Since its inception in March 2015, as a small European War Thunder squadron, there have been big plans for X51. In those four years since, the squadron has grown to 50 members, active in War Thunder, DCS and IL-2, across 5 continents and 18 countries. Our public presence has increased significantly, and we are the proud managers of our hugely popular discord server approaching 400 members.
Being an X51 member should always be fulfilling. We see such an incredible level of commitment from everyone, and we want to maintain a sustainable system in which members can be rewarded highly for their dedication.
Therefore, we are introducing the new medals and ribbons awards for all X51 members. These will be rewarded for commitment, attendance, performance and contributions to the running of the squadron. These awards will come with prizes.
Ribbons are the "lower tier" awards, that will come with special discord roles and other virtual perks, while medals will come with gifts pertaining to the sim platform relevant to that award: Golden Eagles and premium aircraft in War Thunder; FC3 aircraft, full fidelity modules and terrains in DCS; premium aircraft and expansion packs in IL-2 and in the near future, we will also be including official X51 Merchandise (see the Merchandise section below).
We want to award these medals as often as we can afford. DRAGON is personally donating a considerable amount to get the scheme off the ground. However, for members who would like to support the squadron and make this system sustainable, we have set up a patreon page for donations. Every cent we receive will go back to the members. Donating will never be mandatory or expected, and does not affect your eligibility for, or chances of obtaining one of the awards. This page was set up as a response to some members coming forward and asking for ways to support the squadron.
We would like these awards to be great looking items that members can proudly display. If anyone has experience in graphic design and would be willing to help design some, please let DRAGON or Wazzerbosh know!
How are the awards decided?
Attendance is calculated using an algorithm that takes into account attended, advised and un-advised absences. This will be used for attendance related awards.
Other, more subjective awards, such as outstanding contributions to the squadron, will be decided in a committee of X51 officers who will nominate and vote on members. In these cases, no one in the committee will be eligible for the award.
What exactly happens to the donations?
There are several tiers of donations available to subscribe to.
Donations from the "X51 Member Patron" and "Premium X51 Member Patron" tiers will be used to purchase prizes, and this will be "topped up" when needed by DRAGON and other officers to ensure we can award them frequently. Occasionally some will be used to send top donors some X51 merchandise.
All donations to the "Server Support Patron" and "Premium Server Support Patron" tiers will go towards the creation of a DCS and IL-2 dedicated server. The initial setup cost of this server will be around 1000 USD/900 EUR. The server will be created regardless of the amount we get from donations, but hopefully it will make it a little less expensive for DRAGON.
Lastly, the "Premium X51 Investor" tier will be split 50/50 between server cost and member awards, for those that want to support both.
Patreon takes a small percentage cut of donations and there are some small transfer fees. We will make sure all this information is available to members.
We would like to make some official X51 merchandise available, which will also be used to fund everything mentioned above. However, items need to be ordered in large bulk. For this, we would like to gauge the interest in such items. Below is a poll and we kindly ask members to tell us which items they would love to have.