/gchat: Swings, Roundabouts and Blenders

/gchat is an ongoing column on guilds and the fun, conflicts, laughs and rage-quits they contain. If you have a topic you’d like covered, drop our guild guru Jemima Moore a line!

Raid Team Selection. Yep, I said it. It’s a dirty word. It’s an ugly word. Ok, it’s three words but I’m bringing them out of the closet and shining a light on the shabby, shameful, heart-wrenching world of raid team selection – no holds barred.

The oldest and arguably most maligned way to assemble a raid team is the Playground Panel.

It comes in many forms from “everyone be on at 7 and we’ll see who’s on” to “I’ll be picking teams based on class balance and gear” and is often characterised by a green wall of furtive questions around  7:15pm AEST: “Are we raiding tonight?” “What time is it starting?” “Have invites gone out yet?” It may seem harmless enough, but rest assured it’s all a euphemism for “I’m too lazy to care about anyone ‘cept me and mah boyz.”

It’s a bad system. Designed and perpetuated by a select few who want the maximum number of warm bodies to fill raid slots for the minimum effort. It promotes elitism, anxiety, dissent and disappointment as even the most seasoned raider can’t help feeling at least a momentary lump in the throat wondering whether they’ll get to go – and only the biggest narcissist will leave someone behind without at least a momentary twang of guilt. The best case scenario is you didn’t set aside an entire evening for nothing and the majority of the team made it through the selection process with enough confidence intact to actually perform.

Thankfully, this arcane system of selection has evolved and most guilds have moved on to more structured modes of selection. If yours hasn’t, I suggest you shop around.

The Rotating Roster with a Team Split Twist is the most common of these. Guilds divide their raiders into fixed, over-sized teams and schedule the extras on a rotating stand-by schedule.

It’s a much fairer method and provides a lot more flexibility in terms of attendance. Plus there’s an argument that sticking with the same people in the same roles makes progression easier and more efficient. There are some hidden drawbacks though.

Tanks and healers are typically not rotated as much as dps. If they are, it falls on a few members of the team to maintain two sets of gear and the skills to fill those roles on odd nights.

The counter-argument to easier and more efficient progression is reduced development of skills across the broader team which often makes the next fight harder. Plus, you’re back to wiping a few times on a boss you usually one-shot when that key taunter/runner/add collector isn’t around.

It sucks to have your standard rotation night come up just after you spent an entire evening wiping on a boss and know the team will kill him next raid without you. The only things that sucks worse is having it happen twice.

Unapologetic 1980’s reference foisted on this great post by the sentimental Editor

Then there’s the ‘guild killer’ that’s more insidious than cancer: the A-team / B-team split. One team due to subtle (or not so subtle) differences in make-up, happens to progress faster than the other. Maybe that team has an extra taunt, a speed boost or a min/maxing dps of a certain class that makes a hard boss just a little easier. The acquisition of gear and new skills they’re developing skyrocket them ahead of the other teams and A-grade egos develop in line with an A-team tag. As the gap in progression widens, so does the ability for players to interchange teams and, over time, the individual groups become insular and cliquey. A vicious circle ensues until one day someone wonders out loud why they’re tolerating the whiney/egotistical pack of QQers/l33t jerks on the other team at all. There’s usually casualties.

All too frequently, guilds with this make up can’t ride the ebbs and flows of raiding through multiple expansions and inevitably one team breaks away to form their own guild ready to start the cycle over again.

In order to overcome these problems, some guilds are now guaranteeing raid spots for players willing to commit to 100% attendance (or close to it) and are mixing raiders up from lock-out to lock-out. I call it “Will it Blend?” and Aftermath tried it this season. It’s not a perfect system by any stretch but it does engender whole-guild camaraderie, significantly reduces the drama surrounding kills and loot drops and that in turn develops both loyalty and pride in oneself and the guild. It also requires a team of skilled and committed raiders who show up every week ready to do anything but that’s kind of a chicken and egg thing. The downside is that without guilded raiders on stand-by, real life getting in the way becomes a huge issue. Assembling and balancing teams each week is no small issue and maintaining a wide and varied friends list to PUG from takes a lot of time.

