Thursday, April 08, 2004, 4:25:01 PM (ScreenShot1944)
Yet another sign that GAT City had already peaked… I was parting ways with my Quarran vendor. My days of putting my crit fails up for sale seemed more time consuming than worth the effort, and it wasn’t fair that I kept a vendor spot in the mall if I wasn’t going to stock it. On April 8th, I took him down. This was actually one of the last times that I even set foot in the mall I think. In the end, no one replaced my vendor spot, and one by one, the other vendors disappeared too… until one day, the mall itself poofed. I’m not 100% sure when it happened or who owned it in the end, but I can tell you that The Gat City Mega Mall was the early symbol for all of the great things that we would do together as a group in game. When I of all people stopped paying attention to it, it was a clear sign that things were degrading all around for GAT City.
Thursday, April 08, 2004, 4:40:05 PM (ScreenShot1952)
Losing my vendor in the mall seemed like a formality that night, as it was also our first crack at some much anticipated high end content that the devs freshly implemented… the Corillian Corvette. Depending on your faction and the mission you wanted to run, there were certain requirements to make yourself eligible to get onto the Corvette itself. For Imperials, we had to first talk to an NPC at the Imperial Retreat on Naboo, who would give us a mission to get ship destruct sequence codes. The first codes were in Anchorhead (forcing us to PVP). The second codes were in a Janta Stronghold on Dantooine… it was a total pain in the ass to get deep into the cave and find the Magseal container. The last code was on Talus, which was a hike from Dantooine. Then, with all the codes, you had to go back to the Imperial Retreat on Naboo to launch with your group. This entire process of “getting keyed” was like an hour time sink at least… and the problem was that at the time, you had to repeat it every time you wanted to go up to the Corvette. The good news was that you did not have to do it yourself. I remember that Zom managed to do it for me and just gave me the codes.
Tuesday, April 13, 2004, 9:07:47 PM (ScreenShot1952)
After 4 ½ hours of running around and trying to get everyone in the group their codes, we returned to the Imperial Retreat to find it totally packed. When I hopped off my speeder, I was happy to find 80+ players hanging around, buffing, looking for groups, etc. It was like a who’s who of the Empire with many of the Imperials that I only really saw in mass PVP events scattered about the area. One by one the GATers showed up, until we had a group of around 17 guys. The problem was that getting “keyed” with the codes took so long, and then you had to buff as well… so prep time was closing in on 2 hours. In the end, we chose to launch without some people, which sucked because everyone was excited on that first day. All this running around before you even got to the dungeon itself was my main issue with the Corvette… I’m not sure if they ever made it so you only had to run the “code missions” once to get permakeyed, but if they didn’t… ugh.
Tuesday, April 13, 2004, 9:09:42 PM (ScreenShot1972)
After talking to the NPC on the ground, we were ported into the instance. Right away I was happily presented with an accurate version of the inside of a Corellian Corvette. As we zerged the first Rebel soldier, I was again happy to see that the NPC’s were wearing the traditional Rebel uniforms from EPIV, and once again, I mentally applauded the SWG art team for their spot on renditions of the characters that we all know and love.
Tuesday, April 13, 2004, 9:26:12 PM (ScreenShot1980)
About 15 minutes later, I had to pull up the overhead map to see what the frig was going on. Much to my dismay, every floor was laid on top of one another (this is the case all over SWG, not just this location), so it was very hard to figure out where we had been, and where we were supposed to go. On top of that, mobs were respawning quickly behind us, and at times, we were aggroing through walls. The whole thing quickly became a giant cluster**** of aggro, and we soon found ourselves on the defensive, panicked, begging for a place to recover and regroup.
Tuesday, April 13, 2004, 9:37:18 PM (ScreenShot1989)
Eventually, and very luckily, we ducked into a room that only had a couple mobs. We bowled them over, and started to heal up… but we soon realized that some of our group had not waited for a rez… they cloned, and ended up back on the ground, unkeyed, and unable to rejoin us on the Corvette. Our group was cut by more than half, and we knew that there wasn’t much of a chance of us doing anything worthwhile in our current condition. None of the mobs that we killed dropped anything useful, and I happened to look down into some kind of cargo hold only to see more ****ty EPII tie ins… Super Battle Droids. My guess is the devs wanted to get use out of the models they had the art team create for the attack on Coronet days prior. The Corvette quickly started to feel just like SWG as a whole had been feeling for months… a good idea that was thrown together and poorly implemented.
Tuesday, April 13, 2004, 10:02:05 PM (ScreenShot2002)
It didn’t take long for us to get completely raped and left to beg for a quick exit. Only an hour after we arrived, Werrt and I were running the halls looking for the escape pod. It was one hour of getting raped as a reward for 4 ½ hours of getting keyed. True, it just shows that you could not go up there all half assed, but still… I don’t get the point of the whole keying process (unless they made it so you are permakeyed). Regardless, you can see from the screenshot how badly we got wtfpwned. We were all limping away with serious wounds, as the 10 of us who were left were no match for the respawns in every direction. I guess I shouldn’t complain though. This was high end content. The fact that we got abused was good because it meant that there was something that was not easy to conquer. The whole problem was that getting keyed was incredibly repetitive and most of us would never consider doing it again. The risk/reward ratio was not worth it because of the time sink involved with just getting up there in the first place… so as far as I saw… the Corvette never really caught on with the players.
Tuesday, April 13, 2004, 10:07:18 PM (ScreenShot2005)
Werrt and I were very happy to find the escape hatch, but unfortunately the NPC camping it was not as happy to see us. We were quickly dispatched, and just as quickly found ourselves back on the ground. As I stood up, I was just one of a great many, all standing up one after another after another. Most other groups learned the same thing that ours did… the Corvette was no joke. This wasn’t the type of thing that you could just go into unprepared. Of course, it didn’t talk long for people to put this thing on farm status, but back in the first days, it was a real challenge for most players.
Tuesday, April 13, 2004, 10:20:35 PM (ScreenShot2007)
My night ended as I entered the Theed Cantina, and Fuschia pushed her way through the Hologrinders to punch me in the mouth. She was one of the GATers who got lost in the shuffle as we launched to the Corvette, and wasn’t happy to be left behind to sit in a cantina full of AFK musicians and dancers. It was hard not to feel bad for the true entertainers of SWG. They had been the first to truly lose what was most dear to them… their community. Fushia was one of the few that struggled with what had been done to her by SOE, but she didn’t change her profession to deal with it. She stayed an entertainer to the end, no matter how much it hurt to do so. It was also a struggle for her to witness the obvious degradation of not only the community at large, but her inner circle of friends in GAT City as well. Fuschia knew as well as anyone that things were going downhill, and it was just a matter of time before SOE and all their infinite “fixes” found a way to make things that much worse.