History of TNR: Perspective of Zombieoov, ex-leader of TNR

History of TNR

From the perspective of Zombieoov, ex-leader of TNR

 

DISCLAIMER – This is through my point of view and not of anyone else’s. I cannot tell you what anyone else think and it isn’t my place to make assumptions on anyone else’s behalf. Also bear in mind that I don’t care for grammar as it was a lot to write. Maybe eventually I’ll fix all that but I rather get my story out first.

 

The Birth of a Game

 

It hasn’t even been a year since this game came out yet I still felt like it has been around forever. I remember seeing this game advertised on the Play Store with a fat pre-register button. At the time I was playing another game but I was looking for a character collecting game to bury my free time on my commutes to and from home. I couldn’t tell what sort of game this was since most publishers don’t post very good pictures on their app pages that tells you what kind of game it is. It was around the time Star Wars: The Force Awakens was about to come out in theaters that I decided to download the app. This game does everything a normal freemium game would do… offer “cheap” limited time hero bundles that would speed up your progress, a daily gem pack, bundles promoting the upcoming Episode VIII. I gobbled all that up and was hooked immediately. I just remember wrecking people in arena with just Chewy, Dooku, JC, Talia, some other oddballs from rank 5000ish to 500. This game was the perfect replacement of another game I was playing at the time, Heroes Charge. SWGOH was pretty much a clone of Heroes Charge but with Star Wars skins instead (Heroes Charge had DOTA skins). I was already well adverse to this sort of game and I felt that I could rule the arena in no time. This was also the time where the meta revolved mostly around healers as Barriss was just an unkillable healing machine. I never gotten her but it didn’t matter as balances were always coming…

 

The Start of Guilds and TNR

 

This was around January when SWGOH Forum finally opened up a separate section just for Guilds which gave hope to many like me that guilds were coming soon. The first guild that I saw that caught my eye was The New Rebellion led by two individuals, Aspenstar and IonianCat21. Their whole spiel was that they were accepting of any members F2P or P2P and to be one of the largest guilds. To many, it was a way to join a large guild that wasn’t Team Instinct (TI) as TI were already starting to gain notoriety that they were the biggest, baddest guild that will topple anyone in the arena. TI were and still are the biggest whale guild by a far margin. In a way, TNR was trying to be the 2nd best guild, if not the best just by shear number of players. I still have my screenshot of me applying to TNR:

 

 

Thinking about it, this was apparently serious business since there was a “trial” period for a game that had no guilds yet. Nevertheless, I joined their Line group as a trial not entirely sure what I was getting myself into. It turns out that the Line chat was one of my favorite parts of being a part of the “guild”, everyone was bouncing ideas of different heroes if they were good or not… ideal team comps… who to gear next. The game was fresh and the meta was always shifting as people were approaching the level cap and starting to max multiple characters. It was all about the Darth Sidious and Luminara with the heals and healing debuffs, it was hard not to find a team without those two in the arena. In Line chat, some of the more memorable members included ThePixie86, Valtroxa (Snips), DarthMasterShawn, EM650, Panna, Balaxxe, Jheonen. We would all buy chromium packs together and screenshot all the pulls we got, congratulating each other for our rewards. Without them, I probably would have spent a hell of a lot less on the game but it was just so much fun. Line chat was never a bore as people were talking 24/7 at all times. I remember going to bed and waking up to 200+ messages waiting and me just going through all the messages. Everyone on Line were pretty much friends and it became a great community of people. Those were the good times…

 

The Guild Announcement

 

People were god damn ecstatic that guilds were finally coming but there was an issue…. it was 50 players per guild and we have roughly 140 people. Knowing that, we had to find a way to effectively divide ourselves into three uniformed guilds. The guild leaders ended up being Aspenstar (Uprising), ThePixie86 (Mace Windex), and DarthMasterShawn (Knights of the New Rebellion). Aspen and DMS were going to be in charge of mostly US-based players while Mace was oriented towards the European-based. I remember everyone had to apply to one of the three guilds with their rosters. The majority of the US-based applied to DMS’s guild since he had one of the biggest presence on TNR and probably had one of the biggest roster and knowledge base regarding the game. But because DMS had such a long application list, he had to handpick most of the players which seemingly ended up being all the applicants with the biggest rosters. Maybe I was just jealous that I wasn’t accepted :(. So in the end, Aspen picked up all the people who weren’t picked to be part of DMS’s guild and for that, I was grateful for. After we had set up the rosters for each guild, we just waited patiently for the actual guild update to drop.

