Alith in 2022 - The Road Ahead!
Hi Everyone! What a year we had in 2021! We’d like to start off by saying that we hope you look back on the last year with lots of fond memories & experiences with Alith, we in the officer team sure do, and we’re really excited about the year ahead.
The FC has developed & evolved a lot over the last year and that is thanks largely to all of your feedback, ideas & suggestions, so thank you! We’ve really built this community together!
We’ve had many questions recently from the community about the FC’s current status & plans/goals for the next year, and so we thought it would be really useful to share as much as we can with you, through this yearly newsletter. We hope it helps to give you all clarity on the direction of the FC, while giving you confidence & excitement in the FC’s future too 😊
To make it easy for you to skip over to a topic you're most interested in, simply click on the "Read Update" menus below, to read the full article for each section!
Leadership Team Update
You may have noticed, but our FC Officer team has grown! We are now at a very health size of 9 officers, after recently bringing in Cristina, Clem and Lucinda to the team. All three are extremely passionate about Alith, and are committed to our community for the long term. The leadership team has never been stronger. All nine officers are active & involved in supporting the FC in various ways, we’re all passionate about the FC, the game, and most importantly, we all get along really well & consider each other great friends! A strong, united, leadership team who share the same vision for our community, and support each other tirelessly, is the glue that makes the team work so well. This is so important for the stability & longevity of Alith, and we’re lucky to have a team who all bring something unique to the table, and all just want what’s best for our members & Alith.
FC Activity & Growth Status & Recruitment Strategy
Alith is as active as ever right now. With 366 members currently, and an average amount of online members between 50 – 80 at any one time, our activity levels are really healthy. Having a constant active community helps the FC in many ways:
Lots of friendly & helpful chatter in FC chat & Discord
More people to answer questions & offer assistance
More people socializing in voice chat
More events & raids
Better attendance to events & raids
More members to join leadership roles within the FC
Enables initiatives such as Alith-Awards to work
Much more fun & impressive FC social & seasonal events
Creates social gatherings outside our FC house
More members to help with things like chocobo training, FC chest donations, FC rankings (activity credits), and more.
A populated & active membership just keeps the FC “Alive” and buzzing, which is what everyone wants in an MMORPG community. Alith isn’t a small community, but we’re certainly not the biggest either. We simply want to have a healthy population size, so that our members can enjoy all the rewards & perks that brings, as listed above. We don’t have a “target” size either, instead we’re happy to grow organically. However we’re also not looking to “shrink” gradually, as the smaller we get, the less of those benefits our members will have to enjoy. We don’t want to be a dying FC, and so we DO have to recruit members, to cover those who have left, and makes sure our members can continue to enjoy the rewards of being in an active community. Are we growing too fast? While we aren’t against growth, we certainly don’t want to grow “too quickly”, as this does make it difficult for new members to integrate into the community, and for our existing members to get to know our newcomers & make them feel welcomed. For this reason, we monitor our recruitment pace VERY closely, and we’re constantly making adjustments to our recruitment approach accordingly. This means that we’ve put in place “recruitment breaks” at times during the year, where we’ve halted all active recruitment for several weeks, while also reducing frequency of recruitment at times too. The short answer is, no we’re not growing too fast, as we have measures to ensure that we’re recruiting enough not to shrink in size, but also not to bring too many new players in too quickly. In addition, we have always gone with a Quality over Quantity approach. Every new member has to go through our thorough application process, to ensure that they share our values & will fit in well with our community, and the entire officer team discusses EVERY applicant we receive, to make sure we’re comfortable with them joining. We certainly don’t approve every applicant, and It’s a much slower & more thorough approach than most FC’s, but it ensures we bring in the BEST people for our community (not the most). To share some brief numbers with you, which may surprise you. We went from 311 active members in September, to 282 members in October , and currently we are now at 310 active members (56 have been offline over a month and due to be removed during our next inactivity clear). This means that we’ve grown by just 9 new members per month, since October (and have in fact Shrunk by 1 member since September). This growth is very slow, at this pace, it would take us just under 2 years before we reached 500 (not that we’re aiming for that). Are we growing too big? As explained earlier, we don’t have any “target” size we’re going for, but we are happy to grow, so long as it’s at a gradual & steady pace, allowing new members to settle in & form friendships. Ultimately we believe that we CAN be a large community, while still being social, friendly, inclusive, fun, and of course that feeling of being one big happy family. How can we know this? Well we actually already achieved this successfully in ESO, where we reached 500 members, but never lost that fun family feeling, so we’re not afraid / nervous about reaching that size in FF14, but of course the PACE in which we get there, is what is key. We don’t expect every member of Alith to know EVERY other member, that isn’t realistic, but also isn’t necessary in order to be happy in Alith. In a large community like ours, there is always going to be circles or groups of friendships forming, and that’s perfectly healthy and normal in our view. Some members will be quieter, and