Who We Are
Unusual name. Great people. Good times.
(I’m indebted to Casey most of all and countless other friends for their years of guidance -- and, for this mission statement, to an old friend and more-experienced leader than myself. Thanks, Dave.)
Cynosure is a Final Fantasy XI Linkshell on the Ragnarok server, dedicated to fostering friendships and exploring the game’s wonders with old and new friends. We believe that a good linkshell serves as one's in-game family and support community. We try to plan events regularly for players new to Vana’diel, as well as for our grizzled veterans. Events are planned mostly as a linkshell, but our friends are always welcome. Whenever possible we hope to level and quest with each other to promote linkshell unity, and because it’s more fun to work together with friends.
Although Cynosure doesn’t require attendance at events, we are more than "just a social linkshell." You may call us “Casual, with ambition,” as we strive to achieve at least some of the things that many believe are reserved only for dedicated HNM-camping linkshells or event linkshells. We want to be proof that one does not have to give up one’s friends along the way in order to accomplish things in the game – including some “endgame.”
Although I (Grommet) founded Cynosure, Cynosure is not governed by myself or any one individual. The leaders strive to work on a consensus basis. (I do have the final say, partly because there are some issues where I need to, and partly because sometimes a true consensus just doesn't form.) If you have any input on the directions and goals of the linkshell, concerns about another member, or any other question please feel free to /tell me or any of the sackholders in-game, or send us a private message on the forums. As the linkshell grows and matures, there will be room for more members to be promoted to sackholder based on the merits of their actions, attitude, and general willingness to be there for the linkshell and its members.
Rarely, it may be necessary to remove a member. If the leadership sees that a problem has arisen, whether through observation or by talking with others, the member in question will be approached by a leader in order to discuss and resolve the issue. If a member refuses to address the issue, or if incidents continue to occur, steps will be taken by the leadership as a whole to intervene. If no resolution can be reached the person's linkpearl will be broken, their rights on the website will be revoked, and an explanation of the actions taken will be presented on the forums for all linkshell members to review and maturely discuss as necessary. That being said, we believe that any member who follows the spirit of the charter will never be confronted with this.
Sometimes, even more rarely, bad situations need to be resolved quickly. If someone starts being genuinely disrespectful towards others, or keeps an unrestrained argument going, or uses hate speech (racial, ethnic, religious, or anything meant in a mean-spirited fashion), or in any way starts negatively impacting the shell, that person will have their linkpearl broken immediately, with discussions in /tell or elsewhere – but not in LS chat – to follow afterwards. A pearl may be reissued when and if the matter has been resolved.
Generally speaking, I personally frown on politics and religion in LS chat and prefer that it be taken to /tells. I've had too many experiences with pleasant conversations about such matters very, very quickly taking turns for the tumultuous, with friendships lost as a result. I am not making this a firm rule just now, but tread very lightly in these areas, if you tread there at all.
From the moment a character logs in with a Cynosure pearl, he or she will be welcomed with smiles, teamwork and a sense that Cynosure is a place where members can go to enjoy their time among their peers, even after a rough day “IRL” or a bad party with strangers in-game. Cynosure is our family and home, so it's important that we get along with the people in it. Everyone has bad days, and we don't expect everyone to be cheerful and carefree 100% of the time. However, we do require that every member does their best to contribute to the sense of community, and that they will strive to be respectful in their dealings both within the linkshell and with others. Remember that there are members that are made uncomfortable when other people make it a point to complain about everything or use profanity at every turn, and this disrupts an environment where everyone can feel comfortable and at home. While the occasional rant or misjudgment can be overlooked, a consistently sour disposition cannot.
You’re always an ambassador of Cynosure, wherever you go in FFXI: to other players, to new recruits, to people reading the forums (whether the linkshell forums or general FFXI forums), and to linkshell members themselves. All it takes is one "bad apple" with a Cynosure pearl equipped to taint our reputation. Follow the Golden Rule, and you’ll have no problem!
Members are expected to remain open-minded in our conversations, respect each other's point of view, avoid offensive speech and subject matter, and refrain from any unethical acts such as botting, Real-Money Trade or harassment.