 

I recall the update to drop in the evening for US players and it was extremely glitchy. Not surprised since everyone wanted to make their guild ASAP. I remember Sithlord being the one who was able to make our guild, named TNR Uprising. Bless his soul for taking all the anger from the rest of the guild as he tried his best to add everyone to the guild. What seemed to take hours to get into the guild probably only in reality took 30 minutes. I just remember conversation getting heated saying that they needed to be added to the guild when it was buggy. Sorry Sithlord. It probably took a day for everyone to get into their respected guild, but we were ready for each of the daily guild challenges, guild coin generations, and raids!

 

The Line Split

 

I believe Knights of the New Republic was the first to complete a T7 raid among us, then Mace Windex (with some help from Uprising), and then Uprising (with help from Mace). But before all that happened, Aspen had to take a break from the game and Cat’s phone died without saving his account to Google/IOS. Aspen then made Jheonen the interim leader of Uprising. But the big drama occurred when Pixie was goaded into pulling a prank where he would convince an officer (Panna) from KotNR to join Mace Windex. But it became severely ill-advise as DMS became enraged at the prank considering it as an attempt to break apart his guild. As loud mouth as DMS get and how easily riled up he got, no one could reason with him that it was just a joke gone wrong. DMS then decided to pull his guild out of TNR line chats and create a standalone chat for just his guild. Along with that, he also pmed multiple people from TNR to join him and slander Pixie and his “wrongdoing”. This severely hurt the morale of TNR and Pixie was very disheartened by what had transpired blaming himself for the schism. Pixie was actually ready to leave TNR before the rest of us told him that it wasn’t his fault. The rest of the guilds were losing members left and right before we could finally stabilize, but the mood of TNR never truly recovered from the split…

 

Switch to Discord

 

With Aspen going away for extended period and Cat out of commission until he either figure how to recover his account or level new accounts to catch up (he chose the latter), Pixie was, for the most part, made head of TNR as he was still the most respected member even after what was transpired. Furthermore, one of our old member who had quit the guild, Balaxxe, has decided to rejoin our community as one of the heads after a brief stint with IN. TNR was starting to look good again. LandonAero, a member of Mace Windex and a tech junkie, helped setup a TNR discord server that could help with a lot of the communication issue that Line had. With Discord, we could create separate message boards for raids rules and groups, have our own guild channels and still have a general chat channel where everyone could converse. The functionality was very nice, but we lost some of our other beloved Line features such as stickers. Cat wasn’t a huge fan of Discord since there was no way to change font size on his phone, but overall it was an improvement for the rest of us. I just remember setting up our T7 groups to see who attacks in which phase and how much we stuck to it, wanting to complete the raid without any outside help from Mace. After settling into discord for a few weeks, Balaxxe announced his retirement and Aspen decided to quit the game completely after her return. Along with Cat not being around due to not liking discord, Pixie chose Jheonen to be another leader of TNR as he was the new leader of Uprising.

 

Growth

 

Surprising news before Balaxxe retired from TNR for good, Panna from KotNR contacted him and Pixie and asked on behalf of his guild that they rejoined TNR. Apparently they had enough of DMS and missed being part of TNR. Though we weren’t entirely sure if we should accept them as many of us considered them traitors, we reluctantly accepted them back. Tension was pretty high for the next few weeks as rarely ex-KotNR (Now ARK) spent time in the general chat and rather spend time in their own guild channel. They did pretty much everything separate from the rest of TNR and just felt there were just a part of TNR discord server but not actually a part of TNR itself. Over time, the barriers were dropped and integration of old members became just fine.

Since Cat only had 2 semi-leveled accounts, he decided to create a farm team with the goal of recruiting low level players that would eventually become strong enough to join one of the stronger TNR guilds. At the time it seem like a great idea, but the reality of recruiting motivated players at a low level was extremely hard. I don’t think the guild had more than 10 people at a time and honestly it was just hindering the growth of all players in the guild as they could have just joined bigger guilds that raided more often.

