Looking back as we move forward! Guildwars 2 officially launched on August 28th 2012. Lords of the Dead has been involved with Arena.net in aiding, testing, and development during many different stages of the game. We were lucky enough that by the time the game went live we had guides put together and posted on just about everything you could have wanted to know about. Crafting guides, Armor guides, Siege guides, class guides, arena guides, strats and builds, tutorials, etc... Our involvement in pre-launch GW2 allowed us to start with an advantage - one that we still have today thanks to the time and effort our early adopters of GW2 put in - and for that we say thank you! Early on Lords of the Dead established itself as one of the premiere PvP guilds in the game. <iframe width="640" height="360" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/XMG5VfgmsKU" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe> We had such an impact early on that LotD was picked up by ArenaJunkies to do some interviews about the state of the game and pimp LotD - so we did just that! <iframe src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/A3NBg-JmM2k" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="360" width="640"></iframe> (LotD was invited back to ArenaJunkies in February - click HERE to watch) Department Recaps and... Logistics & Crafting: Andalamar, we don't hear much from you aside from tax time, wtf are you doing other than that? In a nutshell, I organize guild resources in GW2. I'm responsible and accountable of guild money/materials/assets and while I don't manage guild upgrades, boosts and it's influence - WvW and PvE do that - it's something I could do if needed. Right now, I manage taxes, run guild events once in awhile and am currently coordinating with Evoex for guild donations to help with guild transfers. Tax collection time is also coming up fairly quickly and I'm preparing for it as well. You ran two great events last month - anything else we can expect from L&C in the future? Absolutely. More events like the ones we had are in my head for now; I plan to lay them on paper in the next few days. While PvE does an amazing job running consistent guild outings each week, I somewhat took it upon myself (with a few pushes in the back, right Sanjo?) to organize more spontaneous/spur of the moment events. I'm not going to lie though, participation keeps me going and while I was disappointed about the weeklong event's participation rate, the jumping puzzle event exceeded my expectations considering Slade stole 7-8 peeps from me that night. Other than this, L&C's duties are repetitive. I'm going to keep collecting taxes for our WvW efforts, event prizes and potential Commander icons if needed, organize the guild bank with it's items and organize events here now and then. That being said, the Deep Cave is in a need of a giant cleanup, haha. At the start, you were pretty much thrown in the wolves' den by Valor. So far is leading L&C a good experience? And what have you learned from it? From the beginning I knew that if I had to be in any department's leadership, it would have been in L&C. I am well organized in my life, in work and I felt up to the task when I was, uh, blackmailed into Leadership. My studies in electronics had gotten me used to spreadsheets, algorithms and programming and using the resources wasn't problematic. The only real problem is getting people to pay taxes! I think being in a leadership position made me a lot more forefront in my life, in the sense that I push forward when I make decisions in life rather than waiting on acknowledgement from surrounding people. I still need improvement with this and how to use it in certain situations, but it's still nice to have developed. Also, learning how to deal with people in an online environment has been quite helpful - it's not like doing face-to-face customer service (which I have done for years and still doing to an extent) as it's more difficult getting people to fill responsibilities online. Well, I haven't been in a leadership position for long and I'm still learning, but it has been very constructive so far. PvE 6 Month Recap: (AkA: how to gather better pixels than your enemy, crush them before their gates, and hear the lamentation of their women.) Who: There has been tremendous turnout over the past months for our Guild PvE nights, with 15 to 20 being the norm. All are welcome to come check it out, even if you are a stranger to dungeons or fractals or holiday event content. What: The goal is to offer a wide range of activities to keep our membership logging in to the game and having fun. When: Weekly schedule is currently set for Sunday 2pm, and Wednesday 9pm (eastern). Where: Fractals have ascended gear- get yourself up to difficulty level 10 and repeat the daily until you have your two rings. Ascalonian Caverns has PTV (Power, Toughness, Vitality) gear from the token vendor. Also the first dungeon to be reworked in the February update. Citadel of Flame path 1 can be done in less than 10 minutes if you are looking for quick gold. Sorrows Embrance path 1 was recently nerfed and is now less than 20 minutes. Tokens provide Knights Gear (Power, Toughness, Precision), ideal to mix into your kit to get crit based weapon sigils (eg Fire) to proc. Temples now have exotic PTV accessories in addition to armor, so buff up your +Karma, drink your jugs, and claim your rewards! Guild Missions are being added in the February update. Is this the first step toward more challenging raid content? Stay tuned! Why: The best gear in the game is available in PvE. Yes, we have all heard that rewards are intended to be offered through other in-game paths such as WvW. Its not in yet though. Ascended rings, amulets and back-pieces are only available through either Fractals or Daily Laurels. Get your gear and bring your best to WvW. (And you just might enjoy yourself along the way!) Personnel 6 Month Recap So Who Are You and What Do You Do? I'm Evoex, or Evo to most and I've been leading the Personnel and Public Relations (PR) departments for our Guild. For Personnel that includes recruitment, membership administration, Teamspeak 3 administration and working with the GM to develop new methods for the overall health of the Guild in regards to population. For PR that includes getting our name out there for the purposes of recruitment, announcing our accomplishments, playing down the false rumors or reports about our Guild and working with the Community to make this a better place for us to be and grow. Well That Sounds Great, Can You Tell Us A Bit More? Personnel has come a long way since release. We started with half the members we have now and a majority of that was the Guilds Core. It was easier to manage people we already knew, but as everyone knows attrition will eventually hit. It did hit pretty hard, most of the Core has moved onto other games or real life. So I had the