As we arrive at B2B’s half way mark, you can see that my interpretation of the situation and the team behind it was one of frustration.

Entry #40

Sunday, December 07, 2003, 8:21:15 PM (ScreenSho1097) 

A day after base busting on Eclipse, I was part of a GAT City base strike against “Mos Kraytos,” near the Krayt Graveyard on the Tarquinas server. GATers, being a resourceful bunch, had an interesting plan. First, we travelled to the outskirts of the target city. Then, we dropped a small generic house, and put all the group members on admin. Once inside, Fuschia started to dance and play music, giving us all a mind buff, while Ciwo and Keiyla buffed the rest of the group’s HAM. Not only were we able to get fully buffed, but we now had private sectioned off area, that only our group could enter, less then 500m from the target. In other words, we had a safe house to run to if things went bad.

A Doctor and Entertainer would be on hand to rebuff anyone who was DB’d, so they could get right back into the fight. What this ended up doing was even the playing field… we would bring all the advantages of GAT City to the door step of the base we were looking to take out. The best part was, while inside the house, we would completely blend into the city, no one would even know we were there… unless they looked at the house sign, which generally read something like “Portable GAT Army Headquarters” or something equally ridiculous.

Sunday, December 07, 2003, 8:55:50 PM (ScreenSho1100) 

Unlike hitting an Imperial base, there were no pesky AT-ST’s to contend with. As a matter of fact, this time around, the AT-ST’s would be on my side for a change, making short work of the nonsensical Rebel defenses. Within minutes of the strike, we were camped in front of their base, poised and ready for the counterattack, while the team worked their magic on the terminals inside the base. Unlike the strike the day before on Eclipse, the Rebels would turn up… but in drips and drabs. One by one we’d completely pick them off and send them packing. Once again, the target looked like it was going to disintegrate, just like all the other ones I saw poof before it. All too easy… except this time, the foul Rebellion had a scheme of their own…

Sunday, December 07, 2003, 9:10:16 PM (ScreenSho1101) 

3…2…1…. Poof! Only it didn’t poof at all. “Rabid,” a covert Rebel from the guild <RIP>, had access to the bases command module… and he undeeded the base back into his inventory. There would be no base bust on this day, and that fact most quickly awakened the GAT gank squad monster. If they were going to cheat the system, then we were going to go on a world tour, mauling the Rebellion, player by player, until we felt justified.

Sunday, December 07, 2003, 9:22:14 PM (ScreenSho1102) 

We made our way to Mos Tiake, knowing that without a shuttleport, residents of Mos Kraytos would have to use this NPC city to get to their homes. <HATED> split up, and covered all ways in or out. One by one they would shuttle in, and we’d always triple incap and let them get auto DB’d… just toying with them until they went covert for good. We had intentions of staying there all night, and griefing them as much as possible… the GATer way of course. Soon things started to settle down, the Rebels realized not to use Mos Tiakes shuttle, and we ran out of targets… except for one…

Sunday, December 07, 2003, 9:23:10 PM (ScreenSho1103) 

Poor Jaf… the only member of our forums to go Rebel. He got caught in the wrong place at the wrong time that night. Right when we were about to leave the city, gool ol’ Jaf came strolling through. Nicely put… GATer or no GATer… red = dead. Jaf was the only one of us that didn’t live in GAT City, or at least he had a second residence out of Tatooine where he normally spent most of his time. Occasionally we’d see him around the galaxy, and if he was overt… of course we’d maul him into little bitty pieces of GATer. Unfortunately, while paying close attention to screwing around with Jaf… we didn’t even see it coming…

Sunday, December 07, 2003, 9:25:54 PM (ScreenSho1104) 

Along with Fuschia, Elu, Vallin, Ciwo, Dyers, Starscream, and Mekal… I was hit in the head by some friggin Combat Medic… from God knows where. We didn’t even see the guy, and none of us ever figured out where he hurled the area mind poison from. You commonly hear stories about CM’s and how overpowered they were… this is picture proof. One guy could wipe a group from 90m, without the group even knowing where the guy was. Yes, the perfect SWG that we all remember had it’s imbalances. That said, I wasn’t one to piss and moan about the imbalances… personally… I was trying to hatch a plan to drop Armorsmith, and pick up CM for myself… and soon, that plan would be worked out, and not only would GAT City not lose it’s free armor, but that armor would get a lot better, and it would come with some additional benefits that I was never able to provide before.