During this time, we had another TNR member, DavionThunder, be our full time recruiter. You would guess this guy’s real life job was to sweet talk people into buying things… he was that great of a recruiter. We were able to recruit so many people that we believe it was a great idea to create a 4th guild to help facilitate all the new recruits that wanted to join. There was a lot of debate on who from existing guilds would join the new expansion along with who were to lead them. I was at a time considered to be a candidate for leader/officer position of the new guild but it ended up going to Carth Onasi/Tuscan(Scara). With all the new people Davion recruited plus roughly 10 from the existing two guilds, Pie Fighters was created.
With TNR going strong with four guilds able to complete T7, we ran into issues of oceanic players having to wake up extremely early or stay up late in order to raid according to the schedule. With an interest of an oceanic guild looking for a merger, Pixie help setup a new oceanic guild called AReyOfHope to be a part of TNR. We were able to move oceanic players to the new guild to help suit their time schedule.
With 5 guilds under the TNR name, we seemed formidable and our name was being recognized more and more throughout the EA forums via the Arena boards. To compensate with the growth of TNR, the leaders of TNR posted a new channel saying that they were electing a new leader to help out. People were allowed to nominate candidates and provide reasoning to why he/she would be a great fit for leader. After going through the nomination list, the leaders elected me (Zombieoov) and Panna as the newest Leaders of TNR.

 

Modgate

 

Not going to lie, the game was getting pretty stale before mods hit. Mace, Uprising, ARK, and Pie were all able to consistently finish T7 raids easily thanks to the discovery of the OPness of Teebo. AReyOfHope was having number difficulty since it was hard to recruit Oceanic players only. I just remember EA building the hype around mods and old TNR members who we kept in touch with would give us insider scoop. When it was finally confirmed mods were a thing, many members of TNR were excited but I remained skeptical. The mod system was a rip off of the rune system of Summoner’s War, a game that I spent many months playing prior to SWGOH. What else it meant was that it was another revenue stream for EA.

  1. We needed to fully star characters
  2. We needed to level up our characters
  3. We needed to gear our characters
  4. We needed to mod our characters

I knew that this was basically EA saying they needed to make more money from the player base as a lot of them were reaching a point where they had max out rosters. For the rest of us that didn’t it would have been rough. A lot of people claimed this would make more characters viable, but in a way it just made the OP even stronger.

 

Oh man when mods finally dropped, it was a shit storm. The moment the patch came out on the app store, I downloaded it and farmed my first mod. I looked at the numbers and it was insane…. You could effectively make your characters 5 times stronger than they currently were. Arenas and GW were busted as shit by people who farmed mods early and plentiful. I held rank 1 on the arena during of IMBA mods phase as I had gotten extremely lucky with multiple speed mods. Speed mod on Rey was the shit back then. Raids also became a joke as Pixie streamed him getting to phase 2 with his clone arena team. Balancing raids was rough as we had to start stacking damage which meant players actually had to come early in order to register their attacks. Because of the huge imbalance mods created, a lot of players became incredibly angry at EA and quit the game. I remember the leader of Team Instinct, Ascansio, posting his guild’s refusal to spend any more money on the game until mods get fixed. Since moving to Discord, Cat’s influence on TNR was near an all-time low as he was in charge of a consistently defunct guild, New Blood. Cat went on a rant to EA_Jesse telling him that his company was shit which honestly I don’t see any reason why he wouldn’t get banned (of course he did). He then ranted on the SWGalaxyOfHeroes subreddit saying to close up your wallet and show EA whose boss by not spending money.

 

Former EA Forum shout out!!! from SWGalaxyOfHeroes

 

I thought he was getting out of hand since the rest of us leaders did not want him to tarnish the TNR name with him bashing EA. As much as most of us hated EA at the time, we don’t want to denounce them publicly since it doesn’t accomplish anything but make us whiners. We told Cat that he should not speak on behalf of TNR in rants and that his words should be only for himself individually and not of TNR. He still actively lashed out at EA on the forum, but he no longer used TNR in any of his statements which was a plus.

 

Morale was back at an all-time low with lots of people leaving due to the mod situation. Both Mace and Uprising dropped to roughly 30-35 players each. Some of those who still stayed weren’t as active as before. All the discord chats were becoming quite barren and guild coins were coming at slow rate. Recruitment became very hard as a lot of guilds were missing roughly 10 players and were more enticing since they have closer to a full guild. Pixie managed to save Mace by merging with another guild while Uprising still struggled to find more people. I confided in Cat in the situation and he said that he would try to recruit to fill up the rest of the guilds. Luckily eventually Davion found a good run of players to recruit and after a week or two of struggling, we were finally back to full strength. Thanks Davion for always recruiting when you were finding it harder to play the game.

