Today we got a big surprise, a Wednesday update! Today it was announced that Bioware has included a Pre Launch Program for Guilds in SWTOR.
Allison Berryman tells us the following:
Today, we’re excited to announce the launch of the new Guild Headquarters (HQ) as well as the Pre-Launch Guild Program. Many members of the community have already been organizing guilds on the forums, and we’re now happy to provide the tools to officially register and reserve your guild’s name. In this new section of the website, you can search for an existing guild to join or you can create a new guild and begin recruiting members. When Star Wars™: The Old Republic™ launches, you may be able to import your guild directly into the game, subject to availability and meeting certain criteria*.
Every guild gets its own guild mini-site on www.StarWarsTheOldRepublic.com, complete with information about the guild, its recruitment status, and its own public and private forums. Create or join a guild now and you’ll have the opportunity to have your own space to socialize and organize before the game launches. Every guild is automatically entered into the searchable guild database, which makes it easy for players to find their ideal guild. Get your guild together early and get ready for The Old Republic!
To learn more about guilds in The Old Republic, check out the Guilds Game System page for details, and to search for or join a guild, visit the Guild HQ now! Also be sure to visit the Guilds FAQ for answers to commonly asked questions.
*Conditions and restrictions apply. See Guilds FAQ for full details.
To report bugs, please use this thread in the Website Feedback and Support forum. Please note that some words and phrases, particularly some relating directly to Star Wars, are restricted. If you feel your desired guild name is restricted in error, please contact us using the site support form.
The end result is guilds now have the capability to reserve their in game name, that can be huge for some guilds that have names that are contested. I see the possibility for griefing here, but hey what are you going to do as a game development company? You have to give players the chance to reserve some things.
The main thing I do not like about this process is this little nugget of uncertainty…..
*”We will make reasonable efforts to ensure that qualifying guilds are imported into a server that meets your specified preferences, but we cannot make any guarantees given the anticipated volume of guilds (among other factors). All server placements therefore remain in our sole discretion. We also cannot take responsibility for technical errors or glitches that prevent your guild from importing into the game as planned. See Terms of Service for more details.
When we begin placing guilds on servers, we will take into account all the information that has been provided, including the server type and the allies and adversaries you have selected. We will make reasonable efforts to place each guild according to their specified preferences but cannot make any guarantees given the anticipated volume of guilds (among other factors).“
So what this means is that Bioware will be placing your guild on a server at release, you dont pick they do, and if your lucky you will get to land on the server type you have chosen (pve,pvp,rp-pve)
I dont find this to be very cool at all. As a guild I should be able to choose the server I wish to play on. What if certain guilds want to be aligned in game but they get “placed” on different servers? I don’t think Bioware has put enough thought into this aspect of the system and frankly I am sad about that. I can understand the reasoning behind it such as server balancing and such but I dont like when my liberties that I have grown used too in past MMO’s are taken away.
There are other requirements or “criteria” that will need to be met if a guild can successfully use the pre-launch system in phase 3, for example:
1) At the beginning of Phase 3, the guild leader must log in to the website and verify that their guild remains active and wants to be imported; and
2) The guild has at least four members who have pre-ordered the game by the time we initiate the import.
3)Guilds will have no more than 500 members.
The pre-order requirement is fair i think. They could have made it higher but i think they chose to be fair and allow guilds that may be smaller the chance to still use the system. I plan to pre-order.
Also we got a look at what might be the final server play style designations?
“Why are there multiple server types?
Star Wars: The Old Republic will offer different server types that emphasize different styles of game play such as Player-vs-Environment, Player-vs-Player, and Role- Play. When your guild gets transferred into the game, it will be placed on the server type that most matches your selection.
Player-vs-Environment (PvE) servers can be considered representative of the standard play style and rule set. The focus on PvE servers is on experiencing the story and working with friends against the non-player enemies in the game world.
Player-vs-Player (PvP) servers have a slightly different rule set as PvE servers. On a PvP server, players may be attacked by other players from the opposing faction in more areas of the game world.
Role-Playing (RP) servers use the standard PvE rule set, but are identified as great places for players who enjoy acting out their characters in the game world to congregate and find other like-minded players.”
So no big deviation from the norm here, PVE, PVP, and RP are pretty much the standard server types and what most players have grown to expect. I think most of us expected just this type of classification.
All in all it is a pretty neat addition to the options a guild has in game and out of the game, and it helps them get organized pre-game. This is very important for most guilds that will have formed their member base before release.
I give it a thumbs up even though I am not too pleased with the server placement being out of my control.