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  1. #1
    Saint Daahan Von Quitter the 1st
    Patron of Yin

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    First Treatise on Linkshells

    First Treatise on Linkshells

    Preface

    I have chosen to write this because since I have begun my ‘endgame’ career, I have experienced a wide array of different linkshells. All of these linkshells have ended up in failure except for one. Throughout this time, I have developed certain observations and opinions about certain aspects of linkshell conduct, of which I will discuss shortly. It is important to understand, that no matter what level of achievement a linkshell has obtained, there will always be one norm: that members of a linkshell desire rewards for their time and work. In light of this detail, I will talk about several aspects of linkshell ordering.

    I will go ahead and make the presupposition that the majority of the players of this game pursue selfish agendas. This selfishness is not necessarily negative; rather, it is a selfishness that is justified. People pay money to play this game, in this sense; people want to get their money’s worth. People get their money’s worth through enhancing themselves in game, and there are only two ways to enhance oneself in this game: gear and merits. ‘Fun’ is also a dominant aspect of this game; however, for the majority of people, the ‘fun’ diminishes if their characters are not enhanced and as I have said, there are only two ways to enhance one’s characters, and merits are not enough to satisfy a person. Therefore, one of the most dominant aspects of this game is the acquisition of gear; leading to people feeling that they have received their money’s worth from this game. There are some people who place little or no value on gear in this game, and really do play the game for the sake of ‘fun’ and ‘friendship,’ however; these people are extremely few, and it is often the case that, even if people say they are like this, in actuality, they pursue the selfishness I have mentioned.

    Many of the topics I will talk about will seem commonsensical and many people will probably retort with the “thanks captain obvious” response; but, if this is the case, then why do linkshells continually suffer from the many problems I will discuss? Keep that in mind as you read.

    Also many of the things I will talk about come from my experiences on Bahamut server. Aside from the little tidbits that are posted on the forums, I do not know the overall situation of linkshells on other servers. Although, I imagine some of my applications can surely apply to linkshells regardless of whether or not they are on Bahamut.

    The Leader

    After have experiencing the many failures of many linkshells, I have come to the conclusion that a linkshell should be based around the leadership of a sole Leader. I capitalize ‘Leader’ because I believe that there should be one Leader, and only one Leader that has the final say in all major decisions. There is one obstacle to this almost ideal assertion; that is, it is extremely difficult to find a good, sole Leader.

    Essentially, the Leader of a linkshell is a person who is impartial. As mentioned above, members of a linkshell desire rewards for their time and effort. When members of a linkshell are properly given their dues, then they will be satisfied. Impartiality is extremely important, because, if a Leader decides to favor a certain person or group of people over others and give people what they do not deserve and do not give people what they do deserve, then the cause is an unhealthy division within the linkshell. The relationship between a Leader and the linkshell members is a reciprocal one. In essence, the Leader works for the members, because through proper leadership of his/her members, the Leader runs and maintains a successful linkshell, but ultimately, the members are subordinate to the Leader because the Leader is the person that organizes and maintains the endurance of a linkshell, and without his/her proper maintenance, linkshells usually find themselves divided.

    Being impartial means looking beyond favoritisms and looking at participation and seniority. A good Leader is a person who distributes armor, weapons, and items based on the level of participation of the linkshell’s members. This is yet another idea that may seem commonsensical, but the truth is, there are so many instances where linkshell leaders have disregarded participation, and given weapons, items, and armor to people who did not deserve it yet. As a result, the person or people who are cheated by the leader become disenchanted with the linkshell and are less inclined to participate. In extreme cases, people have left linkshells over impartiality. Seniority is also another factor that Leader must take in to account. Linkshell members who have high seniority combined with high levels of participation should always be the priority when it comes to the distribution of items; the reason being that seniority is a sign of loyalty and hard work in the linkshell, and people that are designated as senior members should be rewarded properly. However, participation always holds weight over seniority, because there are often cases where senior members are inactive, but have technically been in the linkshell for a long time. When a Leader has conducted the distribution of items in this fashion, he will have gained the support of the linkshell’s members, and the LS would progress.

    A Leader, first and foremost, should seek to be respected by his/her members. To gain respect, he/she must be impartial, as mentioned before, among other things. When a Leader shows that he/she can successfully organize events and devise successful strategies, he/she will gain the respect of the linkshell’s members. A Leader is supposed to contribute to the progress and success of a linkshell; meaning, the linkshell is continuously being productive through the acquisition of items and gear that is fairly distributed to the members. Once again, this is why impartiality is so important; because when people get their deserved rewards, they come to respect the Leader who saw that they were rewarded properly.