prefer to stick to themselves / play solo. Some members will be super social and chat with everyone & anyone. Some members will be part of a group of friends who play together mostly. All of the above is perfectly acceptable! One of our core values in Alith, is play however you like, with whoever you like, whenever you like. So we don’t want any of our members to feel they have to conform to any social group. The great thing about Alith, is that you ‘ll never have that pressure. We feel that one of our strengths is that you can have fun, know you're in good company, and have the freedom to engage with as many or as few other members as you like! --- We’d also like to remind everyone that it’s normal for some people to move on from the FC at times, and as we bring in new members / faces, our community WILL evolve over time. If you take a break from the game, then return after a while (or maybe you just haven’t been socially active for a while), no doubt there will be several new faces who have joined (and some old faces who have moved on). That could leave you feeling like you don’t know people in the FC anymore. We’d encourage you to make an effort to get to know our newer members, who are fantastic people. If knowing the community & socializing is important to you, it’s really in your hands to make an effort to get to know our newer members & get involved in our social events, raids & activities 😊 Alith is always going to be rich in awesome, fun, amazing people, there is only 1 person who is stopping you from getting to know them & making new friendships. In the year ahead, we are going to maintain our recruitment strategy which has worked really well for us over the last year. We currently advertise our FC on Reddit, the Community Finder, the official forums, and of course our recruitment team carry out occasional, routine in-game adverts too. Our in-game advertising is done in a very considerate way, ensuring that we leave several hours (sometimes days) in between rounds, ensuring that we don’t excessively spam the zone chat channels. This measured approach in game, has also been approved by the FF14 GM’s, who we have engaged with for guidance. We’re confident that our approach will ensure we always have an active but also high quality community base, so you can all be happy & proud of the family you’re a part of!
Raiding & Events
An update from Raiding Officer Disdemona! Raiding & events are very important to our community, therefore they are equally important to us. Over the past year, listening to what our members want and aiming to provide it, have been our goals. To that end, we've expanded the team, released the Raid-Helper bot to the members, and provided everyone with a guide and ongoing support on how to use it. We are keeping our intro channel regularly updated with new info, and have polled the members on events and their frequency. We are very pleased and proud to have worked well with the members in providing everyone with the content they want and we are always looking for better ways to collaborate. Raiding has now resumed post the expansion and holiday breaks. Our goals for this year are to keep the quality of the official raids up to standard while keeping the member events going alongside them, as well as managing potential clashes. Additionally, we would like to provide a balanced schedule of learning and completion with weekly kills across the different fights, while also providing more casual content such as maps, levelling and older content completion! Lastly, we want to help our members prepare for all content, so we will provide events to assist with gearing, such as extremes or 24man raids. Our members are our priority and so we welcome any and all feedback and offer our help in the setting up and running of members’ events.
Engagement Champs & New Members
Making sure our new members feel welcomed & part of our community, as early as possible, is extremely important to us. We know from member feedback that it can be difficult sometimes for new members to integrate, and it was this feedback that birthed the idea of our Engagement Champions team! This has been a hugely successful launch, and our brand new team of engagement champs, led by Officer Xarial & Team leader Son Storm, are already reaching out to & supporting our newest arrivals. From ensuring they know what’s available to them in Alith, to answering their questions, to inviting them along to FC events in order to meet & get to know others - our engagement champions are doing a great job. We see this as something which will remain in place for the foreseeable future, and we’re still actively looking for additional engagement champions to join the team! If you’re sociable, friendly, helpful, and want to do more to make our new comers feel welcomed & settled in Alith, just reach out to Xarial or Son to express your interest in joining this hugely important team!
2021 was an exciting year for Alith-Cast. We re-launched our official FC podcast, with a brand new Alith-Cast team, and were able to put out a decent amount of episodes during the 2nd half of the year. We hope that everyone has enjoyed these, and that they continue to be another great way for us to engage, inform, and interact with our community! It’s also of course a great way for us to showcase ourselves to the wider Final Fantasy XIV playerbase. We have taken a short break in episode production over the last couple of months, but rest assured Alith-Cast will be back on your screens pretty soon! Although we’ve lost a couple of our presenters, Roof, Xaert, Luci and Aeron are all still rearing to go, and they are chomping at the bit to get another episode into production – more than likely our Endwalker reaction show! We are always looking to expand / grow our Alith-Cast presenter team though, so if you love Alith, love Final Fantasy XIV, aren’t camera shy, and love chatting & ranting about the game, then please do get in touch with Belazarus or Roof to express your interest. We have a LOT of ideas for Alith-Cast in 2022, so we look forward to bringing you more exciting shows & sharing more Alith faces with you all soon. Don’t forget you can follow the podcast & subscribe to us over at our YouTube channel. Alternatively you can listen to the podcast on Spotify!
