22/07/2018

Total Galactic War Returns

This week the Total Galactic War event made its return. As I noted at the time, one of my biggest disappointments with the new Conquest system was that Total Galactic War had been turned from a huge, unique event into just another Conquest, and I said at the time that I was really hoping that Bioware would reconsider that change. And they did! This week Total Galactic War broke out with a total of 19 planets up for grabs (21 if you count the faction-split Balmorra and Taris twice).


I had completely forgotten that this was going to happen, so I came online on Tuesday to a lot of frenzied discussion among the officers about which planet to invade. Since I still think back on my very first Total Galactic War as one of my fondest Conquest experiences, I got super excited and immediately began studying the state of the leaderboards. With SWTOR Conquest currently out of commission it was quite hard to judge the competition at times. While I've made a habit out of screenshotting the board at the end of every week since the new Conquest system was introduced and could therefore gauge some guilds' strength, others remained dark horses even so.

Back in the day when it was all about getting into the top ten on the leaderboard, just finding a planet that wasn't too crowded was usually our main consideration, but with how much Twin Suns has grown lately and a mere top ten placement not granting anything special anymore, there was no doubt for us that we wanted to go for gold.

Eight of the 21 planets are now large yield targets, seven promise a medium yield and six a small yield. And this is where the whole "hoping that large guilds will go for a large planet" system actually worked decently for a change. At least for us, it was clear right away that we didn't want to go for a small yield planet. If we didn't win first place, it would have felt hugely wasteful to have limited ourselves to a small reward, and also somewhat unfair to the smaller guilds who finally saw their big chance for a win in this event.

After much back and forth we settled for invading (large yield) Alderaan, where we knew that we would be facing another large guild as competition, but one I reckoned we would be able to beat if we tried hard enough. I don't want to jinx it because the event isn't over yet - knock on wood - but so far it looks like our gamble might have paid off, as we're sitting at a score of over two million at the time of writing this, while our nearest competitor only has achieved a little more than half of that.

Those of us with an interest in Conquest have been banging on about it all week, asking every guildie to make at least a small contribution, even if Conquest isn't usually their cup of tea. With the event's activities being focused largely on dailies and small group content/PvP, there were certainly plenty of opportunities to take part. Trying to lead by example, I also leaned into it myself as hard as I could, and I'm currently on track to finish with nine characters having hit their personal target.

It's certainly been an interesting experience - queuing for PvP comes quite naturally to me, but it was nice to have more guildies grouping up for it than I've seen in a long time. And while dailies are not something that I'm particularly fond of, it's not as if I dislike them so intensely that doing each area once this week would have been a major chore.


Feeling pretty spent after completing all of these and then some...

I can't even remember if I ever did the new Makeb weekly after it was no longer staged, if not this would have been my first time. Somewhat bafflingly, there is virtually no difference compared to the old system except that you can pick up more than one mission at a time now, but since the quests themselves are the same, you still end up doing them one at a time as they all take place on separate mesas and don't overlap. That quest to steal Regulator speeders in particular... oh my god!

The GSI dailies are another piece of content that I hadn't done in a long time. I know that FibroJedi likes them because most of them are effectively non-combat missions (except for the heroics and any mobs that might incidentally be in your way), which could be considered relaxing I guess. Looked at it from another point of view though, they are examples of the kind of old-school MMO quest design that many people hate, where you get sent all across the map just to click on something, with more time spent travelling than actually doing anything.

A lot of the missions are also bizarrely unintuitive the first time you do them - for example the original Seeker Droid quest chain teaches you to dig up objectives or treasure by placing your droid in a random spot and then following its indicators. However, the dailies don't work like this - instead they require you to (visually) find certain spots on the ground and plant your droid exactly on top of them. That's not a bad thing exactly, and I actually prefer it to the way the treasure hunting works, but without knowing this in advance, you could easily spend twenty minutes on your first GSI daily, wondering why your Seeker Droid is suddenly so useless and maybe giving up on the whole thing altogether before you've even really started.


Also, they make you dig for what looks like poop. I know that's not what the quest says, but...

Doing the Macrobinocular mission to find "Big Red" on Alderaan also gave me flashbacks, since I remember that the first time I did it, I didn't realise that there were several map markers for this quest and that you're supposed to visit all of them and find at which point "Big Red" just happened to spawn that day. As a result, I thought the first marker I visited was the only one and spent twenty minutes unsuccessfully trying to scan random thrantas that were flapping around in the background, wondering why Bioware had made the objective for this quest so hard to target.

Anyway, despite of these niggles about some of the quests, this week has felt hugely exciting for me in SWTOR, facing challenging competition for that first place spot on Alderaan and getting to revisit some older content at the same time.

9 comments :

  1. Conquest is always fun. But...

    … i don't like, how people exploit the bug, which resets your conquest-achievements. Interestingly most of the players don't care about using unright methods to win conquest.

    Sadly, some folks in my own guild are abusing the bug. Gaining 600k conquest points on one toon within two days.

    Everyone knows this is not intended, but no one cares. "The developer know that there is a bug...if it is in the game and not fixed, the developers want us to use it.".

    I really don't like that part of conquest.

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    1. Yes, I'm in a similar boat as you, knowing that a couple of people in the guild have been resetting their daily objectives sometimes to reach their targets more easily, though nobody has taken it to a level like what you describe.

      We have made a point of stating that we don't approve of using exploits as a guild, but since it's related to just relogging and zoning, it can even happen by accident, so... it's an awkward situation and I hope Bioware does get around to fixing it. Would be interesting to see what effect this has on the scores once it happens.

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  2. Interesting, I guess that reset bug would explain some weird behaviour I had two weeks ago, when I was doing my first or second conquest, ever.

    Also quite interesting what you wrote about Total Galactic War, as an unguilded player that's quite an angle. Maybe I should look for a guild again and not be the last man standing/playing in one guild per side with all others inactive for over a year...

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    1. Well, I'm obviously biased but I think that being in a guild that you click with is great. :) Then again, I also understand why some might choose to avoid that, as it does make playing feel like a bit more of a commitment.

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  3. Was hat es sich eigentlich mit Xam Xam auf sich? Die Links zu ihrem Blog sind von deiner Seite verschwunden (der ganze Blog offline?). Offizieller Bioware-Influencer, falls ich das richtig mitbekommen habe?! Und bettelt plötzlich über Twitter um Geld?!

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    1. Ist immer noch auf meinem Blogroll, sie hat ihre Seite nur in MMO Bits umbenannt/umgewandelt. :) Und ich glaube, sie ist davor, von den USA nach Australien umzuziehen? Sicher nicht so einfach.

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  4. Did you conquer Alderaan in the end? I’m on the edge of my seat waiting to hear!

    My guild conquered Balmorra on SF. We had a lot of fun working together towards a common goal. It was a great team effort — from the masterminds to the casuals who just did a few activities and everyone in between. We celebrated by taking a group photo with our conqueror titles on Balmorra today!

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    1. I will make another post about it, was just very busy yesterday. :)

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    2. Looking forward to reading it!

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