- Gaming Age Forum (GAF) – Galactic Republic
Time for another Community Checkpoint! This week we meet a few representatives from the guild Gaming Age Forum (GAF). We will learn about how this guild grew from small beginnings, even some setbacks, but eventually growing into the gaming community we will meet in this week’s article. Part of their community is their Friends of GAF program. See how they have built upon the idea of alliances between other guilds. Oh, and we will get to know them a bit less formal, as we learn about their guild’s naked Ops runs. Get ready to find out about all this and more as we talk with Carterr, Jasma’n, and K’rane officers in GAF.
Get ready as we prepare to meet GAF after the Jump…
Responses will be in the following colors:
blue for (Jasma’n, recruiting officer), red for Carterr (GM), and green for K’rane (PVP officer)
- Guild Q&A
Can you tell us a little about yourself and what is your gaming background? How did you get started with the GAF guild?
To start, I’ll give a look into my gaming background and then give a brief history of GAF as I know it. I started out as a PC gamer about 15 years ago, playing mainly things like Civilization and the Command and Conquer series. When the Xbox came out I really didn’t even know that much about it until Halo came out and my dad bought us an Xbox to go with it for Christmas. From that point, I really only played console games, both Xbox and Playstation.
Fast forward to 3 years ago, I am a huge Bioware fan. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic is my all time favorite game, and I loved playing Mass Effect and Dragon Age. So when I heard that Bioware was developing another Star Wars RPG, I was thrilled. As I learned more about the game it became clear it would be an MMORPG. Up to that point I really didn’t take the genre seriously. I thought of most WoW players as how South Park envisioned them. It took a little convincing from a friend, but I eventually agreed to pre-order SWTOR and give it a shot at launch. Little did I know, it would grow to consume my gaming life and end up becoming some of the most fun I’ve had playing video games.
At launch, my friend and I attempted to found a guild called the Defenders of Freedom on Kellers Void. We existed for about a month with 10 or so members, but as soon as we started hitting 50 and wanted to run ops, it became clear that we needed more experienced players around us. We merged with a guild called Gray Council who was running ops on the server fairly successfully. It was there that I met the former Guildmaster of GAF, Unshakable, through pug ops and flashpoints. At the time, GAF was running ops a tier above us and as I slowly learned more about my class and raiding I became interested in higher tier content. In August of last year, 2012, Gray Council was losing members fast. Most of the player base had either gone back to WoW or LotRO or gone on to Guild Wars 2. It was then that several of the remaining members of Gray Council still interested in raiding suggested merging with a preexisting guild. We talked to Unshakable and he agreed that several of us could join so about 6 active raid members ended up switching to GAF, including me. After about a month I joined my current ops group as the off tank. We’ve lost and gained several members over the last year, but there are still four members of the original Op group remaining.
Over the next few months I was jointly promoted to Ops Leader with another member of the guild when Unshakable took a break from the game. He and several other members of the primary ops team decided that they wanted to make a newer guild, that was more intimate and that had fewer members so they chose to leave GAF. At which point, I agreed to be the New Guild master with Unshakable’s recommendation. We decided that we wanted to revamp our efforts at catering to ops players of all sorts, so we upgraded Teamspeak severs and created a new website. Since then we have been continuing to attempt the top tier difficulty operations with our fixed member ops groups while creating signups for anyone else interested in raiding.
I started as the stereotype girl, thinking I was a gamer because hey, I played Sims 3, right…Even a little Diablo 2 and low-level Aion and LOTRO. Then my husband decided to play SWTOR, and it looked pretty fun – after my free week I was hooked. Guilds were intimidating at first, especially voice chat, but since in my first guild, my husband knew everyone in the real world, I got more comfortable. That guild was just tiny though, and right as it was dying, I ended up doing Ilum dailies with a GAF officer, who later invited me to an Op… And the rest is history. There have been lots of changes over the past year, but GAF has been my home and where my friends are from the beginning.
What does GAF stand for and how did the guild come up with the name? What faction and server is the guild associated with?
GAF (Gaming Age Forum) is just a shortened version of the name NeoGAF. GAF was started to be (and somewhat still is, if any NeoGAF member is interested) the official guild for the infamous NeoGAF.com. Instead of coming up with a witty name we just decided to go with GAF, and at launch we had a sister guild, EmpireGAF (now GAF Empire), for all the GAF’ers that wanted to play Imperial character but still wanted to be associated with neogaf.com. (While both sides still do exist, we really are only active on the Republic side right now). Our NeoGAF ties mean that we technically are a cross-game guild, though most of our members just play SWTOR at the moment. GAF was founded on the Keller’s Void server March 11, 2011, by CzarTim, who has since passed the leadership to our Illustrious Guild Leader Carterr. It’s been over a year since KV was merged into Jedi Covenant, the guild’s current home. (Thanks to Jbird, one of our founding officers, for all the help on this one)!
What type of guild is GAF, primarily? Having heard about the new arenas coming in Update 2.4, does your guild have plans to expand into the PVP side of SWTOR more?
We focus on endgame PVE and 8-man operations, though we welcome all levels and types of players. We have two ops groups for more dedicated/hardcore players, and at least 2 guild PUG runs weekly (usually 55 HM ops) for players not in a group yet or who can’t commit to one right now. All players are encouraged to create their own events and have calendar access on the website (or can schedule last minute things in our Facebook group). We’ve started holding special events (naked ops!), and Makavelli often offers us challenges to try solo or in small groups (like when he and Rubadub took down Toth & Zorn together 2-man).
