Site name: SWTOR Face
Your name: John Gatt
Started: July 2011
Type: Blog, news feed, community focus
In your words, how would you describe your site? Do you have a particular focus or interest?
The hardest thing about finding news on a particular game is that it’s often spread across many sources. Some sites specialize in particular classes and others might have a guild focus. But sometimes you might find a gem of information on a site that you might not normally visit. Not only do we provide a regular blog on the latest official information, we also have an extensive list of current, active SWTOR sites and an extensive active RSS feed that links the latest news from all of those listed sites. This makes it extremely easy to see a snippet of all the latest news across all the sites covering SWTOR.
Secondly, we are about the community. Who is behind the blogs? What are the news sites about? Who is that person in the podcast I listen to every week? Knowing whose advice you’re getting is get as important as the advice itself. To that end we’ve started contacting bloggers and site owners and providing them with this Q&A, which we will publish on SWTOR Faces, so that readers can get to know a bit more about them.
What’s your role on the site?
Webmaster and blogger.
How many people work on your blog/site (including writers, editors, webmaster, etc)?
When did you start blogging (about any topic)?
1998. My first blog was on a site called Rogue Squadran, following the X-Wing vs Tie-Fighter and then X-Wing Alliance. My site was then taken over by a large corporation called PlayNow where I blogged for about a year, mainly covering Star Wars related gaming. I had a break from gaming for a few years while I was running a hardware website called VIAArena.com. About three years ago I started a new gaming site called Gaming Face, which I still run. SWTOR Face is a focused version of Gaming Face.
When did you start blogging about SWTOR?
I mentioned SWTOR a few times on my Gaming Face blog in mid-2010 and started to focus fully on it in July 2011 when I launched SWTOR Face.com.
What, if any, MMOs have you played?
My first MMO experience was Star Wars Galaxies. I purchased Galaxies during an extended stay in San Francisco. I was away from home for five weeks and had lots of time in the evenings. I became one of the first Jedi in the server I was playing and spent over five years in the game! I, like many other SWG gamers, was very disappointed with the direction Sony took with the NGE. I then went on to play Word of Warcraft. I spent about three and a half years in WoW, a lot of that time as a guild leader and uber-dps huntard. It wasn’t Star Wars, but it’s definitely a universe I appreciated and became fond of. Over the last few months I have tried out Rift and even gone back to WoW, but I am really only just killing time, waiting for SWTOR.
Are you attracted to SWTOR because of the gaming experience, Star Wars, or both?
For me it’s Star Wars. Yes, I do love MMO games, but I am a massive Star Wars fan. I met my wife at a Star Wars fan club 17 years ago. I have two children named after Star Wars characters, Mara Jade and Teneniel Djo and I have the Rebel logo tattooed on my right arm!
What is your most memorable experience in gaming?
I’d have to say in the early days in Star Wars Galaxies, just after I unlocked Jedi, spending hours grinding experience, only to have Bounty Hunters attempt to gank you. The thrill and rush I got then, knowing I could lose days and even weeks of experience, was unbelievable. I don’t think my heart has ever pounded so much with any other game! No other gaming experience has come close to the whole initial Jedi experience and grinding up to Knight and entering the Force ranking system. When Sony introduced the combat upgrade and the village it definitely changed the whole feel of becoming a Jedi. Even being a Jedi in the SWG world was a different experience. Before the combat upgrade, even pulling out your lightsaber gave you a temporary enemy flag, allowing any player to attack you. It was quite an adrenaline rush.
What was your first Star Wars experience?
In the back of my Dad’s Ford station-wagon at the drive-in. It was 1978, I was 7 and we had gone to see Clash of the Titans and the second movie was this odd flick called Star Wars. I was instantly hooked.
Republic or Empire?
Definitely Republic. I have the Rebel logo tattooed on my arm and I played Rebel all the way through SWG. I love X-Wings and everything to do with being a Jedi. Yoda is the man.
What excites you most about SWTOR?
The story. Being a massive Star Ward fan I am truly excited to hear and read some of the stories. I’ve read some of the comics from this era and it’s fascinating. Not only will I be able to play a game style that interests me, it will provide me with an invigorating storyline.