22/04/2020

Conquest Craziness

Yesterday was patch day, and it was once again time for Bioware to mess with Conquest. They had announced more than a month ago that they were planning to make changes to the system again, and I thought about writing a post about it at the time, but to be honest I couldn't quite summon up much emotion about what was being discussed on the forums back then. The only way I can think of describing how the proposed changes sounded to me is that they seemed weird but inoffensive. I wasn't entirely sure what Bioware were going for and it didn't sound like it was going to make a huge difference to the way I play.

Well, that sure was wrong!

On Tuesday I logged on as soon as the servers came back up, which was shortly before the current Conquest was about to end. I logged into a character that had been sitting on around 35k points, and the moment I logged in she shot up to more than 70k. That was... interesting.

Basically, Bioware weren't messing around when they said that they were going to increase the number of objectives and went straight to ludicrous. In guild chat there were jokes about getting points merely for logging in or trolling general chat, and to be honest they weren't far off. Some of the new objectives include: taking a taxi, assigning a utility point, gaining a character/legacy/renown level, giving a companion gift, and raising a crew skill, to name but a few, and all of these are at least daily repeatable and award a pretty silly number of points. It's honestly pretty funny more than anything else, and there was an ongoing stream of laughter and incredulous exclamations in guild as the evening progressed: "Wait, there's one for selling vendor trash?!"

Unfortunately, I was also immediately reminded of when they first started awarding Conquest points based on general XP back in June and how off-putting I found that. It seems to me that many of the issues I had with that change will return with this new update: Too many points awarded for the in-game equivalent of "continuing to breathe" are likely to make the whole thing too passive and will once again widen the gap between smaller guilds who "work" for their Conquest and large ones that simply invite random players and accumulate huge scores just by having active characters in the guild, even if their players neither know nor care about Conquest.

The main difference of course is that it's arguably not quite as passive as the points derived from XP gains were. "Use a decoration" may not be much of an objective, but it is something, and it seems to me that there should still be some advantage in deliberately pursuing certain objectives, but I'm finding it hard to judge at the moment. Right now my main concern is simply the sheer speed with which you hit your personal target by simply doing anything at all, which might revive that feeling of "the game is encouraging me to stop playing" that I had between June and September. I wouldn't be surprised if Bioware ended up tweaking both personal and guild targets upwards in the next couple of months.

I guess we shall see - at the moment the amusement derived from the silliness of it all still overrides everything else, but I'm always sceptical of games giving me sugar rushes like that - I've found that it rarely ends well in the long run. Plus it's a simple fact that I really enjoyed the way Conquest has been working since Onslaught's launch and found it very engaging as it was. I didn't really need or want it to change in any major way.

In order to not sound too pessimistic about my Conquest prospects, I will say that I really like the revamped UI for objectives. I honestly always thought it was a bit weird that they used to look exactly like achievement pop-ups, as it could be quite confusing at first glance what you'd just triggered, so I like that it's much clearer now. There are also a lot of interlinking buttons to take you from pop-ups to the main window and from there to your objectives, which I guess might help introduce more casual players to the system (presumably as they go "what is this", click on the shiny button and end up in the Conquest window). And with all those silly new objectives, chances of a new player triggering one by chance are much higher than they used to be.


Oh, you did a heroic mission? Have a medal!

4 comments :

  1. Hm, so far, I'm enjoying it. No longer I feel the need to run certain content ONLY for conquest, or feel the pressure to do stuff in a hurry so I can get conquest in all my 20-ish toons (conquest has been my main source of income, too, in game). I can actualy *do story* and it counts. It was always annoying to me that the only story that counted was KOTFE/KOTET, now every bit of story adds something.

    I think, too, I'm in a very peculiar place right now, playing in two servers, on which I have every possible benefit for getting conquest and one in which I have... Nothing. No guild, nothing but base-Coruscant SH, no money to craft, my legacy isn't even level 10. And, you know, it REALLY makes a difference.

    On my StarForge toons, conquest is basically for breathing; on my Malgus toon, Conquest is an extra tick I get for simply running my story. I have played, maybe, some 4-5 hours in SF during this wee and I've capped 6 toons without particularly aiming at specific activities. I have played some 3-ish hours on Malgus and I am, maybe, clocking 25-30k conquest on my Knight (the others haven't even been logged in).

    I also think a lot of the silliness comes from they planning objectives in tiers, and then deciding that they'd just *add* objectives as you level up, not take them away. It *Is* silly for a level 70+ to get cq points for hailing a taxi or sending your companion to sell trash; but they are nice objectives for >30 toons that are still learning the game rules and being involved in conquest. Makes it relevant to them too, and makes them relevant to guilds; One of the guilds I have characters on in SF has a rule of not accepting under lvl 35 because they're aiming at cq and under 35 couldn't contribute as much; there were alt-guilds for lowbies. That is, of course, no longer true, but they rule probably will remain.

    It should also have a HUGE impact in the game's economy, as the price for Solid Resource Matrix drops abismally and crafted items must accompany it as well, making it more affordable - not a bad thing in itself.

    As for how that will work in the long run, time will tell, but, hopefully, things will be adjusted to a middle ground where we can all play our way. :)

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    1. I agree that quests other than chapters counting for points is definitely a good change. I just think they may have overdone it a bit with the other stuff... :D

      Your point about how much of a difference it makes depending on your legacy status/stronghold ownership is definitely very true though, and it's one where I'll admit I tend to have a bit of a blind spot. We recently got a real life friend into the game and he only has a single stronghold with no extra rooms at the moment and I'm always stunned by how much fewer points he gets for things like running a flashpoint with us.

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    2. They have also nerfed "crafting rally part 2" from daily to weekly (at least in SF this was a REAL CRAZE among cq guilds, 34k per day every day is really a lot of conquest, even if it's once a day per legacy). I don't even think that they went too far with the other stuff, just that THOSE were not the objectives we were talking about when asking to keep low-level objectives in end-game conquest! Hahaha. If these silly things were restricted to 0-35, I doubt anyone would be making such a big deal out of it. What is quite likely is that they didn't have a individual tagging for each where they could add or remove depending on the character level (clearly they had already work a bunch on this before they got into the whole working-from-home scheme; and some things can be... harder to tackle).

      Anyway, highest amount of points I can get on my Malgus toons is 13,770k for Galactic Rampage Weekly, at 2% SH bonus. On SF with my 150% sh bonus it goes up to 33.750 - a HUGE difference. :)

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  2. The reaction to the conquest changes on the official forms seems to be very positive. I do like that conquest is something lowbies can now do rather than it being effectively restricted to higher-level players. Everyone should be able to participate in and enjoy conquest

    That said, the awards for some trivial activities do feel a bit much, especially for high-level players. No-one over level 50 should be getting points for selling trash.

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