Jan 4, 2012

Posted by in United We Stand | 0 Comments

United We Stand: Happiness Is Anyone Or Anything At All

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 New Years! I’ve decided my new year’s resolution is to become friends with all the other level 50’s on server.

Yeah, I know that’s ambitious and kind of ridiculous, but right now it’s not that hard because there’s only like fifty of us (even so, I’d say I’m only friends with about fifteen). But for me the point is the effort and the progress that I will make along the way, the people that I will meet, the experiences that I will have, and the joys that we will be able to create for each other.

This is really what brings us back to the point of online gaming: the people that we meet here are what make the game real and important. I think particularly at the beginning of a game’s life, a.k.a. the last few weeks for Star Wars: The Old Republic. This is especially clear. Less people, less content, a less clear understanding of the game all make it more important that we meet others and build community.

Somehow this is the only photo I have from the fight, although the 3rd and 5th phases give great opportunities for the ambitious photographer.

Several nights ago I had my first TOR raiding experience. We went into Eternity Vault and Kragga’s Palace and cleared them both on normal. While half of this example is just to brag, the other half is to serve as an illustration about how important to is to build relationships with other people on one’s server. As much as I would like for this to be an accomplishment of my guild, it wasn’t.

It started as a random whisper from a friend asking if I wanted to go bang my head against the first boss of Eternity Vault. We ended up downing him on the second try and then we just kept going. While we laughed about it and joked that a PUG could do Eternity Vault, this really wasn’t a pug, it was just like a guild run. There was no one in the group that hadn’t played with each other before, yet only about half were guild mates. We had built ourselves our own little community, accomplished something awesome, and we’re going to do it again next week.

I went home for Christmas, and while I was raiding on our dining room table my mother asked me why it’s fun to just keep wiping on a boss over and over again without very much chance of actually getting something out of it in the end. The answer came somewhat easily to me: the process is the fun part. The wiping, the learning, and the failing is all part of the enjoyment because you are doing it with people who you enjoy. I’m perfectly happy to sit here and fail and pay all kinds of repair bills because for me, that’s the part of the game that is fun. Through all that failure, when you finally succeed is the greatest feeling of them all. Happiness is anything at all that’s loved by you.

My point is this: Please do not take this game lightly for the sake of the relationships that you form within it. The gameplay itself is fun and awesome and all that stuff, but it’s the playing with others that makes the game. Don’t play by yourself, go out there and make friends. It’s easy, it all starts with just a /wave. Soon enough you’ll be charging into Eternity Vault with naught but your friends at your back. This is what online gaming is about, and what sets it apart from everything else. What group experiences that you think are important have you had?

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.

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