As an outfit that was formed in Planetside, the world's first successful MMOFPS, the concept of large-scale cooperation and truly massive multiplayer gaming is what appeals to our organization. GOTR always has been and always will be an outfit that is based in the MMO world - lobby and instanced games, while entertaining, are not where we choose to spend the majority of our time. GOTR is all about persistent open worlds with the capacity for hundreds to play together simultaneously.
As such, all official primary branches of Ghosts of the Revolution must be in games that can accommodate large numbers of players simultaneously and in the same area. We also explain below how to operate a group in a game that does not qualify as a Primary Branch.
A note about sandbox games: some games simply have so many gameplay styles and options for players to pursue that it is not practical to try to fit all interested GOTR members under one banner. Games like EVE Online, Star Citizen, or Elite Dangerous, for instance - players can be hardcore PVPers, dedicated PVE mission-runners, or elect to do mostly industry or mining, and these groups do not always mesh well with each other. In games like this, the GAME can be designated a Primary Branch but the internal sub-groups may operate independently, with none being officially endorsed as the "one" GOTR branch for that game. To prevent confusion, none of the groups will be allowed to use the official [GOTR] tag or "Ghosts of the Revolution" name, but will be encouraged to use names like "GOTR Industries" or "GOTR Mercenary Corp" with an appropriate clan tag. They are not required to use a GOTR name if the group prefers something else, however.
Primary Branch Games
As mentioned above, primary branch games are MMOs that have the capacity for a large number of players to interact simultaneously, in the same area of the game world, with an eye to pursuing a common group goal. Examples include both Planetside titles, TERA Online, Star Citizen, Last Oasis, Worlds Adrift, Atlas, Crowfall, and many others. Ideally, these types of games have a clan system that allows our members to organize and work towards some kind of goal, whether that is winning a continent alert in Planetside, topping leaderboards in weekly events to earn a sky castle in TERA, or controlling persistent territory like Last Oasis.
Primary branches, when established, are given their own Teamspeak main channel with however many subchannels are necessary for effective operation. They will be given their own Discord section. Once a leader for the branch has been confirmed by the Council (see below) that leader may select a number of officers to serve under them to assist with running the guild in that game (1:10 ratio, see "Establishing a Primary Branch" below). Recruitment videos, graphics, logos, etc., will be made if necessary. The Branch Leader will also sit on the Eidolon Council.
Secondary Branch Games
There are games that promote working toward a large group goal, but where normal gameplay is limited to small groups. These games do not quite fulfill the above requirements for a "Primary Branch" but do generate significant interest in the community. Warframe, for example, allows players to explore open worlds and work toward building a Clan Dojo that can contain research facilities and other areas that are paid for by, and benefit, clan members. Warframe has frequent events that Clans can participate in together, yet typical Warframe gameplay is instanced with groups of 4-8 players - a far cry from giant raids and group actions in Primary Branches. Secondary Branches will have a leader to manage the group, and other officers will be appointed to the extent necessary. Secondary Branches will be given a few TS channels in their own area to separate them from the list of "Other Games" GOTR plays (see below.)
Alternatively, some games that might qualify as Primary Branches may simply not hold the community's interest in large numbers - smaller groups in these games may also be considered Secondary Branches.
If a game does not fall into either of the above categories, that game is simply considered an "Other Game." GOTR has a long and happy history of playing Other Games - subgroups in the community play strategy games or tactical shooters or world builders, but these games typically cannot sustain an MMO group. There are no limits or restrictions on what kind of games these can be - if it interests you, go for it. Other Games are given (by default) a single Teamspeak channel and Discord text channel under the "Other Games" section headings. Additional channels will be added if necessary. For some games, GOTR may have an interest in running a gameserver for members to play on - and, generally speaking, if we have to run a server for members to play on, it's definitely categorized as an "Other Game" (example: Minecraft, Terraria, Starmade). Leadership will be much more casual in Other Games, and there may be no dedicated leadership at all - if there is a need for consistent leadership, the Council will evaluate it on a case-by-case basis and it may become a Secondary Branch.
