The Guild Sphere: Alpha Strike Force

It’s been a while since our last Guild feature, but I hope we can start it up again. Get in contact with us if you are interested in getting featured on our website. We have interviews all kinds of guilds in the pasts, big and small, so don’t hesitate to contact us. Today  Elrike the guildmaster of – Alpha Strike Force on the Jedi Covenant Server sat in the hot chair answering all our questions. Enjoy!

Where did your guilds name come from?

The guild was named Alpha Strike Force by our founder, ASF Zebra a retired NASA engineer and military veteran with tours of duty in Vietnam and Afghanistan. The selection of the name was influenced by his extensive military experience since an Alpha Strike Force represents an elite military unit. The name also fits well with the Star Wars mythos since Strike Force Alpha was an Imperial brigade during the Krantian Civil War..

Can you give me a quick 2-3 sentence description of your guild?

ASF is a casual, friendly guild, dedicated to providing a mature and active environment for its members. We’ve been running guild events since SWToR was released and have been helping out our members complete content that they wouldn’t have the opportunity to do so without a guild membership. At the same time, we ensure to be kind to our members’ real life schedules and priorities – an element that enabled ASF to be around for 14 years.

How did your guild come about?

The SWToR Division of Star Wars was officially registered as a guild on 1/6/2012 on the Axial Park server but we recently moved to the Jedi Covenant server. Its founders included Kryton, Karath and myself (Elrik). We were seeking to create a guild where people with real life schedules could play and still have fun without being considered hardcore. ASF as a team was founded by Zebra. The latter felt the desire to put together a club whereby all ages could come and participate without retribution. With the help of Osiris, BarnDog, Stallion, Python and Stoney and a few others, the Alpha Strike Force was created/started in April 1998.

 

The founding members of ASF’s SWToR guild shortly after the guild creation.
(Now that I think about it.. this probably the first time many of my guild mates have seen Elrik’s face!)

What kind of play style do you focus on? PvE, PvP, RP:

We primarily play PvE but don’t shy away from some occasional PvP. Let’s just say that we like visiting our Imperial friends on the other side every now and then!

What is your guild set up? How do you run your guild?

Although ASF has a ranked structure all decisions affecting the guild are taken with the input of our members. Very rarely you’ll see a single person making a decision impacting the rest of the guild. We run an anonymous survey every six months to benchmark where we stand in relation to our members’ needs. At the same time every couple of months, we also have a thread on our forums promoting open discussion among our members and we generally try to stay really close to what they need.

Part of our survey results from our 1Q survey. We like to keep a close eye on what our guildies want from their guild membership

How serious do you play and/or run the guild?

ASF is a casual guild that strives to have fun while playing SWToR in a friendly and mature environment. Our mission statement clearly highlights what our guild is all about. In a nutshell we like to go through content as a team, helping our members out and enjoying the game as a whole.

Even though the guild is casual, from a guildmasters’ / officers perspective there is nothing casual about performing the duties of one. In-game it requires helping members out with their missions, organizing events for the guild and making sure that members have fun while being part of it. Outside of the game it requires handling registrations, creating the guild newsletter, promoting the guild and ensuring the guild website is maintained. In summary – ASF is a casual guild with seriously dedicated leadership.

 

Relaxing after yet another event…
Elo’quent (healer extraordinaire) is going over the finer points of our operation

 

Do you have ranks or a certain hierarchy in your guild?

Yes – we have a ranked structure that’s explained in detail on our guild website. Our ranks are specifically tailored to help our members get the most out of their guild experience.

 

Why did you choose the Republic / the sith empire?

Initially ASF was a republic-only guild since we felt that it would be more beneficial if we focused primarily on one side instead of splitting up in two. More recently we expanded to the Imperial side as well in order to give our members the opportunity to access their legacy perks.

Why do you run a guild?

I just happened to be at the right place the right time! Seriously though, in the past I had been a member of other guilds that seemed more focused on going through content rather than taking care of their members. Burnout would come really fast and the guild would fall apart. I wanted to establish a guild with little-drama and requirements from its members.

How do you approach Raid Planning?

I asked ASF’s raid leaders to answer this question :

Helo – Very gently. I spend time running non-raid content with members who are set to run raids with us and try to understand their strengths. During the raid I try to place each member on a position that he/she’s going to be most effective in.

Azanol – I do my research before each operation to understand the fights and what’s required from the raid group. I look through all raid members’ gear and make suggestions as to how they can maximize their impact and… whiskey-lots of whiskey!

Ryder – The key is to know the fights. With all of the available video content on the web, I’m able to see the fights from different perspectives to get a good understanding and feel. It’s also important to now each classes strengths and weaknesses quickly come up with solutions when a particular strategy doesn’t quite work for us. Finally, patience!

ASF during its first operation – Eternity Vault

Are you always open for new recruits or do you want to keep a certain guild size?

We’re always open for new recruits and don’t have a minimum level or class requirement. We found that this policy tends to keep things always fresh and interesting from a friendly environment perspective.

Age Requirement?

We never had an age requirement but we do require our members to behave in a mature and respectful way to other guild members and members of the community. Our Code of Conduct clearly highlights what our expectations are.

 Guild size?

We currently have 130 members and we’re always expanding.

This was our roster on January 2012; going from 6 members to 130 took a lot of hard work from a lot of different people – especially ASF’s officers.

 

 What makes your guild stand out from everyone else? What makes your guild unique?

Three things – (1) Our dedication to our members, (2) our consistency  and (3) our history as a guild.

(1) ASF exists to cover its members’ needs. That’s why they joined it in the first place and that’s why they remain members of it. Our focus is how we can help our members have a good time with the guild not how we can become the best guild on the planet.

(2) ASF has been consistently an active guild. We’ve been consistently running guild events every weekend since January 2012. You can take a look at our ASF vs World Bosses and ASF operations video archives to get an idea of our events.

(3) ASF’s history: Not a lot of guilds can say that they have been around for 14 years. This fact is a testament to our members’ dedication and hard work to create a casual gaming environment.

What Other Games are you currently playing as a guild?

Our primary focus is SWToR and Battlefield 3 while some of our senior members are playing space combat simulators like Starlancer, Wing Commander and even X-Wing vs. Tie Fighter. If you look through the history of our guild (found on the middle section of our main page) you will see that we played a number of games in the past

If somebody is interested now how and where can they apply for membership?

Application is pretty easy and straightforward; Go to alphastrikeforce.net and click on Join ASF. You will be required to fill out a forum registration form and an admin will be contacting you shortly afterwards.

One last question, if there was one thing you could ask the Dev’s to include, what would it be?

Our raid leader, Ryder, would  like to see an in-game calendar, tradable loot for when the master looter makes a mistake, and opening up the game to add-ons. Add-ons will tie the community to the game.

Personally, I would like to achievements tied specifically to guild membership – a player would only get certain perks for being part of a guild. This would increase membership numbers for all guilds and help with the longevity of the game.