As an aside, Murphy’s law holds true every time – a PuG will always win the /roll on set gear. And finally, when there’s no side door to nudge a lacklustre player to, it occasionally forces you to have conversations that are more honest than you’d like.

I can’t help but think there has to be a middle ground. On the one hand, it’s a game and requiring 100% attendance for a hobby is pretty hard core. On the other hand, less than 100% attendance when multiplied by the number of people in your raid team, means that somewhere between 7 and 24 people that set aside their evening are adversely affected to at least some degree every single raid.

In a good MMO, raids are hard enough that the individuals in the team need to work pretty hard on their class, their gear and their research to be there in the first place. Yet developers don’t allow any flexibility in raid size or balance for sickness, working late, someone’s 21st birthday, wife aggro or the Grand Final. Guilds and players are expected to somehow overcome real life and field a team of an exact size and class balance each and every week.  Working within these limited parameters, it’s hoped that Raid Leaders can minimise disappointment, inconvenience and drama while providing a fulfilling and satisfying group experience for a set of highly competitive and motivated individuals.

Anyone else think these mechanics are somewhat at odds?

What BioWare, as a developer, has done to help is make a point of supporting server communities.  On the Empire side of Dalborra end-game raiding guilds have embraced that. The GMs of Prophets of Agony, Tenacity, First Legion, Reach (now part of Violation) and Aftermath formed a network of guilds that “borrow” raiders from each other for the night or the week. We try and make sure all our raiders get a run through somewhere and we try our best to help each other out with any bodies we can muster when another team is short. There’s still a healthy dose of competition between the guilds, but there’s just as many woots and gratz in /1 Denova on Wednesday night.

Again, it’s not a perfect system but it is better than the sand-box shenanigans we suffered in primary school.

I’d love to hear your stories of the best and worse raid team selection techniques you’ve come across.

/gchat: The Good, The Bad And The Guildy

/gchat is our new and ongoing column on guilds and the fun, conflicts, laughs and rage-quits they contain. If you have a topic you’d like covered, drop Jemima a line!

By far the two most common causes of grief surrounding your whole guild experience are absent leadership and being in the wrong guild.

Absent leadership is pretty easy to spot, unless you live in Poland and rolled on Gav Daragon because you thought it sounded like a tasty sausage, but that is an article for another day.

Being in the wrong guild is often much more difficult to recognise.

Like most made-for-TV-movie relationships, you don’t want to see the problems. You’ve already invested a lot into the guild: made great friends, had great times, gone for long walks through the rakghoul-infested swamps of Taris at sunset and stopped for a romantic dinner at Karagga’s Palace.

Problems start as minor annoyances, but like a frog being slow-boiled, they can quickly escalate into train wrecks without you even being conscious of it. Bargains that should be made out loud and with other people are made silently and with yourself. “I’ll give them one more week to pick me for the team and if they don’t…  I’m leaving!! I swear to god!”

Next thing you know you’re throwing chairs and saucepans at walls and the police are asking you to sit in separate rooms – well, replace chairs and saucepans with mice and keyboards at monitors… and there’s no police – but you get my drift.

Assuming your leadership is present and does care about the guild, unhappiness with your current guild is more likely a symptom of the fact that they don’t care about you.

So how do you recognise the warning signs that you’re in the wrong guild?

If you’re in a social guild, but constantly frustrated that they can’t organise their way out of a paper bag – you’re in the wrong guild.

Social guilds are great for new players still trying to figure out the game, their class and what they want to do at end-game. They’re also fantastic for the lone-wolf or the family guy who logs in on Tuesday evenings, when the wife is at book-club, and are happy to PUG on the rare occasions when they feel like participating in structured activities.

But raids and ranked warzones are not like all-night movie cinemas – you can’t just buy a ticket for the next showing. You need rules, level and gear requirements. You need a fixed number and mix of classes to commit and then actually show to even give it a try, let alone succeed.

