Sunday, August 03, 2003, 3:30:51 AM (ScreenShot520)
Two days after my visit to Purgatory, I found myself standing on a tiny island on Dantooine with Ciale and Junon. I’m really not sure exactly how this all came to reality to be honest. The plan from the start, was to be the first PA on Lok. When that became impossible, somehow, Lok was replaced by Dantooine. I actually saw this coming, as Ciale was really drawn to Dantooine ever since we first hit the planet to tame Frenzied Grauls and look for NPC Force Sensitives. He had the PA Hall, he was dying to place it, and when I arrived him and Junon had already found the location. The island was so small, that it only had room for a PA Hall, and nothing else, not even a small harvester.
Personally, I was excited. Even though the plan had changed, a “home away from Lok” seemed like an interesting idea, especially on Dantooine, a practically abandoned planet that I didn’t know too much about. I’m not sure exactly who paid for the PA Hall itself, obviously it was in Ciales hands, but there’s no way that Rampage didn’t pay for at least half of it. I’m sure Zox and I offered to throw in cash, but Ramp could afford to buy the thing by himself, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he did. I assumed that him and Ciale had agreed on Dantooine, and this specific location, and since Ciale was about to place the thing, I didn’t even ask where Rampage was…
Sunday, August 03, 2003, 3:32:05 AM (ScreenShot526)
In a rare prearranged screenshot, pets lined up around us, Ciale, Junon and I stood on the front steps of our newly erected PA Hall for the first time. Not only that, but we also now wore the badge of <HHT> – Hunters, Harvesters & Tamers. The guild started with just the three of us that day. Zox and Rampage were not online, so along with Kastore (the only Imperial), they’d have to be guilded at a later time. Junon was the only “non beta” person that was allowed to join. The PA would remain small, and exclusive, until its eventual demise. This was a Rampage imposed rule set. He was very adamant on it being practically impossible for outsiders to join.
The concept was simple. If you needed any kind of particular creature resource, if you needed a specific pet, or if you wanted a paid escort to any location imaginable to do any of those things, we were available for hire. We advertised on the forums, and in game, and we quickly had our share of orders. The earned credits would be deposited into the PA Hall. This business was especially lucrative at the time. All you needed was Novice CH, and you could control any pet in the game. You could not tame them yourself, so someone would have to acquire them, and trade them to you. We provided this service for a reasonable price. Tons of PVPers were picking up novice CH, just to have an uber pet to help tip the fights in their favor… and the PVEers, and even the crafters, loved having a high end tank.
As far as the hunts, which we referred to as “Galactic Safaris,” there were only a handful that I knew of. Once a week, at a specified time, we would run a hunt. The destination was left up to the clients. The requests were usually along the lines of finding, and taming them a rare pet. The hunts would take hours, and payment varied… but it was not cheap at all. The team was any combination of the following:
Rampage – Pistols/CH
Vroflus – Pistols/CH
Ciale – TKM/CH
Zox – BH/CH
Junon – Pistols/CH
Kastore – Rifles/Doctor
If a hunt was easy enough, just one of us would take the client. If all they wanted was a Rancor, then why take a big group when just about any one of us could do it ourselves. If the request was for a rare pet, then we’d have to hit the planet as a group, and fan out until we found it. If the request was for a creature resource, then we’d all go together, and farm that creature, giving all the harvested resources to the client. It was an interesting concept, it was fun to show people around the galaxy, and it was easy money for the PA.
Sunday, August 03, 2003, 3:32:05 AM (ScreenShot528)
As far as the PA Hall itself goes, Ciale had a surprise for me. He knew that I would much rather be on Lok then anywhere else, so he went through the trouble of producing a Bio-Engineered Kimogila for the main room. It was hands down the coolest gift ever, especially considering that this was possibly the first BE’d Kimo on Eclipse. I didn’t even know it was possible for BE’s to make a Kimo, so when I saw it I was shocked. It was a really cool gesture by Ciale, especially considering he knew I was torn between <COL> & <HHT>.
One person who was not torn on the subject was Rampage Savage. And when he logged on, and the guild had been created without him, he clearly felt left out of the process that he himself cared about the most. Ramp was the type of guy that let you know right away when he was unhappy with something, and he was incredibly unhappy with us placing the guild hall without him, and more specifically, that Junon was guilded before him. Not that he didn’t like Junon, but it was just the idea that this whole thing was started by the bata crew, so Junon not being “one of us” pissed Rampage off.
To be fair, I wasn’t arguing with the guy. I understood his stance. He felt left out, and imo it was a legitimate thing to feel after all we did together. His feelings for Junon were also understandable… even though Junon was a rl friend of mine, Ramp met him a couple weeks into launch, but our plans went back to beta. If someone got guilded before me, I’d be annoyed too. I probably wouldn’t say anything, but I wouldn’t hold it against anyone that would. Bottom line, Ramp was pissed, and he let everyone know. The first days of <HHT> were uncomfortable, but once we finally guilded Zox (always good for comic relief), things calmed for a second or two… then they got tense again when we guilded Kastore because Ramp didn’t like the idea of being guilded with Imperials.
