Dec 122011
 

Highlighted Guild

  • Eternal Vigilance (EV) – Galactic Republic Guild

As we get closer and closer to launch, everything is getting ramped up. The official gamesite is getting a clean forum wipe and even the Guild HQ is having changes made. This brings us to this week’s guild, Eternal Vigilance. We get to meet Rebuc, a guild officer for this Republic guild and find out their guild’s story. EV, as we will see, is bringing to the community, the Find Your Ideal Guild quiz. How will this service help the community? We will answer this and learn more about the guild, Eternal Vigilance after the Jump.

More from Rebuc and Eternal Vigilance after the Jump…

  • Guild Q&A

How did Eternal Vigilance get its start as a guild?

EV began its journey in January of 2005 with the original 12 founders whom had all been in a previous guild together.  The notion of forming EV was of a very specific idea, a certain type of guild that they wanted to be – one that was transparent and democratic, and in such a way that all members would feel a ‘sense of ownership,’ as opposed to the guild belonging to an elite few.

EV has always been a guild ‘for the people,’ with all of our leaders in place at the behest of our membership through regular elections, and although originally what could be considered very experimental by its design, our overall guild structure has now proven effective after 6+ years of fine tuning (if you take a look at the charter on our website, you can see there aren’t many like us).

Did you know from the start that EV would be a multi-game guild?

We have always been very enthusiastic about the benefits of multi-gaming guilds, and it was definitely a design decision made from the very start. We treasure the freedom multi-gaming platforms afford us as gamers, to expand beyond the limits of a single game, and to know that no matter where we go – and for as long as we play games – that we will always have long-term friends at our side. When you enter into a new game with a guild you’ve belonged to for a very long time, you are never truly “starting over” and that is a distinct benefit from which we derive both efficiency and enjoyment.

What different games does EV have a presence in?

Currently, we have divisions for SWTOR, BF3, and Virtual Table Top RP, but we also continue to be active in a wide variety of games with smaller groups of members in titles such as League of Legends, Global Agenda, Dungeon Defenders, Skyrim…just to name a few (plus we have a number of members looking forward to future games like Diablo III, Guild Wars 2, Planetside 2…a lot of exciting games are definitely on the horizon).

How did EV come to the decision to have a division of the guild in SWTOR?

Our founding members, like many, fondly remembered their days playing Star Wars Galaxies. Star Wars: The Old Republic was seen as an opportunity to re-enter the Star Wars universe and relive those fun times in a more modern era of the MMO genre. We decided we had unique skill-sets, knowledge and experience – as well as a general passion for the concept of the game that would serve us very well if we were to establish a division in The Old Republic. Therefore, we decided that if we were going to move forward with a division, we wanted to pursue it in the “no holds barred” fashion that reflected our enthusiasm – this meant starting from Day 1, in October 2008, and we have been steadfastly preparing since.

What faction and type of server will the guild join?

We will be playing Republic, and are planning on joining an RP-PvP server along with TIG (The Imperial Guard) and oOo (Order of Ossus), the two guilds in our ‘Allies and Adversaries’ server agreement. We have recently worked out a server pact where other guilds can officially align with us on our server. Remnants of Hope, is one guild that will be joining our server pact.

Is EV a role-playing guild?

We are, but not as our main focus – RP is completely voluntary, and open for as much or as little as a member is willing to participate in.  We do have an extensive RP and Lore section where we house our guild history (in an RP setting) as well as character bio’s (all contained on EVRPedia), as well as several forum-based RP adventures with Jen’Jidai, but it’s always been a voluntary aspect of the guild.

Regardless of being a completely RP guild or not EV has a very unique story. How did it come about and can you share some of it with us?

