In an
earlier article, I talked about the problems with confusing IC and OOC authority. The comments section brought up a lot of other issues regarding guilds, so here goes the beginning of a short-lived, flame-griddled series on roleplay guild management and culture.

The Numbers Game is the basis of almost all open-recruitment guilds in SWTOR. It’s so ingrained into the culture of the place that if you ask a guild, "why do you need new members?" the answer you’ll probably get is "so we can grow." Which would make sense in a game of, or even the likes of EVE Online, but seems like an empty answer in an RP guild.

If you’re unlucky, you might even hear, "so we can be more powerful!" in which case you’ve stumbled across some basket case who hasn’t managed to work out roleplaying isn’t method acting. Either that or they’re for some reason obsessed with power on the internet.

If the answer is, "to give lone players people to RP with," that’s a lot harder for me to poke at with the cynicism stick, but introducing lone players to a bad atmosphere is worse than just leaving them alone, so it’s not always good.

Troels/Oldstead/Zabrak in Shorts As an example of why IC and OOC separation of power/leadership are beneficial, I have an old story from SWTOR about a gu...
Mebeth Thank you for posting this. I'm in the process of setting up a small guild at the moment, and one of the discussion...
Diregrin The guild I'm an officer in at the moment is 100% designed in response to everything you've said. Both myself ...

It's probably same to presume that in the Star Wars universe, Force sensitives are the eternal FOTM. In other non-gamer words, they're the most powerful beings in the galaxy. In all the eras of the Star Wars saga, we're exposed to heroes and villains of all types, but the ones that stand out the most and do the most good or damage are the ones with the Force as their ally, be it dark or light. There are very few instances where non-Force sensitives have celebrated victoriously over their fallen Force sensitive opponents. 

In The Old Republic, we're told that our characters in their chosen classes are the best of the best. This statement is true for both Force and non-Force sensitives. Troopers, smugglers, agents and bounty hunters are supposedly just as powerful as their saber-wielding counterparts. But is that really the case? Can a character without the aid of the Force triumph over someone who does?

In today's Force Reflection, tell us whether or not your character could kick the booty of a Force wielder. Of course, we'd like to know why and how. So get to it, and flood the comments box with your ideas!
YA BOI CatharMando My force sensitive sith Rheyel could, provided he feeds of his deep selfish nature
Bearmaw I personally only have one character who would be able to go toe-to-toe with a force-user, but this is because he's...
LD.OOC Depends what of my character we are speaking of, both my fully trained police officer and my detective can restrain a un...

Who are the most powerful and fearsome beings in the Star Wars universe? It's a topic that's open to saber-swinging and blaster-firing debate as the fantasy universe we know and love is full of heroes and villains that are, in our eyes, practically god-like. 

use the mystical-yet-corrupted dark side of the Force, making them a power to be reckoned with. Jedi also use the Force, but it's not as dark and gloomy. With the Force as their ally, these magical beings are capable of causing absolute havoc to the universe, just as we've seen in the many eras of Star Wars lore. 

But is the Force the be-all and end-all? Are there beings out there capable of greatness without the use of the Force? I bet you Boba Fett has something to say about that! Which of course leads to today's topic. 

Bounty hunters are also capable of greatness, or chaos, depending on how you look at it. However, is being a bounty hunter just about taking and completing a contract? Is there a hunter's code, just like the Sith and Jedi code? Are there rules, regulations, an organisation to regulate the hunters? That's today's topic. Tell us what it means to you to be a bounty hunter in the Star Wars universe. 
YA BOI CatharMando Being very selfish and fucking over communities for credits and/or ego boosts
Cae Roth @Takrael really hit the nail on the head there. Like our real-world cowboys, knights, vikings, etc. Bounty Hunters have ...
Takrael I think it's something that's been romanticised because of all the famous bounty hunters in Star Wars. People ...

In case you've forgotten or your vision has become clouded by the dark side of the Force, I'm going to remind you that there are eighteen planets--plus the other smaller worlds--available for exploration in The Old Republic. It is by far the largest and most detailed virtual representation of the galaxy far far away that we adore more than our wives, husbands, children and pets. 

Each planet has its own design, its own feel and its own story. They each offer players an opportunity greater than just exploration. They offer the possibility for players to create their own scenes, their own stories, their own roleplay. 

Want to be a tree-hugging Jedi hippy? Hang out on Tython. Want to be an eskimo? You have Hoth. Want to be a spice-addicted gambler? Nar Shaddaa will make you feel right at home. 

Today's Friday Focus asks: which planet is best for roleplay? Let us know your answer and reason in the comments below. 

