Nov 27, 2011

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All The Galaxy’s A Stage: My Initial Impressions Of Role-Play Potential In SWTOR

All The Galaxy’s A Stage is a regular column at Ask A Jedi with some lofty, creative goals.  On one hand, we will be discussing and exploring meaningful topics to support the role-play experience and community.  On the other hand, we also want to introduce the casual Role-Player to the writing-acting experience that can add so much more to an MMORPG like Star Wars: The Old Republic.  Share your perspectives and experience as we co-create magical story in that galaxy far, far away!

I’ve had the chance to beta test TOR for a while now, and I thought I’d start off with an article about my initial impressions of RP potential for TOR.

The first thing that jumped out at me when I entered the game was the magniificent ambiance of every environment I stumbled across. Planets in TOR are gorgeous and are dripping with atmosphere. Admittedly, I played a Jedi Sage, and so I spent most of my time on Tython and Coruscant.  But regardless of the planet I really enjoyed the grandeur of the setting from the moment I logged in.

Exploring the environments in the game really did inspire me with the mental imagery for building story. At one point I realized little ideas for story and events were jumping out at me each time I moved into a new area.

As I wandered around it became clear that I would have no end of choice for places to RP. Cantinas are obvious starting points. However, the senate building on Coruscant not only offered a sumptuous setting, but also had the scenery and space. Throw in the ‘political’ backdrop and I can see some great RP scenes in the making there.

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Nov 17, 2011

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All The Galaxy’s A Stage: RP, Cliques, And Entitlement

All The Galaxy’s A Stage is a regular column at Ask A Jedi with some lofty, creative goals.  On one hand, we will be discussing and exploring meaningful topics to support the role-play experience and community.  On the other hand, we also want to introduce the casual Role-Player to the writing-acting experience that can add so much more to an MMORPG like Star Wars: The Old Republic.  Share your perspectives and experience as we co-create magical story in that galaxy far, far away!

In my experience there is merit to checking in once in a while to be clear on why you do what you do. I was thinking about why I RP the other day and the answer was simple.  I like to have fun, and co-creating story with others has resulted in some very memorable and fun experiences.

That said, in preparing for launch and the impending escalation of RP activity I also got to thinking. What kind of role-player am I? If I were to rank why I RP I think this would be my top three:

  1. To have fun as I co-create the very best story I can with friends
  2. To make new friends and have my imagination stretched by the creative genius of those I meet for the first time
  3. To encourage newcomers to RP

It should be obvious to any regular reader of this column that I really take number 3 seriously. After all, I’ve been writing for Ask A Jedi for a few months now, and have taken great pleasure in having a platform to share some of my perspectives and reflect some of my experiences from over 30 years of role-playing.

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Nov 10, 2011

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All The Galaxy’s A Stage: Metagaming

All The Galaxy’s A Stage is a regular column at Ask A Jedi with some lofty, creative goals.  On one hand, we will be discussing and exploring meaningful topics to support the role-play experience and community.  On the other hand, we also want to introduce the casual Role-Player to the writing-acting experience that can add so much more to an MMORPG like Star Wars: The Old Republic.  Share your perspectives and experience as we co-create magical story in that galaxy far, far away!

There’s a concept in role-play known as metagaming.  For those of you new to role-play, this is the use of knowledge by a character that they should not have access to.  Wikipedia defines metagaming as, “the use of out-of-game information or resources to affect one’s in-game decisions.”  When this approach is consciously taken by a player it is usually to gain some advantage in the game or RP scene.

Imagine the following scenario.  A character of yours is killed by another character.  You then create a new character who has detests the killer of your old character, and may even invest lots of time in creating a backstory to justify this hatred.  This would be metagaming.

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Nov 3, 2011

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All The Galaxy’s A Stage: RP Tracker – SWTOR-RP Wiki

All The Galaxy’s A Stage is a regular column at Ask A Jedi with some lofty, creative goals.  On one hand, we will be discussing and exploring meaningful topics to support the role-play experience and community.  On the other hand, we also want to introduce the casual Role-Player to the writing-acting experience that can add so much more to an MMORPG like Star Wars: The Old Republic.  Share your perspectives and experience as we co-create magical story in that galaxy far, far away!

