02/12/2020

Conquest Is in a Weird Place

I haven't written much about Conquest lately, but it's actually one of the things that keeps me logging in every day. The last time I wrote about the system at length was back in April when Bioware introduced a bunch of new and often very silly objectives, awarding points for extremely common everyday activities such as taking a taxi or giving a companion gift.

My reaction at the time was a mix of confusion and amusement. I found my own ways of using the new system to my advantage, but it did all seem a bit over the top and I kind of expected Bioware to nerf the whole thing again at some point. They did eventually tone down some of the more trivial objectives... but at the same time buffed others to be even more ridiculously rewarding.

As a result, a lot of my more recent, somewhat limited play has been what I can only describe as "passive Conquest point gaining", as I log in once a day to raise a crew skill, complete several crew skill missions, increase a companion's influence level (usually as a result of the former), and maybe re-roll an amplifier. Just doing this and nothing else is already enough to complete my Conquest on several characters every week, and while part of me obviously appreciates this, it also continues to feel slightly odd to me to gain so many rewards for doing so little. One of the characters on whom I've been doing this most regularly isn't actually max level yet, and since Conquest also awards XP, she's slowly been gaining levels without really doing anything. I'm somewhat uncomfortable with the prospect of having her reach level 75 while barely having left her Coruscant apartment.

One thing I haven't been paying too much attention to in the last few months is the meta, even though I've previously written about how it can be kind of interesting/entertaining to watch the big guilds duke it out for first place. One reason for my decreased interest is that the last set of changes kind of put my guild out of the running, making the whole thing less relevant to me - we'd previously been able to compete at least occasionally, but as explained in the post linked in the first paragraph, making Conquest too passive reduces the value of organised effort compared to simply having a large number of active players, regardless of whether they are in any way involved in guild business or not. So while it's easier than ever to hit the five million points required for the large yield target even as a small to medium-sized guild, there's just no way we could ever compete with guilds pumping out literally hundreds of millions of points each week.

Anyway, the other day I actually happened to look at the scoreboard for the first time in a while, and it made my jaw drop:


The infamous Stroke My Wookie [sic] is still around, but all previous competitors have disappeared, to be replaced by a mega guild called Shield of Destiny (Republic side) or Rest in Peace (Empire side). And when I say mega, I do mean mega - a single guild can only hold a thousand characters, and these guys are up to no less than six different guilds with slight variations in the spelling of the name and guild logo.

I'm not sure whether you can even speak of "a" guild in such a situation anymore... with so many thousands of characters spread across different guilds, how much do they even know of each other? And how do they maintain any kind of cohesion? I get the concept of alt/sister guilds, and there's some benefit in spreading out in an organised manner to dominate all the planets, but most weeks there are only three planets anyway, meaning that with six guilds competing, a lot of them don't actually get to claim first place with any regularity even as part of this coalition! I just don't understand what their angle is.

Even more intriguingly, googling the guild name leads to this guild listing from the Star Forge server. Did they move to Darth Malgus? Is it an offshoot? Or just copycats using the same name? Okay, I remember now why I tend to find this kind of thing intriguing...

Unfortunately this situation is bad news for any other guild not 100% dedicated to Conquest ever wanting to win first place. We haven't had a Total Galactic War in months, but at this rate they'll lay claim to a good chunk of the galaxy even then...

12 comments :

  1. I don't know what to make of it.

    I just recently moved to DM, just in time to read the announcement, that Rest in Pieces will create a fourth instalment of their guild on imperial side.

    I like the idea of having some dedicated people in the game, and not only the hardcore casual story gamers. But i really don't understand, why someone is putting so much work into four imperial guilds and three republican guilds.

    Am i missing something? I do know you get some crafting materials, that used to sell pretty good and are viable till today, but...they can't make so much credits with it? Or do they? Why on earth are they doing, what they are doing? It's a mystery for me.

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    1. Where did you see this announcement? Are you a member? Give us the inside scoop! Hehe.

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  2. Huh, now that you mention it I haven't seen the Shield of Destiny/Rest In Peace guilds around much on Star Forge. I know they were at one point very active in conquest until several other guilds took interest. At the moment Rest In Peace is in control of one planet on SF. It's possible they did move to Darth Malgus, figuring it would be easier to control planets that way rather than competing with the six to seven conquest guilds on Star Forge.
    It's very weird only seeing three guilds on the scoreboard. Star Forge is insanely competitive and our scoreboard is more diverse.

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  3. Yeah, on the German Tulak Hord Server we have a similar situation... a gigantic 'guild-conglomerate' with at least 4 max-sized guilds, 2 on each side, snatching up planets in the last few weeks.
    They wait as long as possible to log in a planet, distributing their sub-guilds so they each have a comfortable (read: unreachable) lead and have taken all three planets in the last conquests.
    I hope that this week, with a few more planets on offer, some of the other conquest guilds can take at least one or two planets - I finally relented this month and parked a twink in one of these guilds as there's no other way to get the achievments.

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    1. Oh, and because I have a char in one of the 'enemy guilds' of this guild-conglomerate there is NO WAY I could sneak a twink into one of their guilds - apparently their 'CEO' has lists of member-legacies and will ban anyone 'double-timing' him. Some people take conquest WAY too seriuosly. >_>

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    2. Was about to comment on Tulak Hord as well.

