Tuesday, September 16, 2003, 9:02:50 PM (ScreenShot0681)
On Eclipse, faction bases were finally being planted… which also means that strike teams were being assembled to take them out. The bases themselves served a great many functions. The basic function was that it was a place for a faction to take missions and farm faction points. Another function was city protection… if you place enough bases in and around your city, gank squads would have a really hard time just walking right into the heart of things to look for trouble. <COL> eventually created “Operation Chinchilla,” which was a conglomerate of Rebel Bases, surrounded by strategically placed houses, leaving only one way in or out. If the Imperials wanted to take out the bases, they had to first get into the area itself, and then <COL> would trap them inside, easily cutting off the reinforcements, and slaughtering Imperials in between the NPC spawns and the PVPers who arrived to defend the bases.
As far as the screenshot above, it was my first base raid. It was an exciting time in SWG, as this aspect of the game had not been available yet. The bases themselves were only vulnerable at a certain time each day. It would sometimes take weeks to find out when a base was vulnerable, unless you could get someone on the other side of the war to leak the window. Some people would pay for a second account, just to have their toon join the opposite faction… and then go find out for themselves when it was able to be taken out. Once you knew what time to hit a base, you’d have to then assemble a team consisting of the right professions for the job. Certain professions were able to access certain parts of the bases self destruction mechanism, so the right people had to be online, or you had to make new friends that could facilitate that part of the job.
Tuesday, September 16, 2003, 9:28:15 PM (ScreenShot0682)
Alistea got the team together, and found out the vulnerability time… she recruited some backup, and put the plan into action. By now, Rebels knew how to pull NPC’s without pulling the AT-ST with them, so one by one we obliterated the spawned defenses, and then bombarded the AT-ST until it keeled over. We all had our tasks. As soon as the AT-ST was down, the base destruction team moved inside, while the rest of us guarded the parameter. Most CH’s would be given the task of pulling their pets, and intercepting any Imperials who were notified that the base was under attack. If it was a giant crew coming to defend, then we’d radio the guys inside and let them know. If it was just some stragglers, we’d wipe the floor with them and not even bother telling anyone until we were halfway across the galaxy, relaxing in some smokey cantina… laughing about how well the strike went.
Tuesday, September 16, 2003, 10:13:20 PM (ScreenShot0683)
Meanwhile, the crew inside was tasked with actually having to follow specific steps to make the base self detonate. I’m not 100% sure what went into it, because I never had to help out… but I do remember that BH & a Slicer were two of the people you needed on your team. As you can see above, once the other faction was DB’d enough times, they accepted that defending the base was a lost cause. They’d then come inside, covert, and harass us until we finally pulled the plug on the place. It was like a zoo inside that thing, which is why I normally stayed outside unless the defenders somehow made it past our perimeter.
Tuesday, September 16, 2003, 10:15:55 PM (ScreenShot0684)
And when the countdown was over, and you finally did the deed… you’d find out that SOE’s code would strike again… and the base would just poof off the face of the planet. After over an hour of holding the Imperials off, this was yet another colossal disappointment due to SOE’s nonsense. I’m not sure if they ever even put an explosion animation into the game, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they didn’t. Still, it was good to see a plan work, as most of Ali’s did. Base raiding would end up being a cornerstone of PVP on most servers, creating obvious bragging rights for the side that was taking out the most bases.
Wednesday, September 17, 2003, 12:46:29 AM (ScreenShot0686)
Meanwhile, another plan was coming together, but this one was on the Tarquinas server. Days earlier, <PM> finally fell apart. Most of the GATers would just shift over to <GOD>, which would from there on out be GAT City’s biggest Player Association. The owner of the PA Hall, Eedo, was quitting the game, so he sold it to me for around half price. The city came up with donations, the biggest oddly enough, coming from GAT City’s resident forum troll, Starscream. After much prolonged discussion & disagreements (the way all GAT decisions get made of course), Niklut logged in his alt, Xaith, and placed the PA Hall on his lots. We actually did not place the mall in GAT City (which was protested by many a citizen) , but as close to the bridge that extends from southern Theed as possible (making it an easy walk from one of the biggest player hubs in the game). Incidentally, this ended up being a good call, because when PRC’s hit, the entire city (sans mall) was relocated to the very north of Naboo.
On the left, is Kamru… GATs original Architect (as Tammo), having now rerolled as God knows what (I remember he’d eventually be a Bothan, he switched more times then we could keep up with). But Tammo was responsible for building the original GAT settlers their houses back in the Talus days before I joined. He was one of the few that Spart trusted to help out when the mall was being built… most people were locked out of the mall before it opened, and even fewer actually had admin privileges for obvious reasons. I’m next, with the the giant BE’d Kimo behind me… what PA Hall didn’t have a Kimo in the main room back then? Derlander is the guy that kinda looks like Vroflus. He was a casual player, who I always caught fishing outside the mall. Spartacus is on the far right. He designed the counter that was shaped like a giant “M” out of end tables or something. Spart designed and placed almost everything himself, including a *****in fish tank that I don’t think I have caught on camera.