We also recently added a PVP officer.
Although GAF is primarily a PVE Guild, it does have a core group of PVP players. The guild is exploring the PVP side as a chance to appeal to a wider range of players. With the upcoming patch, there has been increase in PVP interest and a positive reaction towards 4v4 arenas.
Being that your guild is focused mostly on PVE content, what has been the guild’s greatest achievement so far? What has been the most difficult PVE challenge to date for GAF?
We’ve accomplished a lot as a guild – taking down NM EV and KP back when they actually deserved the term “nightmare,” EC NM (unfortunately after 2.0 for current guild members, though we’d made good progress back at 50), and TC HM (8 and 16 man). TFB HM and S&V HM are on farm for many of us. We’re delving into TFB NM and have the Writhing Horror down. A couple of our members are definitely recognized in PVP. Despite all this though we try to avoid any kind of elitism; our ops groups have names not numbers, and we are always glad to help each other out and explain for those who haven’t learned the ops yet.
Bounty Contract event has just wrapped recently, what did the members of the guild think about this new event? What changes do you think would help improve the event, if any?
I thought Bounty Contract Week was a lot of fun, and it definitely encouraged people to sign on more. There weren’t a whole lot of people doing things with guildies for the event though. I think it’d be good to work group events in from the beginning.
Located on the guild’s main page of the website is a small banner named, “Friends of GAF.” What is does it mean to be a “Friend of GAF?” How can a guild or group become a “Friend of GAF?” Would it be a welcome addition to the game, if it were possible to form in-game alliances or sworn enemies?
Friends of GAF are basically guilds with many members in our shared chat channel, or in Battlestation Sexywagon’s case are home to some of our Imperial alts (as we are for their Republic ones). The channel is run by a member of Legendary Guild and Ascension, but members are welcome to invite good players at any time. This channel is our first place to look when we need to fill a few slots or otherwise need people for events, flash points, and ops. I like the idea of alliances, though really that’s how our chat channel works already. I wouldn’t want the drama of same faction enemies, but across factions it could be fun for PVP.
I would not be a researcher if I did not ask about a headline on your main page, what is the event named “Naked Eternity Vault?” How exactly did this event come into being?
You can blame Makavelli for Naked Eternity Vault, but it was a hit and Naked Karraga’s Palace is coming soon! Basically 16 members, no clothes, only earpieces/implants/relics/weapons/offhands – that sounds like a lot, but not if you’re a tank trying to hold threat!
GAF knows how to “chill out” with some in-game fun!
Is the GAF currently recruiting? If so are there specific classes/advance classes the guild needs?
GAF is always recruiting for all levels and classes, at least Republic side (and if anyone wants to get the Empire guild rolling again, we’re all for that too!). Geared tanks are especially welcome at the moment! As our recruiting post says though, we don’t have requirements for gear or accomplishments; those will come with time. We just ask for a positive attitude and the desire to learn and grow with us. Parsing is a fun thing and leads to some bragging rights for endgame players, so it’s encouraged, but posting are completely optional. We do require TeamSpeak for ops (and the ability to talk for tanks), and highly encourage members to sign up for both our website and Facebook group (plus ops group Facebook groups if applicable).
In your forums, the GM states the guild is “fairly casual,” what does that term mean to your guild? Do you feel casual gamers are sometimes looked down on, especially in an MMO which tend to being driven by getting gear and getting through content?
GAF is actually a pretty good blend of hardcore and casual; it’s more that we have a casual and welcoming attitude for all members. We don’t expect everyone to be able to commit to progression, and certainly understand that things in the real world will come first. Some players will always look down on those less hardcore than they are, but that’s not tolerated within the guild. We’re all family here.
How does GAF feel about the Guild Rewards program in SWTOR? What is one or two things you would like see added to this program in the future as rewards for guilds?
The guild rewards program has been great for picking up new members; it’s all the more reason to want to be in a guild! We have full bonuses on both XP and reputation which is great. I’d love to see something customizable for a guild. Hmm some possible rewards, maybe a guild ship, maybe ability to add guild colors or logos to armor and/or speeders, especially for larger guilds. Some kind of official leaderboards would be a great way to recognize guild accomplishments as well.
How is the best way to contact your guild as far as joining and/or becoming a possible “Friend of GAF?”
You can use our recruiting form on our website or just /who and message any member for more information or to apply. Guilds or individuals who just want to share our channel and be a Friend of GAF can talk to any officer so we can check in with channel leadership – it’s a pretty welcoming group though! Guildies will always have priority over the rest of the channel, but both ways will give you things to do with GAF and our friends.
I want to thank all the members of GAF. A special thanks to the GAF officers, Carterr, Jasma’n, and K’rane, for their help answering the questions. An extra bit of thanks goes to Jasma’n for all her help in the email correspondence to make the article possible. If you are playing on the Jedi Covenant server and looking for a mostly PVE guild into running Ops, creating events/challenges and never forgetting to have some fun, I would suggest getting in touch with the members of GAF.
If you would like to possibly have your guild, like GAF, 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 and see you next week!