We're not actively seeking a large linkshell. We feel no particular need to pad our numbers with new recruits in order to have spare bodies filling the shell. Instead, new members are typically recruited through friends who already are members. We place no particular emphasis on jobs, character level, or equipment. Instead, we believe that it's crucial to our core that any new members mesh well with the rest of the shell. Not every LS is for everyone, and even some very nice people sometimes won’t fit in. Unofficially, new members could be said to be “probationary,” in the sense that we’re wary of new folks who immediately expect a lot of difficult help with little benefit to the LS as a whole.
Events and Participation
You’ll get out of Cynosure what you put into it. The more often you lend a hand, even when there’s “nothing in it for you,” the more likely you are to find many others stepping up to help you when it’s your time to ask for help. Attendance is never required, but continued absence from group-help events (that is, when you’re obviously online and could have chosen to attend; we’re not talking about folks who have RL conflicts), combined with frequent pleas for help, will be noticed. We enjoy helping our Cynosure family, but we expect the same enthusiasm to be returned back when a member has the ability to contribute.
Cynosure members are free to belong to multiple linkshells, but a person who dedicates their time to a single linkshell has the greatest impact on it and receives the greatest amount of benefit. To reflect this, members that make themselves exclusive to Cynosure will receive higher priority when we choose what “help events” to do and in similar choices.
Everyone knows the difference between a "community event" and a request for help by a member or two. Planning an event that says, "I need to camp/kill Charybdis for Joyeuse" does not make a particularly strong community event (this falls under a "request for help"), while gathering a group of people who all need to complete a quest or mission does. This absolutely does not mean that members are expected to be completely altruistic or that requests for help will be ignored. (They’d better not be. I have my eye on an item or two that I’d like a bit of help on someday!)
Still, “what goes around comes around,” as I suggested earlier: the more you help others and participate in events, the more likely others will be free, or feel like they're free, when YOU need help.
Our highest priority in Cynosure is Real Life. “RL > FF,” as I am fond of saying. I have seen a few acquaintances become “haijin,” people who waste their young adulthood by over-playing this game, and Cynosure won’t be a party to that. Our members attend high school, college and daily jobs that come before the game. We have spouses, parents, children, friends, roommates, and pets that come before the game. When life happens, the game (and the linkshell) yields. All we ask is that, when it’s foreseeable that RL may interfere with a planned event, SAY SO, and consider bowing out of that event – but sometimes, it’s not foreseeable, and we understand that.
Cynosure isn’t, and doesn’t strive to be, an HNM linkshell. Some of our veteran members currently participate in or have participated in HNM linkshells in the past; but as a linkshell, Cynosure will not become embroiled in the politics and drama associated with that particular aspect of the game. We believe that our time is better spent actually playing the game, rather than standing around in the rain or in the depths of some damp dungeon for hour after hour with scores of other people in the nearby vicinity, all competing for the pull.
That being said, we respect those Cynosure members who forgo the HNM route and instead remain exclusive to the linkshell, and we don't want that decision to be a "punishment" by forcing them to sacrificing some of the best fights and items that the game has to offer. So, in trying to do what's best for members, we’ll try to take little hops over the line to get the things people want, particularly as Cynosure’s newer members achieve access to Sky and Sea, the Past, and other areas.
Regular Events: Advanced And Basic
We’ll be taking more and more of those “hops” as more Cynosure members reach level 75 in at least one job, thereby making us more powerful. Among these events are regular Limbus runs, ZNM hunting parties, smaller groups in regular Assault or Nyzul Isle sets, and semi-regular KS99 BCNM fights.
But Cynosure will never forget its roots in helping our newer members get the basic help they need, without spoiling them. That means that veterans need to help out occasionally on nation-missions, early COP and ZM missions, even Kazham keys! You can’t repay the people who once helped you, perhaps, but you can pay it forward. If there is one activity upon which I look most fondly in this game, it’s helping out the new folks.
Cynosure was born in September 2009, as an offshoot or continuation of sorts of my beloved longtime linkshell, Axiom, where I prospered under the guidance of its founder, Trichocyst, and others. When Trichocyst finally retired, it became time to make a new shell and try to carry on Axiom’s best traditions of friendship and support.
The name? Yes, it’s a bit unusual, but we like it. It means a focal point, a source of guidance and direction – and admiration.
If you like what you’ve read and want to join our family, step up and introduce yourself in our forums
Do As You Would Be Done By.