Sunday, October 2, 2011

Pre-launch Guilds and Information Inundation Rambling

As my inaugural entry in this blog I've decided to write about the two things which have happened so far in the wait for SWTOR.

  1. Finding a stable launch guild. 
  2. Absolutely flooding myself with information about the game, the class, the world. 

A bit of background on me to illustrate what I would be looking for in a guild:
Now I may not be an immensely knowledgeable Star Wars(TM) fan as some others, but what I do know is MMO's. I've played everything from EQ, to Rift. Something around 10 MMOs have had me present in their persistent open worlds, or instanced incarnations, and I've run a tank archetypal character in all of them.

My resume for writing includes two years writing professional guides for The Azeroth Advisor, a subsidiary of 38 Studios along with straight A's in seven college literature, mythology, folklore and writing classes.

I have an extensive background in contributing to gaming communities. I was a very vocal and knowledgeable member of the Bear Druid community during World of Warcraft: Cataclysm and before that the Protection Warrior community. I have been present on the official forums,,, and various others.

If I were to tell you I care deeply about tanking in video games, and that third of the Holy Trinity thereof I would be greatly understating the sentiment.

Pre-Launch Guild?
This type of guild is a funny thing, they can seem so stable, so put together, and so ready to rock until you get in-game. I ran a pre-launch guild back in 2004 after Open Beta in world of warcraft. We actually succeeded and did very well through vanilla until things fell apart due to myself having other things in life to attend to! With that said I give you;

4 Things to look for in a pre-launch guild: 

  1. Close-knit Leadership- you want your guild to have a family feel to it. You want to find people who are invested not only in the game, or in the guild, but each other. 
  2. Singular visions- this can be difficult but in order to build a cohesive roster, you need to find people who want to focus on the same thing.
  3. History- it can really help if the guild you find has played through previous games together, you can look back at the decisions they've made and the milestones they have accomplished. 
  4. Activity- if you're guild members communicate on VoIP programs, and get involved in the community, they will be more likely to stick around after launch if they are invested in the community.

On to the guild search! 
I've only recently come to the realization that I want to play SWTOR very much. I've loved the Mass Effect series very much and have dumped hundreds of hours into it and the storytelling is amazing. I also think that Bioware has created some very amazing PvE in that game which I look forward to testing in the MMO space.
I wanted a guild which would do some casual PvE, and have my back in a PvP environment. I don't normally do a lot of PvP, though I did have a High Warlord Rogue, and a Blood Guard Priest in Vanilla WoW. The reasoning is that my work schedule is very hectic, I work 60+ hours a week, 7 days a week and get very few days off. I also work second shift East Coast which means I get home just before Midnight every day. Thus I need a West Coast guild, check!
I found many suitable guilds for this. I read through pages, pages, pages of threads on the official guild recruitment forums.
I found Empire Guilds, I found Republic Guilds. I found PvE guilds, I found PvP guilds. I found a little bit of everything. Hours I spent scouring the forums, the websites, the forums again and everything seemed to blur into one gargantuan sarlacc of information ready to devour me.

Finally I saw a new hope, I found a guild who would do some PvE that accommodates my schedule, gives me the PvP I can handle, and is the stable guild with personality I can get behind and call my home.

Enter, Indignation *Shameless Plug*
After joining I attended a guild meeting that lasted over an hour and covered some great things like prospective guild alliances or adversaries, ways to rank up within the guild and who is in charge of what!
We had a great time and I'm hoping I can push them into getting a mumble server, even if I have to pay for it!

If you haven't heard of Mumble, I don't want to go into it now, but it beats the heck out of vent, teamspeak and all those. It is completely superior to every VoIP program I have ever used and highly recommend.

Information? More like...
Ouch this hurts my head. Now the NDA has yet to be lifted. That doesn't mean I haven't seen plenty of stuff about the game. I've read what we've got so far on tanks, which is very little. I've inferred a bit more than what has been said.

What I've learned is that the Jedi Knight is the kind of tank I want to play. What I haven't learned is how these two tanks(on the Republic side of things) are going to play compared to one another. I've seen that Jedi Knights(both ACs) have a great gap-closer in Force Leap. Sweet, a heroic leap that actually works? Sign me up!

The Trooper doesn't really need the gap closer. He's a ranged tank.
This is just one subtle difference but it's definitely a difference in game-play. One of many distinctions I think will be made between these two tanks.

Now, tanking will be a bit different in SWTOR, we won't need the Holy Trinity as much as in other games and it seems like we'll see a lot of "bring the player not the class" mentality that has spread through certain other games recently. Tanks do their job, but they also do their job by protecting others, not just holding aggro and tanking hits in the face by the bosses crotch. That doesn't stop me from wanting to be the best 'tank' I can be.

I've spent the good part of the last three days absolutely ripping up every last piece of information regarding the Jedi Knight and it's Advanced Class Guardian that I can get my hands on.
I get a sweet looking Corvette class Defender ship, check.
1 handed lightsaber which I can change to a few colors, check.
Heavy Armor, check.
Flashpoints, look awesome, check.
Operations, want to see more.
I get a droid as my first companion? Awesome.
For any other Guardians(or Jedi Knights) looking to read some more about the Class/AC I recommend clicking me right now


People aren't happy on forums? Big Giant Check.

So I, along with everyone else in the world got two fallacious emails from Bioware accidentally asking for my input on the beta and yeah I was disappointed. Though the rage and entitlement I saw on the forums due to the forum go-ers "mental anguish" due to these emails is quite hilarious.

How can you really think you're entitled to beta test if you got an accidental email? It's coming out in December, just like everyone else you get to play then(and a bit earlier if you're in early access), you're not a special snowflake, you're too fat, get the fuck off my porch fatty.
I'm not going to say I wasn't disappointed but the sheer entitlement of some people just make me completely sick.

With that said, I think I'm done ranting about everything going on right now on the forums and just want to say one thing;
I fully look forward to maintaining a great blog for all you readers out there about being a high end tank in SWTOR. It might not look possible as we're all guessing at the moment what real tanking is like in FPs and Ops(I'm starting the abbreviation train right now, CHOO CHOO). What I do know is that there is always a way to do things better, a way to push the limits, and I'm going to do just that. Thundercats HOOOOO!!

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