- Clan Epsis – Sith Empire
This past week I had the great privilege of getting to meet another guild from the Jung Ma server. This time it was an officer from Clan Epsis that contacted me. A’shrak met me at a local cantina or I should say almost appeared from the shadows. Being a sniper for Clan Epsis, one cannot be too careful. I greeted him in Mando’a “Su cuy’gar.” He laughed a bit, “Yes, I am still alive and hello to you also.” He then offered me a drink. It was a black looking ale, called ne’tra gal in Mando’a. I took a taste of it. “Now, that is how you say hello,” A’shrak said. With that, I proceeded to learn more about the casual RP guild known as Clan Epsis.
We see how the guild got started, their ceremonies & bounty system after the Jump…
- Guild Q&A
How and when did Clan Epsis get started as a guild in SWTOR? What server is the guild located and has this always been the server for the clan?
Clan Epsis was started March 2012, when the guild leader, Dreg, liked the concept of a class specific guild like Alpha Company, but wasn’t too fond of their policies. Dreg was a big fan of the Mandalorian and Imperial cultures and decided to use that to create a Mandalorian based RP-PvP guild that was more casual and relaxed while still upholding certain core values. Clan Epsis was founded and continues to remain strong on the Jung Ma server.
Your guild, Clan Epsis, is based on Mandalorians correct? Can you help explain a little about them? Are Mandalorians a race or a culture?
Mandalorians are a culture, not defined by a single race but by a set of ideals: the Resol’nare. These six tenants define and shape the life of a Mandalorian. Mando’ade (Children of Mandalore) regard the following six acts – known as the Six Actions, or Resol’Nare – as central to Mandalorian identity: wearing armor, speaking the Mandalorian language (Mando’a), defending themselves and their families, raising their children as Mandalorians, contributing to the clan’s welfare and rallying to the Mand’alor when called to arms. Anyone who practices them is considered a Mando’ade. The emphasis is on carrying out these actions daily, not simply paying lip service to them.
But the thing about the Mandalorians is that while they have a homeworld, Mandalore, many will go their entire lives without ever seeing it. We are truly warrior nomads, going wherever battle and excitement take us. The Mandalorian culture was started by a race known as the Taung, who were driven from Coruscant and eventually founded the planet Mandalore. They eventually started adopting others into their culture and this tradition lives on today, so that even though the Taung are now extinct their culture lives on.
There is so much more to Mandalorians than people think. When they look at us, they see armored brutes, guns for hire, or bloodthirsty mercenaries, but true Mandalorians are far more complex. These feared warriors have a savage reputation, but they cherish family life and will adopt children orphaned by war, rather than kill them as other species might. This odd blend of tough pragmatism, brutality and affectionate family life makes them a mystery to many. These are the same warriors who brought the Republic to its knees before Revan and his Jedi turned the war around.
How does Clan Epsis embrace the Mandalorian culture? Are there certain rituals or trials members must face to be fully accepted into the clan?
Clan Epsis adheres to every Mandalorian custom that is currently known about in canon and expanded lore, especially the Resol’nare. An example of this might be such as the Geroya be Haran (Mandalorian Death Game), which due to its extremity is rarely used. We have even created our own clan traditions such as the Tal Akaanir (Blood Fight), Me’suum Oya’karir (planet hunt), and for a Mandalorian in Clan Epsis to go from adi’ka, or child, to vode, which is brother or sister of his peers, they have to go through a Mandokar Kemir, which is essentially the path to obtaining the spirit of a Mandalorian. Those trials include help other adi’ka understand four main principles:
Kote (Strength): They must beat another vod of equal experience (AKA level) and skill (AKA same adv. class).
Godayc (resourcefulness): We place them in a situation in which they must think outside the box.
Bora (skill): not just battle skills, they must have other skills to bring to the clan (crafting).
Ijaat (honor): We expose the adi’ka to situations where they might prove their honor, or fail.
These trials are actually extremely important to our clan, as they help show those that are true to the Mandalorian spirit. The Tal Akaanir, for example, it means ‘Blood Fight’ and it lives up to its translation. It is the last step in a recruit’s journey to joining Clan Epsis. It is where we test their will under fire, putting them up against those they seek to join. We do this to see how they react to various circumstances. Will they give up if they continually face defeat? Will they keep fighting to the end, unable to accept the truth? Will their pride get the best of them and keep them from admitting defeat and loss, or if they win, do they boast? These are all important aspects of a character’s personality that are exposed during a fight. It strips the character and exposes their true nature to the aliit, or family.
Now, the Me’suum Oya’karir is a fun trial that we try to do once a month when we can. It’s pretty simple in concept. We take a player bounty, often one of our own or a friend and drop them onto a planet and barricade the spaceport to keep them from leaving. We then broadcast out to the rest of the planet (On General chat) that there is a Bounty available and it’s up to them to capture them and bring them to Epsis for the reward. You could call this a recruitment trial, as it helps us find those that are interested in Bounty Hunting and who are good at it. We have a lot of other trials, but we’d be here for hours if I went into them all.
I read that several of your membership can speak Mando’a correct? How is this used within the guild and along the lines of RP? How does one go about learning this language?
