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Posted a note on the forums.  Guild bank is severely over crowded at the moment.  Please take a second when you are available to sift through the goods and see if any of it is usable by you.  Our guild is just too generous at times... and we are a long ways off from the 1500 plat 3rd bank tab :)

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Started a thread on the forums to figure out what roles folks are comfortable filling and on which characters.  Additionally trying to find out which of our level 60 characters are "elite ready" in that you have the requisite 300 in your primary state to queue for an elite.

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I shared this publicly, but wanted to post it in the community too. Apparently you can't do both on Google+.

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Went out at lunch and had Chinese at a new place to me.  Got this as my fortune.  Maybe this is a good sign about the whole creating an official House Stalwart guild in Rift.  Right now we are 15 votes for Option 3, 1 for Option 2 and zero for staying where we are.  So unless things change massively over the next day or so... it looks like Stalwart rides again in Rift.
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I just sent this out in email form... but I thought I would post it here as well in case anyone sees this before email...

COPYPASTA!!!

If you are receiving this email it means you have either been a part of House Stalwart at one part or another, and showed interest in Rift.  There are a few folks that I simply think are awesome and would love to get them involved in the Rift madness as well.  If you have zero interest in Rift or Stalwart either one...  please feel free to ignore this :)

Currently myself and the largest contingency of Stalwart folks are on Deepwood in the Outcast Misfits guild.  They are nice enough folks, but while they have policies regarding guild chat... they do not have any policies regarding character names.  So while most of the folks are really nice... there are a handful of folks like “Labiator” and “Vulvanator” that have some relatively offensive character names.  Additionally some of the folks are a bit rough around the edges... and tend to treat guild chat like a text message.

So over time I have begun questioning as to whether or not that is really the ideal place for us.  How I ended up there is a fairly contorted tale.  I will try and give a quick as possible rundown.  Essentially the server that we played on initially... no longer exists... or at least it no longer exists in the form of anything but a trial account server.  As such there are no remnants of Eye of the Manastorm, the guild we all played under.  Over the last couple of years I have pretty much hopped around from pool of friends to another playing the game.

I followed Liore and the Machiavellis Cats to Deepwood.  I was skeptical at first because Deepwood is not a Roleplaying server and I have always in the past chosen to play online on RP servers, because the general chat and grouping options tended to be more palatable.  The Cats however are awesome folks... and it was worth the jump.  Sadly after the release of GW2... that guild pretty much died overnight.  We went from being able to raid to not even being able to 5 man.

Liore brokered an alliance with Alea Iacta Est the guild attached to the Instance podcast, and we all were inducted into the Rift chapter.  This was fine and dandy for awhile... but again they suffered a massive loss of membership and we reached a point where there was never an officer on to do an invite.  Additionally the invite and application process was super painful to deal with on a regular basis.  I followed my friend Plasmodia over to Outcast Misfits when she jumped.

Essentially I am wanting to get your feedback before I make a decision.  There is no point in moving if my friends do not want to do it.  Right now I see three paths before us.

1) - Stay With Outcast Misfits on Deepwood

Right now this is the least palatable of the options for me... but it is completely a viable one.  Basically I have stuck with the Misfits because they are a massively large guild.  There is always someone around in guild chat.  The negative however is they don’t really offer much help to someone under level 60.  They do a lot of grouping, dungeons, rifts and raids... but they are all targeting the maximum level player...  which very few of us actually are.
Additionally there is the whole “rough around the edges” and not “RP friendly” aspect of the guild that sticks in my craw.  Tett the leader has always been friendly, and the people are nice enough when you engage them.  However there is also a lot of crickets when someone tries to engage people in conversation.  They do have regular active raids... but they divide people up into Raiders and Everyone else... and the raiders always get priority for everything.  This is functionally needed to maintain a stable raid, but I don’t like anything that sets up “haves and have nots”.

They do however regularly need to fill the raid, and it is a first come first served fashion from the rest of the guild.  There is a lot of option for filling in every now and then.  Additionally several times per night someone is calling out to guild for grouping.  However it is highly unlikely you will ever be able to get any action if you are under the cap.  They enforce strict requirements for dungeons... so to do elites you have to have 300 hit cap etc.

2) - Move to Faeblight and join Silent Strike

Faeblight is the server that everyone seems to have a character on.  The vast majority of the people that would be nice to play with that I know... are on Faeblight.  I rolled a character on a whim over there the other day to have something to play while I was on high latency internet in my hotel room.  I bumped into the folks from Silent Strike.

For those who are not familiar with the history... back in Vanilla WoW and some of Burning Crusade...  Silent Strike and House Stalwart were allied.  We regularly ran minor raids and lots and lots of dungeoneering with the folks.  They are really good people and were always compatible with the House Stalwart ideal.  The only problem is... they got more casual and we got more serious.. and over time we just drifted apart as guilds.  I was still social with most of the membership, and a lot of them joined the Stalwart channels... occasionally filling in for a Duranub raid slot.

However to the vast majority of you... these folks will be complete strangers.  Additionally only a handful of the WoW Silent Strike folks are still around.  There is essentially 5 or 6 and then the rest of the Rift guild has been filled through people they met in game.  They do grouping and various rifts as a guild, but are part of a Duranub like raiding alliance called the HammerStrike Clan.  I’ve been in their server channel for a bit now and they all seem like nice folks.  Additionally they pug in replacements regularly to fill the raids, and have seemingly been pretty successful.  They have cleared the first raid of Storm Legion and are working on the second.

