Hi. I'm Anna. I like games, but I also like Star Wars.

A recent dramasplosion seems to be reluctant to end, and another participant made some interesting points after they stopped being defensive. So y'know, I says to myself, I says "Anna, why don't you join in on this thing?" S'not about the most conventional form of gaming, but roleplay is a sort of game...and it's my blog, I'll do what I want. Time to be topical.

Star Wars is a great universe to play around in. There are space wizards and space dragons and space dwarves. Space liches preserve their (space) souls in (space) jars made out of cloned flesh, while infinite armies of droids and clones duke it out on a massive scale. There are spaceships and spacebombs and spacelasers and did I mention space? It's a versatile universe. A lot of things happen in the galaxy far away. We even have several kinds of zombie, if you're into that sort of thing. The funny thing is that only a small portion of this is contained in the movies. All of the colorful chaos of the galaxy is muted to a series of browns and grays as we see civil war after civil war, with nothing but religious war to break the pace. The universe certainly is called "Star WARS" for a reason, but focusing on that to the exclusion of all other things leaves the movies a bit bleak and boring.

This is also omitting the wooden writing, cliche storm, and blatant marketing ploys included in the script by the idiot who was writing it. I said I liked Star Wars, not its egotistical and bigoted creator.

In the lovely and varied expanded universe, now called "Legends" by a studio who has tried to excuse it without tampering with it (unlike the previous writer, who had no problem confiscating and editing other people's work on a whim), we're given much more variety than just war war war. There's discovery, and exploration, and REAL politics rather than "I love democracy!" speeches. There's crime, and justice, and religious gray areas, and things which man was not meant to know, and things which man figured out anyway. There are intergalactic swarms and sun-crushing superweapons and fantastic naval battles and climactic land battles and cinematic duels. An infinite cast of creatures awaits to suit one's every need, ranging from the aforementioned zombies and dragons to Jedi power checks to crap we don't even have a comparison for.

In the long, long years that I've been a fan of Star Wars, my interests have changed very little. I've always had some things I've enjoyed and some things that I've been irritated by. My favorite characters - Obi-Wan, Ahsoka Tano, Chewbacca, Kyle Katarn, HK-47, Tyber Zann, Padmé Amidala, and others - have virtually nothing in common besides coming from the same galaxy. They run the gamut from Force to non-Force, fighter to politician, alien to droid. Each of them has unique traits that no other has, though I do admit that most of them share a certain craftiness and ability to defy the odds. But then, that's hardly a character trait; it's more of a quality common to most fictional characters given names in a story. They are characters, first and foremost, and while the universe in which they live shapes them, it does not dominate them. An eagerly and creatively psychotic assassin robot wouldn't be out of place in another sci-fi setting, and a politically-and morally-active princess willing to fight for her beliefs could be applied to almost any story in any genre ever.

I started RPing Star Wars...about five years ago, I think. I'm much younger in the field than several of my friends, and correspondingly I've done less. I've only played an ex-Rebel pilot turned pirate, a Mandalorian (merc), an Imperial mechanic, an insane half-dead Sith, two spec ops troopers with sordid histories, a hippie Jedi tainted by Sith poison to turn into a giant ball of hate, a courtesan, a Force-deficient flesh golem, a maverick Jedi tainted by a zombie virus, an Imperial mercenary, a couple of custom aliens, and another Mandalorian (techie). Obviously I haven't played the field as much as many other people have. No dancers, no slaves, no politicians, no Sith Lords or Jedi Masters, no junk dealers or smugglers. The list of things I haven't done is much larger than the list of things that I have, and it will probably always remain that way. After all, there are some things I like doing more than others, and other things that I have no interest in doing at all.

I seem to have a particular crush on enforcing arbitrary limitations onto my characters to make them weaker than everyone else's. I'm taking medication for it, I swear.

But that's okay! I like Star Wars because it's varied and fantastic enough to accommodate my needs without having to stretch the plausibility of the setting. This is largely because, as science fantasy, the setting has almost no plausibility. I can play a character plucked straight out of a superhero comic, and Cira can play a Firefly character, and Sarge can play a Call of Duty character without any of us conflicting with the other. Ayden can fleet and Popo can create endless rivers of technology, Avadreia can politic and Ashin can do a little bit of everything. No one is standing in anyone else's way, because we can all do our own thing without disrupting each other's mojo. It's a grand orchestral harmony, and it's beautiful to watch.

