― Herman Melville, Moby-Dick
Talon’s Outer Haven is a family that mixes philanthropy, freelance jobs of all types but primarily is… Chasing the Infinite Sky
At the moment, the Talons are a rather new organization that has yet to stake a claim for itself. One thing that is clear is that the founder and her partner are well-funded and have seemed to come from previous broad experience in working the local star systems economy and various trades.
The Talons pride themselves in being a haven for those wishing to leave their past behind, something that the founder and her partner are also doing.
We’ve been there and done that. We’ve collected our bounties and done our service. What we’ve come to realize is that the galaxy is a harsh, unforgiving place, and we’ve seen most of it. Some of us have even tried to settle down on one of the so-called civilized garden worlds, only to see just how thin that sheen of civilization really is. Always, the call of deep space beckons. And so we answer. This time, not on someone’s leash, but free to roam and explore all that this harsh, unforgiving and wondrous galaxy has to offer. We are the unbound wanderers and we will brook no master’s chain. We are the Talons and the galaxy is within our grasp.
In the outer reaches, if you hear the lone transmission of Outer Haven Radio, that is our leader, The Red Huntress, calling out to all souls who are not specifically pirates or other nefarious individuals but to those who value independent thought and are reasonably skeptical of inherent nature of the UEE. We are and forever will be self-reliant and a non-aligned organization that will listen to all sides, analyze rationally and take our own tack in our go forward progress and improvement of our lives.
This message is for you, the players. So far, we’ve had you read what we are about and the bare bones basis for a general codex of that same purpose that will be written in the future as we evolve our organization.
I am going to write to you now is real and beyond the game. Beyond the role play. It’s about the importance of spirit, attitude, faith in the people and the organization you joined and sociability that is important to every member, regardless of rank and drives every success and failure of every organization, guild, or other community type in any multiplayer game with a massive community. First, let’s discuss some general OOC Conduct & Behavior Guidelines.
We talked about the RP story and how our RP and organization fits into the entire Star Citizen universe, but we really haven’t spoken much about the values of the organization outside of the Role Play story. These are human values, not values of our characters or the values of the organization within the RP environment.
These “human” values is what makes or breaks any community. They are not easily codified and “enforced”. They are determined by who becomes part of the community and who doesn’t. The values that are chosen to represent the community are indirectly determined by how we recruit and what we value in recruits and membership.
One specific value I would like to talk about is inclusiveness. This is not something that is defined in black and white. Inclusiveness means that members of the organization value activities that are open and inclusive of the Organization and the RP community around us. NOTE: this does not have to mean “exclusive” or “only”.
There is value in organizational-exclusive events and activities, activities that only that only the organization shares. They help team building and friendship building between membership.
But that can not be the only type of activity or event-type that a organization focuses on. Exclusive-only events, if there are no other options, leads to insular and eventually a closed elitist community that is not easy to grow (hard to get new recruits interested in your organization if they can never participate in any organizational events with said membership)
What needs to be part of the balance is that you have an equal share of inclusive events. Open RP: Open RP means that it occurs in the game world and that a passer by RPer could add to the experience, whether they are organization members or not.
The value that this brings is that it allows our members to learn how to RP both with their IC character personality and quirks but also at the same time, how to be great representatives of the organization itself. Even if their character is an a foul mood or is an otherwise personality-grating character, behaving in both an appropriate (for the character) IC way as well as at the same time behaving in an appropriate way (for the organization) as an OOC person with the larger community creates organic and natural recruitment opportunities. Better yet, it creates recruitment opportunities that more closely match the values of the organization itself. So that you are not just getting the random applicant. You are getting an applicant that has seen your organization in action, felt the fun involved in participating with your organization and saw that they attitudes and personalities (OOC) of those players involved closely matched their own. It’s a common sense tactic.
If we look at other MMOs and we look at the most successful guilds, it’s usually the ones that put on some sort of community RP event that everyone can participate in. We don’t have to “copy” from said guilds but we can “learn” from them and adapt smart and wide open techniques that others around us have already explored and proven.
Why is this so important? An organization’s health is a something that comes and goes and follows a wave. If we make our members enjoyment on the game solely based on the organization then their enjoyment will ebb and flow as the organization does. The purpose of the organization’s outreach to include the larger community is to borrow from the strength of that larger community when the organization’s health is not so ideal so that members feel that they are connected to something bigger than just the organization and they will weather any storm better for it.
This same tactic can apply to PvE events as well.
What about inclusiveness RP versus private RP?
Private RP will happen. Hands down. And it’s not the responsibility of every member to open up every RP they have planned to be inclusive of others. Fair is fair. People come to Star Citizen to RP their own storylines and this might not be appropriate for the organization to participate in. But those tend to be more rare and less frequent or they should be more rare and less frequent than Inclusive and open RP.
