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    Your Elvenar Team

What Makes a Good Archmage?

Darielle

Chef, Scroll-Keeper, and Buddy Fan Club Member
As I reflect on my two years as an archmage and search for a replacement, I decided to put up my list of my top 10 things that make a good archmage. Perhaps other good archmages can add to it or improve on it, so that newer people who suddenly find themselves with fellowships can have a good resource here, for tips and advice from the "old pros." Please jump in and add to my list, whatever you think would benefit new archmages.

1. Always take your fellowship member's trades, especially if you know those items are scarce and they'll have a hard time acquiring them. Take as many as you can reasonably afford. That's going to vary on how much of a stockpile you have, but anyone who is sitting on 3 or 4 million in rare goods but won't take a 50K, two-star trade simply because they don't need it or want to keep their stockpile is, in my opinion, doing a grave disservice to their member and the fellowship.

2. Never call out a member by name for non-disruptive offenses in public, such as in chat or in a message others can read. For example, if you have a rule that says 2 or 3 star trades only, but someone puts up a one-star trade, remind them in private of the rule. Or you can say something general in chat, such as, "Remember, everyone, only 2 or 3 star trades are allowed." Don't say, "Hal, you put up a one-star trade. That's not allowed." Now, if they're causing a riot in chat, that's very different.

3. Multiple offenders, especially those that disrupt or cause resentment in the group, should be removed with a friendly note. Say something like, "I'm sorry things didn't work out with us. I hope you find a group with rules you can live with. Best of luck to you." And whatever you do, don't keep warning them if they repeatedly break the same rule over and over. Either keep the rule or the person, but not both, no matter how much you need the tourney or spire points.

4. Never let a member bully you into submission. This is your group, not his or hers. If someone says you're being unfair, ask 4 or 5 of your best members in private if you're wrong. Make sure they know you won't be mad no matter their answer (and mean it!) If they think you're right, then you're right… the bully must go.

5. Always post a positive message each day, even if it's just, "Good morning, everyone!" You may not have an active chat, but people like knowing that their archmage is engaged and active.

6. Seek out members for empty slots, and try to keep your fellowship as full as possible with ACTIVE members. Check Elvenstats regularly, and if a player is gone for a month or two without explanation, remove them and recruit for their slot. The worst thing you can do is to keep more than a few members with "black triangles" beside their names on Elvenstats. That makes your fellowship a target for recruiters. If you have 20 players but 10 of them have black triangles, you can almost guarantee that your active players will be wooed by other fellowships.

7. When you are recruiting from other fellowships, maintain a reputation for kindness. Don't recruit from small fellowships or from new ones where the archmage is active. Whether they're as good an AM as you are is irrelevant … if they're trying, leave them alone and wish them well. Focus on those where the AM is absent or sporadic in tourney scores (you can see that on Elvenstats) and where a large number of black triangles dominate a full or nearly full fellowship. If an archmage doesn't care about the fellowship, don't feel guilty about whisking the best player away. I have found, in 2 years as an archmage and a year as a recruiting mage, most players in that situation are about to quit anyway. You're rescuing them, not poaching them.

8. Find good ways to reward your players for their loyalty to your fellowship. Check Elvenstats (can you tell I love that place?) to make a list of the dates that all of your members joined your group. Announce their Fellowship anniversaries and make a fuss in a message. Give them an anniversary gift of KP, and encourage (but not decree) everyone else to do the same. Also, keep an eye on their scores as they rise through the ranks. We reward players at every 100K level from 100K to a million. It's like the anniversary, but we call it a Milestone Day. You can free up your time as an AM and ask other mages to share the load. We currently have an Anniversary Mage and are looking for a Milestone Mage.

9. Make the spire more fun by offering kp incentives to climb the spire. Not every week, but maybe once a month or once a season. Have spire parties, spire stories (a thread where you start a group adventure theme and everyone adds a line while climbing the spire). Just do whatever you can to promote it and make it fun. Likewise, make the chat more fun by drawing people into chat with quizzes, games or challenges. I know that the only prize available is kp, but people don't get tired of winning kp. It's not so much the prize that counts, anyway; it's the fun of feeling part of a good group. We have our Freaky Friday challenges once a week.

