1) How did you come up with the idea for a Christian guild?
When I joined the community back in October of 2008, starting any kind of guild was not even something I was considering. I knew what kind of work goes into running one and really did not want to invest that kind of time into it. I had been an active member of a couple first person shooter clans before starting my own back in the Ghost Recon days, needless to say, our clan was themed around American patriotism. I had also led a kinship in LOTRO on the Brandywine server, that kinship was themed around Elven lore, mainly from Mirkwood and Imladris. I guess you are starting to see the pattern here with themes. I believe theming your community around one common denominator helps to unify the people who join. I really wanted to be a part of a guild in SWTOR, but I was not about to be a part of a guild that allowed bad language, innuendos, or other things I find offensive. I knew that regardless of what guild I joined, I was going to have a hard time fitting in, because I was a Christian, then I had an idea for a Christian-themed swtor guild, I thought that there may be some folks out there who were like me, Star Wars nerds and Christians who just wanted to play the game and have a good time of fellowshipping with each other, so Saints of the Old Republic was started.
2) How long has your guild been around?
We have been around since May of 2009, so over two years.
3) Your website says you have 350 members. Are they all active and waiting for SWTOR?
Well, actually, our banner needs to be updated… again. At this present time we have 437 members with 9 pending applications. We have various levels of member activity, as all guilds do, according to statistics, we have roughly 200 or so members who visit the forums each week and of the other 200, some are on leave of absence, and others, we have not heard from in months. I assume that they are a part of other guilds in other MMO’s or they simply won’t show up until launch. As far as how many are waiting for SWTOR, the vast majority of our total members are here to play SWTOR, we do have a few members who are here specifically to play LOTRO and others who are just here for the community.
4) What are you going to do about alts?
In the famous words of our beloved Bioware devs, “We’re not ready to talk about that yet.” Honestly, we’re still discussing our options and hoping that we’re not capped at 500 in the game.
5) What other games have you been involved with?
Well, I have been a gamer since Atari first came out, I still don’t understand the point of Pitfall, but I loved that game as well as Space Invaders, Donkey Kong, and Pacman. Then of course there was Nintendo, Sega Genesis, Playstation, and Xbox. With PC games, it all started with Mechwarrior 2 for Windows 95. That was an awesome game. Through the years, I have probably consumed more games than I care to list. Some of my favorites were Super Mario Brothers 1, 2, and 3, Tecmo Superbowl, Commanche 3, F22 Raptor, Mechwarrior 4, Freelancer, Company of Heroes (which I still play), Star Wars Galaxies, Ghost Recon, Lord of the Rings Online (which I still play occassionally) and all of the Star Wars games including the X-wing vs Tie-fighter series and the Jedi Knight series.
6) Who are you ‘in real life’? Are you involved with ministry?
In real life I’m a freelance web designer, computer technician and Gospel preacher. I travel a lot, both for ministry and business work, and since most of my work is for churches and church ministries, the two mix very well together. Since guilds are an online entity, I am able to keep up with things going on regardless of where I’m at so long as I have an internet connection. I have been involved in all sorts of ministries both at my local church and around the country including evangelism, youth, homeless, nursing homes, music, outreach, and prison ministries to name just a few.
7) What is Saints of the Old Republic all about?
In short, we’re here to honor God and give Christians a place to come together as a family and fellowship with each other while doing what we all love, gaming, and not have to worry about fitting in or being ridiculed or criticized for our beliefs by those we game with. Members here don’t have to worry about foul language, ladies are not harrassed or hit on, we don’t troll each other, it’s an amazing community of Christian gamers.
8) You’ve definately found your niche, how do you grow from here?
We just keep on keeping on. We’re going to keep the same rules, the same standards and we’re not going to compromise or change our focus which is to honor God and provide Christians a safe, family environment. We get roughly 1-9 applications per day and that has not shown any sign of decline, it just keeps increasing. It’s really all God, and I believe that as long as we continue to honor Him, He’ll continue to bless and grow us.
9) Why a pvp server?
Well, experience has taught me that pvp guilds usually form closer relationships with each other than pve guilds. On a pve server, everyone just kind of does their own thing, people will solo most of the content and only seek help when instancing or doing a hard quest. Really, the only time people get together is during scheduled raids, roleplay events or if you just meet out in the world somewhere while doing the same quest chain. On a pvp server, all that changes. Members don’t want to be ganked so they group up together, other members enjoy protecting the pve people so they will form pvp groups to seek and destroy the gankers. Competition and conflict builds strong, close-knit communities. Just look at soldiers who fight together in war. Those bonds they build in the foxholes are a result of conflict, watching each others backs, depending on each other, you don’t see such bonds forming back in the recruitment offices.
Another reason we chose a pvp server is people usually get bored with pve content once it is consumed and lose interest in the game while waiting for the next update. For example, LOTRO is a great pve game but has a horrible pvp system, once a guild finishes all the pve content and all your characters are maxed out, what else is there to do together? Do we run those raids again or make an alt and do it all over? Both to me are very boring. I am not an altaholic, I prefer to master one class and play it indefinitely. I find the solution to my boredom in PvP, and since it is against other players and is competitive, it never gets boring, just like Football. With SWTOR claiming to have open-world pvp objectives, I think this is going to be an awesome experience that we’d miss out on if we joined a pve server.
To our website, www.saintsoftheoldrepublic.com or sotor.guildlaunch.com. We have a forum named the “Information Desk” where visitors can ask questions, or if they have a specific question they can contact our Public Relations Officer, Julmay, or our Recruitment Officer, Gabriel Theodoulos.