These few “setup” days were really fun, because as I was grinding, I got to watch these few guys work together to make something much bigger then any of us could ever make individually. I think we all knew from the start that the mall was going to be a huge hit, so watching it get created piece, by piece, meant a lot to me. Spart and I would have to contract random master architects, because we didn’t have one within the city yet.
From the Spartacus Files:
I forgot all about the process of building the mall! Back at that stage in the game, hunting down the master architects to build the very specific items we needed was not an easy task. And building it with Tammo, he was a good guy. That was back before SOE implemented moving items up and down, so back then you had to use the stairs to move items into the air to build something three dimensional, like a fish tank.
Mal Takana was the guy who took up the trade when players were asked to become crafters for the mall… but he was inept at the grind. I remember him saying it was “too expensive to level up,” even though he was getting donations from half the city. We later found out that this clown was buying Werrts leftover high quality minerals that he was selling off a vendor in his house to fund himself in the weaponsmith trade… so basically, instead of buying grind mats with the credits we were giving him, Mal handed those credits over to Werrt, and using what little high quality resources he got back, he’d make like one small house. Talk about a retarded cycle, I’m just now realizing that although Werrt took no money to fuel his grind from the city, the city in fact is responsible for part of his grind thanks to Mal’s stupidity. This circular retardation is exactly why Cerven had to run for mayor… because without someone ruling over GAT, some of them tend to walk in circles.
Wednesday, September 17, 2003, 1:18:05 AM (ScreenShot0689)
Niklut, on the left, and his alt, Xaith, on the right… if you log out, and log in fast enough… you’ll both be in the world for a short period of time. As you can see, trees, crafting machines… an R2 unit… Spart was starting to make headway with the innards of the mall. It was past 1am on a Wednesday, and our small group had been burning the midnight oil trying to get this thing ready for the weekends grand opening. Most of the GATers didn’t help the building process, but a great many helped with donations of credits, resources, props… whatever. Niklut made all the droids, but the crafting machines were purchased because they had the servers best stats. The idea was that we wanted elite machines, free to the public. People would be attracted to come and craft with better results… and they’d hopefully buy some stuff in the process.
Wednesday, September 17, 2003, 12:28:15 PM (ScreenShot0690)
Behind the scenes at Rodds house… most people don’t know what goes into being a crafter. You cant have any furniture because of item limits, so you end up having crap thrown all over the place, or placed in backpacks. I was grinding so hard that I didn’t have time to make the place look presentable… it was more of a storage house than anything else. I didn’t even have crafting machines, I used <GOD>’s until the flawless machines we put up in the mall arrived. One thing I realized though… sure, I was grinding at a great pace… but I would not be a master in time for the mall’s open… and on top of that, even if I was… I had no inventory made to sell… AND, all my armor was promised to GAT before the public. It all added up to one thing… my armor was not good enough for the concept of the mall. We needed a master making elite items, and that wasn’t me yet. I asked around, and someone dug up an Imperial armorsmith. I forget his name, but he was established, and we offered him a spot in the mall, which he took. It was symbiotic, he get a lot of free business, and we had a brand name vendor in the mall.
Wednesday, September 17, 2003, 4:41:36 PM (ScreenShot0691)
Even with all the work going on over at the mall, GAT hijinx was still a mainstay in Theed. I think that’s Pokey (our Bio Engineer) rolling around on the floor, while the rest of us (including a pimp in his underwear) egg him on. I see Koserk is still in the picture, which confirms that very early on, he’d get a vendor spot in the mall. His weapons sucked, and Werrts weapons were so awesome, that Koserks vendor poofed as a result. Vendor space in the mall became limited quickly, and people were pushed to stock them or gtfo by mall security (yours truly).
Thursday, September 18, 2003, 8:36:53 PM (ScreenShot0692)
There I am, a few days before the grand opening, fishing outside the mall… doing my best to give Spart some stuff to decorate the fish tank with. Those factories beside the mall belonged to GAT as well, I think the one on the right was mine and one one the left was Nikluts. The houses are not GAT’s, they belonged to people who were trying to live close to Theed. The Mall was in a great location, as close as you could be to Theed, right on the water. Terminal missions would send players this way, anyone autorunning over the bridge would crash into our mall, there really was no downside to the location other then it wasn’t in our city itself. It made sense though, because selling goods and having a server first PA Hall sized mall would give GAT the ability to recruit far better if it were in a place that was easy to get to.