EpicF2P Game Guide
Guide by Jae Onasi
So you want to join or start a guild. Great! Some of the best experiences in any MMO (massively multiplayer online) game are group activities done with friends. Star Wars: The Old Republic even gives some incentives for grouping with other players for different activities. Let’s take a look at guilds, what they are, how they work, how to join one, and even how to start and run one.
Good overview of all the basics of getting a guild going
Basically, a guild is a group of people who have joined together in an online game to help each other out. That help might include a number of things, like sharing crafting materials, being available to help out with quests and missions, or grouping together to complete harder operations that can’t be done solo. The group usually has some shared interests that can be based on a number of things. Some groups get together because they want to game with other people similar to their own age. Some want to role-play. Others enjoy hard-core raids and Operations, others want to become a top-tier gamer in player-vs.-player (PvP) content, and some just like to be in a family-friendly group that shares the same core values.
In Star Wars: The Old Republic (SWTOR), guilds tend to be organized around various things. First, many guilds are based on the type of activity in which they participate the most. You’ll find guilds that love hard-core raiding, are devoted to PvP, or participate in ‘leveling’, which help players level up in game. The hard-core raiding guilds are made up of extremely active, devoted players who spend a lot of time playing the end-game Operations at the hardest difficulty levels. The guilds devoted to PvP do just that: spend a lot of time in the PvP areas like Warzones. Crafting guilds are devoted to sharing resources and materials to be able to create the highest quality items, and role-playing guilds focus on playing the game ‘in character’ as much as possible.
Second, guilds may be centered on a common theme, such as those who play most often during certain times or family-friendliness. You’ll find a guild for just about any special interest out there, like family-centered, religions like Christian or Muslim, a specific language like Spanish or Polish, orientation, unique events, or fan-site communities like TORWars.
If you’d like to meet other players who enjoy similar interests or activities, then joining a guild is a fantastic option.
Joining a Guild
There are a few things you should consider before joining a guild. Some of these decisions may even affect your choice of server or character class. Someone who wants to join a role-playing (RP) guild, for example, may want to start a character on an RP server, while a player who loves PvP might want to start a character on a PvP server. If you choose your guild first, you’ll want to start a character on the server on which that guild plays.
If you’re in a guild in another game already, and you enjoy the people, it’s natural to stay with that group. If your gaming group has started a guild in SWTOR, find out who’s playing and contact them. Don’t hesitate to send a whisper in game to an officer for an invitation to the guild.
If your gaming group doesn’t already have a guild, then check out the server forums on the swtor.com site. Browse through the different threads to see if any of them appeal to you. Unlike other MMOs, SWTOR does not use a guild ranking system, so don’t worry if you don’t see any guild ranks. There are many fan sites that also publish guild listings, including TORWars.com and CorellianRun.com. Take a look at those for more information.
Another great way to meet potential guild members is to do group content with other players. You might meet some players for the Heroic quests on the starter planets of Ord Mantell, Tython, Korriban, and Hutta. If you are level 10 or higher, click the Group Finder button on your mini-map and join up for some Flashpoint missions. If you have a lot of fun gaming with someone, check the guild tag, which is the name in carats below the player name. Ask if that person's guild is recruiting new members.
Some people don't have their guild tags displayed, and some people don't play in a guild. If you don't see a guild tag, ask the person if he or she is in a guild. If that person is not in a guild, she or he might be able to refer you to a good one.
Narrow the choices down to three or four guilds that seem to match your interests best. Go visit their websites and see if it’s the kind of community that appeals to you. Take a few minutes to chat with some of their members in game. If possible, set up a time to do a few quests or flashpoints with them. Playing with some guild members will give you a great idea of what kind of players they are and if you’d feel welcome in their community. Many guilds require players to fill out applications on their websites, and most of these applications are very brief. Some guilds might interview you in game instead.
If you find a guild you really like and meet their requirements, the guild leader or officer will give you an invitation to join the guild. This will show up as pop-up window in game. Click the ‘accept’ button, and you’ll be automatically added to the guild. Once in the guild, type /g in order to join the guild chat. Some guilds have custom channels. They’ll explain to you how to join if they do.
Some guilds recruit in the general chat in game. Often times, you’ll find these recruiters on the fleet stations, Coruscant or Dromund Kaas.
Occasionally, guild leaders and officers will offer random invitations to people that they see without guild tags. You can accept or decline the invitation, although it’s generally better to find out about the guild before joining rather than after.
Free-to-Play and Subscriber Guilds
BioWare has some incentives to encourage people to subscribe. Guild leaders who are subscribers can set a guild tag. Free-to-play guilds don’t have a guild tag. The free-to-play (f2p) guilds allow some basic bank access. Subscribers have a few more options on that. All f2p gamers will need to purchase access to the guild bank with Cartel Coins regardless of the subscribing status of the guild leader. Subscribing guild leaders will be able to change the default names of guild ranks and adjust rank permissions. All free-to-play guilds are upgraded to a subscriber guild when the guild leader is a subscriber. If being a part of a subscriber guild is important to you, simple ask the guild leader if the guild is a subscriber or f2p guild.
