- The Incredibles – Galactic Republic
This week we met another guild from SWTOR. They are known as The Incredibles, not to be confused with the Disney Pixar movie named the same. These Incredibles are not only a guild in SWTOR, but they are an entire gaming community with several members following several games. These folks are into games, but they believe it is more about the relationships they make with guildmates and not just what happens in gameplay. Oh, since we are starting the major convention season, they have their own IncrediCon annual get together.
Let’s meet Snarl, Idrin & GM Laohastwoguns from the Incredibles after the Jump…
Before we get into the interview, here is a short video that at least one officer considers like a theme for the SWTOR chapter in The Incredibles.
- Guild Q&A
How did The Incredibles get started? What type of guild would it be considered?
Snarl: The Incredibles started in 2004 when World of Warcraft launched. We have been on Boulderfist-US (A) from then to now. A group of real life friends from the West Coast came together to form the guild and invited another group of real life friends on the East Coast. From there it just grew based on the reputation of The Incredibles being a cool bunch of non-elitist players that could down content.
Our guild is best defined by what we are not: Though we raid (run Ops) we are not a raiding guild. Though we PVP, we are not a PVP guild. We do not roleplay–except maybe in the sanctity of our own minds–but we don’t hold it against those in the guild who like to RP. We have crafters, but we are not a crafting guild.
Laohastwoguns: You could consider us the most progressed guild on The Bastion. Remember that a PVP guild mainly exists to generate more wins; an Ops guild mainly exists to get more bosses down quicker. Our guild’s primary focus is to generate a strong and lasting community of friends and family, people who feel comfortable enough with us and themselves to geek out over whatever it is that makes them feel excited–something we’ve been extremely successful at for almost a decade.
As a gaming community, your guild is involved in several games. How does The Incredibles guild management keep everything running smooth? Currently how many members and games make up The Incredibles gaming community?
Laohastwoguns: Currently we have around 50 active accounts in each chapter. The key to our strategy for running chapters in multiple games is the presence of a dedicated group of officers in each game; the officers who manage our World of Warcraft chapter are dedicated WoW players, and I am blessed with wonderful officers who are dedicated SWTOR players.
Good community officers can only be those who are players like any other member, those who have an interest and involvement in the community.
How does the SWTOR chapter fit into your gaming community? What server and faction is The Incredibles representing?
Idrin: We are on The Bastion, Republic side. I think our fit is best described as equal separate partners; Lao leads the management of the SWTOR chapter and Holywhacker leads the WoW chapter.
Laohastwoguns, you are the current guild leader correct? How long have you been in this position? How did you get into gaming and into SWTOR?
Laohastwoguns: I have been lucky enough to lead the Incredibles SWTOR chapter for about six months now.
I have been gaming from the moment I was old enough to pick up a console controller. With the release of Everquest, however, came an entirely different experience; I was for the first time gaming with friends, working towards common goals and sharing in the group’s triumphs and frustrations.
When World of Warcraft was released, this became my new home, and I was involved in a few different good communities. Eventually, however, on the suggestion of a good friend I found The Incredibles, a strong community unlike any other I’d seen. A while later, when some of the guild was contemplating moving games to something new, I made the transition with them and have been enjoying my blaster pistols ever since.
Your guild has been a part involved in SWTOR since pre-launch/early release, what are your thoughts on the direction the game has taken since launch? What are some areas you feel need to be addressed in SWTOR from a GM’s and also a player’s POVs?
Laohastwoguns: The SWTOR environment has been a wonderful experience for us. There was some fear with the free-to-play move of a dev team that abandoned new content; Makeb and the new ops content have, however, been engaging so far.
If you had asked this question a few months ago, my answer would have been something like “Where be the ready checks!?” There still is a little polishing like this that could be done, little tweaks to the UI to help with group management.
Snarl: Horning in on this question; that’ll teach ‘em to let me compose and compile this interview!! MUAHAHAHAHAHAAA…ahem. When I was GM it was disappointing to see how sparse the guild management tools were; I wonder where all the ideas generated at the Guild Summit went. (I also think it would be fantastic to have another Summit, be it Bioware-sponsored or fan-made.) It would be nice to see more guild-related UI improvements like:
Right-clicking a member’s name in the Roster and whisper them.
