These are the values by which this organization operates. Please note upholding these is not mandatory, but directly going against them will result in the character being asked to leave the company for IC violations, or the player for OOC ones. If any of these are something either you as a player or your character can not or will not uphold, let me or an officer know so we can help find you a different guild.
Out of Character Values These relate to the players behind the keyboard, how we work together behind the scenes, what it means to play the game, and how we conduct ourselves with other players in the game.
1. We play the game to have fun. Somewhat obvious, but sometimes we forget to do this in the course of all the stories, roleplay, and frustrations we deal with every day. We all pay our subscriptions for a reason, and that's to enjoy a game with our friends. Universal Investigations is a guild created specifically for people to have friends and enjoy the game together. If someone isn't having fun, then we need to take some time to remedy that.
2. We are a roleplay guild. First and foremost, the fun we all want the most is to tell a good story with our characters. That is the purpose of Universal Investigations: to have fun with roleplaying. Yes, enjoying the content of the game, going on quests, PVE, and PVP are all things we have an interest in to some degree or another, but our *primary* type of fun is roleplaying.
3. Real life always wins. This is a game. If someone has to go afk to fix dinner, has a child that needs attention, or has to log out early for work, there is *never* any problem with doing this. We respect the fact that our players are real people, and their real life has a priority over game time, and that means our time together is transient at best. Nobody should feel bad for needing to take care of something away from the keyboard, and we want everyone to respect that.
4. We respect each other and all other players. No matter what our characters do or feel, we as players are a cut above the average player. We strive to take the high road whenever possible. We do not engage in flame wars. We do not pick needless fights. We do not use derogatory phrases or try to joke about sensitive topics. There is plenty of ways to laugh, let off some steam, or otherwise vent without resorting to gay jokes or making fun of people.
5. We contribute to the group as best we can. Whether it is helping out on an instance run, farming for costume pieces, or lending an ear to a guildmate who is dealing with a real life issue, we are there for our friends. We each have our strengths and weaknesses, though, and not everyone is going to contribute in the same ways. We respect our players' time and differences, and simply appreciate our guildmates being there to have fun with us.
6. We don't share drama. If there is a problem between players, they should try to take things to tells and work them out as the adults we all are. If someone feels uncomfortable doing this, then let an officer or me know, and we'll work things out with people without mentioning names. Guildchat, OOCUI, or public places are not acceptable forums for airing personal grievances. OOCUI is for having fun, sharing jokes, or organizing events.
7. We are storytellers. The focus of what we enjoy is telling a good story through roleplay. Each of us can contribute in various ways. Whether that is leading an epic story and organizing all the players, or just contributing to smaller interpersonal dramas, we all strive to tell a good story with our friends. Writing little vignettes or drawing character portraits are also great ways to contribute and make the world we are building come to life.
8. We are inclusive. We are not the only RP guild in SW:TOR, nor do we ever want to be. There are a variety of playstyles, stories, and characters out there, and we want as many of them to have a positive experience with us as possible. We strive to include non-guildies in our stories and events, and be a leader in the RP community.
9. We value our reputation. We have a very solid reputation as both great players and characters, and everything we do in game needs to continue to reflect that. When someone sees the Universal Investigations tag over a character's head, they should immediately know that character and player will be respectful, creative, and a lot of fun. Our reputation is very important, so we treat non-guildies with the same respect, discretion, and maturity as we treat ourselves.
10. We have a sense of humor. Whether it is a good fart joke, or giving a guildie a good-natured ribbing for that rather embarrassing mistell in guildchat, we love to laugh. Everything that is said should be taken first as the most positive light that it can be. We strive not to take things personally, and to be a good sport when people are having fun. Most of us play the game to de-stress from real life, so taking everything with a good nature and a smile is very important to us. When in doubt, treat it as funny and move on.
In Character Values These are the things our characters value, and what Universal Investigations stands for in the Republic. The company's leaders hold these values dear, and strive to pursue them at every opportunity. Other characters may or may not fall in line perfectly, but if they are to be successful in the organization, they should notoppose anything here. If they do, they may need to join another organization. That's not to say things can't be worked out. It is roleplay after all, and all characters can change, but these are the central IC tenets of what Rasos created, and you can expect him and the officers to hold every member to that standard at all times.
Universal Investigations is *not* a good choice for every character. We as players respect that, and there are no hard feelings if a character needs to move to another guild for story or RP reasons. The same is true if a character is asked to do so. UI is an in-character company, and everybody that is in it works for the company in some fashion or another. Alts are welcome to join if they also can fit into the guild's IC values. If they do not, then talk to an officer for a recommendation for another guild to place them in.
