15/01/2021

Bioware Addresses Darth Malgus Conquest Shenanigans

Back at the start of December I wrote about the Conquest meta being in a strange place, both in general and on Darth Malgus in specific, where a sort of "syndicate" of guilds had been dominating pretty much all the planets in recent months. I found this very peculiar, because while I can understand the concept of alt/sister guilds, only a small number of planets are conquerable most weeks, so once you go beyond three guilds or so you can't even guarantee all your members a win anymore, and then what's the point of even being a part of the whole thing?

I got some interesting comments from an ex-Shield of Destiny/Rest in Peace member that didn't portray the man behind it all in the best light, as he apparently just loves micromanaging dozens of guilds for his own entertainment and gets most of his points from spamming invites at innocent newbies on starter planets and the fleet, letting them generate high scores for the guild via levelling and then kicking them out again once they've outlived their usefulness.

The other week he/they took things another step further by deciding to dominate the entire leaderboard for Ilum with his/their pet guilds - a move that may now turn out to be the whole project's undoing.

You will be assimilated... wait, wrong franchise.

As it turns out, that move was so obviously strange that it prompted people to start talking about it both on reddit and the official forums, some of them going into more details about these guilds' mode of operation. While I always try to take anonymous comments on the internet with a grain of salt, there was a clear theme there that aligned with the comments I'd received on my blog post a few weeks earlier, and someone posted a very convincing screenshot of the guild log of one of the guilds in question, which showed dozens of people getting invited and kicked within the space of an hour.

I wasn't sure whether anything was going to come of it (yet), but Bioware actually paid attention and responded surprisingly quickly, saying that they will take action and change the system so that newly invited characters won't immediately start contributing towards a guild's score, and if you kick them out their contribution goes as well. That would certainly put a hard stop to the questionable "noob farming" that people were describing, and in the spirit of preserving guilds primarily as social spaces it's certainly a good move.

(Though I'm still not sure why all this even became a thing. It's not like it used to be in WoW back in Cataclysm when guild members would passively generate gold for the guild leader. As far as I can tell, this guy isn't getting anything out of this strange project other than possibly an opportunity to feed some personal illusions of grandeur.)

So far, the reception of the proposed change has been mostly positive, though there've been some grumblings about how it would also kill or at least greatly diminish "Conquest tourism" - that is to say a person's ability to join whichever guild is winning during any given week, make their minimum contribution to get the achievement for the win and then leave again. I can't say I would personally see that as a negative as I never thought highly of this practice (again, for me guilds are social spaces, so this sort of purely utilitarian approach isn't my cup of tea), but if Bioware finds a way to preserve people's ability to do this while still countering the mass-inviters that'd be fine by me too. It's just nice to see them paying attention.

(Of course, from my point of view the easiest fix would have been to backtrack on Conquest being so passive nowadays - this sort of systematic abuse has only worked because levellers generate Conquest points without even knowing what Conquest is. However, seeing how popular that change has been with people who like getting freebies for nothing I understand that this ship has sailed.)

11 comments :

  1. Well - on the side of Conquest Tourism, I need to say that, when you have certain guilds that are always top conquest on their chosen planet, year in year out, it's VERY hard to resist it. I want my Conqueror of Galaxy achievement. If, to get that, I need to get toons in the Sanctuary guilds, so be it. Mind you, I don't *always* feel like being in there because I don't want to commit to 100k/week/cq per character in Main Guild (not that it is hard, but often feels like wasted time). I've been out of the main (pub) guild since early November and that's fine... But I'd be really pissed if it meant that I wasn't going to be able to conquer a planet I need in a few months time.
    (Specially hard right now as I only need Nar Shaddaa, CZ and Yavin. At least CZ and Yavin I know Sanctuary will never go for, but Nar Shaddaa changes (or used to change) Yield size depending on the conquest week, so... Yeah.

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    1. Yeah, I get why people do it. It's the same as people buying ops achievements or mounts with credits. However, from a purely selfish point of view I'd rather get these things "organically", and that works better the more other people are interested in doing the same. :P

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    2. Oh, I absolutely understand - specially since you're a one-guild-woman sort of thing. My characters on SF are spread over half a dozen guilds -- there's one that you'd call my "main" guild. Since it doesn't have an impside, I also have a couple of toons on it's sister imp guild, but it never really clicked, so, it's just a couple.

      Then there was a schism inside my main guild, which meant some people I liked playing left/decided against hanging in there. First, they got their own discord server. The main discontent one had rolled a guild just for his own toons (to avoid unguilded issues and also for cq). With time, we all started putting toons in there; though, as he keeps reminding us... IT'S NOT A GUILD (we always find it funny, he always insists on it, nevermind we have a prog team, pub and imp guilds, SHs, fully opened guildships... It's NOT a guild, so, we humour him - all dozen of us that make the guild in itself.)

      As my main guild was a Conquest guild, long breaks meant your non-mains got removed... And so I ended up having lots of unguilded characters - the ones that ended up spread through RiP/SoDs and then Sanctury/It's baby guilds. These are characters I am attached to, but guilds I'm *not* attached to. Funny that. They're also all newer characters (DvL and onwards).

      And finally through one of my main guild/schism guild friends (most of us still have toons in both and play in both and etc - make that all of us but the initial discontent), I ended up getting myself into a Mandalorian guild who I actually enjoy socially, so, there's that...

      So, you know, I'm fine with spreading, though I feel probably it is a reflex of having been in servers with TS since I first started playing... hahaha

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  2. This has been going on on Star Forge as well, so I think these are good changes. I'm not not even sure what Conquest is for anymore. Players have effectively optimized the fun out of it, leaving BW no choice but to make all the meaningful rewards available to everyone. They could remove conquest completely and I'm not I'd really care, but I'm also not sure if it's worth the trouble (or even possible) to rebuild or fix Conquest.

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    1. **"The could remove conquest completely and I'm not really sure I'd care."

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    2. I'm not sure what I'd do with my days if Conquest was gone! As I mentioned before I use it quite heavily to structure my play time.

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    3. That's a good point. If I pop on an alt, I'll often check out what objectives are available. Conquest as a system that rewards different activities and helps level up guilds is something I like, but Conquest as system meant to encourage competition among guilds is a total failure. And I'm not sure its something Bioware can fix short of removing the leader boards completely. That wouldn't affect me or my guild in the least, but clearly some people care.

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  3. Wow, bet the GM is wishing he hadn't gone on his little power trip now that Bioware is taking an interest. Hopefully the changes will allow more guilds to be able to contribute to conquest on the Darth Malgus server.

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  4. Today is the day Bioware killed crafting. Just to appease some conquest guilds. This will have a huge impact to the economy.

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    1. Killed crafting as a major means of winning Conquest you mean! And even though I've benefitted from it in the past, I don't know if that's really a bad change...

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    2. infinite repeatable crafting objects lead to a need of infinite resources. the need of infinite rescources developed an industry to get these rescources. bioware killed an easy method to gain credits. when guilds start to craft for only 50k a day instead of 15m a day, that has an huge impact.

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