    It is extremely important that a Leader never becomes too nice. If he/she becomes too nice, then it is often the case that the members will try to take advantage of his/her kindness and always try to get the Leader to cater to their needs. A Leader should be able to be strict when it is necessary, and when someone asks for something when he/she doesn’t deserve it, the Leader should have absolutely no trouble refusing and making it clear that it is not yet time for the member to receive that particular item.

    Once again, the ability of a Leader to do all the aforementioned things and do them well sounds almost unrealistic and ideal. However, in the past, there have been leaders that have exhibited these behaviors, proving that it is entirely possible for a good Leader to exist.

    On Sackholders

    Throughout the years, I have observed that sackholders have been a crucial part of linkshells. Although sackholders are important, there are certain limits and restrictions that are necessary.

    First, no matter what the circumstances, the word of the Leader should always carry more weight than the word of the sackholders. In every major decision in a linkshell, the Leader should have the final say.

    The position of a sackholder should be one of support and conversation with the Leader. The Leader should appoint as sackholders those whom he/she believes will add proper support to the Leadership. When decisions are to be made in a linkshell, such as who should get what item or which event should be done tonight, it is the role of the sackholders to give the Leader information about the decision that is to be made. The Leader should take in to account what the sackholders say, but his/her judgement should always be dominant.

    As few sackholders should be appointed as possible. When too many sackholders are appointed, they often become ambitious and desire to hold a higher standing in the linkshell. Ambition of a sackholder can be a very destructive thing to a linkshell, for a sackholder that desires power will often search for members to support him/her. That is why the Leader should appoint as few sackholders as possible and should always keep them in check by being the main decision maker.

    Appointed sackholders should be those who have the highest participation and senior standing in the linkshell. The higher the participation and seniority, the better the chances are of the sackholder being a loyal one. It is risky to appoint a non-tenured member as sackholder, and there are only a few extreme cases where this has been successful.

    Sackholders are also necessary because, obviously, the Leader will not always be around. After all, there is something that is called real life. In this case, when the Leader is unable to be on the game and there is an event, the decision making should be temporarily handed over to the sackholders. This is the absolute only case in which the final decision rests in the hands of sackholders. It is extremely important, however, that a Leader be a person who plays the game on a regular basis, for if a Leader is not on enough and the decisions are constantly being made by sackholders, the sackholders will increasingly believe that they have acquired a position of Leadership.


    On Linkshells Led by a Council of Leaders with Equal Power

    There are and have been many linkshells that have been led by a council of leaders with equal power. I will start off by saying that this is very unhealthy for a linkshell, and is more destructive rather than productive, and only works in extreme cases.

    When you gather a group of people together to govern a linkshell, they often tend to hold different views on how the linkshell should be led. When these differing opinions clash, the only result is unproductive argumentation and no progress within the linkshell. Also, since each of the council members come to believe that they hold just as much influence as the other council members, they will most likely disregard each other and continue to put their ideas in to action, with the end result being nothing gets done.

    Having a linkshell led by a council leadership can also produce another destructive aspect of a linkshell: factionalism. It is often the case that certain members will rally behind the council member that they agree with the most, or that they feel will cater to their wants; as a result, the linkshell becomes divided. If the division persists long enough, then it is often the case that the linkshell splits, and it is very rare that separated linkshells survive.

    The concept of linkshell factionalism also works in the opposite direction. It is often the case that a council leader will try and cater to those who support him/her as much as possible. By doing this, they negate the impartial aspect of the distribution of items, weapons, and armor; also, when council members call each other out on impartiality, the linkshell becomes further divided.

    The only situation in which council leadership is effective is when each council member shares the same ideas and opinions, and, as we know, this situation is extremely rare, if existent at all. Also, if there is going to be a council leadership, there should be as few council leaders as possible, thus lessening the chances of destructive division.

    Hence, it is important for there to be only one Leader that governs a linkshell, so there will be minimal division within the linkshell.

    On the Authority of Regular Linkshell Members

    Of course, there would be no such thing as a linkshell without regular members; however, linkshell members should have very little to do with the governing of a linkshell. The governing of a linkshell lies only in the hands of the Leader, along with some support from the sackholders.

    However, that does not mean that the words of regular linkshell members are worth absolutely nothing. On the contrary Mr. Bond, linkshell members should constantly be in discussion with the Leader, giving him/her feedback or offering opinions about the linkshell. Constant interaction between the regular members and the Leader allows for the Leader to gain a better understanding of what his members want. However, a Leader must be extremely cautious as to not develop favoritism and not to let his proper judgment diminish. For example, someone would like to get the next Hrotti that drops off Fafnir, however it is not this person’s turn. If this is the case, the Leader must make it clear that it is not the person’s turn yet, and if possible, make it clear when that turn will be.