 

Stability and the following Discourse

 

We were rolling in raids and able to start one almost every other day. Uprising, Mace, Pie, ARK were flourishing with their numbers while AReyOfHope was able to complete their first T7. But one thing was missing… the comradery of the old Line days. The problem was that during the Line days we were learning things together and connecting through that way. Now it was just teaching the newer players what worked and what didn’t. We were already experts in the game, and it became boring because of that. There were now only a handful of people who lasted through the Line days and felt really hard to rebuild the comradery that once existed.  So when there was talks about adding even more guilds to TNR, I was actively oppose to it. I wanted to rebuild that comradery, that community that I cherished and loved during Line. I would ask myself what good could come out of constantly growing TNR? Most of us were happy with where we were at and having even more guild means that we were just adding people just because we can. To me, it’s a lot easier to bond with a group of 100 than a group of 300. Cat was able to find a group of people player on reddit looking for a guild. He decided to rebuild that guild again and was able to fill it to the point to where it can do T7 on its own. This was probably the first big thing Cat has done for the TNR since moving to discord. At this point, TNR had Mace, Uprising, Pie, ARK, AROH, and now New Blood up and running. Cat felt so accomplished with the success of New Blood that he decided to keep recruiting and making new guilds. We were able to create a new guild called Rogue Squadron during this time where Pixie lead it with his alt until he found a suitable leader. But the recruiting didn’t stop there for Cat. This probably could not have come at a worse time for the rest of the leaders… Pixie and Panna went off on a vacation while Jheonen and I got pretty busy at work. Cat wanted to create ANOTHER guild with the people he found and mentioned it in leader chat. Unfortunately most of us weren’t around so Cat gave the no response as a go ahead to create a new guild. It was when he started creating new channels for the new guild that I realized what was truly going on.

 

So I should give a little background on Cat when it comes to our talks… Cat talks BIG. I mean this guy will write giant wall of texts repeating the same facts over and over again. To make it worse, he talks the same way he write and will talk for 10 minutes at a time before any of the other leaders get a chance to chime in. So when Cat became a bigger part of TNR, I wasn’t too happy. Since bringing in New Blood, he viewed himself as a Savior to all those who were recruited into the guild, always talking through their perspective saying they were lost without Cat. He would just constantly talk himself as the second coming and making TNR a franchise.

 

An example of what Cat posts in Leadership chat. Imagine 5 of those posts every day talking about creating a guild…. Because that is what happened.

 

Shit got really heated when Cat called for us to kick Snips out of TNR for opposing his idea of a new guild. Snips is one of our most well-known members and has been here January. She could be extremely blunt but her intentions are good. The line was drawn when Cat tagged @everyone of him teasing Snips. For me this is a BIG NO-NO, tagging @everyone should only be used to share important information and can only be done by officers and leaders. It was just extremely petty. We decided to move this conversation in a different channel. This was when it became very clear that Cat had a different idea on how to run TNR compare to the other TNR leaders. Cat’s vision for TNR was to recruit as many as he can, create multiple TNR guilds and become a huge force in SWGOH. Panna and I had a belief that we shouldn’t fix what isn’t broken as TNR is fine as is and there was absolutely no reason to mass recruit. We alluded that if we just mass recruit, we would just be another Team Skunk where guilds would just have the brand in their guild name but barely interaction among other Skunk players. I was starting to really get to know people across all the TNR guilds and I didn’t want to add even more people where there would be more unfamiliar faces than familiar ones.

 

Later we had a voice chat with all the leaders including Pixie who just returned from his vacation. We usually have a voice chat every other week among leaders, but a lot of times it is mostly Cat just talking about recruiting more guilds. He would constantly build himself up as the most important figure for new recruits as he gave them homes and a chance to get the best raid rewards. Constantly making analogies that TNR is going to be great with more guilds and that more orphaned players will have a taste of the good life. It just sounded so… Pretentious. Maybe this was Cat’s way to feel more important when he was rarely around since guild creation, this could be his project to get himself back into the spotlight with TNR to regain the same level of influence as pixie. But the idea of creating new guilds was constantly brought up by Cat and constantly shot down by the rest of us and the cycle just continued.

In the end, we agree to help oversee the creation of the new guild 2nd Wave but then afterwards we would halt making more as we were just rapidly adding more guilds in the past month. Deep down though, no one besides Cat wanted to add 2nd Wave but felt we had to respect Cat’s wish because he is the founder of TNR.