In SWTOR, each character has to be added to the guild. If you have multiple characters that you need to have added to the guild, make sure to let the officers know. Some very large guilds have multiple in-game guilds for extra characters in order to accommodate all the members.
Dos and Don’ts
The best way to stay connected to the guild is to be involved! If your guild has a forum, check it out regularly. If the guild has in-game chatting using Teamspeak or Mumble, make sure to get the program (the clients are free) and hop on to chat with other members. Don’t be afraid to volunteer, whether it’s helping other players do quests, crafting items, helping on the forum, organizing an event, or leading a flashpoint.
Be considerate when using the guild bank. If you take something out to use, it’s courtesy to donate credits or other items in return for other members to use. The guild bank is located on the fleet stations. If you have access, you’ll be able to drag an item from the guild bank to your own inventory. To donate items, drag them from your inventory to the guild bank. If you want to donate credits to the bank, just click “Deposit” at the bottom of the bank window. You’ll see a popup window where you can enter the amount you want to deposit, and then you can hit ‘enter’.
Most guilds have rules or codes of conduct. Make sure to follow them so that you don’t get kicked out. Many guilds don’t allow excessive swearing, racist or sexist comments, cheating, stealing from the guild bank, or using hacks. In general, if you keep your language generally clean, are helpful and pleasant, and don’t cheat, you’ll do just fine.
If you have trouble with another member, try to talk it over with that member first. Sometimes, it’s a simple misunderstanding. This is especially true in international guilds where members may not all speak the same language. Everyone has a bad day from time to time, too. If you can’t resolve the problem with that member, talk to an officer. If that doesn’t help, go to the guild leader. If the problem can’t be fixed at that point, you might need to look for another guild. If you are being harassed in game by someone, notify not only the guild leader but also BioWare. To report someone, click the question mark icon on the top bar and then select ‘report a problem’. Most issues, however, are easily solved by just talking out the problem and finding a workable solution.
Leaving a Guild
Most people leave a guild because it’s no longer active. To leave a guild, simply type /gquit. You’ll have to quit with each of the characters you have in that guild. If you leave because of an unresolved problem, don’t complain about it in public or to other people in game. Let it go and find a terrific new guild.
Running a guild
If you decide to start your own guild, SWTOR makes it very easy. Decide what type of guild you’ll be, such as RP, PvP, and so on, and what time zones in which you’ll be most active. Then, join the appropriate server. Decide if you’ll have a special niche, such as gaming mainly during the daytime hours in the Central Time zone, crafting high-level items, or something as simple as a group that also likes watching Dr. Who.
Starting a guild
You’ll need to go to one of the fleet stations, Coruscant, or Dromund Kaas and visit one of the guild registrars to start a guild.
To start one, you have to have five members, including you, and 5,000 credits. Pick a guild name, and your new guild will be formed right there! If you’re a subscriber, change or add guild ranks in the guild administration tab. To open the guild panel, type the default key 'G'.
The default ranks in game are from highest to lowest:
- Guild Leader
As guild leader, you set the different permissions for each of these ranks, including who can view and send messages in guild chat or officer chat, who can change the guild message of the day or edit the guild description, and what ranks will be allowed to view or set officer and member notes. You can also decide what rank can invite other players. Only guild leaders can adjust the guild settings. Other officers cannot. Most of the default settings can be limited, so make sure to look at this panel as soon as possible after starting your guild.
Next, you’ll want to set up the guild bank. Talk it over with other guild members to determine how open or closed off the bank will be for all members. Some small guilds allow all members to access the different bank tabs. Bigger guilds will often limit guild bank access, perhaps keeping one tab open for any member, and making other tabs accessible only to officers in order to discourage theft. Make sure to set limits on the amount of credits someone can withdraw at the lower ranks so that a thief can’t clean out the bank. To prevent guild bank theft, make sure all recruits have a trial period of a couple weeks before they can remove anything from the bank. Withdrawals of credits and high-end items should be limited to officers who have proven to be dependable members. Guild leaders and officers should check the ledger often to watch for unusual withdrawals of items or credits.
You don’t need to have a forum in order to run a guild, but it helps a lot with organization. There are some great guild-hosting sites available that offer free packages, such as enjin.com, guildportal.com and shivtr.com. Visit their sites to find out more information.
Since SWTOR does not have in-game chatting software, consider adding that. Some hosting sites like enjin.com offer the Mumble voice chat with their hosting packages. Other guilds use Teamspeak, Skype, or other programs. Offering an in-game chat program will make recruiting and member retention easier.
