I am an organizer of people, factions and mainly PvP events on Bloodfin. Bloodfin is one of the most active PvP servers, and certainly one of the most developed in terms of factional organization for the specific use of PvP. In this post I will detail how I helped to further cement Bloodfins position as the place to go for PvP. I will give methods for communication, and events that are very successsfull. If you do what I write here you have no reason to doubt that you will be hosting massive events in little time.
My most successfull and popular events include Server wide war, Base battles, and tournaments.
I will be holding my last server wide war, and my last base battle in November then taking at least 3 months away from this game as I move across the world to New Zealand. I hope this post, this thread, will be part of the mark I make on this game as well as my beloved Bloodfin Server.
What are my "secrets" in terms of being successfull.
1. My personal reputation on my server: I have to be very carefull not to make enemies out of either faction, and while hosting events I have to actually act in an impartial manner to mitigate disputes, and handle rules. Part of reputation is clout. After a few successfull and fun events I gained the clout that allowed me to try more daring events, and guarentee a loyal following of participants. Respect allso falls under this as I do belive that the respect I am shown in organizing these events allows me to keep people and groups from taking advantage of me or my rules in a game that otherwise has no way to "punish" rule breakers.
How do I get and keep this reputation and how can you get it? It started for me as being a "big name" crafter on my server. You do not need to become a big time crafter, but it helps to be already known before you do your first major event. Also the cash reserves I have help a great deal in getting things done. For your first big time server wide event be sure to do something that appeals to the masses, and is relatively easy to run by yourself. For me, I set up a battle between two major cities on Naboo. One of those cities was my own, and I partly did that as a trade boost and publicity situation for my guild/city. We have always been large, well known, and respected, but these events helped to perpetuate this feeling. I am truely honored by the amount of respect my guild and I are given on Bloodfin. I will give details on how to set up such events later in this post. This first event was a huge success, and resulted in minimal flaming on the boards wich is amazing on Bloodfin. The total cost to me was buying a rebel and an Imperial base out of pocket. 6 mill is a decent price for instant reputation and respect in the world of event planning. About 500 people participated, and this resulted in additional PvP action the following night and in the region in general.
2. Effort: I cannot stress enough the need for effort in these events. If you have a great idea and dont push it, it will definately be forgotten by most everyone and no one will care. When you commit to doing one of these you HAVE to fully commit. That means sacraficing some of your time in game and on the forums. To get your first event going you will surely have to spread the word thru every communication method you have. I will talk more on communication later. You will need to beat the street and initiate random conversations in every starport around the galaxy. If you see a guild tag you DONT know make sure you know them by the end. Make sure that every person you tell about the event tells a friend or 10. If you want an event to be a true success you are going to have to invest heavily in it.
3. Communication: This is my specialty. I would be more successfull if I had the drive to play this game more and follow thru more, but my communication methods are so well developed that I still get the info out there very well. Here is what I do and what I use.
I use Ventrillo voice chat, as well aas Teamspeak voice chat.
I have access to dozens of guilds voice servers on both sides of the GCW(even though I am Imperial)
I set up a voice chat meeting of interested guild leaders before the event is to start so as to be sure everyone in on the same page.
Luckily on Bloodin 95% of guilds use a voice server, and the ones that dont have their own server, share with other guilds for PvP events.
I have a friends list that has the names of every guild leader in each guild in both factions for most of the server. Now admitidly this is something that needs constant updating and is something that takes alot of work and networking to create.
Most guilds gave me 4 contacts, so most times of the day and definately for every event I can contact almost every guild by e-mail and they can communicate to their members easily. There are surely players on the server that dont get the news, but with this system there are surely 1500-2000 people informed every time I send out an e-mail. Group E-mails are a god send!!!