More characters in all Roster fields, but notably in the Information, Member Note and Officer’s Note fields so that they display properly. Currently the Information field when viewed as a member doesn’t display the entire message; that’s where we put in our guild Mumble and website info.
Being able to show the location, Member’s Note and Officer’s Note in the Detailed view; currently you have to choose two of the three and sometimes officers need to see all of them.
Being able to assign banking privileges to more than just the GM character, and having guild banks at more major spaceports.
Macros! Even if it’s just so we don’t have to cut and paste Mumble info in Ops to a non-guildie.
As a player, I just want three things:
1) Be able in the GTN window to tab from one level range field to the other.
2) Perform emotes while mounted.
3) Automatically dismount when I click another mount’s icon on my UI.
Is it correct that The Incredibles value the people “behind the keyboard?” What are some ways the guild holds true to this policy?
Snarl: The Incredibles is primarily based on tolerance. We don’t forget that Jedi Knight over there is a real person at the other end. What you do and say can hurt or help them. Regardless of race, gender, orientation, politics or faculty, if you’re a person of good heart, attitude and personality then you’ve got a place here. Liking games—doesn’t matter what type–is also key. Right now we have some online pen & paper D&D campaigns going, some CoD, StarCraft II and Diablo III nights—there’s something for everyone.
Although we make every effort to bring people into the fold, make them feel comfortable and accepted, we know we’re not for everyone. If your main goal when you log in is to make a person feel bad about themselves—I’m not talking about PVP—then you’re probably not a good fit. If you’re more concerned about having the best gear than having the best time, you’re probably not going to stay long.
We have very simple policies and procedures that tell you in broad strokes what is and is not acceptable. It doesn’t matter if you’re the best tank, healer or have loads of credits. What your character is and has…well, it’s just pixels. How you treat others is far more important.
Simply put, we don’t like a$$hats. We do like most people.
Can you explain more what and when, concerning the event known as “IncrediCon?!?”
Snarl: We have a fair number of people in Arkansas. Most are in the Northwest part of the state—aka God’s Country—but we had a gent from South Arkansas who wanted to come and visit, he mentioned that on the guild forums. We’d had some other RL gatherings on the West Coast and I think people wanted something like that again. So it just kind of grew and grew until we had about 25 people coming from all over the country to Northwest Arkansas…All of this, because of playing a game.
My wife Onyxheart and I are no strangers to event planning. We dragooned the other NWAers and put together a pretty good party weekend, complete with games, door prizes…there may have been copious amounts of drinking involved. The aspects are hazy. One of the highlights was an Awards Banquet at a good restaurant where we awarded more prizes including the Ambassador, a service recognition, for members and the Increddy, a service award for past officers or GMs that I kitbashed built. We also had welcome packages with local swag, and a T-shirt that I designed.
Apparently it was a pretty good time, because almost immediately after the forums blew up asking when the next one was going to be. That time around we over 50 people with some folks travelling from Canada!
We waited a bit over two years for the next one; it just took me, Onyx and the NWAers a lot of effort. One of our Australian members, Celessii, sent over some actual vegemite and we had a contest where everyone had it as recommended, and we took a Polaroid of them as they took the first bite. Funny stuff. We had excellent BBQ smoked by Alarick and some homebrew prepped specially for that IncrediCon by Saban and Alarick. We also had more new faces as the group that is now the SWTOR core crew came up and over—Lao, Idrin, Ak, Miniwing—even more good times. Lao also brought some hand-crafted liqueurs. Man, were those dangerous!
I could go on and on with stories but IncrediCon is one of those RL gatherings where you get to see and meet that person you’ve defended (or conquered) the galaxy with on a whole new and personal level.
Laohastwoguns: IncrediCon is pure magic; I was lucky enough to be able to announce the latest IncrediCon, and the roar of hoorahs through the headphones was deafening. For those of us who spend so much time chatting, laughing, and pew-pewing together, the experience of meeting face to face was Incredible.