YA BOI CatharMando I reckon Nar Shaddaa would be the best planet for RP is a planet where greed and selfishness are rampant
Tyrnessa Has'raiik Alderaan is a great place. It has a few places and spaces that are suited for certain types of RP. I've been a part...
Lord Elivar Ross Zakuul is a very lovely location offering diversity in a urban landscape, from dimly cantians to areas overrun by corrup...

Out of the many organisations and societies that exist within the universe of Star Wars, there is perhaps none more famous than the Sith, second perhaps only to the Jedi Order. Throughout the long and expansive history, the Sith have existed in various capacities from the caste kingdom that dominated Korriban, to the forging of the first Sith Empire with the arrival of the Dark Jedi after the Hundred Years of Darkness, to the Empire we know and love in The Old Republic and in the far future to the Sith Order forged under Darth Bane.

With the rise and fall of these societies comes a constant upheaval in norms, beliefs and traditions but the one thing that remains constant is the Code of the Sith:

"Peace is a lie, there is only passion.
Through passion, I gain strength.
Through strength, I gain power.
Through power, I gain victory.
Through victory, my chains are broken.
The Force shall free me."

Originally created as a direct perversion and opposite to the Jedi's own, the Sith Code has remained the code philosophy for near every incarnation of the Sith. But just how relevant is it to the average Sith?

In The Old Republic, one of the more common elements among Sith and Imperial characters is the idea of staunch traditionalism versus evolution of beliefs. This is particularly noted in the treatment of non-human or Purebloods and anti-alien sentiments that surround it especially in light of the recent war efforts against the Galactic Republic.

Last week, our Friday Focus asked you where your opinions stood towards the Jedi Order. This week, we ask you where you and your characters stand on the Sith and their beliefs?

YA BOI CatharMando I stand on a very selfish viewpoint
Avantis/Valyria From a Philosophical point of view the code of the Sith inspires one to push and chase after one's passions, believ...
Alen More thoughts. Figuring out where Jedi ideas come from is easy. Buddhism, Taoism, all that jazz. Figuring out what insp...

Peace, justice and a sense of order are imperative in the hopes of living in a crime free society. Our streets are packed full of criminals, gangs and petty low-lives who don't know right from wrong. To counteract these groups of people, there are forces and services that act in the name of the law to ensure that our communities are safe. It is not an easy role as crime never sleeps. The police and defence forces around the globe are the two main groups that put their lives on the line, serving and protecting its people. Without these groups and a judicial system, we'd be living in anarchy.

There are countless films and other forms of media based on the world's police and defence forces. There are far too many to name. Star Wars, however, brings new meaning to defenders of peace and justice. Call them real life monks with special powers, if you will. Of course, we're talking about the Jedi from the Jedi Order. Their role in Star Wars is to the maintain peace and justice around the galaxy. Not an easy gig as there are thousands upon thousands of systems that require aid on a daily basis. They serve the Republic, just as we've seen in the prequels, the post-Galactic Empire era, but most importantly, in the era of The Old Republic.

In today's Friday Focus, tell us how important the Jedi Order is to you. How important is the Jedi Order to your character for The Old Republic? What influence has it had on your character choice? How important is the Jedi Order to the Star Wars story and roleplay? Pop your thoughts into the comments section, and may be the force be with you all!

YA BOI CatharMando Not very important as they are not selfish enough
Alen It's pretty important! I've been trying to do the concept justice for a long time, now. Without the Jedi, you ...
Magenta Sparrow Innovations Lexi's no fan of the Jedi Order, or the Sith. She thinks both are extremist groups, and that all the war and death ...

Would it be an incorrect generalisation to say that everybody eventually chooses a side? Regardless of whether or not you claim independence, in most cases your actions generally tend to assist one particular side in a two-faction battle. Playing the mediator is not a fun gig. How much slack can you take from either side before eventually giving in, either calling it quits or choosing your allegiance? Before doing so, you need to ask yourself the question as to which side will benefit you. You can take it a step further and ask yourself which is the lesser of two evils. 
If we ask ourselves from these questions from the point of view of the many Star Wars characters, we'd get a bunch of different answers. Jango Fett benefits from a substantial amount of wealth from the cloning campaign on Kamino. Money isn't everything though. All the money in the world cannot stop a clean decapitation from a lightsaber. The Jedi set their allegiance with the Jedi Order, swearing to maintain peace and uphold justice on behalf of the Galactic Republic, but for many Jedi, this just isn't fitting. How many have veered from the path of light, steering themselves towards the dark side of the Force? There isn't much of an in-between, as there are only few Grey Jedi that ever existed in the history of Star Wars.
In The Old Republic, we're forced to set our allegiance to either the Republic or Sith Empire. However, there are those that have chosen one of the two factions only for class selection, in hopes of maintaining an independent point of view. But really, who are you kidding? You're going to eventually work for either side, depending on which faction offers you a better reward, right? For today's Friday Focus, tell us what factors determined your choice of faction. What is it about the Galactic Republic or Sith Empire that is so alluring? Chuck your thoughts into the comments section. 
YA BOI CatharMando I decided to go imp side because they seem like a much more selfish bunch
Bloodletter Character-wise, the only explanation, really, is that Varelle is an Imperial by birth. He doesn't know anything els...
Watcher_Hevilas I think I picked the Empire in the end because I can only hear so much of the Republic's feel good story before I s...

