GAT City is born…

Entry #36

Sunday, November 09, 2003, 1:54:25 PM (ScreenShot0906) 

Standing in the Theed Cantina, totally disgusted, I observed the masses of afk Hologrinders make a mockery out of the Entertainer profession. The one guy that was actually at his keyboard is *****ing about “being chained” to the Cantina until he masters the profession. At first I was annoyed with the players themselves, but then I quickly put the blame where it belonged… square on the shoulders of SOE. After all, the players were just playing the hand that they were dealt… it was the devs that were the dealers behind the tables of this foul casino. You cant blame the aspiring Jedi from mastering and dropping profession after profession if that’s the only way to obtain force sensitivity. But you can blame the morons who created the dumbass system to begin with.

Monday, November 10, 2003, 11:18:28 PM (ScreenShot0913) 

Fuschia Darkwalker… as GAT City started to gain momentum, the new recruits started to trickle in. Up until now, GAT was made up of forum members who then bought the game… but now, we were recruiting people in game that would create accounts on the forums… a 180 of sorts. Fuschia was one of the first to do so. As a Dancer/Image Designer, she definitely filled a void that no current GATer would remotely consider. Fuschia wouldn’t just be a cantina rat either, she’d accompany GAT on hunts and help heal minds and direct traffic on raids. Also, most importantly, only an Entertainer could place a cantina in a city… so obviously Fuschia was a Godsend from that perspective. No city could claim greatness without all the possible amenities, whether it be the obvious ones like a shuttleport and cloner, to the less critical banks, med centers, and cantinas.

As far as the task at hand, dispite the look on my face in the screenshot, GAT was about to start stocking up on the list of ingredients that the test center players posted on the SOE forums in regards to RIS Armor. Once we were healed and buffed, it was off to Yavin IV for the Woolymander drops called Harrower Bone Fragments…

Monday, November 10, 2003, 11:54:08 PM (ScreenShot0914) 

We arrived at the temple around midnight, and oddly enough, it wasn’t camped at all by other guilds. There weren’t very many Woolymanders spawning, and when they did, we wiped them out as fast as possible. The needed drops were very few and far between, and after a while, one thing became clear… loot camping was going to be pretty big going forward in SWG. You couldn’t build RIS armor without getting this stuff, and it was taking forever to get anything from these mobs, so we all knew that RIS would take quite a long time to be prevalent across the galaxy. The PRC/Mount/RIS patch was only two days away, so we needed to get this stuff… but after a couple hours of intermittent spawns and even less loot drops, we called it a night.

Tuesday, November 11, 2003, 7:40:39 PM (ScreenShot0922) 

The night before the patch, I was still running around taking screenshots of the layout and Photoshopping them together. These 17 were the biggest chunk of houses, but there were about another 10 or so spread around outside this overhead view, plus we had another 10 or so GATers who still had to place their homes. The way the PRC’s would work was that for every 10 members you had in a certain radius, you’d get a bump in city status. Here’s the breakdown of what we were planning for:

City Rank: Outpost
(Level1; 10 citizens, 150m)
Pop. Req. for Advancement: 15
Max Decorations: 10
Max Mission Terminals: 3
Max Skill Trainers: 3
Rank Enabled Structures:
+Small Gardens
Weekly Base Maintenence: 35,000cr

City Rank: Village
(Level 2; 20 citizens, 200m)
Pop Req for Advancement: 30
Max Decorations: 20
Max Mission Terminals: 6
Max Skill Trainers: 6
Rank Enabled Structures:
+Med Gardens
Weekly Base Maintenence: 60,000cr

City Rank: Township
(Level 3; 35 citizens, 300m)
Pop. Req for Advancement: 50
Max Decorations: 30
Max Mission Terminals: 9
Max Skill Trainers: 9
Rank Enabled Structures:
+Cloning Facility
+Large Gardens
Weekly Base Maintenence: 85,000cr

City Rank: City
(Level 4; 55 citizens, 400m)
Pop. Req for Advancement: 80
Max Decorations: 40
Max Mission Terminal: 12
Max Skill Trainers: 12
Rank Enabled Structures
Weekly Base Maintenence: 110,000cr

City Rank: Metropolis
(Level 5; 85 citizens, 450)
Pop. Req for next Advancement: N/A
Max Decorations: 50
Max Mission terminals: 15
Max Skill Trainers: 15
Rank Enabled Structures:
+Exotic Gardens
Weekly Base Maintenence: 135,000cr

Having 35+ GATers would not automatically give us a Township. We would still have to wait for the weekly cycle to run its course, so if we were lucky enough to get a city hall planted, we’d be an “outpost” no matter how many people we had. At the end of the cycle, we’d get bumped to Village… and this would continue until we either became a Metropolis, or capped out under that level. The trick was making sure everyone planted their houses within the predefined radius, so when the next cycle was upon us, it recognized the houses and credited us accordingly. If GATers had their houses outside the radius, it would do us no good, so we all had to coordinate together.

