30 Days Post Launch

Most of the guild members have been playing since or before launch, so it’s been over thirty days since we logged on to the live game. There’s a lot of news about SWTOR, including patch 1.1, but I’m not going to focus on that. Instead, I’m going to try an include helpful bits about the game, and some guild news.

GUILD NEWS

Our Facebook Page:

Thanks to Certifried and the first 25 people who went to the page and liked it, we have an official Facebook Page. You’ll find screenshots, comments, and more there on a regular basis. http://www.facebook.com/freegroundnation

100 Members:

Including alternative characters, the guild has hit 100 members. During high population times after 6pm, we’ve seen as many as 21 people logged in at once. A number that I hope will grow. It is important to note that everyone at the rank of Member or higher can invite people, so if you  have friends or family members who play or find someone of like mind who is looking for a guild, or is without one, you’re welcome to invite them. We prefer 18 years old or order, and suggest you send them to http://www.freegroundnation.com to check us out if they are interested in joining, or have just joined.

Regent Galactic gets a new Guild Master:

Around the time he hit 50 on the Republic side, and noticed another gamer making great progress on the Sith side, the original Guild Master passed leadership to Gilbrecht. He plays under the name Khelistaa on the republic side, and is an officer in Freeground Nation. If you’d like an invite to Regent Galactic, you can contact him or simply ask in Freeground Nation guild chat if anyone has a character in Regent Galactic who can toss their with character an invite. Regent Galactic is the official sister / brother guild to Freeground Nation.

Ventrilo Crowd:

While Ventrilo isn’t what you’d call busy, it does have its regulars. I’m one of them, and I can say that being on Ventrilo regularly has led to group excursions, some great general discussion, and I’ve answered several questions about the Spinward Fringe series – which is something I don’t mind doing. The login info for our Ventrilo server are in the Guild Details in-game.

Our Reputation:

Apparently a number of players on the server have said they enjoy grouping with Freeground Nation members, that the guild name is an indication of good play and polite people. I’ve heard the guild complimented once personally during an Esseles run. Everyone should pat themselves on the back.

First 50’s:

Molinu was first to reach level 50 in Freeground Nation, and Certifried hit 50 several days later. On the Sith side, Gilbrecht, the Guild Master of Regent Galactic elevated his Bounty Hunter to 50. He’ll be happy to invite anyone who has an character on the Sith side into Regent Galactic.

TRICKS & TECHNICAL DETAILS

Full Group Bonus:

After some experimentation by the regular Ventrilo users and other guild members, it has become absolutely clear that the Full Group Bonus is no myth. When players fill a group of four, they enjoy a significant increase in loot drops – green quality and up. This works regardless of how far apart the characters are (on different worlds), or how big the level gap is. The group could be spread between Tatooine, Ilum, and Tython, be levels 9, 21, and 50 then still get the bonus.

NVIDIA Video Card Performance:

Owners of Geforce series video cards have noticed graphical glitches and massive performance drops. There are now beta drivers that seem to have some awesome optimization for Star Wars The Old Republic. They seem stable, and I can verify the performance improvement personally. The drivers are located here: Click FIND under Beta/Legacy  Driver Search then select the appropriate driver for your video card.

Guild Tools & Legacy System Update:

A guild bank and overall improved user interface for SWTOR is in development right now. There is a video with footage of the tools in the SWTOR YouTube channel. They talk about other upcoming content as well, it’s worth viewing.

Ventrilo Tips:

After going to Ventrilo.com, downloading and installing the program, you may have to set your sound input and output devices. If you aren’t familiar with the chat client, then you will probably want to check out the setup page which will walk you through step by step. Our server information is located in game (press G, then click on the Details button in the upper right hand corner of that window), or it can be found on our Facebook page. In Windows 7, Windows Vista and Windows server 2008 or later, you’re going to have to right click the Ventrilo shortcut and select RUN AS ADMINISTRATOR so you can speak as well as listen.

THOUGHTS

So far the guild has surpassed my expectations. I hope it grows, and is a positive staple in our SWTOR gaming experience. As far as I’m concerned, this guild represents an example of the right people landing in the right place at the right time. It’s been great levelling with everyone, and I bet 50 is going to be just as interesting.

Ozark / Wheeler (Light Side, Freeground Nation)

Riss / Zoku (Dark Side, Regent Galactic)

Bioware Has Assigned Us To A Server

Bioware has given the Freeground Nation a home. When you create your character, you’re going to want to join the server listed below:

  • Allegiance to: The Galactic Republic
  • Server: Kaas City

  • English, US East (EST)

More information, including the date our site on SWTOR.com will go down:
FREEGROUND NATION was successfully imported into Star Wars™: The Old Republic™. Web support for this guild will be removed on January 03, 2012.