/tell Macros. Because this is PvP you need a fast way to communicate with both sides and you dont want to wait till they check their e-mails. For this I use mass /Tell macros. I have one set up for Imperial leaders, and one set up for Rebel leaders. With a quick edit and the click of the macro I can send a broadcast tell to everyone playing the event in an instant. This is great when special events happen in your events like a new base being placed, or a NPC spawn, or a mission objective change, or whatever. I also use these macros in order to inform my allies when other allies need assistance on the battlefield, not only in events, but also in regular nightly PvP.
I use server chanels in the spacial. Mainly I use these to communicate with other Imperials, but they are helpfull.
For some events the imperial guilds all get 1-2 people on one voice chat to communicate during battle.
Oh yes, and the all powerfull /tell wich leads to a constant state of TELL HELL
4. Know your customers: I know that all Bloodfin cares about is PvP. Some people have made great roleplaying or racing type events and only had 8 people show up. I put in a little effort and planning and get 500-1000 participants. What I am saying here is that you need to cater to what people want or people dont come. Find what your server is into, and after a while you can get a little creative. If I were to make 1000 rules and make a huge storyline to go along with a PvP style event I would be wasting my time, because 90% of bloodfin just want to see red dots.
5. KISS Keep it simple stupid. Man this is important. For my base battles I made a simple rule, and no other rules. Stay out of the host cities. Other than that I said if the game mechanics allowed it, then you could do it. I did this because it lets everyone know what they were facing before they got there. It lead to almost no flaming or complaining as everyone knew what they were in for before they took the shuttle to the host cities. Now many SWG rules were broken, and people might have reported some people, but thats not your problem, its a CSRs job. Keep the things you are responsible for to a minimum so you can have less headaches, and more fun.
6. Dont COUNT on ANYONE else: If you can get help, get it, but never count on others because your event may not come off if they get distracted and stay out late the night before, or whatever. I get help, but I also have contingency plans, and play alot by ear.
7. When to have your event:
check your board and make sure you are not conflicting with other in game stuff like the release of JTLBeta, or Battlefields, or WOW, or any such distraction that will pull tons of members away. Avoid good party weekends like Thanksgiving, Halloween, Labor day, Memorial day, 4th of july etc... Bloodfin has a great deal of Non-nerds who go out every weekend so its important to be sure to find the right time. Also, avoid Sunday morning because no hung over person wants to get up to play
I usually start my events at 7-9 EST. This allows the East coasters to play then go out, and also allows the West coasters to get home from work, log on and play. For me, 9 EST is the usual start time. A base battle will last from 9-11+ and I know even as event host I leave at 1030 to get ready for bars, so it still works great. Base Vuln lasting only 2 hours is actually a blessing sometimes.
For something like a base event I like to start them on Friday or Saturday. This way the bases will be able to be used again as they become vuln the next night if they are not destroyed. More often than not at least 1 base stands the night. These "after shock" battles are smaller but just as much fun and less laggy. I think of it as getting more bang for your buck. Heck a Friday event can create fun PvP on Saturday and Sunday in addition to the usual nightly PvP on the server
For events like massive large scale PA wars I like to start on Thursdays, and see if it will last thru the weekend. The reason here is that it typicly takes a full night/day to get the war going full tilt. This makes Thursday night the night that the war builds. By the time everyone is home from work on Friday, there are 1000 people and 500 red dots marauding all over the server. If you start on Friday it makes for much more conflict and such thru the weekend. Also many small details of the rules are "irond out" during this first night. Starting a war on Wednesday is even a good Idea, and likely is the way you should attempt your first try at it.
Events that you, yes YOU can run.
Its been done on many servers in many ways, and there is a reason people keep doing these. They are fun and easy to set up. The key factor here is getting 1 rebel and 1 imperial base. If you have money this helps alot
. Luckily Im rich. Ok it isnt luck it was alot of hard work but you get the point. On Bloodfin I used MASC city and NDC. MASC my city has about 120 residents and many well known crafters. it is also where the TIE statue resids, so we are proud Imperials. Our neighbor since the city patch was put in is New Dawn City to our east. Due east across the plains about 1500 M away. They have 140 ish residents and are a collection of several rebel guilds. This is a natural rivalry and most people refered to these events and the "MASC/NDC wars" You need to find a good location to hold this event. My city was a perfect place, but if you dont have such an perfect set up, try Anchorhead/bestine although I WOULD NOT reccomend it. I use player cities because you clone overt. it is so much easier to clone in an allied facility, and also it is so much better to bring business to these cities than to a starport where there is little assistance. Also player cities have cloners/med centers/shuttles/cantinas much closer together and easier to navagate than NPC cities.