 

Resignation of Leaders

 

So after the creation of 2nd Wave, Pixie has decided to quit playing the game and thus shocked the rest of the leaders. A member of TNR who has been here since the beginning, saved TNR from hard times, invested so much time and effort into a community he loves… This was a serious downer for me and Jheonen. I felt I was losing a best friend who would always be there. At this time, I also considered quitting because the new raid was not coming out and I was extremely unhappy with how controlling EA was with the meta in the arena. I was tired on constantly farming the top heroes that were released/updated (Palpatine, Wedge, Tie Pilot, etc.). It just felt unhealthy they pretty much wanted us to farm whatever unpopular character they updated or what just came out in order to stay competitive. It just made me mad that Tie Fighter Pilot was made JUST to counteract with the current meta of Lando. Also in my arena shard, it just came down to who ever had the faster ST han/Poe/Palp so in a way who got lucky with their secondary stats on their mods. Screw that, I don’t want a part in that.

 

But the worst part was going to have to deal with Cat without Pixie. I was tired of his wall of texts, his motivational speech-esque style of talking, the fact that he always build himself up to be a savior to all of TNR. I was afraid to truly speak out against him since he was the founder of TNR. It just isn’t worth my time to deal with him anymore. I told Jheonen that I was planning on quitting (Sorry that I may have caused you to stay longer than you wanted) and then told Leadership chat. Cat said his spiel that he would miss me and that I would always be welcomed back. I said I would find a replacement first. I was still playing the game, not yet retired when Cat PMed me saying that I need to post my retirement or he will do it for me.

 

 

This caught me really off guard so I told Uprising Officers that I would retire and recommended Rymas, which they all agreed. I then pmed Rymas when I saw him online and told him the officer position was his, which he gladly accept. I then said my goodbyes (which unfortunately I don’t have anymore). Part of me was sad that I was leaving a community I been a part of for almost 10 months but also relieved that I didn’t have to deal with Cat anymore. It was then shortly after Jheonen also quit leadership which he wanted to do since before Pixie resigned. It was then just Cat and Panna left. Cat really pushed Pixie to give his server rights after the rest of us left which should have been the right thing to do as he is the founder of TNR. I told Pixie TNR should be Cat’s hand and that we shouldn’t interfere.

 

Then the TNR we once build was completely revamped to Cat’s vision.

 

Just so most people are aware during my time as Leader, my goal was to build TNR as a community that people would feel comfortable posting in. We do not micromanage guilds as Leaders of TNR, guilds are ran by however sees fit by the Guild Leader. As leaders of TNR, we discussed options to recruit when we needed members after the mod situation, how to deal with difficult members, and how to organize the channels.

 

It took Cat only a day to post his new rules for TNR after I retired and for Cat to receive full reigns over the server.

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To me it says that Cat was just waiting for us to quit so he can reimage TNR to his liking. I know I shouldn’t have cared since I am no longer part of TNR leadership, but it just seemed so wrong. There should not be any rules made TNR wide for all members of TNR in-game… That should only be moderated by Guild Leaders and their Officers. He literally made a community into a business. Community can have rules but I don’t see any reason why it had to be as strict as he put it… sharing information about the guilds? Screenshots?… Should anything about the guilds be private? Why would others care how our Discord server is set up? The more rules that are set up even if they seem extremely trivial, the more suffocating it feels for the player base.

 

After leadership left, he pretty much said that Pixie and I were stunning the growth of TNR and that we did things on the fly when we always conferred with Leaders on any big matter.

 

 

 

 

 

Cat said he was stonewalled by the rest of the leaders. Maybe because we didn’t agree with his points? That is how democracy works… if you want to push your agenda and none of the rest of the leaders agree after a long discussion, then maybe it shouldn’t be implemented.

So Cat asked for a more democratic approach but still posted the huge set of rules for TNR even before bringing it up to the rest of the leaders. This made the officers question the other leaders beside Cat when they don’t agree with the set of rules when it wasn’t mentioned to other leaders before posting. He made his other leaders take heat for a set of rules that he created.

 

Reformation

 

At this point Pixie had enough of what he saw of what TNR was becoming before chiming in. Unfortunately (or fortunately) I was not a part of it and decided to take a nap during the coup. Honestly from all the images I saw it seemed like Cat treated everyone like a joke with his LOL and his !!! and deleted any opposition that tried to defend him/herself. He told us to grow up when we told him he was acting like a dictator when he told those who stayed in the old server that Pixie was a dictator.

 

 

Calling Scara a dictator

 

 

If it truly was a democracy and the majority of the players were unhappy with Cat, then why would he retain power and kick all those that opposed him. Even those that tried to be civilized and say they don’t agree with his actions during the purge were booted.

 

Currently I regret leaving TNR under Cat’s rule even for a day, giving him the power to undo all the progress we have made since the start of guilds. Our goal was unite a community that enjoyed playing the game and also just Star Wars in general. The moment where it becomes a “business” means that it is no longer a game and thus no longer fun.