challenge of implementing new recruitment methods and keep the membership more involved in the day to day of GW2 to move forward. Sanjo, our GM, has put more time and energy into this department then most people may be aware of. I thank him for his direction and support, he made it easier for us to do our jobs. Recruitment and the quality of players in our GW2 Chapter is at an all time high. Public Relations for a Guild of LotD's prestige has been a challenge in itself. I talk to other Guilds daily, both to spread our influence and pursue our interests. I represent us to the Blackgate War Council and have been a community leader there for a long time, always making sure our goals are achieved. I always defended the Guild from misdirection, lies and slander. At the same time I make sure people know what we are about, push for recruitment and make sure we get the credit we deserve. An example of how we have stepped up was deciding to host the Community on our TS3 to increase the communication across Guilds in Wvs3. LotD is more than well liked in our Community. We are a leading presence in all things related to Blackgate. They knew us before we got here and we'll be remembered long after we're gone. How Has Being A Part Of Leadership Affected You? On a more personal note, it's been quite a whirlwind of events since I joined the Guild for GW2. I've been a part of Leadership in other guilds in past games, but the depth of organization and attention to details in LotD was and still is an eye opener for me. This Guild really does emphasize the point of 'You get out what you put into it.' I've had an amazing time here and I look forward to growing as a person with the things I've learned from long time Guild Leadership. In closing - we've seen lows and highs and come out the other side a stronger more focused guild. Now it's time to soar to new heights as a Guild. The future looks very bright for us, hold onto your seats people. sPvP At the beginning of GW2- our chapter had a dedicated core of members who sPVP’d exclusively until the section was closed down and integrated into the overall chapter. Our leadership is excited to announce we will begin hosting one night a week as SPVP night. While optional, sPVP Night is open to all members and will be focused on increasing familiarity with arenas and arena spec builds. Eventually, we will re-establish an official team and hold try outs. We are excited about the coming changes in SPVP, and already have interest from some members to help coordinate these practices. World vs. World <iframe src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/cU8YTkMyLlM" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="360" width="640"></iframe> Who The WvW Department has continued to evolve over the past six months. Two of our three original commanders had to leave from "acts of God" EX: Hurricane/infected Appendix - thankfully one is now back permanently with the guild. Two of their protegees are current commanders and we have two more highly capable members with the commander tag. At least four nights a week LotD fields 25+ members in WvW. There is a mix of old and new members that all work together, kicking ass and taking names of the enemies we come across in the field. What WvW has become the PVP focus of the Chapter and currently we focus on Borderland maps because of skill latency issues associated with EB and the current meta. In the past we were quite active in EB and our guild flipped SM Castle the first time it was ever captured from on enemy during a Friday reset in T1 history. When Currently LotD have a huge presence during four nights a week (Friday, Saturday, Monday, and Tuesday). We have a smaller force out most other nights and let people rest, which is a benefit to a well populated server. Where LotD has played on all of the Borderlands and EB with great success. Why Because we play games to kick ass and take names. How By staying ahead of the power curve and adapting to the meta as it evolves. For example, LotD began using the Mesmer Veil long before it became the norm, allowing us to already know some of the weaknesses and counters as it became popular with other guilds. We also have members willing to spec/gear for team cohesion, which makes our combined forces more powerful in combat. The WvW leadership does not rest on the guild's WvW success and is always theory-crafting new team builds and strats. There are also exciting new changes in store for the guild's WvW organization that can be expected in the near future. Stay tuned! What’s next? I get asked this from time to time. “What are you guys working on?” The honest truth about GW2 is that it’s a difficult game to predict in 3 months or 6 months. Considering where we are now though, we’ve done a great job contemplating various problems with ingenious solutions “Hope for the best while preparing for the worst” it’s how I live my life and the driving idea behind this chapter. I Think about how the game has changed in the last 6 months, as well as our goals (personal and community) and I think back to where we were a few months ago when I stepped up as GM for GW2. I remember looking at all our spreadsheets, estranged officers, some things barely hanging on and thinking to myself “I guess I have my work cut out!” Every day when I wake up, one of the first things on my mind after Shay and the kids are you guys and this community. I have tried my very best to be aggressive, yet precise. To be fair and still remain unbiased. To think of and always put the community above all else in GW2. Our mission has always stayed the same ‘Have fun and kick ass’ Strive to be the best we possibly can and always to lead by example. I’m proud of our community, all our hard work on Blackgate and ALL our successes here in GW2. You guys have helped make this the best chapter/game I’ve ever had the pleasure of playing in... PERIOD! As always - there is work to be done and asses that need to be kicked. With that in mind, in the coming weeks and months we will be changing gears again, still on the same road but in a much bigger car that’s loaded with new options. We have been building towards this amazing milestone for some time now. Our concurrent members right now sits anywhere from 20-30 online in the afternoons to 75+ on in the evenings. We field over 40-50 players for each PvP allcall with Reset nights recorded as high as 85+ We have over 200 active players that log in daily to play.. But in order for LotD to compete successfully in T1 - we need you. Our Wv3 team has been busy gathering and creating content that will help you maximize your experiences in Wv3. New builds, strats explained, the who/what/why of gearing your character and much more. Keep your eyes on the forums for more details about everything in the coming weeks. In closing, I wanted to thank you for choosing LotD as your home in GW2. We are looking forward to what the future holds.