Greetings friends! My name is Seraphina “Celestrata” Brennan and I’m the Senior Community Manager here on ArcheAge. (If you don’t know that by now, you should totally drop by the forums or livestream sometime and hang out with us. Don’t be a stranger!)
It’s been 9 months since I started here at Trion Worlds. Sure, that’s not a huge amount of time, but we have had a HUGE amount of updates in that short span. We’ve awakened the Heroes (Update 2.0), heard the Bloodsong (Update 2.5), welcomed the Winter Maiden, played with Pawesome Autumn Pets, ate awkward amounts of candy during Hallowtide, rode the waves of the Rum Runner Rapids, added a new security suite to protect the game, and, and… Well I think you get my point by now. It’s been BUSY to say the least.
In keeping up the trend of new things, I want to start a new tradition for us here on ArcheAge. All of you are quite accustomed to seeing letters written by our esteemed Senior Producer, Merv Lee Kwai, but we haven’t yet taken the time to write a letter detailing what’s happening in our player community. We have so many big plans for this year, and I want to personally let all of you know what’s coming down the road.
My friends, I give to you the very first Letter from the Community Manager!
Building the best sandbox community anywhere
First, let’s talk about where we are at right now as a community. I want to be honest with everyone: We don’t have the best reputation as an open, welcoming player base.
I’m sure many of you read the articles that people write about our game and our community across the internet. From those many articles, the one point of feedback that personally hits me the hardest is when I see someone tell their friends that we are a toxic community that should be avoided.
Statements like that rip me apart. As a community, we are creative, passionate, intelligent, and bold. We have players from all walks of life who enjoy a variety of extremely disparate activities. We should not be judged by the actions of a disruptive minority in our game.
ArcheAge isn’t just a world filled with adventurers looking for their next quest. Ours is a world of diverse play styles including farmers, merchants, traders, crafters, politicians, and leaders too. Our game is one of the rare places where you’ll see someone’s dream home screenshots upvoted or retweeted or liked as highly as an intense castle siege. I love every second of it, I am sure you do, too!
We need to move beyond the “ArcheAge is a toxic community” perception, and we need to make some positive changes to get there.
We are more than that. You are more than that.
Honor is more than just PvP points
As a major community initiative this year, we’re setting out to make our chats and forums a better place for all. We want to highlight all of the work you guys do to make our community a great place to play.
I’ve been working hand-in-hand with our excellent team in Customer Service to revise our in-game chat policies as well as our official forum moderation rules so we’re tougher on chat violations. You can read more about the revised in-game chat rules in our Letter from Customer Service, and view our new official forum rules if you want to see exactly what has changed.
In short, we want to preserve the political gameplay of ArcheAge while removing attacks or harassment that cross over from the game and into real life. None of that has a place in our public chats, and, starting today, these rules will be more heavily enforced than before.
All of these new in-game chat policies will only be applied to public channels, such as Say, Shout, Faction, Nation, Trial, and Trade. Private channels, like Guild, Group, and Family are yours and you can moderate those at your own discretion.
Please note that we’re doing this while keeping the existing sandbox gameplay paramount. Players are still able to track one another down, steal items, camp one another, and more. Likewise, discussions of someone scamming items from you, breaking alliances or treaties, or spreading in-game rumors is still allowed in public chat as long as it doesn’t cross into real life information. If you want to start a political war, make it about the character’s actions in-game.
This isn’t a change that’s going to happen overnight, and we want to work with all of you to help make this happen. If you see people violate these new rules of conduct in our public chats, please let us know by submitting a ticket at support.trionworlds.com. On the forums, simply click the “report a post” icon in the lower right-hand corner of any post, and write a message to our moderation team. They will investigate your report!
A new look at an old friend: The official forums
The chat and forum rules aren’t the only things changing in ArcheAge – we’ll also update the official forums with some new features and say goodbye to some old areas.
My goal for the forums is to make an area where all of us can come together as a group to discuss the game at large. The official forums need to be a place where in-game politics take a break, players can freely ask questions, share their creations, and get the latest news directly from the ArcheAge team. We shouldn’t be separated by servers. Instead, we should discuss the game, offer ideas for improvements, and celebrate achievements as a single, unified community. I also want to place a spotlight on your suggestions and provide a safe place where you can regularly interact with members of the staff.
On May 26th, we’ll add a few brand new areas to the forums, including:
New Player Introductions & Questions – This area will be dedicated to welcoming new players, providing guidance, and getting people into the game. In the coming week I will also be opening applications for a new group of community volunteers, known as the ArcheAge Ambassadors, to help guide newbies during their first steps in Erenor. This group will be focused on welcoming new players on the forums and answering the questions they may have.
Official Discussions – Topics that have been officially recognized by the ArcheAge team as in need of player feedback are placed here. While this area will now house any discussions created by an announcement, it will also hold threads and initiatives started by the community. For example, the #SaveArchery movement will be getting an Official Discussion thread starting on May 26th, as well as other topics the community has expressed a vested interest in.