As far as guilding people, personally, I wanted to bring in anyone that I knew as long as I could trust them. Everyone was pretty much on the same page, except for Rampage. In the end, Ramp won out. We would never have more then around 8 guys in <HHT>. 6 years later, I still wonder what “could have been” if we won the argument and invited whoever we wanted to into the PA. Would it have blown up into a mega guild? Would we have had a huge PRC? The fact was, we all knew Ramp would’ve walked if we would’ve started bringing people in who he didn’t approve of, and faced with that choice, we chose not to test Ramps resolve on the subject. Keeping everyone happy was more important to us then the possibility of any of us leaving… even if it meant being super selective and elitist by my personal standards.
Sunday, August 03, 2003, 4:36:23 PM (ScreenShot529)
Later that day, Junon and I hit Tatooine to finish up Jabbas Themepark. A very early rumor had been surfacing that force sensitivity may revolve around badge collecting, so we figured “why not,” and kept doing the Themeparks that we knew of. By this time I was a Master CH & Master Pistoleer, so I was finally able to kick back a little and just enjoy the “content,” or as I would soon find out, the lack there of. I soon learned that in those days, you had to make your own content. Most players realized the same thing, and community events were soon a weekly thing on most servers.
An interesting side note, my pants and jacket were both looted by two different mobs within 5 minutes of one another. A little while later I’d end up looting a “warm hat” that matched the outfit as well. I always found it strange that those things all dropped within a half hour of one another.
Sunday, August 03, 2003, 11:41:50 PM (ScreenShot0532)
Master CH/Pistols was a strong PVE template indeed. I would routinely be able to attack 5 mobs at once, using 3 pets, a droid, and myself to pour on the damage. The pets wouldn’t really do much other then keep the mob occupied, and I would just pick a target and burn it down with Pistoleer specials, and then move onto the next target. I’d usually pick the target with the least amount of health, and as my pets targets would drop, I’d send that pet to help the other pets. The real big help was the fact that I had about half of the Medic tree as well, so I was always able to keep myself and the pets healed during the fight. Eventually we’d have to rest to replenish our mind bars, so I’d end up throwing up a camp and finally spend some downtime.
Sunday, August 03, 2003, 1:03:54 PM (ScreenShot0543)
Hours later, sitting alone in my camp, guild related events my mind, I was pretty much trying to figure out how to pass the time. As I stood up, off in the distance, I saw it… a Krayt Dragon. I had never seen one before, but I heard that they were a lot harder to fight then Kimos, so this was defiantly something I needed to try. As I began to run over, and I started to send out /tells to my guild and Flo & Ali. I figured I was going to need a lot of help, and since most of my friends were doing Jabbs Themepark, they were all pretty close by.
Sunday, August 03, 2003, 1:20:41 PM (ScreenShot0544)
The first person to answer the call was Ciale. As soon as he showed up, we grouped, pulled out the pets, and dove in head first. Turns out this was a “Juvenile Canyon Krayt Dragon,” so it wasn’t as hard as I thought. That said, it was about as hard as a regular Kimo, so I could only imagine how hard a big time Krayt would be. It was pretty much overkill, especially considering that Ciale was a TKM and at the time, and they could KD gigantic dragons (grats on ridiculous code SOE). But that first dragon would soon have its revenge…
Sunday, August 03, 2003, 1:34:35 PM (ScreenShot0548)
As soon as the first Krayt keeled over, another 4 dropspawned right on top of us. Again it was overkill, but not in our favor. Ciale had one of them warp on top of him, and he ended up getting DB’d not long into the battle. From there, one at a time, our pets were incapped. I wanted to run, but one of the Krayts was almost dead, so I went against my gut, and stayed in the fight. My droid quickly exploded into 20 pieces, and from there it was just me. I started to run away, but I had already used my burstrun, and I knew that there was no way out of this one. I was soon DB’d along with Ciale… the only redeeming factor was that the dragon that we were concentrating on had some bleeds on it, and it died after the fight was over. Too little too late though…
Sunday, August 03, 2003, 2:22:29 PM (ScreenShot0556)
I learned something that night. When you called your friends, and told them you found Krayts, they dropped what they were doing, and they came your way. Flo and Ali showed up with the quickness, and they brought some of their new <COL> guildmates with them. We had half of <HHT> there as well, and our combined group joined together to pull a ridiculous amount of gargantuan pets. Intraguild hunting team 1, Krayts 0. We stormed the Krayts with wreckless abandon, and completely pummeled them all together. When there were no more Krayts, we mowed our way across Tatooine until we hit Bestine, and held it for a good half hour before they fought back in force.
This spur of the moment group reinforced the idea in my mind that <HHT> & <COL> should just merge. Everyone was cool, we all pretty much hung out anyway, and the guys we didn’t know ended up being our close friends regardless via Flo & Ali. The topic of the merge would come up again after this night, and again Ramp would shoot it down. It was starting to get on my nerves a little, but I kept it to myself. What I did notice is that I was not the only one who thought a merge was in order. Ciale was starting to sing the same tune, and if both of us pushed hard enough, Ramp would have to relent. Considering that Zox, Junon and Kastore were pretty impartial, the real decision came down to me, Ramp and Ciale. I wasn’t going to give an ultimatum against Ramp, and have Ciale put in the middle… but if Ciale was naturally asking the same questions I was, then that was something else.
This issue would soon sort itself out, in the most inconceivable of ways.