Tuesday, November 11, 2003, 8:13:39 PM (ScreenShot0924) 

RIS Armor drops were not exclusive to Yavin IV. We knew we would also need Reclusive Gurk King Hides (this thing was on a two hour timer and was heavily camped already), Giant Dune Kimogila Scales (random spawns on Lok, or 15 minute respawn timer at “Kimo City), and Peko Peko Albatross Feathers (not essential, but they enhance RIS Armor… these were random spawns on Naboo). Again… spawn camping was going to be part of SWG going forward for sure. That idea in my head, I attempted to go check out a Peko Peko Albatross waypoint that Dwr sent me, hopefully getting lucky before the inpending patch. Instead, because of being in total /tell hell, I got wtfpwnt by some force sensitive spawn on Naboo. The part that stuck me funny was that I was DB’d by a NPC named “Eedo,” which coincidently was the name of the guy that I bought the PA Hall off of when we first built the mall.

In the end, I didn’t get any Peko Peko drops that night, but they would come rolling in quick by some GATers, so getting those was never a problem.

Thursday, November 13, 2003, 5:40:07 PM (ScreenShot0942) 

“GAT City Lives,” Elu Vagabond shouted on the steps of the newly created GAT City Hall. Flanked by Cerven on the left, Dyers Eve on the right, Selbbog on the Kaadu, Starscream standing in the grass, and me on my Kaadu as well… we did it. We were one of the 10 tiny cities on Naboo, we made the cut. But the process was not without a sense of urgency and excitement.

For weeks, we posted on our forums concerning the day that this patch would hit. We had some information from Test Center, including the waypoint to the Politician trainers, the nearest of which was in one of the neighboring NPC cities on Naboo. Our main concern was placing City Hall before 10 other mayors did it. We had multiple issues to contend with, but we had a plan, and backup plans to cope with the task at hand. In the end, all the plans failed… but one GATer became an unsung hero and succeeded where all our plans failed… and that GATer was none other then Selbbog.

The plan itself was ambitious and well thought out. Cerven would log out the night before right where the politician trainer was known to spawn. He’d log in, train, burst run to the shuttle, and arrive at the Theed Starport… where any number of GATers would trade a newly tamed mount to him, at which point he’d gallop north and place City Hall. Knowing that SOE’s servers were shotty, we had “Plan B,” which was me logging out next to Cerven… in the event that he couldn’t log in, I’d drop Swordsman, pick up Politician, and go through the motions in his place… then we’d just vote him in the following week if we had to.

The morning of the patch, I arrived at work at 8:30am… and quickly checked the boards. The devs announced that the servers wouldn’t go live until around 2pm… so I uhhh… suddenly got sick, and went home from work. At around 2pm, the servers started coming up… one by one… except for a few, Tarq included. When it finally went online, Cerven couldn’t log in. Plan A was broke… but we still had me logged out in the same spot… except for one problem… I couldn’t log in either. These minutes were critical, and we all knew it. Reboots did nothing, Cerven and I were frantic on AIM and the GAT City boards, as we were about to lose it all.

After 20 minutes, which was way too long for this to happen, Cerven and I were finally able to log in. As my screen came into focus, the last of the would be mayors were burst running into the distance, catching their shuttles to do their own City Hall runs. Cerven and I stood up, and knew we were beat… but thanks to one dedicated GATer, we weren’t beaten at all. 20 minutes earlier, seeing everything falling apart, Selbbog shuttled to the trainer, dropped enough skills to be able to acquire the Politician profession, and then burstrun back to the shuttle. As he arrived in Theed, Zom’bo was able to acquire a Kaduu mount, and traded it to him the second he materialized in front of the Starport. Spamming /gallop, with a pack of GATers burst running behind him in the distance, Selbbog arrived at the waypoint that Elu Vagabond sent him just moments earlier… when he dismounted, Elu traded him the deed of City Hall, and with just seconds to spare, GAT City was born.

GAT Chat exploded, our forums already had screenshots up, and all of our planning, even when things seemed to fall apart in front of us… paid off. GAT City was erected by it’s first Mayor, Selbbog just after 2pm on November 13th, 2003. When the rest of us arrived minutes later, we found a handful of GATers standing on the steps of city hall, throwing their fists into the air in celebration. This was GAT’s crowning moment in SWG, and the coming weeks would be the golden age of GAT City on the Tarquinas server. In a month we’d go from 35+ to almost 80 citizens, just short of Metropolis status. The shuttleport would eventually do away with the run from Theed, and we’d have a full compliment of amenities, including Keiyla’s “Fertility Clinic.”

From the Keiyla Files:

As for the fertility clinic… I double checked my screenshots but I think those were in my old computer and got cleaned out. It’s possible someone else has some, though. The facts as I recall: As a master doctor, I was the one who had to drop the med clinic. Perfectly ok by me. I dropped it and went on my way. Then people started asking me: when are you going to decorate it? Decorate, says I? With what shall I decorate it, dear guildies, dear guildies…? I ran around to several planets and many many cities, checking out the med clinics that were already up and running. Most of them were sincerely boring, or even empty except for a few medical supplies and a couple crafting stations. Some were visually interesting, offering the visitor interpretations of medical bays, ala “fish tank” decorating styles.