Monday, December 08, 2003, 8:47:40 PM (ScreenSho1111) 

Lets face it… if you were anything more then a casual player, you were exposed to the exploits of SWG. I was no stranger to it… I did my share, maybe a few hundred thousand off of the Biz Natch lair exploit, etc. Nothing gamebreaking or epic, but here and there I took advantage of the broken code… hell, how could I not, many people not only took advantage, but really overdid it, and made millions, or hacked weapons, who knows wtf they were doing. The worst one I ever did was a faction point exploit. I knew there was no way I’d be able to split servers and work my way up both factions at the same time… so in early December, when the players found a way to ramp up their faction by doing next to nothing to earn it, I was on board. I don’t even remember what the exploit was, but I brought myself up to Colonel for two reasons. #1, I loved the idea of being “Colonel Flanders,” cause it sounded a lot like Colonel Sanders. #2, it was a free AT-ST… something I wanted for a long time. With everything broken in SWG, I felt entitled to steal some ****. I don’t feel bad about it either… its not like I gave myself a trillion credits like some people did. I gave myself a silly title and an AT-ST… and I was content with it.

Monday, December 08, 2003, 8:48:38 PM (ScreenSho1113) 

In the distance, you can see two Imperial bases, with an AT-ST parked outside of each… and the fact that there are Stormies walking in my location, obviously means that there was a third base where I was standing. The faction point exploit was used to the fullest by GAT City. In the end, we’d have 5 fully loaded bases, and spare turrets coming out the ass. Spare crates of land mines too. We had a fully stocked Imperial supply depot that would rival any one else’s, although ours was gotten from dishonesty and exploitative means. Years later, the question is still there… did we go too far? Should we feel guilty? We were cheating, does that represent what “type” of people we were deep down inside?

In the end, there are some justifications I guess. The one I always lived by was “hey, we’re the bad guys.” That was my philosophy. The Empire was an evil that knew no bounds of morality in the movies, so why would our representation of them be any different. Other people justified it as a strike against SOE… “not my fault they cant code the game right.” Can we really argue with them? Instead of me thinking “this is not moral, we shouldn’t do this…” I thought “this is what this game allows, other people are already doing it, if we want to compete, we need to do it too.” So I didn’t give anyone **** that was doing it, I did it myself to an extant, and at the end of the day, no true harm was done from the faction point exploit. If anything, I could argue that placing all these bases was good for the Rebellion, cause it gave them a place to farm FP’s and bases to have fun busting.

But in the end… it was yet another wedge between SOE and it’s player base. The “moral” players would at first be mad at the exploiters… but soon, they turned their attention to SOE for allowing it in the first place. This, in my opinion, was about the time that SWG would start to see the effects of the wedge between the players and developers. 8 days away was the vehicle patch. That was the last thing players had to look forward to. Jedi, PRC’s, Mounts… all the big promises from the beta days were in game… and vehicles was the last promise other then JTL (which was 10 months away) that players were “dying to try.” Once players got their fill of racing around on Swoops… once Jedi were commonplace… once people learned that they could sell their accounts for over $1000 on Ebay… well what do you think the players would start doing? Simply put, with no true high level content, nothing left to look forward to, broken code in every direction, and a dev team that was not only incompetent, but pompous, selfish, ignorant, “___insert your own negative descriptive comment here___…” the players would start to quit. No one at all knew it, but pre-cu SWG was about to peak in 8 days… and that peak would not last for very long at all.

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