One of the core actions of being a Mandalorian is to speak their language. However, making someone learn a new language just to join a guild is going way too far; remember we like to emphasize the casualness of our play style. Despite that, several of our members have taken it upon themselves to become practically fluent in the amazing language, for those of us that don’t have the time to do so however, we use various sources to fake it, such as the websites www.mandoa.org or starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Mando‘a. There are other sources out there, but those are the two I use the most. As to how it’s used, well it’s used in general conversations as well as our ranking system. We throw it in to conversations, speak a few words at a time to make a point, we can even hold entire conversations in it if we have the patience for it.
As a class, Bounty Hunters are associated with the Empire, do you see yourselves as Imperials? Does SWTOR offer enough latitude for Clan Epsis to operate as it sees fit?
Yes and no. There are so many features that help us, but at the same time they hold us back in some ways. We are Mandalorians first and foremost, but as of the moment, the Mandalore Artus Lok is allied with the Empire. If you recall the Resol’nare, one of the tenets is to rally to Mandalore when called. The Mandalore Bioware has created for us had issued such a calling, and has chosen to ally himself to the Empire. By association, that makes us Imperials in a way. Naturally, if we could get the ability to switch up our weapons, or access Republic controlled worlds, that would be amazing. Granted, I’d stay with my sniper rifle, having been the first successful Mandalorian Sniper on the server that I know of. Still, the ability to swap things up, to truly customize our characters and classes would be amazing beyond words.
I have asked this question of other similar guilds, do you wish there was a third faction or possibly a neutral faction?
That would be incredible and would be something almost all of us in Clan Epsis would jump at the chance for. Having just two factions may work for other games, but it really limits us in a game with as much RP potential as a Star Wars based game has. Think about it. You have factions all over the place like the Exchange, the Hutt Cartel, the Jedi Order, Czerka Corporation, as well as numerous splinter factions. Limiting us to Empire/Republic is like offering someone black/white, with nothing in-between. What if I want blue, or red, or even hot pink (not that I would, but still)? What I would love to see is a system where everyone starts off neutral and then depending on your decisions, you pick a faction to give your allegiance to, with bonuses and penalties for your choices.
Your guild is on an RP server, what sort of activities or services does Clan Epsis provide? I read something about Bounty/contracts, how do these work? Would you like to see a type of Bounty system in the game?
Oh, you saw that huh? *chuckles* Yeah, we still offer a Bounty system, though no one has taken advantage of that in some time. How that works is that someone can post a Bounty to our site or contact us in game to arrange for someone to take a Bounty on another player. We offer the chance for it to be OOC (out of character) or IC (in character). Say someone is constantly ganking you, or giving you trouble in general, or that your character wants someone taken out but doesn’t want to deal with it on their own for RP reasons? Hire a Mandalorian from Epsis, or simply post it on our bounty boards for any licensed hunter with access to the Epsis list. Someone will track down the bounty and while it’s easier if the mark is the opposite faction, even if they are Empire we will do what we can to take them out to claim the Bounty.
As for a Bounty system in the game…that would be really nice and something that would make the game so much better, though Bioware has indicated that they feel it would encourage a player culture they don’t really wish to have. Imagine having access to a server-wide bounty board that people can post bounties on and every time you kill a player outside of the Warzones, you can go and claim either the whole bounty or just a part of it. Anyone could be a Bounty Hunter then, not just those that roll a Powertech or Mercenary.
Like most guilds Clan Epsis has a ranking system correct? What is the ranking system for your guild? There is a unique, very Mandalorian-like, challenge built into your ranking system, can you explain that to us?
Certainly! Having the ranks explained to me was my first true experience with the Mandalorian culture. The rank that everyone comes in at is as an Adi’ka, which means ‘little one’, or ‘son/daughter’ in Mando’a. Until you prove yourself to the clan, you remain an Adi’ka until you show you are ready to rise to the next level, Vode. Vode is plural for the word Vod, which means ‘brother’, ‘sister’, or ‘comrade’ depending on the context. That is the general rank for our members. Next we have two levels of officers. The next rank after Vode is called Ori’vod, which means ‘big brother/ big sister’, as we see the Ori’vode as being those that look over and guide the individual members just as you’d expect from a big brother or sister. The next rank up from the Ori’vode is the Buir. Buir in Mando’a means ‘parent’, as the Buir guide the clan as a whole, seeing each member as their child. They are the ones that speak for the clan when the Alor isn’t present or available. The only one higher ranked then them is the Alor of the clan.
Now, the challenge you mentioned is one of the things that set us apart from other guilds or even other clans. Anyone that feels that they could do a better job than a current officer must be at least a Vode in rank to make the challenge. While this is primarily meant for the highest ranks of Buir and Alor, it even applies to Ori’vod. Yes, you heard me right, even the Alor, the leader of the clan, can be challenged under the right situations. The person issuing the challenge must verify it to the Alor, or if the Alor is unavailable, the Buir. Once the challenge has been verified, the person being challenged can then set the type of challenge. Generally it’s a 1v1 duel, but it can also be tailored for the specific strengths of the person being challenged as well. This allows us to keep our officers on their toes and from getting complacent as if they don’t do their job, someone else can challenge them for it.