Once you have the guild ranks and bank set up, it’s time to start recruiting. Some people offer random invitations to newer players or stand on the fleet station and type out a recruitment message at some frequency. This is not the best way to recruit good members. Instead, start a thread in the appropriate swtor.com server forum. Post about events and other activities periodically, and monitor the thread often for questions from prospective members. Some guilds advertise on fan sites, too.
A goofball guild recruiting video
When someone expresses an interest in your guild, take the time to talk to that person. Find out if she or he is interested in the same things as your guild. If you have a short application form, have the player fill it out. Offer to do some quests or a flashpoint with that person. After gaming for a few quests, you should have an idea if that person will be a good fit for your group. If that’s the case, then type /ginvite, a space, and the person’s name. Then hit enter, and they’ll be a member. If the recruit has an unusual character or accent in the name, ask them for the appropriate alt-code to type the name correctly. After that, you can right-click on the name in the guild panel to change the rank to whatever is appropriate.
Activity is Key
To retain members, keep active. Offer lots of different activities for people to join.
Here are some suggested event ideas:
- Flashpoints (normal and hard mode): Flashpoints are missions designed for four players.
- Operations (normal and hard mode): These are level 50 missions for 8 or 16 players.
- Dance parties: Meet up on a planet or the fleet station and type /dance!
- Favorite costumes: Show off your finest outfits!
- Best and Worst Headgear: There are some very cool hats in game, and there are some truly ugly ones.
- Scavenger hunts: Set up players at various checkpoints on a planet. Players have to do the right emote or answer a trivia question to get an item or the location of the next checkpoint. The person who finishes first gets a prize.
- Planet races: Run across a planet and see who can run the farthest before getting defeated by monsters.
- PvP nights against a friendly guild: Find a guild in the opposite faction, and group up to enter the Warzone PvP missions at the same time.
- Obtaining the Orokeet pet: Get a group together to find the Orokeet eggs on Alderaan to get an Orokeet mini-pet.
- Datacron hunts: Take a group out to work together to obtain all the datacrons on one or more planets.
- World Boss nights: Take a large group out to defeat the highest level boss on that planet, called the 'World Boss'.
- Level-a-buddy night: Help new players do quests, class missions, and Heroics in order to gain levels quickly.
The sky is the limit on this, so feel free to be creative!
No one can do it all. Guild leaders need to have fun gaming, too. If you feel overwhelmed, ask for help! Many people are hesitant to volunteer, but will gladly agree to assist if you mention you need help. Appoint officers to areas where they have a strong interest. Some people are very good at organizing events, others are best at helping people in PvP, still others prefer crafting or helping new people level up, and some are great at leading Operations. Consider putting someone in charge of an activity one night a week, and then make sure to advertise it in your forum thread and in the guild message of the day for your members to see at login.
Make sure to have an assistant guild leader who can take over if you have an emergency or will be away from the game for a while. Every guild leader needs some time off for vacation, too. This person will be your ‘second in command’ and will be the one that other officers go to if you’re not available.
Drat! A Drama Llama!
At some point as a guild leader, you will encounter a person who creates problems for the guild. This person might be abusive to other members, may harass other players, or use offensive language. They might also stir up trouble by starting rumors, creating ‘drama’ for the group and making gaming a lot less fun. Don’t ignore the problems. That only allows them to get worse. Speak to the person causing problems immediately. Most problems are resolved very quickly just by talking to that member and letting that person know that he or she has stepped out of line. If the member refuses to change, or continues to cause problems after your warning, kick the person out of the guild. To do that, type /gkick, a space, and the person’s name. Make sure to /gkick all of the characters on that person’s account. If you have a forum, ban that person from your forum, too, so that they can’t continue to cause problems there. If that person is abusive, report him or her to BioWare as well. While no leader likes to ban people, it’s far better to protect the rest of your guild from one bad member.
Whenever possible, get input on decisions from members and officers. Some decisions have to be decided ultimately by the guild leader, but having input from as many members as possible is highly desirable.
When to Call it Quits
There comes a time when every guild leader needs to pass the torch to another leader. Ideally, you want to do this before you are so burned out that you simply quit the game. If you expect to be offline for a long time due to internet problems, illness, increased work or school responsibilities, or other issues, turn the leadership over to your deputy guild leader or another guild officer. To promote that person, right-click on his or her name and click ‘promote to guild leader’. You’ll get a confirmation pop-up asking you if you’re sure you want to do this. Click yes, and that person will become the guild leader. You’ll be demoted automatically to the next rank down.
The Final Word on Guilds: Have Fun!
Whether you join or run a guild, make sure to have a lot of fun! Playing with fellow gamers in SWTOR will help you advance faster in game, gain social points and ranks, and accomplish group activities that are impossible to complete as a solo player. You’ll make new friends, quite possibly life-long ones. Enjoy gaming with them all!