May 28

Interview: Advise to the New Recruits

As many people may or may not have noticed we have been receiving a large number of new members. Most of these members are either very new to online communities or new to role playing all together. The purpose of these interviews and their summary will be to educate the newbs on how Vast Empire runs, and the dos and don’ts. First I’d like to start off with a few Q and As from some of the members, so here we go.

Q: What would you suggest as a first action for new members to role playing?
A: The first thing all new members should do is post their quick little “hello” message on the Academy Board. Right after, and just as important is IRC. New members should get it if they don’t have it, and sign on. Get to know the members of the club.
A: Asking questions. That said, they need to know what questions to ask.  I can’t stress this enough and will keep going back to it, but we run this club as a military organization.  Knowing how that works, the structure, the rules, getting your character into that structure is key to succeeding in this club.  It helps you know who to go to for help, who your immediate comrades are, and where your place in the grand scheme of things is.  Knowing where things are and the gear, etc. will come to new members as time goes on, but they need to know who assistance they have and where their stay with the club may take them.

Q: Where should a new person go for information or help on the site, or who should he/she go to for help in their division?
A: There is a whole big manual and training/information site on the storm trooper corps web site. I found those two places very helpful when I first started out. I went through all the information to get myself familiar with how the Vast Empire works. I remember being pretty confused and baffled about how everything worked, seeing as it was quite different from any other group I had been in; Paychecks, a store, all that kind of stuff was new. If you are looking for a person to help you out, most members are willing to help you if you approach them nicely. Any major questions you have right at first are probably best answered by Cosmic (if you are in the army) seeing as he is the training officer. He should be able to get you off on a good start.
A: We compartmentalize things very easily for new troopers.  The main page has links to all the essentials: ComNet, CoCs, IRC help, links to the various divisions, as well as background of the club (key planets, etc.). Beyond that, Drill squad starts the process with Cosmic giving detailed instructions on how to get oriented in the club.  As far as regular questions go, I cannot stress the benefits of IRC enough go getting on-the-fly information and answers.

Q: After being placed in a squad what would you recommend as the first action or activity they should take part in?
A: Get On IRC and meet some of the members of your squad. Find out what’s going on in the squad; stories, gaming nights, competitions, etc. If there is a story going (which there usually is)  try to get involved as soon as possible. I find posting on the stories is one of the best ways to show activity, which is good for new recruits to do.
A: Getting your character in order.  What is their background and what are their goals? This helps in development the persona which will dictate how we interact with you.  It will also aid in how you make choices in the Corps. If you can’t role-play your character well, it is going to play false to the rest of us. Plus, it helps in getting your bio written so you can get out of Drill.

Q: What limits and rules that are not written down or commonly known should a new person know in order to survive in the VE?
A: think the most important thing to do is respect everyone. Some people have been in this club a looooong time and they aren’t going to appreciate a new recruit coming in with a lack of respect. So yeah, Respect is the way to go, that may be written down somewhere but I think it is the most important. Oh, and don’t be annoying.
A: Basic common decency and respect.  Coming into a club and acting like you own the place will not endear you to others.  You may have been in a dozen clubs at a high rank or are a coding guru; calm down, we’ll figure out how valuable you are without you boasting about it. Provide some links or relay a well-told history.  We ask you to start out like everyone else did. As for “hidden” rules, I believe the CoCs pretty clearly state what we expect of members.  Going back to the military organization concept; you are starting out as a private or crewman.  You ARE the bottom of the ladder. Misbehaving and ignoring/breaking the rules brings a heavy weight down on you quickly.  We are lenient, but not bothering to figure out the rules at all won’t buy you any empathy. That said, if there is something we don’t directly address, we should know about it and grow as a club.

Q: So, our new person has completely basic training and has written up their bio and is working for a promotion, what would you suggest be their first course of action?
A: Start posting on the stories. It is the most visible form of activity, along with getting on IRC. It’s going to take more than a couple of posts, but keep at it and you’ll get your little promotion eventually. Those things aren’t given out like candy here. You really got to deserve them.
A: First off, and most importantly, don’t go asking for a promotion. I’m serious here.  Asking only irritates those who have to approve the request. Beyond that, be consistent with your activity.  Write those weekly reports, log any games played on the BattleBoard, Participate / start a story, have your specialty picked out, be involved in the community in either ComNet or IRC, or both.  Be an asset to the Corps and let your SL know about it.

