This is OpsCom, where we bring you a weekly dose of Operations-related content from the world of Star Wars: The Old Republic. This column will serve as an inside scoop on new content, developer feedback and community gossip. Stay tuned in the coming weeks, and we will keep you up to date on all the news you need to stay on the cutting edge.
Welcome back to OpsCom after a considerable break! Expect this and other columns to return to a more regular pace from here on in, and sorry to leave you folks hanging for so long. In this week’s OpsCom, we’ll look at how players make the difficult decision of who to bring to Ops, and whom to leave at home. Also, an interesting look at player predictions for gear in the upcoming expansion Rise of the Hutt Cartel, as well as checking in to see how far various guilds are in their NiM EC progression. For these stories, your weekly Community Spotlight, and more, hit the jump.
Weekly News Roundup
The issue of which players to bring to various Operations is a difficult question for many, both for the officers as well as the general members. One of the toughest experiences that leadership can face is how to break the news to someone that they aren’t making the grade, especially if that person is someone they regard as a friend. Wadecounty on the official forums posed this question, and it sparked an interesting debate, so have a look.
Skippable bosses have been a hot-button topic for some time now, and a recent thread rekindled the debate. Head on over to the official forums and weigh in.
As is the typical tradition with most MMOs, a new expansion on the horizon means new gear to be sought out, and an old question makes an appearance; “With the new expansion debuting imminently, should I even bother gearing up now?” In a spot on thread, Seven_deadlies on the official forums made a thread to discuss just that. Take a look and let them know what you think.
Now that Nightmare EC has been upon us for a bit now, I thought it would be time to check in and see how you’re all doing. AshlaBoga on the official forums took it upon themselves to track the progress, and the thread can be found here.
For this week’s Community Spotlight, we’ll be highlighting something new. Over on the official forums, Aerilas made a very informative post on what their favorite areas of the game are. Hopefully you folks enjoy the thread as much as I did.
Are you interested in having your guild featured here? Send us an email at email@example.com and give us a general run down. Submissions should include Guild Name, Faction, Server and how far your guild has progressed. Bonus points for a YouTube video of any boss kills that we can feature in this section.
For this week’s video, we take a look at something that’s likely to be rather nostalgic for a number of players. Enjoy!
Op-Ed: Growing Pains
If there’s one thing that is ultimately dreaded in an MMO, it’s when a guild reaches the point where their desires exceed the skill level of their current roster. As a past leader in a few guilds, I’ve had the joyless task of informing someone that they’re not making the grade, and telling them that we need to replace them in order to progress. There are as many methods for handling this bit of uncomfortable business as there are guilds, ranging from “blunt bordering on rude” to “so gentle that it’s barely effective”. Obviously, finding a middle ground is ideal, but where do you draw the line?
One of the first steps you should always take, after you’ve determined where the problem area lies, or in this case, the problem player, is almost always approaching the player and discussing what you believe the problem is. Players vary by several degrees when it comes to situational awareness and personal skill, as well as areas such as willingness to learn, dedication, and how well they respond to criticism. To assume that there is one standard method for every situation is really unreasonable; personal interaction between guildmates is going to be different no matter where you go. However, your view of this will often change, depending on what role you play in the guild. As a leader, your job is to provide a fun and stress-free Ops environment for your folks, and this includes the dirty work, such as informing players of their poor performance. As an Operative, your job is to provide the best performance that you can, being aware of mechanics, and being intimately familiar with the ins and outs of your class. I’ve always believed that a balance can be achieved between the two, so I always recommend discussing specific problems with players, and then determining if you’re able to help them, as well as if you believe that they are a worthwhile investment of time and energy. Surprisingly enough, most leadership will find that many players are on the verge of greatness, and they just need that little push over the edge to achieve it.
So, in short, I would simply recommend that we all approach one another with a level of respect and maturity that befits our age. Most of us are mature folks, or at the very least have the capacity to be mature. We all play games for different reasons, but I believe that we can all agree that we prefer to have fun and enjoy our time in the game. So, if you’re a member of your guild’s leadership, remember that the person or persons you’re approaching are people too, and the best way to approach someone about their performance is with kindness and understanding. And if you’re a player, remember that your leadership is counting on you to achieve the guild’s objectives as a whole. As an Operative, you’re responsible for actively participating in content, and should never just be a “warm body”. That being said, we should all strive to be better toward one another, and remember that we all inhabit the same galaxy. And, in the immortal words of a certain someone, be excellent to each other.