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HoloTracker: Include (1) Character's In-Game Name, (2) Faction, and (3) Location
I think this is a fantastic idea. A large issue I find with the community-at-large is that we all have our own thoughts and ideas of what the military is and who or what is in charge. Most of us aren't looking to be Grand Moffs, so having someone to 'officially' report to while not having it seem like a dictatorship is great. There used to be (it may still exist, somewhere...) an Ebon Hawk Guild Alliance, complete with a charter to allow for ease of communication between guilds. Something like your MoW idea may not be that far-reaching, but it could at least work to bring Military-centric guilds under one umbrella to allow for larger and more interactive RP. Let's face it, some people RP VaikSec, some ground forces, some black ops. We don't need to know about each other IC, but being able to bring intelligence gathered from one and have it spread to others would be easier with a centralized point of contact...
And now I've rambled. TL;DR, I'd love to be a part.
At the encouragement of some community members and the enthusiasm expressed in this thread, I've resolved to actively pursue this idea and reform the guild I currently hold to function as an umbrella for centralized Imperial military RP. Presently, I'm wrapping up preparing the guild's in-game infrastructure for launch (flagship is 75% decorated, need to finish), then I'll get started on an Enjin website. Hopefully I can have the guild ready for recruitment by the end of this month.
@Thanadan, I've decided to rename the guild <Imperial Ministry of War> (assuming availability), next week. I think I fully grasp the concern you expressed and I'm inclined to believe that concern will be laid to rest when the guild website is launched and you witness firsthand how I intend to structure it and present it to the community-at-large. Nonetheless, if you have any concerns please let me know. I like the idea of using <IMoW> because it is the IC overarching authority that controls the Imperial military-entire, and it helps promote the guild's intended inclusive purview, ranging from Army, to Navy, to Reclamation Service, allowing military RPers of any brand to integrate easily into the guild.
To echo Thanadan's previous statement about not trying to run with, 'Ministry of War' or anything of that sort... I really don't think you should, mostly because those higher echelons should remain untouched by players in my mind. It's like the equivalent of seeing a roleplayer who claims their character is on the Dark Council. So while I am all for more centralized and active Imperial Military roleplay, I don't think playing as the high command of the Empire is the way to go.
Perhaps a smaller command, based around a sector of space much like how the U.S. has divided the world into different commands. This is more to ensure that nobody has any RP obligation to do -anything- for you, but rather could be assigned to you if the situation demands it. Because if the equivalent of the 'Department of Defense' is a guild, and some Soldier doesn't listen to them... that's a pretty shady situation IC-wise, and lore-wise.
So the tldr: Having the highest ranking command group in the Empire as a guild = bad
@ User , thank you for your suggestion. What I like about using the <IMoW> tag is, it closely asociates the guild with the in-game lore structure of the Imperial miltary, and applies an umbrella label that could be used to cover all Imperial military personnel. If an RPer comes into the game wanting to RP an:
* Imperial Army sergeant who pilots a walker on Iokath,
* Imperial Navy lieutenant who flies a Quell starfighter in a particular fleet,
* Imperial Reclamation Service captain leading an archaeological expedition on Ziost,
* Imperial High Command general offering strategic insights into invading a planet,
* Ministry of War ensign who fetches the Minister's tea.
then the label of <IMoW> would apply to all of them. I like the tag because it's an all-encompassing label that all members of the Imperial military fall under.
I completely understand what you're getting at with those occurances when you come across a Sith RPer who claims Dark Council status. That is absolutely not my intention here. In fact, the two characters I have in the guild right now aren't even Ministry officials, they're both Imperial Navy officers. It's not my intention that someone RPing as .... 'Vice Minister of War for Mid Rim Operations' or whatever will exercise authority over other guild members if they do not wish it. While my intention is for the guild to be named <IMoW>, that doesn't mean all, or even many, guild members would IC be actual Ministry officials (again, this guild is for the Army soldier putting down rebellion on Bosthirda, the Navy mechanic on a Gage-class greasing shuttles, the Reclamation archaeologist digging in the dirt on Korriban, as well as planners at the Citadel).
I did try the small command idea on the Begeren Colony server and had great success with Imperial Wild Space Command. I'm hesitant to replicate that model here because it geographically restricts players to a certain area, and I am usually against any restrictions on players' RP.
Basically, the way I intend to manage the guild is: as GM I'll focus mostly on in-game infrastructure development and maintenance, same with a website, and establishing and enforcing rules for conduct. Any guild-level admins I appoint will do essentially the same. I'm going to be putting up a system whereby guild members may establish their own "sub-guilds", for instance, I'll be the "sub-guild" leader of Imperial Naval Intelligence Department. Each sub-guild may recruit for their own group, establish their own rules for player conduct, uniforms, develop their own story arcs, host their own events, etc.
Guild rename option is available in about 11 hours. Right now I'm still inclined to go with <IMoW> but I do appreciate your comments and take them seriously. I could be easily persuaded to go with something like <Imperial Military> or <Imperial Armed Forces> instead if there are still concerns. If I do go with <IMoW> tonight and it doesn't work out as I intended, we can always change it again in 30 days.
So from my understanding, you're not trying to play the actual Ministry of War, however just random joes in the Imperial Military.
So here's my question to you:
Why not play a 'Joint Task Force' instead?
Joint Forces can include both branches of service in the Imperial Military, Navy and Army to accomplish a specific goal. It would preclude the confusion of people assessing that you play the legitimate overarching command of the Empire, and instead give you a purpose, and allow people to fall in or out as needed. Units and people can rotate out, there can be an attempt at a revitalization of Military RP by giving people an objective regardless of branch. I mean shit, look at modern joint operations. They can last for years upon years attempting to achieve objectives.
Because in the end, what the Military community on Impside needs is something to do together.
About two years ago I was running my own little band of Imperial misfits, and when it came time to do crossfaction or story events, people from outside the guild came in and we did the RP with great success.
An unfortunate reality to SWTOR RP, is that every up-and-coming Imperial RP guild will want its own private army. And so the way it goes is that players in said guild will either make their own, or recruit new people to be that army. That's an unfortunate reality to this entire situation, because believe me I have tried the heavy Military aspect in RP before.
But if you're a guild hosting as a 'Joint Task Force' it allows guilds to bring in the troops, to pit them towards an objective alongside other people and organizations that achieves victories or losses, and ultimately fosters a community. You don't even need members in your guild, they can just be people attached to some random group or unit that comes along to join the fray, or be organic to the echelon in command of the thing. And on that note, establishing a unified command in the 'head' of said task force. (Some ranking Imps and Sith to level the bossing around) will ensure that everyone at least gets a say in how to plan/conduct an operation, and there's no overarching bossing around or anything of that sort, either.
So in conclusion, perhaps there are better ways to go about what you're doing, that will not only provide a format FOR people to come together, but also give them a REASON to do so.
**As a note, I would be more than happy to help in any capacity, time permitting, the only struggle is timezones since I am in theater in the middle east.
I'm finding the level of people who have a problem with the guild tag to be rather amusing. We've had plenty of people in the community single themselves out as extremely important and not only did they not suffer the backlash you're all suggesting, but were openly accepted into the RP community as a whole.
As long as it's done right, with respect to everyone's style of RP and not headed by a self-important douchebag, I see it as less detrimental than 99% of the ones we've allowed to run rampant.
Getting off my high horse, I do think the idea of a Joint Task Force is great, if IMoW is something you decide to shy away from.