But by this point it's obvious I'm writing this post in direct response to someone else's. So let's have at it and answer some of these questions he's so itchy about.


Why are space battles less legitimate than ground battles?
They aren't. I'd say they're often more sloppily executed, but anyone who's been in an invasion knows that that isn't the case. Large-scale threads of any sort, fleet or feet, tend to be chaotic affairs of he said/she said and irritating compromises. The consequences of any given thread are ignored with depressing frequency no matter what the result or stage of that thread was.

Now, on the other hand, fleeting threads are less -POPULAR- than ground-pounding threads and duels. This is different from legitimacy, of course, but it's an observable facet of the site. Less people are interested in the logistics and wild speculation involved in space combat than are interested in the logistics and wild speculation involved in ground combat. I don't blame them, personally. I've never enjoyed fleeting, but that's opinion, not dogmatic law. Every writer is free to form their own opinion of every sort of thread without the risk of being singled out for their opinions.

If a member singles out another member for their opinions, then things start getting dicey.

Why are players who enjoy space battles over ground battles considered less legitimate?
They aren't. A writer who spends all of their time doing one specific kind of thread is viewed no differently than a writer who spends a bit of time doing lots of different things. If you do, perhaps you need to reconsider how you're looking at other members. "The community" is comprised of people, and each person makes up their own mind as to how best to view others. I'm sure there's someone on the site who thinks that fleeters are evil and should be destroyed, but I pity that person and their small-minded world view.

As a staff vet, I can say with brutal honesty that there are indeed members who are viewed with more caution than others. For instance, members who have broken the site rules in the past are scrutinously observed by the secret police staffers to ensure against repeat offenses. Members who are frequently reported for roleplay issues may wind up being watched simply because the RPJs are getting sick of dealing with them showing up in the report feed every single day. Members who are frequently reported for OOC issues face the risk of a ban, rather than just simple scrutiny. But fleeters? That'd just be silly.

How is a ground battle more 'character developing' than a space battle?
Execution. I have seen utterly beautiful fleeting posts out of some writers on this site, and contrasting bland posts from people I've met in personal duels. If a thread is low on character development, it is exclusively due to the writers involved, not the medium in which that thread is taking place.

Why is a battlecruiser firing proton beams worse for the RP than a Jedi or Sith using 'Force storm'?
Both are devastating and heavily regulated. Both are best used as a plot device, but unfortunately used as simple spur-of-the-moment reactions very frequently. I'll tell you now that staff sees a LOT more reports about Force power abuse than they do starship abuse. As was pointed out in the triggering blog, there are Force powers that alter time and space on a whim. Not a lot of starships do that.

Why are faction/factory/dev rules so strict for starships on the board if they are irrelevant to invasions?
As someone who had a hand in creating at least two iterations of the starship guidelines, I can definitively reply that they're strict because fleeters like crunching numbers. We've tried, in the past, to make the restrictions on starships more vague. Ideas like turning the ship's capabilities from a enumerated list of the ship's equipment into a "Class 1" or "Class 2" rating were met with violent resistance. Members who are interested in military starships have a significant overlap with members who enjoy detailing exactly and mathematically what their starships can do.

Eventually, after a zillion revisions, we decided on a handy, easy-to-access chart that readily translates on a value system. The numbers on that chart are imperfect, but consistent. All ships of the same weight class have the same amount of firepower available to them, unless the designer opted for less. I still wish we could have gone for the "class 1 weapons, class 4 armor" way of things, but mine is a single voice among dozens.

Nothing is more irrelevant to invasions than everything. It's all pretty much irrelevant, as the writers involved most frequently split up into dueling pairs and objectives are a crapshoot.

Why does fleeting have to be a numbers game and not just a game?
As mentioned above, popular demand. As I have intentionally avoided fleet battles, I'm not a good authority on exactly how they work. However, the self-perpetuating practice of number crunching was started by members who liked to count guns. If the members like numbers, they will have numbers. If you don't like numbers, talk to whoever you're writing with to see if they also do not like numbers. If you come to a consensus, then the story will follow suit.

Why is a sci-fi space opera board devoid of space battles?
Member preference. Threads are created by members. If you want more fleeting, make more fleeting threads. It's that simple.


Hope that clears some stuff up.