But the lack of these rules, requirements and obligations is the very thing that fundamentally defines a social guild. If you’re frustrated at your guild’s inability to provide enough structured content for you, it sounds like it’s time for you to specialise and move on.

If you’re in a raiding guild but find yourself too often benched, you’re in the wrong guild.

Casual, hardcore, semi-hardcore, decaf-halfcore with a twist of lemon – there’s a million different kinds of raiding guilds out there from absolute beginner to sponsored professional. But the devil is in the detail and when you start adding in rules and requirements, you have to make sure they work for you. You can generally liken the officers of raiding guilds to a hot chip on a beach of seagulls – trying to keep everyone happy with not quite enough to go around. So the key here is to make sure that you don’t want special treatment.

If you want the flexibility to raid as and when you choose on a moment’s notice, make sure you’re in a casual raiding guild and be prepared to sit out when you don’t necessarily want to. If you want a known schedule: min/max your gear; don’t stand in stuff; find a guild that guarantees positions to core raiders or works on a fixed rotating schedule; and show up when you say you will even when you don’t want to. Find out how they distribute loot and be honest with yourself – will you still be happy with that system once your ‘probation’ period is over?

Above all, make sure the raid team you’re on matches your experience level. Gear is easy to acquire – developing skills take time. If you’re constantly frustrated by the clown-show around you, it’s time to move on. If you’re too frequently the one wiping the team, you’re likely to find yourself having long conversations with Mr Bench.

If you’re in a PvP guild and you’re not getting matches, you probably suck at PvP.

Unlike PvE, in PvP there are no do-overs, there’s no we’ll get ‘em next week, and every win and loss gets recorded in the indelible ‘inspect player’ scorecard. Your performance is measured by the numbers and published to all those present at the end of the match. By necessity, PvPers live on the ruthless side of life and PvP team leaders have to be cut-throat to win. There’s still a requirement for some class balance but not to the same extent as raiding so if you’re getting benched, chances are you’re just not as good as the other people wanting to go.

Practice more and get better. Stop clicking or find out what that means. Roll a class or respec to one that’s more suited to PvP. Find a lower ranked team so you look good by comparison or turn that toon into the most formidable crafter on the Fleet.

Whatever your problems are there is a guild out there for you!

30 Troopers Fighting Together

I stumbled across this great video on the official forums. Alpha Company are a Trooper-based roleplaying guild, “full of current and former military members as well as military enthusiasts”, which becomes pretty obvious if you watch this:

Very cool indeed – I love guilds with a difference, or in the case a distinct uniformity.

Oceanic First Claim: Hard Mode Warlord Kephess

I had a note overnight from oceanic guild Remnants on their successful downing of Warlord Kephess, the final boss in the Explosive Conflict Operation that went live with update 1.2.

The details straight from Insurgent from Remnants:

Exciting news, after much hard work and some exceptional new recruits, Remnants were able to kill Hard Mode Kephess in our final attempt for the night.

The 11th hour strategy of including an extra tank to handle the final phase was the clutch move that secured this Server/Oceanic First.

We are very happy to secure this position after facing some stiff competition from some rival guilds. A very exciting raid to be a part of , the blood is still pumping.

I also had a follow note stating that its only the 27th downing of Kephess worldwide. So well done Remnants!

Here’s a pic of the kill (click on it for the full size):

As always, if your guild had achieved something big, let us know. It doesn’t have to be a first, we like to profile guilds and what they’re up to.

The Order: Keeping your Guild Motivated in Preparation for 1.2

Welcome again to The Order, where we talk about raiding and guilds on the oceanic horizon. If you’ve got a topic you’d like covered, drop Rick a line and we’ll work on it for a future column.