10. If you're going to be away, even for one day, make sure you let people know and leave someone you trust in charge. People like to know that their archmage is consistent and concerned with their game experience. Don't drop off the planet unless you've been hit by a Mack truck. Let people know you consider them first, when you're planning absences or vacations.

If I think of more I'll add them, but that's all I can come up with at the moment. We have a great deal of talent here, so I'm sure you guys can come up with good ones.
 

Lelanya

Scroll-Keeper, Keys to the Gems
Have a clear policy, well communicated, about Fellowship Adventures, and stick to it as much as possible once an Adventure starts. Do not expect other players to perform tasks that you are not willing to do yourself - for example squeeze out brew badges.
 

Darielle

Chef, Scroll-Keeper, and Buddy Fan Club Member
Have a clear policy, well communicated, about Fellowship Adventures, and stick to it as much as possible once an Adventure starts. Do not expect other players to perform tasks that you are not willing to do yourself - for example squeeze out brew badges.
Excellent advice. I'll add that to my list. :)
 

Myne

Oh Wise One
I would like to add that messaging and chatting praise and encouragement are also important, especially for new players. It's another method to guide them to good practices.
 

Darielle

Chef, Scroll-Keeper, and Buddy Fan Club Member
I would like to add that messaging and chatting praise and encouragement are also important, especially for new players. It's another method to guide them to good practices.
So true; that's an excellent point. I remember my newest player, who was looking up at everyone 10x his size, was really happy when I mentioned how well he was doing in the tourney. Sometimes being small can be intimidating, and just knowing that the "big guys" appreciate your efforts can mean a lot.
 

Henroo

Oh Wise One
This has made me think about my archmage style. I am very good at some aspects outlined. 1. I can lead by example. My tournament scores are great and I will top the spire weekly. 2. I can clear trades. In fact, I have huge stockpiles of goods and can take virtually any trade a FS member puts up. 3. I can maintain a fellowship. I notice when players have gone inactive, remove them after a suitable period, and can recruit to fill the open spot. 4. If a player has questions about the game or wants advice, I am ACES at this. In fact, this is probably one of my greatest strengths. I know this game and I can almost certainly help my players in this aspect. 5. I have always addressed issues with players through private message and not through group chat.

But there are also other things I could do better. 1. I'm not good at initiating light-hearted banter in fellowship chat or messenger. I do appreciate that this is important and I can respond to others in this manner when they post something. But I am just not naturally chatty, so I rarely start this kind of thing. 2. I'm not proactive with praise. Once again, this is just not something that naturally occurs to me. If a player asks how they are doing or if they express concern that they are not doing enough, I am normally very supportive and positive. But doing this kind of thing spontaneously is not natural for me. 3. Darielle mentioned things like remembering player birthdays and the anniversaries of when players joined the fellowship. Yeah, I am a complete and utter failure at this and likely will always be. I am doing good to remember all the birthdays of my real life family! LOL
 

Darielle

Chef, Scroll-Keeper, and Buddy Fan Club Member
I would add this:

Have your participation requirements laid out in writing and make sure new recruits read and understand them.

And bear in mind that a player who is new to the game won't truly understand them until they've played the game for a bit.
Absolutely. Thanks, Jack!
 

Darielle

Chef, Scroll-Keeper, and Buddy Fan Club Member
This has made me think about my archmage style. I am very good at some aspects outlined. 1. I can lead by example. My tournament scores are great and I will top the spire weekly. 2. I can clear trades. In fact, I have huge stockpiles of goods and can take virtually any trade a FS member puts up. 3. I can maintain a fellowship. I notice when players have gone inactive, remove them after a suitable period, and can recruit to fill the open spot. 4. If a player has questions about the game or wants advice, I am ACES at this. In fact, this is probably one of my greatest strengths. I know this game and I can almost certainly help my players in this aspect. 5. I have always addressed issues with players through private message and not through group chat.

