Entertainers are the spice that adds interest to the game. They carry the glory of the galaxy and interrupt the mindless slaughter of the galactic wars. They play to the crowd that they gain their substance from and acquire great fame and wealth along the way. Take care of the crowd and they will take care of you in return. This is considered by some to be the "fun" profession. It requires listening to people, understanding what they desire, and getting what you want from them. A few entertainers decide that showing a little skin can be involved too.
Entertainers have many practical abilities. From inspiring the other profession to perform better, to changing one's appearance, and just plain making the game fun. The most notable ability in terms of the necessity of the profession to others is in giving out 'buffs' or inspirations. This allows for profession specific increase in abilities and an increase in the amount of experience gained. They also have the ability to modify any character's appearance. This at the higher levels is everything from height & weight to hair & skin color. This allows appearances that are not initially available at character creation. For example, you can make a Wookie with green fur or a bright blue Ithorian. This is how many players get interesting hair color and how you can make a character that closely resembles Darth Maul as well as many other possibilities. Finally, entertainers are usually fun loving groups that socialize and encourage other just to relax and take a break from the fast paced galactic war. It’s not uncommon to stroll into a busy cantina to find it packed with entertainers chatting away with themselves and others alike.
Anyone will tell you the most important thing to remember when dealing with any person who is giving a service is, ‘Always Tip’ - this applies equally to entertainers. To take advantage of the entertainers all one needs to do is walk into a busy cantina and ask for a buff. You must the chose to ‘watch’ or ‘listen to’ the entertainer that responds and let the effect-time build up. This is mutually beneficial, but its still protocol to tip. Entertainers currently have no other way of gaining credits. The command to tip is '/tip [amount]'.
Entertainer Base Statistics
- +40 Constitution
- +120 Stamina
- +120 Agility
- +80 Luck
|Underground Hit CL:1-21|
|New Sensation CL:22-45|
|Rising Star CL:46-69|
|Galactic Celebrity CL:70-90|
The important thing when starting an entertainer is to complete the tutorial on Tansari Station. Otherwise you will not receive a musical instrument. You can also earn some credits to get yourself started. Once you arrive in Mos Eisley you will be given a few basic quests and then sent to the terminals. These are really a waste as you gain no extra experience and little extra money. You should find an angle and work it hard. Be it sexy dancer, cool musician or whatever your flavor, stick with it. Don't be afraid to let your recent arrival be known, other characters often will help you out in the beginning.
After you attain a bit of experience, you can visit the nearby theater for a series of quests from the theater manager. At first, you'll be judged by a panel of three NPCs, telling you what flourishes or songs to play for your audition. After a successful audition, you'll have to get 10 players to watch or listen to your performance. When you've done that, visit the theater manager again for more quests of similar nature. When you're done with one theater, you can complete a few other mission available in the cantina. Once you complete the missions, the choice is really yours to either pack up and move along to the next major city, where a familiar form of quest will be waiting, or settle in and build some regulars.
For more on this visit Entertainer buffs.
A note on AFK grinding without annoying other players
Another thing to remember: Good entertainers are likeable! No one likes an entertainer who is AFK for extended amounts of time. Another thing you want to avoid: having your macro set to saying something every ten seconds. You'll be on everyone's ignore lists, and you cant be very social then, huh? Remember, being in a group not only helps you get experience, but also can help you with boredom on a slow day. So remember: Never do anything that you wouldn't want an entertainer to do!
If, for some reason, you really want to grind while away from keyboard (perhaps you're going downtown for a while or something and would like your character to keep gaining XP), it is recommended that you do it at some "remote" location not often visited by other players. If you own a house, or have access to a house, you can AFK grind as much as you want there safely without annoying other players. There is, in principle, nothing wrong with this in an RPG perspective, because it simply corresponds to practising at home. Of course, you will not be able to make any money giving buffs and IDs, as there are no other players present (but you wouldn't anyway since you'd be AFK).