At its core, Eternal Vigilance is a gray-aligned guild that eschews the principles of the Jedi Order, instead favoring a much more brash approach to the Sith Empire’s incursions on Republic territory. We are willing to do “whatever it takes” to combat the threat, and this means no tactics are too extreme (or “dark”) if they are deemed the most effective course of action to end further violence. Our characters are fed up with peace treaties and the general naivety on the part of those who believe the conflict can end through mere diplomatic negotiations. We may employ dark methods at times, but despite our “ends justify the means” philosophy, we believe our position to be the most morally correct.

Excerpt from the Eternal Vigilance story:

The founding of Eternal Vigilance is shrouded in mystery, and it is known fully only to those in the higher echelons of the order. Eternal Vigilance was founded in the aftermath of the last major Sith incursion, during the Revan controversy, by outraged rogue Jedi Master Jeordam Dre’na. Dre’na was furious with the Jedi council, for not committing more resources to the fight, and considered them to be cowardly and incompetent. In the aftermath of the war, he left to found his own order, that of the Eternally Vigilant. Though the recounted tales of these early years are vague, it is apparent that Dre’na must have had friends with considerable wealth and power.

The Eternally Vigilant hold in common one value: that they shall fight the Sith with whatever means necessary and no matter the cost. Such is the nature of the peril the Sith pose to the galaxy, and such is their difference to the Jedi Order. The “Grey Knights” of Eternal Vigilance do not shun emotion as do their Jedi counterparts.

If you are interested in reading more about our background, we recommend starting with the Overview in our wiki, and then browsing through the various entries linked on the front page of our wiki.

How will EV use the story in the game, as a guild?

Having a structure that is conducive to many different play-styles has always been one of our strong points.  We have members that want to focus on Flashpoints and Operations (Valor Group) via the PvE elements the game offers, some are more centered in PvP (Tempest Group) with Warzones, contested planets, and providing the much needed “backup” to members questing in the open-world environment, and others that wish to focus primarily on crafting (Commerce Agency) to help support our CCG’s (combat command groups – Valor and Tempest) and members as they progress.

By choosing to play on an RP-PvP server, we’ll have the best opportunity for all members, regardless of interest, to have the venue in which to play and take part in, any and all aspects the game affords.  Role play is no different, and for those members that wish to be more active in that aspect, the environment within the guild, and the nature of the server, will provide an outlet for that as well.  The Lore behind EV is an ever-evolving work in progress, and will be added to as we move forward in-game, and members who choose to play ‘in-character’ will be able to add to its history.

 
One way EV has used their story already is through this very unique Youtube video. I think it is a great use of their story mixed with some great in-game footage, some of the timeline artwork, cinematics, and in my opinion, a professional quality voice-over. Let us know what you think in the comments below.

 

EV, like many SWTOR guilds, tries and helps the community. Your guild has come up with a service to help players find a guild. Tell us about the “Find Your Ideal Guild” quiz. How exactly does it work?

The Ideal Guild Quiz (IGQ) was created in 2009 with the goal of helping people find a gaming home – one that not only met the needs they had as an individual, but also to help narrow the overwhelming list of potential guilds down to something more manageable.

At current count, there are over 79,000 guilds registered in the Guild HQ section of the official site, and although many of those are considered “placeholder” guilds with less than 3 or 4 members, the simple act of wading through the thousands of guilds in which to research is almost enough to turn a potential “future guild member” off the process entirely.

In March of this year (2011), we brought the newly revamped and streamlined V2 of the IGQ online.  As a web developer in real life, I took on the challenge of recreating it from the ground up, complete with a robust database and separately coded front-ends for both guilds and quiz-takers.  The quiz still focuses on the same ideals it was originally created for, but now takes advantage of a much larger pool of guilds (232 currently, with more added almost daily), along with a home-grown algorithm that measures each question’s “weight” to both the quiz-taker and each guild, in order to provide a more accurate set of results of recommended guilds.