now do you need the assisstance of PEX and his crew? NO, not really, but they can help ya. Getting a recruiter is not a bad idea especially if one or both player cities dont have faction bases of their own. NDC has a hard time keeping a base so I typicly try to get a recruiter there and have done so in MASC as well. Decorations? not really important as no one really cares when they are Pvping. Getting the bases for free from PEX? If you can do it, heck yeah. However, they generally try not to do this. and remember it is best that you dont count/depend on anyone but yourself. what if they dev team doesnt get you what you need? you got 500 pissed people and egg on your face.
Before the event it really helps if the combined Imperial and rebel armies have a leader, or someone playing leader for the event to co-rdinate forces and such. this is where those voice chanels come in handy, and those group /tells. This is not your responsability, but it is a helpfull thing to support as the organizer. I sadly have done more to organize the rebel armies on my server than anything else, hehe and now they are definately our equals.
Make sure you have 1 person with 6 free lots of each faction.
Make sure they are overt.
make sure they dont get attacked
make sure everyone on both side knows their names
make sure they are not killed
make sure they know where to place the bases
make sure they place tham at the right time
make sure they dont die
make sure both sides know WHEN the bases are BOTH on the ground
make sure the base placers are not killed seriously this WILL HAPPEN with 500 overts in the same area.
In terms of Spacing, Lag, and Server crashes. Well, honestly this is kind of why I stopped doing these. The devs dont like you crashing their servers, and well they dont like you stressing it out either. I used 4 different bases nicely spread out for one of my base battles, and it didnt really help a bit. Also if you know where server node lines are you can use this to your advantege. IMPORTANT: When a character moves from one node to another they co-exist in both nodes for a moment as you cross over. This contributes to lag, and does not take away from it. an ideal location would be where 4 nodes come together and placing the bases at the angles. I have yet to find one of these since I have not been looking and well I was never one to double buff or any of that mess. In my next and likely last incarnation of this kind of event I will have 3 of each factions base, and will be placing then every 2 hours, and make a 6 hour long base siege. If the server crashes and I am sure it will, we will have 6 hours to play with so its wont be a huge loss. so in short I think spreading it our sucks and so ya just gotta deal with what ya got. It is however important to be sure the staging areas are not TOO close to the bases. luckily in MASC/NDC the spacing works perfectly
Server wide wars: This is the pinacle of the GCW. PvPing evey night with 200 people overt or TEFing is kinda cool. Thats why we PvP. But PvPing everynight with 400+ people, and being in a war with over 1000, and having countless TEF riders is downright an amazing experience. It has caused countless people to renew their subscription, and has brought other servers over to bloodfin to check it out.
How do you organize somthing like this? well its not really that hard, its just alot of work. For my first one I had a sign up sheet and then a voice meeting to discuss rules that would be easy enough to follow/police, but also strict enough to get the more casual PvPers/carebears into Pvping. If you can get them to PvP they will never stop, and you have helped your server a great deal. If you think your server doesnt need help, thats fine, but Bloodfin is the best and I dont have a problem with trying to make it better. Thats why we all have so much fun. We always recruit from other servers and we constantly strive for more and more PvP. Anyways I digress. I can post the rules that have been most successfull for Bloodfin, but thats not to say thaty they fit your servers personality. The most important part about running this event is the rules. Wars can get crazy in terms of what the game mechanics allow, so ya gotta think ahead. You also have to think worst case scenerio, and hope for the best. There are always some people that will do their best to push the game mechanics, let alone the rules.
