Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Don't Break the Shadowbind!: Linkshell 2.0

Don't Break the Shadowbind! is our new Wednesday column brought to you by Omoikitte. Endgame isn't just killing mobs and splitting up the drops, that is the easy part. Omoikitte will provide her insight on how to do the hard part: the administration and planning of events, deciding on how to divvy up the drops, and how to deal with that one whiny LS member that just won't shut up about their abjuration. Today, Omoi tries to find out what you think you want out of your LS.

So, you think you are a contender for being a linkshell leader. You have your 8,000gil clutched in your sweaty little palm and you are standing by the two Mithra waiting for them to stop ignoring you and sell you an unopened linkshell, as it is inevitable that you are going to arrive when their bazzar is closed.

At this point you should be asking yourself a series of fairly important questions.

Why do I want a linkshell.

What am I going to do with said linkshell.

What kind of goals am I going to strive towards with said linkshell.

Invariably of course, the only 2 questions you really ask yourself are, what colour is it going to be and what should I name it. Then you fiddle around for 40mins with the 3 colour sliders and realise that there are only 2 varieties of colour for linkshell pearls:

Option 1 - Some vibrantly disgusting electric colour, or
Option 2 - Any shade of blue.

After you have finished playing around with the sliders and your colour is finally locked in, the momental task of naming your linkshell comes into play. This is a fairly important decision to make, it is definately one of those kind of determinations that WILL affect you for the life of your linkshell. So, calling yourselves 'The Flower Babies of Babylon' may be a choice that comes to haunt you when you are trying to be a serious linkshell.

There is definately a wish for a dramatic and powerful sounding name, that will catch your attention and hopefully the imagination of your subsequent members, inspiring morale and taking your dreams to dizzy heights of success, which has manifested itself in some of the more traditional and predictable names, usually starting with "The"or "Guardians" and also containing "of". If you actually look at some of the more successful linkshells and their naming conventions, it isn't a long word or usually even many words, and if it is, it is easily abbreviated.

Unsent even.. dare I say it ..

(yes yes, ok so I will get shot if I don't put this in there as well. LOL)


Its catchy, immediately grabs your attention and isn't that easy to forget. All important in marketability for your linkshell and attracting a membership base. FFXI has been around now for a sufficient amount of time that most end game ls' across the servers are well established, so it is a fairly murky world that you are settling into already and extremely tough to get going on. The one saving grace is that most of the end game linkshells tend to be disinterested in some of the older game content, such as Sky and even Sea is getting to be like that now. So you can fill that void as long as you are prepared to grind at that for a while and establish a good reputation before being able to expand.

Examining end game linkshells they quickly can fall into roughly 4 categories. (For the geeks)

The Microsoft Windows Vista Category.

These are the big flashy linkshells on your server, which for Odin, would be BBQ, TK, Limit Break. Known for their ground breaking techniques as much as they are for their infestation of drama, membership quarrels and problems. These behemoths camp everything and anything and dominate popular imagination with their exploits and deeds not just limited to single server awe, but able to transcend the gap between servers to become the topic of conversation. They affect everything and anything they come to touch and are very much an integral part of your game life whether you realise it or not.

The Linux Solution Category.

These small, open source linkshells rarely end up doing anything large scale, instead they have a relatively small and fluid population inputting into the shape and direction, which can waver from SCNM's to Limbus and everything small and inbetween, hopping from event to event with no real specific purpose other than its cool and fun to do, and you can do it with a bunch of your mates and it be relatively hassle free, there is no real commitment, it just requires a big enough congregation of idle players for it to happen. These also serve mostly as a pleasant social linkshell that occasionally does really NEAT stuff for the dabblers of FFXI.

The MAC OS10 Category.

These end game linkshells come across as a bit more exclusive and intensive, generally being very stable and consistent with their memberships, maintaining a certain attitude and reputation while avoiding the pitfalls of massive drama that come with the slightly more flamboyant linkshells on your server. You have a core die-hard membership who come to everything regardless of what they get, and are a refuge for those wanting to get away from the HNM scene but still keep involved in end game events.

The Netscape Travesty Category.

These are the kind of end game linkshells you just want to avoid, a sort of sleezy conglomeration of leaders who will inevitably only fall apart on you, there is no co-operation with ANYONE else at all, they seem to think they exist in a sphere of delusion that the server rotates around them and they are god's gift to the game. Invariably these kind of linkshells can be found doing improbable and impractical shouts for membership in Whitegate or Jeuno.
Whether you are starting out in an attempt to create your own linkshell, or just become part of the end game scene, you should definately consider what directions you DON'T want to go in as much as the directions you DO want to take, a bad linkshell can make or break your gaming experience where as a great linkshell will make you put down roots and never want to leave.

Choose wisely.

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