1. We are a private investigations company. We are not mercenaries. We do not have a military structure. We do not plot things for power or money. We solve problems for a living. This can be anything from rescuing a kidnapped pet to solving a mystery that could threaten the galaxy. This leaves us open to take on tasks other organizations may find beneath them. It also allows us to employ specialists, such as investigators, scholars, spies, and diplomats.
2. We value freedom. We share a common belief that everyone should have the opportunity to pursue life as they choose. We do not condone things such as forced slavery, conscriptions, kidnappings, blackmail, or mind-tricks that force people to do things against their will. This also means we respect the free choices of those around us, and if someone chooses to serve another as a servant or slave, that is fine. We value freedom for everyone, from the dockworker to the chancellor, and will intervene if a threat to that is imminent.
3. We uphold justice. We are not brigands or bandits. We do not steal, assassinate, or scheme. We strive to make the world a better place through honesty and fairness. There are times when the greater good may call for less-than-forthright actions, but we do not resort to such things unless the need is great. In the end, the good people of galaxy can count on us to do what is right and just.
4. We deal with others fairly. We do not provide a service without being able to complete our tasks. We treat our customers with respect and deference, and we treat all our associates and strangers with the same courtesy. We do not speak with dishonesty unless the greater good is at stake, and we treat every person we encounter with respect and dignity.
5. We will show courage and nobility in all things. We are not cowards, nor will we stand for threats against any of us. We will draw our blasters when needed, and we will do our best to defend that which we hold dear: our family and our values. We will engage our enemies with both courage and cunning, and we will be vigilant in our pursuits until the threat or job is done. We will not, however, be drawn into needless acts of violence. We will not be tricked into fights with mere insults.
6. We are together as a family. All members of the company are more than friends. We risk our lives and futures together, and we live or die by the trust we have for each other. We are dedicated to each other in a common purpose. Though at times we may disagree or argue amongst ourselves, no outsider dare threaten one of us without all of us standing at their side. We bleed the same blood as we share the same values, and none can shake our dedication, love, or respect we share for one another.
This is what it means to me to be part of this family, both in character and out of character. The numbered listing for the IC section is posted IC in the UI database, so your characters should already be assumed to know this now.
With a lot of new arrivals coming in, and with some question as to what actions are within the spirit of our values and which actions to avoid, we're putting down specific rules and guidelines to help everyone stay on the same page.
Rules are dealt with by issuing a warning for the first violation (done in private). The second violation is the player returning to trial status. Third violation is the removal of the player and all alts from the guild.
Out of Character Communications
Guildchat is by default in character and represents using a privately encrypted communications channel. The seperate chat channel of OOCUI is used for player communication. Mistakenly posting OOC information in Guildchat and IC information in OOCUI happens, but shouldn't become a habit. The following rules are for any obvious Out of Character comments or discussions.
1. There will be no discussion of Politics.
Nothing starts a flamewar quite like politics, and nobody can raise this topic without there being problems from somebody. If you wish to debate, please take it to tells or a group. Inadvertent or accidental drifts into political discussions will be dealt with by reminding people about this rule with no formal warning required. Intentional discussion of politics will be subject to formal action.
2. There will be no discussion of real-life Religion.
Again this is a flame-inducing subject and will be handled the same way as political discussions.
3. There will be no racial, sexual, sexual orientation, or ethnic disparagement of any kind.
Nobody needs to feel insulted by things they have no control over, and such comments, even jokes, are not permitted.
4. There will be no personal attacks.
If there is a problem with someone, please take it to tells or talk to an officer for help. If something is said in anger publicly, they need to apologize in public as well and deal with the issues privately.
5. Requests for personal information, including gender, age, location, physical attributes, or other personally identifiable information are not permitted.
If someone volunteers this information, that is the player's prerogative, but nobody is to ask about the players personal life. We are roleplayers and gamers, and as such, who is behind the keyboard is immaterial, and many do not feel comfortable being confronted for information they deem private. This rule extends to any form of communication, including tells, group, forums, or vent.
6. Bragging is discouraged
It's good that a character or player is doing well in a game, but not everyone has the time or inclinations to down epic bosses or gain elite items in record time. If validation of your gametime is that important, send tells to those who might be genuinely interested in your accomplishments, such as group members with which you earned it. Announcing 'DING' every level or linking the latest gear is spamming at best and discouraging to casual members at worst. Keep OOCUI free for more important topics.