For this month’s RP Tracker I would like to highlight a new feature that the team at swtor-rp recently released; the new swtor-rp Wiki is now live.  From what I understand the wiki design team opted to spend several months configuring, coding, and testing the best possible Wiki they could.  In my opinion, this effort was undoubtedly worth it.  As a member of the RP community I would like to extend a big thank you to the many spies that died to bring us…Oh wait, wrong context.

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Oct 27, 2011

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All The Galaxy’s A Stage: Jedi And Emotion – One Character’s Perspective

All The Galaxy’s A Stage is a regular column at Ask A Jedi with some lofty, creative goals.  On one hand, we will be discussing and exploring meaningful topics to support the role-play experience and community.  On the other hand, we also want to introduce the casual Role-Player to the writing-acting experience that can add so much more to an MMORPG like Star Wars: The Old Republic.  Share your perspectives and experience as we co-create magical story in that galaxy far, far away!

For sometime now I’ve been contemplating the line of the Jedi Code that reads, “There is no emotion; there is peace.”  The brilliance of the writing behind this line is that it is very much open to interpretation.

My experience is that the less you understand about the underlying mysticism of the Jedi philosophy the more likely you are to emphasize the literal wording of the Jedi Code over the potential of deeper meaning.  This line of the code, in partcular, is quite literally a mystery within a mystery within a grilled cheese sandwich.  And given the tendency for this line to be interpreted in so many ways I thought I’d take this opportunity to share one perspective.

Disclaimer:

This article contains my observations and opinion. I do not claim to have any official knowledge of this subject, and I am neither a writer or authority on Lore for BioWare’s Star Wars: The Old Republic.  What follows will directly oppose some Expanded Universe canon.  In addition, your opinion may be different than mine.  You are encouraged to comment accordingly!

I’m going to ask you, dear reader, to indulge me and read the entire article before commenting.  What I am about to relate is the interpretation I’ve opted to take concerning the above line of the Code for a Jedi Master, called Sa Chi, that I currently role-play.

Denying Emotions?

Many posts I’ve read on this topic tend to get fixated on the idea that Jedi should have no emotion.  I’ve even seen RP that read runs along the lines of a Jedi Master telling their Padawan that they are supposed to spend a lifetime denying emotions, suppressing them.  And with this in mind I would like to present Sa’s first lesson:

No Jedi is going to reach enlightenment in the Force through suppression, aversion or denial.

From the first days of their training as a youngling or Padawan, Jedi work on learning how to release the false beliefs, attitudes, and values that cause emotions to surface in the first place. Emotions are a symptom, not a cause. With time, patience, training and persistence a Jedi can release much of the hidden baggage that leads to overwhelming emotions.

"You must unlearn what you have learned." ~ Yoda

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Oct 21, 2011

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All The Galaxy’s A Stage: Does SW:TOR Define Your RP?

All The Galaxy’s A Stage is a regular column at Ask A Jedi with some lofty, creative goals.  On one hand, we will be discussing and exploring meaningful topics to support the role-play experience and community.  On the other hand, we also want to introduce the casual Role-Player to the writing-acting experience that can add so much more to an MMORPG like Star Wars: The Old Republic.  Share your perspectives and experience as we co-create magical story in that galaxy far, far away!

An interesting and yet very relevant question was posed on the official forums.  “Does your class define your RP?“  This question and ensuing responses not only reminded me of a concept in RP that I consider sacrosanct but also got me to thinking that there may be RPers that allow the game to not only define their class but also their story.

Character Sovereignty

Character Sovereignty basically means that only you get to decide what choices your character makes.  Your character and their background are yours.  This, in my humble opinion, is an essential and sacrosanct concept in RP.  In essence, this means that someone can’t come in and tell you what your character does or what your character did.

This also means that even though BioWare have created these nifty classes and class stories you do not have to follow what has been presented to you.  It is completely your perogative whether or not to incorporate some or all of the class stories and class make-up as a part of your character.

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