The Omega Wash-up
As the Omega completes its terminal descent to Castameer’s surface it’s time to look back on the last 2.5 weeks and give the members a perspective and a summary on the Event.
Omega is the first event on SWRP that I’ve had a major hand running at SWRP or at any web forum. With Tefka handing over the reins of Head Admin to me, I wanted to do something big and dramatic to introduce people to a new era. Fortunately I was helped by the fact I had already put aside for holidays at the end of September and beginning of October. With the Rogue One movie coming out soon this seemed a great opportunity to get the forum excited for the upcoming cinematic release as well.
Once I had determined I wanted an event I set out to find an appropriate subject. SWRP has held multiple events in the past such as Clockwork, Dark Harvest, Netherworld and Mirrorverse. All of them had extremely talented and creative backgrounds, but I felt that I would aim smaller. The natural story was Jedi vs Sith, the Light vs the Dark – but how to make such a thing happen? Here too I was gifted with an OOC and IC development – the fall of the One Sith. Thus, a giant station threatening to overthrow the galaxy was a natural plot.
I knew from the start that this was not an original story, indeed it was the most unoriginal one possible as it’s the plot of 3 of the 7 movies. However, it had two great advantages to my mind; an easy to dislike enemy, and an easy storyline to understand. Even a writer who joined the site the day before could pick up on this – Sith have built a rectangular Death Star: go destroy it.
The plot decided, I needed a name. I sampled many different ones before I came to Omega. It turned out to be an absurdly obvious yet easy choice. The imagery, the symbolism the name were all exactly what I wanted.
I next reached out to the amazing members of the board to assist with images, and I was helped in every area with art better than I could have hoped for. Being able to visualise and understand what I was talking about made everything that much better.
The basic structure of the event was designed to allow all RPers to participate. Being something of a military historian and gamer I wanted to give vent to my passion for fleeting and ground battles, as well as to have a PVP and a game mastered thread. The ability to do ‘unofficial’ threads would also allow those who were too busy to take part to play a role in the event.
For the Event itself I had the very good fortune to have the assistance of the wonderful Irajah Ven. Irajah is a writer I wrote with for many years on a former site and when I asked her to assist me with running the event she accepted, much to my relief! I also had invaluable assistance from Raziel, Taeli Raaf and many other staff and members who assisted behind the scenes.
The event itself turned out remarkably well, and I believe it is the second largest on the site in terms of posts after Netherworld. This was a great achievement given the relatively small scope and the lack of a single driving story or galactic upheaval.
Having said all of that there are ways we can of course improve, and below I will list what worked, what didn’t, and what I’ve learned for next time.
What Worked:
  • The Fleeting. For as long as I’ve been forum RPing I’ve wanted a gigantic fleeting battle which comes to a satisfying conclusion. This was that battle. It took me literally hours for every round but it was absolutely worth it, and I think I’m right in saying that this is the best fleeting battle on this site. Having 15 writers posting virtually every day on a scale comparable to the Battle of Endor was something I was just so happy about.
  • The Game Master Threads. Full props to Irajah and Raziel for creating a great story taking people from Castameer to the Omega and letting people do their worst. Even better, people took the initiative and did exciting and bold things without being prompted.
  • Behaviour. There was not a single report for the whole event. Those small issues which came up were handled via PM or on the forum easily and without rancour (or rancors!). The behaviour of the members, especially dealing with NPC troops which are so easily pushed aside, was exemplary.
  • The PVP Thread. Though not directly involved I heard nothing but good things about this thread. Groups worked together and created great stories together.
  • Teamwork. Factions and members worked together. The planning maps for the First Order for the Fleeting were just the most visible manifestation of great member interaction.
  • Fairness. By and large people took hits appropriate for the situation. In fleeting battles this is always the trickiest part, and I applaud most writers for doing what was fair even when they didn’t need to. In the DM thread people acted with great foresight and fairness.
What Didn’t Work:
  • The Ground Battle. As the least attended of the four main threads the Rains of Castameer got something of the short end of the stick. I fully admit that having a game master and myself as the map updater created an extra layer of complexity. I also had not been able to properly test the rules set, leading to some irregularities. Finally, people were unsure what was a good number of casualties to take.
  • Unofficial Threads. This was a good idea, and it even worked well, but I was hoping for more. However, I lacked the ability to interact with them myself (with one exception). This worked well enough, but could have used more guidance.
  • The Daily Omega. A spur of the moment idea was unexpectedly popular and I lacked the time to carry through on it. Next time I will call upon someone whose sole job is to do a daily report on the IC going on of the event so even those not taking part can read along.
  • Map Confusion. Doing the map updates, especially in the crowded areas led to congestion and people moving to hexes already taken by another writer. This is unavoidable, but a solution next time is needed, one way or the other.
However, for everything that didn’t work there are lessons and ways to improve.
Lessons for Next Time:
  • Properly define the rules for all events, test them (where possible) and either directly oversee threads or entrust them to reliable people – don’t halfway house it.
  • Unofficial threads should have weight and have guidance available. Deputising people as GM substitutes is a good way to get people involved.
  • Keep the board as a whole up to date with the progress of the event and make it possible to get people involved at regular intervals.
  • Ensure event staff are properly prepared to face any questions members may have.
  • Keep the story simple, direct and easy to follow.
And so, in summary, the Omega Event was a great success I believe. It was what I consider a ‘mini-event’ in that it did not fundamentally reshape the galaxy or introduce a new plot arc. However, it was good experience for myself and the team and we will be looking to incorporate lessons learned here into the next event.
No exact timetable is set for the next event, but early 2017 is the tentative date.
So once again a big thank you to all those who participated. Look out later this week for a narrative in-character account of the Event and for my fleeting system post.