7. Keep the discussions civil and mature
Joking around is fine, but long discussions about spanking each other or other areas is not a good idea. Remember, we have players from all walks of life. If it's not something that you'd talk about in a busy restaurant, probably best to save it for a private discussion.
Communications with Non-Guild Players
We often work and play with other guilds and players, and as such, player to player discussions held outside of guildchat represent Universal Investigations to others. The following rules are for how we engage with non-members.
1. Harassment of any kind is not permitted.
If someone says no to a request, or feels they are being pressured by someone in our guild, the talk needs to end or change immediately. We do not want to make others feel uncomfortable or harassed in talking with anyone from our guild.
2. Excessive complaining about non-guild members in public or guild channels is not permitted.
We all have bad experiences with other players, whether someone is perpetually griefing us in a cantina, kill-stealing in instances, or cheating in PVP. One or two comments to let off steam might be ok, but going on a rant about anyone only makes you look bad. Word also tends to get out about bad-mouthing and we do not want the reputation of being sore losers in PVP or trolls about game instances or griefing in RP. If a situation with someone is that bad, do something else or take a break.
Grouping with those within our guild and without is a great way to explore the game, but we must do so in a civilized manner. The following rules are in effect for guild groups or working with other groups.
1. Making demands for grouping, items, or favors is not permitted.
Nobody owes game time or items to anyone else, therefore making threats or getting angry because someone won't group with us or made a need roll on something we wanted is not going to help. Apologize if things got heated.
2. The looting rules for Guild groups is as follows:
Roll "need" ONLY for items that are direct upgrades for the character in the group (not an alt). This includes crafting items and recipes.
If you don't know if the item is for you, consult the following:
Look at the stats. If the stats don't match your class in the above chart, it's not for you. It's that simple. If you're a Knight and there's not strength stat on the item, roll greed on it every time.
If the item is not for your class, is not an upgrade, is for an alt, or for roleplay gear, roll "greed".
If you have no interest in the item, please chose pass.
All members in the group will accept the rolls without belligerency. If there is a dispute or someone clicked need instead of greed, the group leader will resolve the issue. If they are one of the interested parties, a guild officer can be used to mediate the dispute. If someone chose need by accident, they should give the item to the highest-rolling greed player. If this is not possible, they should work out a way to compensate that player for the item.
3. People are free to leave a group at any time and for any reason.
Real life always comes first, and that means even if the player is just tired and wants a break, they are free to do so without consequence. It is good manners to stay with a group until all members have finished their objectives, but this is a recommendation, not a rule. Getting belligerent at another group member for leaving is not permitted.
This is the banter that usually happens in the club or during events. Characters are free to discuss and do anything they wish during these interactions with the following exceptions.
1. No overt sexual activity is permitted.
We are not a cyber guild and ERP is for private instances only. We do not want to get the reputation of being an ERP guild and characters should roleplay that accordingly. If you wouldn't do it in public, please don't do it in character.
2. No IC bullying or provocations.
Universal Investigations is a problem-solving company and as the values suggest, we are not ones to start fights or create IC drama. It's quite alright to react to belligerency, but it is out of character for any UI member to start fights. If that is something a character likes to do and the player wants to do this kind of RP, another guild would be more appropriate.
3. No ruining or disrupting publicly advertised events.
If the guild or another group publicly advertises an event, the event hosts have a right to expect the event to go smoothly. No IC actions on our part should disrupt or ruin the event in question. If there is a need for such RP, take it elsewhere as to not make a scene or make the event seen as ruined by others. Events are what attract new roleplayers to the community and should be allowed to proceed peacefully as the hosts intend.
There are times when characters have disagreements or open hostility with others. We abide by the ideals of fairness and being respectful losers when appropriate.
1. No metagaming permitted.
Characters are expected to be played in a realistic and believable manner. If a character is surrounded and outmatched, the character will not resort to game mechanics or unreasonable characteristics to suddenly 'win' or get out of the situation. There is no shame in having a character get beat up, abused, or left for dead, as losing is only part of a story. If your character is not shown as displaying weapons, they are unarmed. (no, that lightsaber did *not* come out of your underwear, sorry)
2. No character in Universal Investigations is invincible.
By 'invincible' it is meant that no force could possibly end that character's existance or do lasting harm to them. Play as if your character *could* die. Granted, nobody can force you to permadeath your character without your permission, but that does not give your character the knowledge of that. They should believe at all times that a dagger to their throat *will* kill them if the wielder wants to do it.
