Tuesday, August 26, 2003, 7:21:06 PM (ScreenShot0621)
Hale Fusion… Intergalactic Pimp. GATers sure did come in all shapes and sizes. It was one thing to see a black Imperial… another thing for him to have an afro. Hale, right from the start, was very receptive to me grinding Armorsmith for the benefit of GAT City. He would regularly deliver me hide & bone, and he was the first to offer me money. He was also the first that I turned down when it came to taking cash. For some reason, I drew the line at resources. I didn’t want to feel like a grubber, even though taking the cash would’ve leveled me up faster. I think I eventually broke this rule anyway, but early on, taking credits was a no-no for me.
Regardless, Hale was clearly the man. He was laid back, capable, and really welcoming. He was the first “high profile” GATer that befriended me, and really made me feel like part of the city. He offered his help, and really had nothing to gain from it. I have a lot of good memories of Hale doing a lot more then his share to help me get on my feet. When a guy with a giant afro, wearing Stormtrooper Armor is helping your cause, you know you’re going places.
Tuesday, August 26, 2003, 7:28:11 PM (ScreenShot0622)
Spartacus. When I was first starting out, Spart helped me possibly more then anyone, and he would continue to help until he left the galaxy forever. He immediately struck me as “the guy” that a lot of the GATers mobilized around. He was into PVE & PVP, so he was well rounded, and he was always down for the next adventure. He was also filthy rich:
From the Sparticus Files:
My cash-flow, in the very beginning, came from the baz nitch exploit. That fueled GAT’s early boom, as you already know, but I knew that would eventually be fixed. I actually learned from KS, who was Hale Fusion I think in-game, that you could group with ATSTs for larger mission payouts, I think around 35k per mission. So I’d get all my 35k missions in the same direction, destroy the base, then rinse and repeat. Very quick money, I’d make about a few million credits per doctor buff cycle. Unfortunately, walking around with an ATST out makes you a huge target for Rebel Alliance My Littly Pony Death Squads, so eventually it got destroyed. Soon after, I figured out an exploit where I could park my ATST inside my house, then lock the house, so the ATST was basically an almighty money machine.
On the topic of exploits, I had, and have, my opinions. The general rule I go by is that exploits, especially economic modifiers (which can lead to the insane inflation that SWG experienced), are not good for the game. It’s not on the player to fix code however, it’s on the devs to correct it. Getting an AT-ST was incredibly time consuming (until the friggin faction point exploit hit), so having it out to run these missions was a risk that Imperials took. It was a high risk/high reward situation for advanced players. Grouping the AT-ST would change the Biz Natch lair exploit from a 9k credit gain to a 30k credit gain, but that’s not the players fault. If grouping my Rancors gave me triple the payout, you bet your ass I’d of been grouping the **** out of them. Parking the AT-ST thing in your house however was a clear exploit, and again, that was on the devs to fix, which they did.
But this just illustrates how quick an exploit could effect SWG’s economy. Here’s a quick list of how this particular game changer occurred, and how SOE fumbled the fix (as per usual):
1- SOE was pissing off it’s player base for more reasons then I care to describe. This is not truly a direct factor of this exploit diagram, but I felt it was worth throwing in, because I think that some players who would morally stray away from an exploit were looking to **** SOE in the ass, or just used it as an excuse to get free credits. Almost every profession felt wronged by SOE in one shape or form, so taking credits as compensation was my personal justification.
2- The nests are coded wrong. 6 hits max and they blow up.
3- Players catch wind, and start ignoring the mobs, just hitting the nests.
4- SOE does nothing.
5 Player start grouping, taking many missions, covering more ground, and splitting the proceeds.
6- SOE catches wind and tells them a fix is on its way.
7- Imperials learn that grouping an AT-ST triples the payout. Now you’ve got AT-ST’s all over Dathomir, making the overt Imperials controlling them targets for Rebels.
8- Rebels catch wind of the Imperials having their faction pets out, and create strike teams to eliminate the Imperials ability to farm quick credits. Not only do you put a stop to them becoming millionaires, but you also screw them because an AT-ST is a long long grind to get. The GCW itself is effected because there are less AT-ST’s in PVP (most Imps wouldn’t pull them out in PVP anyway out of fear of losing them).
9- Pulling AT-ST’s out on Dath to get credits becomes high risk/high reward for Imperials. The Rebels create natural player made checks and balances, showing off how MMO’s are truly player driven.
10- Imperials discover that they can call their AT-ST in their house, and lock it inside. Now, with no risk other than being overt, Imperials continue to make millions unchecked.
11- SOE, finally, not only makes nests harder to kill, but they take it one step further, and make them take like 5 times as long as they should.
