Tuesday, 13 December 2011

SWTOR: my guild,

I recently applied to join a SWTOR guild which my friend Faylon has joined. I filled out the template then they asked me to tell them more. I rather liked what I ended up writing, it turned out to be a nostalgic review of a life in gaming. The guild is Rising Darkness, we're European (if Brits are still allowed to say that) and the server we're on is Red Eclipse. Recruitment is closed but will open up again when the game goes Live.

OK, let me expand.

I started gaming with Chess when I was about 4 and graduated, in those pre-home computer days, to crawling over the carpet with a tape measure moving lead armies about.

When I was about 15 video games were starting to become popular. We were supposed to volunteer to garden for old ladies on Wednesday afternoon but often they cancelled or we managed to bunk off and head up to Victoria for the amusement arcade and the magic of Space Invaders. Swarming mob-handed into the arcade, our pockets bulging with 10p pieces, in our school uniforms with our shirts hanging out and our ties loosened and flipped over our shoulders we saved this planet from countless swarms of implacable alien invaders.

In due time much more sophisticated games came out such as Asteroids where you could spin your shooty thing and Galaxian which had more than one colour!

Later in the 80s I worked professionally for a play by mail game company where you could send your panzers into France and patiently wait 3 days to find out how they got on. I got an Atari ST which had sophisticated Dungeons & Dragons style games like Bard's Tale and Dungeon Master. I even logged on to my first MMO, a text mud. All I remember about that game is I met someone who was in frikkin New Zealand. How awesome was that?

In the 90s I stayed with someone who actually owned a proper computer and I fell in love with a game called Master of Magic. I had to have my own computer, life would not be complete without access to Civilisation, Populous, and UFO: Enemy Unknown.

I went on to play online games being quite a mean Homm3 player and a very sociable Diablo 2 player. By this time I'd picked up Faylon at some dingy roleplaying club and he became my partner in crime in D2, achieving the impossible and amazing the people we played with. He once had a character with every possible speed buff that was so fast no one else could control it. Only him. (Until he drove him into a wall and splatted).

After Diablo 2 Faylon, a Star Wars nut, persuaded me to follow him into the new Star Wars game coming out in 2003. I played every class I think, as did any SWG vet who remembers the godawful hologrind. I also ran a fashion armour line that was in high demand, ran a guild, and destroyed the top pvp guild on the server after one of them spat at me (with a little help from my friends).

We tried EQ2 for a few months then WoW which we really liked. We played twin Rogues and were pretty hardcore levelers - there were 6 of us who were ahead of everyone else until about 55 when we slightly burned out (ie reduced our playing times to about 12 hours a day). We managed this despite rushing off to Stranglethorn Vale once every 3 hours for a chest that spawned in the arena there. You needed to win it 12 times in free for all pvp which was enormous fun and utter carnage. Eventually the top Alliance guild focused full time on stopping us at which point we called in a few favours, stomped them and Faylon (Waz as he was known then) became the first Arena Grand Master on the server. I was the second.

We co-founded the top Horde guild and did some raiding in Molten Core. Then we had to stop for RL reasons, came back a bit later and joined another guild which we helped get at far as Broodlord Lashslayer in BWL. Raided on and off after that with several guilds seeing most raid content up to 5/6 Sunwell in TBC and 3/12 Ulduar in WotlLK.

I began playing Eve about 3 years ago too which I like for its crazy stunts and incremental gameplay. I've also dabbled in loads of other MMOs.

At the moment I'm mainly playing Eve but the nice thing about Eve is if you dont have time to play much it doesn't really matter. Skills go up, planets grow cows, datacores accumulate and orders sell. Best of all by not playing you manage to avoid getting blown up.

What I'm looking for in SWTOR is to experience the game to the full. I'll probably level reasonably fast although I'm no longer up for the 16 hour a day playstyle we did in 2005. I love crafting. I like posting on forums and theorycrafting. I'm a pretty good rogue and think I'll get a good handle on the Imperial Agent. I'll probably try alts out at some point. I'm quite prepared to be flexible and help out if the guild needs me to take a different spec, I'm a very experienced healer and a competent tank.


  1. Red Eclipse is a PvE server isn't it?

    I'm not signed on with any guild for SW:TOR - looks like my old LotRO guild have one, but they're signed up for the Republic and I've got my heart set on the Dark Side. When my early access email finally arrives (which won't be soon, asI was a late pre order) I'll probably hop on whjich ever server isn't too busy and catches my eye, then shop around for a guild there.

    Incidentally, do you mind if I ask where you went to school? It's just that the school I went to offered community service as an option, and was a short hop by train in to Victoria...

  2. I'm not sure if it's a PvE server or not.

    I'm fine either way personally, most pvp in these games seems to be instanced and available to you on either server type. You miss world pvp which I liked back when leveling was slow and we got to pvp over leveling rights but which seemed a bit pointless in Rift.

    I went to Dulwich College, 1975-83.

  3. Aha, my suspicions were correct then - ditto Dulwich, but a few years behind you. I wonder how the English department there would react to realising that they've been turning out game bloggers instead of novelists these days? :)

  4. Well my English teacher (Mr Jagger if you met him) did manage quite successfully to put us off Tolkien by telling us it was a children's book.