But there are also other things I could do better. 1. I'm not good at initiating light-hearted banter in fellowship chat or messenger. I do appreciate that this is important and I can respond to others in this manner when they post something. But I am just not naturally chatty, so I rarely start this kind of thing. 2. I'm not proactive with praise. Once again, this is just not something that naturally occurs to me. If a player asks how they are doing or if they express concern that they are not doing enough, I am normally very supportive and positive. But doing this kind of thing spontaneously is not natural for me. 3. Darielle mentioned things like remembering player birthdays and the anniversaries of when players joined the fellowship. Yeah, I am a complete and utter failure at this and likely will always be. I am doing good to remember all the birthdays of my real life family! LOL
As a former member of your fellowship, I can attest to the fact that you are a great archmage, and I do believe you are better than you think you are even in the supposed weak points. If I had time for Arendyll, I certainly would have never left the group.

And now, even my own group is getting to be too much for me. When I took my current job last month, I never imagined that it would be overtime work. I don't think I've spent less then 60 hours a week at it since I started, but I do love it. I've announced to the mages that I'll be stepping down as archmage on April 1st. I'll put out a general announcement on March first. But I'll still be a mage in the group, as long as someone within the group steps in to the role, and I'll still try to help everyone I can ... I'll just switch to once a day instead of 6x a day. That will help a lot.
 

LutherTheHairy

Active Member
As I reflect on my two years as an archmage and search for a replacement, I decided to put up my list of my top 10 things that make a good archmage. Perhaps other good archmages can add to it or improve on it, so that newer people who suddenly find themselves with fellowships can have a good resource here, for tips and advice from the "old pros." Please jump in and add to my list, whatever you think would benefit new archmages.

1. Always take your fellowship member's trades, especially if you know those items are scarce and they'll have a hard time acquiring them. Take as many as you can reasonably afford. That's going to vary on how much of a stockpile you have, but anyone who is sitting on 3 or 4 million in rare goods but won't take a 50K, two-star trade simply because they don't need it or want to keep their stockpile is, in my opinion, doing a grave disservice to their member and the fellowship.

2. Never call out a member by name for non-disruptive offenses in public, such as in chat or in a message others can read. For example, if you have a rule that says 2 or 3 star trades only, but someone puts up a one-star trade, remind them in private of the rule. Or you can say something general in chat, such as, "Remember, everyone, only 2 or 3 star trades are allowed." Don't say, "Hal, you put up a one-star trade. That's not allowed." Now, if they're causing a riot in chat, that's very different.

3. Multiple offenders, especially those that disrupt or cause resentment in the group, should be removed with a friendly note. Say something like, "I'm sorry things didn't work out with us. I hope you find a group with rules you can live with. Best of luck to you." And whatever you do, don't keep warning them if they repeatedly break the same rule over and over. Either keep the rule or the person, but not both, no matter how much you need the tourney or spire points.

4. Never let a member bully you into submission. This is your group, not his or hers. If someone says you're being unfair, ask 4 or 5 of your best members in private if you're wrong. Make sure they know you won't be mad no matter their answer (and mean it!) If they think you're right, then you're right… the bully must go.

5. Always post a positive message each day, even if it's just, "Good morning, everyone!" You may not have an active chat, but people like knowing that their archmage is engaged and active.

6. Seek out members for empty slots, and try to keep your fellowship as full as possible with ACTIVE members. Check Elvenstats regularly, and if a player is gone for a month or two without explanation, remove them and recruit for their slot. The worst thing you can do is to keep more than a few members with "black triangles" beside their names on Elvenstats. That makes your fellowship a target for recruiters. If you have 20 players but 10 of them have black triangles, you can almost guarantee that your active players will be wooed by other fellowships.

7. When you are recruiting from other fellowships, maintain a reputation for kindness. Don't recruit from small fellowships or from new ones where the archmage is active. Whether they're as good an AM as you are is irrelevant … if they're trying, leave them alone and wish them well. Focus on those where the AM is absent or sporadic in tourney scores (you can see that on Elvenstats) and where a large number of black triangles dominate a full or nearly full fellowship. If an archmage doesn't care about the fellowship, don't feel guilty about whisking the best player away. I have found, in 2 years as an archmage and a year as a recruiting mage, most players in that situation are about to quit anyway. You're rescuing them, not poaching them.