Tonight I sit here writing my post for TOROZ with a lot of game rants on my mind. 1.2 is incoming with some amazing changes to come into place, but in reality we already knew all these goodies were coming. It wasn’t about what was coming, it was about WHEN it was going to get here.  Rather than write the cliche – this is whats going to affect guilds and progression with changes etc etc blah blah – instead  I sit here with a Corona in my hand (Corona with Tabasco Sauce – you should try it!) recognizing the bigger picture that is on all our minds. How the hell to stay motivated but at the same time prepare your guild for radical changes in guild focus and progression so that it survives the holy holy saviour patch of our beloved game without fading away! And believe me, there will be guilds out there that will do just that – simply fade away in the progression stampede. That is of course, if 1.2 actually drops in time to save it entirely.

 Part 1 – Motivation

I was on a Facebook group of oceanic players today and an interesting “debate” sparked from a certain player expressing his concerns for the future of SWTOR.. mainly fuelled by the fact that his guild had cleared all content and had nothing else to look forward to. Sadly, this is a common scene for many people. When people get bored, that’s  when fights start. But through the trolling and fighting, a common theme did become apparent – people are dropping off the game because of the lack of objectives and focus and things to do.

If you are a GM like me, you will most likely be in the same boat and thinking that it aint all that bad. Im not bored. Why? Because we are hard at work preparing, researching and helping others to prepare. But unfortunately, not everyone is a GM. People need focus and objectives to be motivated. So here are some ideas that I believe will assist you not only to bond your guild closer together before the cataclysm (no WoW pun intended) but at the same time, bring your guild benefits all the while giving people motivation to keep playing.

1.       You want it harder? Make it harder.

Do HM’s with 2 people. Do 8 man Hard Mode Ops with 6 people. 16 with 12. You get the gist. Make it harder for yourselves for no better reason but bragging rights. Why? Because although you are fully geared and you know the fights like the back of your hand, it gives people a sense of fulfillment. All the while, the gear that drops will fund your new guild bank. Also, change your spec and loot gear for dual spec, if you haven’t already.  Why, you ask? Well when dual spec of some form comes in, youll be ahead already with multi sets of gear.

2.       Crew Skills strategically dispersed.

Your “professions”  are getting changed, dramatically, so it makes sense to put together a group of people in the guild to cover every type of crew skill, mission and gathering type and make sure it’s all at 400. One of the core intentions of the changes to crew skills is to inject the in-game economy with more variety than just biochem products – and to also make MONEY to pay for all the other shiny things!!  You might have 6 million credits but with new credit sinks coming into the game, you will need to save all of it. Get a group together, and while you do your elite 6 man Operations, collect the schematics and start creating them all. Save the gear, and inject the GTN with it when 1.2 drops. You’ll thank me later, and so will your guild bank when it’s getting leeched dry from repairs when Explosive Conflict HM drills you (yes we hope so!).

 3.       Kill all the world bosses as a whole Guild – All levels.

I know they are easy,  but theyre fun. Nothing screams “These guys are amazing and I want to join this guild” more than running through every planet killing World Bosses as a 20-30 man unit and having fun along the way. Don’t forget to close recruitment and make it by application only before you do it, because everyone who sees you will want to be in your guild and you will never need to advertise for members again. While you are there, get all the datacrons and matrix cubes too. Then if you do all the, raid an enemy faction citadel. Operations are so serious at times when you group. Take the time to parade around as a unit and have some fun. Why else do you think even Armies march, Police have parades etc, it’s all about feeling good and bonding and being seen. Psychologically it will help your boredom, motivation and of course, the presence and morale of the guild.

4.       Last but not least, PVP as a unit.

Ranked warzones will come in with 1.2 and the 8 man unit for PVP will become a common theme. Learn to put together strategic units to PVP with and move as a group. Not only will you become more in tune with each other but being oceanic and all, you  probably feel the stagnant lack of PVP Warzones popping during our evenings on US servers. By grouping up, you make Warzones pop more frequently so  its good for everyone to get ahead! So get in your groups of 4, make sure you click join queue as a group at the same time as each other so that the chances that  your groups end up in the same Warzone is enhanced,  and makes the most of the extra valor and commendations. By doing it in groups together, even scheduling it in your calendars, you won’t only be preparing your guild for the new inevitable PVP Warzone beast when 1.2 drops, but you’ll be killing time and giving your Ranked Groups better opportunities to succeed too.