      I'm in a guild that was focused on Conquest when I joined in early 2019 and we were doing good. Fairly, in my opinion - doing all the guild activities, and people investing effort in their alts. Normal guild with normal activities though.

      When I came back in summer 2020 after a break we didn't have a chance anymore. Sure, activity in the guild was lower but the competition was just nuts, with weekly numbers I'd never seen.

      It's weird.

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    3. I always thought that it was odd, that guilds and loyalty on Tulak was never a thing.

      Everybody seems to have three or four other guilds, because he once used to raid with them, many years ago. Sometimes i believe, that people, who fully commit to one guild are long gone.

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    4. @Anonymous: maybe it is because the server is so small. everybody knows everybody. you might want to see it this way: the whole server is one big guild. :)

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    5. Maybe I'm the odd one out here but server identity does not really exist for me in SWTOR. I created my toon on The Restoration Zone at launch (and played with my guild), we got merged to Jar'kai Sword at some point (the guild was deadm I only played solo+duo), then merged to Tulak Hord. There I joined my current guild and did only guild things...

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  4. My take is that it's probably largely a bragging rights thing, there are few tangible benefits. For a casual player it makes sense to be in one of these guilds because you get fairly rare achievements without having to do anything. Or at least I assume they are rare, I've certainly never been in a guild that ranked high in conquest.

    Whether sheer numbers should trump any other consideration is a different story. I thought originally the plan was to have different seasons that emphasized different objectives. I assumed part of that would be some seasons where concerted effort made more of a difference and others where warm bodies on the guild roster was more important. From what you are saying it certainly hasn't panned out that way if that was the plan.

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  5. SO, Look, what I'm about to say may be considered as gossip - well, IT IS gossiping, but, who cares?

    Shields of Destiny/Rest in Peace were leaded by one young man commonly known as Kort. Kort's a bit... Over, IMO. I have no clue what he does with his life save for playing swtor, complaining and smoking pot - all of which I'm saying from first hand experience, not hearsay.

    So, a few months ago (around February), Kort and some of his closest peeps decided they were SO DONE with The Sanctuary (which is Star Forge's largest guild and was Jedi Council's largest before merger) winning the planet they chose for conquest every week. They just decided they needed to do something about it.

    Now, BEFORE this point, they were often involved in denigration campaigns and continuous complaints about The Sanctuary's conquest results... Which made him close to a few other guild leaders that were similarly bothered by Sanctuary's wins.*

    *Let me take a moment of pause to say this: I understand the frustration. The Sanctuary - and it's offshoots - will top any planet they choose, 50 out of every 52 weeks, sometimes more. They've been doing this since I first joined the game, almost 5 years ago. They already called themselves a "conquest guild" back then, and no change in system has been able to displace them. What they do or do not may be open for discussion (they DO have a lot of activities that are done together, rampages, flashpoint nights, daily ops, etc). The fact that it is a result of years and years of consistent effort, not as much.

    SO, together with those other genius, he came up with a plan to take the Sanctuary down a notch. It involved gathering several really big guilds and its resources to, in the coming crafting-heavy week, come after The Sanctuary... So far, that'd be silly but whatever. But just winning was not enough, no. They'd be creating a guild for that sole purposed, with a mocking name (Spanktuary was suggested), so they'd be publicly beaten.

    I have to say, words failed me at the primary level of evil planning here.

    In true kid's show's supervillain style, Kort published that idea/call to arms in one of the generic, open to all members, channels in discord.

    As conquest resets, there comes from the depths of nowhere, a new guild in the ranks -- called Shields Failling (much less in the nose name, I should say). They quickly top SoDs efforts in winning the planet. And then shit hit the fan, Kort went into rage mode, and, honestly, I took a lot of printscreens to laugh with my non-swtor-playing-friends at how cartoonish the whole thing was. Also, it reminded us of some fandom-wars we were involved in in our teens. So, you know, entertainment value.

    ... And then they decided to complain about the situation at the Official Foruns, because, ofc they did.

    For a while after that, they continued in a warpath. At some point, things were serious enough for Sanctuary's GM (he nick's Sophisticat) to decide to make formal complaints - to SWTOR team, EA and look for a lawyer to protect her (and other guildmates) from slander and abuse - I think this was around April or May? I forget. At about that point, Kort moved over to DM. Spear of Coruscant's leadership, however, seems to still be involved in minor cases of harassment? I'll confess that since I'm active in none of the guilds, I haven't been following.

    One of Kort's favourite pastime is to go around flying random invites (mostly in beginner's planet's, but my first was on Yavin...) which means he gets lots of players all the time, not necessarily for long. I've found him doing it in DM too (ofc)

    Anyway, that's the story there! I wish y'all luck with *that* one...

    PS: real irony is that The Sanctuary's leader living in Europe and plays in the US server, while Kort lives in the US and now plays in the European server... LOL.

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    1. Ooh, I love me some good gossip on guild drama! Thanks for sharing, I'll pass this on to some of my guildies as well. :D

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