Nightlife Disappointment

The Nar Shaddaa nightlife event and I don't have the best of histories. My initial impression of it when it was first introduced back in 2014 was a resounding "meh", and since then I've mostly alternated between not really caring or being mildly annoyed by some aspect of it. Last year my annoyance reached a new peak when I realised that the newly added Emperor's Grace slot machine resulted in more free Kingpin chips than any sane person could ever use, effectively turning use of the Kingpin slots into nothing but a grind where prizes were guaranteed if you just kept clicking for long enough. I honestly felt pretty burnt out after simply trying to get rid of all my free chips for a few days, even as new ones kept rolling in faster than I could spend them.

With that knowledge in mind, I knew I had to approach things more carefully this time and not let myself get lured into some sort of self-inflicted sense of having to use all the chips. Occasionally clicking away on one monitor while watching a video on the second was fine, but only in moderation.

However, Bioware managed to throw a spanner in the works for me by adding a new prize that I actually really liked - a shiny visor.

Promotional image from the website article about Soovada. Not my own screenshot, obviously.

This one came from the Emperor's Grace machine, and since acquisition of those chips was much more limited, I figured that simply using whatever chips I earned in pursuit of some new shades shouldn't be an issue. And it wasn't, not in that way anyway.

Within days of the event going live, my Twitter feed was full of people proudly showing off their new visors and I figured that I should be able to join their ranks soon enough. Since Emperor's Grace chips can't be bought - unlike the other two types - this wasn't like prizes from previous years where you could assume that someone who showed off having won the jackpot within days of the event going live had likely poured several millions of credits into buying chips. Emperor's Grace chips had to come "naturally", so if people saw success so quickly, it couldn't be that bad, right?


I just kept playing normally, only going to use up my Emperor's Grace chips on whichever character had earned them as I went, but luck was simply not with me. I won a mount and the new droid pet, sure - but neither of those were items I was after.

With less than two weeks to go on the event I started to get a bit nervous. What else could I do to earn more chips? I knew that you could get them as prizes from playing the Kingpin machines, and I did have thousands of chips for those... so I started another round of click spam, to little avail. It felt like I could go through hundreds of Kingpin chips while barely getting a return of two or three Emperor's Grace chips. That's not a great return on investment for so many hours of clicking.

Eventually I decided to take to Twitter for advice - after all it was full of winners - and this was interesting in so far as it resulted in what's been my most replied-to tweet in a long time:

As it turns out, trying to get chips from the Kingpin machines is apparently the worst thing to do, and the generally agreed upon recommendation was to do content instead, especially anything that involved killing lots of mobs. I was more than happy to be told to get out of the casino, though the most emphatic advice I'd been given, to simply AoE down mobs by the dozen on the starter planets, didn't sit quite right with me either.

So I spent the last week of the event playing the game "normally" again. Ops nights were pretty good for earning chips, but other content honestly didn't feel that much better than playing the slots, with me often finishing the evening with only one or two chips gained. Still, at least it was more fun than clicking slot machines all night.

Still, today the event concluded without me having won my desired prize. I didn't actually count how many Emperor's Grace chips I went through in the end, but it must have been several dozen. I guess such is the nature of anything RNG though. 

Fortunately I'm a patient person - the event will likely come around again next year, and if Bioware follows their previous track record, the shades might end up being added to the Kingpin prize pool or to one of the vendors at that point, which would make them much easier to get. I can only hope - but so far my streak of not getting along with Nar Shaddaa Nightlife seems to be doomed to continue.


  1. I confess I had good luck this year. I had a few Emperor's chips left over from last year and was active doing ops and flashpoints at the start of the event, so by the second week, I'd won both the droid and the shades. I kinda wanted another droid for an alt, but I decided to bank most of the Emperor's chips I earned for the rest of the event in anticipation for next year. As for the Kingpin chips, yeah, they definitely the booby trap prizes and I'll never use up the thousands I have across my legacy. Getting those from the Emperor machines definitely didn't feel like a win. I wonder if they could or should build bad-luck-protection into the Emperor's machines. It seems out of character for the Hutt Cartel, but might easy player frustration.

  2. Right there with you. Have a ton of Vectron BWL Wraith in my stronghold storage. Bioware definitely recreated the feeling of being scammed in a casino...not very fun.


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