Saturday, 15 November 2014

A Kinship Guide

"Well met, traveller."

From the Shire's rolling hills to Rohan's musical themes, Lord of the Rings Online offers an encapsulating experience from the moment your character is created. True to Tolkien's Legendarium, this virtual Middle Earth provides an honest depiction of even the smallest details.

An ongoing theme in the trilogy is the power of friendship and comraderie. Turbine has brought this theme to life, and has allowed us to feel belonging, by creating Kinships. This article offers even the newest of players a guide of how to create and maintain a strong and stable kinship in our second home.

The Name

The name of your kin will be its primary advertising strength. A rose by any other name would smell as sweet. Unfortunately, we can't smell anything in Lord of the Rings Online - except the coffee that keeps us awake in a 3 hour long raid.

Does the name invoke power? Does it suggest roleplay? Or is it a play on words? (The Silly Marillions, anyone?) Spend time on the name. Check the spelling/grammar. You don't want to have a well established kinship with an apostrophe in the wrong place! Durin's Beard!

The goals of the kinship should be just as important as the name. Pick up a piece of paper and a pen and write down your kinship's goals. Example:

-To be a constantly recruiting, massive kinship (Everlasting Hope).
-To have a weekly raiding team in a casual setting (Lost Realm of Imladris).
-To encourage roleplay and appropriate events (The Elite Archers of Elrond).
-To enslave Hobbits and torture them regularly (Stormborn).

Whatever you decide, keep it in mind when you advertise and ask players to join.


Use the regional channel and World Chat to your advantage. Here, you can communicate with hundreds of players and tell them what you guys are about. Just remember not to over do it (one advert per hour usually is a good amount).

An example of a great kinship ad:

Do you find yourself falling off cliffs while riding around Moria? Do you regularly pull 20 mobs at once? Can't tell your hammer from your helmet? We want useless players like you! <Kin Name> are recruiting completely useless people! Are you just awful? Send me a /tell!

Make 'em laugh, guys.

There is nothing worse than a single liner like "<Kin Name> are recruiting. Send a /tell to join".

Also, not every unkinned player will want to join you. Some have reasons to run around on their own. “Not all those who wander are lost.”

The Road Goes On, Ever Ever On!

"If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world."

Your kinship is growing. You have more than a handful of players who seem to think there's potential here: be sure not to disappoint them! The more effort you put into the existence of the kin, the more quickly it will come alive and stable on its own. Within a few months, you will see it developing its own traditions, jokes and general all round fun.

The key to keeping a stable, well maintained kinship is to have your good ol' regulars. Just like pubs and bars in the real world, you need a regular band of merry men and women to keep the kinship alive. The following examples will help maintain your kinship:

-Promote some members to Officers if they feel up to the role and could help the kin.
-Find people from the same areas of the world. We live in different timezones - make sure people have friends to great them when they log in!
-Give people a reason to want to log in to their kinshipped character.
-Create a weekly timetable for your kinship.
-Create a social setting for the kinship outside of the game. This means places like Facebook, a blog, even your own website!
-Create a handbook for new players so they know the ins and outs of the kinship. The rules and codes of conduct.
-Create a TeamSpeak or RaidCall channel for your kinship.

In summary: keep the kin regular, keep the kin clean from bad manners, keep it active and keep it helpful.

And finally...

Have fun! Remember kinships should be about having fun. Try and keep it light hearted. Look out for arguments in kin chat - things like that can ruin even the best of kins. Young players can be a handful, so make sure you recruit wisely.

Good luck with your kinship. It can be the best thing about Middle Earth!

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