Dec 21, 2011

Posted by in United We Stand | 1 Comment

United We Stand: Visibility, Channels, And Giant Droids, Oh My!

United We Stand is an Ask A Jedi series focusing on guilds, groups, and other communities in Star Wars: The Old Republic. By examining the communities that we form, we can create a stronger game for ourselves, build relationships that will last a lifetime, and perhaps even change the world itself.

Happy day after launch day! It’s the little days that count…

One of the awesome things about Star Wars: The Old Republic (of many, of course) is that there are heroic world bosses on every planet, each requiring a full raid of on-level characters to kill. During beta, I came across the first one Republic players get to see, SD-0 on Coruscant, and my roommate GenerallyAwesome turns to me and says. “Dude, I totally know what our guild is doing first.” Thus, we did.

Of course this would be the only picture that I took, I'm a terrible person.

It was an awesome feeling, there were four of us online so we immediately started advertising wherever we currently were and /whispering all our new server friends asking them to come lend a hand. However, it was on Coruscant that we really got the majority of our help. It was refreshing to see how quickly and easily people came to us when we started talking about it in general chat.

If the day comes where this game becomes so routine, especially at such a low level, that players are unwilling to stop their questing and come together to try something new, I will be very disappointed. It was this awesome feeling that reminded me of why I love MMORPGs like Star Wars: The Old Republic (or at least one of the many reasons why): because of how easy it is to for groups and go do something cool. With the exception of GenerallyAwesome and myself, it’s highly unlikely that any of us even live in the same city, yet we gathered together for about half an hour to kill a giant robot.

Visibility and Channels

Half of the reason for the raid was the chance to increase our guild’s visibility, which is exactly what it sounds like. How visible is your guild to players on your server, how likely are they to recognize your name, and, when you land on Coruscant and declare that the Pajama Warriors of Neverland are going to take down SD-O, how likely are they to join you. Therefore, the first thing we did was attach our guild name to everything. It wasn’t, “LFM SD-O,” it was, “Pajama Warriors of Neverland is taking down SD-0, PST for invite!” The tank was from our guild, the highest levels were from our guild, and of course right before we distributed the loot we shamelessly plugged our website and encouraged people to check it out and apply.

What do you do with your visibility? A lot of things, but the most important is recruiting. If you are visible in the right channels, you’ll get the right applicants. For example, if you want to be a PvP guild, you should gain visibility by pvping together as a group in warzones and the Outlaw’s Den. However never fill your team, for the point is for your non-guilded teammates to notice you and think that you’re awesome. Players judge PvP guilds for their teamwork as a group and skill as individuals, so show that off and people will remember you.

A PvE guild’s channel of choice is flashpoints and raids. Like our raid on SD-O, players judge PvE guilds on their ability to organize, which is exactly what we showed off. We landed on Coruscant, organized sixteen people together, successfully took down the boss, distributed loot, and disbanded all within half an hour. That’s pretty impressive, and it’s something people are going to remember.

Most importantly of all, when considering visibility and channels, remember that people remember mistakes more than they remember successes. People expect success, so it passes right by them without recognition, however failure is what they will remember and what they will judge your guild with. A PvE raid that is disorganized or fails for hours will be remembered as a failure and that will reflect poorly on your guild. A warzone where you get completely steamrolled repeatedly isn’t going to make good PvP players consider your guild.

Think about who you want in your guild, think about where those players are going to be, then go there. That’s the channel for your guild, so go there and be visible.

TwinHits is an officer for the guild Unity on the server Dreshdae Cantina. Leave comments or tweet @TwinHits with your thoughts, ideas, and stories about guilds, communities, and leadership in Star Wars: The Old Republic.

  1. Organizing events like a world boss kill is definitely a good way to increase your presence on the server. Or dare I say Presence, because like the stat, someone taking charge, even with ulterior motives, makes the people around you work better and enjoy themselves more. I’ll wager most people who go to the Old Galactic Market and see that driod will think “man, I wish I could kill him right now”.

    Organizing public events has a snowball effect: considering the highly social games they play, MMO players as a rule oddly seem initially reluctant to group, but once in usually quite enthusiastic about being in the group. And as you mention, all it really takes is for someone to start it, and then leave a spot open where they can come along, no strings attached (save maybe an advert).

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