The default type of RP that all members should be thinking about is inclusive/open, of course, unless, like previously stated, it’s inappropriate. Inclusive/open RP really takes off when not one person or ten people are asked to contribute RP events or scenes but everyone in the organization starts to do this of their own volition.
What makes people act of their own volition to include organization members in their own RP scenes?
Good, fun environments for RP. One of many good practices is to always and without fail explain the context of your RP, OOCly with anyone interested. Not just randomly start RP without context or corner members into RP without explaining what it’s about. A certain amount of natural spontaneity can always happen in great RP environments and will happen as those environments become healthy and fun. But, the default should always be an OOC explanation of what the RP is about, any special rules, or any gotchas or any other special circumstances that should be called out.
OOC behavior is just as important, if not more than IC/RP behavior and IC/RP lore correctness.
This is so important. You can be correct. You can be right. You can be experienced but you can damage the organizational environment with all that. You can damage the FC environment by insisting on your righteousness.
Other people will have different perspectives and takes than you. Other people will interpret lore differently. Other people will have different philosophies and beliefs than you. Your OOC behavior around those types of people (those that disagree with your viewpoint) make or break an organizational environment. We as players, have to be accepting of different viewpoints, people with different amounts of time to contribute, people with different time zones that can or cannot participate in organizational events that are designed around one time zone or other. People who are not end-gamers. People who are or are not PvE/P experts. People that are or are not perfect or expert crafters/traders/miners, etc.
Acceptance, patience and sometimes keeping your righteousness to yourself is the better thing to do than to become domineering in an organizational chat or an OOC discussion. Sometimes saying that you might see their perspective on things but then asking if they wanted to learn about your experiences first before claiming that your experience is right and theirs is wrong is key to making it a welcome environment.
Not everyone, recruit or otherwise, will be an experienced Star Citizen player.
Guess what. New players do exist. They don’t know what the locker does and how it works. They don’t know how the mobiglass works and what it’s used for. They don’t know every in and out type mechanic that you may already know. One of the biggest mistakes we all have made at one time or another was to assume that every new recruit just knew what was going on, how to fly, how to practice, what options were before them, what they could do to make their gameplay experiences better. This is so key. And it’s not an opportunity to lord your PvE greatness above them and explain that only your way is the right way. The opportunity here is to educate about the options that do exist and offer them as multiple choices to that player for them to design and choose their own path with guidance and advice but not direction. Not every player will have the same amount of time you have to play. And if they say, “yeah, I can’t afford to spend that kind of time.” the response shouldn’t be, “It doesn’t take a lot of time and it’s the most efficient way to do X.”, the response should be, “If you have a moment, I’d like to show you and give it a try and if you don’t like it, we can see if we can find something that might work better for your time allotted.”
Finally, player entitlement vs. Self-responsibility
A organization is a RP sandbox for players to come together and work with each other to create great PvX and RP experiences.
A organization is not required for a player to learn how to enjoy the game, be it PvE with friends or RP with others.
It is not the responsibility for every member of an organization to be responsible for the happiness of another player/members happiness with the game, regardless if it has to do with PvE, Social interaction or RP opportunity.
The Organization is to provide the tools (Org chat, RP writing prompts, etc) that allow players to think for themselves, take their own initiative and put something together of their own to learn how to enjoy the PvX or RP community whether that be the Organization or the larger community.
Players are not entitled to demand that the organization makes their game enjoyable for them. Players should come to enjoy Star Citizen both for PvE and RP before joining a organization. If you don’t enjoy Star Citizen or the RP environment as a whole, you need to question why you are paying for the game. You shouldn’t lay the blame of your non-enjoyment on the shoulders of all the members of the organization or on the health of the organization itself.
All attitudes, OOCly, should be positive attitudes. Berating members for inaction or non-involvement doesn’t solve problems. It creates more inaction and more non-involvement.
A organization is here to be positively encouraging. Not negatively demanding. A organization creates uplifting opportunities. Not overbearing requirements. A organization needs to evaluate their system and their standards, their leadership choices and their own philosophies if times are bad. Not expect members to feel valued or actively engaged and feel welcome to participate in organizational events when the social environment has taken a turn for the worst.
OOCly, we should all put our best foot forward to be good to each other as players.
The default should be attitude should be positive, freedom-loving, encouraging, open to other ideas and ways of doing things, non-regimented, understanding without being a crutch, helpful without being obligated to help, supportive without being responsible for enjoyment/happiness and, at the end of the day, a family of like-minded individuals.