    Regular member input is also very important when it comes to decisions that literally affect the entire linkshell; for example, if the decision on what to do with Dynamis currency arises, the entire linkshell should be consulted. If there is to be a decision on which relic weapon will be upgraded and for whom, then once again the entire linkshell should be consulted and offer a vote. Many of you might think that I am being inconsistent here when I say that there should be a vote amongst all members, especially after I have said that it should be the Leader that makes all the final decisions. However, in special cases like the Dynamis currency example I have provided, a Leader must consult the entire linkshell, because, for cases like that, it was the collective work of the entire linkshell that allowed there to be the currency in the first place. Also, it takes a very long amount of time to accumulate something like currency, as opposed to a one time thing, like a King Fight or Limbus boss.

    There are also some insignificant cases in which regular linkshell members can vote on and make a decision. For example, the linkshell wants to do a city dynamis on a given night, and the Leader doesn’t care which one they do. If this is the case, then the Leader may throw out a vote as to which dynamis the majority of the linkshell wants to do, and act accordingly. Rudimentary votes like this do not increase the power of regular members and, at the same time, do not diminish the power of the Leader, so they are acceptable.

    Overall, regular linkshell members should have very little to do with governing a linkshell. Their opinions are important to the Leader, but once again, in the end, the Leader makes the ultimate decision (aside from the rare case I mentioned).

    On the Conduct and Behavior of Regular Linkshell Members and the Concept of the ‘Linkshell Family’

    I will only briefly mention the obvious. All linkshell members should have high levels of participation. The Leader must also constantly make note of the participation. It is perfectly acceptable for regular linkshell members to spend extended periods of time away from the game as a result of real life issues; but, the member must let the entire linkshell know why they can’t play and for how long.

    A Leader of a linkshell must always pay attention to how his/her members act and behave both outside of and inside the linkshell. I am talking in terms of the members’ conduct. It is difficult to explain this in plain words so I will provide a rhetorical example. Say that a member of the linkshell has recently been notorious for stealing other people’s NMs, or has recently been seen speedhacking or trekking along with gilsellers (I realize the latter two are considered far worse than the former, yet all are examples of the conduct I want to explain). The Leader must reprimand members who do things like this immediately. It is often the case that members who conduct themselves in these manners bring a horrible reputation to the linkshell and the other members who conduct themselves properly will grow angry with the ‘bad’ members, and also grow disenchanted with the Leader if the Leader fails to take any action. If the fallacy of the member is minor, for example, a member engages in unnecessary and childish trash talk at a king camp or elsewhere, then the Leader should warn the member and keep a close eye on him/her. However, if the behavior is more severe, for example, the member was spotted speedhacking or doing things with gilsellers, then the Leader should barely hesitate to remove that person from the linkshell. For, the opinions of other linkshells do not matter us much; rather, if the member is not punished, then other members of the linkshell will lose faith in both the Leader and the guilty members; thus causing unhealthy division.

    I will also claim that trying to establish a linkshell as a ‘family’ is one of the most poisonous and destructive institutions a linkshell can suffer from.

    A linkshell is not a family. My point here is that, if people have problems with each other, it is better to let those problems exist rather than trying to settle things through the concept of the ‘linkshell family.’ No one likes being told that they can’t argue with someone because they are ‘family’ with that person; it is the worst logic one can apply to a situation like that. If people begin to argue over some trivial matter it is best for the Leader or the sackholders to let the argument play out. Most of the people who play this game are adults and they wish to be treated as adults. If a linkshell works and is successful, then petty and minor grievances between the members will do little if no harm, because members will look beyond the minor problems with each other and realize that even if they dislike each other, when they work together, they are successful in the game. However, if a linkshell is a failure, and it constantly finds itself failing at everything in the game, then minor and petty grievances will only quicken its downfall.
    The only time a Leader or a sackholder should interfere or intervene in an argument is when the argument becomes too extreme. It is difficult to define ‘too extreme’ but things along the lines of racial slurs and insulting comments should be stopped.

    A linkshell is not a family; rather, it is more of a business atmosphere. People come together and work for a common goal, which is fun through the reception of items, weapons, and armor. Of course, that does not mean that friendship and fellowship should not exist in a linkshell; on the contrary, friendship and fellowship are encouraged; however, it is very likely that all the members of a linkshell will not always get along, and as long as the linkshell is productive and successful, these minor differences will have no effect on the progress and productiveness of a linkshell.