So these are the 4 main things I know I will be doing to maintain motivation and focus in “The Order”.  If you have any more ideas, feel free to share. But rather than do something negative like share your already apparent and mutually shared disdain for the lack of things to do… spreading this negativity to your oceanic brothers and sisters, why not take the time to assist yourself, your guild and the game in general by making the most of the situation. 1.2 will be here very soon. Personally I don’t think it can wait till end of April, do you?

This is what I told my guildies last week: “I will be very very surprised if 1.2 drops this coming Tuesday. However, I will not be surprised at all if it drops the following week.”

What are your thoughts? – Part 2: Key Points in Preparing for 1.2 will be soon to follow – that is of course if 1.2 doesn’t drop before then, but if it doesn’t, and you do even some of the things above, you probably won’t care if it doesn’t  anyway 😉

The Order: Your Guide to Guilds and Progression

We’re really pleased to introduce another new member of the TOROZ team. Rick Duff is a self-confessed stealer of Stormtroopers and he’ll be writing on guilds and raid progression. Welcome Rick!

In our game, SWTOR, and the countless other MMO genres out there, guilds are an integral and core part of the game. Can you imagine an MMO without organized groups? Unheard of! A guild can make or break the game for you. It can help you progress as a player, it can keep you motivated, it can even bring you closer socially to others who you would not usually associate with in real life.

Without a doubt, guilds are a driving factor and are important to everyone. Unless of course you want to be like Yoda and exile yourself in the Dagobah System. Still, without association or people, we would not have MMOs. So it then makes sense that for such an important part of our game, we created a section here on TOROZ dedicated to Guild Management and Progression. As we are imperfect human beings (well maybe not me…) we must remember that associating and co-operating with other individuals will have its own pitfalls and its rewards too.

My name is Rick. I am the Co-Founder and Co-Creator of a successful End Game Raiding Guild which I will refer to as “The Order” in this column. This name however, is not our actual guild name as this section is not about drawing attention to my own guild but rather, sharing and discussing management and progression tactics with the Oceanic Community.

“The Order” dates back to the MUD days and followed onto EQ, WoW and today, is alive and thriving on the US SWTOR Server called Krath. At the time of writing this, we have a total squad of 42 fulltime and casual core raiders made up of Australians and Americans. “The Order” has always been a non hardcore guild. Rather, we stand for being ‘Social Serious’ – a genre which is socially accommodating  yet when it comes to Operations, is serious enough not to be called casual.

I am no expert at all the facets of guild life, but I would hope I have a little bit of freedom to speak about the common principles and experiences of guilds in general.

Guild: n.

  1. 1.     An association of persons of the same trade or pursuits, formed to protect mutual interests and maintain standards.
  2. 2.     an organization, club, or fellowship
  3. 3.     an association of men or women belonging to the same class or engaged in the same industry, profession, interested in the same leisure, literary, or other pursuit, etc.

As our common dictionary defines above; guilds, clans, squads, groups, chapters etc are a systematic and organized way of socializing and progressing in a game. There are hundreds of non-MMO games out there which have systems in place to accommodate groups of people with like-minded pursuits.

It must be known however, that there is no right or wrong way to run a guild. There is no handbook and there is no specific way to create and run a successful clan. Rather, we will be sharing the positive and trending ways that are successful when it comes to managing and progressing with a goal of hopefully creating a richer experience for all people out there who play SWTOR.

