Seven years with Gaiscioch
By: Althea "Briseadh" Damgaard | Reads: 280
Gaiscioch is a great gaming community that has seen many changes over the years. It has always been based on how to make the community as a whole have more fun in a game. Not just our merry crew, but everyone that wants to come along. We even had enemies that loved to hate us because we gave them some fabulous battles in open PvP. Some of them even joined us in later games because they knew they would have a good time and things to do.
There has been bad and good. Any long term venture will see both. The great thing about Gaiscioch is that we have learned along the way. We are not a community for everyone, but we are open to anyone who wants to check us out. We love to be inclusive, not exclusive. Our main rule is “Daggers Out Not In.” I also love that we have credos to follow that helps us stay on an open and family friendly trajectory. As we level in the guild, which is an added perk you can utilize if you like, there are new credos to agree to. The system has worked well to allow new members to join, feel free to check us out, and move up however they want. Even the leadership system allows for learning the ropes and becoming comfortable with how we do things. All of this has expanded greatly since my first day here seven years ago.
Let’s move on to the tale of my adventures here.
The Start in Warhammer
I first heard of Gaiscioch while playing Warhammer. I loved the RvR of the game at the time and even had a few of the people in the roleplay guild I belonged to following me into the fray. I had the ability as the co-leader of our little guild to claim keeps at the time. I remember several weeks where if I had the Order keep in one of the elf zones, then Bloodmoon had the other. This rival destruction guild would always show up to fight when Gaiscioch was on the field. I doubt they knew my tiny guild became associated to Gaiscioch somewhere in the middle of this fun.
Gaiscioch always announced when they were going on the field and the warbands would start forming up. I quickly found them a great crew at organizing community sized events where all were welcome. I signed my guild up as a Tuatha guild and started being involved in their regular events. It did not take long for me to become one of the warband leaders. Many times we would be organizing five warbands at once via voice and in-game chat channels. I could be found as Briseadh, Martan, or Arthine for most of these depending on which tier we were going to fight on for the night’s event. A few times I even went out with my witch hunter and had fun as a scout rather than a warband leader.
When the roleplay server was being closed we had the choice of two servers. I moved my guild to Badlands where Gaiscioch went. My guild dissolved as most of the people would not play on a non-roleplay server. Some of us wanted to play the game regardless. I went to help co-lead another RP guild, while a friend and member of the dissolved guild had already joined Gaiscioch.
There are many great things to remember of our events and side adventures the following are only a few:
What happens when roleplayers are chilling out waiting for the defense tick on a keep to close the doors? Here is an example. Mind you, we never did this when Foghladha was leading.
I as Briseadh, who was a High Elf swordmaster, and another elf, whose name I totally forget, are standing on a low wall outside the inner keep gate chatting. Clanorton, a dwarf, walked up to the wall and said some quip about tall elves having to rub it in by standing on a wall, too. The short jokes started and the three of us were having a merry ole time in say chat. Everyone at the keep could hear us and people start joining in. All sorts of elf versus dwarf jokes abounded.
We had about three minutes, if not more, to wait for the defense tick when I say, “Oh, no! Bugman’s Brewery is under attack. Who will save the beer?”
“We can’t let that happen. Save the beer!” Clanorton charges down the hill to the outer gate of the keep that is still wide open to the enemy.
I add to the mayhem by saying, “Better help our friend or we’ll never hear the end of it.”
Next thing we know, we have an entire warband following us across the map. We have a glorious battle and immediately resume the roleplay of having a drink and cheering. We had saved the beer and the enemy had never reentered the wide open keep.
In the end, I wound up guildless on the Order side, but did not join Gaiscioch at the time. Why? I was also playing with other friends that were in Destruction on another server. When that came to a close, in part due to the way the game was taken, most of us quit the game entirely. I had no solid contacts with Gaiscioch at the time and did not log onto the website after I stopped playing the Order side.
Then Along Came Rift
It was a few months after the game was out that I jumped onboard and decided to be serious about it. I joined a guild that I was having fun in for about a month or so, when Foghladha added a new feature to what has been the ever evolving Gaiscioch website. I got a newsletter in my email. Having had so much fun with them in Warhammer, I got back to the website and reconnected. In short order, I moved over to Faeblight with a polite note to the guild I had been a member of.