    On the Expansion of Linkshells

    It is very important for a Leader to maintain the number of members in a linkshell. If a linkshell finds itself short on members for events, then the linkshell should be open for recruitment. A Leader, however, must be careful not to recruit an unnecessary amount of members.

    Recruitment of members in to a linkshell should be carefully thought out and carried through and several steps should be taken.

    First, the Leader must establish some sort of application process. It is very helpful for a linkshell to have forums for this reason. If a person wants to apply to a linkshell, then that person should fill out an application and it should be posted on the linkshell’s forums. Next, all the linkshell members should give their input on or list experiences that they have had with the applicant. This information is absolutely important because it necessary for the Leader to make the decision on whether or not to allow the person in to the linkshell. As far as comments posted about the applicant go, the comments about the player’s skill should be weighted the heaviest; however, comments about the applicant’s attitude and personality are still very important and should definitely be taken in to account.

    If there is a unanimous vote of confidence for the skill and personality of the applicant, then the Leader should consider enlisting the applicant as a trial recruit (I will discuss this further in the next section).

    If the comments on the applicant are mixed, meaning they contain both positive and negative comments, then it is the decision of the Leader on whether or not to trial the applicant.

    Lastly, if there is an overwhelming amount of negative comments about the applicant’s skill and personality, then Leader should immediately reject the person’s application.

    If your linkshell is successful and is known to be famous, then you will have no trouble finding applicants to your linkshell, because the applicants will come to you. However, if the linkshell is new and has just begun to progress, then the Leader must make an extra effort to find good and skilled members for their linkshell. The Leader, sackholders, and regular members can all take part of the search for new applicants, but each new applicant found must go through the application process, regardless of what jobs they have or their standing with the rest of the linkshell members.

    In the next section I will discuss how a person should be inducted in to the linkshell, if inducted at all.

    On The Process of Membership in to a Linkshell

    When an application is posted on the forums and the leader has decided to consider recruiting the applicant in to the linkshell, then a trial process should begin.

    During a trial, the applicant is not given a pearl to the linkshell. Either the Leader or a sackholder should contact the applicant throughout the course of the trial period and inform him/her about events. If the applicant is free, he should show up to these events and demonstrate his skill (I do not mention personality here for a reason and I will discuss it shortly). Trial periods should be as long necessary and the linkshell should not worry about giving the applicant a pearl too late. Every single job of the applicant should be trialed several times and the applicant’s skill should be examined closely and criticized as much as possible. Also, the applicant should be given the toughest role possible in whatever event the linkshell is doing because that is the best way to test a person’s skill; to see how they perform under difficult situations and how they handle pressure. When the linkshell feels that they have obtained enough information about the applicant through the trial period, they should discuss it further (preferably on their forums). It is up to the Leader, through input given by the rest of the linkshell members, to decide on whether or not to give the applicant a pearl to the linkshell.

    The reason I did not mention personality during the trial period is because trial applicants tend to be deceptive when it comes to displaying personality during a trial period. Applicants will be extremely courteous, respectful, and even joyful during a trial period to make themselves look good to the linkshell. Thus, during a trial period, the personality of an applicant should be weighted lightly in the recruitment process, because applicants will tend to put on a face that is not really theirs, and now I will discuss how to deal with this issue, among other things.

    When an applicant successfully passes the trial period and receives a pearl to the linkshell, it does not mean that that person has become a full fledged and privileged person in the linkshell. There needs to be a probationary period for the new member. Once again, it up to the Leader how long the probationary period should be; however, it should not be very short. If you were to ask me, I would say no less than 1-2 months. During the probationary period, item distribution to the probationary member should be extremely limited, if existent at all. The participation and seniority of existing members (if they have strong participation) always holds more weight than that of probationary members. Probationary periods are also useful in determining the true nature of a recruit’s personality, because once they have received their pearl, they will show their true face, if their face during the trial period happened to be a deception.

    After the probationary period is over, the recruit will have gained tenure in the linkshell. When this occurs, the Leader should distribute items to the member based on his participation and seniority like he does with the other members.