I run sign up sheets on our forums
. Usually 3-4 by the time the war starts. I constantly edit these sign up sheets, and at the same time I take the info in them and use it in my /tell macros, friends list and other "files" I keep
an example sign up using the format I use is the following
Guild tag: (MASC')
Guild name:MASC war guild
Number of members: 40+
Number likely on: 10-25
Contact names: Mr-Peepers, Slash, Kyylle, Gdog, Leny, Aroar'zl, Esquibar.
This gives information for all my enemies my allies and especially the event organizer to use to co-ordinate and communicate.
I cut and past every guilds information into the initial post and eventually I have a huge list of participating guilds and all the info I need about them.
Every 100 posts or so I make a new thread with all the newest info, and go from there untill about 2 days before the war starts.
I have a golden rule in my wars making smack talk illegal, and I direct everyone to an unmoderated site run by the biggest Imperial guild on our server. This keeps the smack talk to a minimum and the fun to a maximum.
I compile all the contacts from each post to make my master list and communicate in game to all of them about rule changes, and all the final info they need to know. I make a master list of who declares on who, and when. I usually ask all Imperials to declare on all rebels a few days in advance. I then make sure the rebels reciprocate at the wars official start time. If an Imperial guild has not already declared on the rebels, the rebels are supposed to declare on everyone on the list. I E-mail out guild tags that need updating and/or were missed in the declareation process, and I add late sign ups to the lists.
It is a good Idea to have at least 1 guild from each faction tag up those without war guilds. They should tag all interested parties that cant get their guild to sign up, or dont have guilds. I always make TEF riding encouraged in these wars as everyone should be overt even if they are at war to help get more and more people into the war. If a PA is TEFing every day we try and have them officially tag into the war and be official participants. I then add them to my mailing list for nect time.
Events like this are what make, in fact, FORCE the factions to organize themselves better, and in general makes for the best time you will ever have in SWG. I guarentee it!.
In the first full scale server wide war I really put a ton of energy into it, and ended up with 1000 people in 45 guilds involved. The last one I admitadly kinda slacked thru, and only managed some 6-700 sign up. Lets just say that I HIGHLY suggest you dont slack thru the organization process. I regret being distracted last time and will not make that mistake again in my next one. In fact I bit off a bigger piece in this next one. The rules will be a bit more complicated because I want to try and make a 3 faction war. It will likely just become a cluster Truck, but It wont be because I dropped the ball this time. I dont suggest this for your first attempt. Remember the KISS rule.
Highlander PvP tournament: This is a fun little event you can run with MINIMAL effort, and a great deal of entertainment for the participants. Imagine a tournament that does not require that you are uber or leet, or even require you to show up at a specific time and place. This is the beauty of highlander. This event is based off the highlander Movie/Series. You can do everything you normally would be doing through out the day, but when you find another participant you can either hide from them or challange them to a duel. If you are challanged, you MUST fight the duel or you are out. After the fight a SS is a good Idea prooving a winner. The winer gets to keep playing and the loser is out. "There can be only one" This is a great event because the biggest trash talker on your server can be cought unbuffed by some unknown random character and loose. There is a great deal more strategy and thought in the event than a normal tourney. If you know how to choose your battles, you can win. I also reward the kill leader, because the kill leader may not actually win the tourney. This event has been very well recived, and is an interesting change of pace from running mass scale events. You should be able to get 40+ participantants.
In my rules I make it so that after a week anyone that has not fought is eliminated for inactivity. You should maybe make that two weeks, but basicly you have to make it so people get/stay active.
In theory this event can go on a while if ya got enough participants.
In events like this I run a sign up sheet on the forums and make a buddy list with each of them on it. I use that list and send out e-mails. Also I use my massive contact list to advertize my event and ask that it is passed on to each guilds members. Again diligence is everything in making an event happen.
There is STILL so much more I can add to this thread and I likely will at some point.
Message Edited by WeasleMASC on 10-12-2004 08:33 PM
Message Edited by WeasleMASC on 10-19-2004 07:02 PM