I’m so glad I made the change. There were many great people to meet and many crazy events together. We invented the term crifting due to the event leader saying that by accident. It fit because we were going after crafting rifts. The antics of the group had not changed either. Now instead of looking for needles in haystacks, we were jumping off bridges and cliffs for supposed achievements or just seeing if you really could survive. Most members from this era remember ‘the bridge’. Logging into the game for the first time in four years last month, I could still find that bridge on the map.
We grew large enough that we would raid the enemy city just to see if we could do what most said was impossible, kill the enemy leaders. We did it! Over time we acquired enough members that wanted to play the opposite faction. Ground rules were set so we never had infighting. Gaiscioch is all about “blades out, not in” to the point we usually try to stay one faction in any game for the sake of no one claiming we spy, etc. In Rift, the PvP never truly happened for us to worry about it. We even made sure if we did an attack on an enemy city, the other faction pretty much stayed out of the way waiting to see what would happen. Or we would be on the chars we could take along for the fun instead.
During our time in this game we lost Oldroar, who had been one of our greatest warband leaders during Warhammer. He played with us in Rift, but was really looking forward to Guild Wars 2. Unfortunately, he passed away not long before Gaiscioch got a crew into the game testing.
I became one of the officers of the Defiant side and could usually be found on Ladasach. This lasted until just before Storm Legion came out. The game became nigh on impossible to play with my computer and network at the time. The joke for the longest time was that I had a moon network with how bad it could be. In frustration, I stopped playing at all.
On to Guild Wars 2
I was already a full time beta tester for this game, so I threw a lot of effort of learning the game better and helping Gaiscioch setup the website, including the marketplace where we could order gear and items from each other. We had something similar for Rift, but everything had to be reprogrammed by Foghladha to make it match the game’s crafting setup. I stepped into this game as an Elder of the Gaiscioch Community.
Here is where a gaming company really impressed me. They learned about Oldroar, who had passed away before the game came out. The Sanctum of Rall server was created in his memory. They also added an NPC you could talk to in the Black Citadel about the history of Oldroar. He had always wanted to play a Charr. When they finally added guild halls, a memorial area was created and he got a spot with three other of our fallen. It’s sad to see players pass away, but like any family we made sure their memories would not die.
Gaiscioch was the only thing that kept me in this game so long. I had the “Been There Done That” title on a level 80 in seven weeks. Part of how this happened so fast is I knew the game due to testing it so much, especially the last two months before it launched. I also had too much time on my hands while trying to figure out life due to being disabled by multiple sclerosis.
The game mechanics of letting any level play together made gaming with each other far easier. Many great events in PvE and WvW still continue weekly. I recently rejoined the game this summer and go to a few events each month based on life and if I’m not busy with another game.
Another game we wanted to try came on the scene and I started testing that one.
Elder Scrolls Online
I love this game and played it regularly for two years until it also became repetitious to me. I still have it on my computer and have done some things on the play test server in the earlier parts of this year, mostly for magazine articles. I’m glad they added One Tamriel so that on the PvE side of things all factions can play with each other and be leveled to the zone they are in much like Guild Wars 2 PvE. We shall see how this helps the game.
I was also an Elder for Gaiscioch in this game. I led a few events and have to admit the first few months made me wonder if I could even play the game with a lot of people. I would go into AvA and lag so bad I could barely get back out to a PvE zone. By the end of the summer things got better as my little telephone company replaced the DSL copper backbone with fiber. A month later I had fiber in my house, while still living in the boonies. I’m thirteen miles from the telephone company office in a township of a few hundred people total. We don’t even have a stop light in our little village three miles from my home, and a cell phone still won’t work at my house, so I got lucky by being located close to the rural hub.
Thanks to this great addition to my life, I was able to play the game quite well and finally got into AvA. By this time, however, a lot of people had left the game due to issues with the game itself that probably also added to the lag my bad network had added. Fixes did come, but not in a way to revive what we had at the start.
Also, we started out so big we had to be in three guilds and there was no in game mechanic for alliances or a private channel so we could talk in game. Sure we had voice chat, but not everyone wanted to be in it all the time. In Rift, we had no size issues on the guilds and used a private channel. In Warhammer, we had both an alliance setup and private channel ability. That private channel is how I could keep my Tuatha guild in the loop with Gaiscioch when not in voice chat. So it was like we had three guilds because if you moved to another guild, it was like you had to make friends all over again with how large we were.