I’ve talked to Elowynn/Saleny and we would be welcomed with open arms to their guild, if we so chose to join.  It has been enjoyable hanging out there on Baby Bel... and there is a chorus of welcomes when I log in and some of the old timers are around.  I gotta admit it has been nostalgic.  My only fear is... would we be a guild within a guild like we always seem to be when we join someone elses guild.

For more info about Silent Strike check out their website.  http://www.silent-strike.org/

3)  Move to Faeblight and create true Stalwart guild

The third option as I see it... is to still move to Faeblight but instead form a House Stalwart chapter there.  We would be able to draw upon the resources on the server... as I know several different pools of disconnected players... and potentially even broker us joining the HammerStrike Clan raid alliance for bigger stuff.  Additionally we would have a sense of ownership in the guild like we likely would not elsewhere.

This option is more effort and has less gain immediately.  We would be starting over leveling a guild from square one.  However guild leveling tends to go relatively quickly.  I am more than willing to go down this path if this is the one that makes people most comfortable.  Personally I lean towards either options 2 or 3.  I feel like the move to Faeblight would be good all around.  We can still coordinate with people from other servers via the Stalwart@Deepwood server channel, but we would actually have a real home base that we felt was ours.

The Decision

Essentially I need your help in figuring out what path to take.  Of the three paths laid out before us... what is your choice?  I just want to do the thing that is best for the majority of our people.  If you are receiving this email.. and you have not really been active in Rift... now is the perfect time to get active.  Rift is my home base for at least as long as it takes Elder Scrolls Online to be released.  After that I feel I will likely still be playing Rift, because it is the best of the wow-like games... and I still feel a draw to that gameplay style.  Recently I did a series of posts including my MMO must haves... and after writing them... the only game that meets almost all of them is Rift.  I would really like to get Stalwart organized and active in the game.

I’ve BCCd all of you into the email, so that you can reply your thoughts to me privately.  I will wait a bit for emails to come in and then finally announce the direction the majority of us want to take.

So, +Jason Griffith got me to do some Instant Adventuring last night (don't know why I had been so intimidated about it? maybe thought it would be like pugging?) and while I have plans to visit with my mom for most of the evening, I might be up for a bout of IA before bed. Anyone else interested? We can do IA cross-shard right?

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So it seems like there is a possibility Blizzard will put Real Money in to WoW. Not that this is definite, just that they are "exploring their options".

http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2013/07/08/blizzard-testing-real-money-shop-for-world-of-warcraft

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As some of you may know on June 12th Rift went free to play, meaning that any player can download the game and play essentially for free.  There are various bits, baubles and the storm legion classes that have to be bought to unlock but by far this is probably the most equitable and least "paywall" free to play system I have experienced.  I have a blog post that outlines the features if anyone is interested (http://aggronaut.com/2013/06/13/f2p-done-right/).

Currently there are a handful of us actively playing Rift, and we have enough of a mass that I thought we should start trying to do some organizing.  Rift has an extremely awesome mentoring system that lets players drop their level down to match younger players so you can continue to do things together.

For more information about this plan check out this forum thread (http://wow.tulsagamers.com/index.php?topic=2811.0).

For players just now returning and have not been playing since release... I have a blog post outlining all the major changes (http://aggronaut.com/2013/06/14/telara-tourism-council/).

If you are interested in participating /join Stalwart@Deepwood server channel.  We will be using it for organizational purposes.

Essentially I plan on being available Monday and Wednesday Night from 8pm EDT to 12am EDT for whatever happens to fit the group size we have...  some options

-- 20 Man Raids - Require 20 well geared players
-- 10 Man Raids - Require 10 well geared players
-- Elite Dungeon - Require 5 Max Level fairly well geared players
-- Dungeons - Require 5 players gear level completely open
-- Chronciles - Require 2 players gear level varies - These are essentially 2 man raids, see all the storyline.
-- Crafting Rifts - Variable group size, special crafting rift lure awards high level crafting mats
-- Hunts/Greater Hunts - Variable group size, special hunt rift lure opens up a hunt leading up to a boss fight
-- Elite Rifts - Variable group size, special elite lure opens a dungeon like open world rift encounter
-- Raid Rifts - Variable group size, special raid lure opens a raid like open world rift encounter
-- Instant Adventures - Variable group size, over world objective based event, has cool mini bosses every so often
-- Rifts and Zone Events - Variable group size, essentially rifts and zone events form all over the world all the time.
-- Conquest - Variable group size... 3 faction pvp system, similar to DAoC frontiers and feels like Alterac Valley.
-- Scenarios - Variable group size... these are essentially like WoW Battlegrounds.  Not big on PVP but willing to try.
 

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Fascinating opinion piece about the Red Wedding in the Game of Thrones TV series.

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These are days and nights
of venom and blood.
Heroes will rise
as the anchors fall.
Brave the strife, 
reclaim every soul...  
That belongs to 
the beautify of dawn.

The chorus to the new Malukah song for Elder Scrolls Online is so amazing and evocative! :)
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