Feb 1, 2012

Posted by in United We Stand | 3 Comments

United We Stand: Feels Like Purpose

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.

Quick Note: 5/5 Karagga’s Palace downed! Special shout out to the creator and moderators of www.dreshdaecnatina.com.

I think that one of the most common complaints about MMO’s is that at a certain point they just feel like you are playing a job. One of my roommates, Walters, said this a lot towards the end of his raid leading career in World of Warcraft. I don’t blame him at all, this feeling is common among guild leaders, officers, and raid leaders. We like to refer to it as ‘burnout’, but I think that it is more than that. I think that the fact that our games can take on this flavor is a great statement both about Star Wars: The Old Republic and about the effects they can have on us and our society.

What about MMO’s feels like a job? Management, responsibility, having to tell people they can’t do whatever they want because their gear isn’t up to par, etc. The list goes on. Getting sixteen people online at the same time at the same place with a shared purpose isn’t easy, and it takes quite a bit of skill to do well. All the /tells, officer chat, forum moderation, and drama means less time spent running Koan Under Siege for that Columi headpiece (I’m not bitter) or PvPing to get that Battlemaster title isn’t necessarily fun. In fact, I would probably not get much resistance if I said that’s not nearly as fun as Huttball.

But it’s important. Having this as an element of a game means that the game is much more than a game. When you play Star Wars: The Old Republic, you aren’t just wasting time away playing a lengthy RPG, you are playing with other people. Improving your character means you are better able to help others and achieve more; you are better able to have fun for both yourself and for those around you. Fifty hours spent in this game doesn’t mean you’ve just completed a story, a pleasure within itself, but it also means that you’ve built something that affects others too.

But, this costs us some, mostly for those heroes among us who spend their time in Dalaran, in Bree, in Coronet, and on the Fleet typing as fast as they can to schedule and organize instead of playing the game, just for the increased pleasure of others.

Even more important is that this kind of game can make a legitimate difference in society. Players of MMORPG’s are offered more opportunities for leadership and management. It’s very hard to teach these things, it takes experience to get a leadership position. But in order to get experience, you need a leadership position. Guilds can change this dynamic and break this dichotomy  by offering leadership opportunities to anyone, and most importantly, young people.

I am among those, one of those who had the greatest pleasure to be a guild officer at a young age. Every day I draw on this experience and I will continue to do so ’til the day I die. Until then, I will owe so many people for this experience, and I still know there is so much left to learn.

Feels like a job? No, feels like purpose.

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. Hiyo – your hyperlink to http://www.dreshdaecANtina.com/ at the top of the article has a typo :).

  2. Blackdove says:

    Well said. Good post.

  3. /fistbump to a fellow Drunksider!

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