Don’t worry, this site (www.freegroundnation.com), will remain in operation for as long as the guild exists.

See you online!

RL / Ozark

New Home Grown Player Guides

After confirming that the last beta weekend I played featured the retail build of the game, I decided to clear my head by writing a few guides that could help people who haven’t had a chance to play Star Wars: The Old Republic yet. Most of the important questions are answered, and a few game features everyone should know about are exposed without spoiling any of the story content.

I think the best time to read these guides is while the game is installing. Start with The Essential Starter Guide and Answers To The Most Common Questions In SW:TOR. You’ll find yourself a step ahead of most new players.

It was fun writing these guides, especially since I needed a break from writing Spinward Fringe after finishing work on a draft of Expendable Few. I hope these home brewed guides help, and feel free to ask questions or add your insight in the comments section. You can also request to be a blog contributor, so you can post your own entries on the Freeground Nation site.

Here are the links to the guides I wrote, and a couple more. You can also find the same guides by using the links on the menu bar above.

The Essential Starter Guide

Answers To The Most Common Questions In SW:TOR

Basic Strategies & Adventuring Details

There is an excellent page on crafting here 

For even more information, visit the Official Star Wars: The Old Republic Holonet or the Game Systems Page

See you in game!

RL / Ozark

SWTOR Level 1-15 Republic Impressions

The non-disclosure agreement has been loosened for members of the media who have been playing the beta. I’ve managed to catch a couple articles over the last couple weeks, and have been saving the links so I could collect them here.

This is as close as I can get to talking about the beta myself.

MMORPG’s article on the Trooper.

Rock, Paper, Shotgun’s more extensive coverage.

Arstechnica’s Birth of a Jedi Article

TenTonHammer’s exhaustive coverage

As a side note, I’ll be updating the other pages on this site once I’ve finished my edit on The Expendable Few. I’m almost grateful that SW:TOR doesn’t launch until December 20, I’m going to be seriously busy until about Dec 15.

Drop thoughts and other links in the comments section!

IGN Offers Legitimate SWTOR Beta Leaks

Just as I’m finding it difficult to talk about SW:TOR because of my weekend experience in the beta a while ago, IGN.com starts spilling the beans.

I can say that they are representing the game very well so far, and I agree with the opinions of the writer in charge.

Take a look if you want to know more about companions, questing, Republic characters, and other new details. Obviously IGN must have permission to post this stuff, but they go into enough detail so I’m left wondering if that is indeed the case.

Here’s the link, enjoy!

The Silence Follows A Bang

Now it's your turn...All I can say about the beta is that I was in the October 7 weekend beta session.

After being exposed to the game for the entire weekend I find it difficult to talk about the game without leaking like crazy. That limits what I can talk about on this blog, as you could imagine.

It was always the plan to invite officers to participate in the blog. My thought was to accept two volunteers who could be community managers and entrust them with not only encouraging people to get along in-game, but to write about the game or the guild on the blog from time to time.

I didn’t want to do this until well after launch, but considering the amount of time I’m going to be spending on the business end of Spinward Fringe between now and Christmas, along with my gag order about SW:TOR game details, I thought I would see if anyone would be interested.

So, I’m opening the doors early and asking if there are any volunteers who would like to offer a few blog posts. Make a WordPress account for yourself and leave a message here or on the SW:TOR guild forums. Make sure you provide your account name. I’d like your posts to between 200-500 words, and make sure you give your work a read before you post it online. Other than that, simply make sure your post has something to do with SW:TOR or the Freeground Nation.

So, do you want to be one of Freeground Nation’s first Community Officers?

The launch date is set.

The launch date is set.

The release date of Star Wars: The Old Republic has been officially set for December 20, 2011, so Bioware will meet their promise of having the game out sometime in 2011.

I’m certainly not in any position to criticize, as many of you know all too well. To be honest, I wouldn’t have much time to play at all if it were to come out next week, so as much as I hate waiting, I’d have too much work to do.

With the game coming out in time for the holiday break, I expect a lot of people will be spending every spare minute in a galaxy far, far away. Most of the guild has pre-ordered so we’ll see each other online sometime during the head start program, which may open as early as the 15th.

If you haven’t pre-ordered already, it’s not too late to get a head start key. Amazon.com and Origin are the preferred vendors for the digital download and regular boxed editions of the game. Head start keys are limited, according to Bioware.

I’ll be blogging again here soon, especially since the guild is seeing steady growth.

Ozark