8. Find good ways to reward your players for their loyalty to your fellowship. Check Elvenstats (can you tell I love that place?) to make a list of the dates that all of your members joined your group. Announce their Fellowship anniversaries and make a fuss in a message. Give them an anniversary gift of KP, and encourage (but not decree) everyone else to do the same. Also, keep an eye on their scores as they rise through the ranks. We reward players at every 100K level from 100K to a million. It's like the anniversary, but we call it a Milestone Day. You can free up your time as an AM and ask other mages to share the load. We currently have an Anniversary Mage and are looking for a Milestone Mage.

9. Make the spire more fun by offering kp incentives to climb the spire. Not every week, but maybe once a month or once a season. Have spire parties, spire stories (a thread where you start a group adventure theme and everyone adds a line while climbing the spire). Just do whatever you can to promote it and make it fun. Likewise, make the chat more fun by drawing people into chat with quizzes, games or challenges. I know that the only prize available is kp, but people don't get tired of winning kp. It's not so much the prize that counts, anyway; it's the fun of feeling part of a good group. We have our Freaky Friday challenges once a week.

10. If you're going to be away, even for one day, make sure you let people know and leave someone you trust in charge. People like to know that their archmage is consistent and concerned with their game experience. Don't drop off the planet unless you've been hit by a Mack truck. Let people know you consider them first, when you're planning absences or vacations.

If I think of more I'll add them, but that's all I can come up with at the moment. We have a great deal of talent here, so I'm sure you guys can come up with good ones.
I really like the anniversary idea and the point about being present in chat. Recruiting is always a challenge. I found I can put a lot of time and energy into that and come up with little and then I just get lucky and get a whole bunch of people at once. I think it’s key to have all of the majors and as many players as you can encourage to be on the lookout for recruits also.

What are your thoughts on roster? Sometimes I think it’s better to leave some inactive players in there but not so many that you don’t have any open slots I feel like the headcount is too small. It’s a bit of a red flag.
 

Lelanya

Scroll-Keeper, Keys to the Gems
Hi Luther
I think it depends on your FS's goals. The OP's FS competes in FA for first place so she would disagree vociferously, and I will leave her to do so.
If your goals are more modest and your fellowship takes in small cities, then they are better off having more cities to polish as their map isn't very big.
 

crackie

Chef, Scroll-Keeper, Buddy's #1 Fan
1. I'm not good at initiating light-hearted banter in fellowship chat or messenger. I do appreciate that this is important and I can respond to others in this manner when they post something. But I am just not naturally chatty, so I rarely start this kind of thing.
But remember, @Henroo...mages exist! Delegate, delegate, delegate...and that includes both the hard skills (spreadsheet mastery) and soft skills (people) that someone else might be able to handle better than you. For example, a CEO is ultimately in charge of a group's finances, but he could still have a CFO or accountant to help out who's better with numbers.

For me, I think the banter is the most important aspect and why I bother to run a FS. I have been a part of an all out FS (full Spire, 1st in FA, 19th chest in tourney), and despite benefiting from max goodies galore, the experience felt robotic. A bunch of us decided better chat was more enjoyable than rewards, so we left for lesser rewards. And that's the thing...there could be a handful of fellowships that offer all the rewards in the world, but then what separates them apart? It's the chat that gives a fellowship its distinct personality.

What are your thoughts on roster? Sometimes I think it’s better to leave some inactive players in there but not so many that you don’t have any open slots I feel like the headcount is too small. It’s a bit of a red flag.
Veterans/Experienced players usually check elvenstats before applying and if they see black triangles in a FS listing, then they tend to stay away. Yeah, there are cases where people are sick, traveling, or other RL stuff that would trigger a black triangle, but most people interpret it as inactive players not pruned by diligent staff. It's a sign of inattentive leadership or inactive teammates, neither of which are good traits in a FS.
 

LutherTheHairy

Active Member
Veterans/Experienced players usually check elvenstats before applying and if they see black triangles in a FS listing, then they tend to stay away. Yeah, there are cases where people are sick, traveling, or other RL stuff that would trigger a black triangle, but most people interpret it as inactive players not pruned by diligent staff. It's a sign of inattentive leadership or inactive teammates, neither of which are good traits in a FS.

thanks for that crackie....Yeah, we have some members whose IRLs got in the way and we have not pruned because they do pop in from time to time and we love them. And some recruits who just never did much. Now that we have 24, it might be time to trim.


