SWTOR: Guild Me Up

March 9, 2011

A rather big update on the Star Wars: The Old Republic official website this morning as BioWare unveiled their Guild Headquarters page and their Pre-Launch Guild Program. Totally unexpected, and there was even a moment there where I had check myself to make sure that today was indeed still Wednesday. Yep. Two days before PAX East. Kinda makes me wonder what else they might have in store for us on Friday for their weekly update, and over the convention weekend.

It’s starting to get real. In fact, when I read the forums, I have a sneaking suspicion that most people are more excited about what this Guilds update implies than they are over the actual update itself — that the release of SWTOR may be closer than we think. I’m always wary when it comes to getting my hopes up, but even I have to admit there’s something in this. A system to encourage your playerbase to form and reserve names for guilds does seem like something you would implement not too long before launch.

I  have to say this is probably one of the coolest and most interesting social features I’ve ever seen from a game. Allowing players to form and join guilds now is just a part of this update; Bioware is also giving them their own site to help them recruit, manage, and maintain their guilds. Of course, players can still set up their own websites if they please, but I think having a centralized area on the SWTOR network complete with public and private forums and the ability to connect to other players is pretty handy.

Admittedly, I find myself a little lost right now. My excitement and instinct tells me I should start shopping for a guild right away. After all, I’ve practically locked in on my faction and class choice, and I already know what kind of server I’m looking for. Still. I know it’s silly, but I’m the kind of person who likes to keep their options open until the very last minute. 99% sure that I’m going to go Empire and Bounty Hunter is still 1% chance that I can change my mind. Besides, we haven’t seen all the class videos yet. Who’s to say the Jedi Consular won’t blow me away and make me drop everything and take up the lightsaber for the Republic? I’ll grant you it’s not very likely, but it’s still possible. It comes down to me finding it difficult to make decisions until I have all the facts.

There will be ample time to make the decisions, no doubt. We are, after all, still in the earliest phase. Phase 2: Alignment and Phase 3: Deployment are where I think things will start to get interesting. Guilds that partake in this Pre-Launch Program and the allies and adversaries they have linked up to are at the complete mercy of BioWare’s sole discretion as to which server they’ll be placed. On one hand, I foresee much distress and angst if large groups of people end up being split up, despite the BioWare’s best efforts. Seems inevitable that this can be a source of potential backlash, and BioWare probably knows it too. Speaking of which, am I the only one who noticed how many times they make it a point in the FAQ to cite the Terms of Service and offer no guarantees?

On the other hand, I can’t really see BioWare doing anything half-assed. In setting up this system, they must have thought ahead and taken the steps to ensure the transfers will be implemented smoothly. In spite of everything, I do cross my fingers and hope for the best.


  1. This is an absolutely brilliant idea by Bioware and I’m impressed no doubt about it. This will maybe help with the difficulties I faced in Rift with my guild being in oversubbed realms and the whole queue issue. I am however wondering why they added in realm times as I was under the impression that it would be shared realms between the EU and US

    • I’m sure one of the benefits to this is that BioWare will have the power to allot guilds to different servers in order to spread out the population on their terms. I’m kinda confused about realms right now as well though. Realm times is probably something they will address in the future, and also the issue of whether or not there will be RP-PvP servers, which a lot of people seem to be wondering right now.

  2. All I can say is that this has been in design and production for some time and a lot of thought went into not just the implementation of it but the long-term maintenance and implications of the system.

    Glad to see it finally launch, myself… especially now that I can technically run my own guild 😉

    • Haha, it must have been so hard to know about this the whole time and not being able to say anything! I have faith in BioWare and the dev team’s design and efforts, definitely looking forward to seeing this system realized in its full glory.

      • I made a few hints about it some… wow, many, many months ago in the guild hall:


        But definitely awesome to see. The web team did a fantastic job with it (and pretty much everything they do with the site).

      • Heh heh, sneaky! I would never have thought to look for hints in the dev posts in the guild hall.

        Your post is from Jan of 2010! Crazy it’s been in the works since then! I am amazed everyday at the sheer amount of work that happens over there :O

  3. It just seems extremely early to me to be setting up guilds. I can see a valid case for reserving names, I guess, but it still just seems a little silly to me.

    As far as half-assing things, before Dragon Age I would’ve agreed with you, but I was disappointed with how poorly they handled communication and patches with that game (I mean you require a game launcher but it doesn’t patch the game for me? why?). Granted I was watching that with an eye towards how they would handle an MMO, and maybe they weren’t treating it as such.