An update from Officer Xaert! The past year has seen us put together a helpful team that we've been thinking about for a long time: Battle Mentors! It was a bit of a slow start, and we're still working out how best to help everybody, but it's already become a very organic way to ask questions about specific jobs or fights, and we've seen people help each other a bunch (not just mentors!) With the upcoming content releases, figuring out how to play the new jobs with all their changes, and dealing with all these new skills in challenging dungeons/trials/raids will be front-and-centre on many people's lists, first and foremost our Battle Mentors! Overall, we're aiming to keep it a low-barrier-to-entry channel/team that everybody can find & get helped by. We're also keen on expanding the team in the future, so if it sounds like it's up your alley, send Xaert or Aeron a message.
Community Engagement & Feedback
Over the last year, we have made a LOT of changes in the FC, as a direct result of our members feedback & suggestions. We’ve also introduced a bunch of new ways our members can engage with the leadership team, put forward new ideas, raise concerns & get involved in the development of the FC. We firmly believe that our members ARE the FC, and without our community, we have no guild. So it’s always at the forefront of our minds, that everything we do / change, should be steered by the wishes of our members & in the interest of our community as a whole. Giving you guys a voice, is always our highest priority. Just to name a few:
We completely overhauled our Discord channels
We gave our members access to using the raid bot
We changed our buffs based on our members poll results
We restricted the use of “everyone” in general chat channels
We adjusted our recruitment speed
We introduced new feedback mechanisms
We introduced our new member engagement champions & battle mentors
We scrapped the “senior member” rank
We changed our Discord Server Boost visibility policy
YOU named our FC Submarines
We even completely re-built & launched our FC website due to instability with our older one. Even now, we are currently reviewing our policy on spoiler chat, again via a members poll, to make sure we’re listening to our members when we consider these changes. All of these changes are as a direct result of YOUR feedback and suggestions, so thank you for helping us to shape the FC! We’ve focused more than ever this last year, on giving our members a voice, and we’re very pleased with the multiple ways we’ve created for our members to engage with us & influence changes in the FC. We know that people have different & varying ways in which they like to give feedback (be that in writing, or verbally, anonymously, or in conversation, etc)
Online Feedback Form (which can be completed anonymously)
Feedback Response Log (so members can view & monitor the progress of their feedback)
Community Catchups (so members can speak with & converse with the officer team directly, in an open, safe environment, without being judged & getting immediate answers to questions)
Community-Feedback Discord Channel (where we can keep members updated on actions / changes happening as a result of their feedback)
Directly! The officer team want to be approachable, open-minded, and welcoming of all & any suggestions or feedback. So we continue to encourage our members to reach out to us directly too (be that via direct discord message or in game messages)
Polls & Surveys (we will continue to make use of polls & surveys, as we have before, to understand our members preferences on various changes)
We’re proud of the efforts we’ve made to engage & listen to our members, and we will continue to drive this into 2022. We trust our members views & opinions, you know what’s best for our community, so we will continue to work collaboratively with our members in shaping Alith to be the best community on Cerberus!
We remain as committed as ever to continue our Alith-Awards monthly event! The feedback from our members is that you really value this, as a great way for us to celebrate our members, who go out of their way with big or small acts of kindness. We do appreciate that members who are more sociable & frequently go out of their way to help others, could repeatedly win awards as a result, and rightly so. We don’t want any of our members to feel undervalued or under-appreciated by this, as everyone contributes in various ways to the success of the FC. We have had suggestions in the past for new / different type of award categories, however when we have tried to expand the variety of awards available to win, what we found was that votes were severely spread / diluted across the award types, resulting in us having inconclusive results & not enough members with a majority to stand out as winners. By keeping the number of award types as limited as possible, this has helped to highlight members who have stood out with the majority of votes, creating clear winners each month. We have had to do this on a number of occasions, by merging our Party Animal and Above & Beyond awards, and may need to do this again moving forward. We remain open to new ideas & suggestions regarding Alith-Awards though, as we want this to continue to be something everyone enjoys & looks forward to. One change we are currently working on implementing, is removing the Discord “Award Colours”, and instead introducing brand new “Award Medals” which will be visible on your Discord title! This will ensure that Alith Staff members are still easily recognisable, while also being able to see Award Winners easily too. (Colours = FC Role, Medals = FC Awards, simple!) This change was also as a result of member feedback, where many often found it difficult identifying raid leaders, recruiters, etc.. due to their colours being overridden by award colours. We’re looking forward to our next Alith Awards, and would like to remind everyone that this programme only works, if members actively participate in it! We need our members to actively nominate their fellow Alithians, anytime you see acts of kindness or helpfulness, as without your guys input & participation, the event is always at risk of not going ahead. No votes = No Winners = No Event! We’d like to thank all those who have pro-actively helped us to plug & promote Alith-Awards! Let’s keep spreading the word, and keep those nominations coming in!
Aside from all the above updates, there's plenty of other work going on to keep the FC fun & rewarding in 2022! We're already thinking about / planning our next seasonal events, we're about to post another members poll to determine the plans for our FC House (with the arrival of Ishgard Housing), we're about to reveal the results of our "Spoiler Chat" members poll, and we're about to dive knee deep into all the exciting new raiding content that's arrived with Endwalker!