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Brace for Collision

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Elaeis:
Esteemed pilots of Begeren Colony,

As we wind down the final days of our humble server and enter a new era of SWTOR, I felt it prudent to address the coming merger in regards to GSF as well as express my gratitude for being part of the unique community of pilots that once prospered here.   
 
Back in Begeren Colony's heyday many players in our GSF community abided by a code of conduct meant to help foster an environment that encouraged fairness, respect for one's opponent, and graciousness in winning or losing. In other words: sportsmanship.  As GSF matured it became evident to most of us that the growing disparity between veteran and novice players was becoming detrimental to the long term health of our game.  In an effort to sustain morale and encourage new players we discouraged overly aggressive players from 3-capping or harassing the enemy's spawn whenever it became obvious the opposing team was too inexperienced and too overwhelmed to defend themselves.

For a long time these unofficial rules became a mainstay for GSF on our server.  While there were pockets of players on other servers like Ebon Hawk that sometimes observed them I think it gained the most traction here on Begeren.  It distinguished our server from larger, notoriously cutthroat servers like Harbinger and The Red Eclipse.  As GSF stagnated from over 3 years of Dev neglect its popularity here gradually declined leaving what remained of its beleaguered community with little choice but to move to more populated servers, thus marking the end of the age of chivalry on Begeren. 

With the “United Forces” server merge just days away and Patch 5.5's long overdue overhaul to GSF finally in effect I admit I have mixed feelings of both excitement and wariness for what looms for us on the horizon.  I think most of us know the notoriety of Harbinger, but for those who have never flown there before prepare yourself for a culture shock.  While I am certainly looking forward to a substantially healthier queue with frequent pops day and night I also know that the newly formed Satele Shan server will be home to some of the absolute best and absolute worst the GSF community has to offer.  The matches there are going to be far more intense, challenging and far less forgiving than what anyone from Begeren may be used to:  highly skilled veterans, premades coordinating through voice, notoriously ruthless guilds, elitist trolls, more 12 vs. 12 matches in one day than folks from Begeren have seen in the past 2 years combined.  If I were to hazard a guess I would say that roughly 60% of the new server will be comprised of players from Harbinger with 30% from Begeren and around 10% from Bastion.  Unfortunately for us Begeren Colonists we are going to be the minority going in to our new home and I can't help but wonder how the community from Harbinger will receive us. 

Regardless, I remain cautiously optimistic about the server merge and look forward to the fun and challenge that lay ahead.  At the very least it will be interesting to be reunited with some familiar names who used to fly on Begeren.  The bygone era of fair play and sportsmanship that once existed on Begeren may be over but I will always respect those players who valued its importance. 
   

Hope to see you all in the skies.                   
 

Iaera:
I've loved GSF ever since it was released. I expected a gimmicky mini-expansion that would serve as little more than a novelty to occasionally waste time with a la the original space missions, and instead what I got was an incredibly deep, intricate, and well-designed game that could have stood on its own as a standalone video game. I haven't played GSF much lately for several reasons, chief among them time (Tuesdays generally being my only free night anymore, which are dedicated to RP), but I still consider myself a GSF player even if I've only done about 3 matches in the past 6 months.

I greatly appreciate the community for it that developed on BC, with a lot of cool people just in it to have fun and enjoy some Star Wars. I'm glad we have folks like @Elaeis and @Niarra representing BC's aces. The new community will be... interesting. The more frequent pops will certainly be welcome on the occasions I do have time to play.

All that said, I won't shed any tears for the loss of the "no 3-cap" rule -- I've always thought it was condescending and only did more harm than good (in my experience, it's much harder to take one of two sats being turtled by gunships and bombers than it is to contest two of three sats being controlled by a team that is forced to be more reactive and mobile from trying to cover all three sats at once). I'll be interested to see how the new community trends shake out. Though I still haven't tried the new changes much, so I don't know how that's going to affect things either!

TrickyNick87:
I made an effort to start doing GSF more starting at the beginning of this calendar year.  I'm very disappointed with the minimal progress I made developing my skills in this area of gameplay.  I attribute this largely to the infrequent queues, which never allowed me the opportunity to play with ship builds and crew and tactics to get a feel for all ship capabilities and weaknesses and fall into my "groove."  I regret that the influx of players from Harby and Bastion might be the final straw that sees me stop queueing for GSF for good.

We'll see.

Big shout out to @Iaera and @Niarra though for their patient instruction and the epic materials they've put together to try and teach newcomers to GSF.

Elaeis:
I'm not sure I deserve it but I appreciate and thank you for the accolade, @Iaera, especially considering your own merit as one of BC's premier pilots.  We belonged to BC's 1st generation of pilots, which gave us considerably more time to hone our skills back when the queue wasn't on the Endangered Species List.

The "Unwritten Rules" have always been a friction point between people with opposing play styles.  I value player autonomy but I also knew that Begeren's shrinking GSF population wasn't doing itself any favors by continuously slaughtering newcomers to the game. My concern for keeping the queue healthy and alive is what motivated me to fly with a measure of discretion and restraint whenever facing a team of doomed 2-shippers.  However, whenever I felt it necessary to invoke the Unwritten Rules I always made sure to do it in the form of a suggestion or request and not a flagrant demand.  I always thought it silly for anybody to think they have authority to command anybody else during any kind of open PVP match.  Most of us will simply take what somebody says under consideration and either agree or disagree.  Anyhow, now that we're being merged with Harbinger (and possibly the dozen or so holdouts that comprise whatever is left of Bastion) the safety mittens can finally come off.       

Personally, I think the new changes are awesome.  The new patch has completely altered the landscape across all servers and it is evident that the Devs based a lot of these changes on player feedback.  On Harbinger and TRE, where a saturation of bombers and gunships were the norm, their dominance has been diminished by the rise of the strike fighter.  What I've seen happening is that strike fighters and their wide range of load-outs have made them significantly more effective against T2 scouts, gunships and bombers which has consequently brought more dog fighting back to the game.  Overall there is more movement and variety happening  which I find a welcome and refreshing change.  I think most of these changes have been positively received on the forums, but I haven't bothered to check in the last two or three weeks.  The newly updated Proton Torpedo has been a hot topic which is funny for me considering that lumbering missile system happened to be a mainstay on Elaeis's Pike.  As an ardent Pike/Quell pilot all these years I find my once heavily ridiculed missile boat to be suddenly back in vogue.   

@Nicohlas, I do hope you'll find the server merge a positive experience.  With the amount of CXP given for GSF and the time it takes to master a ship cut in half it won't take long for people to build up their ships and take them for a spin.  There are definitely going to be some frustrating matches against notorious GSF guilds like Shadowlands Reconnaissance Wing (SRW), but I think there will also be plenty of times throughout the week where there are going to be some nicely balanced matches between folks of all skill levels.





 
 

Iaera:
Glad to hear the changes seem to be working out well! While I'm a NovaDive pilot at heart, I always liked the Pike too, and it's good to see that the interceptor role seems to be taking shape. Gunships and the engagement limitations of proton torpedoes made it a hard playstyle to make work sometimes. I'm really interested in trying some of the new possibilities with strike fighters!

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