12- Players now have a new reason to be pissed at SOE, because instead of just fixing the problem, they created a new one in making players cause unneeded decay on their weapons while they sat around after all the mobs were killed and had to hit the nest an extra 50 times.
Tuesday, August 26, 2003, 9:30:56 PM (ScreenShot0624)
Two hours after meeting with Sparticus on Tarquinas… two hours after accepting help from a guy who made his millions by grouping AT-ST’s… I was on Eclipse, grouped with <COL>, on a mission. A mission to kill Imperials who were using their grouped AT-ST’s to “poach” Krayts. Talk about playing both sides… I was no big fan of feeling torn between <HHT> & <COL>… but now I’m on two different servers, being supported by donations by Imperials on Tarq, and hunting overt Imperials trying to PVE on Eclipse. I was surrounded by passionate supporters of the cause on both sides, all the while, playing on the other side of both.
And on Eclipse, the **** was certainly hitting the fan. Word of Imperials using AT-ST’s to fund credits on Dathomir was the start, but then they used them to kill Krayts… and that set off Alistea. An “Anti Poaching Squad” was formed. I’d log into Eclipse, and immediately get a group invite. All I intended to do was check on my fusion haravesters, but as I accepted a group, I’d see 10+ <COL> members, and Ali telling me “Vro we need you on Tatooine quick.” I’d catch up to find all out war in the Krayt Graveyard, fueled by threats and arguments on the official SOE Eclipse boards.
It was crazy, and I felt more and more torn as the calendar days passed by. The fun that we had hunting Imperials in the graveyard was just completely epic. Hanging with Flo and Ali, and their new <COL> friends, was overwhelming. Hearing “oh man you missed it yesterday, we knocked over 5 AT-ST’s!!!” was completely eating at me. While I was busy grinding bone chestplates on Tarq, my closest friends couldn’t believe that I was MIA for these epic PVP encounters. And I couldn’t believe it either. That day Florian had a gift for me… when I opened up the trade window, there was a crate. Once it hit my inventory, I examined it… it was a crate of the most high powered FWG5’s I had ever seen. <COL>’s weaponsmith “Dominous” made them. Flo said he had too many to ever use…
To say I felt shocked would be an understatement. <COL> and the Rebels were mobilizing, and I should’ve been there for it. Honestly, things happened so fast, and my head was so far up Tarqs ass, that I don’t even remember, dispite all my screenshots… what exactly happened with <HHT>. I’m pretty sure this is the time that it disbanded, leaving me guildless. My memory is completely foggy, I’m going to need Florian to help me put the pieces back together. I really don’t remember the timeline… but here’s what I do remember. I was at one point a member of <COL> before it turned into <LOK> later on in it’s existence.
I *think* this is how it went down…
I think I joined <COL> right away, but that doesn’t make too much sense because I don’t remember Zox, Ciale or Ramp joining. <COL> then booted it’s non-active members, and I think that included me. I found a game mail mixed in with like 200 other unread pieces of mail explaining that inactive members, or non contributors were getting the boot. Guildless, I found out that Rampage, Ciale and Zox were in a guild called <DOM>… and I don’t even know what it stood for… but that’s where I ended up for a time. Eventually, <COL> had its own issues, and Purgatori herself was gone from SWG, forcing the remaining members to scramble and reform the guild into <LOK>, which stood (and still stands) for Guardians of Lok. Florian himself would bring me back into that guild, and that’s where I stayed forever after. We’re looking months down the road in this paragraph, but this is the framework that I think surrounded me on Eclipse… again, Flo is going to have to help me out bigtime.
The fact that I really don’t know what happened tells me one thing… I had abandoned my closest friends on Eclipse, and only really cared about GAT and Tarquinas. I was logging in, and getting dragged around the galaxy by people who deserved more out of me.
One last thing… you can see me mentioning in the screenshot that it was the last time they’d “see me do this…” what I was referring to was being an Entertainer. Like most people filling out their templates in SWG… eventually, I had to pick what I really wanted, and what I could afford to lose.
Tuesday, August 26, 2003, 11:34:34 PM (ScreenShot0625)
And later… that very same night… I logged back onto Tarq… and hung out with Cheshire… and he showed me… his brand… new… AT-ST. Imperials first acquiring faction pets, most notably the AT-ST war machine, was enough to get people to join the Empire all together. I ended up seeing them from both sides, getting DB’d by them, and putting armor on the backs of the guys controlling them. It was a strange life, sitting on the cross server fence of the GCW. I was loyal to my friends and factions, but it depends on which friends and faction you’re asking about and what time of the day you were asking. I’d learn my lessons too. Splitting time over servers would wear me down eventually, and I’d have to pick one for good.
