Last week we had another Total Galactic War, and me and a couple of other guildies had diligently saved up crafting materials to make a push for first place on the planet of our choice again. We waited a bit with choosing a target to invade and eventually decided to go for Ilum, which seemed very quiet at the time. Within only a couple of hours, we had a good lead of about 500k points... which was when two other large guilds suddenly decided to join us. Since they were so much bigger than us and it was obvious that we didn't stand a chance, the whole excitement was over before it had even begun.
I still hit my personal target on five different characters and felt nicely rewarded for my efforts, but the whole thing certainly left me with a slightly awkward feeling in my gut. It only makes sense that I'm not nearly as enthused about conquests as I used to be when they were introduced. Trying to tailor my play around earning as many points as possible week after week was just not sustainable in the long run, not when I still wanted to play alts and spend time crafting non-conquest items.
But I have been enjoying taking part in the occasional event, especially Total Galactic War, and I had prepared for this one for weeks. To see the competition come to such a premature end so quickly was a bit disheartening, for me anyway. At the same time the number of people in my guild that seem to have any interest in conquest whatsoever seems to be going down as well. The hardcore achievers moved an alt into some bigger guild ages ago and get their achievements that way. The middle-of-the-road players on the other hand, the ones that I was previously able to coax into making an effort at least occasionally, seem to see less and less of a point in it and feel increasingly burnt out by the whole concept.
I thought that this may just be my guild, however I was struck by how many empty slots there were left on the scoreboard on The Red Eclipse at the end of this Total Galactic War. During the first event of this type, I expressed some surprise that ten slots remained unoccupied at the end but chalked it up to not enough guilds having a guild ship yet. When the event came around again a little more than a month later, all slots were claimed within days. However, since then, overall participation seems to have decreased again, and this week's event once again ended with nine empty slots on The Red Eclipse's scoreboard.
A few months ago I felt that a slighty decreased interest in conquests was part of their "maturation process" and not a bad thing, but now I kind of wonder... how far can said interest decrease before it becomes a bad thing? I've heard of guilds not even bothering to invade a planet anymore to give their members the benefit of the bonuses (which even my small guild always does, just to give any individuals who are working towards their personal target a leg up). Has the whole system become too predictable already, with big guilds causing smaller ones to immediately give up as soon as they arrive?
It's certainly something that I will continue to keep an eye on.