Age of Conan: Guild Spotlights
Guild Spotlight: The Free City Of Lochlainn

Mr.Ixolite | 21 May 2007 14:00
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Name: The Free City of Lochlainn
Play Orientation: Standard (PvE with PvP on the BK)
Role Playing: Allowed, but not mandatory
Guild Size: Large
Time Zone: Yet to be decided, based on majority (perhaps an EU and a US branches)
Communication: Our Forums and Ventrilo in-game
Guild Hall Thread: http://forums.ageofconan.com/showthread.php?t=17976
Web Site: http://www.conan.ch/lochlainn/


Bargi (anyone who frequents the official forums should know this chap) was nice enough to answer my queries :D - Here goes:

What is special about your guild?
First of all; The Free City of Lochlainn isn't a guild. Or one can say it's the guild that is not a guild. Confusing? The thing is: When our founder Tarib ,in his wisdom, decided to make Lochlainn several of us had been rambling on the forums about an alternative for those who really don't want to be in a guild, but want to get access to guild facilities. The way to bypass this was to create Lochlainn as a "free city". This means that the citizens aren't guild members in any way other than in the strict mechanical sense. With two exceptions, Lochlainn doesn't demand anything of their citizens and offers them access to guild stuff. The exceptions are:

  • Defend the city when it's attacked.
  • Fund your city trough what taxation system we decide to go for.

The taxation system isn't decided yet, as we don't know what the game mechanics will allow, but we will put as small burden as possible on our citizens. If possible we will flay our visitors in such a way that they have enjoyed their stay when they finally manages to get away, broke and sore :D

Lochlainn is a city, and as in every city the citizens are left to pursue their own goals. The city administration won't interfere with our citizens as long as some basic rules about respect for others aren't broken. More on that on http://www.conan.ch/lochlainn/

Lochlainn is a city, and as in every city the citizens are left to pursue their own goals. The city administration won't interfere with our citizens as long as some basic rules about respect for others aren't broken.

Who are the people of the guild?
We are a ramshackle lot of (based on statements in our forum about plans for their stay); merchants, crafters and tavern owners. Throw in some mercs and wily thieves and you have the average Lochlainnian. ;)

We are a mature, but humorous group of people, as one might have noticed on the AoC forums. We stress respect for others and have some rules on that in our charter. Funnily enough it seems we have a big group of RL architects and city planners among our citizens. I guess the idea behind Lochlainn - making a city that prospers and grow - attracts that kind of people.

What servers are you gunning for?
There has been a vote on Lochlainn's forum about what server type we aim for, and the majority (at the end of the poll) wants Lochlainn to be established on a "standard" server. As the focus of many of us is to run the city and create a center of trade and entertainment we cannot afford to be distracted with PvP from other guilds. There is also a large majority that isn't into Roleplaying. Since the standard server has PvP in the Border kingdoms, those lusting for a fight still have the option to do so. While we aren't flagged as a RP guild those who want to pursue that road are free to do so, as long as they accept that they might not get the response they want from all of their fellow citizens. That respect goes both ways so no RP'er shall have to fear loathing from their fellow non-RP citizens.

As for server location we have so far said that we will go to the continent that has the most citizens in Lochlainn, if it's allowed. Atm we are quite balanced between EU and US, with a few more US members. We also have a rather large contingent of Oceanic/Asian players. If we can't play cross-continent we might in fact create two Lochlainns, one on EU server and one on US server. Maybe even a Oceanic Lochlainn, who knows...

How do you look on interaction with other guilds?
Lochlainn will be an open city, and as many focus on crafting, trade and entertainment we hope to be the hub of the server with lots of other guilds and players visiting. We are also inviting other guilds to establish embassies in Lochlainn (again if game mechanics allows). No guild will be loathed by Lochlainn (tho individual players might), as we try to attract as many visitors as possible. Lust, entertainment and excitement are words we want to be associated with Lochlainn.