Game Feedback – This forum will replace the Publisher Requests forum, and it’s an area where you offer feedback on what you love about the game or what you think needs improvement. If you have an idea or suggestion, this will be the place for it!
Art, Media, and Roleplay – This area is your showcase for the latest community creations. If you have a piece of ArcheAge art, a screenshot, a killer PvP video, sheet music, roleplaying threads, or more that you want to share with the community, you have an open stage for it!
A newly categorized Commerce Center – The server-specific marketplace forums are going away. In their place will be forums for each Auction House cluster. Now you’ll be able to advertise your items to the other servers in your cluster, rather than post the same thread 4 times in a row and hope someone sees it.
Gameplay Discussion – General Discussion will be retired in favor of a Gameplay Discussion forum. This area will be the place to discuss anything related to ArcheAge’s gameplay or in-game activities. Other topics will be more naturally moved to the other forums, encouraging more people to use those areas of the official community, such as the Skills & Classes and Crafting & Housing forums.
Avatars! – We’re adding a series of pre-made avatars to the forums on May 26th, so you can express your style with some great ArcheAge art and icons!
This re-organization will also say goodbye to the server-specific discussions area known as the Worldgates. Server specific discussions will be welcomed in the larger areas of the ArcheAge forums instead, and we encourage guild leaders and those looking for a guild to make use of the Guild & Recruitment section.
On May 26th, all server-specific forums in the Worldgates section (except for the Public Test Server) will be closed and retired to an Archive forum. Those threads will be preserved so others may refer back to them, but the Archives will be closed to new posts. If there’s any information you wish to personally save from a thread, make sure to do it before May 26th!
I believe these changes will ultimately help the community, but I also understand that some people may not agree with these changes in posting rules and format. If that is the case for you, I encourage you to make use of other arenas for the community, such as the ArcheAge Reddit, guild sites, and fansites to continue your discussions. We are committed to being as active as possible, and you will see my posts in many areas outside the official forums.
Brand new initiatives and events on the horizon!
Enough of the housekeeping, let’s get to the fun stuff!
In the coming year, I will enact more community events, start new community initiatives, empower community content creators, and work closely with our fansites.
Let’s start with the big guns: The High Tournament of Erenor
This fall will play host to a 10 vs. 10 PvP team tournament that will encompass major guilds from all regions and servers. This type of contest has been suggested again and again by members of the community, and I am stoked to finally do it!
The High Tournament will be hosted in the Fall, with the finals taking place in sync with our Anniversary. Look for more information on this event to be released in July, and start working on your team tactics!
Bi-weekly Faction Chat Town Halls
Maybe you don’t want to come to the forums and talk with the staff. That’s understandable, and it’s why I’m going to visit your servers on a regular basis.
Faction Chat Town Halls are will be a variant of our Livestream Q&As. I and other members of the staff like Merv Lee Kwai and Amanda Fry will visit your servers and chat it up with you folks in /faction, grabbing your questions and answering them in real-time. These town halls will be announced ahead of time here on the ArcheAge website and social media, and we’ll be sure to vary the times so everyone can have an opportunity to meet the team and discuss the game.
These new opportunities to interact with the team will start during the week of June 20th!
Working closely with community content creators
I will also personally reach out to our many fansites, streamers, YouTubers, guide writers, patch note translators, and more. If you’re contributing content to ArcheAge, I want to know about it and we as a company want to support your work.
The first of these new initiatives is our monthly Creation Contest, where we’ll offer unique in-game titles and rewards to those who build videos related to various themes and topics in the game. More will follow.
. I want to establish direct lines of communication with you so we can promote your work, arrange contests with you, and help support what you’re already doing.
All of this is just the beginning!
Phew! That’s going to be a lot for this year, and I can’t wait to bring it to you. Don’t look at this as a complete plan either – there’s more coming. If you have an idea, or have some feedback, drop by the forums and let us know, or talk to us on social media by visiting us on Facebook and Twitter. I want to hear your feedback.
Finally, on a personal note…
Thank you, all of you, for welcoming me into your community. When I began, I was an ArcheAge neophyte. A poor, lowly level 15 who was massacring swaths of animals and monsters across the countryside. Now I’m happy to hold a level 54 and level 55 character (Morpheus & Ollo servers), one of whom is working towards a Delphinad/Obsidian combination set. (Btw, thanks for making me a Stone Arrow for a while, Archery community. It was a great learning experience!) My education on this game is never over, and that’s what I love the most about it. Every day is something new.
Many of you have offered me great advice, brought me into your guilds, given me your feedback, and worked closely with me to make this game a better place. I’m truly happy to be here, and happy to have met (and continue to meet) all of you. I hope together we can continue to make ArcheAge better and brighter than it was the day before, and I look forward to continuing to work with all of you each and every day.
May the Goddess Nui smile upon your travels, and may all your regrades be great successes!
Seraphina “Celestrata Bloodsong” Brennan
We are rtemoving server specific forums for a general discussion forum, and will add content specific forums. Be positive and post nicely or we will utilize heavy handed moderation, edits, deletions and full out bans.