    • I’ve always been one to see where the wind will take me when it comes to guilds. It wasn’t until recently that I realized there are in fact a lot of players who are already committed in these full formed mini-communities that stick together whichever game they go, and more are in these ally/adversary networks than I realized. Otherwise, I think I would see this as silly too. I still probably won’t get too into it, since this program really doesn’t apply to players like me as I’m not in any community networks like that. But to those who are, something like this is probably a godsend.

      I’ve been lucky, I never had any issues with Dragon Age patches…but even if I had problems I’d probably still give BioWare the benefit of the doubt when it comes to handling an MMO. SWTOR is pretty much exclusively being handled by Austin, which to my knowledge is almost like a separate entity from BioWare Edmonton.

  4. the whole adversaries thing makes me think they’re capable of thinking outside the box. If only bounty hunters could collect bounties.

    • It makes me think they’re clued in on how the community works. I notice aspects like guild communities, complete with allies and rivals are becoming a more popular trend these days. I think it really hit me when I saw some of the drama unfolding on the Rift guild forums lately that players actually do form these communities and take it rather seriously.

  5. I am for certain going to play a Sith infiltrator and throw ligthning around like there’s no tomorow.
    If you hear of a Sith guild of bloggers do let me know 🙂

    • monkey the Rivs (high latency life) is forming a Sith Guild me thinks.

      • interesting. Will you have twi’leks slaves to do my biding?

      • oh well it was scarybooster starting it http://www.swtor.com/guilds/5530/hill-people

      • You guys have fun, I’m too carebear for a PvP server 😛

        It’s PvE or RP for me…and I know how much the Rivs dislikes the latter, LOL.

    • Yeah, pvp server game me pause too. I plan on rolling with a friend of mine and I know pvp servers are out of the question.

  6. I was wondering why the SWTOR site was “performing maintenance” yesterday when I swung by. The last time they had to go down for maintenance, it was because the game testing nuclear bomb went off and everyone went apeshit. I had a sneaking suspicion something big could be up, but I didn’t dare get my hopes sparked.

    This is a hell of a surprise (a pleasant one). I definitely wasn’t expecting anything on guilds. Damn BioWare and their devious Wednesday updating (sarcasm, I couldn’t love BioWare more right now).

    Having said all that, I don’t see myself jumping into this pool. I can’t see where I would fit in just yet. I love PvP (I like it more than PvE, actually), but I don’t consider myself a “hardcore” PvPer, such that I would need an application with my credentials to join a guild. I also have never really had the time to become a raider on a tight schedule. In MMOs, I’ve always been…well, kind of like a “Meyer Lansky.” I set up shop, work the economy, and then try and figure out the best way to use the earned cash.

    One reason why I am liking the Crew Skills system in SWTOR is because BioWare stated that PvEers & PvPers might have need of crafters, and vice-versa. My hope was that the system would exist where there weren’t strictly PvP guilds, or PvE guilds, or Crafting guilds, that there would be a mix of all these playstyles in one guild. I still hope this will be the case, or otherwise I see no reason to join one. (Though the EARNING CREDITS aspect of the system gives me hope.) I am perfectly fine making money freelance in an MMO, but I can’t pretend that I wouldn’t mind doing it for the betterment of a guild. I guess I just have to hope some Lucky Luciano out there sees the need for dedicated crafters to make their guild better.lol

    Regardless of what I choose to do, I still love BioWare for doing this for the community. There really are people who have been in fully formed guilds for years. It is awesome that they will now be “officially” registered in the eyes of BioWare.

    • Not my pool to jump into right now either. Like I said above, I want to know all the details before I make my decisions. At the very least, I’d like to see all the class videos.

      Also, I want to know more about the different servers. I’m definitely going to be on a PvE server, but am interested in the RP ones as well. I’m willing to try my hand at some SWTOR RP; however, I want to make sure there will be a community with other guilds on the server willing to do some as well. Feels like I will have more control over where I end up if I choose to wait.

      As well, I just think sometimes a decision as to what guild to join can’t be made until I’m actually in the game. I need to get a feel for the server, and for its players. It’s one thing to know all my friends will be playing on the same side and on the same kind of server, but with 4 exclusive classes per faction in SWTOR, the people I know are all over the board.

  7. ooo; that red stormtrooper looks snazzy

  8. I know how you feel, both in terms of what you desire to play (I started http://www.beskar.net over two years back with my eye firmly on the BH class), but also in terms of, OMG, what if I love ‘x’ class even more? And yeah, that’s a big “what if”, I know! I guess it’s easier when you start a guild as it means you are set down that path and can play any of the other three classes in that faction with ease. That said, in our guild, we’re also going to start a joke/comedy Republic guild so anyone with a hankering to play a Jedi, or experience the Consular storyline, or whatever, will still be ablt to do it with guildmates. That seems to be the best of both worlds.

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