How are you structured socially (ranks, groups...)
Lochlainn will be governed by a city council, led by a mayor (again, if game mechanics allows). We aim to hold elections with regular intervals for the positions, where every citizen has a vote. Pre-release people are applying for some of the basic positions we need at game launch, but as soon as the city is running well and proper we will hold the first election. I know; that's what Lenin promised in the Soviet union too, but I swear we WILL do it. ;)

There will also be subgroups of city guards, mercenaries and cults, and whatever one want to throw together. We have had requests from other guilds to house them, and those will in that case act as semi-independent sub guilds.

What is your take on player cities?
As you might have understood, the idea behind Lochlainn is all about player cities. We are very anxious to see what the game mechanics allows us to do, but we hope that there are many degrees of freedom in planning and developing the player cities. Static cities with few possibilities and set city plans will ruin the fun of having a player city. There must be wide frames to construct the city within. There must be a multitude of buildings and other constructions to choose among. There must, as a minimum, be taverns and player shops/workshops. There should also be living quarters and administrative buildings. We should be able to construct an arena, either as a single building, or as a sum of the city planning by using walls of the city an buildings as borders.

We want to be able to hold arena fights, horse races, festivals and what else makes a city attracting. For every little obstruction on these ideas we meet a little piece of the idea behind the city will die, and thus a little piece of the idea of Lochlainn. So we really hope Funcom have taken the signals that many of devoted community members have been sending over the last two years regarding player cities. For us in Lochlainn it's as important as the Real combat system or other innovative stuff that Funcom have been making.

What is your take on in-game taxes and loot distribution?
There is no way around it; a player city needs funding. This funding must come in the form of taxation, in one way or another. There are lots of options, and the limitation here is again what the game mechanics will allow:

  • flat tax on all citizens
  • tariffs on trade
  • tax on income
  • donations to the city funds
  • taxation on gambling, live entertainment, races, tournaments etc.

I'm sure there are lots of other options

I think that a flat tax is the least plausible option. Probably tariffs on trade and tax from gambling, prosti..er.. live entertainment, booze and these kinds will be the most likely income. But as I said, it's not decided yet, and lots of ideas are being tossed around.

What excites you most about Age of Conan?
Besides the possibilities a player city will give us? Personally I'd have to say the new combat system and the crafting system. The point and click combat is numbing over time. I recently tried out a "free" mmo called Entropia Universe, where you actually had to be active trough combat to get ahead. That game is purely skillbased, but I enjoyed to have to concentrate when fighting instead of the usual Tab-Q action one see in many of the generic mmo of today. So I'm really looking forward to combat. It's a pity they removed the waylayer tho (the name, I mean - it had a sting to it that the generic "Ranger" name doesn't have). Also the crafting system seems to be a notch above what the generic mmo's have.

How are you planning on communicating in-game (raids, sieges etc...)?
As with other things decided in Lochlainn we had a vote on what ingame communication system we want. And the majority voted for Ventrilo. So we will establish Ventrilo when we start up (or some time ahead to be able to talk "live" when we lay the final plans for our exploration of Hyboria.

What are you looking for in a potential member?
Aside of maturity and respect for others we doesn't really demand much of our potential members for them to be given citizenship. If they manage to fill out the application without making a total ass of themselves the get approved. It has been a worry among some of our citizens that the standards we set will attract the "leet dood" that won't get accepted anywhere else, but so far it seems that the idea of Lochlainn doesn't attract them. But we are broadminded and let people get a chance to prove themselves to be asshats before they get kicked. So far none are tossed out of the city gates. We hope this can continue, but with our open gates we expect there to be some rotten apples among us - for shorter periods of time. We will have to be swift and merciless on those breaking our few rules of conduct if we are to keep a good reputation. ;)

And finally, How to apply?
Application to Lochlainn is easy: go to http://p086.ezboard.com/bthefreecityoflochlainn and register an account (either local or global). Then you must leave an application with some information about yourself and your goals for the citizenship. We take a quick review of the application and basically grant citizenship within 24-36 hours.

Final words from Bargi:
Lochlainn is a city for crafters, traders and people who don't want a strict rule set for their gameplay. If your main goal is to dominate in PvP - don't come to Lochlainn. Respect and freedom are two key ingredients for the citizens of Lochlainn.
...and we're getting our own anthem :D

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