I have no doubt that this number will only continue to grow.

2. Exploration Events

We did two major events in January and just this last weekend and both times were very successful. The EEs are opportunities for high-level players that might have missed AA in a zone to group with lower-level friends and help them to grow through mentoring exp. Kaledin and Mindor have been champions of these events and have done an outstanding job. The first event took members through the Wailing Caves of Commonlands and Fallen Gate (20s), and the most recent one last weekend explored Deathfist Citadel and its quests (40s). Plans are in place to explore Acadechism next weekend and to feature a new "tier" every week to ensure that various zones throughout Norrath are covered. The best thing about these events is that it's fostering a spirit of teamwork between high and lower-level players and only serves to make our guild even stronger.

3. New Services in Guild Hall

Our Guild Hall is also growing by leaps and bounds. Throughout these six weeks, we have obtained new crafting stations, a mender whose costs are covered 10% by guild escrow, new furniture and accessories, a new materials depot, and so much more. Many people have noted that the Guild Hall is the most convenient way to buy, sell, mend, and get back to adventuring, all of which is very cool.

4. Treasury

One of the greatest signs of growth and giving is in our Treasury. There are two places where people can see where we are slowly prospering. One is in the Guild Hall's escrow, which has many millions of status points and about 27 platinum (2p in upkeep) to keep us going for many weeks.

However, in addition, Guild Bank #4, "The Bling" is our liquid account, boasting more than 17 platinum in there to assist with whatever guild members' dreams and needs may come. The Treasury had been liquidated when the previous GL decided that we needed new guild cloaks and was practically empty when we started the new year. The best way that we have kept this Treasury full is through the sales of lower-tier rare crafting items. Any rares over a stack of 10 in the Depot will be sold for fair market value and revenues from those sales will be placed in The Bling. I have attempted to spread the monies out a bit between banks, just in case our tradeskillers need a little loan as they craft, and all proceeds from foods and books that we sell are placed into Banks #2 and 3, respectively.

5. New Officer and Shadow Touched Partnerships

One of the best things about the guild lately has been the great partnership between our new officer panel (Shadowblood) and the highest player rank available, The Shadow Touched. Many of these fine people have paid close attention to the needs of players as a whole and assisted in obtaining armours, weapons, jewelry, new spells, new foods ... anything at all that can make their lives easier. Still others have jumped into action to teach people new zones and tactics (body pulling, fair looting, targeting through tank, etc). Finally, the tradeskill artists among this group have also made available great items in the bank for guildies to try, and the response has been outstanding. This is exactly what Officers and High Ranking Players should do to keep us growing and progressing.

6. Atittude

Lastly, I feel that the "friendly, casual but skilled" attitude of the Guild is returning to its former sunny disposition. When people log on, everyone tends to say hello to the new arrival; the same happens when a player announces his or her departure. When players achieve great new accomplishments in loot, status, rank, and adventure and crafting levels, the guild is there to cheer them on every time.

Again, while many here may take it for granted that supporting its members is what a guild is "supposed to do", I have heard many stories over the years that other guilds simply do not deliver this level of consideration to their members. This is an amazing compliment to us!

I believe it is important for us to continue this tradition, as caring for each other is one of the few things that will set us apart from many guilds on the server. In a game where people can choose to join a raiding guild for the choicest fabled loot, admittedly, CoS is at a slight disadvantage. However, when we compare the attitudes of guildies in such places with the friendly disposition of CoS, it is no wonder why people stay and choose to do pickup-grouping and raiding for the opportunity to snag the loot. This is again due to you and your care for your fellow guildies that makes us special and help people call us 'home'. Thank you!

I cannot express my pride and happiness at putting the remnants of the lost Circle of Shadows back together; thank you so much as always for everything that you have done, do now, and of course, will do as we move forward.

Darkly yours,

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