I couldn’t let the GAT medical center be boring. Secretly I’d hoped our med center would be so interesting and unique, devs would feature it online and people would flock from all over the galaxy to see it for themselves.

In the end, I could hardly make our own guild members come look at it.

Our architect generously created every odd and off-the-wall item I could come up with, and named them exactly as I’d requested. He was amazing! It started with “Bacta tanks” and “medical beds” for the front room, just as any respectable med clinic would have. In the back room, however, was GAT City’s fertility clinic. It’s hard to remember now what all went into it, but I spent weeks on this thing and wouldn’t let anyone in til I was done.

Private, “donation” seating was walled off with bookshelves titled “Pr0n” and “Twileks gone Wild,” etc. (A few observant vistors noticed the spherical cameras- “Super-sekrit spy cam”- hiding in the shelving.) Each booth also had vid screens available. An attendant stood by to collect the samples, and a crafting station titled “DNA Analyzer” stood at the end, ready to receive the donations.

Because we didn’t want to get shut down or banned for the somewhat questionable nature of our clinic, the med center was simply labeled, “GAT City’s Other Bank.”

Thursday, November 13, 2003, 5:52:31 PM (ScreenShot0949) 

A little while later, Werrt and I were already having “sissy fights” on our mounts. This is something that I always had issue with… mounts were so awesome in concept, but a month later vehicles would hit, rendering mounts already generally inferior. The main advantage that mounts have over vehicles is that you can engage in combat while riding, so why wouldn’t the devs at least include some specials while being mounted? Instead, all you can do is autoattack, which pretty much set mounts up to be obsolete the second vehicles were introduced a month later.

Thursday, November 13, 2003, 8:24:30 PM (ScreenShot0956) 

A few hours later, we’d make our way back to Theed, as the biggest display of fireworks I’d ever see made the city visible from over 1000m away. Once we made it to the area in front of the Starport, we were engulfed into the biggest gathering I had ever seen (or would ever see again) on Tarq. Fireworks were shooting into the air as far as I could see, while the city square was jam packed with CH’s selling mounts to the highest bidders. It was a really good time on Tarq, and SWG in general… as I looked around, I was surrounded by Imperials, and more importantly, <HATED> members could be seen in every direction. There wasn’t one member I didn’t know very well, and almost all of them were wearing Composite Armor that I made myself, using their donations to create.

Just a short gallop away rested GAT City in it’s infancy, constructed of civil buildings created by Elu, and funded by the city’s residents. This was the pinnacle realized moment in GAT City’s SWG history, a day that all other days would have to be compared to. We had ultimate momentum. Things would soon catapult even further, as the introduction of a tiny three man guild by the name of Eternal Conquest to GAT City would bring staggering positives that not a single one of us could possibly have expected out of such a small group of outsiders. GAT City had it all. A server first mall that was selling out daily, a PVP force 30+ strong, and a city by the beach. Together, we took SWG by the horns and dragged it to the ground… planted the <HATED> flag in its carcass, and /spit on it before the day was done.

Thursday, November 13, 2003, 9:45:11 PM (ScreenShot0959) 

No rest for the weary… right from Theed we set out towards Dantooine. Dwr, Selbbog, and Fuschia escorted me to the known waypoint of the RIS Armor NPC. Tasks would have to be completed, and they of course were there to help me get them done. In the coming days we’d run the gamut of RIS related quests, which of course would lead us to a Reclusive Gurk King spawn on Lok. As we arrived, it was already camped by some guy named Amisted. We were 10 men strong, but here was there first. What could have started out as a pissing match, instead became an interesting conversation. It turned out that his guild, <EC>, was tiny, and looking for a home in a PRC. The three members, Amisted, Merrak, and Carledo actually had about 7 accounts between the three of them. They were real life friends, who exchanged the passwords, meaning that they could be anywhere, and do anything they needed to do. They were the most self sufficient group of players I’d ever meet in any MMO.

Between them they had all crafter professions not only mastered, but pumping out the servers best items… that they kept for themselves. They also each had a master combat profession temploiter, of course meaning that they were practically untouchable in PVP. These guys needed no one for anything… yet for some reason, they wanted to join GAT City. I remember Merrak telling me that they did everything they could do in the galaxy, and the one thing they didn’t have… was a community. It’s funny, the one thing that SWG was well known for, was the one thing these accomplished masters could not find without GAT City.

The choice was obvious. <EC> joined GAT City, and although some of their alts did not join <HATED>, they did represent. The relationship was strong from the start, and Amisted would go on to build GAT City’s shuttleport as soon as we were able to place one. They would all join Cervens “Masquers” guild in WoW after SWG ran its course, and always be known as a powergamer trio that no one could even consider rivaling. To this day, I have never met a group of guys that can cover as much ground, as quickly and accurately as those three guys do.

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