Many people have asked me in the past, “What does it take to run a successful guild?”. To be honest, there is no simple answer, however it can be summarised and will no doubt be covered in more detail here on “The Order” as time goes on. If I had a gun to my head and had to answer quickly, these are the main things which come to mind:

The Guild Cycle of Success

  1. A Dedicated Leader
    Julius Caesar was not a part-time Commander of the 13th Legion. He lived it. He was involved with it and he fought with it. Although this may sound over-dramatic, there are some principles we can learn here. The success of a guild starts with the vision and investment of its GM. Just like any corporation in the world today, if you start it up and then not invest time and effort into it, it will fail. Which leads to the next point:
  2. Planning and Organisation 
    This is the single most important key to running a guild, especially end-game progression guilds. The level of planning and organisation will obviously be dependent upon the size and needs of a guild (common sense) but just like any group or body of people, a form of organisation and a vision or direction is needed to progress and manage expectations. Unfortunately, you can’t wing it:
  3. Motivation
    Ahhh.. why are these people even bothering to be in your guild? Is it because they like the fancy name plate they gain above their head? Well, it could be, but you can be assured that novelty will wear off very fast in the end-game if you do not have a common purpose or vision. Guild members are human after all – they have needs and wants and a desire to succeed. Having a clear direction and a plan of action will motivate people to work together towards the common goal and keep them in your guild and not leave to somebody else’s. It is the feeling of success through commitment to achieve these things, whatever you set them to be, which encourages  the next point:
  4. Loyalty
    Ultimately, nobody wants to create a fantastic organisation and have nobody to share it with. To what benefit is it, if all your members leave you? Loyalty is important for your guild’s survival and sometimes a GM can forget that his/her guild is pointless and useless unless it has a happy, successful body of members who believe in what the guild stands for. Which brings us back to the first point and the cycle repeats. How can a person be committed and loyal to something when the person/people running it are not dedicated and focused themselves? If you are not a dedicated GM fully committed  to your guild, you cannot expect your members to be.

And so, as time goes on, this column will discuss the many different and successful ways to build and maintain and address issues in guild management. The slant will no doubt hinge on end-game progression but the principles can be applied to other types of guilds too.

There will also be a monthly Guild Interview which will showcase a chosen Oceanic Guild, their Leaders and Officers and discuss their successes and motivations. If you are a Guild Leader yourself and need some advice or would like to have an issue or principle discussed in “The Order”, or if you would like to apply for your Guild to be interviewed in front of the whole Oceanic Community, please contact us at contact AT toroz.com.au or use our contact form.

Ultimately, the greatest benefit of a guild is: if you aren’t in one, you are only experiencing a fraction of what the game is. And after all, we’re here to experience the game in its entirety.

SWTOR Guild Summit March 2012

BioWare have announced a guild summit to be held in Austin Texas between the 4th and 6th of March this year i.e. in just under 9 weeks time. It’s an invite-only event but they have some places left if you can get yourself over to the US at your own expense in March.

Read on for the full details:

Today, we are pleased to announce the first ever Star Wars™: The Old Republic™ Guild Summit, being hosted in Austin, TX in March. Over the course of a few days, guild leaders from around the world will gather together to discuss the state of the game with the developers from BioWare Austin. Guild leaders (or a designated officer in the event of a guild leader being unable to attend) will participate in Q&A sessions with developers, roundtable feedback discussions, and will get a preview of some upcoming game features.

The goal of the summit is to facilitate an open discussion between guild leaders and the game design team. This event will provide an opportunity for attendees to voice their feedback directly to the teams responsible for the design of Star Wars: The Old Republic, hear the team’s thoughts and reasons behind design decisions, and discuss the current direction of the game.

The Guild Summit will be hosted from March 4th – 6th, 2012 at the DoubleTree Hotel Austin. Due to space limitations, the event will be invite-only. We’ve already invited guilds of various backgrounds and sizes to the Summit, from Endgame to Role-playing to PvP guilds, but we’ve got some space left for additional guild leaders who wish to attend. We ask that interested leaders submit an application, which can be found at this link.* Guild leaders will be evaluated based on the information provided in their application.

While we welcome applications from guild leaders from anywhere in the world, please be advised that the Summit will be conducted entirely in English. Applications will be accepted until 11:59PM CST (GMT -6) on February 10th. If you have any questions regarding the event, send us an email at guilds@swtor.com!

*Must be 21 or older to attend. Guild leaders selected to attend are responsible for all of their travel, food, and lodging expenses.