The quiz itself is comprised of 37 questions that have been answered according to their guild preferences, by each guild included.  When someone takes the quiz, each answer they give is assigned a value based on how close they were to each guild’s answer, and uses it to tally up the final numbers at the end.  Some questions have different weights (total value) which can also impact the results – for example, even if you make a choice in the “Not used at all” range for the question “How important is voice chat usage to your ideal guild?”, a guild that marked voice chat as required might still be returned as a potential result based on how close you were on other questions.  That may not seem ideal initially, but compromise is often a key element in the search for a guild, and if you find you match up on nearly all aspects, you might also find some leeway in the requirements they may have (you never know until you talk to them – which in itself, is one of the most important part of the guild process – these are the people you may wind up spending years with – get to know them).

We’re currently in the process of communicating with all guilds included to make sure that when each one finds out their individual server, we’ll integrate that into the quiz along with server types and regions, in order to expand the ability to narrow down the list to a closer match for quiz-takers.  We’ll no doubt have more updates as we go, but our main focus is getting as much information into the quiz at launch in order to continue to help the community, and its members, find the match they need.

How does EV see the guild quiz helping the SWTOR community?

Hardly a day goes by where someone doesn’t post in the “Guild Hall” section of the official forums about the frustration they have – both as people looking for a guild, and as guild leaders looking to find new members.  The addition of the Guild HQ was a great resource, but was suited primarily for existing guilds as a way to organize and prepare for launch…it still didn’t make the task of finding a guild any easier (if anything, it made it more difficult considering that 79,000 number I mentioned earlier).

The “Official Looking for a Guild” thread each month helps, but is also prone to problems – namely, those who post about getting ‘spammed’ by guilds to come check them out (I know, I was one myself who got slammed with an inbox full of guilds that obviously paid no attention to the details of my original LFG post).

Each guild has the venue to post a recruitment thread, but unfortunately many are also chastised by the guild community for how many times they bump in one day in order to remain on the first page, while others remain 10’s of pages deep without ever again seeing page 1 after initially posting (the competition can get quite fierce at times, but with the unfortunate side-effect of detracting from the purpose of the recruitment boards).

Beyond the Guild HQ, LFG threads, and individual recruitment threads, ours is really one of the only other resources out there that helps guilds and applicants find each other…as my wife likes to call it, we’re the “eHarmony” of the guild world (and I’ve had many guild leaders attest to having new members find them simply because they were returned as a result, and they wound up applying).

Our goal, as lofty as it may be, is to be the go-to resource for guilds and those that are looking…I’d love to see 1000 guilds in the database a year from now.

I noticed your guild is divided into divisions. It is similar to the military. Is this by design? Does this mean your guild is strict and hardcore?

There is a differentiation between the organization within the guild itself and that of a division (see our guild charter for more information), but at the guild level, it can be viewed in a basic sense, of 4 main facets to the organizational structure:

  • Executive branch housing the “Master Chancellor” (guild leader).
  • Administrative branch containing site and guild resource “admins” (Community Manager, Chief Architect [my other role in the guild], and Secretary).
  • Legislative branch containing the Elders Council and Caretaker.
  • Member-level: this is where Division membership or “floater” status occurs (“floaters” are guild members that do not currently belong to a division).

To a large extent, Eternal Vigilance’s SWTOR division is designed like a military organization. Under the traditional sense of the phrase in the MMORPG world, however, we are far from what might immediately come to mind – we aren’t aiming to be hardcore, we aren’t the type to get stressed out by the game, and we encourage a friendly atmosphere above all else. The division is merely organized similar to a military structure, and shares some traditional military customs in a roleplay sense – emphasis on the chain of command, and so forth. One might attribute this fondness towards military efficiency to the fact that the two founding leaders of the division were members of the military.

With your guild open to so many styles of play, is there a need for activity commitments on guild members? If so what commitments are asked of each member?

