This is considered by some to be the "fun" profession. The most notable ability in terms of the necessity of the profession to others is in giving out 'buffs' or inspirations. An entertainer was a person who performed in front of audiences for money. It was a general term that could be applied to singers, dancers and musicians. One famous band was Figrin D'an and the Modal Nodes. For some species, entertaining was a way of life. One well known species who considered this were the Twi'lek. Bith were known to play musical instruments, and were known as some of the best musicians in the galaxy (Figrin D'an and the Modal Nodes were Bith). The entertainer can progress through two performance skill trees: Musicianship, which uses uses instruments and music or Dancing, which uses various dance styles. The entertainer can also perform modest cosmetic changes to other players for experience in the Image Design skill column. The Entertainment Healing column is increased by having wounded people watch performances. This profession is unique to each character, being able to choose the song, instrument and dance you perform to heal and buff is different for everyone, so choose wisely, you’ll be listening to the music and watching the dances often!
First thing to do is always form or join an entertainer group. This allows you to gain xp faster. With the effort of the group, no matter who people watch or listen to, you’ll gain xp for healing wounds, battle fatigue.
Get your flourishes ready! You’ll be doing these every 5 secs to gain music and dance xp as well as the healing xp needed to master these professions.
Make it personal! If you are entertaining in a cantina, greet the players that enter! Keep it friendly, keep It simple, sometimes they will just watch/listen and step away from the keyboard, but greeting them is always a nice gesture, making them feel welcome!
Be kind, be helpful and be social! As entertainers, we see everyone! Every class, combat or otherwise will pass through the doors of the cantina at some point. I always like to ask “How are you today?” Ask about their adventures, what they are working, take an interest in what they are doing. Good players and entertainers will chat from time to time and make everyone who enter, feel welcome in your home!
You don’t always need to ask for tips, they will usually give you a little bit if they have it. Some do not like to be asked for tips, but they will offer it up if you are at the keyboard socializing.
And always thank them for visiting you! They will most likely return.
This profession requires 77 skill points to master.
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.
Entertainers, we are finally free! For 10 Bloodfin Tokens you can purchase any of these Dance Props that will allow you to inspire with Dance outside a Cantina or Camp!!