    On Idiocy: The Destroyer of Linkshells

    One of the most destructive things a linkshell can suffer from is idiocy amongst its members. Idiocy will severely hinder the progress and success of a linkshell and will often cause unhealthy divisions. I will try to define what idiocy in a linkshell is to the best of my ability. A true linkshell idiot is one that cannot play any of his/her jobs properly if their lives depended on it. An idiot is the BRD that does not know how to pull in a merit party, the RDM who can’t keep refresh up and doesn’t have all his/her subs leveled, the NIN that takes more hits than a Paladin, the WHM that spams Cure IV endlessly, the BLM that can’t stun ancient magic or –ga 3, the PLD who puts up shadows while the wyrm is in the air, the SMN that BP’s from behind a wyrm, the THF that trick attacks the wrong people, or the person who always DoT’s the mob that needs to be slept. People like the aforementioned are the destroyers of linkshells and have no place in linkshells if the linkshell wants to be productive and successful. It is important to understand that it only counts as idiocy if acts such as these are done in succession. People make mistakes; however, mistakes should be corrected as soon as possible, and now I will discuss on what to do if idiocy is found amongst members.

    The Leader of a linkshell should remove idiots from the linkshell. If it has been shown that if the member is incapable of remedying his/her idiocy, then the Leader must kick that person from the linkshell. Being merciful and showing compassion to those who are idiots will not aid in the progression of the linkshell; rather, it will only destroy it.

    I can cite a large number of examples from Bahamut where idiocy has destroyed linkshells from their very foundations. If a Leader wants his/her linkshell to survive, endure, and be successful, then he/she should not hesitate at all to remove idiots from their linkshell.

    Closing Words

    Once again, I would like to point out that these are the solutions that I have come up with to maintain a linkshell and ensure that it does not come to ruin. Everything I said is not necessarily set in stone. There are many, many variations among linkshells that make them work. No linkshell on any server is the same; that is, every single linkshell has its own particularities and a linkshell is only successful when a Leader and his/her members are able to understand those particularities and act accordingly. A linkshell will only be successful when a Leader and the linkshell’s members act mature and come to an understanding of how their particular linkshell works.



    Pope Daahan I of the Church of Yin

  2. #2
    Bagel
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
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    Ragnarok

    posting in possible legendary thread.

  3. #3

    Gold, saved to my computer.

  4. #4

    wow what the hell.

  5. #5
    Melee Summoner
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
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    I think someone's been reading Aristotle's Politics. Am I right?

  6. #6
    Banned.

    Join Date
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    i forsee a slow start to the first 5 or so pages, then some douche is gonna say something stupid and we will be derailed into point systems or something of the like


    Good post though, 5/5 (Edit: YES POPE, YOU HAVE BEEN ALLA'D)

  7. #7
    The Optimistic Asshole
    Sweaty Dick Punching Enthusiast

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    oh my, do i get zammed for asking for cliffsnotes?

  8. #8
    Banned.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tyche
    oh my, do i get zammed for asking for cliffsnotes?
    print it and take it to the pooper, its a good read

  9. #9

    I read like half of that and got a headache, but i do like what you were saying.. ill read the rest later, probably.. and if i dont- well... idk, but ill think of something better to post later...


    But ya, well done.

  10. #10

    i just printed this to read rofl

  11. #11

    Placeholder for legendary topic til I read the whole thing

  12. #12

    lots of people thought hitler was a good leader, amirite?

  13. #13
    Xavier
    Guest

    My Lord, it is clear why Yin choose you as his first successor...you are very wise and...quite verbal.

  14. #14
    New Spam Forum
    Join Date
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    Asura

    after finishing it, i felt like there was a part2 waiting to be written and i wanted to read it already. there are tons of posts on jobs, gear, and all the other stuff but i've never seen one on how "to maintain a linkshell and ensure that it does not come to ruin." best post i've read in a while-it was worth the time spent.

  15. #15
    New Spam Forum
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    Kudos. Don't agree 100% with everything, but yar.. well worth the time reading it.

  16. #16
    Bagel
    Join Date
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    Ellatrix Reatori
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    Sargatanas
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    Fenrir

    Just finished reading the whole thing.

    I found most of it to be accurate. Many variations are possible on the application process. Finding the ideal leader is expectionally difficult.

  17. #17

    Very nice read

  18. #18
    Black Belt
    Join Date
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    Bahamut

    i didn't read any of that yet but my god... just come back to the game.

  19. #19

    A+ would read again
    R8^
    Insert other online phenomenon to show the quality of the post. If only I could get my ls leader to read it...

  20. #20
    Mr. Bananagrabber
    Sweaty Dick Punching Enthusiast

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    Asura

    Your thoughts on Trials seem kind of odd to me (the part of them not being pearled while on Trial). Typically it's just as important for a person to attend events as it is to see how well they fit into the LS. I understand your point about people possibly trying too hard to fit in, but at the same time I think it's still important to get a general idea of how well a person can mesh with the LSs community

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