Friday, August 29, 2003, 11:45:50 AM (ScreenShot0626)
Leaned up against my new medium sized Mineral Extractor, wearing Chiten Armor that I made myself… the droid that Niklut built for me in the foreground… I was completely, totally, exhausted. Grinding a crafting profession is monotonous at best, mind numbing at worst. Four machines working at once, bone armor chestplate after bone armor chestplate, after bone armor chestplate… while everyone else is PVPing or PVEing, you’re sitting by yourself. I was trying to get to the point where I could actually make these guys something that they could use, and pay some of them back for all the hide & bone deliveries.
Friday, August 29, 2003, 12:56:35 AM (ScreenShot0631)
Kozerk. He was grinding weaponsmith while I was grinding armorsmith. The difference was, he was fully backed financially by Sparticus, so his grind should have been simple. In this screenshot, I had met up with him so he could train me in a merchant skill. Not only did he make himself very unavailable for me to meet up with him to get trained, but he made a big deal that he was training me for free. I asked him to make me a rifle, and he said he didn’t have the resources. Then I started to hear stories about how during the first days of launch, he was ninja-looting all the hide & bone on the early GAT Tortur hunts.
From the Spartacus Files:
Kozerk convinced me that he could pay me back rather quickly but when he was hardly a third of the way through Weaponsmithing he realized his grind skill was weak, and he soon quit like a chump.
Spart invested millions into this guy, and not only did he completely drop weaponsmith well before becoming master… but he would never ever attempt to pay Spart back. This guy was a plague on the city, completely self centered, and the opposite of everything that I was trying to accomplish. When I found out he dropped Weaponsmith, I blew him up on the GAT forums. It wasn’t even that he scummed Spart over, it was more that Sparts cash could’ve been invested into someone that would’ve provided the city guns… so he screwed over the whole city as far as I was concerned. So I let him, and everyone else know what a piece of **** he was.
My outburst ended up drawing a lot of attention to me, and coupled with the fact that I was quickly making my way up the armorsmith tree, the major GAT players started contacting me on the side, asking what I needed to make my grind go faster. Two of those people were Jagermeister & Cerven, the two most recognizable guys in GAT’s <GOD> guild. They let me put a vendor up in their PA Hall, and made it so their guild started giving me credits to help with the grind. They also asked me to join <GOD>, but I said I wanted to remain neutral, and be known as a member of GAT City, not a particular guild within the city. My promise of free armor was to all residents, and I felt that if I guilded, the guild would pressure me to give them armor before anyone else.
Saturday, August 30, 2003, 12:40:09 PM (ScreenShot0635)
Needless to say, before Kozerk dropped the ball, he did have a grand opening event at his shop within GAT City. At the time, GC was located about 3000m south of Theed if I remember correctly, so it was a lil bit of a hike from the bridge that extends from Theed and protrudes onto the grasslands. Nevets, the guy with the Cu Pa, was GAT’s “Mayor,” voted by the players on the forums well before the actual profession of Politician was added to the game. Kzin, with his two Marak pets, showed up from his house on Corellia. He had a mining business based off Naboo, so he was one of the few GATers that didn’t actually live in GAT City. It was no big deal, because just like everyone else, he joined the GAT Chat channel daily. Also in the pic, you’ve got Kamru, who is a reroll of Tammo, the original GAT Archetect who built most of their houses before I joined the server. I see a few Zebraks, so I think it’s safe to say that Spart is in the black standing over by Kozerk, and Zom is on the right with the black backpack. Zom was grinding Tailor, so he and I often shared resources.
We all spent that afternoon playing games, of which Kozerk award prizes… I won a “pr0n cube,” which is a collectors item for all those looking to purchase GAT City artifacts I’m sure.
Saturday, August 30, 2003, 2:56:47 AM (ScreenShot0638)
And back on Eclipse… Flo and I started looking like a pair of Mon Cal separated at birth. We would meet up, and patrol the outskirts of Bestine, picking off Imperials that were running missions for laughs. Flo was my main contact on Eclipse by this time. He kept me in the loop, and made sure I wasn’t left out of important events…
Saturday, August 30, 2003, 5:01:50 AM (ScreenShot0642)
One such event was this meeting of the Rebellion. That’s Purgatori on my left, and in between us is a giant furball known as Destroyer, also a member of <COL>. The origination of the Rebellion was clearly at a high level by this time on Eclipse. Not only did they have the PVP well organized, but they also started to organize the flow of credits and equipment (man where was my middleman operation now??). I remember seeing a giant Rebel mall, the first I’d ever seen in SWG, on Tatooine… and thinking to myself “this is what we need to do to put GAT City on the map on Tarq.” I eventually told Spart & a couple others to log onto Eclipse, and check it out for themselves… the idea went over really well, and Spartacus especially made it his personal mission to make this happen in the name of GAT City on Tarquinas. All we needed was a PA Hall…