Politics in a Mandalorian clan usually starts and ends with someone getting shot or killed, though if the contender manages to best the defender and the defender knows they have been bested, respect will transfer to the new Ori’vod or Buir and Mandalorians value strength so much that pride takes a secondary seat in these proceedings.
There are many Mandalorian based guilds in SWTOR, what sets Clan Epsis separate from the rest, especially on the Jung Ma server?
Epsis is unique in that we offer a lot to both our members and the community in the way of innovation and variety. We were the first to give the Jung Ma server a Bounty system that was for both Mandalorians and outsiders. We have since seen other clans adopt our bounty system and give us credit for the concept. We were the first successful Mandalorian clan on the server, and we have many in-clan events for our members. We also try to focus on RPing outside the cantina (the traditional place for most RP), to develop interactive and immersive storylines both inside the Clan and outside it.
We also have an extremely supportive member base that help each other with little thought of what they can get out of it. For example, we currently have four bank tabs that are almost all completely full of items that have been donated by members for the rest of the clan. We are truly a family, with everything that entails!
Also, we are known for doing certain things for the community. In the past we have run tournaments, gladiator style fights, even a ‘Ladies Night’ where we had pit fights to bet on, pazaak, dancing, and it was a fun time to socialize. We’re currently bringing Ladies Night back with some new twists, so hopefully people will come check it out and have fun.
Is the clan currently looking for new recruits or Adi’ka at this time? If so are there specific classes the guild needs? How about Force users, are they welcome to join Clan Epsis or are there certain guilds you are affiliated with for Force using classes?
Yes, we are currently looking for recruits to join us, but it’s not easy. We aim for quality over quantity. We also try really hard to make sure our clan would be a good fit for an individual. Some might consider us elitist, but we want everyone on Jung Ma to be happy with their clan choice. We have a very unique culture; if we don’t think you’d enjoy yourself amongst us, we’ll say so.
A clan is also known as an Aliit, or family; that definition holds true for us as well. Everyone that joins us needs to have a play style and RP style that meshes with the rest of the Clan. We need people we can trust to have our backs both in RP and in PvP. But as for what we look for, we primarily aim for Bounty Hunters and Imperial Agents, but we also accept Sith Warriors that are willing to wear the armor of a Mandalorian (and forsake the lightsaber as a weapon). Unfortunately, we don’t accept Sith Sorcerers at this time, as generally Mandalorians and Force users don’t mix well. While warriors can get away with simply using a blade to fight and either hiding their force powers or using technology to duplicate or replicate those powers, Force Lightning just isn’t very easy to explain away. It used to be primarily because Mandalorians need to wear armor and Inquisitors only wore light armor, but with the adaptive gear that has come out, that has changed. I suppose if someone could give a good enough reason for their powers, we will give them a shot. We do have a few Juggernauts, Marauders and even an Assassin, so there is precedent, but they are judged on a case by case situation.
Besides Mandalorian based events, RP and even bounties, how does the guild embrace the other gameplay aspects of SWTOR? Will the guild add new events or lore around the new Galactic Starfighter expansion?
Absolutely! We are constantly evolving as is our storyline as the game progresses. Epsis is committed to helping our members experience new content in whatever capacity that they are interested in it. We come up with creative solutions for why a Mandalorian Clan would be, for example, landing on or exploring Makeb, or participating in dogfights. That also includes random in-game events such as the Gree Event or the Bounty Brokers Association or even the Rakghoul Plague (if they ever bring that back). As they add new features and content to the game, Clan Epsis will evolve and adapt to the changes and thrive.
For potential new Adi’ka, recruits, or players seeking your protection/bounty service how is the best way to contact the guild? What steps do new applicants need to fulfill to become a clan member?
The best way to contact us is through our website at http://www.clanepsis.enjin.com. However, if it is urgent, you can always try contacting us in game. We usually have a few people online at various times of the day. As for new applicants, you first have to apply on the site and submit a full application. Make sure you check all the sections completely before you submit it. Once an application has been submitted, then our officers review it and on acceptance, then it is up to the applicant to show their creative skills and set up an RP situation for their character to join the clan. We will work with applicants to help them with their RP as we truly want people to join us, but we are a very tight knit group and we are a family and we need people to be able to fit in with us, which is also why we have an age limit of 18.
That’s it for this week’s Community Checkpoint. I want to thank all the members of Clan Epsis for allowing me access to their records and archives for this interview. A special thank you goes to one of their officers, A’Shrak for bringing his guild to my attention and also all his help with getting the article together. If you are into the Mandalorian culture and looking for a guild on the Jung Ma server, I suggest contacting the members of Clan Epsis.
What kind of guild is yours? Is it a Hardcore or Casual, PVP or PVE or RP, whatever your playstyle let us hear about your guild! So if you are in a guild or a leader in a guild, why not contact me and see if we can tell the community about what you folks are doing. Just submit your guild’s website and some basic information in an email to me at, firstname.lastname@example.org. Look forward to highlighting more guilds here at Corellian Run Radio. Thanks and see you next week!