Over to you: has your guild been invited? If it has, we’d love to hear from you and discuss you covering the event on behalf of other Oceanic guilds. Drop us a line if you’re interested in doing that.

PAX East – first trailer

Bioware has released it’s first PAX update with a new trailer, and also announced their “Pre-launch Guild Program.” The new trailer titled The Fate of the Galaxy (shown below) was released today for the Friday update. The trailer begins with some Jawas standing next to several droids on Tatooine, The screen fade out and Hoth appears showing some Tauntauns and Troopers in the wicked looking snow armor, there’s also a large four legged walker standing in the background in front of some shield generators like from Empire Strikes Back. The video then goes through a few more scenes before showing some combat and space combat featuring the D-5 Mantis. Unlike  Deceived and Hope this is not a cinematic trailer, it was made using in-game graphics and it does not disappoint.

If you’re watching closely there seems to be some armor on one of the Sith players or possible NPCs that looks identical to a Scout Trooper from Return of the Jedi but black – it looks sick. The video also showed off a Rancor and a Sith Warrior smacking a Jawa which was pretty funny, but the trailer isn’t that big of a release, so be expecting a better one soon. PAX is a big convention so no surprise that they didn’t put out a release date or a larger beta announcement in the first one or two days, but I have a feeling Bioware will release something really good at this convention.

The “Pre-Launch Guild Program” is a tool for guilds in Star Wars: The Old Republic located under the new Guilds section on the Community tab on SWTOR’s website. The Guild headquarters is used to create a guild before release and by filling out the information about your guild, like if it’s PvP, role playing oriented, Republic or Sith. The Guild HQ can then predetermine the server you will be placed in when the game releases to best fit your guilds wants and needs. The guild update also allows each guild created and registered on SWTOR to have it’s own mini website within the game’s official site including a lot of really cool stuff such as a public forum that anyone can view, A private forum for guild members, a Poll that shows your guilds Classes, and a roster so you can keep up with all it’s members. I really like this guild program Bioware has going – it should make things a lot smoother when the game launches.

Latest poll results: we like to solo

The second of our ongoing polls has wrapped up. The question this time was around likelihood to join a guild, and if so whether the focus in the guild would be social or serious progression. The results:

The outright winner was soloing, although nearly half of respondents are going to join a guild, with 25% doing it for the progression, the rest for the social interaction. Interestingly, one in five are unsure of what they’ll do. That’s likely to be the cohort who maybe haven’t been in a guild before or who haven’t comprehensively played an MMO before and so don’t know both sides of the equation (solo or guild).

There’s certainly plenty of guild talk on our forums and the oceanic guild listing continues to grow, so there’s no doubt guilds will play a central role. That said, the claimed story-centric focus of SWTOR means that solo or ad-hoc team questing will be a very appealing option as well.

Thanks to all who voted, and the new poll is now up on the site – this time the subject is oceanic servers.

Aussie SWTOR guilds?

As we mentioned last year, we’re really keen to start profiling any Aussie SWTOR guilds out there. If you’ve got one established, drop us a line and we’ll organise a time for a catch-up to profile you.

SWTOR Guild recruitment goes to a new level

Torment Gaming are actively trying to put together some guilds for SWTOR, and they’ve gone to quite a bit of trouble to tell you. Once more gameplay footage is released by BioWare, expect a lot more of these to show up:

Torment SWTOR Teaser #1 from The Darkside on Vimeo.

Oceanic SWTOR guilds list

Any MMOG worth its salt has guilds, and SWTOR isn’t going to be any different. We’d like to provide a list of Australian and New Zealand guilds recruiting, and we’ll provide a specific space for that. To get started, go here to see what information we need and then contact us.

Please provide the following details:

1. Guild name

2. Website URL if applicable

3. Type of guild (social, hard-core etc)

4. Faction: Republic, Sith etc

We’ll add your info to the overall listing, which will be published when there’s a handful of guilds listed. So jump in and let’s get things started!