We're an old guild, but new to GW2 and WoW, at least as a collective.
What does that mean for us?
Basically, it means that our resources are zero, but our hearts are full, and our eyes are greedy. We'd like to have a developed guild yesterday to reflect that guild we were in SWTOR, but, at the same time, we aren't that guild anywhere else.
In WoW last night, a group of somewhat-scrubs took my total scrub Death Knight through a raid last night. I'm such a noob that I don't even know what raid it was, which I'm telling you honestly here because it epitomizes our state as a guild. Sure, we're still in SWTOR, but most of our loyal membership has one foot, maybe both feet, out the door. Others walked out a long time ago but have come back or further into the guild now that we're not defining ourselves based on a game. From a GM standpoint, there's been a ton of little executive decisions that make a huge impact, such as:
Of course, I'm still also responsible for supporting the people who want to continue playing SWTOR. So I have a lot of work to do as we make the jump, but at least I have enough knowledge and resources built up in SWTOR that I can do enough in that regard.
So, unlike other people, I have an entire agenda of things to do in videogames that are hard deadlines, because, without them, we can't continue building up Aisthesis. However, I'm not alone in this; I have a dedicated group of friends who want to help, whether it's shouldering some of the burden of knowledge and resource-building in one game, continuing to play and support in another, or just providing moral support as we figure out how to move forward. I'm grateful for those people all the time, because without them, there's no way I would be trying this in the first place.
So, I'm having fun. I bought the game. I bought a whole bunch of quality of life stuff. PVPing the other day invoked memories of vintage Swtor PVP. The world looks fantastic; my characters look fantastic. I've drawn in by the story, even though the hokey cutscene 'stage' method of delivery is jarring. I've been streaming just doing things on Twitch.
Last night, my guildies and I finally did some dungeons besides the nightmare-fuel Wintersday dungeon (also, Arenanet has some balls for putting out such a crazy holiday event). My reaction is, meh.
Levelling and exploring has been fun for me, which is different. I'll admit that I'm impatiently rushing Ajantis to 80, but I'm also taking the time to fully explore zones, thanks to level sync and the knowledge that you still gain experience after level 80. The dungeons we did--Ascalonian Catacombs, Caudecus's Manor--we did in story mode, so I know there's more to come. We also had level 80s in our party, so the syncing system did give us--especially me, since my character was the lowest level--some challenges. But in general, I can understand why people said that Guild Wars had PVE problems. It didn't feel like a face-stomp the way that swtor or wow dungeoning would feel if a high-level character was there, but it did feel incomplete, as though some essential element of PVE was absent, and therefore the challenges in the dungeon had to come from somewhere else. I know that that is precisely the case, and I'm not asking for the game to be something it's not. I just hope that Guild Wars 2 will have enough content I enjoy to keep me logging in even after the new shininess has worn off.
Besides, you know, agonizing over dyeing my gear.
Many of you know that I play Star Wars: the Old Republic, a Star Wars MMO. I've been playing since the launch of the game in December 2011, and I've been leading a guild (an online community of people) since August 2012 (officially, at least). During that time, we have been competitive on the PVE scene and, also, a tight-knit community of friends with two in-person meetups and countless get-togethers, lots of fun online and in-person memories, and a thriving membership.
People that I've met through the guild helped me volunteer in Cambodia last year and in Uganda this year. They've become, I hope, lifelong friends, business contacts, and ardent supporters. The problem isn't the community; it's the game.
The developers have been completely schizophrenic, directionless, and tight-lipped for years. They've made a series of wrong decisions that has killed the entire PVE community. There are still aspects of the game that I enjoy, but not enough to keep me--and our remaining 80 qualifying accounts--satisfied. Our schedule had nine raid teams before the holidays, with around 60 people participating on those teams. Now, as some of the last holdouts, the schedule will have two or maybe three teams on it, some people who are on more than one team, because people are unsubscribing en masse. I don't blame them. I probably would unsubscribe if I wasn't the guild leader.
At this forced crossroads, the officers and I had two choices: we could continue being a swtor guild and bleed out members while doing content that we had already done, or we could branch out, play new games, and stay together. We'd already played some games casually besides swtor, but this was moving MMOs. Nothing is as soulcrushing as starting again from level one with zero money and zero resources--but we were all willing to do it to keep playing together. So we've subbed to World of Warcraft, bought Guild Wars 2, and are also considering some other games with co-op play such as Diablo 3 and Heroes of the Storm (which many of us were already playing). Anyone who is reading this is welcome to join us as we embark on this new chapter together.
It's my hope that one day, we'll be able to play swtor, the game we all love, together again in the way that we used to. It sucks that the game hasn't gone away completely, but has rather become a shell of what it was. It hurts. So it's a new year for me, and all the members of <Aisthesis>. I'll be talking honestly about the challenges that we're facing going forward, and the joys of doing something new, in between other types of posts, of course.
Ajantis-Durotan <Aisthesis> (A)
Aotor-Ysera <Katabasis> (H)
Ysera-Durotan is a connected server