Establishing a New Game Branch
With the above requirements of "Primary" and "Secondary" games comes the process for actually establishing a new branch in either type. If a member wishes to have a game considered for Primary Branch status, the first thing to do is make a post in the Other Games discord channel area asking if there is interest. Members can also use the forum here on the web site or even something like a Google Form. In GOTR, we prefer to expand using tools and people that we already have, when possible - this keeps our community closer and prevents outsiders from coming in and taking away parts of our community. The leaders and officers founding any new branch will be veteran GOTR members - in time, recruits from those games may rise through the ranks and attain officer or leader status, of course.
Once the initial interest post is made, if there is sufficient interest from the community (at least 15 active members have posted in the thread or voted in a related poll) then the game will be considered for branch status and become a "Provisional Branch". The EC will meet to determine if Primary or Secondary status should apply, and then will appoint a leader for the branch if necessary - if a qualified leader has already stepped up, that person will remain in charge in most cases. There are many games that we have tried to play or had interest in that later fizzled, so this is the best way to reduce the severe ups and downs of interest from damaging the multi-gaming initiative.
While in Provisional Branch status, the leadership will develop a desired role within the game, do all of the legwork for recruiting and publicity, and set up a starting officer team - the branch leader, a second-in-command, and one additional officer if necessary. The branch leader for the game will need to confirm his initial officer selections with the Council. To be clear, the Council will not select the officers for the branch leader - selection is solely the leader's responsibility, but is subject to Council approval.
The branch leadership will also create Rules of Engagement, game-specific Pillars, activity or permission requirements, or other necessary policies that may be needed.
If the Provisional Branch continues to grow and interest stays steady, it will become a full Branch. Once Branch status is reached, it will not be removed unless activity drops substantially. We want Branches to succeed - we are not going to arbitrarily remove them after the effort was put in to establish them. We understand that activity and participation ebbs and will give ample opportunity to fix any issues.
Once fully established, the ratio of officers-to-members should be along the lines of 1:10 or 1:12 to prevent the branch becoming top-heavy.
The Eidolon Council
The Council is comprised of the Community Leader, the leader of each Primary Branch, and certain other head administrators and veteran officers appointed by the Community Leader. The Community Leader is in charge of general operations for the entire GOTR community.
To prevent burnout, no one person is allowed to be the official leader of more than one Primary Branch game at a time. It is highly discouraged that members hold officer positions in multiple branches - if an individual wishes to hold officer positions in multiple branches, they must meet with each involved Branch Leader and the Community Leader to make certain they can handle the responsibilities. This is a special exception that will rarely be granted. All Branch Leaders are directly answerable to the Council regarding recruiting, usage of community resources, fundraisers, public relations, and any other aspect of the community as a whole. However, the Council will not directly interfere with the operation of a Primary Branch unless there are problems.
This is not a democracy in any sense of the word - we work together to accomplish goals and share in the rewards because we enjoy playing together. There are no elections. There are no binding referendums. There are no votes of no confidence. There is no dissolving the government.
Branch Leaders have near-complete autonomy within their game branch. They do not have to get authorization to perform daily operations, run events, or do anything that concerns only their individual game. Branch Leaders will, however, ask for authorization from the Council to make any changes to guild structure or policy. GOTR members should be more or less uniform across all game branches, following similar codes of conduct, abiding by the Pillars, and exhibiting the below characteristics:
What Does It Mean To Be A Ghost?
It means playing games honestly and without cheating, exploiting, or acting outside the spirit of the game.
It means respecting your fellow members and all other players as people.
It means allowing your leaders to lead you so that everyone will have a good time.
It means understanding that as a leader, you should always strive to put fun first ahead of all else.
It means having a good attitude, as toxic attitudes interfere with group cohesion and ruin everyone's experience.
It means that if you give criticism, that criticism is constructive.
It means wanting to play in an environment free of hate, racism, sexism, and all of those other negative -isms.
It means putting your real life first, so that you aren't irritated or annoyed with external factors when you play with us.
It means agreeing that we should check our political, religious, or other views at the door for the sake of harmony.
It means believing that a group of decent people can coexist and accomplish amazing things.
It means playing games the way they're meant to be played.
Edited by robocpf1