Elvenstats has been unrealiable in tracking tournament totals recent months. Do you know if this extends to other data? I am unsure how much I can trust it.
We have hit 10 chests for the past 3 months at least, and there was a period of a couple of months before that where maybe we only got 9 2 or 3 times. Prior to that we hit 10 every week for a year or so. Elvenstats has our average at 7! it shows me with 0 points many weeks, and I ALWAYS do at least 20 provinces 6 rounds for a couple years now.
 

Henroo

Oh Wise One
thanks for that crackie....Yeah, we have some members whose IRLs got in the way and we have not pruned because they do pop in from time to time and we love them. And some recruits who just never did much. Now that we have 24, it might be time to trim.


Elvenstats has been unrealiable in tracking tournament totals recent months. Do you know if this extends to other data? I am unsure how much I can trust it.
We have hit 10 chests for the past 3 months at least, and there was a period of a couple of months before that where maybe we only got 9 2 or 3 times. Prior to that we hit 10 every week for a year or so. Elvenstats has our average at 7! it shows me with 0 points many weeks, and I ALWAYS do at least 20 provinces 6 rounds for a couple years now.
I have noticed the same thing about elvenstats. However, sometimes if you hit the button to update the membership of your fellowship it will correct the data and display the correct tournament average for the fellowship. Have you tried that yet?
 

LutherTheHairy

Active Member
sometimes if you hit the button to update the membership of your fellowship it will correct the data and display the correct tournament average for the fellowship

I had not tried that. It adid something, but it still shows our average at 9.3, and I don't think we have missed in at least 3 months, maybe a few more (went through a tough spot for a little while when our member count was low and some folks were out).
The graph shows 4-5 weeks since early december where we apparently scored 0 points as a fellowship that has definitely never happened.
 

Henroo

Oh Wise One
I had not tried that. It adid something, but it still shows our average at 9.3, and I don't think we have missed in at least 3 months, maybe a few more (went through a tough spot for a little while when our member count was low and some folks were out).
The graph shows 4-5 weeks since early december where we apparently scored 0 points as a fellowship that has definitely never happened.
It might be that it had been so long since the last update to your fellowship that it could not correct everything. This is speculation on my part. What I do know is that hitting the update fellowship button works. And furthermore, it will work even if there have been no membership changes. There have been times where Elvenstats has displayed some of my fellowships as only having 7.5 chest average. And I KNEW this was wrong: we are 10 chests and normally several bonus chests. I hit the update members button even though our fellowship had been stable and had not gone through any recent membership changes. After doing this, Elvenstats displayed the proper 10 chest average for my fellowship. Our fellowship membership had not changed, but hitting the update button on Elvenstats fixed the information about our fellowship.
 

JackofShadows

Active Member
As far as I can tell, Elvenstats is no longer being actively updated. The copyright at the bottom says 2020. The last News update was 2021. I suspect it's on autopilot as far as pulling data from Elvenar's servers. And if Inno ever changes their API, the site will crash.

I hazard a guess that there's no alternative tool and that's why people use it.
 

Darielle

Chef, Scroll-Keeper, and Buddy Fan Club Member
I really like the anniversary idea and the point about being present in chat. Recruiting is always a challenge. I found I can put a lot of time and energy into that and come up with little and then I just get lucky and get a whole bunch of people at once. I think it’s key to have all of the majors and as many players as you can encourage to be on the lookout for recruits also.

What are your thoughts on roster? Sometimes I think it’s better to leave some inactive players in there but not so many that you don’t have any open slots I feel like the headcount is too small. It’s a bit of a red flag.
I would rather have a low headcount of active players than a high headcount of a mix. Anytime I see more than four black triangles on a fellowship, that sends up a red flag to me. And I think a lot more recruiters look at elvenstats and see those black triangles than people think. I know that's my goto place for recruiting. But others would think differently.
 

quin629

Well-Known Member
@Lelanya has more insight but iirc the problem is that ElvenStats is not - can not - be on autopilot. The player that owns the site has to essentially run a manual update weekly for each world. The player also has a real life so some features like News have dropped by the wayside. The data is as current as the player can achieve, but every major Inno change causes problems for the ElvenStats data pulls.
 
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