Every IncrediCon starts the same way; after a long travel, everyone meets up for awkward and shy small talk over lunch. The air is eerie; the voices are all the same, but – Miniwing isn’t scampering around with a double-bladed saber? Idrin is suddenly male, and unable to use the Force? Lao is wearing a stark lack of bikinis and fireman’s hats? By the end of the event, however, over our banquet dinner, the air is very different – there are stories which the group still tells over and over again during lulls in ops, of drunken foolishness, pranks, surprises and the wonder of meeting long time family and friends in person.
This year’s IncrediCon is slated to happen in early September, open to all members, and is shaping up to carry on the legacy set by Onyxheart and Theraven (aka Snarl) in the first IncrediCons.
Another officer in your SWTOR chapter is Idrin. Can you tell us more about yourself and what your position is in the guild? What class/advance do you play in SWTOR or if you play alts, what is your favorite on the play?
Idrin: I’m a retired Air Force veteran and currently work for Veteran’s Affairs. I’ve been playing MMOs since 2006 when my son and I started playing WoW together. I became a member of The Incredibles in February of 2008, was promoted to an Officer in August of 2012 and to the SWTOR guild XO and Recruitment Officer in October of 2012.
My first class in SWTOR was a Jedi Guardian tank. I started leveling a Jedi Sage healer alt and just fell in love with that class and healing. My Sage healer Simarra is what I normally play on a day-to-day basis.
Speaking of recruiting, are The Incredibles currently recruiting for the SWTOR chapter of the guild? Are there specific requirements or steps potential recruits need to take when to apply? Are there specific classes/advance classes the guild needs?
Idrin: The Incredibles are always looking to bolster our ranks with new members. We currently have an open recruitment policy but encourage potential members to fill out a Recruitment application. Having a few more tanks and healers would give us more flexibility in our raiding schedule. One of the many things that has always impressed me about the Incredibles, is their willingness to help other guildies out. Our Guild Leader runs a “Gear up the newbies” night on Tuesdays* where we run guildies thru raids to help them get better gear.
*edit on night of “Gear up the newbies” provided by Miniwing/Darkness
Some might feel they would get lost in a larger guild/gaming community, how do The Incredibles help to put these fears to rest? What specific events, activities, etc. does the guild sponsor to help keep the community close?
Snarl: We have active Mumble channels for those who like to talk while gaming. We try to keep general chat (gchat) entertaining—within limits; we have a PG-13 chat rule during primetime, though Mumble is pretty much anything goes.
Our guild forums are self-hosted and very active. We announce events such as the TOR-Olympics events we did during the Summer Olympics, Datacron runs, World Boss kills, newbie PVP nights. Even without anything planned though, Increds are up for pretty much anything. Ask in gchat, and you’ll get some responses!
Laohastwoguns: Although our guild is larger and spans multiple games, the structure of our guild is open and friendly. Any member, new or old, is welcome to type in gchat or hop on Mumble and start talking. The officer corps we have are members like the rest; any time someone is on, you have someone you can approach.
For those with questions or interested in applying to join The Incredibles’ gaming community, how is the best place to find information or contact the guild’s officers?
You can swagger over to our website, where we have all sorts of information in the General access areas, including an application in the Recruitment section as well as policies, procedures and list of current officers. Browse around, look and see what we’re about!
If The Incredibles were located on a planet in the SWTOR galaxy, which on would it be on and why? Which current NPC in-game would the guild try to recruit and why?
Lao: If I had my way, Alderaan would make a fantastic home, at least for a little while.
Right now, if we had our way, most of our guild would love to have Titan 6 in our ranks… we fell in love with this giant piece of tin the moment we came to the lip of his crater and saw him gangster leaning!
That’s it for this week’s Community Checkpoint. Thanks to all the members that make up The Incredibles gaming community. I want to thank their guildmaster, Laohastwoguns, officers – Snarl and Irdin for all their help. It is great to see players enjoy playing games, while remaining true to their roots of building relationships with fellow guildmates and growing their gaming community! If you are on the Bastion server with a Republic character, and looking to be a part of a very community based environment, why not contact The Incredibles guild and get ready for a good time.
If you would like to possibly have your guild, like The Incredibles, highlighted on Community Checkpoint…all you need to do is submit your guild/group’s website and some basic information in an email to me at, firstname.lastname@example.org. We love to highlight members in the SWTOR community, from guilds to the many people working to plan events, contest, etc. We look forward to hearing from you! Thanks and see you next week!