Sometimes we're capable of some very remarkable and heroic deeds. Whether it be part of your job description or something that happens in the heat of the moment, your actions may be seen by others as courageous and epic. Police Officers, Fire Fighters, Paramedics, Medical Staff and Military Personnel are just a few examples of people who put their own lives at risk to protect others, as well as displaying gallantry. However, any ordinary individual is more than capable of such an act. People can surprise themselves and others by mustering the strength to achieve greatness in the face of fear.

What good would a character be in Star Wars if they'd never accomplished anything remarkable or heroic? Luke Skywalker would not have been as interesting if he hadn't achieved some of the remarkable things he'd done, such as blowing up the Death Star, defeating the Emperor or making out with his sister. Hmm, no; that was awkward. As roleplayers, our characters for The Old Republic will need a story. It is the foundation of roleplaying and without a story, we'd be regular players exchanging words and slander without purpose.

What we'd like to know in today's Friday Focus is what your character for the The Old Republic has done that can be considered remarkable or heroic. Has your character defeated an impossible enemy? Perhaps a decision they've made has saved -- or if you're playing the devil's advocate, killed -- thousands of people? Or maybe they've destroyed a Jedi Temple? No, scrap that, unless you want to be shunned for roleplayer elites. Lacking a story to tell? Here's another opportunity to add to your character's history. Get creative people and post your stories in the comments section.

YA BOI CatharMando I have been remarkably selfish before
Elderday Kellarov Elderday's everyday life either consists of excessive drinking, sitting around being grumpy, fighting, or, maybe on...
Iknayid Jerumasel Most of my characters tend to be villains, so little to no heroism around. Been some fun times at least.

Who and what we become in life is highly influenced by the teachings we received from the moment we could stand on our own two feet. Our parents kick-off our life long lessons, teaching us the dos and do nots; life 101. We then go to Kindergarten, followed by school, college and university, if we decide to take our studies that far.

Along the way, we pick up skills and personality traits from everything and everyone around us. Our teachers, family and friends all have their own influence, but amongst them all, there is usually one person, or one master, who has the most impact.

In Star Wars, it isn't that much different. Though Luke Skywalker was brought up by his uncle and aunt, Obi-Wan and Yoda left a significant imprint in Skywalker's programming when they took up the task of teaching him the ways of the Force. Obi-Wan was guided by Qui-Gon, and Anakin was instructed by Obi-Wan.

What we'd like to know today is: where did your character in The Old Republic receive their training? Was it from an academy such as that on Korriban or the temple on Tython? Or perhaps, contrary to the message in this Friday Focus, your character learnt their survival skills by venturing out on their own, learning from their own mistakes? Post your answers in the comments section below. 

Watcher_Hevilas Crimsèn: He's an imperial agent, and couldn't really find much on the lore where agents are trained, so...
Emoral Heliolite Emoral was trained to Knighthood on Ilum, a part of the relatively few Jedi Enclaves permanently present there since the...
The P.B.G Cori'Senteye, my character has one of the strangest trainings for a Jedi ever. Born into a family of entertainers a...

Through passion, I gain strength. Through strength, I gain power. Through power, I gain victory.
Words taken from the Sith code, though they do not always ring true. Rather than using their strength and power to gain victory, they gain nothing but their inevitable demise. Said like a true Jedi sympathizer <insert wide-grinning smiley>.

The Sith are not without their strengths, nor are members of other affiliations in Star Wars. The Sith have their emotion, their rage and their pretty sparkles that shoot from their fingertips. The Jedi have their serenity, their companionship and never ending cryptic-ism. Non-Force users have their strengths as well. Soldiers and the like have their big weapons that go "boom!" Smugglers have their tricks and conniving ways.

For today's Friday Focus, simply put, what are your character's strengths? Do they shoot pretty sparkles from their fingertips? Perhaps their wits and tact get them out of sticky situations? Is your character a Jedi Empath, feeling all emotion around them? Or perhaps your character's strengths are of something a little more... exotic? Post your answers in the comments section.

The Enigmatist Golgaron is one hell of a warrior, force user and general badass. With a colorful and painfully eclectic background in...
LD.OOC Ok Ouf'usic T'nk my police officer character. He has developed through the last year of rp and thus he has man...
Captain Shanks Shanks is just about decent with blasters,, not as good as an average Mandalorian or a soldier, certainly, but he hold h...
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