3. No character has abilities beyond reason.
All characters are considered equals when facing each other in combat, as long as both are fully armed. Even Jedi can get unlucky and shot by a trooper. At no time should a player believe that their character has the ability to win a one on one fight outright. IC a delusional or cocky character can believe this, but the player should always remember that this isn't the case and be prepared to have his/her character learn the hard way.
4. Play the scene as is.
Do not wait for people to arrive to help you, as that is unrealistic. Do not ask to have actions taken back or for things to be erased. Do not request help in guildchat or tells, or make convenient excuses as to why new people show up to aid. There is no retconning in our roleplay. Do not needlessly delay the action or go AFK until matters are resolved. If you are outmatched, accept it and play the character appropriately.
5. No player may force another's character to die or be seriously injured without the player's permission.
We do not permadeath anyone, nor do we put players into positions where their characters will be irrevocably damaged. Our control of RP ends where our characters do. The rest is voluntary cooperation on all parties. This also means no member can be forced to accept permadeath or changes to their character by anyone else. Players have a right to have their characters under their own control and be free to act as they deem reasonable.
6. Players on all sides must agree to combat resolution.
If a fight breaks out, put a time-out on it and talk to the other players involved. Come to an agreement as to how the conflict will be resolved. If it is a one-sided fight, discuss the results for the losing party so the player can accept the consequences in advance. If a fight is to be resolved by in-game PVP, all parties will keep the gear they had on during the encounter and head outside or a location that allows duels to resolve the matter. Guild members are expected to honor the outcome, win or lose. If you do not want to participate in the combat, work out with the other party a realistic escape or exit.
These are items that do not fall neatly into the previous rules.
1. There is no pressure to have another character donate items, resources, or time to another.
If someone doesn't want to help, accept it and move on. Public ridicule or denouncing them in guildchat is not permitted.
2. Characters will not outright violate the in-character guild values.
Open assassination, threatening people needlessly, and other such acts are in direct contrast to what Universal Investigations is about. If that is the kind of behavior a character would do, then that character needs to be in another guild. Simply put, Rasos would fire someone who threatens people constantly or starts needless fights.
3. Players will play their characters as if NPC's were real whenever possible.
Play as if the NPC's that *should* be in any location can act and will if actions would provoke them. Just because the game can't react doesn't mean that, in the context of a scene, those NPC's don't exist. Security will arrest murderers. Beating up people or making threats in public will get that character arrested or chased by angry mobs. Other guilds or players may take liberties with this sort of thing, but we do not.
4. Players will not overtly turn the spotlight on their characters at the expense of another.
This means if someone is poisoned and they are acting their scene with everyone trying to heal them, all other characters should let that spotlight stay on that character for the scene. No other character should suddenly get shot or go into a long monologue about how their character is this or that. We all want our moments in the spotlight, so do not overshadow someone else's opportunity. If you wish to have a story or scene about your character, that's encouraged and contact a guild officer to arrange it.
These are suggestions on how to get the most fun out of the experience in Universal Investigations and the game in general.
1. Be civil.
It goes without saying that manners make a difference, and that's very true in a game like this. Since the nuance of speech is missing, phrasing and how things are typed become very important. If you find yourself in a bad mood or just want to be left alone, soloing is perfectly fine and a much better alternative than letting chatter get under your skin. Logout if you get too angry, or talk to a guild officer to let off some steam. That's what we're here for.
2. Once in group, stay in group.
Groups are put together for a specific purpose, so if you start or are invited to a group, stick with it until everyone gets what they want from it. You'll gain the reputation of being helpful and people will ask you to return for more, or join your own group when you need it.
3. Volunteer to help others.
If someone is stuck on a quest, or needs people for an instance, jump in and help out if you can. Nothing builds camaraderie and friendship more than helping someone else. You'll find others more likely to help you later on when you need it.
4. Don't take it personally.
If people are not helping you as you feel they should, or seem to ignore your roleplay when it comes up, try to not take it as a personal affront. Humans are selfish creatures by nature, and often don't see when they are neglecting others. If you want help, ask in guildchat for it. If you want more roleplay, arrange a scene or story for your character and get help from an officer to set it up. You do not have to stay silent when your feelings are hurt, and resentment grows stronger if you stay quiet. Try not to blame any particular person, though, but work to make your own experience with the group better. If someone is personally attacking you, let a guild officer know and we'll handle it for you anonymously.