Our SWTOR division has survived 3+ years as a pre-launch guild based on the belief that if everyone does a little, the guild accomplishes a lot. Our activity requirements are quite casual, the basics being: every member is required to check in (log onto the forums/in-game) at least once every 7 days, and participate in an agency (“Agencies” are the individual groups or teams within the division that have an Officer assigned and a specific function that operates independently from other Agencies, but where each involves tasks geared towards the ‘big picture’).

We currently have 7 agencies: Morale, Community Outreach, Commerce (Crafting), Recruitment, Valor Group (PVE), Tempest Group (PVP), and Task Force Alpha (RP). Every member is required to choose an agency and complete the tasks assigned to them from their agency’s director/officer. The tasks are based on rank, the lower the rank you are in the agency the less time we ask you to devote. Our lowest active rank is an S-2 rank (“S” referring to “Sentinel” as our rank naming structure for non-officers), with our S-5 rank being dedicated to sergeants who lead either PVE or PVP activities.

We have a separate page dedicated to the individual charters for the division as well as each agency and group, which explains in further detail what each is responsible for, as well as division ranking.

Did many members get into beta? What was the overall reaction of members that got to test?

We’ve had a number of different members gain invites to testing in the past year (myself included), and although some of us have noticed both forward, and at times backward, steps in development, the excitement level has never been higher, and we’re all looking forward to the game finally releasing…I believe everyone that had an opportunity to test was extremely impressed.

Thanks to Rebuc for your help with the Q&A. Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do in EV?

I’m 40, married, have two children, and as I mentioned earlier, I’m a web developer in my ‘real life’ profession.  I’ve been a gamer as long as I can remember, starting back with the original “Pong” my father bought when it first came on the market, and since then, I’ve played, or at least tried almost every major MMO (plus a ton of smaller one’s) that has been released (except WoW…never bought into the hype).

I first joined EV in September of 2010 – I had posted in that month’s “LFG” thread with a rather detailed description of what I had been looking for and found that out of the mass of spam PM’s I received, the recruiter that contacted me from EV (Davkul, who is now our Recruitment Agency Director) was the only one that actually took the time and care to address my concerns.  After visiting the forums, reading through the charter, getting to know the members and playing some games with them, I applied (one of the best decisions I’ve ever made).

At the guild level in EV, I hold the position of Chief Architect, where I serve as the webmaster and admin for our website as well as working with our Elders Council to manage Charter amendments and voting – it’s a very rewarding experience on a personal level since I interact with all guild members across all divisions, and the webmaster side allows me to use my real-world experiences to help aid the guild in any web or technological needs (the IGQ for example).

Within the SW:TOR division, I serve in the position of the Executive Officer where I help our Commander Sadilyn Vylara, lead the division in a variety of aspects.  Prior to being promoted to XO, I served as the Director (Officer title for our various agencies) of the Community Outreach Agency, and Director of the Morale Agency (my first Officer role).

Do you know what class and advance class you plan to start come launch?

I’ve always known which class I’d play (Consular), and once they released the advanced class details, it was obvious which would be my choice – Shadow (went back and forth on which specialization for awhile, but decided on Tank…always seems to be the path I take).  I’ve always had a fondness for staff weapons (one of the more ‘beautiful’ arts when in the hands of a true master), and as soon as I heard it would be a choice in-game, I knew without any doubts it would be what I’d play.

How can people find out more information about Eternal Vigilance?

Anyone interested in learning more about EV is always welcome to come visit us on our forums, our Xfire chatroom “swtor”, or drop in and say hi on our TeamSpeak 3 server at voice.evcitadel.com (once the game launches, we’ll primarily be in TeamSpeak).

 

Thanks again to everyone from Eternal Vigilance and especially to Rebuc for helping with getting information back and for between the guild and myself. All the best to the members of EV in Star Wars: The Old Republic.

Remember, if you would like to have your guild to be highlighted on CRR, please submit your guild’s name and website in an email to me at jason@corellianrun.com. See you next week as we check out find out how a Renaissance man and a cat come together to make a rather unique guild.

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