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Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Star Wars The Old Republic, Roleplayers' Survival Guide

#gaming #mmo #geek #starwars #swtor #swtfe #RPG #roleplay #MTFBWY #gameguide #gamergirl
 

   With The Force Awakens nearing its highly anticipated release, those of you who play MMOs may be inspired to get your Star Wars on. As far as roleplaying games go, Star Wars, The Old Republic/The Fallen Empire is pretty much the only game in town. SWTOR (Or SWTFE, as it's sometimes called since the recent Fallen Empire expansion), which has been online since December 20th, 2011, is a vast, beautifully crafted digital world set in the Star Wars universe. Since SWG's shut down on December 15th of the same year, TOR has been the go-to for MMORPG gamers to get their Star Wars fix.

   However, as many roleplayers have discovered, the game is kind of a pain in the neck to actually roleplay (RP) in. While there are features a-plenty for finding and connection with people for quests, instances, PVP, and other combat content, there's little in place for connecting roleplayers with one another.

   Fortunately, where there's a will, there's a way. If you're interested in some tips and tricks on finding RP in Star Wars the Old Republic, then read on.
  1. Make up your own story
       TOR has an insane amount of in-game RPG content. While this content is great by itself, and suited to multiplayer gameplay mechanics-wise, almost none of it us usable for a workable story in the roleplay community. It's up to you to make up your own character's backstory, skill set, and personality. If you feel like borrowing from any of the quests the game gives you, make sure you tweak the story a little (changing names and objectives, for example) to make it your own.
  2. Follow the rules
       This might seem like a given to most experienced roleplayers, but those who are new to online roleplay may be surprised that there are some basic rules. Whether or not you follow them can mean the difference between joining a community, and being overlooked.
    1) Separate IC (In Character) and OOC (Out of Character) -- You're not your character, and your character isn't you. When you're roleplaying, you're acting. Make sure not to take anything that another character says or does to your character personally. It's all part of the show!
    2) Don't "Godmode" or fight unfairly -- You shouldn't make your character practically invincible; or change or harm others' characters without permission. You also shouldn't emote for others' characters, especially in a way that seems to dictate how they feel, think, or react to a situation.
    3) Don't "Metagame" or gain unfair advantages from OOC knowledge -- Be mindful of what your character does and does not know! It may not make sense for your character to know things you learned from things such as reading forums, chatting OOC, doing quests, or interacting on other characters. Using knowledge not obtained from IC interaction, or established backstory for a particular character is a big RP no-no.
  3. Know your cross-faction chat limitations
       In TOR, the Empire (Impside) and Republic (Pubside) characters are segregated. They may not share quests, be on each-other's friend lists, form groups, form or join guilds, join the same chat channels (Including the planet-wide /general chat), view each-other's custom /emote commands, or send /tells and /whispers cross-faction. They may view the short-range /say messages, view stock emotes (like /smile or /bow), duel each-other, send mail to each-other, trade on the GTN (Galactic Trade Network) terminals, and sometimes visit strongholds cross-faction.
       Because of the lack of /tells and /emotes, people often use stars *Like this* to indicate emote text, and double-parentheses ((Like This)) to indicate OOC speech while using /say. There are also some faction-specific planets and areas which the opposite faction may not enter, so be mindful of this when choosing a meeting place.
  4. Play on the RP server.
       There are a couple RP servers in SWTOR, but the big one is Ebon Hawk. Back when the old MMO, Star Wars Galaxies was active, the dominant RP server was Starider. The Starsider server was well-populated with RPers, even on the day SWG shut down. Many of these players migrated to a SWTOR server called Lord Adrass, which was later merged with the current server Ebon Hawk.
       TL;DR, Ebon Hawk is the place to be, because a bunch of experienced roleplayers landed there.
  5. Join a Guild
       When you're in an RP guild, finding stuff to do and people to do it with becomes much, much easier. Don't be afraid to jump in and join one! When looking for a guild, being a little specific is good. "Jedi looking for RP guild" is less likely to get noticed than "Light Side Jedi Padawan looking for RP guild with Master/Apprentice system."
       Most guilds recruit either on "starter" planets, fleet, or planets that have strongholds. That means Imperial characters should go to Korriban, Hutta, Droumnd Kaas, Imperial Fleet, or Nar Shaddaa. Likewise, Republic characters should try Tython, Ord Mantel, Coruscaunt, Republic Fleet, or Nar Shaddaa.
  6. Know your RP hubs
       First of all, the major gathering place for either faction is going to be The Fleet. It's like the Goldshire of WoW, or the Mos Eisley of SWG. There's a Republic Fleet and an Imperial Fleet, and they're both faction-exclusive: characters form the opposite faction are not allowed. Players often hang out there and RP while waiting for their PVP queues. The main place for roleplay on Fleet is the bustling Fleet Cantina at the center of the station. If you're looking for a quieter setting, you can go to the Cartel Market Cantina which can be reached by elevator. For group-only interactions, your ship's hangar is never far away.
       If you're looking for cross-faction RP, you could try the Promenade on Nar Shaddaa. Both Republic and Imperial characters are allowed in this part of the planet, and conveniences like the GTN, Stronghold terminals, and several cantinas are close by. If you happen to be there during one of the game's gambling events, there will certainly be crowds taking advantage of the slot machine rewards.
       If you're looking for anything Jedi related on the Ebon Hawk server, Tython is the place to be. A few good old Jedi guilds from Starsider based themselves on this planet early in the game's launch, and some are still established there. Additionally, new and old Jedi players and guilds flock to the Jedi Temple daily. It's great if you're looking for a non-cantina RP hub!
  7. Know your timeline
       SWTOR takes place almost 4,000 years before the original trilogy (3643 BBY, to be precise). From the beginning of the story to the year the newest expansion (Knights of the Fallen Empire) takes place, about twelve years is supposed to have passed. You can go to the wookieepedia to try to figure out where you stand in the timeline.
  8. Use out-of-game community resources
    Using forums like Enjin, guild sites, Steam, Xfire, posting artwork on Deviantart, and even creating a Facebook fanpage for your characters can all be useful for augmenting your RP experience. Because you can't have a bio in-game (As of this writing) it's a good way to get a little of your characters' backstories down, and have something for yourself and other players to refer to. Frequented forums can also help build a sense of community out of game.
  9. Finally, be a self-starter
       This applies to just about any roleplay environment, but it's especially true for TOR. If there's nothing going on, then make something happen! Even coming up with something simple will give other bored RPers something to do, and create an opportunity to branch out. You might be surprised where a little bit of random RP can take you.




Thank you for reading! If you enjoyed this article, you may also like to check out some of my other posts. Here's what I recommend now:
Jvloggers! Three Awesome Youtube Channels About Japan
3 Youtube Pranks that Took WAAAY Too Much Setup Time (But were Ttally Worth it)
5 Favorite Playstation One Games

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