Star Wars: The Old Republic is going live at the end of this month, and to date it already has over 167 million subscribers making it the largest MMORPG launch ever recorded by man.
That's million with an "M". Go ahead, double check our numbers if you want, but the internet never lies.
Of course it goes without saying; with that many people picking up lightsabers and throwing both caution and any hopes of ever having sex to the wind, you're going to get a large influx of players who are new to gaming.
They could be old Star Wars fans who want to live in the world that they've come to know and love but have never really been into video games, or maybe they're gamers who are genre hopping into the world of MMORPG's in hopes of finding out where they truly belong...
...either way, the n00bometer is about to hit plaid.
Luckily for you, your Uncle Coyote is here to help by providing four simple rules that will guarantee your transition into the new world is a smooth one. Rules like:
Put Some Thought Into Your Name
Believe it or not the name that you choose for your character can have a very real effect on your entire gaming experience. In a new world of anonymous human interaction, your moniker is going to be the very first thing people subconsciously judge you on, and how they interact with you can be swayed greatly by how much of a dumbass you were when you first chose it.
Even though the relevance of "RPG" in "MMORPG" has been worn away by years of role players being laughed at and shunned for doing something as stupid as “trying to actually role play in a role playing game”, that is what the "RP" stands for.
So choose a name that won’t muck that up for everyone who has to interact with “DaRtHPWNZJOO” in game. It doesn't mean that you need to throw on a Shakespearian accent and "thus" and "thou" your way through every encounter, but for the love of the dark side, have a bit of pride in what you call yourself. And most importantly of all, stay away from names that put you in the title role of the Star Wars universe because I promise you that it isn't going to end well.
You're not Luke Skywalker and there isn't a single fan out there who will think that you are clever or hold you in awe because after two hours of trying you came up with a version of "Luuuuuke Skiewallkor that finally got past the naming filter. Because:
He was a whiney little b*tch with an emo haircut who got lucky when he won the intergalactic gene pool lottery, and that's about it. His father was the most feared badass in the entire known universe, and his mother was Natalie Portman before she got all freaky and started shaving her head. But no one actually liked Luke, and they didn’t want to be him. They just wanted his powers so that he’d stop wasting them on Muppets and use them to help dear ol' dad enslave the galaxy.
If he was really that awesome of a character, Mark Hamill wouldn't have spent most of the 80's and early 90's whipping up batches of horsey sauce at Arby's.
And two, Star Wars Fans are f**king PSYCHOTIC.
Seriously, I can't stress this enough. Have you been to the official forums? Have you seen the 36 thousand pages of locked threads that ended in epic flame wars because someone pointed out that Boba Fett was an overrated character? These are not rational, intelligent, reasonable people - they are borderline mental patients who were given a gaming outlet so that they'd stop trying to gouge the midichlorians out of their day nurse with plastic Jell-O spoons.
And you want to walk in and pretend to be a main character from the very heart of their obsession?
Yeah good luck with that, bishwag.
Accept the Changes To Canon
I'm actually addressing the aforementioned "f**king psychotics" on this one, and I'm doing so with as much kindness and sensitivity as I can muster.
Look guys, I don't have to tell you that the Star Wars Universe is big, or that it stretches out into every form of media and entertainment imaginable. From books, to cartoons, to online slash fiction involving a lot more than the tongue we all knew was there when Luke and Leia first started sucking face...
...Star Wars is huge.
And what's more, the stigma from admitting that you are a fan and / or massive weenie no longer exists, as other Star Wars fans have finally grown into adulthood and we're the only ones who know how to program the iPhones that everyone lines up to buy, so people have to be nice to us.
I mean, even GIRLS like Star Wars.
Real girls. Real women. Real women that don't live in Canada or look suspiciously like the model that came with the frame you bought at Wal-mart. You no longer have to hide or be ashamed of who you are.
That being said, with that much progress having been made - you're going to have to accept that a few minor details will be tweaked in order to bring the movies and books into an interactive multi-player world.
So lighten up on the whining and crying about the sh*t no one really cares about, okay?
Aunt Beru's great great great great great GREAT grandmother was a blonde, not the brunette they put in game? Darth Brooks was a great and powerful leader who was both respected and feared - not a country singer with a cybernetics enhanced black cowboy hat, and now you’re angry?
We get it.
You love Star Wars, and your love is a pure and innocent thing that you feel with all of your heart. But someone has to be the one that points out that there is a fine line between loving the Star Wars universe...
... and stalking it to the point where Lucas is forced to keep making shitty prequels on purpose in hopes that you lose interest and leave him the f**k alone.
You can love it. You can date it. You can even obsess about it.
But as soon as you start going on about how you want to cut it open and bask in its life giving warmth like a fat taun-taun on a cold Hoth night? It just gets creepy and uncomfortable for everyone.
So if something minor has changed that only you and the twelve members of your guild have noticed? For the sake of the game...
... let it go.
Stop Comparing It to World of Warcraft
Now, I realize that I'm only addressing a small percentage of the population when it comes to this so I'll be brief, but this has to be said in some official capacity: Star Wars isn't The World of Warcraft.
Yes, we all can agree that The World of Warcraft is the greatest game ever made, on any platform, ever. It has been there for you through thick and thin, has provided you with friends, entertainment, and an escape from the harsh realities of the real world. It is the only real MMORPG ever created, and its awesomeness has traversed time and space to the point where no one even remembers the better games that came before it.
The World of Warcraft is the greatest game ever created, and no game, including this one will ever step a single toe outside of its shadow. It will be around forever and no one will ever topple it from its perch atop Mount Kickass, despite the fact that it's losing more participants than a Jersey Shore Spelling Bee and has to rely on really lame panda monks just to appeal to the Chinese Gold Famers that they once fought to keep out.
Now that we've gotten that out of the way, and everyone agrees that nothing will ever compare to The World of Warcraft, I propose that we never, ever mention it again. You win, case settled, we acquiesce. Now drop it or I'll give the 501st your home address and tell them that you think that Andrew Ainsworth should be in jail for his crimes against George Lucas.
You don't worry if you don’t get the reference, because you don’t have to. They will.
On Second Thought
You know what?
Launch days suck. The first few months of a new game sucks. Other people suck...
... you go and play Skyrim. I'll tell you when it is safe to log in.