However, a core remains that has truly loved the game and has the hopes that One Tamriel will breathe new life into it. I have yet to have the time to log on and see what One Tamriel is like.
The Advent of Social Adventures
Gaiscioch has always been about family values and atmosphere. Not everyone is going to like a game we move to. Not everyone is going to be happy with how one game may end when another begins. We have learned a lot from both great and bad things. It’s the ability to learn and change with how we handle games and move from one to another that has kept us going.
It has taken time, but with Social Adventures as a part of the community, we have a new way to play together and make note of our adventures. Ever since Warhammer, we have had a participation and leadership setup that you could chose to use if you like. This allowed you to rank up in the family and learn how to lead if you so chose. Now if we have four or more Gaiscioch playing in any game, we can claim it and gain social points. The points give you levels for the social gaming, but also the game gets leveled as events are posted and claimed. It has been a great tracking tool of where we are playing outside our chapters and legacy chapters.
I went to Black Desert Online to be the elder leading the social adventure there. This was both a fun and bad adventure for me. For one, the game is very demanding on the guild leader in the operation of a guild. Two, the guild limit was 100. We had the issue of having too many people wanting into the guild even with a 7-day inactivity period. Different things were tried, but in the end I “fried” plus my multiple sclerosis decided to relapse. It was not pretty and I had trouble handling things properly. I quit leading knowing it was better in the long run for everyone.
We still have a guild of people there, but for those of us who love node wars, we merged into another guild who had Tuatha ties with us through a prior game. This has gone well and we have had some great adventures. I’m still wondering how the guild leader hasn’t lost her mind yet, considering what was added to the mix of the game since I stepped down. Node wars, bidding on a guild house you get to keep for two weeks, and guild crafting have added to the mix of guild organization with many things only the leader can kick off. I find it hard enough to organize just my personal stuff in this highly integrated game.
Social Adventures have allowed us to keep Gaiscioch members together in whatever game they wanted to play from WoW, Black Desert Online, Life is Feudal , Warframe, Ogres Must Die and a virtual table top of 5th Edition Dungeons and Dragons to name a few.
We Have a Magazine
Besides the gaming, we started a magazine, obviously. I love to write so have been on board with this project from the start at various levels. I’m now a senior editor. It’s all volunteer work and sometimes I wonder if we can pull it off, but this is Issue 11 and it’s been three years since we started. We not only talk about games, but the people behind the games, whether players or game developers. Gaiscioch is always about community and that is what our magazine is about.
This year we acquired press passes to PAX West and GamesCon as the most recent. We’ve been offered them to other events, but this takes people using their money and time to at least get there to use the press pass. Who knows where this will lead in the future as our team evolves. Even with my disability I would love to be able to go to PAX East or other northeastern events. Life in general has not helped make this happen even if I wasn’t disabled.
You will find us covering games, events, Cosplay, life, fiction and inspiration in this magazine for some time to come. I know I don’t plan on going anywhere even if I wind up doing way less on some issues due to life. Working on this magazine has helped lead to some rather interesting opportunities in the past year, not only for me, but other members of our team.
I have no idea where the future will lead us. What games will we play? What will be in our next magazine issue? How large will our audience be for our live game streams? How will the community continue to evolve? Stick around for the ride of your life. We’ll be sure to have bumps, loops, and U-turns, but I don’t expect a stop. No matter what happens we learn, we grow, we adapt. We aren’t perfect, but we know how to be a family and have crazy adventures together, cliff and bridge diving included.
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About the Author
Althea "Briseadh" Damgaard
Althea joined Gaiscioch back in October of 2009 and has been here ever since with only a few month hiatus between Warhammer and Rift. As soon as she knew they were in Rift, she jumped ship to Faeblight and has followed them onward through every chapter since with a few side games thrown in for spice.
She has been an avid player of RPG style games since 1980 when she first played Dungeons and Dragons. Since then she has created her own tabletop gaming world used with various rule sets as D&D progressed. Once she could get online she played MUDs. Her MMO days started with Everquest and have moved through over a dozen games with some lasting only a month's time in her life and others going for years. She has tested several games from the perspective of a disabled gamer with hand issues due to her multiple sclerosis.
When not playing games she can be found writing, reading, and painting. She is even adding woodburning this year as another artistic outlet to go in conjunction with her husband's wood carving. The hope is that the painting, woodburning, and wood carving turn into a fun little business to be enjoyed.
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