A Genre A Long Time Ago: Finding Your Voice, Getting Social in TOR

lh_swtor_star_wars_social_newbHaving recently celebrated Star Wars Day, and getting caught up in the recent barrage of updates and rumors on Star Wars Episode 7, we’re bringing you a new column focused on one of the biggest sci-fi franchise. We all had to start somewhere, and our resident Star Wars fan-boy Wedgeantilles began his MMOG experience with Star Wars: The Old Republic.  He’ll be giving an outsider’s look on what it’s like to play your first MMOG, along with providing gameplay insight and helping those of you not as familiar with the platform to not feel so intimidated or alone in vastness of the galaxy that makes up SWTOR. Enjoy.

I have finally begun to figure out group play. It has taken me a while to dig in since I doubt my abilities and experience; I don’t like being the person holding everyone back. However, having jumped off at a couple group flash points, I find that my worries were completely unfounded. There has been no reason for me to get that noobie anxiety. Although other players certainly have more XP and a mastery of the game I doubt I’ll ever have, once paired with a group you’ll realize that most players are just looking to kick a bit of galactic ass. Whether grouping up for heroics or just finding a few players to complete missions with, the group flashpoints are a great place to gain XP and learn new ins and outs from either veteran players or fellow noobs. To make grouping up even easier, there is a group queue icon located on the top left side of the mini map that works the same as the Galactic Starfighter queue; click the icon, continue playing, and when the group quota is filled, you’re off. The realization of how to use this feature turned me into a social butterfly of sorts, and I even ended up being invited into a guild.

I have become a member of the New Republic Guild, although I still can’t tell you what that means. All I know is that a player I was grouped with liked my style and invited me to join the guild. I accepted. Now I’m not totally sure how guilds work, or how I can possibly contribute, but I do know that it helps to be affiliated when you need to group up quickly or ask one of those many pestering noobie questions; such as what to do when you get caught in a glitch. (For those of you at my level; just type out the command “/stuck”.) I was given a key to our Guild’s credit account, which I am not sure how to use. This is probably a good thing so I don’t blow all of the Guild’s cash on a losing game of sabacc. More recently, with the launch of Galactic Strongholds, our guild has purchased a lofty apartment on Coruscant. This will serve as a communal spot for all members of the New Republic Guild to take a breath before heading back into that unforgiving galaxy far far away.

As for the general social aspects, I am still adjusting to the shell shock of typing my thoughts. I know this is a non issue for seasoned MMO players, but I have been wearing my Xbox headset for far too long so that typing while gaming turns me into a bumbling buffoon. Not to mention I haven’t learned all the common MMO terms yet, so I find myself asking for clarification when other players start using leetspeak and shorthand. These issues aside, it’s safe to say that socializing in TOR is easy enough once the fear of not knowing has been shed. So get out there, group up, and blaze a trail through the Star Wars galaxy!

Stay tuned for the next installment in the on-going column from Wedgeantilles.