Many theatre style guild halls will offer a series of quests and a reward. Most of these are helpful items but there are a couple that offer more. Examples of them are,
The Theater Hall In Mos Eisley (Theater Manager (Quest));
Which gives you a series of quests for either music or dance, The rewards for these are some credits, plus the 'Western' song for the music quest, and the 'Theatrical' dance for the (you guessed it) dance quest.
You can also acquire a dance and song from Mustafar in the cantina simply by talking to two people to the left as soon as you enter.
You receive: Calypso - Song Pei Yi - Dance (Requires you to be CL46 or higher)
Timing tables and flourish cards
Timing varies between flourishes and song or dance. There is a trend for musical flourishes to last about 4-6 pauses and dance flourishes to last 6-10 pauses. See the List of Dances for all of the dances available including flourish timing. See Music Timing for song timing.
There is a strong tendency for entertains to stay in the cantinas. Those entertainers who can engage in combat might want to have a change from the daily cantina grind and gain some notoriety by PvPing with groups. If possible play at the cloning terminals on adventure planets. One thing to avoid is going AFK in cloning stations, as it does not cure cloning sickness (I need to test but believe it only happens in cantinas, except on Mustafar) (You can not cure cloning sickness in the hospitals in restuss). Roadside concerts with the band's van sitting out, is always one way to draw a crowd. There are also player run cities that have performance venues in them. Many of these would be happy to have some new performers.
- Entertainer is the only class that can sing, by entering /sing [text].
Guide to Artistic Musicianship
Entertainer is the only profession in the game that allows players to create artistic content. Entertainers have tens of thousands of combinations of songs, dances, instruments, effects, props, etc., all of which can be combined into truly creative performances. Because of this freedom to create unique content, entertainer is the most difficult profession to truly master (we're not talking about merely getting a Master entertainer title now) and the most complex profession in the game. The fact that it is so complex is one reason why there aren't many truly competent entertainers around.
Becoming a Master Musician is only a first step, and sadly there are many master musicians who have not truly created their own musical content in the game. There are also many players who get to Master and then quit because they don't see the advantage that can be taken of the game's musical content. Making music in SWG takes a bit of work, but the sounds that can be created truly become the player's own compositions. Outside of a true sandbox-type game such as Second Life, Star Wars Galaxies is only one of two MMORPGs that gives players the ability to create content that actually relies on the player's artistry, and in SWG musicians and dancers are the only professions that are given this great artistic potential. (The other is Lord of the Rings Online - which allows you to create each note in a 'Music System.')
There are some basic things that can help us in crafting a truly great and unique sound. Listed below are the basic building blocks of our profession and the ways we can use them:
1. The instruments. Figure out which instruments have a unique sound. Some of them sound exactly the same as others, but some are unique. When one instrument sounds exactly like another it becomes a matter of looks. So in cases where two instruments sound alike (i.e. the Slitherhorn and the Fanfar) use the instrument whose appearance appeals to you the most.
2. The songs. Try using each instrument in conjunction with each song. You'll find some songs sound amazing when used with certain instruments, and some combinations of instruments give a pleasing sound when used with certain songs. Experiment to find songs and instruments that are pleasing or interesting to listen to. The audience will respond favourably to a sound they've rarely heard before, so the more unusual the sound the better (assuming that you can make a nice melody from it).
3. The flourishes. When you've found an instrument (or a mixture of instruments) that you feel suits a particular song, mix together certain flourishes and start to build a macro for your song. Find the way music flows when certain flourishes are used in conjunction. Choose flourishes and melodies that give the song a beginning, a middle and an end. Omit certain flourishes if they don't fit with the feel of the song that you want to convey. Repeat certain flourish combinations so that they become the song's chorus. In this way you make the song your own, you give it a mood and enable it to tell a story that works subconsciously on the listener's emotions. Yes, we only have eight flourishes for each song (plus a startmusic and stopmusic flourish), but if we spend the time to appreciate how to build an effective piece of music they are enough to allow you to do all the things I've suggested.