5. Get involved!
The guild is an empty shell by default. What we get out of it is directly proportional to what each member puts into it. As much as the officers try to make things fun for everyone, we are unable to give everyone individual attention for long, nor are we able to create storylines and events by ourselves. We need your help to make Universal Investigations fun for everyone. If you feel like people aren't helpful or you get the urge to roleplay and nobody is making a story, take the initiative and create something. Work with a guild officer to put a storyline together or an event. Don't make your membership a one-sided experience, contribute to it!
6. Use the Forums and Calendar.
The forums are a great way to get stories, events, and information out to everyone who plays. All of our members are not on at the same time, and many work odd hours or are from different time zones. If you want to schedule an instance run or an event, please post it on the calendar in advance so everyone will know it's coming.
Please note that the calendar can accept events occurring at the same time. Please do not schedule something that is in conflict with an already existing event. Roleplay events always take priority over anything else we do, so please watch those blue-colored calendar events and work around them.
7. Remember to have fun.
It is a game. If you're not having fun for whatever reason, you're doing it wrong. Find a quest to do, or roll an alt, or take up crafting. Find something new to try or other roleplayers to mingle with. The game time you have should be pleasant for the most part. If it is not, let an officer know and we'll come up with some ideas for you. If all else fails, take a break and do something else for a while. There is no consequence for taking a break and we'll be happy when you come back.
This is the stuff on how we operate the guild and how we do things as officers.
1. Guild removal requires two or more officers to consent to it.
Violating a rule or pissing off an officer are not grounds for removal of any character. To prevent hot-headed removals, two or more officers have to agree to the removal before it happens.
2. Prospects are brought in both IC and OOC:
First, the prospect is told to read the guild values, and if they like what they see, talk to an officer for an interview.
The character should roleplay their way into being hired. A forum account is still asked for, and membership requirements agreed to before hand. If the character is a good fit and the player is as well, the character starts a two week trial.
3. The following are the rules for membership:
The player must be 21 or older.
The player must read and agree to the guild values.
The player is allowed to have alts in other guilds, and can have as many alts with us as they wish, as long as they match the IC guild values as well.
The new member must pass a two week trial. The criteria for passing is simple: does the character and player get along with everyone else. If the player is happy with the group, they stay on. If they are not, or the officers feel they are not a good fit, they leave the guild with no hard feelings either way. We are not for every player or character, after all.
4. Rasos is the guild leader.
I write the rules, settle disputes, create events, and make arrangements with other guilds and entities. There will never be additional guild leaders, nor voting, councils, or other such distractions and drama creators. I run the guild as a benevolent dictatorship, with everyone's happiness and fun as my top priority.
Insulting a guild leader is fine (and seems to be a running gag half the damn time). I am not so egotistical as to believe I am superior to anyone else as a player. I have no real-life authority and no club to beat players if they make me mad. I'm also only human and make mistakes like everyone else.
5. Officers are guild officers IC and OOC.
Officers have a vested interest in keeping the guild fun and growing. They recruit new players, host events, settle disputes, and help players as needed. They also can add their voice to discipline and if two or more of them agree a guild member should be disciplined, they don't need my permission to do so.
Officers are there to help keep things civil. It is requested that all members settle their disputes directly with each other or at least make this attempt *before* engaging any officers.
We *may* add more officers if they are needed. The criteria for officership is simple: you have to be an active member for at least three months, demonstrate clear leadership and service, and gained the trust to enforce the rules fairly. If a new officer is needed, they will be contacted privately. Officers from previous games will be considered first.
6. We are always open for new applicants.
We may not advertise for certain stretches of time to let new players become ingrained in our family, but if someone wants to apply for membership, we will consider them as we always do. If you're out grouping with someone and you feel they might be a good guildmate, have them come to the website and apply, or ask an officer to speak with them.
Please note we will not even discuss membership with anyone who is already guilded with someone else. We do not poach from other guilds. The person must break with their own guild without any promises they will have a spot with us first before they will be considered. We also ask applicants who left other roleplay guilds to clear joining us with their old guild leader to prevent any inter-guild drama.
7. We are together to have fun.
The bottom line to this long-winded post is that we are a group of friends who share the same culture and values who are out to have fun. Universal Investigations is all about telling a good story, grouping and playing the game, and enjoying our free time together. The guild and game are passtimes, and as such, are second fiddle to anything in real life. Members are free to leave the game and come back a year from now if they want. For me, at least, I just enjoy being with all of you and helped to make this work so I could have a good time when I play.
Having all of you as friends is my privilege and my reason for doing this. Thank you for being part of the Universal Investigations family. If there are any questions, comments, or concerns, please let me or an officer know and we'll work with you.