Now I am going to have to start becoming Army/Navy segregated. Since there is always the separation and almost secrecy between the two divisions the following questions might or might not pertain to you.

Q: As a person new to a flight, and after meeting your Flight Leader, what is the first thing suggested for a new Navy participant to do?
A: N/A
A: N/A

Q: You have just gotten out of drill and you have been assigned to a squad. You have met your Squad Leader and attended your first meeting, what should you do next?
A: Get involved in your squad. Play some games, post on the stories, get to know people.
A: Post on your squad’s Army board thread.  Introduce yourself to the rest of the squad.  Find out who updates the squad webpage and email your bio and details to them.  Get on IRC and see if there is a channel for the squad. Find out when the squad meeting is as well as what you can do to start getting involved.

Now I would like to talk about the do’s and don’ts of this online community. As most people know everybody has their little quirks and pet peeves, but knowing what your senior officers (Just about everybody at this point) will and won’t accept is a good thing. Otherwise you might wake up one day to find yourself banned and your character deleted.

Q: As you should know your three main honchos are Cosmic, Fury, and Japheth. Each has their own rules of dos and don’ts, so what are they?
A: Don’t forget Kadann and Talon. They do UNCOUNTABLE amount of things for VE. As for all their rules, as for what they expect… Each one of them demands respect, which is very reasonable. You’ll be on their good sides as long as you show respect and don’t ruin the fun for others.
A: My rules are pretty simple: be involved, work with your squad, and follow the chain of command.  If you can contribute, do it.  Don’t go solo, don’t go over your leader’s heads, don’t instigate revolts or try to bring people down over petty stuff. Your ego should not override the fun we are all trying to have here.

Q: Your squad leader or flight leader is your almost direct output to the higher ranks, and you need to get to know them. All your Squad Leaders have their own little set of rules and it’s good to know them. From your experience tell us what are the most common ground rules amongst Squad Leaders and Flight Leaders.
A: Send in your reports!
A: Be active and report it often.  If you need leave, take it, but let people know about it. Work with your squad mates to get missions done.

Q: You’ve just finished your first specialty story and you’re read for another, but your last one wasn’t that great. What are some writing tips that will really hit it off with the uppers?
A: Quality over Quantity. You want your posts to be about one page on word on average (although specialty stories are longer, I’d say at least two pages. Describe what your character is thinking and what is going on around him/her, this adds substance to the post and makes it more interesting to read. In specialty stories, having some unique NPC’s (Non Player Characters) such as a friend or instructor makes your posts more interesting.
A: Detail and continuity.  Be descriptive, but be accurate.  Do not remake Star Wars history; try to find out what happened when and what it affected.

Now you’re writing specialty stories and participating in your squads activities. You’ve been promoted and are working hard for your next one. You’ve gained the respect of your peers and officers and are speedily racing towards your goals. Now comes that day of truth, you’re ready to try to join the Dark Jedi Order.

Q: There are a few things required for joining the powerful Dark Jedi Order, and there are some things you might want to take into consideration. What would you suggest as the post number, post quality, and post length to get into the Dark Jedi Order?
A: I honestly don’t know too much about the Jedi Order. But What do know is they are big into writing, so short one page posts probably won’t cut it. You also need to be a good writer, even if you post a lot, if your post doesn’t meet the DJO’s standards, they won’t accept you. As for post count, seeing as you have to be active for at least (I think) 3 months, that can be a wide range of numbers, basically I’m saying I’m not sure, but don’t go by your comnet post count because that goes for all posts you made and I don’t think the DJO really cares what your favorite soft drink is.
A: Once again, there isn’t a threshold to being a good writer.  That said, posts that are based on working towards a goal with other members, that are “factual” to the environment we play in, and are descriptive and not just a two sentence blurb are the kind of work I expect the DJO to look for.

Q: You’re ready to send in your application, but you’re not sure whether or not it’s correct, or even long enough. What would be the suggested length of your application to the Dark Jedi Order?
A: No Clue. I guess make it as long as you have to, to impress them.
A: N/A

The extent of the author’s knowledge of the process ends with the Dark Jedi Order, and there for so does this interview. I hope that the readers of this have found this helpful and useful. I also hope that this can and will be used to teach and help future generations of new Troopers.

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