4. Visual effects and holoemotes. Place visual effects macros in your song macro to punctuate parts of the song that are particularly stirring or melodious. The audience will appreciate a melody all the more if it's accompanied by a light show that enhances the tune. For example, in my show I have a song that is meant to tell the story of the destruction of Alderaan by the Death Star. The song develops as a melody (accompanied by the 'holonotes' holoemote) meant to evoke the peacefulness of Alderaan; at the song's zenith light effects combine with the music's darkest tones to bring the song to a crescendo; and then the song's softest flourishes bring the piece to a close.
5. Droids. Don't underestimate the usefulness of a backup or effects droid. Program your droid so that he accompanies you on songs that work best with accompaniment. Use bandflourishes to create a duet. Use an effects droid when playing in a venue which is dark and when you want your performance to be more of a sound and light show.
6. Bands. If you can get a band together you can create a real stir on a server. Eight musicians playing music that actually sounds good, with instruments that are carefully chosen to create a unique sound, is something that is rarely seen anywhere in the game. If you can't find other players, use the holoband feature - these holographic entertainers are great for practicing and can be an asset in a performance too, if a little time is spent making them look and sound good.
7. Macros. There are many macros that can be used to enhance a musical performance, from the /macro command itself to the /pause command. Study the macros in the game and find out how to use them to your best advantage.
8. Beginnings and endings. On beginning a show, always remember to speak to your audience. Welcome them to the show. At the end, thank them. You can write these announcements into macros. When transitioning from one song to the next, don't just use the /changemusic macro. In a real performance the artist completes a song, thanks the audience, perhaps he says a few words, introduces bandmembers, etc. So do this - pretend you're a live band - use the /stopband command, then thank the audience, introduce the next song, etc. Use correctly timed pauses so that the music actually stops before your speech bubble appears - if you're playing a wind instrument it's going to look a bit silly if you're talking while the instrument is still playing.
9. The show. Remember to create a flow between songs so that when one song ends the next starts up on a note that is similar in tone or feel to the ending of the previous song. Alternatively, a purposefully jarring beginning to a song can punctuate different parts of your show. The idea is for a show to have a sort of storyline so that listeners are drawn along. Just as a song has a beginning, a middle and an end, so should your show. As the show begins the music should make the audience interested to hear more; in the middle the audience should be enjoying the heart of the music, with its most melodious and emotional tunes, and at the end they should leave with the sense that they have been taken on an emotional and satisfying musical journey. Perhaps your bio can tell the meaning of the show; perhaps each song can be introduced with a word or two about its meaning.
10. Tour! Take your show on the road. Perform at special events, or just take your show to a place where you know people hang out. Let people on the forums know when your show is coming to a venue, then play at the allotted time. At first you may not see many people showing up, but if we advertise and give people something more than AFKers to listen to, people will eventually start looking out for real entertainers and the cantinas will start to come back to life. Inspire folks to follow your lead. We have the abilities to make entertaining fun again for everyone.
11. Make your music about something. Read up on Star Wars lore and give your music titles and themes that refer to things in the Star Wars canon. Make the references subtle so that players have to seek out their meanings. For example, I have a song called "The Glimmerfish" that refers to a little-known aquatic creature native to Alderaan, while another is called "The Castle Lands", referring to ancient structures of alien origin. Sure, many players won't get the references, but it will give the music a nice sense of depth for those who are knowledgeable about Star Wars canon.
12. Finally, have fun! Make sure your music pleases you. Don't make music in the hope that a good show will bring in lots of credits. What's important is that your music is unique, artistic, and that it's enjoyable for you. If you want to make just one perfect song, do it; if you want to make a virtual SWG opera, four hours in length, do that. It's up to you, and the only one you have to satisfy is yourself. If you like what you've done the joy of it will come through in your music, and others will like it too. Even a modest effort, when done with enthusiasm, will entertain.
By using the above tools we can truly create a performance that's truly entertaining and truly unique. When we create a show that's truly our own it gives a sense of accomplishment second to none in the game (or in any other game for that matter). Hopefully this little guide can motivate new players and illustrate that there's more to the musician professions than first meets the eye.